Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Church Leaders Preparing Us for the 2nd Coming

I'm sure everyone is getting tired of all these posts, so I promise I'll lay off for a couple days, but I thought this was worth blogging about.
This past Sunday, Jason & I had another long discussion about signs of the times - political, economical, spiritual, and natural disasters. He's always checking the US Geological website to see where the latest earthquakes have been. He showed me a clip from the History Channel about the Mayans (Nephites and Lamanites) about their prediction of the end of the world, which they say is December 23, 2012. Anyway, after these talks and videos all I feel is fear and concern. We talked about things we should do to be prepared, but the fear and anxiety was still there. I checked Facebook yesterday and saw that a friend from our last ward in Park City had posted this video. It was amazing to see it after our discussion. My feelings of fear were replaced with peace, hope, and a determination to do better - to NOT be a casual scripture reader, church goer, servant of my fellow man, etc. I am thankful for the efforts in putting this together. It's inspirational and uplifting and helps me put things in perspective.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqaesQ2EE8w

Monday, July 28, 2008

12x12 3-ring binder - HELP!

So - every year I make birthday books for my girls. They each contain pictures from the past year (I'm kind of a crazy picture-taker. There's usually like 500 pictures in there), a DVD slideshow of the pictures and some video clips of them, their monthly newsletter sections with updates on what they've been doing, a few of their artwork pages, and a special hand-written letter from mommy and daddy. The past couple years for McKinley, I've just put the pictures into 4x6 insert pages & put them into a 3-ring binder. This year with Ireland's birthday I got ambitious and decided to digitially scrapbook some of the pictures. I thought maybe I'd pick 50 of my favorite pictures from the past year to digitally scrapbook. Of course, it ended up being like 160 pictures. Ug. Someone needs to help me choose because I have SUCH a hard time narrowing down pictures of my own adorable daughters. ANYWAY, to get to the point- I know some of you out there are master scrapbookers. I have made around 70 12x12 pages. I want to put them in a regular, inexpensive, 3'' ,vinyl, white 3-ring binder with a clear plastic front so I can design the cover myself and slip it in. It needs to be 12x12. I cannot find this binder anywhere. If ANYONE has seen a binder like this, PLEASE RESPOND! They have lots of cute 12x12 albums out there, but I haven't found a basic white one with a clear cover. Thanks for your help!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sundays

I love Sundays. I didn't used to. I hated Sundays growing up - my family was pretty strict - no friends, only Sunday music, TV, etc (except of course, Star Trek - yes, we were a trekky family). Maybe it's one of those things I've learned to love as I've gotten older - like salad dressings other than ranch and classical music. Why do I love Sundays? It truly is our day of rest. Jason doesn't study. I don't clean. We're a family and we just get to relax and enjoy each other.
My uncle actually takes it an extra step and turns off all the power to his house each Sunday and they play games, talk, and sing by candlelight. Maybe we'll try that - it would be nice to have one night a week without all the modern "noise". Besides, it would be a trial run every week so we'd know JUST what do in an emergency. In addition, our last power bill was rediculous, so every little bit helps. It won't be easy - Jason loves to watch his Military, Science or Discovery shows and of course, I'm on the computer too much, but I think it will be worth it. The TV and the computer are 2 of our biggest distractions to spending quality time with the girls.
Anyway, tonight was perfect. It started raining, so we opened the windows and the smell of a summer rain came drifting in through the windows. There was even a rainbow. I had the impulsive idea to make a nice candlelight dinner. I even let McKinley eat off a breakable plate and glass. I realized that I hadn't made a candlelight dinner since we've moved here - over a year and a half. It was nice to do something different. Right now Jason is baking a 1-2-3-4 cake and McKinley is helping him. Ireland is outside walking around - enjoying the damp ground. It's times like this that make me feel so very blessed and thankful. A picture isn't enough. I want to remember the smells, the sounds, the tastes, everything. I want to take a picture with my heart.



Friday, July 25, 2008

Girls Night In!

Jason has his MBA classes on Friday nights and Saturday mornings. It's sad not to be able to see him so much during the weekend. I have to say, though, that it does facilitate some Mommy & McKinley time on Friday nights. We stay up late (OK, so 9pm is not that late for me, but it's pretty late for McKinley) and paint our nails, watch a movie, listen to music, lay on the grass & look at the clouds, whatever. Here are a couple pictures from painting our nails tonight:

McKinley INSISTS on doing them herself...

So, yeah, we go through A LOT of nail polish remover

It really does take her a while. She holds up different colors and I assume contemplates the shade that would most compliment her skin tone and hair color.

