Monday, March 30, 2009

A GREAT Weekend

Wanna be jealous???

(the gorgeous view from the cabin)

Tim had another great surprise for me this week. He arranged for his parents to watch the kids overnight on Friday, and we went up to Zerin's cabin for the night. (Zerin is Tim's team manager at work) We dropped of the kids, (without too many tears) went out to dinner at a Greek place near Tim's work, then headed up to the cabin. After parking the van in the designated area, we rode snowmobiles up to the cabin. I was a bit nervous at first, since I had never been on one before and didn't really know what I was doing, and there was a drop off on one side of the road that I was afraid of going over - but it was fun.
(I know you can't tell, but this is me)

Zerin's family has 2 cabin's up there, and Tim wanted to stay at the upper one - which is smaller and doesn't have electricity, but Tim liked the "rustic feeling" a bit more. We stopped at the lower cabin so I could see it, then tried to get up to the smaller one. No such luck. The first trail we took, (which is how Tim got up there when Zerin took a couple of the members of the team snowmobiling during their lunch hour one day) was now impassible due to the snow that had melted, exposing a big ole rock in the middle of the path. After getting a snowmobile stuck, and then killing Tim's back getting it unstuck - we decided to try going the other way. (the way they got DOWN last Tim they went) My snowmobile was running really rough, and kept losing momentum (until it was at a dead stop) on the hills. We finally gave up, and decided to just stay at the lower cabin.

We were pretty much exhausted by the time we settled into the cabin for the night, being as we kept having to turn the snowmobiles around (using human muscle power instead of the preferred snowmobile engine power...) Suffice it to say, we are not skilled at the whole snowmobile thing, but we still had lots of fun.

Once we got a good fire going at the cabin, we played a round of Canasta - and I WON!!! This is a big deal to me, because I seriously can't remember the last time I beat Tim.

(standing by the fire, getting warmed up)

In the morning did some snowshoeing - and I soon discovered that I am WAY more out of shape than I thought. I have used snowshoes once before, and I don't remember it being SO HARD! We didn't go too far, because I was dying!

(trying to snowshoe - ski poles would have helped, but we forgot them)

Snowmobiling back out was even more fun, since I now felt more comfortable on the machine. We got back to pick up the kids, and what do you know - they all survived just fine. (I was really only worried about Caleb, I knew the others would be fine)

On the way back home, we stopped at my parents house to return the snowshoes and pick up Jasmine. We found my mom and dad working hard to install the piping needed for the new secondary water the city is using. We ended up staying there until about 7m to help, and made great progress.

(Caleb is "helping" daddy lay pipe - by throwing dirt into the trench)

(a close up of the little "helper")

(eating dinner at Grandma's after laying pipe)

Now today - Tim's back is still pretty sore, my right arm was sore yesterday from constantly holding (aka - gripping tightly with everything I had...) the snowmobile throttle, the house is a mess, I have stacks of laundry waiting for me, Caleb is a bit extra cling-y from being left overnight... but believe me, IT WAS WORTH IT!

Thanks Tim - I love you!

(and many thanks to Zerin too - not that he would ever be reading this blog, but I'm sending out some "gratitude karma" his direction anyway...)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Last night Tim and I were watching tv/reading when we heard what sounded like a cat fight. (Actually, it sounded more like the sound cats make before they start the fight - but not exactly.) Anyway, Tim got up to let the cat in, and soon called me to come see what the problem was. There up on our hill was a FOX!!! I've never seen one in the wild like that. It was so cool! (no wonder the cat was nervous) The fox sat and looked at us for a few minutes,

then ran down the hill, jumped down the wall into my garden,

and disappeared out of sight between our house and the neighbor's house. I ran to look out the front window, and saw the fox sniffing around in the neighbor's front flower bed, then it ran back up the hill between the houses and I didn't see it again. I got to see the big cool fluffy tail...

(just in case you're still not sure how I felt about it...)

Oh yeah, it made the funniest little mixed up barking-yipping-howling kind of sound. I don't suppose I've ever really thought about what kind of sound a fox makes - but it wasn't what I expected. (obviously, these are not pictures we took - since it was 10:00 at night and too dark to get good pics. (not that we weren't going to try, but it moved before we got the camera ready)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Great Sabbath and Temple Dedication

*** Disclaimer - this is a personal, "religious," and could be construed by some as a "preachy" post. If you prefer to steer away from such posts - start steering now. (and it's really long - but I had a great day today, and I don't want to leave any of it out - so there you have it...)

