Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Sister's Surplus of Make-Up

Surplus  [sur-pluhs, -pluhs–noun

1. something that remains above what is used or needed.

2. an amount, quantity, etc., greater than needed.

This is not a farce.  Everything in this tote and including the tote is my baby sister's SURPLUS of make-up!  I even forgot to put in one container of eye-shadow AND the extra powder before I shot the picture, not to mention that there are things underneath what you can see from this topical view, such as more eye-shadow, more mascara, hair-ties, and hair-pins. 

The day after Christmas I was helping her organize some things, and in payment of such service (which was not expected) she de-junked her make-up bag and gave me the extras that she no longer needed.  I will never forget the way Taylor's jaw dropped and eyes widened as he walked by vacuuming and watching her hand me piece after piece of this wonderful treasure. (Let me put this in perspective for you:  she threw away at least half as much as what she gave me, and she kept at least as much if not more than what she gave me.  Never in my life did I imagine that someone would own so much make-up for their own personal use, especially since the amount of make-up I previously owned was maybe about 1/3 as much as she gave me.)  And I am still AMAZED!

She didn't even need to give me a Christmas present this year,
because my new make-up tote will last me MORE THAN A YEAR!
(probably 2 or 3 years) 

Thanks, Jode!  I love you!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Killing Venus Fly Traps...

It's been an interesting day to say the least.  We started out by finding the 17 year old cat we've been caring for took her final rest on our back porch.  We saw Santa, but it took an hour and a half of standing in line, and this afternoon when the neighbor kids left to go home, Tyson got bored & found some spray paint that my very talented husband (who is also making gifts for Christmas) just happened to leave out barely in the reach of our curious and imaginative little Tyson.  When I smelt the aroma of spray paint I RAN outside and this is what I found:
The explanation:  "I had to kill the Venus Fly Traps!"  Only my sweet Tyson would come up with something like that--it's a perfect mixture of 2 of his favorite things:  Planet Earth movies and his own little imaginative, yet "logical" world..  For your viewing pleasure is his demonstration of how a Venus Fly Trap moves.

Friday, December 17, 2010


 Tradition means that the pecking order is still alive and well.......
uh......but in reverse order with the youngest three of our family. 
 Tradition means that come "heck or high-water" you still go because you'll have a cruddy day if you don't...even when it means ditching your extremely ill husband on the couch at home. (Let's give a shout out to Mitch for surviving the flu AND strep while we played in the snow...we left at 6 am and returned at 5pm and he was IN THE SAME PLACE WE'D LEFT HIM.  Quit reading this it makes us look bad, but in our defense, no one knew how sick he was until later.)
 Tradition means that all you have to do is say,
"This is our first annual ______"
and you've got something worth keeping.
 Tradition is repeating your son's comments because he's the funniest person on the planet: 
"Let's make a snow-tomato!"
Tradition means that even though I have 500+ pictures of family on 4-wheelers at the beginning OR end of their Christmas tree hunt, that I take another one just to make sure we capture an "original" kind of moment.  (Surely this picture is slightly different than the other 499 similarly posed photos from previous years.) 
Tradition means that ON SITE you chat about what you're going to name your picture folder this year so that you don't accidentally delete all the photos from "Christmas Tree Hunting" last year.  Should it be Christmas Trees 2010, or 2010 Christmas Trees?
Tradition is 3 generations discovering the LOVE in kicking off the Christmas season the right way:  in the woods, with your family, marching through mud or snow, traipsing through the forest, snowballing grandma's car, having vehicles getting stuck in the snow, bailing others out, hunting for hours to find the PERFECT tree, remembering the trees of Christmas' Past, having freezing fingers, building a fire, eating Thanksgiving left overs, and loving every second

This is our TRA-DI-SHUN!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Baby Squawk Squawk