I hope we continue this even after Jason is done with school. I love having "girl time" with her and talking - tonight about bumblebees and popcicles - maybe one day about boys and shopping. I'm cherishing this time I have right now, though, and there are many times I still look at her and just MARVEL at how she came from ME and that I have the blessing to be a part of her earthly journey.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Little Reader

McKinley is so cute. She has loved reading from the beginning and sits in her room after we put her to bed and this is the kind of thing we hear. She just makes up words and stories (even though she does have some books almost memorized - like Green Eggs and Baa-Choo!). It's so sweet. I hope she loves reading as she grows older. I really didn't until I was out of college and felt I had the time & freedom to read the books I wanted to read instead of the ones assigned by the teacher. Anyway, here she is "reading" to her daddy. I wish I was sneakier about getting her on film. She notices the camera & starts staring.
video

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sanity... and hapiness!

There are a few things in life that keep me sane. In other words, if I neglect doing these things for a period of time - usually no more than 3 days - I get moody, irritable, and down. These are ingredients for a recipe of happiness for me. I'd love to hear about what keeps others sane and happy!

1. Spiritual Time. If I don't pray, go to church, read my scriptures, go to the temple, etc for a while, I really start to feel it in my life - in my heart. I'm not as patient. I'm not as kind - and I lose my eternal perspective and get caught up in small frustrations.




2. Working out. My husband can attest to this. I get blah. I get ornery. When I work out - especially those good, long, sweaty workouts - it seems to take the "edge" off everything. I take my frustrations out in the pool, on my bike, or more commonly nowadays, pounding the pavement.

3. Outside Time. The mountains are where I really feel most alive. Breathing that clear, crisp air up there seems to clear my head and calm my spirit. I used to work in the mountains every day and even though my job was anything but beautiful (painting picnic tables, building retaining walls, cleaning bathrooms), all I had to do was look up and know I had the best office in the world. Since I don't live super-close to the mountains, just getting outside for at least a half-hour a day will generally help my need for nature. If I get cooped up inside for too long - watch out!


4. Writing. I have kept a journal since I was about 3 years old. I have loved getting into blogging, but there's nothing like a personal journal to really get it all out there - my frustrations, my joys, my spiritual insights, my deep sorrows, my lessons learned. I have loved going back to read about different seasons in my life - my elementary and middle school craving for popularity, my high school and college dramas and boyfriends, my jobs, my testimony builders, etc. If I don't "expel" my feelings and thoughts into my journal after a few days, it seems they get jumbled in my head and I have a hard time concentrating and focusing.


5. Sleep. This may be obvious and basic, but for me (and again, Jason will very much agree) I become a different person all together if I go for more than a few nights with little sleep. Everything Jason says is an insult and everything my kids do wrong is overwhelming. It's like I'm walking around with this fog in my head and I just can't see things clearly or think logically.

With all that said, today was a WONDERFUL day because I did 4 of the 5 things! I'm a happy woman! This morning I ran 10 miles with my dad. We ran on the Jordan Parkway and it was so nice and shady and everyone was so friendly. Then, Jason and I got to go to the temple and it had been way too long since we'd been and it was beautiful (thanks mom for watching the girls!). Then we had a wonderful steakhouse meal. Then, to top it all off, we went up to Big Cottonwood Canyon - Spruces and Silver Lake. It was a beautiful summer evening in the mountains with the ones I love. Now I'm writing! I am not quite caught up on sleep, but I am happy and blessed and content and my "cup runneth over." :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

David vs. Goliath


So, last October I got an e-mail forwarded from the Lighted Candle Society about an episode of the Oprah show that was titled "237 Reasons to have Sex" which featured "experts" who advocated casual sex with friends, pornography, and having affairs as ways to improve relationships and marriage. Anyway, I logged in and signed the petition to voice my opposition and also signed up for updates on the Lighted Candle Society - an anti-pornography organization. About a week ago I received an invitation for a luncheon at the Lion House for the LCS. Yesterday my sister, grandma and I attended and it was amazing, stirring, and motivational (not to mention the food was MELT IN YOUR MOUTH. I need to get the recipe for those rolls, honey butter & chicken cordon bleu). A couple of the highlights:

- Dr. Mary Beard, PhD talked about back in the 1800s in San Fransisco where they had taken young Asian girls and had a section of town where they would solicit prostitution. The women of the community were appalled at gathered their pots and pans and marched in that area singing hymns. What happened? People stopped coming because they were ashamed and the problem was brought into the open. Now, of course, we can't go around banging pots and pans because most of its online, but I think we all believe there is nothing we can do about it & this luncheon really made me realize that there's plenty we can do!

