Saturday, May 28, 2011

Swimsuit!

LN came out in a swimsuit for the first time and I just thought it was so cute!  She screamed when the water wasn't as warm as the bath though, and she did not like walking in it.  It was hilarious.


Can you see all the personality bottled up in this cute thing?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu Prime Minister of Israel

Great speech.  It's important to know what is going on with Israel. You can read the summary or watch it here.

http://michellemalkin.com/2011/05/24/open-thread-netanyu-addresses-joint-meeting-of-congress/

On a somewhat related note, about 1 year ago I had watched the twin towers fall with my boys on youtube and explained to them about what happened.  I was glad I did because I was able to explain to them the good news of OBL's death.   When Pat woke me up at 5am to tell me, I was just so happy.  Happy for the families in the 9/11 attacks, and happy for the thousands of others souls he's killed in other countries.  Especially happy for our military for accomplishing it.  Finally!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bandelier

The day before Easter we went to Bandelier National Park since it was free entrance day.  Now I'm finally getting around to blogging about it.  It took us a while to get there since Pat got directions off of Google and Google gets everything around here wrong.  Okay, yeah, there was a road, but to take it you needed and off road vehicle or dirt bike.  (We found this out after going 1 mile in our van while dirt bikes raced around us probably laughing.  It was so narrow and uneven with boulders everywhere it was amazing that we even found a spot to turn around.  Oh, and that mile took us 15 minutes.  So we had to go back and around a different way taking about 4 hours instead of two to finally get to Bandelier.  Everything worked out well though and it was a perfect day!  I was so glad my friend and native New Mexican Chantelle told me about how awesome this place is!

The first thing we came upon as we walked were these "boxes".   We were trying to figure out what in the world they could be for.  They looked like rooms, but there were no doors, just solid adobe and rock walls.  We found out later that these were rooms and homes, but they used to have roofs with a hole in the middle and a ladder to get in and out of the home through the roof.  That's why we couldn't find any doorways! 

The cave dwellings were my favorite however.  Is it weird that I really would like to live here?  (Okay until it got too cold.)  Still, it would be so fun to live here!  These cliff dwellings were like a whole cities with winding paths and many rooms.    I loved crawling into these stone caves and imagining my family living there.  It must have been really neat! 

Notice all the caves and the stairs made out of rock.  Handrail was added by the National Parks Service of course.  This place is fascinating!  It seemed like every person that passed us was a tourist from a different country.  We heard a lot of different languages.  We hope they liked it.  We sure fell in love with this place.

Evan looking out, with the rest of the family in the background.

Sometimes they enhanced the cave dwelling by adding a stone front onto it to make it larger and more comfortable.

The cliffs were very high!  Here we are looking at ancient paintings on the walls.


And if you look closely you can see some of the ancient carvings in the cliff wall.  All of the holes across the bottom of the rock were where wooden poles from a roof once were.

This is us now walking along the path that leads to the extra high Alcove House.  Formerly known as Ceremonial Cave, this alcove is located 140 feet above where we are walking in this picture.  How do you get up there?  You climb really, really tall ladders.

Suddenly as we were walking we saw a mother bear with her two bear cubs.  I know it's hard to see in this picture, but they were really close.  I thought at this point that we should get away quickly, but a forest ranger had been notified and came up with some rubber bullets in case the bears got too close.  The ranger was really upset because the bear was showing no fear of the gathering crowd and continued to roll around playing with her cubs.  She thought she'd have to shoot the bear just to install a fear of humans (otherwise if the bear ever hurt a human it'd have to be put down).   We continued on... tiptoeing by...  FYI - on our way back over an hour later, the bears were still there!


LN and I decided to stay on solid ground while the boys laddered up 140 feet!

Halfway up, perched on a ledge, waiting for their turn at the next ladder.

