Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Dearest Summer

I have missed you, I think you were visiting here and there, but I haven't gotten to visit you with much appreciation.  Thankfully we have so many fond memories of those quick visits.  It seemed like just yesterday I was alive with the promise of many relaxing moments surrounded by warmth, laughter and happy, possibly wet, children.  It is now 3 and a half weeks until you disappear from my life for a time and I am worried that I didn't take advantage of the time we had together.  It is coming to a close too fast, for tat reason I am a little sad.

The time has passed too quickly, but I will most definitely begin the countdown until we meet again.  In the meantime I hope to survive the next little while and hopefully get in a day of relaxation!  And just so we are clear, summer, you are my absolute favorite time of the year.  You equate to fun, lemonade, ice cream, pajama days, swimming, ice cream, day trips, park days, late nights, early mornings, ice cream, visits from friends and family and usually some sort of vacation, I can't believe I almost forgot to mention ice cream.

I will never sway in my devotion...until fall hits and the wonderful things that I cherish about Apple Hill, pumpkins, turkeys....I mean summer how I love thee!

Mountains and Valleys

The last month or so I have been focusing on training for a triathlon sprint.  I have been pretty consistent with morning workouts.  It has been nice to push my body in a way that it never has been pushed before.  It is not a secret I AM clumsy and I am not athletic.  Needless to say I really want to accomplish this goal of being a triathlete, even a mini triathlete is awesome.

So today I went to my friend Lanette's workout.  I came home exhausted.  I was wondering if all this work has even been productive.  I had shin splints, then I babied it for a while.  This week I thought that I would be better, I started doing the jumping again at Lanette's class and I actually ran on Tuesday.  Now my shins are starting to hurt again.  It is so frustrating because I want to do this so bad.

It brought an article from January's Ensign to my mind (probably because I just read it a couple days before.) Making Mountains.  In the article he tells us of his experience as a mountain guide.  He said people would come to him and say I want to go to the highest peek and look at the view.  He would tell them that is really is a great view but to truly appreciate the view they need to see the base of the mountain.  It would be a harder trail but it would be worth it.

He compares that to life.  We would all like to be on top and just appreciate what is around us.  But it is only through trials that we are really grateful for the blessings at the end.  It really is a great article that I probably didn't do justice, but we all have our problems and feel like if we could just get through this, when what we are really doing is building a great foundation for an awesome view.

He says “To appreciate the height, you must experience the bottom,” he says. “You can’t appreciate the end without understanding the process.”

So I know that I am starting to falter in exercise, only in the sense I can feel hopelessness creeping up my sensitive ego.  Then this particular thought came to me and reminded me, that I have to create this great base before I will be the superstar I want to become.  Then the view will be totally worth it all!  Right Jer?

I love when I read an article and it totally applies to my current situation!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Conversation piece

I feel I have neglected my blog when it comes to kid-isms.  I find it so much easier to put the little quip on facebook, like on Friday when we were unpacking from our little jaunt to LA, two police officers showed up at our door responding to a 911 hang up, shockingly the culprit was NOT Lauren but Jackson, yes our 18 month old baby.  He dialed about 15 numbers after 911 but it went through none the less.  It kind of freaked out my sister-in-law who was working dispatch.  She called our home and cell phone numbers but it was a blocked number so we didn't answer on any of our phones.  OOPS!  In our defense, Jeremy had just picked up a telemarketer call, his cell was not on him and I was in the car elsewhere so I had no idea.

So this morning I was getting ready and I start listening to Haylie and Hannah's conversation.  It went something pretty close to this:

Haylie "I am taller"
Hannah "Does that mean you have a taller head."
Haylie "I think yes because you have a bigger head"
Hannah "My head is fatter?"
Haylie "Yes, I think so."

We always tell people how Hannah is a little shorter and thinner than Haylie but she Hannah has a rounder, fuller face.  It cracked me up that we must have said it enough for it to be ingrained in their psyche.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wordfull Wednesday {Work}

This will be the last one of this series.  We will see if I can come up with some though provoking topics of my own.  I really enjoy the challenge and digging a little deeper, then the childlike atmosphere I live in most of the time!  Check out Chocolate on my Cranium  if you are human the name alone should entice you to take a look at her blog!