Today was a great Sabbath. Sacrament meeting was so fantastic. There was a new couple in the ward that spoke, and they did a fantastic job. Sister B talked about how she "floated along" in the LDS community she grew up in, surrounded by LDS friends and family, but never really pushing herself to gain her own testimony. She plays violin with the Mormon tabernacle Orchestra and shared a few stories of experiences she had had playing with them. You can't get the jist by reading this - just know that it was a spiritual feast for me.

Another nice thing that happened today was that I got a very nice compliment from Sister R in Primary today. (she's a member of the stake primary presidency that was visiting our primary today) It was after the jr primary had gone to class, and I was back talking to her before sr. Primary started. She talked about the little impromptu lesson I taught the children - basically teaching the Easter Story. She said that she felt the spirit so strongly, that she was going to talk to Sister W (our ward primary president) to remind the adult leaders in the back of the room that they need to be quiet and listen. She said, "I wish every adult in the ward could have sat in here today and listened to you teach the children that lesson. And to watch how entranced the children were. It was such a testimony to me that when the spirit is present, the children are totally engaged." She went on to say, "those children, what? 3 years old? were just listening so intently, soaking it up."
I was touched by her compliment. I try pretty hard to teach and follow the spirit, but feel that I fall short more often than I hit the mark, but still, there are days when it all works - and I am grateful for those days.

I write in personal journal using an online site, and one of the features is a "journal jar," that asks questions to start you thinking about things you can journal about. Usually I just ignore the question, but I found it interesting that today's question was
"something really important that happened in the world today is..."
My answer???
the Draper Utah Temple was dedicated. That may not seem super significant to some, now that the church had about 128 operating temples, with more under construction; but the truth is, it is a wonderful blessing to live at a time on the earth when temples literally dot the earth. They have been announcing that the final dedicatory session would be broadcast to the Stake Centers in Utah, which would be operated as "mini-temples" for the evening. We had to shown temple recommends to get in. Any baptized member could be interviewed for a "limited use" recommend and Aaron kept saying he wanted one and wanted to go. I was pretty worried about taking him. Any of you who know Aaron - know that he doesn't really sit still and be quiet very well. He doesn't seem to know how to whisper, and he gets bored during regular church and primary, when he can do more things - how could he possibly sit through the dedication???
I didn't openly discourage him from going, but I didn't paint a rosy "it will be so wonderful and you will love it" picture either. I told him it would be long, and he might think it was boring. But I promised him that if he tried really hard to sit quietly and listen with his heart to his feelings, that he would feel the spirit of the temple during the meeting. He still wanted to go, so today he got his limited use recommend . (truth be told, he was mostly excited about getting the recommend - he thought that was "AWESOME." - that HE could have his own temple recommend!)
Anyway - We were told to be in our seats 30 minutes before the start of the session, and that the doors of the church would be locked, in order to prevent late comers from disrupting the spiritual nature of the meeting. Ya - add another 30 minutes for a wiggly little man to sit still and be quiet... I took a couple bible crossword puzzles for him to work on during the "prelude time." Ones where he found the answer to the clue by reading a verse in the bible. He worked on those quietly until the meeting started. (with a little help from me.) About an hour into the time, he was getting bored, but he was a trooper! (he just had to lie his head on my lap and rest for a while while he hopefully listened)
After President Monson read the dedicatory prayer we did the Hosanna shout -waving our white handkerchiefs. Aaron thought that part was great. Then he sat down and proceeded to fold his handkerchief into an airplane. I didn't bother telling him to stop, I figure Heavenly Father knows all about little boys; after all, He made them the way they are, and he LOVES them just the way they are! I figured He was PROUD of Aaron for so many reasons today. (as was I) Proud of him for loving the temple and being so totally excited to have his own recommend. For wanting to go be a part of the dedication. For sitting there for 2 full hours - not disrupting the peace of the meeting.

Tonight when I went to tuck him in, I asked Aaron about his day; what was good, bad, or whatever. He thought for a minute, then said, "I really liked the temple dedication." I was a little surprised actually, since during the drive home all he had to say about it was that it was long and kind of boring, and the prayer was "three pages long!!!" - apparently his eyes weren't closed during the prayer eh?) but I was very glad to hear it. It made it totally worth going. Every now and then I get little glimpses like this of Aaron that make feel like we are doing okay as parents, and that he has a testimony and that he is moving along in the right direction. I know there is so much more I need to do, and do better, (and more consistently), but we are doing ok. He is a good boy. He has a strong spirit that desires to do good. (most of the time) I have faith that if we step up our efforts to teach and lead in righteousness, he will continue to choose to follow the example we set. There will be roadblocks and pitfalls along the way, but I have faith that he will be okay. He will choose the right.

