Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Nanny Time

 Mom flew from Oklahoma to Oregon to visit Ronald and Hannah's new baby girl born over the weekend.  But she had a layover in Salt Lake City so we got to see her.  And she got to meet Baby Boy for the first time!  How cool is that to be able to say that you got to meet 2 of your grand-babies from 2 different families in one evening...in 2 different states, even?  Not twins, but from 2 different families?!
And as usual, the boys were crazy when it came to pictures.  I love how they keep us on our toes!

It was a perfect Family Home Evening for us.  It seemed like it went way to fast but I was so grateful that mom found a flight that would have a layover like that.  And it got Brigham super excited for our trip to Oklahoma this summer.  He said over and over how he couldn't wait as we were leaving the airport last night.  I can't wait too!

Before we went up to Salt Lake, the boys and I stopped by Station Park so that they could see where Daddy worked.  It is such a neat shopping center and the boys were seriously impressed.  They already think the world of their father but this place put him up a few notches once again.

After eating there, we headed on up to the airport.  Such a wonderful night!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Just Another Talk

I have a new calling in the Primary and to my shock just 2 days later I found out that the Primary Presidency was talking in Sacrament meeting the following Sunday (today).  Eeeeeek!  But like I like to do, I am posting it here so I can refer to it later when I need a pick me up.  When I need to be reminded of the Lord's will vs. mine. 

The talk that I was asked to base my talk off of is “Getting Back On Track” by Larry Sidwell.  He spoke of his faithful ancestors who accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  They decided to move where all the rest of the early Saints were only to be met by many hardships, as most of the early Saints did.  But they did not faulter and kept pushing forward.  It wasn’t until a tragic death in his family, that of his great grandfather, did someone fall away from the church.  Brother Sidwell’s grandfather stopped going to church after his father died, which led to a possible generation of Sidwell’s being denied the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 
Many years passed and this grandfather’s son married a woman who very much disliked the church.  However, when they started to have children it became clear that Brother Sidwell’s mother desperately needed breaks.  A grandmother, who was a faithful member of the church, gladly took the children every Wednesday so that Brother Sidwell’s mother could have a break and so that her grandchildren could go to Primary. 
For a year she faithfully did this as the children fell in love with Primary.  Soon, however, grandma became sick and could no longer take the children to Primary.  Brother Sidwell’s mother never would have continued to take her children, because of her dislike of the church, but the children begged and begged until she finally gave in.  But in no way was she just dropping them off!  She lived too far away to drop them off, go home, and then come back.  Plus she didn’t fully trust the Mormons.  So she stayed every Wednesday and sat in the back of the chapel with her arms folded, not happy to be there.  But instead of her obvious public display deterring the Primary teachers from loving her, it did just the opposite.  They showered her with attention.  Little did she know that sitting in the back of the chapel week after week, as Brother Sidwell said, “my mother learned the simple truths of the gospel from loving sisters who magnified their callings.  The Holy Ghost pricked her heart.”
As I was reading this part of his talk, I couldn’t help but think of my own life.  When my parents had their children, they weren’t active in the church at the beginning.  But my mom would tell us, as we got older, that when we did go it was all because of us kids.  Because we begged to be there.  I look at my own children and their dedication to Family Home Evening.  If it gets later into the week and we haven’t had FHE yet, it never fails that they are the ones making sure it happens by constantly reminding me that we haven’t had it yet.  All of our children can feel the Spirit and they yearn for the experiences that come with it.  Let us not take that precious desire away from them. 
Brother Sidwell went on to talk of how the Primary teacher’s love for is mother led to her baptism.  His father followed and soon they were sealed in the SLC temple that his Great, Great Grandfather had faithfully helped build so many years before. 
This talk is certainly geared toward the Primary teachers.  Your calling is great.  You are the ones guiding our little ones.  Some of these children have already been taught many of the things you discuss in class.  But there are some that live in homes where Christ’s name is rarely used.  You may be the only pathway to our Lord and Savior at this point in their lives.  Please know how very important your calling is.
Brother Sidwell’s talk can be heard in many other way as well, though.  It can be heard through the ears of a single sister or brother here today who faithfully comes to church every week even though life did not turn out the way they hoped and dreamed it would.   Who unknowingly shows those around them that life goes on and it can be beautiful in different ways.  It can be heard through the ears of a lonely widow who is the neighborhood grandma or grandpa to all those children not related to him or her.   They play in your yards as you ask about their lives, unknowingly letting them know that they are loved by you.  Not realizing that the attention that you are giving these children might be the only positive attention that the young children will receive that day.  Brother Sidwell’s story can be heard through the ears of the youth of this church who are trying their hardest to be the good examples that their friends at school need  them to be because their friends and peers struggle with being kind to others.  Maybe because people in their own homes aren’t kind to them.  Or maybe their peer’s family is doing the best they can with what they have been taught but being a teenager is just plain hard sometimes!  Maybe the youth will listen to Brother Sidwell’s story and have just a little more strength to continue to love their peers and to be patient with them as they struggle to figure things out for themselves.  We are all these Primary teachers that brother Sidwell spoke of in one way or another. 
I have 3 Primary songs that I have consistently sang to my babies.  My favorite Primary song is I WONDER WHEN HE COMES AGAIN so that has always been sung in the ears of my little ones.  But when that song is over and they needed more attention I always sang TEACH ME TO WALK IN THE LIGHT and I AM A CHILD OF GOD.  It has been no different with Baby Boy.  One day I was singing, “I am a child of God and He has sent me here.  Has given me an earthly home with parents kind and dear.”  I had to stop as I was getting chocked up internalizing the significance in those words to Baby Boy.  He wasn’t sent to our family in a traditional way.  It was not ideal for his little body to come the way he did but none the less he was sent to us at this time in his life as well as ours.  He is a special baby and we love him so very much.  I have no idea what the future holds but I do know this: Right now is the time to love him.  Right now is the time to love ALL of those around us.  Right now is the time to be those “primary teacher” that Brother Siwell spoke of.  Whether it be to a foster child, to your friends at school, your nieces and nephews, your neighborhood grandchildren or you actual Primary children.  Just be those “Primary teachers” that Brother Sidwell spoke of.  I want to end with what he ended his talk on. 
He said, “Somewhere within the stewardship of each of us is someone who needs our help and encouragement.  I was a four year old child when my Primary teacher touched my heart.  My mother was an adult when the sisters in the Primary reached out to her.  There are undoubtedly many more stories like mine, where a Latter-day Saint magnifying his or her calling unknowingly becomes an instrument in the Lord’s hands, making it possible for others to receive the Lord’s blessings.  They may not yet have been recognized, but the Lord knows, the mother knows, the four-year-old child knows, and his descendants know what those Primary sisters did for them.  May we all magnify our callings, love thosevgsxgfxc  we serve, and allow the Lord to bring about powerful changes through our efforts.” 

