Sunday, December 29, 2013

Boom Boom Balloon!

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Thank you MeMaw and Poppy for a VERY loud game!!!!

12 Years

David started his vacation on Levi's birthday.  The kids had a half day of school that day so David and I decided that we would spend that time together for our anniversary.  We walked around the mall leisurely and then went to Red Lobster.  David isn't a fish fan but never complains when I want to go there on special occasions.  As you can see from the picture, we are still very much at ease.  It was just such a peaceful outing.  A rare moment when you have 3 little boys.

I love this man.  I love his tenderness with me.  I love his awe at how blessed we are to have such good children.  But I also love that he recognizes when our boys are being disrespectful and jumps right on it to correct them, in stern manner.  He takes care of his family spiritually and physically.  I really couldn't ask for more.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve Festivities

It was a long day for the boys (having to wait ALL day to open their Christmas presents) but Daddy came to the rescue when he got the idea to build a fort out of the remaining snow.  They used a cooler to pack the snow in and made a great outside entertainment to distract themselves.

I was so grateful for this because it got the boys out of the house.  They get way to caught up in electronics.  I am thankful for David's example of moving around and willingness to work (which he later showed them by shoveling our neighbor's walkway).

After dinner I read them a Christmas book. This years was Glenn Beck's, The Snow Angel.  Every year I buy a new book and when I saw that Glenny boy had a new kids book, I bought it right away (that was a few months ago)!  But on to what the boys thought was important...the gifts!  I love this picture above and I know I have said this before, but I love how excited each child gets over their brother's gifts.  Look at Brigham's face waiting for Levi to open up his gift!

Hyrum was more than a little excited about his Minecraft magnents from Poppy and Nanny.  He has just now started to play on Minecraft so this is extra fun for him.  For the longest time he just watched his brothers but we felt he could handle building stuff on Minecraft.

Brigham got lots of Sonic the Hedgehog stuff and this was probably his favorite of the night.  It was from Poppy and MeMaw.  That was the theme:  Brigham-Sonic, Levi-books, and Hyrum-anything Mario Brothers.

This picture was taken right after they opened up two Xbox 360 games.  This was THE FAVORITE of the night.  They were so very excited about finally getting an Xbox.  David was pretty excited too :)  He has wanted one since we first got married.  Thanks to Uncle Chuck, it finally happened this year!

I love this picture!  Beside that David is so cute :) I love his smile in it.  He was laughing pretty hard when he opened up this gift from Levi.  We don't have cable so we haven't watched a full episode but from what we have seen on YouTube, Duck Dynasty is right up mine and David's alley.

This was one of my gifts from Mom and Dad.  I had to take a picture because this makes me think of my childhood.  The comment made on this gift is obviously because of my non-existent wrapping skills but it made me think back to younger years because it really does describe me.  I have been like this for as long as I can remember... if I can't make something PERFECTLY then I make it as crappy as possible!  I can remember when I was a youth in church and Rose (my leader at the time) was having us girls decorate our camp t-shirts.  I remember starting off nicely...but then I messed up and, well, paint went flying!  The t-shirt that started off nicely turned into a work of insane art, as I'm sure I came off as wanting to do that all along.  I'm even that way in pictures.  If I look horrible, I tend to almost always make a face.  As if people will focus on my silly expression rather than me not fixing my hair or not having on make up.  Those darn insecurities!

This was the gift that I was probably most grateful for...Levi's new OU hoodie.  The one of the right has been worn for way too many years.  So I gladly asked him if he was ready for me to throw the old one away.  I shouldn't have been surprised when he insisted on keeping it.  He is my sentimental child.  But I am still grateful MeMaw and Poppy sent it because at least the old raggedy one can just stay in his closet!

I am truly grateful for Uncle Bubba and Hannah, Uncle Chuck, Mom and Dad, as well as Grandma and Grandpa for all the presents that made the boy's night so very special.

So, it was a great day.  Tomorrow I want us to focus more on Christ.  It has always been tradition on my side of the family to open gifts on Christmas Eve but I appreciate it much more as an adult because I love that we can separate the gifts from the celebration of Christ's birth.  Sure, they get presents from Santa tomorrow but it isn't much and it is done in the morning so we can focus the rest of the day on what is important, or at least we try.  It is hard to compete with all the new stuff but I do pull them away from it now and then throughout the day to refocus.  Lets hope for success tomorrow!