We hit a few fun milestones this week with E.J., who has been lovingly nicknamed "Baby Squawk Squawk" by his big brother.  It's so hilarious to me that Tyson made it up and endearingly says it with a squawking tone...I'm pretty sure this nickname is going to stick around a while.  Besides getting a new nickname Emmett has...
  1. ...started folding his arms on his own for prayers.  On Monday he saw us praying over dinner and quit playing with the food on his tray, brought his little hands up by his chin and held still for the prayer.  He does it every time, now.  Grandpa T says that he winked at Emmett last week during a prayer and that he understood he was supposed to close his eyes so he covered his little eyes with his own hands.  SO PRECIOUS!
  2. Emmett has a favorite book, now.  It happens to be The Napping House.  We read it over and over and over, and he carries it around the house sometimes.  Luckily this favorite book of his is in a board book format, which Tyson has also termed as a book with "fake pages."  Whenever the boys try to read books and look at the pictures Tyson makes sure that Baby Squawk Squawk gets the ones with fake pages and that the books with real pages are safely in his own hands.
  3. Yesterday, Emmett brought me a box of muffin mix and wanted me to open it--he thought that because there was a picture of muffins on the front that I would open the package and he would eat it.  Instead he got to help me mix up the muffins.  He had so much fun and wants to help me stir each time I cook now.  He grinned and said cheese on purpose for this picture documenting the first food he made.  SO CUTE!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Beginning of a Dream Fulfilled: Gilbert Temple Ground Breaking

Can it be true that my little home-town of Gilbert is getting a temple?!  My heart is so full!  We were fortunate to be able to attend the Gilbert Temple Groundbreaking Ceremony yesterday.  What a beautiful experience.  We were there 2 hours early, and I'm glad we were because by the time it started, all 5,000 chairs set up were full, and there were rows and rows of people behind those chairs with their own camping chairs to sit in, and behind THAT there were tons of people standing.  My dad estimated that there were about 7,000 people there (and that doesn't count all the people who didn't go to the site & who went to their church buildings to see it broadcasted instead).  I'm so glad we were on the the temple grounds--sitting IN the dirt field that would become sacred & holy ground.  The Spirit was so strong!

 All I could think about was how badly I want my family to be eternal.  I love my husband Mitchell, and I love my precious and perfect baby boys.  They're so sweet and innocent!  All I want for them is to grow up in the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to feel the power of God's love for them in their hearts, and to reach for an eternal family with us.

 Before the ceremony began, I decided that if I wanted my kids to be quiet during the talks that we should get some energy out by walking around.  We got to see many wonderful people who have become our friends over the years through church functions and service.  There were news-copters above that we waved at, and we walked up to the front to see where the groundbreaking would take place.  It was so cool to see so many shovels for the groundbreaking!  They all had a picture of what the Gilbert temple is going to look like.
 Me & Tyson
 Dad & Taylor

Hubs & Emmett
Lately Tyson has been pointing out every single "fire pump" he sees.  He's got an eye for finding them.  Mitch took Tyson for a ride in the stroller & they found this huge hydrant.  SO COOL!  : )
 Aunt Karla & Karly came with Uncle Russ, Uncle Russ didn't feel like standing in the line/crowd to see the shovels, so we took a picture with Kenny, Jake's friend when we were up there. : )
 Cute little Jodi had to work, so she wouldn't be able to stay around for the entire groundbreaking, but we're glad she got to come.  It actually turned out to be kind of special that she came because she was able to help a little boy in her ward named Luke to find his parents.  We don't think that was a coincidence that she came later than the rest of the family and happened to be right there when that little boy needed a familiar face & comfort until he found his family.  I'm glad she got to come and be there with us for a little bit.  (I wish that Mike & Erin could have been there with us--I almost tried to get a picture of the 4 of the siblings present, but it would still just feel empty without Erin, so I just took little group shots here & there). 
 We sat by my parents and brothers and their friend, Trevor during the ceremony. 

I'm so grateful my parents set the precedence for the rest of us by getting sealed in the temple.  I love my brothers & sisters so much.  I can't imagine being without them after this life.  I'm grateful for the example my parents have set, too, of  Seeking first the kingdom of God.  We made sacrifices throughout the years so that we could do the basic things regularly--scripture study, family home evening, going to church, attending the temple. 

They showed us what to do in order to put the Lord and family first.  The result:  close family relationships, knowing I can turn to them for anything, a deep imbedded desire to live so that I can be in my Heavenly Father's presence again with my family, an understanding that we're all in this together & our job is to help each other get back to the Lord's presence, and a respect for sacred things. 