Work - President David O. McKay said, “Let us realize that the privilege to work is a gift, that the power to work is a blessing, that love of work is success” How do you instill the value of work in your children? Do they do chores around the house? Do you work together on projects? "Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities." (Family Proclamation, paragraph7)

Because I married the best example of most things good, I have to use Jeremy as an example.  Jeremy sort of fell into his career.  It was just a job that he took to pass the time until he left for college.  In fact his position was more or less not real.  He did all kinds of odds and ends type of jobs.  Nothing exactly know the kinds of projects that get shoved in the back corner and ignored.  That is what he did.  Then when he went to Utah for school he got a job at a local credit union and decided he loved the industry.  When we got married and moved back he was able to get a job back at the credit union here.  Through turns of events and divine timing he was promoted, again and again.  I can tell you it wasn't hard for him to go to work and he enjoyed it.  He enjoyed his co-workers, he loved his employer and was passionate about the industry.  We recognized that blessing and we were extremely grateful that he had regular business hours, but more importantly that he loved his job.

Today as the market has changed it makes work a little less cheerful, but he continues to be an example of hard work to me and the children.  When we got married, I carried too much debt so we stayed in CA where the debt was incurred and the wages were able to pay it off quicker.  So it meant Jeremy transferred schools.  Eventually it got too hard (or maybe I got too whiny) and he stopped taking classes for a while.  In the last two years he has really focused on school.

This is what his day is typically like.  Wake up and study from 6:00am to 7:15, then run, come home shower be at work by 8:30.  Work a normal day, often times needing to work through lunch, come home at 6:00 eat dinner, play with the kids as much as time allows, put the kids to bed, then study for another hour.  Then folds laundry, then studies scriptures, pleasure reads (in all honesty for about 2 minutes before the book flops closed on his nose and startles him awake...side note, this is one of my favorite times of day!  He insists he is reading but the man can really fall asleep in -1.25 seconds, it is a gift I tell you.  Anyways he reads and his book falls then he looks at me like "What?"  Then I giggle and he may smile or try and deny he was sleeping.  It happens at least 5 times before he admits to being won over by sleep.  I know cheap entertainment but I love it.)  He works so hard so we don't have to!

Lucky for us he gets Saturdays off and he dedicated one weekend night to strictly family with no studying and we gear Saturday to mostly family activities.

He does an excellent job of teaching our kids the importance of work, not only his job, but working in his calling, and serving as often as possible.  We teach our kids the importance of work by making them help pick up after themselves and each other.  We teach them about serving those around them.  This summer we are actually growing a garden, so they will really get to learn about working to earth.  I can't wait for the rewards of that work.

I am not saying work is easy or that Jeremy is eager to do all these things.  He is exhausted, but he keeps on , keeping on.  He does it out of pure love.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hap McGee Ranch

Yesterday we visited a park that was recommended by a friend.  Hap McGee Ranch.  It was right off the freeway and yet still tucked back so it was away from traffic.  It was a fabulous park.  It had all the necessities, like bathrooms that are REAL close.  It had water for the kids to run through with a button was easy enough for the kids to push.  Right next to that is sand for them to get covered in.  There were 2 climbing structures, as well as swings and a real teeter totter, not to mention a merry go round thing.  I had no idea parks still had these.  There was a huge grassy area with a beautiful white gazebo in the middle as well.
I didn't get very good pictures, but you can kind of see one of the structures to the right with a little train as well.
The girls took a break to eat.  I had yet to release Jackson from the stroller.
And just because I like pictures with the twins looking like twins, can you believe these two will be in kindergarten in a month or so?

Overall I would highly recommend this park.  It has something for everyone!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Contra Loma '10

Every summer we make at least one trip to Contra Loma.  I love it.  It is always hot, it is clean and there are plenty of life guards.  So yesterday was our first trip of the summer.  We blew up the floaty rings and packed stuff to make a lunch only to find out I forgot the bread.  So we had String cheese wrapped in lunch meat, YUM! ; )

We had a few good experiences.  It started with Haylie loosing her first tooth.  She is our youngest so far.  It was nothing spectacular.  She was eating and felt something hard in her mouth and it was her tooth.
The tooth next to it is now loose, and Hannah's two front bottom teeth are a tad loose too.  So it begins!

