Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A post of a bunch of picturs of Christmas decorations. And a few of people.

I decided to get one more post in before the New Year.  Boy my posting has really dropped off the charts this year.  I think it is due to working so much more.  It is OK I can live with it.  Perhaps I will post more next year.  Who knows?  I decorated my house mid November because I was so excited about all the new decorations I have acquired from work.  I think one of the best things was a new 9 foot tree.  This one I got from a company who works across from RAZ.  They just needed it out of the building, and it was free for the taking.  It is really one of the most beautiful trees I have ever seen, and one I could only dream of owning.

 Here is a closer up shot.  Most of the ornaments on it came from RAZ.  Diana says it is very sad that we don't have all the old ornaments we are used to seeing, but I loved having it all be so cohesive.

 Here are a few of my nativities.  I loved the taller one of just Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus. 
 I got this nativity from a company next to Raz who were selling their samples.  I love it, and I saw the very same one for sale at Deseret Book for quite a bit more than I paid.
I loved this tall upright nativity, and it fit just right on my little table with my missionary picture.
 My niece Brooke came to visit us for Christmas vacation.  She had so much fun with Jared and Diana.  Here are Brooke and Diana in their new pajamas on Christmas Eve.
 Jared is a giant compared to these two girls.
 Diana hoping for Santa to come.
 The girls strike a pose.
 Brooke looking good on Christmas Eve.
 Jared's soccer shirt looks pretty appropriate for the season.
 Here is my Santa corner.  Last year there were just two Santas here, but they have multiplied.
 How funny is this moose?  I love him.  Another favorite addition to the decor this year.
 This is the tree for the family room.  It has more of the traditional decorations, but still we didn't get everything on the tree.
 This Santa was the perfect tree topper.
 Here is the collection for the top of the TV.
 And here are the snowmen, with one Santa thrown in for good measure.
 Diana wore these antlers to school for crazy hat day, and then they seemed to fit just right on this Santa.
 I loved how all these red things looked so nice on my white shelf.
 This moose is swooning from all of the festivities.
 Someone was a bit excited about her Itunes cards.
 And finally, even though she is practically the last one to get a Wii, she finally got her heart's desires.
 And, YES Just Dance.  This game has to be the most fun and has been played almost non stop.
 Brooke got some perfume.  Jared isn't that impressed.
 And here is a shot of my Mother-in-law who is serving in Nauvoo.  She is the blond angel on the front row with short hair.  I found this picture on Meridian Magazine.  Kind of cool.
 And finally a shot of my missionary at the mission Christmas devotional.  He is hamming it up for the camera.  Nice, huh.  We had a very nice visit with him on the phone on Christmas day.
I have to say that I am very impressed with how blogger had made it so much easier to put pictures on a blog post.  Who knew?  Not me as I haven't posted in forever.  I hope all of you made it through the season.  I am going to be working non stop for the month of January, but perhaps in February I will be back.  Maybe.  I am not making an promises.  OK.  So don't hold your breath. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Missionary Update

 My son is doing really well in Florida.  He just got transferred from Live Oak to St Augustine last week and was made a senior companion.  He had his first baptism the first week of December, two days before he was transferred, and imagine my surprise when the sister he baptized called me on the phone.  The connection was a bit fuzzy, but I could understand that she was so grateful to be baptized.  She thanked me for sending my son on a mission so he could change her life.  It was so good to hear from someone who has seen him and to hear her say that he is doing well.   And really at times like those, it doesn't even feel like a sacrifice.  Just think in twelve days I will get to talk with him.  That will be the best Christmas present ever.

I belong to an email group of missionary moms of sons and daughters serving in Florida.  One of those mom's posted this poem, and it is too good not to share.  Pretty much sums up how it feels to send a son on a mission.

WARNING : This poem could cause extreme eyeball sweating.

A Missionary Christmas  (author unknown)

 I skipped the sales after Thanksgiving. The thrill just wasn't there.
 No pictures taken with Santa Claus, My decorating has no flair.
 His presents are shoes, shirts, and ties, two suits and fun.
 I've bought him all white clothes because... This year I'm giving Christ
 my son.

