Saturday, June 28, 2008

Having a BLAST!

We went to the 4th of July celebration at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base last night with our good friends the Williams. We had such a great time!

With 8 young kids between us, it was a lot of work to keep everybody happy...

Luckily, Jon came prepared as always with patriotic hats and enormous bubbles for our enjoyment.

My friend Jenn... (love that girl!!)

Dancing to the music...

Here was our attempt at a nice family picture... but it never seems to work out! Benny was particularly un-camera friendly at the time.

What a wonderful night... to be with family and friends, and to celebrate the goodness of God in raising up such a nation. I feel so blessed to live in this great country! In fact, I turned to Jon during the "fire-flies" as the kids call them, and whispered, "it doesn't get much better than this"... and I meant it.

Happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Random Funnies

I was in need of a little pick-me-up tonight, so I thought I'd reminisce about some funny times we've had as a family, and some of the cute things the kids have come up with:

Her first word was, "Wazz-up?" (Daddy taught her that)

Lately, when we tuck her into bed at night, instead of having us check under her bed for monsters, she asks us to look for King Noah.

When Benny would cry as a baby, she would run to him and say, "Don't be sad, Bubby" Then she'd give him a hug and say, "It's oh-tay sweet boy" It was adorable.

She was saying a prayer once, and said "I'm so thankful for... um... boys" Daddy and I just looked at each other and cringed... we thought it would be years before we'd have to worry about that!

Speaking of boys, we've pretty much trained her that she can't get married till she's 40. In fact, we even purposefully altered the second verse to "Families Can Be Together Forever":

"While I am in my early years, I'll prepare most carefully,
So I can marry in God's temple... when I turn 40!"

She sang it that way in her sunbeam class one day, and her teacher just about died laughing.


One night we were having strawberries and whipping cream for dessert. So Benny asks, "can you pees pass the stwabewwies and diaper cweam? To this day, we still call it diaper cream.

Another evening we were having chicken pot pie for dinner, and he said, "Mommy, can I have some of that chicken cake?"

When the kids tattle on each other, we often say, "You just worry about you." So one day Daddy scolded Celeste for something, and Benny piped up in his cute raspy voice, "You just worry bout you, Daddy... this is dickilous!!" (ridiculous)

Other Funnies:
Charity doesn't talk much yet, but she definitely knows how to get her point across. The first thing she says when I see her every morning is, "Ishy, bleh!" (pointing to her dirty diaper)

Jon taught the kids a funny routine. He says, "Kids, what's our main goal today?" They pound thier little fists on the table and say, "Make mama happy, make mama happy. make mama happy" And then Jon says, "Cause when Momma's happy..." and they all yell, "Everybody's happy!!" (I like that one.)
He also taught them another amusing routine. He says, "Celeste, why are you so pretty?" And she replies, "Cause I have a hot mama!" When he was first teaching Benny he said, "Benny, why are you so handsome?" And Benny replied, "Cause I'm a hot mama!"

In an attempt to encourage the kids to drink V-8, we all pound our fists on the dinner table and take turns downing it as quickly as possible. We all chant, "Go, go, go, go!" (I hope this one doesn't screw them up too bad...)

Here are a few more of my favorite funny pics:

I feel better now. :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Think Back

Thanks for the tag, Dana! I think it's healthy to pause sometimes to consider where we've been and where we're going. So here goes:

20 years ago:
I was 7 years old. My parents, my two brothers and I lived in my grandma's basement in Bothell, Washington. My parents were both school teachers and our whole family was very involved in the performing arts. I was blessed to have a happy childhood.

10 years ago:
It was kind of a dark time in my life. We had just moved to Orem, Utah at the end of my junior year of high school, and I felt really lost and alone. Like most teenagers, I wondered where my life was headed. Deep down I really wanted what I have now, I just didn't know when or how that was going to happen. However, it wasn't all bad... I do have some great memories of fun times with friends there. But I think the reason I have no issues about getting older is because I remember that my "glory days" of youth weren't all that glorious.

