Wednesday, May 28, 2008

For the last month I've been wanting to blog about Brian. He has good news in his life. He was accepted to BYU for this fall. Not only that, but with his 3.9998 GPA they offered him a scholarship - pretty sweet! Brian is quiet and doesn't like announcing things like this about himself, so I'll do it for him. He has been the perfect roomie (squatter) and we will miss him when he leaves this summer. (This is where you hear Ron in the background saying, "No, we won't...")
But wait, theres more...

Brian is engaged to BIOLOGY GIRL!!!!!

Since the first day of school last August, we've all heard about this awesome girl in his biology class. For a while he didn't know her name, so we all referred to her as Biology Girl. He really wanted to bust out the return missionary confidence and ask her out cold turkey - but he had made a goal to not even date non-LDS girls. Man, was there excitement in the air a few weeks later when he saw a CTR ring on Biology Girl's hand.

In the end Brian didn't need the single's ward, he didn't need institute, all it took was 4 science credits with a lab. Brian Blakley is engaged to Ann Van Beveren. They will be married August 23rd in the Las Vegas Temple. Congratulations you two!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Little People Weekend

Matt & Ashley went to Phoenix for the weekend to attend the wedding of a friend and relax. That means Ron & I got to play with two of the little people in our life.

Thursday night:
Peter Piper Pizza. It was Ron, Scott and myself against Drew and Charlie. We needed the 3 on 2 because as you can see from the picture, Drew was just a blur of excitement in that place! Skee ball was a little scary, he couldn't grasp the concept of rolling the ball up the ramp and they were flying all over the place. The mario carts video game was great fun as long as I stuck my foot in and controled the accelerator. His favorite at the end of the night was a Star Wars game. Again, he needed a little help with me controling one of the joysticks, but he thought it was cool to fly through space shooting things. Charlie was very content in the rolling high chair just watching everybody. When we picked up the pizza, I poured Drew an orange soda thinking that was the least of the evils since Ashley doesn't give them sugar drinks. Drew took one taste and said, "This is gross. Can I have some water?" Grandma must remember to bring water bottles on all future outings.
Thursday night was rough sleeping for Charlie, so I knew she'd take a good morning nap. Friday morning Drew and I headed to Target where he picked out a remote control bull dozer (D9 grandpa says) and we found a riding airplane type of noisy thing for Charlie. The new toys kept them busy all the rest of the day. I guess I better explain that Scott was home with sleeping Charlie - I didn't forget how to take care of kids and randomly leave the house w/out her.
Saturday we decided to go to Las Vegas Mini Grand Prix. This by far was the funnest thing we've ever done with Drew. This little guy was so excited.Our own speed racer.

I took him on this twirly ride twice. The whole time he would be screaming "I'm flying!" Charlie was again very content hanging out in the stroller.
Matt & Ashley drove into town just as we were finishing up at the Mini Grand Prix and they joined us for dinner at Outback.
I don't know how all these mothers of young kids take such great pictures of all their family activities. It was all I could do to keep up with Drew, keep an eye on Charlie, grab Drew and get him back in line, give Charlie a drink/check diaper, explain the rules of the ride to Drew -- how do you take pictures too?

For now, our limit is definately one toddler and one very content stroller rider.

Next weekend, little person #3 will be here!

Monday, May 19, 2008

6 more lessons to prepare...

i can do it...

i must stop blog stalking and read Habakkuk

just 6 more lessons...

The Scotty Farewell Tour continues

Week two of the Scotty farewell tour found us in Salt Lake City, Utah. We had a busy few days. The Salt Lake City temple, Joseph Smith Memorial Building, toured Temple Square, found the This is THE Place monument. There are many more and better pictures on Scott's camera, but he has now moved on in his farewell tour to...
Tucson, Arizona.

Scott is hanging out with Brad, Kara, and Hallie and enjoying the sites and sounds of Tucson. This cute little girl will be running around, talking, singing, and have long hair when he gets back!

Week four will have us starting the power shopping for clothes and necessities...probably mixed in with a few visits to his favorite local places one last time.

The 'group' tradition of going to Geisha Steakhouse the weekend before he leaves...well, I might start crying, so I'll end this now.

I just found out you're supposed to cook ROAST on Sunday...

I cook Sunday dinner every week. It's an open invitation for the fam. The girls both have in-laws in town so sometimes they're here, sometimes not. Matt and Ashley almost always come. So Jenn mentioned during the week they'd be here for dinner on Sunday. I didn't have the menu planned yet so I said, "Do you have any requests?" She said, "Yes. Roast." No problem, I can do that. Then she says, "Can you cook it in a crock pot?" "No, not happening."
So, for Jordan, who thought he was getting gypt out of Sunday dinner if they came over and I was making tacos, we had roast this week. I even busted out the homemade rolls.
I'm telling Ashley all this while we get things ready for the table and she asks me, "Do you even own a crock pot?" "Yes. How else do you keep marinara or alfredo sauce warm for a ward dinner?" She laughed. But then she told me her mom always fixes roast on Sundays.
Ummm, when I was baptised, they failed to mention that Sunday roast obligation. Man, I'm always getting things messed up.
I've thought about it a little bit. If I only fix roast on Sundays, then Drew, Charlie, Hallie, and Doe Grandchildren IV-XX will think I only know how to cook roast. Sometimes I think steak and baked potatoes is good, or tacos, or meatloaf, or chicken cordon blue. Sometimes I'm just exausted from the week and it's speghetti. The intention is to provide family time and a meal that the girls dodn't have to cook or clean up.
So this week, roast it was. An official Mormon Sunday Meal. (wait, I didn't make jello...maybe not so official) Next week - no promises.
I love our family!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


My New Year's resolution was to take harp lessons. There were some logistics involved, the biggest being I needed a harp. Finally, it's here. And I've started lessons. And I can play different variations of twinkle twinkle little star. Woo-Hoo!