XBox 360, baby!

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Keeping SNOW Busy

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Here's a great way to keep your kids busy while waiting to open Christmas presents (or in our case, Christmas Eve presents).

Daddy took a cooler and packed it with snow to make these snow blocks for the kids to have a fort. I am truly grateful that I married a man who is very involved in his children's lives, physically and spiritually.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Pre-Christmas Eve

We have been getting boxes and boxes of gifts in the mail this past week from our far away families.  The boys have been so excited with each one.  We feel so blessed with family that is thinking of us during this holiday.

One of the boxes that we could open now was from Grandma and Grandpa Adams in Las Vegas.  They get us something every Christmas but I have to say that this one is my favorite so far.  Inside was a game, popcorn, and hot chocolate.  But the best was the movie, The Muppet Christmas Carol.  Inside was a note explaining that they watch this movie every Thanksgiving to get their, "Christmas underway."  

I'm sure I watched this movie as a child but of course, I don't remember.  I am not a cartoon or Muppet or whatever type of a movie lover.  It never fails; when we put one on, I get up and start cleaning.  But I really wanted to try and stay out in the living room with David and the boys this time so I also got us pizza.  The first part wasn't really touching my heart yet so once I got done with my pieces of pizza, off to the kitchen I went.  I cleaned everything up but made myself sit down afterwards.  Before I knew it, I realized just how special this movie is.  Rarely do we see a movie, in today's society, where it will openly praise God.  Here and there, in this movie, God would be mentioned or prayer and such.

I guess what I am trying to say is...I can't believe I felt the spirit so many times in a Muppet movie!  It was a good reminder of forgiveness and love.  This is going to be a new tradition for our family now!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Levi's 11th Birthday!

Yesterday Levi turned 11.  I woke up to Levi and Daddy being the only ones awake.  As I saw them on my way to the bathroom Levi said very lovingly, "Good morning Mom!"  He tells me that pretty much every morning but this time it was said with just a little bit of, "Do you remember?"  I told him good morning and went into the bathroom but just then I realized what he was getting at and what day it was.  So I made it a big deal as I walked back towards him to tell him what he wanted to hear.  

I remember feeling that way as a child.  Not only excited for the presents and party that would be a part of my big day, but also the acknowledgement of family and friends.  I love being on the other side of the excitement now, though.  I can remember my parents saying, when I was a child, that the best part of birthdays or holidays is to see your child's excitement.  It is true.  That and feeling the peace of the moment.

David and I picked up the boys after school (it was a short day because of the following Christmas break) and headed off to Boondocks in Kaysville.  It is a family fun center with inside and outside entertainment.  But of course, it being winter in Utah, the outside wasn't an option.  It was expensive but worth it to have this rare, all out experience.  Because of the package we choose we had unlimited access to bowling, miniature bowling, laser tag, and kiddie zone.  They also had a certain amount of money they could play on video/prize games.  I think we ended up staying there 3 hours.
 And look who we ran into!  Scott and Jack Stevenson!  We became really close to the Stevenson family (Remember possum Peggy? :) during our short stay in Sunset.
 Between traffic and getting something to eat on the way home, it was pretty late before Levi got to open presents.  It was hard to tell because he seriously really loved all his presents from our little family as well as the Poppies, Nanny, and MeMaw but I think his favorite was the Air Hog from Uncle Chuck.
My Levi is 11 years old and yet he still amazes me of how innocent he still is.  I don't want to ever see that change in him but I also know that he will grow up some day.  I will forever be grateful, however, that he is EXACTLY who he is.  He is patient and kind.  In many ways, I wish I was more like him.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Christmas Season

It snowed all day today.  I'm not sure when it started but by the time we woke up (around 7:30 a.m.) it was coming down in huge flakes and had already covered the car.  I'm not sure when it ended tonight either but it was sometime after 5:00 p.m.  

 I thought one of the churches I passed looked so pretty with all this pure snow and had to take a picture.
So far, this Christmas season has been pretty relaxing.  Not a whole lot of things to go to, and that is the way I like it!  It is real disappointing to me when I get so caught up in all the things that can be done and what I think "should" be done before Christmas.  I really love keeping it simple.  It gives me the time to stop and enjoy the things like the picture above.