5 years ago:
I was 8 months pregnant with Celeste in Killeen, Texas (yes, that was brutal summer!!) I was so excited about becoming a mother, but I was pretty naive about what I was in for. I had NO IDEA how much it would change my life! I was heavily involved in church there serving as the gospel doctrine teacher and the choir director in that ward. I loved our simple and happy life.

3 years ago:
We had three months off before Jon started work in Ohio, so we bought a motor-home and traveled all over the country, visiting major church and historical sites. It was probably the most amazing experience of my life (other than childbirth). It was also around that time that I really started getting serious about finding a vision for my life. I started making some very specific goals (teach myself piano- 10 hymns, complete 2 scrapbooks, run half-marathon, etc). I developed a personal mission statement, and then worked with my family to develop a family mission statement to get a clear idea about who we are and what we want to do and become in this life. It was probably the best thing we've done as a family.

1 year ago:
We were experiencing a great trial with Jon's work situation. We were all set to move to Virginia, when some unforseen events happened that kept us here. One thing after the next kept happening to get in the way of our move. It was all so frustrating at the time, but it turned out to be such a blessing because the following month I was called as the Young Women's President, a calling that has been a wonderful growing experience for sure.

So far this year:
The sweetest event of course was welcoming our fourth little bundle, Jakey, into our family. He has been such a blessing to us already. We bought a hybrid car so Jon can commute to Indiana every day to pursue his 2nd Masters degree in the fall, and we've built some wonderful memories as a family.

My dayplanner/wallet was stolen. :(

I went to the YMCA with the kids in the morning, went to look for my wallet in the lost and found (to no avail), cleaned the house (but it's a mess again), stayed true to my commitment of eating only healthy foods, went for a family bike ride to the park as part of our family home evening, and took care of 4 kids, and a hubby.

I'm not sure... I don't know what I'm going to do without my planner!

In the next year:
Well, I'm hoping to read at least 12 classic books (one per month), send our sweet Celeste to kindergarten :(, become a certified aerobics instructor (if I don't get pregnant again), start writing a book, and most importantly be a wife and a mother.

I tag Michele, Sarah, Jill and Jennifer

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Green Thumb Wanna-be

I started our very first garden this week!!! I thought you wouldn't belive me mom, so I took a picture to prove it. ;) I knew absolutely nothing (zero, zilch, nada,) about gardening, so I had to solicit a little help. I'm the young womens president in our ward at church, so I recruited one of the girls (Tasha) who is very skilled at gardening, and thankfully, she was willing to come teach me the basics. We planted zucchinis, tomatoes, cantaloupe, honey-dew melon, parsley, green peppers, cucumbers, and lavender.
I also bought a rose bush for the front yard because my Grandma Moore always had big beautiful roses in her yard, and I remember how much I loved them. My hubby and I often quote from a Ziggy cartoon that said "You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses." So I think it will be a nice reminder for our family every day as we leave the house. Anyway, it was a huge ordeal because there with TONS and TONS of little rocks to be hauled away, but we did it, and I'm so excited! I NEVER thought I'd be passionate about gardening... I guess I just thought it wasn't my thing, but I really love it! There's something so satisfying about working in a garden. And there are so many spiritual lessons I thought about while gardening. I found myself pondering deeply about some powerful parables about faith. Here's one from the Book of Mormon:

21And now as I said concerning faith—afaith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye bhope for things which are not seen, which are true.

22And now, behold, I say unto you, and I would that ye should remember, that God is amerciful unto all who believe on his name; therefore he desireth, in the first place, that ye should believe, yea, even on his word.

23And now, he imparteth his word by angels unto men, yea, anot only men but women also. Now this is not all; little bchildren do have words given unto them many times, which cconfound the wise and the learned.

24And now, my beloved brethren, as ye have desired to know of me what ye shall do because ye are afflicted and cast out—now I do not desire that ye should suppose that I mean to judge you only according to that which is true—

25For I do not mean that ye all of you have been compelled to humble yourselves; for I verily believe that there are some among you who awould humble themselves, let them be in whatsoever circumstances they might.