One of my goals this summer was to make sure the four older kids were swimming.  So we have tried to take advantage of every opportunity.  Miranda has been invited to several pool parties, and at each one I have told the parents she is not a strong swimmer, although she can make it across the pool.  Contra Loma has a new rule, in order to go in the "deep water" you have to pass a swim test.  I think it is about 25 yards freestyle.  I can't do that, well maybe on a good day.  Then if you can't touch you have to tread water for 30 seconds.  So she insisted that she wanted to take the test.  I tried to discourage her, simply because I didn't want her to be embarrassed.  She knew she could do it.  So we went over there and sure enough she did it.  I was so proud of her.  I love that she knew she could do it and didn't let my lack of faith discourage her.  She loved being able to go in the deep water with the older kids.

For the most part the kids just swam and had a grand time.  We missed the annual picture of Logan Kyle and Caden jumping off the side, but there is hope for another trip.

Having all the kids there is no easy task and I realize  that I have a lot of faith that they will be safe.  I learned from last year that sometimes close is not enough, when Haylie went a little to far and couldn't touch.  I barely reached her before the lifeguard did.  Luckily she was perfectly fine and more than willing to stay in the water.  This year I had floaty rings for both Lauren and Jackson.  The older kids enjoyed pushing them around.  As I looked over to Lauren I saw the floaty tip with the help of her brother coming up under neath it, and she went head first in the water.  Again I was right there so she was OK, but still it was a little scary.

Both of them loved the rings, they also loved playing in the sand.  Oh and the sand is the coarse stuff not the kind you are picking out of crevices for days.  Jackson was happy wherever we put him.  When Lauren was ready to go back in, she would climb in her ring and wade out to the deeper water.  It was funny watching her waddle.  She is still super independent, I can't help but appreciate that part of her personality.

Overall it was another fabulous day.  I would not attempt this  completely alone but try not to lean on the generosity of my friends' help.  But they sure do make a difference.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pioneer Trek 2010-Day 1

We got up, not so early, on Thursday morning and kissed our little kid-lets goodbye.  Then met up with our youth and headed to the El Dorado National Forest.  The drive was fun, there is nothing like listening to three teenage boys sing Taylor Swift songs A-capella.  Luckily with Jeremy's phone we were able to pull up a few on youtube.  Not really pioneer-ish but this is how we started our journey.  We eventually swapped some youth (Jeremy and I are so NOT cool!) and the last half of the drive was a little more quiet.

When we finally showed up it was hustle and bustle.  We finally got to meet the youth that would be calling us Ma and Pa.  They all seemed to mesh pretty well.  I didn't see any eye rolls or dirty looks.  That was a relief!

We packed up our handcart and joined together for a little introduction by Ranger Frank.  Ranger Frank is one who was a big help to Sister Cadwallader, who was the go to gal in organizing this.  Ranger Frank was a wealth of information.  If you listened to him talk for a second about the Pioneers you would have no doubt that this man was truly a Mormon.  Turns out he is Episcopalian.  He clarified this when we told him he is welcome at our church anytime ; ).  He told us a little about our journey, a few rules and then sent us on our way.  We ended up with a baby and a chicken, only they ran out of chickens so we didn't have that trial or what ever the story was with the chickens.
Then we lined up.  We left in handcart companies of 6 and each company left about 20 minutes apart.  We were in the last group, which turned out to be a little frustrating for our go getter family. I wish this picture did the hill justice but it looks a whole lot flatter than what it really was.
When we were finally able to get going, we walked up and up and up.  I think for about 40 minutes or so.  Then maybe up a little bit more.  As Mas and Pas we were instructed to let the youth do it.  There were times it was hard to watch them suffer.  At the same time, after about 5 minutes, I was out of breath and more than willing to let them handle it.  The boys, men youth, whatever...pulled a lot of the time.
But for the most part the girls hung on to the back, even when it felt completely useless.  When we got to the top they had what they called a vignette, or story.  Each time we stopped, a few people would act out or read passages from real pioneers.  The first day the stories focused mostly on food and weather.  Either of these  circumstances would have made me throw in the towel and give up.  We continued on and went up more, then down.  The terrain got a little more sketchy, bumpy, rocky etc.  We came to a point where there was a big standstill.  It turns out there was a girl who got too close to the wheel and her foot got ran over.  YIKES!  Some people were frustrated, there was lots of grumbling.  Then an amazing thing happened.  It was silent, and the priesthood gave this girl a blessing.  It reminded me that even in those times of trials, those pioneers were never alone.  They had the priesthood to heal, to comfort, and encourage them to carry on.  That particular family let everyone else pass while they waited for help.  Our family was more then happy to keep on Trekking!