One of the fun things we have been a recipient of is the "12 days of Christmas."  I don't know who is doing it but we sure are grateful.  It really is so fun hearing that hurried knock at the door and watching Hyrum get excited about what it could be this time.  Everyone else likes it too but I think it is Hyrum and I that really look forward to it.  Every year for Christmas we do "knock and runs" leaving behind goodies at neighbor and church friend's doors.  It isn't very often when we have the same done for us, so who ever is leaving stuff at our door nightly has been showing us the receiving side of this fun tradition.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ornament Party

Peggy had a Christmas ornament party today.  Last year I brought a miniature leg lamp from A Christmas Story that spoke lines from the movie.  Peggy got it and loves it.  But who wouldn't...ha!  Also, last year for a present she made me a VERY special shirt that says "Tastes like possum!" with a picture of a possum on it.    Long story so if you want to have the explanation go to this post :)


So this year I decided to get another silly ornament and keep in theme of her gift last year for me.  As you can see, she loved it.  And I have to admit, I wish I would have ordered 2 of them so I could have one too!  I am so grateful that I have Peggy in my life to be silly with.  

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ogden's Christmas Village

 Tonight for Family Home Evening we made a gingerbread house, got hot chocolate, and then headed to the Christmas Village in Ogden to keep in the theme of gingerbread/village type houses.  Our FHE was more about the fun than spiritual this time and that is just fine with me.  It is good to have lots of family time fun!

These pictures do not do justice with how many lights and little villages there were but I read somewhere that there are more than 50!  It was very impressive.  Local businesses and organizations decorated each little house.  


It was 11 degrees out so as you can imagine, we didn't last as long as I would have liked but it was still fun.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Washington Terrace Santa

Our ward had their Christmas breakfast this morning.  It was nice with entertainment and such but the best was when we heard the sirens going off outside.  I knew that Santa would be riding around on a firetruck that morning, but I thought we had missed it because of the time.  The boys and I had fun chasing after Santa!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Another Field Trip

I got to go on another field trip to the Environmental Center but this time with Brigham.  He is so different from Levi.  Levi asks me to sit by him and be involved.  I pretty much have to invite myself to things that Brigham is doing.  He doesn't seem to mind; he's just too busy being social and crazy to care.

They were suppose to go snowshoeing today but there wasn't enough snow up there.  We still had a great time though.
Our group stayed indoors first so that we could learn about Owls.  They got to dissect an owl's pellet, which sounds extremely gross until you learn that the pellet doesn't actually come out their back side.  Since owls eat things whole, the things like the bones and fur can't be digested.  What can be digested goes through the normal process of being expelled from the body but the rest is coughed back up in these pellets.  That is what the kids got to dissect.  They found all kinds of bones covered in fur.
Another difference between him and Levi is when Levi did archery he took his time while aiming.  Brigham just let em' fly!

We also did some geocaching, which turned out to be MUCH harder in the snow than when I went with Levi.  But it gave us all a good workout, that is for sure.

When I went with Levi, the trip up and back was beautiful with the changing colors of fall.  This time, the mountains were covered in wonderful snow.  Have I mentioned lately how much I love the mountains here?!?


Monday, December 2, 2013

Believing and Knowing


Not very long ago I had a conversation with David about my doubts.  There is very little in this life that I can truly say that I know.  I’m not sure how old I was but I remember once in the Grove branch a certain testimony that was given by Sister Domurath.  She spoke of her feelings for the song, “I Believe in Christ.”  She said something to the effect that it kind of bothered her that it says, “I believe in Christ” instead of saying, “I know Christ lives” or something that sounded more sure.  At the time, I thought it was a new and insightful way of looking at, not only the song, but also the way we proclaim what we believe or know to be true.  And though I still respect that testimony today, I can’t say that I agree with it for myself.  There have been so many things in my life that have made it hard for me to say that I “know” certain things anymore.  I am also overly open minded which leads to too many possibilities to say that one could actually ever know anything.  The world would say that is one of the best traits a person can have, but I don’t see it that way.  Being too open minded leads in the direction of being naive in a lot of things because of being persuaded so easily.  It also leads to a lot of fence sitting.  I am, unfortunately, guilty of both.

