Monday, September 29, 2008

Bath time!

The kids were being a little too quiet downstairs, so I figured something was up... and sure enough, they had gotten into the whipping cream from the fridge. (We even have a lock on it, but somehow they out-smarted us again.) Apparently the kids had been sharing with baby Jakey.

So after a heavy duty clean-up (not me... them) off to the bathtub he went.

Then he got all dried off and nice and cozy in bed.

And after putting his feetie jammies on (I LOVE those pjs, I used to wear those as a kid too) he fell fast asleep on Daddy.

Whew! Being this cute is exhausting!

Sunday, September 28, 2008


I used to have the hardest time finding cute, modest clothing for a decent price. I don't like shopping much anyway, and I especially don't like it when I can't find anything! It seemed I would come home empty-handed and disappointed time after time. But I hit the greatest goldmine last year. I discovered Goodwill! Dang, I love that place! You can find incredible bargains and help support a non-profit agency that helps disadvantaged workers at the same time. So when I found it, I was totally converted. I rarely shopped for clothes anywhere else. So imagine my thrill this summer when I came across a Goodwill OUTLET just 10 min. away!!! Goodwill Outlet basically sells everything that no one bought from all the regional Goodwill stores. It's true, there's a lot of junk to sift through, but if you're persistent and you look hard enough you'll find some real gems! Sometimes there are even some brand new items with the tags still attached. Here's a picture of my collection of Goodwill Outlet dresses. Can you believe I bought all of these dresses for $1.49 each?!!!

My only concern was that shopping there might deprive less fortunate people of things they need, but on the website it specifically states that this is false. On the contrary, shopping there helps fulfill their mission, and helps create jobs for the disadvantaged so they can become gainfully employed. Plus, clothing items that are not sold at the Outlet get turned into industrial wipes! So, I just thought I'd share this idea with the ladies in this area because it has really saved us a lot of money. (All those trips to JCPenney's and Target add up!) Also, all childrens clothing costs 99 cents each! (I buy all my kids clothes there too). Just an idea for all the bargain hunters out there!


I don't have a sister, and I always wished I had one growing up. Luckily I have a mom who (other than my hubby) is my best friend and I also have some wonderful girl friends... but I'm just thrilled that my daughters have each other. My mom got them matching dresses and I thought they looked so cute, I had to get some pics! I just can't even express how much I adore these girls!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Project "Runaway"

Last night we put on a Modesty Fashion Show for the young women in our church. We called it "Project Runaway" (Run away from the immodest trends of the world because modest is the hottest!) It was a great success and the girls had a wonderful time. We started out with a wacky fashion show where the leaders showed what NOT to wear, including:

Spaghetti straps... (that's real spaghetti draped over her shoulders!):

Daisy Dukes:

A "plunging" neckline:

And a "bear midriff":

But the real highlight of course was when the young women modeled thier outfits. They modeled casual styles as well as more formal gowns and each of them just radiated true beauty. They really showed that you can be beautiful and still maintain dignity by not showing too much skin. After the show, there was a brief talk by the emcee who did a great job. We discussed the standard from the "For the Strength of Youth" guide: "Your body is God's sacred creation. Respect it as a gift from God, and do not defile it in any way. Through your dress and appearance, you can show the Lord that you know how precious your body is. You can show that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ. The way you dress is a reflection of what you are on the inside. When you are well groomed and modestly dressed, you invite the companionship of the Spirit and can exercise a good influence on those around you." And offered them resources online to find modest clothing and of course it was all followed by refreshments.

It was so much fun, and thanks to the help of the other leaders, and volunteers who assisted with hair and make-up, it turned out great. I just love these girls! I know they are trying to live the standards of the church in a world that mocks virtue and chastity. I am amazed at their willingness to stand up for their moral convictions even when it is unpopular to do so, and when they feel pressured from the media and their friends to do otherwise. I hope this fashion show helped them feel inspired and encouraged to keep trying.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yummy Gift Idea

Speaking of the young women, I thought I'd share a couple ideas for anyone who might be interested in a fun gift idea. I can't believe I've been serving as the Young Women President for over a year now! For their birthdays this last year I made them each a candybar card (24 of them!) Our presidency divides up certain responsibilities and I chose to make these because I LOVE doing them! I have really enjoyed thinking of each girl and pointing out their unique qualities. Here are some of the phrases I use...