On a side note, two weeks before Trek they visited and there was 4 +/- feet of snow where we would be camping, and doing the vignettes.  Amazingly enough due to great weather and a few dedicated leaders the snow was not a problem.  However we did get a chance to cross a patch.  It wasn't hard, but it got the girls to squeal when the mud splashed on their feet.  We stopped at a half way point and moved up to the second company.  As we started on the next leg we had an assignment for Nate.  He was to leave our family and run to the other handcart companies, looking for his son Arthur. He had to take one more young man and they were to run around for 20 minutes.  Then return.  He was also given a "scarf".  If his son was found alive he was to wave it like a flag.  If he was found dead, he was to wrap up his son in the scarf.  He and David left.  They ran hard for at least 40 minutes.  There was no luck.  That was all the information we had so we kept walking.  On this leg indians were hootin' and hollerin' along the trail.  Nate was certain the indians took his son.  The girls took a turn pulling the cart, then the boys pulled again.  We finally pulled into camp around 4:00pm.  It was ahead of schedule.  The youth pretty much were able to run free.  It was fairly relaxing.
We were treated to chicken and steak fajitas for dinner.  Then there was some musical entertainment.  Followed by s'mores.  The sunset was beautiful.
Picture taken by Kurt P. Schwartz

We then had a family devotional. It was at this time we found out the rest of Nate's story.  He had lost his son because the weather was turning bad.  In the hustle and bustle of trying to beat the weather, they got separated.  By the time he realized they were in a storm.  He left his family to find his son.  As he left his wife gave him a scarf and gave him the above mentioned instruction.  He looked and looked to no avail.  After a couple of days, he stopped at a post, and was told that his son had been found by another family.  He was near frozen, and surrounded by wolves.  The family took him in and cared for him.  After a week Arthur was reunited with his family.  It turns out this was an ancestor to Nate.  He had acted out his own history.  The coolest part was that Nate hadn't even realized he had Pioneer ancestry.  The first clue that this was about him was when he heard it was a relative to Butch Cassidy, and Nate knew that was one of his ancestors.  I thought this really made it hit home for him.

We laid out our sleeping bads and slept under the stars.  A first for me!  I think I would totally enjoy it if it was a Sleep Number pad I was sleeping on as well as the bugs having a 100 feet restraining order.  The stars were something else though, simply breathtaking. Then the noise started.

Slow drumming, then it quickened.  I started having an internal debate.  I knew I wouldn't REALLY be hurt, but deep inside I was praying that our campsite was tucked for enough back that we would go unnoticed.  Then it got louder, with indian chanting.  It went on for quite some time, or like 15 minutes, which ever is longer.  Eventually the noise died down, we hunted down some youth who were hunting down the surprisingly fake indians.  Once our family was complete I felt a certain peace knowing everyone was home.  I then proceeded to toss and turn wondering what would be in store for us tomorrow.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A New kind of adventure...Part 1

What I really wanted to label this was "My dogs are barkin' my eyes are droopin' and I am SOOO grateful to live in the comfort of a home!"

Back in November Jeremy and I were asked to be a Ma and Pa for a Handcart Trek.  We would be the Trek parents to a group of 10 teenagers ages 14-18.  I was totally stoked, we quickly got a sitter lined up to trade our 6 kids so we could have 10 teenagers.  We would get to dress up as pioneers in the 1800's ...

and pull a handcart.
In this handcart would contain cooking items, sleeping bags, padding, tarps and a 5 gallon bucket of belongings for 10 people.  Then we would head out into nature and pull this for three days up hills, down hills, through snow (OK one little bit of snow), through a mud puddle or two...we would camp out under the stars...If it was only under the stars it would be tolerable, but the bugs, ugh the bugs!