The temple is a sacred ediface, and it's symbolic of how we should be inside--clean & pure, always reaching for the divine within us, and always focussing on the teachings of the Lord.
 The talks were beautiful.  Elder & Sister Costa talked about the people in the Amazon of Brazil, and the sacrifices they made to get to the temple--those people sold all that they had, and traveled in extreme heat and uncomfortable busses and boats, tried to keep their kids happy on the 2 week long trip, and they made these huge sacrifices just to get to the temple to receive the saving ordinances of the gospel.  How fortunate we are to have a temple so close in Mesa, and now to have our very own temple in Gilbert--it's an honor and a privilege.  It felt special to be there the entire time, but after the ground was dedicated, there really was a difference in the way it felt.  I can't describe it--it was slight & it was quiet, but it was different--it is a special place and it will bring peace to many people--members of the church & non-members alike, because it will be a place that will remind people to turn to God: "In faith we'll rely on the arm of Jehovah, to guide thru these last days of trouble and gloom."  --Hymn #3
After all the dignitaries and stake presidents and their wives got to break the ground, they invited everyone who wanted to come and help turn the soil to come up and grab a shovel.  Here's the proof that I got to dig up some soil to help start the making of the Gilbert Temple.  I love this place!  I love the Lord!  I love my family!  I love the gospel!  I have hope in the Savior of the World and in his plan!  I know that the family is CENTRAL to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of his children!  I know that sacred covenants available in holy temples allow families to be united beyond the grave!  What a gift!  I want my foundation in the Lord to always be FIRM, I want my children & grandchildren, not to mention my brothers and sisters and cousins to all feel what I know--to fear not and be not dismayed--Jesus Christ is our God & will still give us aid.  He'll "strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand", upheld by His righteous, omnipotent hand.  I could barely sing the last verse yesterday of this hymn, but my heart felt it so strongly:

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, NO NEVER FORSAKE!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Littlest Preschooler

He's not quite big enough, but some days he thinks he is, and there's no stopping it when he wants to jump in on the fun.  Sweet little Emmett likes to hang out with the big boys for a few minutes each time we do preschool.  He climbs up to the table and wants his own sorting activity, or he'll want to put things up on the Calendar and sing songs with us.  He's only 1, but it's obvious that he loves to learn and he loves to be in on the fun. 

 He looked up and said cheese right before this photo--I don't remember even teaching him how to do that, but he definitely posed for this picture. : )

The day of our Halloween Party, I pulled out Tyson's costume.  The second Emmett saw it he started squawking.  I knew he wanted his own costume, but in my head I talked myself out of it & thought surely he wanted something else.  When nothing else would get him to stop whinning, I went to pull out his doggie costume and the second he saw his, he was okay.  He got dressed up & had tons of fun being part of it.  I love that he's a foot shorter than everyone else.

 Emmett's so cute, because he thinks he's so funny, and just as big as everyone else.  The response he gets back from the big kids is hilarious to me, though, so he can't stay in class with us for more than 20 minutes, because that's too much to have a "baby" around for so long. : )

I love my littlest preschooler!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


 Honest to goodness--Tyson fell asleep trick-or-treating this year, and his one year old brother thought it was funny to pull the candy out of his mouth as Tyson's head was nodding around. 
 The wagon was going up and down bumpy park HILLS, and Tyson still slept through it.  Emmett was just giggling about it and it made us laugh harder.  I can't believe little Emmett Joe is such a prankster!
Asleep in transport, even.  NOTHING woke him up once he conked out!  Thanks, Brian, Tina, & Caden for wearing us out!

This video is blurry b/c it was so dark, and I didn't have an HD camera handy, but you get the point.  See his head nodding around?  In his dreams he must be visiting Jib & Judy in CandyLand.  That's some good candy!  What's funny is that this was on Saturday night, the 30th, and even on Sunday, the 31st, he fell asleep again when all the trick-or-treaters came by.  Must have been a snooze-fest for Tyson, though--Halloween couldn't even keep him awake.

Friday, October 29, 2010

I'm Just Sittin' Right Here, Watchin' Airplanes...

Mitch's newly coined concept has been, "Just say 'yes' more."  If there's something your spouse or kids wants to do (and it's not crucially imperative that you shouldn't do it), then just say "yes"--even if it's not necessarily your first idea of fun.  We've all been trying to apply that in our family better, because too often we're too tired or too busy & before you know it, life is stifled for the ones you love.