She's a real HOT TAMALE
We've had WHOPPERS of fun together
We love her to PIECES
She always makes us CHUCKLE (or) SNICKER
EXTRA EXTRA read all about it!
We really hit PAYDAY
If you're ever in a CRUNCH you can SKITTLE back to us and we'll be your LIFESAVER
(or) If you're ever going through a SOUR PATCH, we hope you'll always remember to ROLO (n) to your knees and Jesus Christ will be your LIFESAVER
She's going into the M&M (miamaid) class
We hope she finds a HUBBA-BUBBA MR. GOODBAR (when the girls are old enough to start dating)
She's a real TREASURE to us
She's MOUNDS of fun
Our hearts STARBURST with love for her
Hugs and KISSES
We'll love her NOW AND LATER
There are many REISENS why...
We're losing a little BIT O HONEY from our beehive class
She's no AIRHEAD, but she's a real SMARTIE!
We've been waiting for her to join young womens, and HERSHEYS! ("here she is"... it's a bit of a stretch, but I was getting desperate for ideas!)
Sister NECCO le Hudson! (love that one!)

Now that each of the girls have gotten a candybar card for their birthday, we decided to start giving them a new gift... A hanger. (Ok... I know what you're thinking... A HANGER?!) But it's not just any hanger, it's a very special hanger! Hopefully this is a gift that will be meaningful to them as they get older and start thinking about marriage. Unlike the candy that will be gone in a week (well in my case a day), I'm hoping that this is a gift that will last.

To learn more about lds temples click here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cooking 101

Here's a tip for all you chefs out there...

Don't put plastic bowls in the oven on broil. (DUH!!!) This was NOT one of my brighter moments (although it provided some amusement at the dinner table tonight!)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Straight and Narrow

"There is only one way to lead a child down the right path... that is to go that way yourself."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Seed of Faith

This is my all time favorite piece of artwork. It's by Jay Bryant Ward and I saw it in an Ensign once and was deeply moved by it. Jon bought it for me the next Christmas, and I've had it hanging up in our room ever since. It's called "Seed of Faith", and it depicts a mother and her son who is a future strippling warrior from the Book of Mormon. This little boy grew to be one of the young men of tremendous faith who said, "We do not doubt... our mothers knew it." In this print, she's using a seed to teach him about faith.

The artist sums up his work, "To me, Seed of Faith" represents a tender, teaching moment when a mother's loving patience has paid off, and the child's young heart is ready for learning. It is then that a precious seed may be planted." - Jay Bryant Ward

This painting was inspired by the following poem written by the artist's mother:

Your Life Will Be My Gain
Given me on loan my son, for a brief earthly span,
To bear, to love, and nourish. Baby, then boy to man.
Remembered tender moments, after I gave you birth,
In God's miracle we shared. I pondered this child's worth.
What would life store for him, this babe so pure and sweet?
Can I but help prepare him life's challenges to meet?
God trusted me, noble one, Oh what a humbling task,
To teach, to train, and temper the first day to the last.
To grow in hearts of babes, a faith for ever more,
To plant in the souls of boys, true character, the core.
Grant in me a fertile soil from which you draw your might,
Strength to face time's drying winds, and earth's temptations blight.
From God your life I borrowed, to claim you as my seed.
Will you help me pay my debt through your good life and deed?
If you can return to Him as pure as once you came,
Glory be upon your head. Glory to our Father's name.
This life for me holds no goal, I seek no worldly fame,
If only hailed as Mother. Your life will be my gain!
-Joanne Ward
(Mother of artist Jay Bryant Ward)

Then one day while I was scrapbooking, I was flipping through our photos and came across this picture that reminded me of that print. It immediately brought me to tears. Just the way Benny is looking up at me, with such trust in his eyes, completely dependent on me and his Daddy not only for survival but for knowledge of the restored gospel. What an ENROMOUS responsibility, to not only teach the truths of the gospel, but to model them, and to set up and maintain a home where the Holy Spirit can witness these truths to them.

I worry a LOT about measuring up to this monumental task. It's actually pretty ironic because this picture is of a mother teaching her child about faith and as the Prophet Joseph Smith once said, "Faith and worry cannot exist in the same mind at the same time." I guess I don't have enough faith yet because like I said, I worry a lot. I often fear that I'm inadeqate for motherhood which has been called "the highest and holiest service to be assumed by mankind". With all my weaknesses and shortcomings, I just don't feel good enough. But I guess the faith part comes in when I remember that I'm not alone in this! If I were to be relying on my own knowlege, strength and abilities, I'd be terrified of this calling. In fact, I don't even think I'd want to get out of bed in the morning. But it's such a comfort to know that these are really His children, and that they are on loan to me and my husband. That He is more invested in their eternal welfare than I am because His love for them is perfect.