Let me introduce my "family" and tell you what I think of them.
This is David.  He is SUPER quiet.  He is a hard worker and does anything he is asked.  He has a great smile he loves basketball, in fact that might have been the only animated conversation I saw him talk about.  One of my favorite parts of trek was when the boys returned from the Mormon Batallion. He was the first to return to our "family" and the girls were so thrilled, they gave him a big hug.  His face lit up, I don't think because it was the girls but that he was appreciated.  He is a faithful young man and will make an amazing missionary!

This is Cybelle (pronounced cy-belle, not cybil).  She stole my heart as soon as I learned she could play the guitar.  What I was surprised to hear was that she sings and plays the guitar.  She also has a great smile and very easy going personality.  She is beautiful inside and out.  She is honest, quiet, and so nice!  The last night she sang "I'll Follow you into the dark" while playing the guitar.  Oh how I wish I had batteries in my camera, it died at the end of day one.  It was beautiful.  This day in particular we talked a lot about death.  Husbands who started the day pulling their carts and by the end the wife was burying him, or the new mom who had to bury her baby, or even a husband who had to bury his wife and child.  It was devastating.  This girl is very talented!
This is Quinn.  He started off a little on the shy side but I can tell you he is anything but shy.  I would say he speaks his mind.  He is easy to talk to and is very inquisitive.  One quality that I admired the most about Quinn was something that you wouldn't necessarily notice unless you were paying attention.  Quinn can be a gentleman.  One incident that stood out to me was when the four girls were pulling the cart.  The boys had been pulling the majority of the time, the girls wanted to do their share.  They pulled it up a hill then down.  Going down hill is equally as hard as going uphill.  you really have to dig in your heals, not slip but keep walking.  It started going pretty fast and most were not paying attention.  It was Quinn who ran to the cart grabbed on and slowed it digging in his heals and sliding.  I don't think anyone noticed, but that touched my heart.  There was another time when I was helping pull (trust me I think the family would agree it is not a help and it was a miracle I didn't trip and end up under the wheel of the handcart!)  Quinn pretty much told me to move so he could take over.
On the left is Caroline.  She is the all american girl that you want to be friends with.  She is bright and always chipper.  She has a great laugh and is fun to be around.  She is friendly, but can be quiet.  She is a really sweet young lady.  There are people I feel drawn to because of the spiritual strength and she is definitely one of them.  She loved out baby dearly, enough so that we "adopted" a second baby, that we named Alfredo.  She even drew him a nice suit coat with a flower!  I can't think of a particular incident but overall she has a very Christ like attitude.

On the right is Ashley.  She is spunky and fun.  I doubt anyone can tell her what to do.  She has high standards, and is extremely social.  I think I heard "Build me up buttercup" a fair number of times, I think it was an inside joke I was never in on, but none the less I enjoyed that she was always having fun and singing...I love listening to music, even when it is from the backside of a handcart.  One of my first impressions is when we were waiting to start the trek.  A song was being sung and she stated that it was inappropriate for this, she then said she did like the song, but that this wasn't the place to sing it.  I admired that she stood up for her beliefs.  It made it easier for me to speak up when something wasn't appropriate.  I am grateful for that example.

This is Alexis, I think you pretty much know what is on her mind, because she is easy to read...well actually she pretty much tells you!  She has so much energy and is a social butterfly!  I think in any 5 minute period she was saying hi to at least one person.  She is one that I would be grateful if she had my back!  She is loyal, and not fake in anyway.  She is one of those "scary" softball chicks (yes they scare me, they are tough and I am a wimp!) she also plays basketball.  She is also a neat girl!  Plus she said she was glad that I was her "Ma."
 Secretly I think it was because our last name is Jacobs so she could call us Team Jacob!
I wish my camera didn't die because I have no better pictures, or solo pictures of these two.  On the left is Nate and the right is Todd.  It took about two days before I got the right names to the right faces.  I ended up deciding, if he was bleeding it was definitely Todd.