D and S going up!  I told Pat that it would be safer if he took the boys one at a time, but the boys all went together and Pat just watched over E really well.  Plus by the time they were done Pat was worn out.  It's a lot of leg work!
Here's a picture of got off the internet of the same ladder that D and S are going up in the previous picture.  You can kind of see better how large this cliff dwelling is!
They made it!  This ceremonial cave was a special place but it was also the home of several families.   One of the homes is pictured behind the boys.
Here is E going down the ladder into the home through the hole in the middle of the roof!

It was really dusty inside!


Can you imagine hauling all of your food and water up the ladders to this place?   This is halfway down! The boys waiting for their turn on the ladder looking down at me.  I love learning about how people lived!  Isn't it amazing?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A few pictures

Oh no!! We have a climber!  I walked in the office and found her standing here grinning at me.


Ask the boys to smile and this is what you get.  (LN jumped in the picture at the last second.)  Look how big these chickens got!  Can you imagine how happy we were to get them out of our house?  Yea!!!
Notice the white chicken in the box watching me.


And here is the one and only Easter picture we got.  Evan didn't want to be in it, and we were late for church, so viola!  Thanks to Dad and Janis for the cute Easter dress for LN!  We all liked our books too!
We had a great Easter and week leading up to Easter.  We read a bit from the New Testament everyday for the week before Easter about what Christ was doing on those days, and it was so amazing for all of us.  There's just something that happens when I teach the scriptures out loud; they seem to come alive.  The way that Jesus taught in parables to the elders and priests and how the stories were about them, but they wouldn't realize it until maybe later.  He really was a master teacher.  I could go on, but it is enough to say that we will hopefully remember to make this a yearly tradition.  We also made a CD of all the children's songs about Christ and listened to that for the whole month to get more familiar with them.   We all wrote poems and then read them out loud about Easter and unfortunately we all wrote really dorky poems, but Pat wrote a beautiful one.  We never got out to the cemetery because it was storming here on Easter Sunday, but my mom went out to our baby Lauralei's actual grave for me.  It meant so much to me since it really is hard to never be able to go there.    We miss our Laura.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Thoughts on Mothers

"As daughters of our Heavenly Father, and as daughters of Eve, we are all mothers and we have always been mothers. And we each have the responsibility to love and help lead the rising generation." -Sheri Dew

Yesterday we took turns going to church since LN was very ill.  We had been in urgent care the day before because she had such a high fever.  Today her fever has broken and she is doing much better, thankfully.

The boys all treated me really well and despite our exhaustion, I had a great Mother's Day.  Dallas made me the neatest card too that made me really happy.  He spent a long time on it and put in coupons for the things I love like a good hair brushing!

At church, I watched the children sing to their mothers and my boys sang so well and were really cute!  Evan didn't want to go up so I told him that I could hear his heart singing and that was okay.   Since Pat was home with LN it was just me and the boys and we all sat cuddled close together on our bench with D and E leaning on me and holding Sam's hand.  I sure love my kids.

But the best thing that I thought was really moving was seeing the moms up next to the children singing.  The primary sang a two part song where the children sing and then the mothers and then together... When the mothers started to sing they just looked so beautiful to me!  My friends, Julie, Andrea, Leslie, Stacey and Sarah looked so beautiful to me!  How lucky are the children of mothers like these!  Oh if I could only be in their club!  The club of women who forgo worldly things and know who they are!  The club of women who know God's eternal plan and their role in that plan.  The club of women who love their children and teach them right from wrong.  I realized in the same moment that I AM one of those mothers, or at least I am trying to be.  The important role of mothers hit me so forcefully as I watched my friends sing next to the children, that of course I was crying, and I just thought how happy I was to be who I am...

I am certainly not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.  I try to only write good things on the blog, because why dwell on the bad?  Does anyone need to know how often I have a big childish fit!  I am trying to learn patience and to overcome my faults... but I am thankful for God's plan that shows me the way to be happy.  I am thankful that He gives each of us weaknesses and yet He calls us to obey... And so He teaches, that we must call on Him for strength... (Cumorah's Hill).