 I've spent more time in the temple, my testimony stirred.
 I've reread November's Ensign, Felt strength come from His words.
 Our family prays more frequently. My tears are quick to run.
 Abraham seems closer because, This year I'm giving Christ my son.

 I wonder how those Lamanite mothers, gave their sons to war?
 Or how the pioneers chose Zion , their sacrifice was so much more.
 My loss will be his presence, I'll miss his smile a ton
 For two years we will pray for him, I'm giving Christ my son.

 I stare at his face when he's not looking. I memorize his eyes, their shine.
 He's always hungered for the part of him, that makes his soul divine.
 The stories and lessons he always heard, His choice and mine are one.
 I'll put my faith in God's hand, This year, I'm giving Him my son.

 Past gifts have lost their glitter; I think I finally understand
 Christ's birth should be celebrated by giving Him a hand.
 It's because I know Christ lives and reigns that all his packing's done.
 My gift has taken years to make, This year... I'm giving Christ my son.

 I know there's One who understands, the sacrifice I'm making.
 Who knows the gift I willingly give, The toll it will be taking.
 For He has done it all before Greater love - there could be none.
 For years ago God gave to me, His only begotten son.

 The hands I washed, the hands I held, The hands I taught to pray;
 Now knock on doors to find the ones Who will listen to what he'll say.
 Because I know Christ needs him, Until all the gathering's done,
 My gift has taken years to make.  This year...I'm giving Christ my son.

Sorry this is not Wonka-vision with a box of Kleenex you could pull out of the screen.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Holiday Humor

Here is a little Las Vegas humor to get your holiday started:

Las Vegas Churches accept gambling chips







Sunday, October 31, 2010

Have you done any good in the world today?

Vote for Me
Good Mood Gig from SAM-e

Here is the deal, one of my bff's  from blogland is trying to get  job by winning a contest.  She needs everyone's help, so click on this link and vote for her every day until November 10th.

She will also be having fabulous give aways on her blog so go and check it out if you are into winning free stuff.  Just click here.  Trust me, her blog will make you smile and sometimes outright spit your drink all over the computer screen.  So be sure to swallow before reading.  Oh and you might want to visit the bathroom as well.  Just saying.

So here is the chance to do a good deed with only the click of the mouse.  How often can you make someone's dream come true so easily?  Look to it peeps.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Missionary Update

I thought I would post just a little update about Elder Hammond.
Here he is the day he got to the mission field with President and Sister Barry.
Do you think he would hate to know that
I think he looks so cute in his badge?

Here is the thing, he is doing amazingly well and loving every minute so far.
I am so grateful that he is where he is,
but it is strange to be so starved for information
about what his new life is like.

You get this kid as a baby and you are there for every single minute.
And then you watch them grow up and you get to go to
every game or concert they are a part of.
You have a front row seat for everything,
and now when he is doing the most important thing he has done so far
you get a few paragraphs every week.

It seems completely inadequate.

And so I stalk the mission blog and
take great joy in seeing the corner of his head in one
of the pictures of the missionaries eating lunch at
a zone conference.

I belong to an email group of other missionary moms to kids
serving in Jacksonville Florida, and every now and then
another mom knows something about the area
he is serving in.

I google earth his address and learn about the city he is in and
any other useless information.

Let me share a part of one of his letters:

"We were challenged by Elder Pearson's wife to read Joseph Smith's history every Sunday and I can say that I've grown to love Joseph Smith. How he was just a normal kid and had many struggles including just bursting out with laughter and being irreverent at church even after his vision. He was a normal guy and I aspire to become like him. I'd love to meet him one day and give him a big hug. He's an awesome man and I appreciate him so much. I gave my first 2 priesthood blessings in 2 days. My first one was wild. I didn't feel any promptings to say anything specific, but as soon as I started I felt the spirit fill my whole body instantly stronger than I've ever felt it. My hands trembled a little as I finished the blessing. It was the wildest thing I've ever experienced with the spirit. He truly encompassed my body and his hands were in mine as I placed them on this lady's head."