 Nate is an athlete as well.  For his senior year he recently got elected as ASB President.  He seems like a nice all american guy!  I would say if Caroline was the all american girl, he is the all american boy.  I don't think I ever heard him complain.  He was very helpful.  He is an athlete as well (Yes all our guys were athletic...and the girls too...except Cybelle, who said she only played street hockey when she was younger.)  Nate was very easy to talk to, I am glad I got to know him.

Todd and Nate are very similar but are very different.  Todd is very confident.  He seems to be laid back, but definitely competitive.  I heard through the grapevine that he was captain of the football team.  I am not sure that it is true, but it wouldn't surprise me.  He is athletic and a leader, I would say that he is another one that you probably couldn't get him to do something unless he wants to, yet he still did everything we asked.  I wish trek was about one day longer, because he opened up a little more as the days wore on.

I was so pleased with this group, but sad that we missed out on getting to know our other two family members.  I have served in the primary and in all honesty teenagers scare me.  (remember I am a self proclaimed wimp!)  This group was easy going but they worked hard.  I told them they were all rockstars on multiple occasions.  The proved to me that there are great teenagers in this world, which give me hope for my children's future.  I have a love for these kids and am so impressed by their personalities.  They varied so much but shared a common quality, they are all great youth!  I am so grateful that I was able to be a part of this experience with them and that they accepted me as their "Ma" shich yes they even called me "ma" which was a little disturbing because it made me feel so old.

In my next post I will share a little more about my experience, but definitely wanted to document my feelings for this awesome family!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Wordfull Wednesday {Wholesome Recreational Activities}

"Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities." Proclamation to the Family, Paragraph 7

When I read this topic I remembered the talk given by Dallin H. Oaks in the October General Conference.  It was called "Good, Better, Best."  I would highly recommend reading it if you aren't familiar with it, or re-read it, if it has been a while.  In summary he is talking about the abundant amount of good things there are to do with our time.  BUT, there are things that are better that should take priority,  And even more importantly there are the best things that we shouldn't ignore.

I struggle with this because I see so many children who are involved in baseball, dance, music lessons, church activities, Boy Scouts.  They are all good wholesome activities.  At times I feel guilty for not getting my kids involved in these things.  Each and everyone takes time, precious time.  I look at my children and wonder which is the better part?  Are these activities going to help them later in life?  Quite possibly yes.  Then I think about the time we get to spend as a family.  The moments when we turn on the sprinklers in our nearly dead lawn, and let the kids run through it.  Then cooling off on our driveway eating Popsicles.

Trying to squirt dad with a squirt gun.  The times when I am asked to sing Hannah to sleep, and it works (I sing a lot like Scuttle from The Little Mermaid).  Or the moments when we bake cookies together.  Even being a little goofy no matter how unattractive it is!
We love our family time and with all the other good activities, especially with 6 kids, we would never get to be spontaneous and often times we would find us split and probably heading in different directions.  We enjoy family walks on Mount Diablo.  Playing the Wii as a family, and the most regular is family meals.  When school is in, we pretty much start and end our day with a family meal, but 98% of the time get to have dinner together.

Dallin H. Oaks says:
We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families.
In all that we do I hope our children realize how important they are to us and more importantly that we are teaching them about the Savior.  He is the absolute BEST part.  I love the above quote because it states it plain and simple, the best helps develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ AND strengthen our families.  This is the question I should be asking myself when I choose to get involved in something, does this help develop faith and does it strengthen my family?

If you want to participate go to Chocolate on my Cranium.  And add your blog post to Mr. Linky!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

I felt it again, finally!

When I was 9 months pregnant with Jackson, Jeremy got called into the Bishopric.  Jackson was born 3 days later, 5 days past his due date.  Life changed dramatically.  Mostly on Sundays.  Jeremy was gone in the morning, away from us at our meetings and would come home as soon as he could.  Some days earlier than others.  I am not complaining, I know the time he was away from us was nothing compared to being the Bishop.  The first few weeks I didn't mind, but it got harder to get all 6 kids dressed and ready for church AND do it ON TIME.  For the next 17 months I would say most Sundays I got home from church frustrated, exhausted and far from spiritually uplifted.  When we changed to 9:00am it got better, I was feeling like I was in a groove and we had a great system.