Having said all of this, I can say that I know I have experienced some of the most powerful Priesthood blessings.  Not only have I experienced them, but I know them to be true.  Struggles and heartaches in my life have led to mistrust in certain things, people, and beliefs but never that in Priesthood blessings.  I know so many people who find it hard to ask for them.  It is one area in my life that I just don’t doubt.  My father readily gave me Priesthood blessings growing up that gave me that initial love for them.  Then I had college experiences, where the men giving them to me could have never known the things that they said other than that it came from God himself.  Then I married a man who is the Joseph of blessings.  Just as Joseph, in the bible, was such an accurate and honest foreteller of things to come, David is also so humble in it all.  He would NEVER say this of himself but I have felt the spirit so many times in the most powerful of ways when he is telling me what my Father in Heaven wants me to know. 

Tonight I had one of those wonderful experiences and I don’t want to forget it.  So here I am, in my words, telling myself what to do when things get hard and I start to forget.

Alisa, listen to your husband.  He loves you.  He knows you.  And he listens to the spirit of the Lord.  Have faith that you and David are to look to the future as if you are to plant your family in a solid place.  Remember this when thinking of the future and the home you want to create.  Be patient with your children.  Love them.  There will be a reunion on the other side and we will ALL be there.  Isn’t that all that matters?

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Festival/Parade

Tonight we met the Brennan Family in the downtown Ogden area for the Christmas parade.  We all got there late and didn't get to stay long because a certain boy had to go to the bathroom but I was still glad we could all see each other.
 As you can see from Brigham's crazy face, the kids had a good time.  Actually, Hyrum and Brigham were complaining that they wanted to go home until the girls showed up.  I have said this before, but those Brennan girls keep up with my boys better than most girls I know.
Before we met up at the parade, our family went to the Weber County Winter Holiday Festival.  Hyrum got to talk to Mr. and Mrs. Claus.  Man, he is cute!

This long weekend has been nice and relaxing.  We haven't had a lot of things to do, which sometimes is really nice.  Actually, it is pretty much always nice.  Not having a lot of obligations means we get to be home together.  I sure am grateful for that.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

As always, we love just about every holiday but certain holidays are extra special when Daddy doesn't have to work and the kids don't have school.  I got up early to get certain foods going so that they would be ready for the big meal.  And as much as I love to sleep in, it was worth it to have so much family time in the kitchen.  Believe me, that says a lot for 2 reasons.  I LOVE to sleep and I really don't like it when other people are in the kitchen with me.  One reason is because our kitchens are usually too small to have more than one person in them and the other is that I would just rather do it all by myself.  But I am not the same person I was not too long ago.

I thought ahead this time.  I knew that I could very well have some anxiety issues with trying to get everything done by noon so I allowed myself to take some shortcuts.  A few days ago, I was listening to KLOVE radio  and heard an interview with Amy Grant.  She spoke of how it was important to enjoy the holiday.  That an hour before the festivities would start that you should do something for yourself so that you can relax enough to truly enjoy it all.  I took another step and decided that I would not cook everything.  I would say that about 1/4 of our food was precooked/fixed already.  That allowed for me to still feel like it was a home cooked meal while relieving some of the stress.  I even let David cook the turkey!  He cooked one last year and did so good...and he didn't disappoint yesterday!  He has always been a better cook when it comes to meats than I am.  I'm only good at meats if it is in something like the crock pot or casserole.  

I know it will sound cheesy but there were certain times when David and I were in the kitchen where I felt this strong connection.  More love than usual.  I feel our family is really good when it comes to the love aspect of each relationship but it was just so strong yesterday.  It was just an overall great holiday.

Grandma (Helen) was over most of the day with us.  She played games with the boys as well as helped with the cleanup.  I am truly grateful for all the involved grandparents in my children's lives.  

The turkey took a little longer than we expected but by the time it was done, we sure did enjoy our meal...as well as pies later!
Stephen and Holly came over later to pick Helen up but spent some time with us as well.  It was nice and relaxing.  Lots of playing happened all around Holly, Helen, and I as we talked and the men were outside working on Holly's van :(  

I took other pictures but the "dimple" cousins were my favorite :)  Hyrum said the CUTEST thing when we were over at Stephen and Holly's house last time.  Hyrum and Abbey were sitting at the kitchen table and something was said.  I can't remember what it was but I certainly remember Hyrum's response.  He said something about when he grew up "and married Abbey."  Oh my gosh, it was cute!  Then David had to ruin it and say something about us not being from Arkansas....ok, it was really funny, actually...



