Sunday, March 22, 2015

Missionary Cousins.

Something I have noticed over the years is that when a blogger is absent for a long period of time and then comes back with an entry that says something like " I know I haven't written much lately but I am recommitting to blogging a lot more," it's usually the kiss of death. 

I will not be saying that. :)

And so, a little about last weekend in Washington.

One of the fun parts of Elijah living there, is that I get to see him do things that he would never do here. For example, that little video of the dance festival rehearsal...and last Sunday,  he sang in a youth choir in Sacrament meeting. Beth was astounded that I would take a picture in sacrament meeting but I couldn't help myself --(that  pretty much makes her a hypocrite but that's another story for another day).

The reason that we made this whirlwind trip 
is because this cousin returned from her mission in Georgia...

...and this young man is leaving for his in Honduras.

They spoke together in Sacrament meeting.
You'll be relieved to know that I did not take any more pictures.

It's such an amazing thing to see and feel 
the transformation that a mission brings 
to these young missionaries' lives.
Even though Lindsey was an incredible young woman before, the depth of her testimony and change to her countenance is just undeniable.

 Lindsey and a few of her siblings....

 Proud mom and dad....

And take a gander at all them cousins...just a small fraction of them to be truthful.

I hope my kids know how blessed they are to have such a great group of awesome cousins that offer such positive and righteous peer pressure. 

We love every single one of them.

And great big hugs to these cousins still serving:

 Elder Paynter (on the left)

 Elder Backus (second from the left)

and Elder Neeley (on the left)

Happiness times three. :)

Shabbat Shalom. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Return of the Princesses.

Oh yes. One of the perks of hanging out with little people 
is that princesses adorn the fridge once again.

Here's to aspiring artists...  :)

Monday, February 16, 2015

In Honor Of Elijah's Seventeenth Birthday...

Elijah came home this past week to celebrate his birthday. 
Okay, there were other reasons, but celebrating was one of them.

In honor of that birthday-
I give you one of my favorite video's of all time...
In Washington, they are practicing for their regional 
Dance Festival-something we don't do here and if we did, 
   I'm pretty sure he would opt out.
However over there, it's a different story.


Monday, February 2, 2015

Boys Will Be Boys.

Because we are a last minute kind of family--(ugh) 
and Will had a service project to complete 
before he turns in his National Junior Honor Society application tomorrow-
we headed over to Janis'.
She had the perfect project on hand for two 12 year old boys.

She kept them busy with drills and chopsaws and such-

Seriously, they were in tool heaven!

When all was said and done,
there was still time to play with the creatures.
And Janis has more creatures than anyone we know. :)
Great day, great project, 
great aunt!
Thanks Janis :)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Happy Birthday Cameron.

Today we celebrated Cameron's 27th birthday.

  He was four when Michael and I got married.
We are old. 

However, now it's Cameron's turn.

In April, he is getting married.
Happy days!

Goodness gracious time flies.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What to do, what to do?

Today I found myself with a little free time on my hands.
Since my resolution this year is something like,
"Declutter your house and your life," 
 I have taken to doing just that 
when I have a moment here or there. 

My closet was targeted today. 
On my shelves up high, are boxes of memorabilia-
mine and my kids'. 
There's a lot of it.
By late afternoon my closet looked like this:

But boy, was it a fun walk down memory lane.

How about this picture of my 7th grade class?
I can remember about 6 names.
My teacher, Mrs. J. Hill, threw a paddle at a kid one day.
It missed, but it terrified him (and us) enough to shape up.

I found this reminder of when Christmas lists used to be easy...

...and an award that Elijah earned with no help from me.
(I love how they penciled in the correct year)

 Before Michaela wrote fan fiction, she wrote for The Weekly Paypa.  
She has honed her skills a little since way back then. 
I think she would agree that the headline is in the wrong place
 and I am sure she can spell broccoli now too. :)
Really, most of this doesn't make sense but it's a fun read.

 And speaking of Michaela, I found a picture of her wearing that "scandalous" Ariel costume Grandma Tomi got her for her birthday.
She's frowning because she knows her mom is not going to let her keep that midriff-showing outfit for heaven's sake! 
(I was a bit of an overachiever)

 And how about this picture of Michael and me in the dating years?

And my Ricks College haircut?

And I love this picture of my sister (and Bob) the day she went through the temple...

That very same sister sent me this letter at Ricks College and could barely contain her Billy Joel excitement!

 Note the return address message...

Also note that she thinks Billy Joel looks excellent!
Ha Ha! Love it.

My favorite Billy Joel posters ever
I am a loser for ever getting rid of these.

 My very first concert.
1982. 6th row.

 And oh my heck, the Utah (and one Washington) cousins...

...and the Hawaii/California cousins.
We are the luckiest.

And here's my very first love letter.  
Yes, I have more than one.
Apparently this 13 year-old had always loved me up to this point. 
Weird since I had only known him for a year.

 How about the time that I stalked a zebra in Africa...

 ...and Michael played with monkeys trying hard not to get bit?

And once upon a time Michael played rugby...

...and I played basketball.
Shocker I know.

And back in the day, Elijah played with dolls.
Of course "playing" meant trying to poke their eyes out.

Oh wow. I seriously could go on and on and on.
(I already have, I know)

I will just close with our engagement photo-
the one where I squatted 
so that he could appear taller than me.  :)

Though it was just cleaning closets, today was a good day for sure.

Here's to the last few days of January.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Be Still My Soul.

On Friday, I attended the funeral of the 
fourth neighbor to pass away in less than two years.
Each woman was younger than me except one.
Each woman was an exceptional person and a dearly loved mother. 
Each woman was my friend.

The service was beautiful and uplifting. 
As her husband read a letter from her son who is currently serving in Virginia, I was overwhelmed by the burden this young man is carrying. But this boy, the same boy who tormented Bethany from kindergarten on :) shared a heartfelt testimony of the Savior's love for him--and how that love is allowing him to stay where he is and serve with all of his heart. Serving not only for the Lord, but for his mom too.

I am struck by how quickly things can change. 
Once again, the Lord's timing is not our timing.
We learn that over and over again- 

Though it's a little bit of a struggle to understand why God needs these women more than their families do, in Isaiah 55 we read: 

     "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are 
your ways my ways saith the Lord.
     For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are 
my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts,"

My life has been blessed by each one of these women- 
and I feel blessed to have great faith in the plan of salvation.

Most of all, I feel blessed to know that families are forever.