Living the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way to find lasting happiness. The fullness of the gospel and church of Jesus Christ have been restored to the earth in this, the fullness of times, through the prophet Joseph Smith. We are lead today by a living prophet, Thomas S. Monson. These are perilous times in which we live, but if we follow the prophet, we will be able to withstand the buffetings of Satan and we will have peace, even in times of turmoil. This I know to true, with all my heart.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

First day of Spring...

Yesterday was the first day of Spring, and it was simply BEAUTIFUL. Aaron had a 1/2 day at school, so I picked him up (along with the 2 other boys we carpool with, stopped and picked up a couple pizzas, and we went to the park. For 2 hours they ran and played. It was great. Here are a few pictures from our little impromptu party...

Today we worked SO hard! Tim got a load of compost for the garden, he and the kids hauled it up to the back yard, while I cleaned up the garden spots and mixed it all in. (man, it's times like today that I wish I had a tiller!) We planted our peas, spinach, and lettuce. I am just beat, and I still need to make some bread (it's currently rising) clean up the MESSY kitchen, and fold 2 more loads of laundry. I'm not sure I'm going to make it until bed time. I suppose I also need to hurry and throw the kids in the tub since it is "church day" tomorrow. better get movin'...

Friday, March 20, 2009


In case you've somehow managed to miss it...

My Daffodils are in bloom....

My flowering plum tree has budded out, and I expect will be in bloom very soon....

I have soft little LEAVES popping out my my new tree that I put in last fall...

Butterflies, bees, and flowers showed up for breakfast this morning...

(along with Mickey mouse, who doesn't really represent spring, but sure makes for a fun breakfast... besides we only have about 6 more weeks until we are going to Disneyland!!!)


Here is a picture of my cute little Bryan, taken last week BEFORE the following adventure took place... Isn't he cute?

Sunday night Holly invited us up to her house to decorate cookies. The kids had a great time (she makes the BEST sugar cookies I've ever had. Soft and chewy, even the next day (even after being left out on the the counter--uncovered...)) The kids had lots of fun, ate lots of sugar, made a mess of Holly's kitchen, then we headed for home.

Bryan was on his little trike/bike and was zipping down the hill in what he calls "SUPER SPEED." I was too far behind to see exactly what happened, but he somehow flipped the bike and had a major wipe out! His knees and elbows are totally fine - not a scratch. He took the whole brunt of the fall on his face and right hand. POOR KID! Sent a tooth through his lip. Cement burns on lip, nose, and hand. and looked like he broke his front tooth, but kind of hard to tell exactly to what extent. (I was hoping it wasn't too bad...)

Here's a couple pictures of his fat lip on Tuesday, two days after the crash. (the picture doesn't even come close... The first day he couldn't even close his mouth. constant drooling etc...)

So then Tuesday night, I was checking his tooth that had looked like he cracked it, and it was indeed split ... and kind of gooshy. After making several calls, I got an appt for Thurs at 8:00 am to have the tooth pulled. Turns out that the "gooshy" stuff I saw was the pulp of the tooth oozing out of the broken part of the tooth. Who knew???

Bryan was a real trooper. He didn't cry at all during the process. I was super impressed with the dentist. I think I'll see if our insurance covers that office and we may make the switch. (it was a special pediatric dentist.) Here he is - without the tooth.

What do you know... he's still a pretty cute kid. (And he still loves to ride his bike faster than I wish he would...)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Valentine - and so much more!

I have a friend who totally freaks out if her husband doesn't make a HUGE deal about their anniversary, valentines day, and her birthday. I always think it's kind of silly, and she thinks I'm weird because it just isn't a big deal to me. She nags and badgers continually, and by George, he has learned to get the gifts and make it a major production - to keep the peace. I mean really - what good is it to "train your man" (feminist speak - not me) to give you gifts on "special days," when it isn't coming from their heart, and they couldn't care less about showing you love and appreciation the rest of the days of the year? I have long held the view that I would MUCH rather have a husband that is kind, helpful, and thoughtful all year long.

Now let me tell you about my sweet husband. He got off work a little early today, and he had to stop at Costco for gas so he called and volunteered to pick up anything I needed. How thoughtful is that? I gave him a list, including a rotisserie chicken so I didn't have to come up with dinner. He did the shopping for me, and when he got home - he had also picked up a bunch of some BEE-U-TI-FUL flowers.

