Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rise of the Guardians

Last night we got to see a Sneak Peek of the movie, Rise of the Guardians!  It was awesome!  We had 6 Sneak Peek tickets that we got FOR FREE at the Everything Kids Festival.  We had to drive for 40 minutes to the theater in order to see the movie, but it was totally worth it.  The tickets were only good for first come, first serve, so if we didn't get there soon enough we wouldn't get in--even with the passes.  We invited Caden & Tina to come with us.  I was a little sad when we walked into the theater, because 3 rows in the middle were being reserved, so we had to go find a place for all 6 of us on the 2nd row.  But, didn't you know that 3D movies are BETTER when you're up close?  From the beginning snowflake, the 3D felt magical, and I was so happy we were sitting close.
Tyson was enthralled with the move the entire time.  In fact, everyone liked it.  I loved looking over at my kids with their 3D glasses as they would giggle at the movie.  Miles' favorite part was squirming everywhere and pulling the straws out of the cups.  We all had so much fun!

After the movie, the kids were pretending to be their favorite characters.  Emmett's favorite was the Easter Pageant Bunny  (he inserted the pageant part himself, haha!).  And Tyson was pretending to be Jack Frost...ALL THE WAY TO THE CAR.  People were smiling at him as he zoomed by in his own little world.  I said to one passerby, "He thinks he's Jack Frost." And the young man said, "No!  He IS. You've got to believe!"  He was right though--these are the days of wonder and imagination, and you've got to believe, because right now the MAGIC is REAL.  I love my Jack Frost & my Easter Pageant Bunny.  : )

This picture cracks me up.  Emmett LOVED the movie. He LOVED having his own drink & popcorn, he LOVED the characters and would talk totally loud during the movie trying to tell me the parts that just happened, and he LOVED being his favorite character after the movie.  But what he DIDN'T LOVE was the idea to take a picture afterwards.  He has a mind of his own, and it wasn't his idea, so tough noodles for the rest of us for trying to get him to look happy in the pictures, because he WASN'T going to do it. 
At any rate, I'm thankful for wholesome movies that have messages of wonder and belief at this time of year.  It's so important.  I always want to keep the magic alive.  The Rise of the Guardians is a MUST SEE--and Tyson already asked if we can buy it.  So fun!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Find Your Happiness

What's your happiness? 
Ours is Rita's Water Ice
(according to Mitch, the appropriate pronunciation is "Wooder Ice"--like they say it in New Jersey). 
Mitch says Bahama Bucks is trash compared to Rita's.
Ever since Rita's has decided to franchise out West, it has become a regular part of Mitch's diet.  However, we'd pretty much been sinning, because Rita's has been in the Valley of the Sun for a good year, but never once had any of the other Borden's experienced the joy that is Rita's.  I'm so glad we repented and took the family, because I will never forget the GRIN and excitement on Mitch's face as we were sampling the flavors of the day when he said to Nick: "Tell me that isn't Swedish Fish!  Can you believe it?!"
I love that everyone is focused on the flavors and Emmett is sucking his thumb.
This is happiness--when you take a picture like this you see that the Borden family is growing...and this isn't even 1/2 of us.  We had a totally awesome family night--we went to JumpStreet, where I did a flip on the trampoline for the first time in ages (love the sensation), Mitch & I rode the automated bull...we'll just say that HE did great, the kids jumped in foam pits, bounced all over the trampolines & played in bouncy houses, Mitch & Nick played dodge ball, and then we ended the night by FINALLY taking the clan to Rita's.  Going to Rita's is like entering a mission time-warp portal to New Jersey for Mitch.  And whenever you're with him at Rita's, it's like for a moment part of you is in New Jersey by his side, and you're happy because he's happy.  But you're also happy because you just got your own gelati with jimmies under the "Pick Up Your Happiness" sign. 

Miles getting his first Rita's (at the hand of Mitch, of course).

It was a beautiful thing.

