Thursday, August 28, 2008


My babies are always pretty much bald until they're at least two. I've been waiting and waiting to put little Charity's hair in "piggy-tails", and the day has finally come! Yay! They're little itty-bitty piggy-tails, but they'll do! I love being a mommy to two girls!


No this is not my leg. ;)

This is my hubby's leg after playing softball with the men in our church. Isn't that AWFUL?! Apparently someone threw the ball to him but it hit him in the ankle. There was this enormous welt soon after it happened and I thought that was bad. But over the last few days, the bruising has spread all the way up to the middle of his shin. He's a total trooper though. He didn't complain one bit, and even went to play basketball a couple nights after it happened. He's quite the STUDLY manly-man if you ask me!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Life Goals

Since a few of you were wondering why in the world I went skydiving on a whim... I thought I'd share my other life goals on this blog. I made my original list of 100 life goals in high school, and I've added and subtracted a few things over the years... and I plan to continue to be prayerful about my life and modify this list to keep it consistent with who I am. Creating this list has helped give me a sense of purpose, progression and a feeling of accomplishment. It has helped me develop a vision for how to spend my time, and who I'd like to become. Plus, writing down dreams and ambitions is a proven technique for turning goals into reality. I recognize that "life" (accidents/unforseen events, God's plan for me, etc) will happen and might get in the way of some of these... but that's ok. That's why they're subject to modification along the way. ;)

To be honest, I feel really vulerable sharing these goals. I guess it's because they're so personal and because I'm hoping no one will misinterpret my motivation behind these goals. But instead of fearing judgment, I'll share these goals out of the hope that it might help inspire one of you to come up with a list of your own. :) Many of these ambitions are in progress, but the completed ones are marked red. Here are my life goals: (except for a few that I felt were too personal)

Personal (learning/career goals/talent development)

Read at least 1 “classic” book a month for the rest of my life
Earn a Master's Degree
Paint a portrait of each of my children
Find a career I love that helps people and strengthens families
Give birth naturally
Write and publish a book
Be good enough at tennis to beat my dad at one set
Learn to play and sing 10 songs with a guitar
Obtain an EMT certification
Grow a rose garden in our front yard
Own a pottery wheel
Compose a song
Create a personal mission statement
Cook 5 outstanding dishes that my grandkids will rave about
Overcome sugar addiction… eat only healthy foods for 21 days (no simple carbs)
Write a thank-you letter to everyone who mentored/inspired me (teachers/yw leaders, etc.)
Become an executive
Become fluent in sign language
Play a piece of music by Rachmoninoff on the piano
Play a piece of music by Yanni on the piano
Play a leading role in a musical
Decorate a wedding cake

Get past level 45 on to expand vocabulary

Wake up at 5:30 everyday (except Saturdays) for 3 months
Complete a scrapbook for each child

Family (goals to help strengthen relationships with those I love the most)

Marry an eternal companion who loves and respects me
Live to meet my great grandchildren
Celebrate my 50th wedding anniversary
Go on a “volunteer vacation” with family
Take ballroom dance lessons with my husband
Create a family mission statement
Adopt a child into our family
Complete the pioneer trek with my hubby
Read all the standard works in our family scripture study
Hold Family Home Evening night with my loved ones once every week
Host an exchange student
Surprise my daughters with a mother/daughters weekend getaway
Host a family reunion
Create a home where my family LOVES to be
Visit a new temple every anniversary with my hubby
Take my parents on a cruise
Create a website
Study abroad in a foreign country
Decorate a special cake for each of my kids birthday parties

Plant a peach tree in our yard

Physical- travel (more fully appreciate our Creator by exploring this amazing world He has created)/adventure/fitness

Go on an RV trip around the US with my family
Run a marathon with my hubby and/or brothers
Visit Mammoth Cave in KY with my family

