Monday, December 3, 2012

Being Watched Over

We have had a few experiences lately that have resulted in a very thankful heart.  We had a fun adventure planned to play at the beach over Thanksgiving break with our relatives.  However there was a red flag indicating that the ocean was treacherous.  We decided to play on the shore instead, but the beach we chose happened to have a pretty small beach.

David and the giant waves
As long as we stayed behind the rocks the water didn't seem to get us.  Some of the waves would spray over the rocks and make little pools the children loved to play in.

Rebecca playing in the sand, unaware of the giant wave.
We had a fun time playing for a little while; then Andrew started getting cold and we decided it was about time to leave.  I took Andrew over to the little pools to rinse his hands and feet when to our surprise a huge swell of a wave came over the rocks and quickly came up the my knees.  In all our confusion to get away from the water, poor little Benjamin was about to be covered by the waves.  We are so thankful that Clark saw his danger and ran to him quickly.

Poor Benjamin after the big wave.  I don't think he will want to play in the ocean for a long time.
That is just one example of feeling watched over.  I know that God watches over us and if we turn to him in all things he will bless us, guide us, and protect us.  I am thankful to know that my life is being watched over and it is not completely up to me.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Now and Forever

Autumn is here and we are loving paradise!  We visited the building site of the new Ft. Lauderdale Temple and we are anxiously watching as it gets closer to being finished.  (still probably a year away, but it is progressing!)

I love thinking of this as "our" temple.  It is beautiful!  The temple truly is the a place that puts life into perspective for me, a symbol of eternity.

If you would like to see our October pictures you can click here, or on the picture.  Enjoy our adorable munchkins. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Come Listen to the Prophet

Each year we prepare to listen to conference we try different ways of helping our children listen. As our children have grown older, it is a lot of fun that they will actually listen just because they are excited to listen to the Prophet!  This year we set everything up like this:

The children liked having their own little tables to sit at and do activities and eat snacks.  They also enjoy listening for keywords (such as "love") and they get to eat a candy. 

Sustaining the church leaders

On a walk before another session of conference
What are the benefits of sitting and watching five two-hour sessions of conference?  We have a chance to listen to the Prophet and other church leaders, who teach us the word of God.  I will occasionally be asked what the prophet taught most recently.  The message I received as I listened is to see our blessings, both large and small; our prayers are answered; follow the promptings we get from the Holy Ghost to do good.  I especially liked his quote, "He [Christ] is always on our side when we do what is right."  Which reminds me of a quote from a previous conference, "You can't be right by doing wrong, and you can't be wrong by doing right."

Now we can take what we have learned and do our best to be what God wants us to be, and do what he wants us to do.

I love Conference, and I love the gospel of Jesus Christ.  (here is a link where you can view conference)  I know these traditions strengthen our family.  We are a happier family because of the gospel.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Strength Through Tradition

We have had the tradition of attending the temple as a family each month for about six years now. That isn't to say that we have made it exactly every month for six years, but we have done pretty well at keeping it as a tradition. The other day I was actually imagining what it might be like to have children old enough that they could baby-sit while Clark and I go to the temple and I surprisingly felt sad.  I have enjoyed making this a family tradition, even if it is tiring and hard.  I am also reminded every time we make this trip that the family really is what the temple is all about.  We are doing our best to build a strong, faithful, loving family; and attending the temple reminds me of my goals to keep our family strong.

Out for a walk while at the temple.

I am certain that these sweet children I am blessed with are better friends with each other because we have kept this a tradition.  We are better able to handle the challenges that come with having a family because of this tradition.

Exploring while at the temple.
I know that the temple blesses our lives with power and strength to remain faithful through all the trials of life.  In the temple we can draw closer to God and have better perspective.  I really do "love to see the temple"!  (Link to Song)

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Our local Toys "R" Us is moving, so they're having a sale. We finally gave in and bought Andrew and Benjamin a new toy--instead of simply letting them play with worn out hand-me-downs. They sure love their new slide, as this picture (of Andrew fresh from a bath, not wanting to slow down to even get dressed) and video attest:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Little Field Trip

This week Benjamin and I have been focusing on transportation. I surprised him today by taking a field trip to Lion Country Safari for the train ride.   Before had I was excited to pick my own flowers from my garden.

My roses, still producing flowers!  I am so proud.  :-)
Sadly our trip ended up having A LOT of waiting.  Apparently the hours changed at the park and it now opens half-hour later than I thought...  Then none of the rides were open for another hour after that....  We made the best of things by seeing the animals around the park, and decided to ride a little coin ride.

Bejamin stuck his head in all the face picture things, I won't post all of those.  There is a section with dinosaurs and today there were dino sounds.  Benji wandered around there and kept saying it was so creepy.

The usual gator pose.
Finally the rides were available and we had each one to ourselves!  We rode the train, the elephant ride, and the carousel.  Benjamin rode his favorite, the giraffe, and Andrew rode an elephant. 