26Now, as I said concerning faith—that it was not a perfect knowledge—even so it is with my words. Ye cannot know of their surety at first, unto perfection, any more than faith is a perfect knowledge.

27But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than adesire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.

28Now, we will compare the word unto a aseed. Now, if ye give place, that a bseed may be planted in your cheart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your dunbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to eenlighten my funderstanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.

29Now behold, would not this increase your faith? I say unto you, Yea; nevertheless it hath not grown up to a perfect knowledge.

30But behold, as the seed swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, then you must needs say that the seed is good; for behold it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow. And now, behold, will not this strengthen your faith? Yea, it will strengthen your faith: for ye will say I know that this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow.

31And now, behold, are ye sure that this is a good seed? I say unto you, Yea; for every seed bringeth forth unto its own alikeness.

32Therefore, if a seed groweth it is good, but if it groweth not, behold it is not good, therefore it is cast away.

33And now, behold, because ye have tried the experiment, and planted the seed, and it swelleth and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, ye must needs know that the seed is good.

34And now, behold, is your aknowledge bperfect? Yea, your knowledge is perfect in that thing, and your cfaith is dormant; and this because you know, for ye know that the word hath swelled your souls, and ye also know that it hath sprouted up, that your understanding doth begin to be enlightened, and your dmind doth begin to expand.

35O then, is not this real? I say unto you, Yea, because it is alight; and whatsoever is light, is bgood, because it is discernible, therefore ye must know that it is good; and now behold, after ye have tasted this light is your knowledge perfect?

36Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither must ye lay aside your faith, for ye have only exercised your faith to plant the seed that ye might try the experiment to know if the seed was good.

37And behold, as the tree beginneth to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us. And now behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit.

38But if ye aneglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out.

39Now, this is not because the seed was not good, neither is it because the fruit thereof would not be desirable; but it is because your aground is bbarren, and ye will not nourish the tree, therefore ye cannot have the fruit thereof.

40And thus, if ye will not nourish the word, looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof, ye can never pluck of the fruit of the atree of life.

41But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with apatience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree bspringing up unto everlasting life.

42And because of your adiligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the bfruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.

43Then, my brethren, ye shall areap the brewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth cfruit unto you.

I'm so excited about my new hobby... now I just have to find a way to keep the kids out of it!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Historic Day

Jon surprised me a few months ago with a sticker he put on the Burbage. It was just another one of the sweet little things he does to express his love. But lately, I've had a couple people make an interesting comment about it. They basically said I should rethink putting the sticker on our car in case people pass me when I'm driving and think I'm the one who loves my wife. What in the world? Who would have thought?

But today... that became a possibility. The California Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriages went into effect today at 5:01 pm. And unlike in Massachusetts which was the first state to legalize gay marriage in 2004, California has no residency restrictions. So the county courts are expecting floods of same-sex couples coming in from all over the country to legalize their unions. I found it interesting that the wording on the licenses has been changed from 'bride' and 'groom' to 'Party A' and 'Party B'. It is truly a sad day for supporters and defenders of traditional marriage.

Don't get me wrong. I grew up in the Seattle area, a very gay-friendly city, and was active in professional theater. I have many dear friends and acqaintances who are gay. I have nothing but love and compassion in my heart for them. But I wholeheartedly stand by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in their declaration that marriage is between a man and a woman and that they recognize no other pattern for marriage. It's so clear that traditional marriage is what God intended for his children. If everyone followed the practice of homosexuality, the entire human race would be wiped out in one generation!

It's becoming increasingly unpopular to have such an opinion, but I'm just grateful that we have modern-day prophets to guide us in these timely and controversial matters. The Proclamation on the family makes it so clear that "gender is an essential characteristic of individial premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose." I think I feel so passionately about this issue for the sake of the children, because they "are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother."

The Proclamation on the family concludes with a warning and a call to action... "We warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities fortold by ancient and modern prophets. We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strenthen the family as the fundamental unit of society."
This historic action in California is clearly a step in the wrong direction.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

King for a Day

Daddy rockin' out to his favorite tunes!