Kiss my hubby on a hot air balloon at sunset
Kiss my hubby in the Taj Mahal
Kiss my hubby on top of the Eiffel Tower
Go skydiving with a family member (woo-hoo!)
Climb a mountain
See the pyramids of Egypt with hubby
Go on the Nile River cruise
Witness a Serengeti migration on an African Safari
Visit all 50 states
See a blue-footed booby in the Galapogos Islands
Visit every continent
Run a half-marathon
Become a certified aerobics instructor
Ride an elephant
Ride on a motorcycle
Straddle the Eqautor
Hike the Grand Canyon rim to rim
See the aurora borealis
Visit the Great Wall of China
Ride a camel in the Sahara Desert
Continually maintain a healthy bmi for my height 18.5-24.9 (unless pregnant... or postpartum ;))

Contribution (giving back)

Start a scholarship
Participate in a fundraiser to reduce poverty
Form a non-profit social services organization
Sing at a homeless shelter on Christmas Day
Record a CD- sacred selections and favorite art/classical songs to sell and donate proceeds (if any!) to a cause I believe in
Do a random act of kindness everyday for a year
Give away 1 million dollars
Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity
Take my children to volunteer at a homeless shelter yearly
Continually donate my hair to locks of love (until it grows gray)

Spiritual- (do my part to build up the kingdom of God)

Begin and end all my days with prayer
Never live without a temple recommend
Fulfill an honorable mission with my husband
Visit the Sacred Grove
Shake the hand of a prophet
Be a church pianist

Attend a General Conference session
Sing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Accumulate 1 years worth of food storage
Memorize the Articles of Faith
Memorize the Proclamation to the World on the Family
Complete geneological and temple work for Jon’s family
Feel a personal confirmation that I fulfilled my mission on earth

I just shared this list with my hubby again, and he said... "Wow sweets, that's wonderful... but umm that's a pretty expensive list, don't you think?!" And I sheepishly replied, "Well, yeah I guess so... but that's where you come in. wink wink... You know I married you for your money!" (ha... Jon and I were both dirt poor college bums living off financial aid when we met!)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Best Buds

Celeste completed her first week of kindergarten, and did great. But little Benny has been struggling to make the transition. Before school started, it seemed like I was constantly breaking up their fights and sending someone to the naughty chair. I thought for sure they'd be happy to get a break from each other. But now that she's gone... every couple hours he'll ask... "Where's sissy?" And I'll say, "Sissy goes to kindergarten now, remember sweetie?" And he drops his head and wistfully says, "oh yeah." And when it's time for her to come home, he waits by the window and then throws his arms around her when she comes through the door. I guess absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Skydiving Videos!

Here's the actual footage of my skydiving experience. The first video (~4 min.) consists of short clips of the intro, the freefall in slow motion, and then in real time. The second video (~2 min) is the descension and landing. Check 'em out... I still can't believe it's me in these videos!

Letting go...

Our baby girl started kindergarten today. I kind of had mixed emotions about it. It's so hard for me to believe she'll be in school for the next 13 years. Well in my family's case... more like the next 40 years! ha ha! (My parents just got their doctorates this year.) Anyway, I just hope we've prepared her well, and that she's ready to take on this great big world. I was a little teary this morning, but after seeing her just adjust so quickly to her new surroundings and make friends right away, I knew she would do great.
She's going to a charter school and it's all-day kindergarten so I kept glancing at the clock throughout the day, wondering how she was doing. When she got home, she had this huge grin on her face, and she was eager to tell us all about it. She told us how she was comforting the kids in her class who were crying. So, clearly... she'll be just fine.
I on the other hand, need a day or two to grieve. Our baby girl is growing up, and it's hard to let her go.


Woo-hoo!! I survived skydiving! I still can't believe I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane. It really was the most thrilling experience I've ever had and I'm just so happy to be alive (although statistically, driving there was more risky than the skydive itself) It was really an experience of a lifetime!
My brother Ben and his girlfriend Sharon went with me. It was so fun to share the experience with them and to be able to cheer each other on. My dad gave me a little pep talk just before I got on the plane... (I was freaking out a little). My hubby my dad, and my older brother did this two years ago, and they inspired me. When my dad landed he gave me a huge hug and said... "You can do this!!" It was pretty cool to be able to face my fears head-on and prove him right. :)

There I am! When the parachute opened up, the peace and tranquility was such a contrast to the rush and the exhilaration of the freefall... it made for an absolutely amazing experience.