I sometimes feel trapped as a mother, like every second of my life is given to others and I start to go crazy if I don't get time for me to have a girls night, or just a date.  I wish I could hit pause everyday and have time to exercise and study my scriptures without interruption, but that doesn't happen, so I read my scriptures in the bathroom usually with Evan telling me about why I should let him have a bandaid...

And this weekend I was showering when Sam came in and pressed his book report up against the glass where I could see it and asked me to proofread it... and I did.

I used to think of others and visit other people all the time and now with four kids in tow and homeschool to get done everyday, that hardly happens, so I feel like I'm not connected and not serving enough, and Pat has to remind me how much I do... but a lot of times I miss my old life and friends...

And someday when I have lots of time to have friends and do what I want, I'll probably wish for these times again!  It passes so quickly...

A quote I like from two people I've never heard of Marguerite Kelly & Ella Parsons:"Motherhood brings as much joy as ever, but it still brings boredom, exhaustion, and sorrow too.  Nothing else ever will make you as happy or as sad, as proud or as tired, for nothing is quite as hard as helping a person develop his own individuality- especially while you struggle to keep your own."

I look at my once beautiful hands and they are starting to get worn with age and doing so much with them.  Do you ever feel like there is no end to the dishes and laundry?  And obviously this body I have has been changed so much that I feel really uncomfortable in it... I don't like dancing anymore or singing in front of people anymore because I feel too big and run down looking.  I'm not sure what to do about that.

... but at the same time, I am so thankful for my body.  I love it.  It has given me so much and seen me through so much and I'm sure it will continue to do so!  (As long as I do my best to take care of it.) And my hands?  They just tell the story of a life of work, and that is a good thing!  I'd much rather go to God having worked hard, rather than investing my time in things that have no meaning or constantly seeking after the next age defying beauty secret.   My hands tell the story of lots of dishes, cooking, cleaning and caring, and I'm okay with that. 

All you experienced mothers I wish I could just know what you know already.  I'm sure it would save me a lot of worrying, heartache and so forth.  But here I am, thankful for who I am, and trying my best with the changes that life brings!    I found this poem in my stuff and I don't know who it is by, but I liked it:

She came tonight as I sat alone
The girl that I used to be...
And she gazed at me with her earnest eye
And questioned reproachfully;
"Have you forgotten the many plans
And hopes that I had for you?
The great career, the splendid fame
All the wonderful things to do?
Where is the mansion of stately height
With all of it's gardens rare?
The silken robes that I dreamed for you
And the jewels for your hair?"
And as she spoke, I was very sad
For I wanted her pleased with me...
This slender girl from my past
The girl that I used to be.
So gently arising, I took her hand,
And guided her up the stairs
Where peacefully sleeping, my babies lay
Innocent, sweet, and fair.
And I told her that these are my only gems,
And precious they are to me;
That silken robe is my motherhood
Of costly simplicity.
And my mansion of stately height is love
And the only career I know;
Is serving each day in these sheltering walls
For the dear ones who come and go.
And as I spoke to my shadowy guest,
She smiled through her tears at me;
And I saw that the woman that I am now
Pleased the girl that I used to be...

For another take on motherhood, click on my sisters awesome post.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Blessed are the feet...

I have been so busy lately getting ready for girls camp, trying lots of recipes, and finishing up the school year.   Then a beautiful thing happened...

The missionaries stopped by.

They talked with us for about half an hour and I feel so full and happy after their being here.

At first I was afraid that I had signed up to feed them dinner and forgotten, but no, they just wanted to visit with us.

I know that missionaries are supposed to be doing the work of the Savior Jesus Christ since he can't be here himself to go about teaching...




...but tonight I really felt as if the Savior was just in my home.





I am so thankful for these young men who came to my house tonight.  I am so thankful that they choose to give two years of their lives, at their own expense to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.    I have no doubt that they will end up feeling that it was nothing at all of a sacrifice just like I did.  They will end up feeling that it was the greatest blessing ever given them and even more indebted to the Lord for his goodness and mercy.



Romans 10:15
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!