 The only thing that's really left to say, is that
"The World Needs More Rita's"

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Of Maggots, Earthquakes, & LOVE

You have to realize that these are PRECIOUS pictures that you're viewing here.  My brother, Taylor, has been on his mission in Guatemala for almost half of a year, and within that time frame he's only sent home a handful of pictures.  We wish we could see more, but these are beautiful glimpses into what life is like down there on his mission. 
This picture is my favorite--I love how TALL Taylor is compared to his friend.  These are probably the only 2 years of his life where he'll be the tall one almost everywhere he goes.  : )  We think that this is the picture that reminds him of Nacho Libre--"Hey, I like your cow." 
In his letters home, he's been pretty up & up. However, he DID write my brother Heber a personal letter in which he divulged some of the wonders of his living conditions. For most of his mission he has NOT had running water, or a bathroom in his living quarters. He has to drink bottled water to avoid getting parasites. It's like he's on a 2 year camping trip--no joke.  Are you ready for this? When he gets to take a shower/bath,  the water they use is dirty and sometimes has MAGGOTS in it, and they have to be careful when they're washing to make sure the maggots and gross things in the water don't remain in their hair.
Talk about making sacrifices to share the good news of the gospel.  : )

I love this picture, too.  We're not sure if this is a miniature garden where they're growing corn, or if it's a back yard, but I love seeing Taylor with the people.
This week, the day that Conservatives were proven to be the minority in America, I also happened to be sick, and just when we all were down and out and thought the day couldn't get worse, my dad got a text from Bishop Keller saying he heard there was an earthquake in Guatemala.  Mitch called me, I called my mom, we texted Erin, and did a Google search.  My boys were CONVINCED that the earthquake was caused by the VOLCANOES Taylor wrote home about.  Fortunately there were no volcanic explosions causing this earthquake, but we didn't know if we would hear from him, or how he was doing, so we kept up with the news reports.  Finally, the next morning, my mom couldn't take it anymore and she called church headquarters, where she learned that all the missionaries were accounted for.  About an hour later, she got a phone call from an AP letting her know that the missionaries were okay, and then much to our surprise we got an email from Taylor, too.  These are the highlights:

"When the shock wave hit us, me and my companion were walking in the street on our way to a lesson appointment. Also, side note, when a large semi truck passes by you in the street, you can feel the ground shake because the people don't really compact the ground very good before they put down pavers, but at any rate, when the earthquake happened, a large semi truck was passing by me and as usual I felt the ground shaking, but as it continued to shake even after the semi truck passed, I looked up to see the buildings and telephone poles around us shaking hard. I knew I would be protected because Monday I had the impression come to me of what to do if I was in an Earthquake and where safe places would be that I should go. I now realize that was revelation that I received just a day before the earthquake, and I realize the Lord was preparing me to be safe....It felt like a 5 on the richter scale when it hit us, and it reminded me of the feeling of being on a bridge over the ocean, and when a strong wind comes and shakes it, you can feel the bridge moving beneath your feet, that's the feeling of the earthquake. Hahah after it happened, everyone in the street was silent, but me and my companion high fived each other saying, my first earthquake, my first earthquake hahaha it was really funny."

I love this picture, because he looks so happy.  It reminds me that we take for granted all the blessings we have in America.  Even my kids are amazed with the kinds of houses these people live in.  We are so lucky to have sheets on our beds and drywall on our walls, and air conditioning and heating capabilities--not to mention running/fresh water.
One of my favorite stories from Taylor came two months ago when he got to perform his first baptism, and it was clear to me that he is serving the people in that country out of LOVE for the Lord, and LOVE for them.  The meeting for the baptism seemed to start out with a bit of chaos & people wanting to look at the Elders' cameras and last minute changes getting made to the program, but this was my favorite part of what Taylor said:
"The Family Escobar was my first baptism in my life, and was cool to say the least...because I got to bear my testimony before, that this was the beginning of their discipleship and the road isn't always easy, but its worth it. At times it isn't fair, (like 20 minutes ago when I thought this thing was going to go smooth haha)(I didn't say that, I thought that) but if we are patient and keep our covenants, it will all work out, the atonement will cover it for us. I then baptized Rolando Escobar, the husband. It was so fun to baptise someone. It was spirit filled as I held my arm to the square and used my priesthood, a literal power, to bind someones outward expression of an inner commitment, to the eternities. I left the font happy and as we changed into our clothes, i said to Brother Escobar in Spanish, "Rolando, you are my first baptism in my life. I will remember you forever. When we get to heaven, we will rejoice as we look back at that moment in our lives back on earth, where you first began your journey to Christ." What a blessing. The worth of souls is great in the sight of God."