Sunday, November 24, 2013

My Name: Part 2

So if you read my last post you know that I spoke about the confusion with my name and how I feel kinda weird about it.  However, I ended it with "But I do love my name.  I have always thought it was pretty spelled out and  I love the story behind it."

I didn't write out the story behind it because I wanted it to be in my mother's words.  I think anyone reading this will see why I like the meaning behind my name so much.  It is sweet and funny at the same time.  Just the way I like things!

  "I was named Lisa after "Lisa" on a soap opera on daytime T.V. called "As the World Turns."  I can't tell you her last name because she was married too many times.  Í always said to my mom, "but she is not a nice person" and mom would say "she was when I named you!"  So my mom's dad(my Poppy) did not like what she named me.  He did not like that it was after Lisa on "As the World Turns." So he would call me Alisa or Alisha! Which I loved because I never really liked my name because there were so many Lisa's in school. I loved my middle name Rene'.   
  So when it came time to pick out names for our first baby I knew what I wanted our girl to be named. For my Poppy who will have to wait to meet my baby girl, so we will name her Alisha but spell it Alisa. I knew he was happy, I could feel it. And her middle name would be Rene' because I'd loved it so much all my life.

I hope this is good Alisa. I am no good with words so if something does not make sense it will not hurt my feelings if you fix it. I would like that!
All my love  Mommy"

Thursday, November 21, 2013

My Name

"I bet you didn't know this about me"...I told David this the other night and I am pretty sure he is the only one I have admitted this too.  

I cringe a little each time someone says my name.  

I know that is weird.  But they either pronounce it, "Aleesha" or "Aleesa."  It's not that I am that person that gets offended when someone says my name wrong.  I honestly don't care.  It's not their fault my name isn't spelled the way it is pronounced.  Long story as to why this is but lets just make it simple and know that my given name is spelled Alisa but pronounced, "Alisha" or "Aleesha"...or however that would be spelled.  But around the time I moved to Oklahoma, as a child, I started telling people that my name was "Aleesa" (or Alisa, the way my name sounds when someone who has just read my name for the first time).  Again, long story but I did have a good reason to it. So I grew up with everyone in the home and at church calling me "Alisha" but everyone at school or work calling me "Alisa."  Fast forward to college.  Everyone knew me as "Alisa" until my second year of college and Marie was one of my roommates.  I grew up with her family at church.  She, of course, was going to call me "Alisha."  I don't know how many times I heard after that, "I thought your name was, "Alisa."  I soon decided it was time to go by my given name.  It was time to stop confusing people.  

The funny part of this story?  For quite some time after I made this decision, when I would meet new people and they would ask me my name it usually went like this:  "Alisa....um, I mean, Alisha."  I would get the strangest looks as I'm sure people were wondering if I was running from the law or in the witness protection or just plain weird.  Yeah, probably just weird.

And nothing feels weirder than when I am calling up an old friend that knew me as "Alisa" and having to leave a message.  "This is Alis(h)a Adams....But you probably remember me as Alisa Beck, ummm...this is weird...."

So, there it is.  I really don't like hearing my name because it just feels weird.  I think that is why I appreciate hearing David call me "Babe."

But I do love my name.  I have always thought it was pretty spelled out and  I love the story behind it.  I'm the one who made my name weird.  Oh well, right?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Snow Lover

The other day I was at the bank when the lady inside asked if it was still snowing outside.  She kinda groaned as she asked and like I usually do, I geared the direction of how wonderful the snow actually is.  Don't get me wrong.  I get it.  They have lived in snowy Utah for most, if not all, their lives and are tired of the gray days, dirty snow (after it has been plowed up on the side of the roads), and the dangerous driving conditions.  

I don't know if it is because I am from Oklahoma and it rarely snowed there or if it is just the beauty of it, but  for as long as I can remember, I have loved the snow.  I have never skied, and everyone says that is the best part of snow, but I still love it the same.  