The wonderful father of my children got to enjoy royal treatment today. The kids and I crowned him "King for a Day". I thought I'd share the details in case any one wants to try this out on their hubby next time, cause it was a blast and he really felt special! I can't take all the credit though, I got the idea from the family fun website.

So first thing in the morning, we brought him downstairs where we had laid out a red carpet leading to his 'throne'. Then he was presented with a 'scepter' with a remote control taped to the top. We had decorated the throne and placed a few magazines, a selection of his favorite movies, treats, popcorn, etc. and we even put the gong within reach in case he needed anything! Then we made the following declarations...

Let it be written, let it be said…Our King shall eat his breakfast in bed.
Because our king is kind and good…This day he shall feast on all his favorite food.

Let it be heard, let's all proclaim... The King's wild queen today will be tame. ;)

(This was a promise that I wouldn't nag or complain all day!)

And last of all, we had a few cute (and one grumpy) court jesters on hand to keep him entertained. What more could a king want? :)

Jon is so deserving of this royal treatment. I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful father for my children. He's an honorable man of integrity, he's valiant in the gospel, he has great leadership ability and tremendous intellect (he missed one question on the math section of his GED... and was disappointed!!). He's so generous, thoughtful, passionate and he keeps me laughing like no other. In short, he's everything I dreamed of as a girl (and more) when I envisioned my future husband. I love you Sweets!!

I'm also grateful for the man who helped me know what qualities to look for in a husband. My Dad is such a tremendously loving father. I'm so inspired by him and grateful for all he has taught me. He has been a wonderful example to me in so many ways. But this picture I took during a tender moment with Benny says it all... I think it really shows the kind of man he is. :)

Happy Father's Day to the wonderful men in my life!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Crashing the party...

This last weekend was pretty eventful for my family. My parents, my brother Joey, my other brother Ben, his girlfriend Sharon, and my grandparents from Washington came to celebrate my Dad's graduation. We all attended the commencement at OSU (in 93 degree heat outside in the stadium). Then on Monday, it was my parents 30th wedding anniversary. So it was a pretty exciting time! To add to the excitement, on Saturday around 11:30am, when we were all sitting around having a great time catching up, we heard this ENORMOUS crash and boom coming from outside. My Dad ran outside to see what had happened and saw this... The tree branch apparently had enough and fell to the ground unexpectedly and took off part of the siding on our house!! Isn't that unbelievable??! All I could think was, "where are the kids???" It was sooo bizarre, because there was absolutely NO WARNING that this was going to happen. No visible rotting on the tree, no strong winds, no lightning... nothing!

And the miracle about all this, is that on almost ANY other day, the kids would have been outside around the time that this happened. Our mornings around here are pretty structured. The kids have a routine consisting of snuggle scriptures, breakfast, learning time, and then I let them play outside before lunch. But since we had company over, the plans changed a little and the kids were inside. And THANK GOD (truly) they were! I'm so grateful that He is watching out for us. Here are a couple more pics of the freak incident.

The kids didn't know what to think... they were pretty freaked out by the whole thing! Luckily, even though the power line was ripped off the house, we still had power the whole weekend, and it didn't disrupt our plans too much! Crazy though, huh?!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Family Bike Ride

Whenever I'm in a bad mood, my sweet hubby has learned how to help. He always says the way to instantly make everything better is to"either get some food in her, or get her outside!" It's so true! I LOVE being outdoors with my family! It was a ton of work (for Jon) getting us ready for our first biking adventure, but it was soooo worth it! There are so many benefits to this family activity... we'll save $ on gas, be together, spend time outdoors, get some fresh air, great exercise, etc. Tonight, we biked to the local tennis courts for a fun family trip.

Our little GQ boy!

All ready to go!

Charity was our little ballgirl. She got such a kick out of retrieving the balls for us. So sweet!

Jon taught Celeste how to signal... I thought it was pretty cute.
We'll definitely have to do this more often. What a great night!


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