Hooray for things that "GO!"

Monday, September 3, 2012

Returning to Normal

After a long weekend, we're preparing for things to return to normal. Speaking of which, we went for a walk today and compared the water level in our neighborhood lake now to what it was just after Tropical Storm Isaac. It's been less than a week, but things appear back to normal (besides some debris at the high water mark, not shown in the picture). Here's a comparison: left is 28 Aug, right is 03 Sep

Just after TS Isaac (left), Back to Normal a Week Later (right)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tropical Storm Fun

With the children home from school (for two days) due to the tropical storm (TS Isaac) and flooding, we ventured out to our neighborhood for an adventure!

Hint: The bench isn't usually in the lake

Our rainy Abbey Road (eat your heart out, Beatles)

Sharing a downspout

Friday, August 24, 2012

One Week Down!

Well, I am finding that school makes life busy in a different way than summer made our life busy. However, as things are starting to slow down because it is Friday, I finally am able to post our "first day" pictures.   We had a rough early start earlier in the week, but now we don't have to leave before the sun comes up. Yay!

As you can see, the children were a wide range of emotions the first day:

Ready to go to school!  (Rebecca with her super loose tooth that she pulled out at lunch that day)

How did this picture get in?  Oh well, David being... well... David.

I said, "Smile, I want to get a picture of you riding to school".  Nice.

Loose tooth Becca.

Waiting for the bus.  (Now we are at a different bus stop, but you get the idea)  David had no fear, he just jumped right on and went.

Rebecca being so grown and walking to class alone!  Bye, Becca!
At home I have actually been doing my own preschool stuff and involving Andrew as well.  They have fun.  It isn't anything big, but I think it is helping to gear Benjamin's mind to going to school.  We have been learning about "ME" this week.  He is also working on learning the letters of his name.

Benjamin and Andrew at home, occasionally playing together.

For the past couple of days Benjamin has been carrying all this stuff around.  I asked him what he was doing here, and he told me he was making Deviled Eggs.  (his favorite way to eat eggs)
One week down and only forty-one weeks until summer!  (but who's counting, right?)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Getting Bigger!

We visited the Ft. Lauderdale Temple site this morning--with the children in their adorable outfits Maryann made for them!
Step-sitting before the short trip (about an hour away)

Andrew making a break for it! (Our front yard)

At the temple (Andrew trying to get away, again)

Children, sans Andrew


He was singing "I Love to See the Temple"

She was telling me why she was excited for a temple

He was also telling me why he was excited for a temple

He just wanted to play with the camera

Friday, August 3, 2012

You have to see THIS!

All our adventures for July were captured in one place!  You can see them here and enjoy the fun vicariously.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"Sisters, Sisters"

Many people have actors or singers as their heroes while they are growing up, not me.  The person I think I looked up to the most while I was growing up was my sister.  I have always watched what she does and wanted to do just as well as she did.  She played the piano beautifully, so I wanted to play the piano beautifully.  She drew fun pictures, so I wanted to try and draw fun pictures.  She started jogging and running races, and I thought it would be neat to do the same thing.

More importantly, while we shared a room during my early teens I saw her reading her scriptures, and she shared what she was learning with me.  I saw that and decided I wanted to learn from the scriptures for myself.  I saw her faith and example, and I want to be just like that.  She has been a great example to me, and I am so thankful she was the one I looked up to.  Many of the good habits I have are because I saw her doing it and decided I wanted to do it too.

She has a way of making me smile.  She finds humor in everyday, she always makes me laugh.  I am thankful to have a sister.

We have laughed about this song in days long ago, but it always reminds me of my sister.  Thanks, Gaylene, for being my sister and my friend.  You really are amazing!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Temple Perspective

I have an amazing husband. Perhaps I have said that before, but he continues to surprise me and make me smile.  We took our monthly trip to the temple and met up with cousins.  We decided to spend all our time at the temple instead of finding the nearby park to play at.  I was worried how the children would fare at the temple.  Clark had a fun idea to take pictures of the children doing fun things.  The children loved having pictures taken of themselves.  There were a lot more, but these were my favorites:

"My little sister"

A snack!


A handful of cousins.

Big to small.
We love the temple, and even though it is a long drive for the children, I love that we all go together.  We know our family can be together forever because we are working on building it together.  (our beliefs on eternal families)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Cleaning Makes Messes

After breakfast I finally jumped to the task of cleaning the guinea pig cage. I finished cleaning the cage at last and turned around to see this mess. I think I might have just went to collapse on the couch if the couch hadn't been covered with stuff.  At least they are having fun, right?

All the fun you can have with play food and felt.  I had no idea the felt people led such exciting lives until I heard the stories the children had to tell.

At least the guinea pigs have a clean house.  I only wish someone would come clean my house too...