 And since I got a new camera and haircut, well, here ya go!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Bee's Game

 CenterCal was given box seat tickets to a Bee's Game on Saturday.

I'm not a huge sports fan but it was wonderful to have a date with my husband as well as get to know some of his co-workers.  Having this experience in a "box" made it even better because there was free food!

We didn't last the whole game.  I kept thinking of Baby Boy and it just seemed too long to be away.  But we really did have a great time.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Coolest School Picture EVER!

Yes, I sent Hyrum to school like this on picture day.
Not intentionally, though.
The night before his school pictures, when I thought he was sleeping, Hyrum had stamped his face, arms and hands.  He woke up the next morning and I tried my hardest to get it off.  We were in a hurry and there was only so much I could do.  I told him to please not do that again, put gel in his hair, and sent him off to school not realizing that it was picture day!
 Sending him to school with gel in his hair is kinda funny in itself.  I don't usually do that.  Honestly, I was self conscious about sending him to school with stamps all over him so I guess I was trying to make myself feel better as a parent and hope that his teachers would notice that I tried to make him presentable for the day.
So on Friday, Hyrum came home with the pictures and I laughed and laughed!  I couldn't believe it!  There is just so much that is funny to me in this picture.  His stamps, his Mario shirt, his necklace, his paperclip bracelets...and his proud smile. 