- John Harmer talked about the almost million dollars that they have put into research of the effects of pornography. The Supreme Court won't let them use morals as a basis of fighting pornography, so they have done much research into the effects of pornography on the human brain. Their theory is that it will actually shrink the brain and show much the same effects as drugs or tobacco. They talked about an ad that would be reminiscent of the 80's - "this is your brain." "this is your brain on porn." I think to compare it to the tobacco industry would be appropriate. For decades people smoked to their hearts content (Ok, so that's a bad analogy) and didn't realize the effects it had on their bodies. From the results of these studies, they'll hopefully be able to show that pornography has just as harmful of effects. Another way that it's like the tobacco industry: it's taken and still is taking thousands of dollars in litigation to bring these tobacco giants to justice for the damage that they have done to society. I believe it's the same with the pornography industry. They're huge. They're goliaths. And what they distribute is breaking up homes and breaking up families and causing extreme addiction and the courts don't fight them.

My sister brought up the point about "freedom of press." This organization is not intending on fighting that, but their mission states "We envision a society where pornography is widely shunned, spurned and recognized as a threat to society. We foresee a future where serious consequences await those that produce and distribute sexually explicit material.In pursuit of this vision, the Lighted Candle Society 1) supports civil litigation against those that profit from pornography, 2) finances scientific research to study the effects of pornography and 3) publishes information to help families combat the scourge of pornography."

Ok, so have I "soapboxed" enough? I think it's easy to give up hope, but they have specific, simple things you and I can do to make a difference. Below is the link if you want to not just know more but do more. You can also e-mail me at sunkist64@hotmail.com for more information. I do not think I would be presumptious by thinking everyone reading this at least knows someone who's life has been affected by this problem. We as women have so much more power than we realize, and as I was sitting there & they were talking about how difficult this fight will be, the spirit touched me so strongly and I felt "but JESUS CHRIST will be with you on this effort" and I almost cried. I do believe this is a righteous battle - and if we don't fight it - who will? What will the world be like when our children are our age?

http://www.lightedcandle.org/r/

Monday, July 14, 2008

Some Random Info

Ok - so I got some e-mails and seen some quesions on people's blogs that I thought would be fun to answer on my blog. I've kind of mixed & matched, so it's kind of random. I'm not "tagging" anyone, but I'd love to see the answers that anyone else has to these same questions!

WHAT WERE YOU DOING 10 YEARS AGO?
It was the summer before my Sophomore year at Snow College. I was dating a lot that summer - for the most part having a great time - it was a little over a month before I met my future husband and sweetheart at Snow. I was working for the Forest Service and had just gone on my first wildfire. It was quite an eye-opening experience for me to be on a
fire with so many "non-lds" people. Here's an exerpt from my journal: July 6, 1998: "Well, it's day #3 on this fire & it's lookin' like it's our last day here. Wow - I have learned a lot! I have gained a lot of experience & gotten a feel for what a fires is like so I am better prepared for next time. Saturday...it was raining really hard so we built a fire & before too long there was some of the dirtiest, most profane, vulgar jokes & language that I've ever heard. I was seriously sick from all the crap that I had heard. My soul was as dirty as my outside clothes & dirty skin. I just felt like someone had poured tar into my soul..."
That was one of my only fires. It was good money and I did meet some nice people, but being one of the only girls out there, the guys tended to be pretty harsh.

WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE IN 10 YEARS?
In a small mountain town in Utah with a simple house, lots of land and a few toys. My youngest should be about 6 by then, so hopefully all the kids will be off to school and maybe I'll work from home a bit, but generally living the simple, debt-free, small-town life.

1. What time did you get up this morning? we were up till 1am talking, then 7:30am

2. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Indiana Jones

3. What are your favorite TV shows? So You Think you Can Dance, Supernanny

4. What food do you dislike ? Basically all fish except tuna, avacados, bannanas

5. What kind of car do you drive? Toyota Avalon

6. What characteristics do you most want to have? Humility, love

7. What was your most recent memorable birthday? This year Jason took the day off - took me to the movies, surprised me at night with a BBQ. Love you babe!

8. Morning person or a night person? I used to be a morning person, but since we've been married, it's changed to more of a night person because that's what my hubby is.

9. Pets? 2 dogs - Siberian Husky & Austrailian Shepherd. The girls LOVE them.

10. What is your favorite flower? forget-me-nots

11. What are you listening to right now? My "inspirational" playlist and McKinley talking about drawing her picture.

12. What was the last thing you ate? an apple

13. Hair color? Natural? Probably a "dirty blonde/light brown" - it's an ugly color so I always highlight it.

14. What was your favorite toy as a child? probably my sandbox. I would spend HOURS out there, but I did love my cabbage patch kid, too.

15. What did you do last night? had a heart-to-heart talk w/ hubby - talked about "signs of the times" and job prospects.