Of course when I read something like that, I feel silly for even feeling
like I am missing out on "watching"  him serve his mission.
I know if I was there he could not have the same growth
and experiences.

And so it has been a couple of crazy months,
getting him ready to go,
adjusting to him being gone,
and settling into the routine of just one
letter a week.

It is good and truly I wouldn't want him to be
anywhere else than serving the Lord.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Tallest of Tall with the Smallest of Small

I think I am going to start embracing wordless Wednesday.  It seems all I can muster right now.

This is Jared with my neice last summer in Seattle.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Witch Is In

Sunday, August 22, 2010

How do I feel overwhelmed, let me count the ways.

I am not quite sure, but I think I am suffering from post summer stress syndrome or PSSS, if you will.  I think back to May and I was so looking forward to having a break from the routine of school.  Of course we did start summer school just 8 days after school ended.  But still getting just one kid to school at 7:30 each day shouldn't be that hard should it?

At the same time I helped prepare a child to leave on a mission.  Again on paper this doesn't seem that hard, costly, yes, hard no.  Just go to the store and fill a cart and empty your check book.  But as my sister pointed out, anticipating your child's every need for two years and then cramming it in a suit case, well that could be cause for exhaustion.  Never mind all the introspection about how you should have taught him to sew on buttons or cook more or manage money better, never mind have done a better job of forcing him at gunpoint to seminary.   Well the tsunami of could'a, would'a, should'a thoughts tend to leave a person feeling less than perky.

Eventually we found ourselves at the appointed time.  I have wanted to write some romantic emotional retelling of the events, but lack the wherewith all at this point to make it happen.  Let's just say I forgot his immunization card that they stress was the most important thing to bring to the MTC.  This caused me no end of guilt and concern.  Fortunately my husband can use a scanner and emailed them to me.  Of course the printer didn't work at my sister's house in Utah, so I had to run over to my brother's house, but that was OK because I also needed to hem the baptism pants we bought and I then forgot to even think about again.  So not much stress in printing out necessary paperwork and hemming pants all the morning before the drop off.  When it was all said and done, he was nervous and tired of waiting around and so we went a half an hour early.  And no I didn't cry.  I feel like I must be a bad mom for that too.  Are we sensing a pattern here?   Truth is I was just so relieved that we finally made it and that he still wanted to serve and that he was where the Lord wanted him to be.

It wasn't until we got home and I saw some of his favorite foods lying around that only he likes to eat.  Things like that kind of made me stop and think about how strange it is.  And I realized that he is going to miss seeing Jared graduate from high school.  Why did I never realize that before.  So perhaps I was able to delay my grief about him leaving and I was really sadder about it than I thought.

Of course I went right from Utah to Seattle for a week and a half of fun family time.  It was so nice to hang out and have fun with everyone.  It was a bit of a chore to help in the feeding of the masses, but everyone pitched in.  And of course fun is just so dang exhausting.  Can someone explain that to me?

I came home and immediately worked like a banshee, whatever that means for one of my jobs. Long, long hours, but at least my kids stayed in Seattle and I didn't have to figure out what is for dinner when I got home.   And then I have spent a lot of time at my second job for the past two weeks. 

I am also suppose to be spending every spare moment sitting in the car with Jared so he can finish up his driving hours and get his license.  Go figure that other things seem to crop up and take priority over ridding around for hours in the 100 temperatures.   We did spend about an hour driving around last Tuesday night, but someone in our neighborhood called the cops reporting that a small white car was casing their house.  I guess we need to increase our driving range to more than just driving around the block for an hour.  The cops were very understanding.

Things like 6th grade orientation.  Good news there, Diana got a top locker and PE sixth period.  Very happy for her.  We were not successful in getting her locker to actually open and plan to spend a few hours this week so she will be ready for the first day.  She also decided that middle school means no more glasses and so we are entering the time consuming world of contacts.  Last Sunday we were 15 minutes late to church because she couldn't get the goll darn things to stay in.  This week went better, and we went back to the eye doctor for follow up visits several times.  Oh and did I mention the doctor visit because her ear hurt,  but the found a darkened piece of ear wax the size of pea in her ear.  Once they washed that out, it felt better.  Who knew of such things?  I have never heard of anything like that.