Which makes me wonder if he planned this all along!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Oklahoma...I mean, Utah weather

 I felt like I was living in Oklahoma again as the weather drastically changed multiple times yesterday.  It was sunny and in the 70's in the morning but by the time the kids got home from school, I couldn't even see their school from our house!  Because it's technically a desert out here, when it gets windy, it easily picks up fine dirt and makes it harder to see but yesterday was nothing like I'd seen before...or couldn't see, I should say.  It was crazy windy.  Then it started to snow.  It's noon now, the following day, and it's still snowing.  This is not Utah weather.  This is Okie weather!  The saying back home is, "If you don't like the weather, just wait a few minutes."  Because it will change!
Daddy wanted to use the snow for as long as we had it, so he took the kids sledding.  Such a good Daddy.
As it usually does, this snow makes me happy.  There's a good chance its the last of the season so I'm soaking it in.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Terrace Soccer and Chocolate

After last year's soccer games with Hyrum, I was pretty sure we weren't going to do this again.  He complained a LOT and while out on the field he kept acting like he was tripping.  But when soccer time came around this year, how could I say no when he REALLY wanted to play again?  I mean, this gets him off of electronics, right?  I'm so glad we let him because he is really trying hard this year.  He has a long ways to go because throughout the years of soccer, he hasn't really tried to learn how to play and wouldn't practice with Daddy but it is looking like things might change this year. 

Yesterday was his second game of the season and he wanted to go early so he could sell chocolates through a fundraiser at school.  It helps fund their field trips.  He was so cute walking up to people and asking if they wanted to "buy some chocolate."  He was super nervous at first.  In fact, Levi's friend Maddie found us at the game and offered to walk around with us to help Hyrum.  I kept telling Hyrum that I wasn't going to sell it for him and that he had to get out there and do it.  But like he usually is when he first does something in front of people, he was timid.  He kept telling Maddie, "I will hold the chocolate and you talk."  He is so stinkin' cute!  But she was strong, even through his cuteness, and told him that it would be much more effective if it came from a cute little boy with a dimple.  Smart girl!  He eventually got brave and ended up selling 5 before and after the game.  I had him run behind this couple that I saw at one point.  When the man turned around, he teased Hyrum and said, "I thought you were trying to steal my wallet, running up behind me like that.  Looks like you really are trying to steal my wallet!"  He bought something for him and his girlfriend and then tipped Hyrum $1.00.  One more dollar and he gets to buy his own!

Levi and Brigham has their own boxes and came a little later and started selling during Hyrum's game.  After we went home, we went around on our street.  I just love our little row of neighbors.  Some bought tons and others not at all but they were all so very polite about it.  The ones who didn't buy felt so bad (diabetic) but I insisted that it was good for the boys to experience rejection and to follow up with, "thank you anyway."

We were at one of my friend's house last night and Sabrina said to Hyrum, "How many should I buy?"  He said, "I don't know, maybe 2 or 3?"  I just giggled inside as I remembered Levi as a young child.  One night at the dinner table we were eating something that he didn't like.  David and I told him that he needed to eat 5 more bites and then he could be done.  Levi replied, "How bout 8?"  David and I jumped on that, of course, but whispered to each other that he shouldn't go into sales when he grows up.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Spring Break 2015

So, we had spring break the last week in March going into April.  We started it off with an Easter Egg hunt put on by the Foster Care Foundation for all the children in Foster Care as well as for their foster families.
We supported our neighbors in a bake sale.
 A few weeks before we had a small company cut down our huge tree in the back yard so we could make room for more garden space.  I love what David did with the tree log.  Instead of having them haul it away, he is using it to line the garden bed.  He's so smart with things like that.
 It was over Conference Weekend and since Levi received the Priesthood recently, this was his first time being able to go to the Priesthood Session for the men.  Usually they go to a Stake Center and watch it there but a friend of ours gave David and Levi tickets so they actually got to be there at the Conference Center watching it in person.

 Levi had brought home some passes to Fat Cats for free bowling from school for being such an awesome student.  All the boys got to enjoy but it was really fun watching Hyrum take it so seriously as he made sure his ramp was in the right spot each time.  Such a cutie. 
 The Smith kids were over at our house the majority of the time during spring break.  Lots of playing went on but this was the big project.  It took Daygen and Levi almost 3 days to master this. 
 The boys were spoiled by the "Easter Bunny."
 And I tricked the boys!
Between the Conference Sessions that we were watching at home, we went outside to dye Easter Eggs.  Well, before the boys came out I secretly took the clear crayon and wrote "Mom Rocks!" on one of the eggs.  What you write with these crayons don't show up until you dye them.  Brigham was the  lucky boy who picked up the egg and after he dyed it, this was his reactions!  It was so funny.  He said, "What the heck!  It says Mom Rocks!"
And don't you forget it, boy!