Thursday, December 25, 2014

Making Memories

Most of what we remember in life really has to do with what we record in our "memory books". Although life is full of many things that are tough, decisions and such, we mainly remember those old good days because we have those wonderful pictures journals that help us remember all those amazing things we did. Our family doesn't pay a lot to make amazing memories, but I feel so rich when I look back on pictures like this. Such a fun time we have when we do it together.  It really doesn't matter what we are doing, as long as we are doing it together and having fun!

We went to see these amazing sand sculptures and enjoyed the ocean breeze.  We had the city to ourselves as it was still pretty early in the morning.  I loved it and I loved being together as a family.  They are the greatest gift I have ever been given.

I love this picture and will treasure this memory.  It is so funny to capture it as such a serene memory because there was a lot of silliness in those funny children.  Such a beautiful memory as I could see most of them feeling what it might be like to see the baby Jesus.  I hope they always remember this tradition that the reason we do it: 

"And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins."
-2 Nephi 25:26

Now I need to go write in my journal to capture these memories there as well so that I won't forget it as easily.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Winter Break!

We are so excited to have it be winter break!  Clark needed the van for work yesterday, so we had fun at home watching a movie and also pulled out our tent to have fun camping (like we did for Thanksgiving).  The children were so surprised at how warm it was.  Rebecca fell asleep right away, but the boys felt too warm and came in.

Perhaps we will try again tonight, after all it is winter break!

Since Clark didn't need to car today for work, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to take a trip to the Lion Country Safari.  The children had so much fun.

All decked for Christmas!

The funny story about the picture below is that Rebecca found a token at this park months ago and saved it.  We always forgot to bring it with us and today she remembered and used it on this fun ride.  She was sweet and shared her time with her brothers as well.

Riding together even though they where the only ones on the ride.

Carousel ride and a cute "photo bomb".  Rebecca laughed as she said, "I photo bombed your picture".
Since we were the only ones on the rides, we rode them as many times as we wanted and tried different animals.

The sleigh on the carousel.

On the boat ride.  David decided to wait on the shore.

Bird sitings on the boat ride.

I bet you have never seen an orange flamingo!  (or maybe it is just my old camera)
Miniature golf:

Farris wheel:

Potato sack slide.  Andrew was so excited to be tall enough for this.

Benjamin and Rebecca

David and Andrew (Andrew's first time)

Our traditional picture.  All tired out and starved, ready to go home.

Wish you were here.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Bright and Beautiful

This morning I woke and took our puppy out into the backyard, it was so beautiful that I had to capture some pictures of my favorite spots.

Cloud are always amazing me at their constant changing and enormity.  It is almost like watching a beautiful river in the sky.  I also love seeing the light and how it changes with the clouds.

One of my favorite plants to grow is Lime Basil.  Mmm, you get the yummy flavor of limes without having an actual lime tree!  I love growing yummy plants in my little garden.

Almost seven years ago I received a little tree from a church Christmas activity, it was so cute and little and covered in sparkles.  I have kept that tree and carted across the states with me.  This little pine is now three or four feet tall.  I love how soft and green it is.

Although our little fruit trees are still small and we haven't eaten anything from them, I love watching these fruits.  I am not sure if these grapefruits will ever mature, but they are so beautiful.  They remind me so much of new life.

After we cleaned this young palm's trunk off (it was covered in years of old fronds), I was so excited to see it flowering and something that appears to be baby coconuts.  I feel like we helped this tree grow and freeing it.  Now it is bursting with life.

I love seeing these little flowers growing from what seems to be a hard place to grow, yet they are burst with life and reaching for the light.

As I wonder through my yard admiring life, I think of this beautiful song about the beauties of the earth.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Why Am I?

On one of my many trips back and forth from school by bike, I chatted with a crossing guard mentioning how the end of the year becomes overly busy.  She curiously asked me what was keeping us so busy and my reply was mainly school and church, explaining that we do a lot of volunteer work at church.  Her quick reply caught me by surprise, "Ah, well just cut that part out.  You don't need more work, especially volunteer work."  I didn't have time to talk longer as it was time to go, but I have thought about this for a long time now.

Why?  Why do I do so much "volunteer" work beyond the hassles of raising a moderately large family in this crazy world that takes up so much of my time without multiplying it by six.  My response to her she may not have understand, but I said "I can't, because it is a part of me."  It comes down to my devotion to God.  Even though I may feel overwhelmed by all that I do as a mother, wife, citizen, and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; I do it because it is something I have covenanted to do and also my way to show my love of God.  I am willing to give my all to do what I feel is right.

As I serve I find so much joy and I learn so much that I could never learn any other way.  I make friends I never would have had if I hadn't served.  I gain talents I didn't know I had and polish other talents that may never have grown.

If I didn't live how I live in the gospel, I wouldn't be me, and I wouldn't have much purpose in life.

So though my life seems busy with tasks that others may see as unnecessary or burdensome, "on [I] will go though the weather be foul.  On [I] will go though [my] enemies prowl.  On [I] will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl.  Onward up many a frightening creek, though [my arms may get sore and [my] sneakers may leak."  Through heaven's help "I know [I will go] far and face up to [my] problems whatever they are."  (Dr. Suess, "Oh, The Places You'll Go")

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Other Half of Summer

Here are some of the other adventures we have had this summer. Can it be over already? This summer went by way to fast.  We had a few temple trips, and here is one where we went on a whim one Friday evening.

Having an hour of fun while we wait for Daddy.

Temple in Paradise
Our ward had a beach day activity and the water was just right for body boarding.

We have had a lot of rain every afternoon this year, along with some great lightening storms.  We have at least one lightening bolt that seems like it is hitting our neighbors house each day.  On this day the weather was safer and the children spent a little time playing in the rain.  They were still a little nervous of the thunder and so brought the water into a safer spot.

Summer crafting.  We decided to use our old adds and try to weave using Grandma's instructions.  The children love their new baskets.

While Grandma and Grandpa were with us, we took them to Lion Country Safari.  We have never had the chance to enjoy that park with anyone else so it was a lot of fun to share it with them.

Rebecca saw the squirrel monkey and kept saying, "Ah, it is so cute!"  No wonder people like them as pets.

Along with little monkeys, there was the biggest Iguana we had ever seen.

Here we found some other crazy monkeys.

The magic elephant ride (and dragons).

These boys were chasing me the whole time around and around, but they never caught my valiant horse.

Loving his choice of animal.

Riding the Farris Wheel, we were split.

Sometimes we were surrounded in mists of darkness, but we always found our way.
Grandma and Grandpa were nice to provide a memory of feeding the giraffes, which is something I never do with the children.  (except the first time)
David trying not to get his hand tangle with the tongue.

Andrew wanted to feed it, but didn't want to get close.

Benjamin's turn!

Andrew has finally started enjoying the splash pad, probably because it is deathly hot.
Here are the few pictures I took of Gainesville...  I guess I don't get the best photographer award.  I hope you all will share your pictures, I just didn't have the camera out when we went out.

Good morning room buddies.

Saturday movie time/nap time.

Saturday movie time/snack time?
Thanks for making memories with us.  You really made my summer, now I will go cry myself to sleep because you are gone.