Today I chose to drive to Phoenix to redeem some free tickets to a Suns game.  If I were more organized I would have found some sort of discounted pass to something cool like the Science Center, or a museum, but I just couldn't get out the door in time, and there was a deadline if I wanted my free tickets.  After we stood in line & got my freebies I asked Tyson what we should do next and he said he wanted to go watch the airplanes.  At first I was amazed because all I would have to pay for was parking!  Whoohoo!  I just saved a ton of $$$, you know!  But now I look at our trip to the airport & I'm amazed at how strongly I felt the spirit of love and happiness in something so simple with my kids.  I'm so glad I told him yes!

These are some of my favorite moments from today:
  • Each time a plane took off from the runway, Tyson would take off his baseball hat and wave it as he watched the plane fly away.  I'm talking E-V-E-R-Y time!  Emmett even noticed & tried taking off his baseball hat, too.
  • Each time a plan would land on the runway, he would clap for it.  : )
  • Emmett's response to the airplanes was not as dramatic--he enjoyed squishing Capri Sun juice out of the straw, and walking around about as much as watching the planes, but occasionally he would look at the airplanes, point, and with lips perfectly protruded in a rounded O shape, say, "Oooh, oooh!"
  • We determined that the planes that were driving slow were just afraid about flying right now.  Haha!
  • After about 15 minutes I asked Tyson how much longer he wanted to stay.  His answer:  "Twenty-four-five minutes." 
  • We wanted to see the airplanes better so we kind of snuck our stroller up a closed off ramp--it was the only way I could see that would get us to a prime airplane viewing position.  As we were sitting up there, after a while, a security truck pulled up and honked at us.  When I turned around, the guy waved--he was friendly & was trying to get my kids to wave, too. 
    • "Are you guys watching the airplanes?" he asked us.
    • "Yeah, is that okay?"  I thought for sure he'd make us go somewhere else.
    • He smiled & responded, "That's what life's about!" and he drove away.

I couldn't agree with him more!  It felt so good to sit there with my kids watching the airplanes.  I told Tyson he had the best ideas ever--I just wanted to hug him forever.  I squoze him & told him, "I love you a million-billion times!"  Then I clarifed: "That means I love you so much that I will never stop loving you, no matter what!"  He said, "I will never stop loving you, either....I will love you 5 times."  (He must have meant 5 times forever, haha!)  I'm so grateful the Lord sends me these precious moments in time when we can just sit and watch airplanes take off and fly!

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Eggplant Friend

I went to a local neighborhood Fry's store this past week on Tuesday. I was in the produce section choosing fruits and veggies for the week with my kids. I was in a good mood thinking about all the delicious things we were going to eat: grapes, bananas, apples, squash, cucumber, tomatoes, potatoes, green onions, etc.. I saw a lady near me grab an eggplant; we made eye contact & smiled at each other and I told her I love eggplant. "I do, too," she said. I told her I've only ever used it to cook Eggplant Parmesean and I asked her if she likes it Italian style. She said she normally cooks it other ways.

Only 3 days later, I showed up at the chiropracter and there she was ... MY EGGPLANT FRIEND!!!

I was so shocked by the situation--dumbfounded that at a doctor's office 30 minutes away from our neighborhood grocery store, complete strangers would meet again. It took me a minute to remember why I recognized her, but finally I remembered where I had seen her before and she told me I have a good memory. I really wish, though, that I would have asked her if she enjoyed her eggplant. : )

Sunday, October 24, 2010

$4 Croquet

My stud muffin husband found an amazing deal at a garage sale last week Saturday.  $4 for a WOODEN Croquet set in good condition.  We were amazed & we loved it.  We took the set with us to a park & played croquet with the Newman's after we at at YC's.  Funny story:  We walk into YC's Mongolian Grill & realize that there's NO SHARING allowed, which we thought was a little lame.  As we sat IN FRONT OF THE REGISTER discussing whether or not those were acceptable terms to us at the price they were asking for a bowl of food, I began to realize that Craig said the same thing to the girl at the register about 4 different times.  The gyst of it:  Their food was way too expensive & that if we were going to pay that price, we were going to end up with a month's worth of food.  I thought he was kidding.  We all paid the top dollar price & then proceeded to get the largest bowls of food I have ever seen in my life.  I kid you not, Craig piled his bowl about a foot high with food for them to did Mitch.  At first I started laughing because it was so ridiculous, and then I felt totally bad because we had had a group discussion about the price of the food.  Let me tell you, we definitely got a bargain. I even asked the girl at the register if we needed to pay extra for the food & she said that food bowls like that were normal & that's the reason why they don't allow sharing.  It was hilarious & a little ridiculous, and I will definitely visit YC's again--they had great customer service & delicious food, even if I was embarrassed because for a moment in time I felt like I was with a group of teenagers again.  So funny!  That's why we like hanging out with Craig--he makes it interesting, and we get home with a "month's worth of food" from the actually only lasted about 3 days, but that's besides the point. : )

Gorgeous day for the Zoo!

