Saturday, November 30, 2013


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 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:  ", 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


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.