It's not my birthday, no special occasion, no "romantic holiday," Just sweet loving man! Am I a lucky girl or what? I'll take surprise flowers, help with the kids and dishes, and voluntary grocery shopping over the "required gift giving" any day of the week!

Thanks Tim - I love you!

(I would take a picture of the flowers and post it, but I'm too tired and I want to go snuggle with my honey and get some sleep! Maybe I'll do it tomorrow...)

Monday, March 9, 2009

I don't know who comes up with this kind of stuff - but it is fun, pretty mindless, and makes for an easy post... and since the other things going on in my mind do NOT make for an easy post, this will have to do for now. - besides - i LIKE what it says about me, and I'd like to believe it is accurate. so there!

When You Are Comfortable:

You are ambitious, and hard-working. Adversity allows you to shine. You resourceful and able to make due.

People see you as honest to the point of bluntness. But they always know that you'll be fair. You have the good intentions.

When You Are At Your Best:

You are open-hearted and harmonious. You are a giving person, and you are always willing to listen to people.

People find you to be incredibly kind, sympathetic, and loyal. You can always be counted on.

When You Are in a Social Setting:

You are a hard worker. You need security and stability in your life, even if that means putting in long hours.

People see you as solid and dependable. You are always able to see the good in situations. Other find this comforting.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Draper Temple Open House

I checked Aaron out of school early today and took the kids up to the Draper temple open house. I wanted them to have the experience of being able to see the inside of the temple, talk a little about what we do there, and feel the peaceful feelings of the spirit. Tim is going up tomorrow night with the young men and women from the ward, and he suggested we just go up as a family with the youth, but I figured it would be a better experience for the kids (and me) if it was less crowded, so I found the time slot today that still had the most tickets available, and I picked that time to go.
It worked out really well, we walked right through, never really having to wait at all for anything. The biggest challenge was keeping track of Bryan. That little bugger is just so quick. And he's short enough that he can slip right between people and he's off - me on the other hand, holding a diaper bag over one shoulder and Caleb on the other side... I need a sign that announces "WIDE LOAD." I tell you, once he slips through a crack, I don't stand a chance. Luckily, the temple is a great place to lose a child - since there are ushers at every corner or junction, and they kept stopping him before he got to far. (kinda detracted from the whole overall experience for me, but since I have a recommend and can go back anytime after its been dedicated, I just kept reminding myself that the purpose of the visit was for the kids...)
Aaron brought up his camera and took some outside pictures for me (complete with the big yellow gardener's truck). We asked one of the gardeners to take our picture, and here we are.

Katrina was pretty cute. She loved the brides room. This was part of the conversation as we drove home:
K - "mom, I want to get sealed in that temple when I am old enough to get married."
me - "that's great."
K - "but there's a problem mom. I don't know how to get there. How will I know how to drive there?"

I reassured her that I knew the way there and would help her get there when she was ready to get married. I thought about that and felt it was a great metaphor for life. Parents know "the way" (to the temple and on to eternal life with God) and it is their responsibility to help their children get there - temporally and more importantly spiritually.

Yes Katrina (and Aaron, Bryan, and Caleb), I will do everything I can to help you find your way to the temple. I will teach you all I can and do my best to be the example you need. I will do my best to prepare you in every way to be worthy to enter the house of the Lord when you are ready.

I love my husband, my children, and the other members of my family. I am so grateful for the holy temples, where families can be sealed for eternity.

(In case you are wondering, Aaron enjoyed the temple, said he felt the spirit, and thought it was really beautiful and peaceful, but his favorite part of the day was when the bus that was transporting us back to our van after the tour - opened his sun roof and the wind grabbed it an slammed it against the bus roof. we all jumped, a few people screamed, and we thought it had been ripped off by the wind, or something had crashed into us or something. The whole bus was silent trying to figure out what happened, and then you heard Aaron in a loud voice, "THAT WAS AWESOME!!!!" What can I say - He's all boy.)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

He's growing up...

Aaron bore his testimony in sacrament meeting for the first time today. He was SO terrified! I was proud of him for having the courage to do it even though he was so scared. He came up with the idea on his own a couple weeks ago, and I was curious to see if he'd follow through with it - and he did! Our ward is pretty straightforward about telling people that testimony meeting is for baptized members of the church to share testimony of Jesus Christ and other principles of the gospel; and that little children (especially those who need prompts) should share their testimonies in primary and at home.

I guess my little man is growing up. I'll be interested to see if he expresses a desire to do it again soon, or if it was scary enough that he'll shy away from it for a while.

GREAT JOB Aaron! We love you and are so proud of you and love to watch as your testimony grows.