 I spontaneously decided to go to the Zoo & Friday, and totally lucked out that friends could go with me! It turned into such a fun trip and it was a gorgeous day, too!  We seriously couldn't have picked a more beautiful day--slightly overcast, slight breeze, animals up & roaming, not hot--just PERFECT weather.
The Rhinos looked awesome.  I love that there was grass there & that they were eating instead of lying there like a lump. : )  I guess that's what happens when it's NOT 117 outside.  I'll try to remember that for my next visit, haha.

 Lindsay was miraculously not working...well she was, but she was able to leave early & meet us up there--YAY!  Tyson was happy, too, because Lindsay isn't a frazzled, worn out, mommy & so he got to hang out with his "best friend" and ride on her back even.
 It was a miracle--the cheetahs were up, walking around, looking around & BEAUTIFUL.  This was my FAVORITE part.  I believe the last time I saw the cheetahs when they weren't asleep was when I was in grade school.  We came at the perfect time.
Emmett got away from me--I thought his footsteps were adorable.  Tyson decided to take a picture of us near the elephants--can you see them?  Of course, not, but he was proud that he got "the whole body" in the picture of me & Lindsay & Jenny.
I'm so glad Jenny came & brought Hudson--she was the first one to respond to my text & let me know that I would have company--I was so happy!...unfortunately I didn't snap the shot with the boys, but it was Hudson's FIRST ZOO TRIP!  Whoohoo!  Maybe I'll edit this post later when I get a pic from her.

It was a fun Zoo trip!  Thanks guys!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Super Mom

 Haven't seen Beckie-Lynn in person for YEARS, but got to hang out with her today at a SUPER HERO b-day party for Brenden. I'm so glad we were able to go. It just felt good to par-tay with the little ones. : )

 I like Emmett in the background.  Don't forget he was there, just not in the mood to keep his mask on very long. : )
This shot has so much emotion in it for me.  It's like it's straight out of a movie.  Each step up the ramp is determined and focussed.  The true nature of a SUPER HERO!

Can you believe Beckie made the masks AND the capes?  Who does that?  Only SUPER MOM's do.  Seriously, it was PERFECT, and the kids loved it.  There was so much satisfaction on their cute little faces as they ran around playing with their special masks & capes.   Good job, Beckie.  Keep it up, I'm so proud of you for all the sacrifices you make for Brenden.  You're a great mom, and he loves you--so do all the people who know you.   

Friday, October 15, 2010

Scabby Noses that MATCH...kind of...

Both my children IN THE SAME WEEK, no less, bashed their noses
& got scabs with BOTH their parents present on each occasion.  What can I say?

Emmett tripped at Grandma T's on Sunday & cut up his nose because he LANDED on the corner of a baseboard.  Poor little guy!  And as for Tyson, well...he leaned too far over the edge of the wagon on Monday and fell out onto the ground.  When we picked him up, he looked fine, but the next day it was scabby.  Boys will be boys, right?  At least they match...kind of. : )

Monday, October 11, 2010

Love These Guys!!! --The Biglers & Starkes--

 Keith & Donna, Debbie & Joe
In April of this year (not 2009, like the pic says), Keith & Donna came to my brother's championship baseball game...which his team lost in extra innings...and we all had dinner afterwards.  It was an uplifting evening & felt so good to share each others company and talk about Azure as well as how life is going.
2 and 3 year olds are funny. They smile at the same time except for when you click the picture. : )  I still think Eric is cute, even though I wasn't fast enough to catch his smile.  Here's Eric Starkes & Tyson Borden at the chapel in Heber after my grandmother's funeral.

Brian & Ginger, if you're reading this, I hope you don't mind that I copied your thumbnail picture--I didn't have a picture of my own of your cute family!