So now both of these pictures hang in my room as a constant reminder of the sacred and holy responsibility of motherhood. They inspire me to get up every morning and try to do my part in raising these children to be faithful and grow up unto the Lord. I know that my husband and I don't have to parent these kids alone. I know that we have a wise and all-knowing Father to call on anytime day or night and that I can draw on his perfect strength. And I know that he is willing and eager to help me... all I have to do is ask in FAITH. And with this faith, I can go on... trusting that His perfection will make up for my weaknesses as a mother. I am so grateful for the joy these children have brought into my life. They are so precious to me... each of them. Each of them is God's own child, with a unique and distinct mission to perform on this earth. I can only hope to raise them in a way that would please Him.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

An aspiring missionary...

I Hope They Call Me On A Mission

I hope they call me on a mission, when I have grown a foot or two, I hope by then I will be ready to teach and preach and work as missionaries do.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

More Random Funnies

I'm not feeling great today. I don't really know why... I just don't have much energy or motivation. I'm stressed out about a few things, and overall, it's just kind of an off day. The cookies I keep pigging out on aren't helping, so I thought maybe it would help to think about all that I'm grateful for and focus on all the things that are going well in my life. So to cheer myself up, (and maybe you too!) and have a much needed laugh, I'll post some random funnies from days gone by...

  • The other day, Celeste was throwing a bit of a tantrum and Charity... who is just barely talking rolled her eyes and muttered... "ISSUES" I didn't even know she knew that word!

  • Benny took the telephone off the hook which he knew was not allowed. Daddy asked him to hang-up the phone. So Benny lifts the phone up in the air over his head. Daddy thought he was being defiant, so he repeated, "Benny I asked you to hang the phone up." So Benny reached even higher, and Jon started getting frustrated because he thought he wasn't listening. So he asked again, and as Benny was straining to reach even higher, he realized that all Benny heard was "up" and he was trying to cooperate! So finally Jon figured it out and gave him a hug.

  • Charity needed her diaper changed so she tugged on my pants and said... "Momma... I poo-poo..." then she scrunched up her face and added, "BIG TIME."
  • Jon was playing with the kids and found a "my little pony". He said, "Awww, look Charity, it's a my little pony!" She got angry and said, "NO!!" Surprised by her response he firmly said, "Yes... this is a my little pony" Charity: NO!! She reached up, snatched the pony away from him, and said, "MINE!" and walked away.
Here's my little rag doll baby!This was when Benny was 4 days old. You can tell by the look on her face that Celeste wasn't too impressed with this little crying creature who was invading her home and consuming her mommy and daddy's attention. Little Charity being crazy!

Benny's thinking... "What in the world is this?"

This was the bathtub after the frosting disaster... and I mean DISASTER. (See previous post)

Our little hillbilly girl!!

Celeste being silly at dinnertime

And naturally, Benny had to do it too!

Benny was so tired one day he just crashed on all his stuffed animals!


Celeste meeting her first clown (who was pretty unenthusiastic). She certainly doesn't look too wowed by his antics!

This was me and Drew Carey at the Cleveland Cavs finals game. I took Jon to the game for Father's day and we made these goofy hats. Drew Carey was so nice, he wore our crazy hat and even posed for a picture.

Yummy piggy toes!

That Benny! He's a wild one!

I LOVE my boys!!

Can you BELIEVE I got my hubby to dress-up like this for halloween?!!! This was on the way to the church halloween party. Just to make me laugh, he stopped by the KFC drive-thru, he did his best pooh-bear impression and asked for a packet of honey. The cashier said, "Um... ok... is that all?" When we got to the window, she saw the enormous pooh-bear and busted up laughing. Then Jon said, "Goodness, I've got a rumbly in my tumbly" in his pooh-bear voice, and sped off. It was hilarious! I bet that girl is still talking about it.

Good times! While this has been fun to go down memory lane for a few minutes, I know that the best antidote to depression is service to help someone else. In fact, President Hinckley said, "Selfishness is the cause of most of our misery." So I guess, I'll get off my lazy depressed butt and go to work! :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Family Portrait

So yesterday Celeste brought this picture to us and seemed quite pleased with her work. She pointed everyone out... "This is Charity, Baby Jakey, Benny, Me, Mommy... and Daddy!" Daddy pointed to the large circle on his abdomen and asked, "What's that?" She matter-of factly stated, "That's your big belly!" We busted up laughing. Jon said, "I guess that's when you know you need to diet!"


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