I'm so happy for my brother, Elder Tenney, and that he is taking advantage of this ONCE IN A LIFETIME opportunity to share his LOVE of the Lord with the people in Guatemala--a land so far and foreign from home, but a land that will now FOREVER be ingrained into his heart.  These days are becoming a part of who he is as an individual and as a willing servant of the Lord.  I am so happy for him and am grateful for his example--weathering earthquakes washing in filthy water, and changing lives forever.
If you're reading this, I love you, Taylor!!!!!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

This is the life

I love my boys!  These are the days when they fall asleep wearing hero capes and guitars.

(Emmett - left & Tyson-right)
And sometimes they watch movies under forts--or like today, they invent a new way to relax on top of benches & stools with pillows & blankets!  I love Saturdays!  I love my crazy, silly, messy boys!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Post Election Ramblings & Good Times at the Lake

Well...the election has come and gone.  President Obama has been re-elected, but this time America has never had a clearer choice.  The two candidates were complete opposites on almost every single major issue--especially moral issues--and for the first time in history, the nation is not just divided, the majority has swung to the Liberal side.  The America that believes in "The Modern Family" and that the degredation of society is no big deal--THAT America is now the majority, and I am grieving for what America has become.  I KNOW what the prophecies are about the end of the world.  I KNOW it has to get worse before it gets better, but my heart is STILL broken.  When the Savior of the world died, there were prophecies that He would rise again, but that didn't stop the people who loved Him from crying over the way the mobs openly turned against Him--they mocked him, and crucified Him, and IT WASN'T OKAY.

When it comes to America, the history of my ancestors rings in my ears.  Thomas and Ann Tenney gave up all that they had to move here and give this new land of opportunity a chance, where they could have religious freedom, and provide a future for their family.  The vision of America that they had DID happen, and it was BEAUTIFUL.  The American Dream was alive and right, and it blessed their family for generations to come.   As the days, weeks, months, and years of my life pass, I am watching America turn into something very different than the faith and principles it was founded upon.  And I am sad, because the things that are happening are not okay. 

Before the election, President Obama made it very clear that he does not stand with Israel.  It was interesting that he acted the way he did BEFORE the election, and I thought that it would hurt his campaign.  Maybe the majority of the American people didn't care enough to be informed about his foreign relations, or maybe they knew and agreed with him.  But one thing is for sure--America sided with President Obama this week, and essentially screamed to the world that they agree with him and his stance--even though the countries around Israel have threatened another Holocaust on the Jews, America has made it clear that Israel is going to stand alone.

I am heartbroken.  It doesn't matter to me that it is prophesied that Israel will stand alone in the Last Days--that doesn't make me happy to know that we're seeing the prophecies unfold, because it is embarrassing and shameful that MY America is turning away.  It is OUR America that is supposed to be a light unto the world.  I had hoped that there would be enough people to stand up for true and correct moral principles, but there weren't enough of us.  Our country has chosen a different course, and now that's the direction we're headed, so as our morals as a society continue to decay, we will ALL pay the consequences.

I know that come what may, the Lord will help all who turn to Him.  And I know that He is the only one who can really fix it in the end.  Amazingly the sun has continued to rise each day after the election.  : )  There is still hope and responsibilities upon our shoulders to do what's right and to do all that we can to make a difference in our communities and work together to keep our freedoms and all that the American Dream stands for.

At any rate--agree or disagree with me, this is the way I see it, and I have been sad this week about the path that America is taking.

After the election, I told Tyson that Mitt Romney didn't make it, and he said, "So the blues are in for 4 more years?  Dang it!"   : )  "The blues" part makes me smile.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't think that President Obama is ALL bad--he actually has a beautiful family, and he has done some valuable things for our country.  I just don't like that our country so openly supports him and the issues he stands for on subjects like abortion, gay marriage, foreign policies, and socialized health care, and I don't like his stance on how to "fix" the economy through his tax plan, and I don't like how he's quadrupled the national debt in the last 4 years. I'm still upset about the way the Libya attacks were handled and so the list goes on. 