There are few days in my life that I can recount in vivid detail.  Coming across Azure's car accident with my family and finding her baby in the car made for a day in my life that is as vivid as my wedding day, as poignant for my life as the birth of my children. I can remember the expressions on people's faces, I can remember what the wind felt like as I held Eric, I can remember the slow motion of watching as everyone who could do anything tried to help to save her life.  I remember everyone comforting each other (my husband, Melodie, my mom, strangers), I remember a young couple I do not know, but who stood nearby watching.  On Wednesday, it'll be three years since she died, but I think about Azure and her family often--not just during this time of year.

The second we came upon the scene we were praying.  We were all hoping for a miracle--we wanted a story where we'd be reuinited at a later time after she was taken in the air-vac to find out that the CPR worked.  We wanted her family to get to keep her & have a long full life with her.  I wonder about that and why the miracle we hoped for wasn't meant to be, and then I remember Eric.  I believe that he was Azure's miracle.  The only thing wrong with him was that he had dirt in his eyelashes, so my mom helped me wipe some of the dirt away.  After a car flips 10 times and glass is shattered, you can't tell me it isn't a miracle that he was calm and completely unscathed.  I just feel lucky I got to hold him that day.  It's what his momma would have done if she could have.

I get worn out being a mom sometimes--especially when I'm low on sleep, when my house is a wreck, and when my kids get sick.  A few months ago I was really down on myself feeling like I hadn't accomplished anything worthwhile and while I was lying down with my kids to help them fall asleep my mind was on all the things I still needed to do, and I had the thought come to me like it was Azure saying: "Just hold your kids.  I don't get to do that right now--I only get to watch from a distance.  And this time doesn't last very long. Just hold your babies."

I've always wondered about all the similar connections Brian & Azure's life had to mine & Mitch's.  We have so many things in common: we were married for the same amount of time, we both tried to have kids but miscarried before we could have them, Brian & I have both taught 6th grade, we both had baby boys first who were just months apart, and we even had the same brand of carseat so that when Mitch pulled Eric out of the car it was quick & with ease.  Our lives to that point were very similar & we were just learning what it means to have a family of your own in the great journey of marriage and parenthood.

So here we are, 3 years later.  I love the Bigler's & Starkes.  It might sound odd, but it's healing for me and my family to see them doing well.  It makes me happy to see Brian with Ginger as they build a life together and have more children.  It makes me happy to visit with Keith and Donna and to feel the strength of their testimonies of the resurrection.  And it makes me happy every time I see Eric.  I don't know if he'll ever understand the way I feel when I see him--I just love that adorable little guy, and I think I know how his mom feels about him.  He's her miracle.

A video with Azure in it:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

What is this all about?

Today I had the chance to accompany a musical number for a baptism.  A sweet young girl in our ward, at the age of 11, has chosen to be baptized.  I'm so happy I got to be there.  She was so sweet--when she came up out of the water her words were, "Did it work?"   When the Bishop got up to speak he assured her that it did in fact work.  She was probably mostly concerned about whether or not she was completely immersed or not, but her question still speaks to my heart.

Does the Lord's saving grace really work?  Yes, it does.

Then I have to ask myself:  Is my heart truly immersed in the love of the Lord?  Do I offer my heart to Him by the way I live each day?  Maybe I did yesterday, but what about TODAY?   

I don't know exactly HOW the Atonement of Jesus Christ works, but I have felt it, and I know it does.  I sat reflecting on my own baptism when I was only 8 years old.  In the dressing room afterwards, I told my mom that I felt a little different.  It wasn't a huge difference at that point in my life, but it was still a difference, and I knew it.  The Spirit of the Lord is so quiet in our hearts, like in 1 Kings 19:12, the Lord speaks to us not in earthquake, or fire, but in a still small voice--it takes effort to truly listen, but it's there.  What's amazing is that as time continues, I still feel the difference I felt that day, but in much stronger way.  I feel like I have been Born Again, but I know I must spend my life with a daily reawakening of that feeling.

For several years now, I have been known to turn to the Christian station when I'm driving places.  I get fed up with censoring the regular stations because there's so much trash on there.  So when I don't have my favorite CD's in the car and need a boost, sometimes I turn to KLOVE.  The other night I heard this song by Tenth Avenue North: Healing Begins.  I love this song--it's about confessing and forsaking your sins.  The resolution isn't the best, but I like that it shows the words.

