Friday, February 27, 2009

In Darkness We Will Stand Tall



My brother shared this picture with me the other day and it has stuck with me and really made me think. Lately I have had the chance to quietly ponder in the early mornings and I was thinking about this picture and life.

Where can we find peace and strength and happiness? The only place we can truly be happy is when our lives are centered in the gospel of Jesus Christ. As the mists arise and the world grows darker, we will stand tall and strong, filled with the light of the Lord. You notice that the temple isn't kept from that heavy mist, it has to stand tall and bright within it; so likewise should our lives be. Our Father in Heaven cannot shield us from the world and we are not to build a bubble around ourselves and pretend the world does not exist, but we are commanded to stand tall, be strong and keep ourselves from becoming part of that darkness. Christ said "ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid." (Matt 5:14)

"The storms will rage around us, but "[we] shall not be beaten down by the storm at the last day; yea, neither shall [we] be harrowed up by the whirlwinds; but when the storm cometh [we] shall be gathered together in [our] place, that the storm cannot penetrate to [us]; yea, neither shall [we] be driven with fierce winds whithersoever the enemy listeth to carry [us]." (Alma 26:6)

Now as we go forward with our day "trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength". (Isaiah 26:4) I know that it is only through Jesus Christ we will find peace and happiness in this life, and the life to come.

"Come, oh come, to the house of the Lord! Come with shouts of rejoicing! What was lost has at last been restored! Come with shouts of rejoicing! ... Come!" ("Come, Oh Come, to the House of the Lord", song by Steven Kapp Perry)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Birthday Celebrations

We celebrated Rebecca's birthday on Saturday by waking up early and going down to the San Antonio Zoo. Rebecca wanted to go see the lions and roar at the tigers. We had fun together.

David being a monkey
Benjamin sitting in the backpack for the first time.

Rebecca sleeping as a turtle.



We had cupcakes for Rebecca's birthday because she wanted the little rings that came with them. So we actually didn't make her a cake, but she loved it anyway.



Monday, February 23, 2009

Three Years of Laughter

Yesterday was Rebecca's birthday. She is such a fun part of our family! If you don't know what I mean, then watch the video I just recently posted. She has this bursting laugh that is very contagious. Somewhere in the last three years, my little baby turned into a big girl.


Rebecca in the hospital. She went to the NICU for a few hours because of liquid in her lungs. (that is the reason for all the wires)
Rebecca's first birthday.

Rebecca's second birthday, and suddenly she doesn't look like a baby anymore... No wonder everyone always asks me if those two are twins.
Now, my little girl is suddenly so grown, yet she is still a sweet little thing.

I know that this last picture isn't her birthday picture, I will have to put one up later, but I wanted to share the excitement of my little girl being three years old. We are so thankful to have her in our family.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Braids

video

Here is a funny video of Rebecca enjoying having braid for the first time. Her hair is finally starting to get long enough to experiment with. She often makes comments about my hair with different things I do with it, and I think she wants to try it with her hair too. Well, here are her braids!


She loved it, especially how they tickled her shoulders. One of these days I will teach my children that they need to wear clothes...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Better Understanding

As I was chatting with Clark yesterday about my blog post, he told me that I had sounded pretty down. I hadn't even thought that I had sounded down, since I was perfectly happy and content when I wrote it. :-)
I guess the problem with writing is that it can be read in different ways depending on how the reader sees what is written. What I meant to say in the first paragraph of the last post is that at that moment in time (meaning dinnertime), I find it hard to help my children be happy AND cook meals at the same time. Although I am seeing an improvement as David is getting to an age where he can do many things for himself, and he will also help Rebecca; he is a great helper.

So I really wasn't trying to put myself down, rather I was trying to lead into the fact that there is one "Simple Recipe" which seem like something I really can do and that includes doing it with my sweet family.

That is what life is all about, our families: old, young; past, present; big, small.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Simple Recipe

I used to think I was a good cook/baker, but in recent years I have found that I just am not very good at cooking and being a mother... Although, I am sure I will learn and grow to be able to handle both.

Well I have found this "Simple Recipe" that seems to be something I can do. Some days it turns out perfectly, other days a disaster (like yesterday, not the kind I would share pictures of). Here is the recipe:


You can find a link to the "Friend" here. It is the March edition.

By Jane Lamb

I know a simple recipe that anyone can make.
It isn't for apple pie; it isn't for a cake.
You need not stir in sugar. Don't add a pinch of salt.
It isn't for a cookie. It isn't for a malt.
It comes from Heavenly Father, who watches from above.
You start with just your family; add kindness, faith, and love.
Throw in some joy and laughter; and of course a cup of care.
Don't forget to add the sharing and a generous dose of prayer.
Make sure you stir it really well, so everyone can see
You've made a happy, loving home, from this simple recipe.