Yesterday we woke up to snow but it melted by the time the boys come home from school so they were ready bright and early this morning.  I was pretty proud of their efforts too.  There was maybe 1/2 inch to an inch of snow on the ground when they made this.  As I am writing this, they are working on their second.  

Keep on coming, snow.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Family Time

There has been a LOT of sickness going around in our family for a few weeks now (one of them involving Brigham being sent to the ER because of an asthma attack that we couldn't get under control at home).  We have had to cancel a lot of get togethers because of it so we were all so happy when we were finally able to make one of those get togethers happen yesterday.

Everyone was glad to see Stephen and Holly's family but Levi has been the sweetest about it; asking often when we were going to go see them...and you can see why.
I staged this picture and later David told me that when Stephen walked up he asked David, "So we are just going to stand here and take it?"  Ha!  He's a good sport and he did just that.
We got to play and celebrate Keiran's birthday as well.
My favorite part of the night was Chloe.  She was just cracking me up.  This picture describes her personality; just plain fun.  At one point of the night she was on my lap and told me that I was her favorite aunt.  That of course melted my heart but then she added, "And David is my favorite uncle...but never get a divorce.  Then you would be my 2nd favorite.  Never get a divorce!"  Don't worry, Chloe.  I still love that man very, very much!
I'm pretty sure that this was the boy's favorite part of the night.  Holly and I were in the kitchen when we heard Helen say, "Somebody should get out their camera."  Uncle Stephen has always been real good about playing with all the kids.  Actually, all of David's brothers are good at it.  Just like David....who then joined in.
Brigham started crying when I told them it was time to leave which shows just how much they really loved being there.  I did too :)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Attitude of Gratitude

 Time to record a talk I am giving tomorrow...

I was asked to give a talk on cultivating an attitude of gratitude and was given a quote by Thomas S. Monson.  He said, “We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude.  If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues.”  I thought it was interesting that I would be asked to give a talk on this subject as well as President Monson’s quote since I have been on an autobiography kick lately.  The last 2 books that I have read have been the books put out by Elizabeth Smart and Stephanie Nielson.  Elizabeth Smart being a kidnap victim and Stephanie Nielson a survivor of a fire that disfigured 80 % of her body.  These 2 girls had horrible things happen to their bodies and yet their books were full of thanksgiving to their Father in Heaven who had provided so much for them during their life changing experiences.  Even with what they had been through they can say now as President Monson said, “We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude.”

My first thought went to prayers when I started studying this topic.  What better way to thank our Heavenly Father than that of saying our daily, sincere prayers.  I then thought of the order in which our prayers are to be given.  Maybe we are told to thank our Father in Heaven for the daily blessing in our lives first, before asking for things we believe that are needed, because it reminds us that He is always blessing us.  For example, let’s say we have had a hard trial in our lives. Maybe it is a job loss.  We immediately want to go to our Father in Heaven to ask Him to send a job our way.  But wait.  We know we are taught to first address Heavenly Father in our prayers and give thanks before we ever ask for anything.  So we do just that.  We start off with the usual daily things we have.  He has blessed us with another day to live with our healthy families.  We are warm in our homes.  We have a running vehicle and the list goes on.  And somewhere along those thank yous, we realize that we were counseled to have food storage.  And we know right then and there that we are not being picked on.  We know of others in our same situation and suddenly we don’t feel so sorry for ourselves.  We know His hand is in our lives and we are grateful He prepared us years in advance as we built up our food storage. 

There is nothing wrong with asking the Lord for those things that we need but when we start a prayer in a certain order, what we set out for our original prayer to include, just might end up changing.  And now we are in a more positive state of mind. 

Spencer W. Kimball said, “Adults as well as the youth are often guilty, being disobedient and unthankful to their Heavenly Father who gives them all.  Many fail to show their gratitude through service, through family prayers, through the payment of their tithes, and in numerous other ways God has a right to expect.”

Here Spencer W. Kimball points out different ways we can express our gratitude to our Heavenly Father.  I wanted to add to his list.