16. What are you afraid of? anything involving killing or hurting people I love.

17. 3 things on your grocery list? laundry detergent, velcro, and pull-ups

18. Superpower? Ability to fly (especially with gas prices how they are)

19. Salty or sweet? both

20. Favorite day of the week? Sunday by far. Our day of rest.

21. Favorite hobby/latest obsession? digital scrapbooking, training for a 1/2 marathon, blogging

22. Some things on your "bucket list"? Going to New Zealand, doing a 1/2 Ironman, moving to a small town.

23. Something you see as a weakness? One of a million - I have finally come to accept the fact that I am not one of those moms that keeps on top of my housekeeping. I am more of a mom that lets it get bad and then does a major clean once or twice a week or before someone comes over. So - if you just "drop by" my house at a random time, 9 times out of 10, it will NOT be clean.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Park City Girls!


Our friend Britany came up from Arizona and organized this get-together of girls from our old Park City ward. We had a great time dining at The Stew Pot in Deer Valley, chatting, and just enjoying each others' company. Thanks girls for a great time! We need to do it more often! We got talking about how things get more and more hectic with each kid and while I am not to 3 yet, I had to pass on this e-mail I got. I find it hilarious - especially since I'm already doing most of the 3rd baby things with my 2nd.

BIRTH ORDER OF CHILDREN

1st baby:You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.

2nd baby:You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.

3rd baby:Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.
___________________________________________________
Preparing for the Birth:

1st baby:You practice your breathing religiously.

2nd baby:You don't bother because you remember that last time breathing didn't do a thing.

3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your eighth month.
________________________________________________
The Layette:

1st baby:You pre-wash newborn's clothes, color coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby's little bureau.

2nd baby:You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.

3rd baby:Boys can wear pink, can't they?
_________________________________________________
Worries:

1st baby:At the first sign of distress--a whimper, a frown--you pick up the baby.

2nd baby:You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.

3rd baby:You teach your three-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.
_______________________________________________
Pacifier:

1st baby:If the pacifier falls on the floor, you put it away until you can go home and wash and boil it.

2nd baby:When the pacifier falls on the floor, you squirt it off with some juice from the baby's bottle.

3rd baby:You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it back in.
________________________________________________
Diapering:

1st baby:You change your baby's diapers every hour, whether they need it or not.

2nd baby:You change their diaper every two to three hours, if needed.

3rd baby:You try to change their diaper before others start to complain about the smell or you see it sagging to their knees.

_______________________________________________
Activities:

1st baby:You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour.

2nd baby:You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.

3rd baby:You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.
________________________________________________
Going Out:

1st baby:The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home five times.

2nd baby :Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.

3rd baby:You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.
________________________________________________
At Home:

1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.

2nd baby:You spend a bit of everyday watching to be sure your older child isn't squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.

3rd baby:You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.
________________________________________________
Swallowing Coins:

1st child:When first child swallows a coin, you rush the child to the hospital and demand x-rays.

2nd child:When second child swallows a coin, you carefully watch for the coin to pass.

3rd child:When third child swallows a coin, you deduct it from his allowance.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy 4th of July and Happy Birthday Ireland!

We were in Richfield for the annual hometown 4th of July. It was nice to be with Jason's family and enjoy each other. Thanks, Devenishs, for hosting us! I have to say, though, that fireworks have taken on a whole new meaning for me now that I'm a mom. When I was a kid, hey - they couldn't be big or loud enough, but now it seems that the "mother hen" instinct has kicked in and I get aggrivated at people's huge, loud fireworks. There were illegal, huge, LOUD fireworks going on all around the house and it's not like I wanted to stop anyone's fun, but I wish I could put a huge sound barrier around my babies, because they both did NOT sleep and were very cranky the next day. Does anyone else feel that way?

Ireland was born barely on July 5th (12:33am to be exact). We celebrated on Saturday, but poor little baby was cutting molars and had 5 mouth sores, so she was a pretty miserable baby all weekend and most of her birthday pictures were not happy ones. I'm so thankful that we get to celebrate this milestone with her, though. She is so precious. So beautiful. She fills our lives with such sunshine and we pray in gratitude every day for being able to be a part of her earthly journey and witness as her growth and beauty blossom. Below is a video slideshow of her first year. The first song that comes on is what came on the radio as we were exiting the freeway to get to the hospital. I was in full-on labor (I went in at an 8) and there were fireworks going across the whole valley. It was pretty surreal and I cherish those memories (not the pain, the memories). I love you Ireland.
video

All the grandkids in their patriotic shirts from grandma Devenish

Loved this picture of Hayden and Daken

This was probably the happiest picture I got of her. Nice, huh? Oh well - I would be onery too if my mouth was full of sores and emerging teeth.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

June Slideshow & Newsletter

Hello! Our monthly slideshow and newsletter are now available below and to the left. Enjoy!
video