At the end of May I got released from primary where I had served in various capacities for 4 plus years.  The bigger change was Jeremy getting released from the Bishopric.   It was a little sad, because I knew we were abundantly blessed because of his service.  Since Jeremy has been released we have had conference and Jeremy went to another ward for his new calling.  It is so nice to have him sit next to me and help with our children.  (Don't misunderstand, I did have other help, my mother-in-law and brother-in-law made it so church was never too hard.  I appreciate all the help they give me!  It is just different when both parents are there to help.)  Jackson will be 18 months on Wednesday, so we cheated and sent him to nursery today.  Life again has changed dramatically!

Today was awesome, I got to sit through the entire Sacrament meeting, then Jeremy took Jackson to nursery  while I saved him a seat next to me.  I got to hear the lesson in both Sunday School and Relief Society.  Both lessons were fabulous.  We talked about David and Jonathan's friendship.  When I read the lesson ahead of time I didn't feel passionate about the subject.  It was kind of like, yeah Saul tried to kill David again and again.  David was saved by those who love him, blah, blah, blah.  So when the lesson started out and talked of the qualities of friendship, it put a very relevant meaning to the lesson.   I am so blessed to have great friends, and I feel I may not be as loyal as Jonathan.

The lesson in Relief Society was about acting on spiritual promptings.  The more you act the more you receive.  It was again so relevant to being a mother.  Life is crazy at times, some may call it loud.  Even though we can find excuses to not act, we need to, it is for our safety, spiritually and even physically.

Last month, I prayed a prayer that is only asking for trouble.  I wanted spiritual growth, BIG spiritual growth. It was a prayer that I was scared to pray, but want it so much.  Usually growth is painful, and you learn so much.  Today I knew my prayers were answered during these meetings and especially when I came home and still felt great about the day.  Heavenly Father always surprises us, I guess it helps keep us on our toes.  I am sure the people who taught today don't read my blog, but I am grateful for their knowledge, testimony and love of the gospel.  They are truly an inspiration to me!

and WOOT-WOOT! for nursery, I am grateful for those who serve there.  They are the sisters I loved the most today!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Did anyone see an ECLIPSE?

Last night we had our Twilight Saga Dinner party, then we went to see the movie Eclipse.  I had so much fun and enjoyed hanging out with a group of great girls!
Instead of helping with the food, my friend Teri and I put together these Eclipse Survival Packs.  It was so much fun, and I think all the guests enjoyed it.

My favorite was the bookmark.  I got the idea from here.  She does a great tutorial on how to make them.  It is really easy and a great gift I think!  The cookies were dipped in Chocolate.  To go with the theme these are called Eclipse cookies (that part is not made up).  For the "Solar Eclipse cookie" I used the Wilton Vanilla Sugar Cookie recipe then dipped them in Hershey's Chocolate (with a little shortening to make it smooth).  The chocolate ones were cake mix cookies (I used half the cookie recipe and it was milk chocolate cake, next time I would do the Wilton sugar cookie and add chocolate) dipped in White dipping chocolate.

The table setting was great as well.  Each person got a survival pack and a bottle with labels on them, that read "I'm Thirsty," "Drink Up," "O Negative," "B Positive," and "A Negative".  It is really just a water bottle with Hawaiian Punch Singles in them so they are red.  I got the labels from this link.
 The highlight of the night was waiting to see what my friend Cindy would do for a cake.  I have raved about her before.  I emailed her Monday while she was at work and asked if she would do a cake or cupcakes.  She has a career that is not cake decorating, this is her hobby.  She is so good and just whipped this up.  Her favorite part was the eclipse on the top.  It was awesome because at the start of the movie it looks just like that.
 At one point there were 17 of us girls, there was laughter, fun, great food and lots of anticipation for the movie.  Fourteen of us headed to the theater where we took up a whole row. (One friend brought her adorable baby so she took the only remaining seat with her baby gear).  Thanks ladies for a great night.  I got a few photos but none were too flattering so if you took a good group shot, I would love a copy!

Swidget 1.0 2