David gave a talk a few weeks ago on the importance of journal keeping.  Early in our marriage, I decided that for one year I would begin each journal entry with what I was grateful for that day in particular.  I can still remember sitting at our dinner table, journal in front of me, and looking out the window.  It was raining outside.  A calm, silent rain.  I am a lover of loud thunderstorms but we were living in Rexburg, Idaho at the time and they don’t have those kinds of thunderstorms like I was used to in Oklahoma.  But I was still thankful for that rain.  It was peaceful and everything felt right.  It made for a much different and meaningful journal entry.

Another suggestion:  As a youth, I can remember a certain temple trip to Dallas, Texas.  As we were waiting to begin baptizing for the dead, a temple worker asked us all what we were thankful for.  The trick was that when she got to each of us we were not allowed to say we were thankful for the gospel or Jesus, or our family, etc…  We had to be creative and really think about it.  It was the first time in my life that I thought of how grateful I was for my bed.  Can you imagine sleeping on a floor every night?

I would like to touch back on prayer.  I was listening to a devotional once and the man speaking suggested setting up a time where you only thanked Heavenly Father in your prayers.  No asking for things.  He spoke of how he would do this on his way to work sometimes.  It peeked my interest because at that time I was traveling 30-40 minutes to my job.  I thought I could do this also.  An interesting thing happened.  At first, I was amazed at how hard it was.  You begin thanking Heavenly Father and before you know it, you are just naturally asking Him for things.  It was a habit.  I knew then that I had another thing to work on: eliminating repetition in my prayers.  But before long, I was finally able to give sincere, thankful prayers.  Repetition seemed to go away as I felt I was becoming that little child just learning how to pray.  You know the prayers I am talking about.  “Thank you Heavenly Father for bugs, and for flowers, and for rocks, and for grass and my new toy…..”

Another suggestion would be to change our casual conversations with others.  In Oklahoma I often heard people there saying things like, “You must have been listening to the spirit when you told me that.”  And then they would go on to explain to the other person how they were struggling with something in particular.  People in the Bible Belt easily put into their everyday conversations what the Lord had blessed them with. And they aren’t always members of the same church.  They just openly speak to each other that way when they feel they were blessed with something that could have only came from God.  It makes me think of a Psalm in 105:1-3

“O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name:  make known his deeds among the people.  Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him; talk ye of all his wondrous works.  Glory ye in his holy name; let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.”

And most importantly, let us not forget that it is a commandment to be grateful. 

Marion G. Romney said, “The Lord puts the commandment to be thankful among with other strong commandments.  He said, “Thou shalt love the Lord they God with all thy heart, with all they might, mind, and strength; and in the name of Jesus Christ though shalt serve him.  Though shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.   Thou shalt not steal; neither commit adultery, nor kill, nor do anything like unto it.  Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things.”  (D&C 59:5-7)  It is perfectly evident from this scripture that to thank the Lord in all things is not merely a courtesy.  It is a commandment as binding upon us as any other commandment.”







Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hero

I received the following from Levi's teacher, Mrs. Wiggins, a few weeks ago.  He makes me feel so good as a parent.
 And he makes me laugh.

A few nights ago I was making an asparagus soup.  Everyone in my house lovingly calls it "asparagross."  Ok, maybe not so lovingly.  After it had been cooking for a little bit Levi says in a very exaggerated voice, "It smells like that time I burnt Dad's shoelaces in the vacuum!"

Ha!  Actually, it kinda did.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013

There will be classroom parties today and trick or treating tonight but I wanted to get this recorded now so that I don't have to worry about getting the perfect pictures for the rest of the day/night.  I just want to enjoy it all.
Daddy as Mullet Man and Brigham as Steve from Minecraft.
Hyrum as an Enderman from Minecraft.
Levi as The Creeper from Minecraft.
And Alisa is feeling a little spooky :)



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What would you create?

Yesterday I was getting my hair cut while talking to the hairstylist about my family's adventures in moving around so much.  After sharing and laughing about the many interesting things about each place, I told her how I would love to create my own little place where I could combine all the things I miss or love about each place.

California - The adventures
Oklahoma - The people
Colorado - Our house
Utah - The mountains
Idaho - Everything

But since I am only in one of those places, I will share what we woke up to this morning here in Weber county, Utah



Monday, October 21, 2013

Wilson's + Adams = Fun Time!