This all started last summer when Jenn got engaged. She came in and said, "I'm getting married. Scott's leaving on a mission. What are you going to do?" This dawned on each of the kids as one-by-one they started asking me the very same question.

What am I going to do? Don't worry, I've got a whole list.

I've wanted to play the harp since I was first married. Wasn't even a remote possibility then. And I didn't know anyone in Vegas that played so I just thought about it. We spent a year and a half in Phoenix, and I knew there was a lot of harps there, so I thought maybe then I could look into it. But I was still really busy getting kids to and from seminary, school, practices, dances, parties, movies, friends' houses...

Seems now I have some time free'd up, time to dust off The List.

After some internet searching I found a teacher and bonus, she's close by. Researched all the various types of harps. Figured out what kind of harp music I really wanted to play, which determined which type of harp to get. Found out that you really can't even buy one here in town. The used market isn't very large nation-wide either, so buying one for half of the cost of a new one wasn't an option. Plus you need to 'play' it to make sure you like the tone, etc. Who knew every harp sounded different? Anyway, everything has fallen into place and I was able to get a harp and start lessons.

We'll just see how it all goes from here. But I'm pretty excited. I'll have to take a picture of my harp in my house and get it on here because it's prettier than the stock picture above. But for now, that's the latest and greatest.

Next up - witnessing the Aurora Borealis in person.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I had a great time at Women's Conference this year. My bible buddy, Raelynn, wasn't able to make it at the last minute so Jenn stepped in and went with me. I have over 15 pages of notes, but I'll try and condense it down to some highlights.

Sherri Dew

  • Status quo is uninspiring - it's easier to inspire somebody to do something hard.
  • Embedded within our spirit is the desire to become more like our Father.
  • Awake and arise (make our lives a ministry) and come unto Christ (walk away from the world)
  • Take a little more time to be a little more holy
  • We are followers of Jesus Christ and we have loved him for a long, long time.
Loving the Praise of God Rather Than the Praise of Man
Renee Butler, Marie Hafen

  • D&C 25:10, how do we let the world go?
  • What brings me the greatest joy, what are our highest priorities, how do I use my discretionary time, is there anything I should not be doing? Referenced Elder Scott's talk Ensign 5/01
  • Allow time each day for helping others
  • Leave time each day for prayer, scripture study
  • We have God's love, it's our love for Him that remains to be developed
  • Careful what you place in your daily pack, material possessions add weight to your pack but may not be for your good.
  • Don't just give grandchildren things - but experiences that will bring them close to Christ.

President and Sister Bateman
Patterning our homes after the temple
  • Begin and end with prayer
  • use the hymns
  • use quiet voices
  • teach by example and training
  • make it a house of learning
  • make it a household of following ordinances
Julie B. Beck
The influence we have (in the world as examples, with our families) comes from our faith

  • Moses 1:39 - our job description

scriptures testifying of our day:

  • Matthew 24:6 wars, rumors of wars; v. 14 gospel preached for a witness to all nations
  • Timothey 3 perilous times, love of self, despisers of that which is good
  • Alma 30:16 remission of sins not necessary, false traditions of the fathers
  • Alma 30:18 hearts of many lead astray
  • if satan can lead the hearts of women away from home and their responsibilities there, he will lead away the rest of civilization.
  • 2 Nephi 28:3 eat, drink and be merry, v. 20 rage in the hearts of men (when something good, true is spoken, people get mad about what was said.)
Ways to defend false messages:

  • Alma 48:7, prepare minds of the people to be faithful
  • Alma 48:8 errect places of resort (home, ward/stakes) Have you protected your home or lowered defenses and let the enemy in (mainly through media)?
  • Alma 48:9 put most effort where you're weakest.

What do you do in your home to serve?

The pioneers did not come across the plains for us to have better malls, pedicures -- to be destracted.
In all we do point to the temple.

Making the MTC a review & not a revelation
Jeffery Clayton (former mish pres, Missouri Independence Mish)

  • missions are hard (and wonderful at the same time)
  • spiritual preparation is essential "Those missionaries that come from homes that have FHE, scripture study, and family prayer are far better than those who don't"
  • Faith is the heart of missionary work
  • Having a testimony of the Book of Mormon is essential
  • Obedience is the foundation of missionary work. Be spiritually worthy, ready to work, obedient - the only 3 things you need to be a missionary - the Lord will make up the difference
  • No obedience - no Spirit
  • Obedience is best learned in the home.
Mary Ellen Edmunds (happifier)

The reality: more people are born in a day on the earth than joing the church in a year. Teach children the value of work.

  • Willing heart + cheerful = multifunction service pill
  • Promote family discussions
  • Encourage children to learn another language
  • Exercise together
  • Encourage journal writing & note taking during meetings.
  • Mail is like manna when you're away from home
  • Do your children know how you feel about the Savior, temple, Joseph Smith? Don't assume that they know. Tell them.
  • Include Preach My Gospel in FHE
  • Help children to seek, recognize & respond to the Spirit.

President Monson

Common threads that run through all women's lives:

  • We all have lives with much to do - don't let important things pass you by, find joy in the journey.
  • Adversity - our mortal life was never meant to be easy and pleasant. Scrapped knees and tears are part of our growth & development
  • Service, love & kindness to others - pause and reflect on all you do. You learn through your own experiences.