Someone called to give me a quote for car insurance and I think it is lower so I need to finish analyzing all of that and make some decisions.  And I am suppose to be changing life insurance companies which needs some more finalizing and paperwork done.  I have got to mail Elder Hammond his new driver's licence which should be in a care package which means I should make cookies.  I need to find Jared's proof of driver's ed certificate which I am pretty sure will entail a painful trip to a line at the high school.   I am a complete failure at blogging.  It saddens me when I really think about it.  Next Sunday I am expected to give a wonderful lesson on Job.  So that should be no problem, right.  And does anyone else want to just smack me upside the head and tell me to chill out?

Seriously some deep cleansing breaths seem in order.  I am sure once I have poured this all out and into the universe, things will feel better.  But some of this could be why it feels like the walls are closing in. 

Apparently I am not doing this whole working/balancing everything thing very well. at. all.

I think a wiser me would tell me that I have been neglecting the important things like going to the temple and reading my scriptures.  But the current cranky me would like to kick the wiser me in the kiester.

Oh well, tomorrow is another day.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Families may be forever, but family pictures are few and far between.

Well proving that sometimes dreams can come true,
or at the very least that fate can miss when it tries to kick you in the pants,
 we actually made it to get a family picture taken before
Trent left for two years.
I know, don't pass out from the shock, I know I almost did.
True it was 6:30 the night before he left and JC Penny's closed at 7,
but still
the picture was taken and actually it did not turn out half bad.

Here is a rather fuzzy picture of what we looked like the last time
we managed to force everyone at gun point to sit
in front of a camera.  It has been way
too long since Trent wasn't even shaving
the last time we had a formal picture taken.

Diana took a shot with this adorable hat.

And another with a chair and teddy bear.
The three offspring even managed to sit next to each other long
enough for this moment to be captured for posterity.
And no Trent does not moonlight as a bouncer
or hit man for the mob.  So you will have to look
else where if you need that kind of thing.
Here is the soon to be next driver in the house.

And here is the future missionary, 36 hours from the MTC.

Here is the happy couple 26 years into this marriage thing.
We needed one of all the boys.

And one with just the girls.

All in all, it was one of the more painless family picture taking episodes
I have been privy too.

Now we don't have to worry about that for 7 more years.  Whew

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Its a good thing.

Trent has been deposited at the MTC and seems to be doing well.  Sometime
I will write a whole post about that, but I don't have time now.
I am off in Seattle vacationing with the whole famdamily.
Its is tons of fun and there is no time for blogging.
So here are some pictures of one of my neices who never ceases to make me smile.

Could this ice cream cone possibly be any bigger?
How lucky is she?
Seriously have you seen anything as huggable as this little girl?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Three White Suits

Nineteen years ago, we took this cherubic, cherished
young man to the Logan Temple.
Together we knelt at the alter,
and a worker brought Trent
in, and set him up next to us.
When he saw us, he gave us a
grin as wide as the Grand Canyon.
Together, dressed in white, we made
covenants to be a forever family.
 A precious day, never
to be forgotten.
A day dreams came true.
Last Friday, we took this very same young man
to the Las Vegas Temple.
This time it was so he could
make covenants of his own.
 Another precious day,
never to be forgotten.
Another day dreams came true.

The years have changed each of us a bit.
In so many ways it seems impossible
that he is not the sweet little cuddly baby of
nineteen years ago.
Where have the years gone?

Eleven years ago, was another day for covenants
and dressing in white.
As a parent, there is no greater joy
than to see your children walk in truth.
I loved seeing my husband looking so happy
with his arm around his son,
as he escorted him around the temple.

You can't always have what you want,
but sometimes you can.

For that I am eternally grateful to my Father in Heaven.