So tonight we met up with the Wilson family, minus Shannon, at Carl's Jr in Layton.
 Tricia loves to use wordplay with expressing things and she didn't disappoint when meeting us tonight.  She brought the boys some Hot Wheels cars and told them that she was so glad that we "rolled" back into Utah.
And for me, she told me to "Take 5" minutes/hours :) to myself to relax now that the moving and unpacking is done.  So love her!
Preston was being silly and doing all kinds of stuff with his clothes.  I went to take a picture of him when Brigham stepped in to do the same...AND the girls started twerking behind them.  Oh my gosh, we had WAY too much fun tonight.
Sydney and I had to take a picture together since we were wearing our Okie pride tonight...and that includes our faces!  

I forgot to bring my camera for other occasions but Christine and Mike helped us when we moved here (along with some men in our new ward.  Soooooo thankful!).  I also got to have breakfast with her for her birthday.  And I got to spend a few hours with Peggy and then later having a family dinner night at her house a few days later.  

I seriously have been blessed with the best of friends.  Just these girls alone bring so much to the table of friends that enrich my life so much.  Tricia - Always thinking of some way to help others.  Christine - Have you  ever had "that" friend where you feel they give more than you do?  She is way too good to me.  Peggy - That friend that you only have to know for 2 months before moving states away and yet you can't get her our of your heart because she is just stuck there?

Yep, really blessed.


Swanson's North Fork Environmental Center

There is an environmental center in Liberty, Utah that caters to the Weber district schools.  It's pretty amazing, actually, that they have funding for this.  There are 3 classes in Levi's grade at Roosevelt Elementary School and only one parent per class could go.  I was blessed enough to be asked!
First we hiked about a half mile up to the main center.  After that we broke into groups.  We went on a hike that was strenuous, to say the least.  Maybe that was because I haven't exercised since we moved back, though.
 The guide was so patient with all the kids that wanted to tell him everything they knew about corrosion and the outdoors.  It was all very interesting but the changing fall colors on the mountain were hard to keep my eyes off of.  And yes, we did climb those mountains!
There were archery and geocaching as well.  Geocaching is a treasure hunting game where you use GPS to hide and seek containers with the students.
I even enjoyed the bus ride.  It was so beautiful going along Cobble Creek with all those fall colors surrounding it.  Just a really great field trip.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Getting Some Visits In

The boys had early days in school Monday through Wednesday of this week.  A perfect way to start off a new school, I think.  And to make it even better, they are out today and tomorrow for Parent/Teacher conferences.  So I thought it would be a perfect time to go down to the Provo area and see Grandma Adams.

We met her in Pleasant Grove at the Arctic Circle there.  All the boys loved seeing her but it is always so cute to see Hyrum with her.  Levi and Brigham ate their food and were off to play in the kid area but Hyrum still stuck around just to be near Grandma.  It took him a while before he went out to play with his brothers and the other kids around.  As always, Helen was a lovable as could be with the boys.

Then we headed off for BYU to go surprise Jasia Liftee.
She was just beaming with excitement of being there at college.  It is so fun to be around that energy.  That new life of freedom and feeling the gospel on a whole new level that can only be found at a church college.  Don't get me wrong, that is why there is Institute at most colleges in the United States; so that all can still participate in that growing spiritual experiences while being on your own.  But there is just something so special about religion classes, FHE groups, weekly devotionals that are sometimes give by Apostles, and regular classes that are started with a hymn or prayer that makes this college life so very different.  I will forever love my Ricks days because of those very same reasons that Jasia has fallen in love with BYU.

Then we headed to Amanda Robert's apartment to surprise her.  It was so funny!  I knocked on the door, she answered and it took her about 2 seconds for it to register that it was me and then she attacked me with a huge hug.
I purposely wore my "Oklahoma Girl" shirt today so that these girls would be reminded that even though they are far away from their Oklahoma homes, that they can always call and I will be there in a heartbeat if they need me.  Single life can be exciting and scary.  It can really test your faith at times as you are trying to decide if the gospel is what you believe and not just what you were brought up to know.  Add that life can be hard for all kinds of other reasons and there are bound to be some rough times but either way, I am so excited for these girls to get their own life experiences.

Provo is probably an hour and half away so it was a long day for the boys but I am really glad that we went. We have other ties in that area and I wanted to make some more stops but the boys were starting to get a little crazy by the time we got to Amanda's apartment.  

Always good to be home :)