After I got back today from the baptism, I heard of a tragic death of someone my family cares about.  He's had a rough set of circumstances in the last many years, and has died recently by taking his own life.  My heart is broken for him and for his family.  I wonder how things might have turned out different if he truly let the "light met the dark" for him.  My dad and I were talking about what more we might have done to maybe have helped him.  I also wonder how we might be able to help his family right now--they need to feel the Lord lifting them up and through heart breaking time.  If we have the feeling of being born again, it's on our shoulders to reach out and uplift and share the light with others.  Too many times people have a thought about a friend they haven't seen for a long time, but feel stupid & don't follow through with contacting them because they don't know what to say.  Maybe that was God telling you that that person needs you as a friend.  We need to be God's hands.  We need to help others feel what it feels like to have the "light meet the dark" in their lives.  How might things be different if we could help more people know and feel and truly understand that they are sons and daughters of God? 

I wonder about President Monson & all the good he's enacted in his lifetime.  He didn't stop himself from doing good works because he didn't want to feel stupid.  He never pushes away the promptings of the Spirit no matter how small or insignificant those acts of love might have seemed at the time, and in effect just one example of his service was that he formed relationships with 84 widows who requested him to speak at their funerals, because they knew he truly cared.

Here's another Christian song about our responsibility to reach out:

Anyway, it's been an interesting day for me.  I know that I am a daughter of Heavenly Father who loves me, and I love Him.  I want to be "His Hands".  I want to reach out and make a difference.

Luke 22:32

... and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

I know that when hard times come, my hope and faith will get me through, because I have felt it, and I wish I could help more people see what this life is all about.  I wish more people could feel and understand the HOPE Jesus Christ gives to us in our lives:

Isaiah 25:8-9

He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.
And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

Someday He will come and heal all of us and wipe away all of our tears, he will save us from the sorrows of this world.  In the mean time we need to remember on a daily basis what it feels like to be born again and then reach out to help others feel God in their lives one by one. 

Does it work?  In many ways, that's up to you.
Monday, October 11th
I've heard this before, but had forgotten it until it was shared at this funeral. It is comforting to remember that the Lord knows everyone's hearts and will give all of us the fairest kind of judgement possible:

The late Elder Bruce R. McConkie, formerly of the Quorum of the Twelve, expressed what many Church leaders have taught: “Suicide consists in the voluntary and intentional taking of one’s own life, particularly where the person involved is accountable and has a sound mind. … Persons subject to great stresses may lose control of themselves and become mentally clouded to the point that they are no longer accountable for their acts. Such are not to be condemned for taking their own lives. It should also be remembered that judgment is the Lord’s; he knows the thoughts, intents, and abilities of men; and he in his infinite wisdom will make all things right in due course.” (Mormon Doctrine, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966, p. 771; some italics added.)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Special Boy, Special Day

The day Emmett Joe entered our lives, our hearts just grew.  He's such a special little guy--he has a calming effect on all of us, and he's just sweet.  He's shy & had a hard time at first with all the attention, but by the end of his birthday it was apparent that he enjoyed the birthday attention because he started expecting me to follow his every whim.  I realized that while I give him tons of attention, on his birthday he got a different kind of attention than he's used to, and he LIKED it. : )  We threw a spontaneous little party at the park, and it turned out great!  All of your family in town came to support you, and we had a fun time! 

Grandpa B was caught letting Emmett lick the frosting pre-maturely.  BUSTED!
 This is the adorable cake that I bought so that I wouldn't have to slave away.
 Forgot the candle so we used a large match instead. : )
 Indulgence is sweet!  I actually captured a really cute video that I'm having trouble posting.  He began by licking the frosting one finger lick at a time, and as we all stood around him in a circle and cheered, he gained confidence and before we knew it performed a classic 1st birthday feast. : )
 Emmett's friend Katie turns 1 next week!  So big already!
 I'm trying to decide what he's thinking in this picture, hehe!
Emmett's friend Hudson came, too, with his mom, Jenny.  And his "Auntie Lindsay" never forgets him. : )
 His first reaction to presents--the slides seemed more appealing.
Kind of blinking but still adorable.

Emmett Joe, we love you so!  What a fantastic year it's been with you!  You're so cute "toddling" around everywhere!  Happy 1st Birthday!