We had this for Family Home Evening on Monday and really had fun. Clark had us all make crafty picture frames out of Popsicle sticks, and our friends brought the delicious dessert of brownies with ice cream. Even though our little family has rough spots here and there, I am thankful for the blessing of having such a wonderful family.

The main problem yesterday was that mommy (Me...) was having a hard day. I am not sure why, but I just was in a rotten mood. Now here you will see what amazing people I have in my family. Rebecca and David, in spite of mommy being mean and bossy, were telling me that they love me all day. They would come over and give me kisses and hugs. Of course, Benjamin was just as sweet as ever as well. Clark still had big hugs and kisses for me as well, even though I felt so rotten about myself.

At church we have chosen to attend the "Marriage and Family Relations" class, since I feel we can always use the help. Last weeks lesson had a quote that keeps coming to my mind, the whole section starts with:


"No Perfect Families
Knowing that we are in mortality to learn and to develop our faith, we should understand that there must be opposition in all things. During a family council in my own home, my wife said, "When you may think that someone has a perfect family, you just do not know them well enough.""
(Elder Robert D. Hales, "Strengthening Families: Our Sacred Duty")

I especially loved his wife's words, it give me comfort as we strive to make a good and happy little family. There will be bumps along the way, but we will rise and be more united and stronger because of the trials we will overcome. This we can only do through our Savior Jesus Christ's blessings on us.



Thursday, February 12, 2009

Good Stewards

Over the years I have learned more about climate change. I know there is a lot of controversy over whether it is real or not; I am concluded that it is real and that we do have an effect on our environment and the earth.

I have watched and read many things, and many different points of view. Here is the latest that I watched from a BYU forum:


God has blessed us with this beautiful earth. In Doctrine and Covenants 82:3 we find what is expected of us when we are blessed:

"For of him unto whom much is given much is required; and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation."

The last part is intimidating, but we need to realized that He has blessed us with many gifts of knowledge and a beautiful world to live in. If we are not taking care of these blessing and using them with care, there are consequences.

As a parent I am very aware of consequences. If one of my little ones chooses to do something wrong, he will receive a consequence. Our Father in Heaven has given us the Holy Ghost to let us know when we are doing wrong and help us to stay in the right. If we go against that, we cannot be shocked when there are consequences. Some of these consequences have to do with what we are doing with our environment, we can't expect that He will take those consequences away. We are stewards over this beautiful earth and as a result we need to take care of it.


I know this is something I get a little heated over, but that is because I love this beautiful earth and want to see it stay that way, beautiful.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Baptism and Remembering Jesus

We put this video together for use in family home evenings to teach about baptism, showing Christ and the example He set. The video has two songs we love, one about baptism, the other about remembering Jesus.


If you're interested, you can download the full-size version from our family website (click here).

Friday, February 6, 2009

Night Time Traditions

Our little family has a few traditions and routines we do every night. Our children get ready for bed, and then we have our family scripture study. A few years ago, our home teacher told us how he and his family do scripture study, and we adopted it.

First, We read a chapter from the scripture story books. Right now we are reading from the Doctrine and Covenants. This way the children can have fun reading and seeing the pictures.

Then we have each child who was sitting and listening have a chance to pick a picture and we will read the reference that is written with the picture. The children usually love this and I have seen them grow so in their ability to listen and learn.


After our scripture study, we have family prayer and off to bed we go. Clark puts Rebecca to bed first; since if we put David and Rebecca to bed together, they end up playing (they share a room). Benjamin hasn't quite worked out a routine yet, or I think he would be going to bed first.

Now is the part I consider the most touching. David comes into Mommy and Daddy's bedroom and pulls out our journals and scriptures since he has seen us do that his whole life. He waits for us to come into the room and then he likes to sit with us for a little bit. He will ask us to read more scriptures to him. Lately, I have been reading a book my parents sent us for Christmas to him, it is called "Stories from the life of Joseph Smith". Sometimes I forget to read to him and he will go pull it off the dresser and come over and ask me to read more to him. I love this chance to cuddle with my eldest child and have time to talk to each other.

I am thinking about what we can read together after we finish this book. I love reading with my children. I think we could spend hours reading together if other things didn't get in the way. They love reading.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Pictures

Announcing the updated pictures to the family website! You can find it by clicking on the picture above or Here. Let us know what your favorite shots are. Have fun seeing all the fun things our children have been doing.