We were talking to Tyson about moral issues and choices of the day, and he said, "The world needs more gospel."  He is so right!  I am so happy that the church has lowered the age for the missionaries.  I heard a statistic a couple weeks ago.  Usually the number of applicants for Sister Missionaries is in the hundreds, and within the month the prophet announced that Sisters can go at age 19, the applications rose to FOUR THOUSAND!  So, the works are in progress to continue to preach the gospel.  I pray it will make a great difference throughout the world!  I know it will.

Here are some happier thoughts--we went to the lake in September with our ward family, and we all loved it! 

 Emmett was a little apprehensive on the tube.  He also had a fun time, but any time I pulled the camera out, he REFUSED to look at the camera, let alone say cheese.  He's got a mind of his own--that's why we love him. : )

 Tyson & Mitch
 Tyson screaming
 Tyson giving the "a-o-kay" sign
 Bugaboo's first boat ride.  Haha!
 Cute picture of the Borden boys minus Emmett because he didn't want to take the picture.  Miles fell alseep.
 I rode the tube with Tyson & totally had a fun time, but Mitch didn't take any pictures...that's okay.  Tyson and I had a blast, screaming and singing at the top of our lungs while we rode, "And I set the world on FIRE, we go HIGHER THAN THE SUUUUUUUN, "and "I put my hands up in the air sometimes!"  Family favorites--totally worth screaming at the top of your lungs when you're riding a tube.  He also yelled, "BEST DAY EVER!!!!!!!!!"  and "This is the best day I ever had!"  On the beach, he found some sea shells for me, because he heard that I would look for seashells at the Canyon lake beach when I was a little girl.  We framed a lake picture with his seashells glued around the frame.  It was a GREAT day!
Oh, and by the way, Miles likes to eat his toes.  : )
Life is SO GOOD, and yes, we will LIVE through the next four years.  Haha!
God Bless America.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Patriots in the Making

On this, the most pivitol election day of my life, I am grateful for my children and the way that they love America.

Whenever we see an American flag flying (and my children can spot them from a mile away), Emmett will call out with URGENCY:  "AN AMERICAN FLAG!!!!  PUT YOUR HAND ON YOUR HEART!!!!"  Mitch and I smile that it's so cute, but inside I give a grateful cheer that my children know that it shows you love the land of the free and the home of the brave by paying tribute to the flag & all that it stands for.  (Tyson used to call out in the car like Emmett does now when he was little, too.  Finding the American Flag while we drive has always had equal ground with my kids as spotting semi-trucks, and cows, and awesome cars.  They have ALWAYS been so excited to see the American flag since the moment they understood what it was.)

Tyson knows that today is Voting Day.  Yesterday he was concerned about being able to spell Romney.  He said, "I know how to spell Mitt.  It's like Emmett, but you take off the E, but I have a hard time with Romney, so can you write it down for me?"

This morning he was blessing his breakfast and added all of his own accord, "And please bless Romney to win on Voting Day, today."   I was then amazed at our deep conversation that came next.  He was asking questions about taxes and I was shocked that he could make sense of bigger gov't vs. lesser gov't even though he is 5.  He's an old soul in this little body!  He surprised me after we talked about taxes by saying, "Romney wants more jobs and more money and less taxes, and Obama wants the opposite."

As he was getting ready, I told him that it was a good thing to pray for Romney, but that I want him to remember that no matter what happens--whether there are good things or bad things that America chooses, that if we pray to God, He will help us get through all things--good and bad.  It's SO important for us to do our part, but we also have to wait and see what the voice of the people all across America chooses.

That didn't sit very well with him and he said, "But we NEED a better president than Obama!  Romney knows things that will help our country and Obama won't let us do it!"

I can't remember word for word the rest of what he said, but what he said next was "I CARE!"

I love it!  I love that my children CARE about America, and that in their own little way can understand the importance of days like today.  It is so important that we do our part, to let our voices be heard, and to stand up for what we believe in.  I told Tyson that I'm proud of him for caring about what happens to our country and that he will make a great leader someday.

GO ROMNEY! (My stomach has been in knots all morning--I can't wait for the day to be over so I can know which path our country is going to head on for the next 4 years).