My poor mom was a nervous wreck. She tried to hold it back, but she was really worried the whole time. She's the sweetest!

Girls just wanna have fun!

We did it! Wow... after an exhilarating and event filled summer, I'm ready to relax a little... (ha! yeah right... for a minute there I forgot I had 4 kids!)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I was able to go HOME to Washington State last week with baby Jakey for my cousin's wedding. I had the most wonderful time. As much as I love my life here in Ohio, I often miss the fresh air and the TREES in the Pacific Northwest. In my opinion, it's the most beautiful place on earth.

My beautiful cousin and her new hubby. It was such a gorgeous wedding... so heartfelt and full of meaning, I'm so grateful to have been there. Congratulations Megan and Ed!!

Jakey was just a dream baby. Even though he was sick during the entire trip, he didn't cry once on the plane. He doesn't get much one-on-one time with me around here... so it was nice to lavish all my attention on him this week.

I hadn't seen my Uncle Dave and Aunt Terri for a couple years, and I just about fell over when Terri met me at the airport. She had a weight-loss surgery, and has lost over 190 pounds. She just looks AMAZING!!!

These are their daughters... Mackenzie Kathleen and Madison Nicole :) I've always been super close to them... they were my flower girls. They used to live next door to us, and I got to watch them grow up. I love, love, LOVE these girls!!!

My brother Joey on his Ninja bike. Isn't that a sweet picture?!! Um, yeah... he's pretty much a stud!

Baby Jakey meeting Nana Jodie (Jon's mom) for the first time!

Wow, what a whirlwind of a trip! I have to say, Jon was sure happy to have me home. He was practically ready to worship me when he came to get me at the airport. As much as he appreciates all that I do, I think playing Mr. Mom for a week was good for him to really understand how demanding it is to be a homemaker. I don't think he's the only one who will be happy that Mommy is back. When I first saw little Charity at the airport I asked, "Sweetie, what did you guys do with daddy?" She replied with one word... "pizza". It cracked me up!!! These kids might enjoy a little variety in their diet again. :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Super Asp

The organization of our church is really remarkable. Every family is assigned what's called 'home teachers' who help take care of our needs and deliver a message from the prophet every month. I got really sick last week (just in time for my trip to WA that I had been looking forward to for a year) and we called Brother Asp to help give me a blessing. And I swear, he was here in less than 10 minutes. It's so wonderful to have someone to call when our family needs help. Our home teacher was so faithful and diligent, we dubbed him "Super-Asp". Our whole family is crushed though because he and his dear wife are moving to Colorado. :( So as an expression of our appreciation, we got him a little going away present... but the only condition was that he had to wear it all the way home! It was hilarious! We'll miss you Gary and Sarah!

Amazing heights

Family life reminds me of the parable of the Chinese Bamboo Tree. After the seed for this tree is planted, you see no results at all for four years except for a tiny shoot coming out of a bulb. During those four years, all the growth is taking place underground to make up a deep root structure in the earth. But then in the fifth year, the Chinese bamboo tree grows up to eighty feet!!

Patience and hope are such important virtues in a happy marriage and family life. Although I love being a mom, and I recognize it as a worthy and honorable responsibility, I definitely have days where I feel discouraged, and that all my efforts seem fruitless. In other words... I see little return on my investments ;). So often, I'm anxious to try to come up with a quick fix solution to every problem, but I think sometimes, as a mother, I need to just have patience and hope that everything will work out in the end. These kids need a mother who recognizes their divine worth and potential, who continutally affirms them and most importantly who never gives up on them. My hope is that these kids will grow to be 'steadfast and immovable' in living righteously, and I am confident that if they choose to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, and make him the center of their lives, they will grow to amazing heights.


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