Sunday, April 26, 2009

Family Home Evening

In our church, we are taught to set aside one night a week for a special family night, we call family home evening. It usually consists of an opening and closing prayer, a musical number, gospel themed lesson, an activity, and a treat (of course). So here's our special rendition of "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam." The kids request this as our musical number every family night.

These are the promises we've been given if we are faithful to this divinely inspired counsel:

"If the Saints obey this counsel, we promise that great blessings will result. Love at home and obedience to parents will increase. Faith will be developed in the hearts of the youth of Israel, and they will gain power to combat the evil influence and temptations which beset them." President Joseph F. Smith

It's not always easy to make it happen every week, but I feel the love and closeness in our family growing stronger as we set aside time to be together, and I know that being true to this counsel will help strengthen and fortify our families.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pay It Forward

I thought I'd share a wonderful site dedicated to helping people commit acts of kindness and love. It's a non-profit/anonymous organization that distributes "smile cards" to people who then commit random acts of kindness. What is a "smile card"? It's a game of kindness. You do something nice for someone and leave a card behind inviting them to pay it forward. It's a wonderful (and FUN) way to reach out to others and it might even cause a ripple effect of kindness. The cards are free and the site is full of great ideas and inspirational stories!

Go ahead! Get inspired and put a smile on someone's face today. Doing so will surely bring a smile to your face too. :)

Click here to check it out!

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Star is Born!

Our little Celeste had an amazing opportunity to be in an opera last week! My mom was the producer and put months of effort into it. I was so knocked out by all the work she put in... from the vocal coaching, to co-directing, set designing, costuming, make-up, props, etc. It was an ambitious endeavor and a great success! But once again, I'll let the pictures do the talking...

Here she is before the show- a little nervous, but super excited!

And here are some pictures onstage from the dress rehearsal. She was actually supposed to play a boy... a sad boy, named Sorrow. She didn't look much like a boy, but it didn't matter. :)

At curtain call, some of the cast members presented her and my mom with flowers...
Here she is after the show, with her Uncle Ben, who performed as well, and absolutely nailed his arias! Woo-hoo Ben!! Ben's girlfriend Sharon also did an amazing job. Way to go Sharon!!

The whole night was a pretty magical experience for a 5 year-old. What a wonderful memory this will be for her.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Papa time!!

We went to Nana and Papa's house again this week so Celeste could be in an opera!! I'll save that for another post. But the kids had a blast as always, and they got to spend some quality time with Papa. Here are a few pics from their trip to the park and some quotes about grandparents...

The best baby-sitters, of course, are the baby's grandparents. You feel completely comfortable entrusting your baby to them for long periods, which is why most grandparents flee to Florida. ~Dave Barry
An hour with your grandchildren can make you feel young again. Anything longer than that, and you start to age quickly. ~Gene Perret A grandparent is a parent who has a second chance.-- Author Unknown

I don't intentionally spoil my grandkids. It's just that correcting them often takes more energy than I have left. ~Gene Perret
Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children. ~Alex Haley The Maroon

These kids are so fortunate to have such a brilliant Papa. He was an elementary and jr. high school teacher for over 15 years, he earned a Ph.D in school psychology, and now works as a school psychologist, so needless to say, he has some experience interacting with children. He always comes up with creative ideas to keep them happy, and he always knows how to help me out with discipline tips. It's like having my very own supernanny (or should I say supermanny?) around.
He is a humble, tender-hearted man, and a loving father and grandfather. I am so grateful that he is such an important part of our lives. He is a tremendous blessing to me, and to my children.

We love you Papa! Till next time... (unless you flee to Florida! ;))

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Egg-stravaganza!

Here are a few pics from our Easter Saturday festivities. After a few years of trying out different easter egg hunts in the area, we finally found a WONDERFUL one! If you're interested in checking it out next year, let me know and I'd be happy to give you the info. It was AMAZING!

There was a live band, and an adorable puppet show about Jesus Christ and the resurrection.There were 20-30 different stations set up for the kids with games/crafts, and some of them featured spiritual object lessons.
Cookie decorating
A petting zoo... in the church (I thought that was a little weird, but the kids loved it)
An egg hunt of course!

And a train ride (I think I was even more excited than the kids for this!)

Here they are posing. I don't know why they do these funny poses every time we whip out the camera! It cracks me up!

I continued a tradition from my childhood and added scriptures to their eggs which we read during Easter dinner.

The worst part about the day was that Baby Jakey absolutely HATED the Easter Bunny. Every time he would walk by, Jakey would either start screaming, or he would scowl at him. :( We ended up having to completely avoid being in the same room!

Here he is on the way home... completely exhausted from all that screaming and scowling!
Poor little guy.
Hope you had a wonderful Easter!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

This is a beautiful video I thought I'd share in celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This song make me cry every time I hear it. Hope you're moved by it as well.


Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head,
for love is passing by

Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!

Now your burden's lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain, so

Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live!

And like a newborn baby
Don't be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk
Sometimes we

Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live!

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then

Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!

O, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can't contain your joy inside, then

Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory's side, and

Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

So Spoiled

There are many days when I feel that motherhood and homemaking can be a thankless job. All those diapers changed, floors swept, clothes folded, and no one seems to notice or appreciate it. And that's ok. I don't do it to get acknowledged. Plus, it's usually a mess again before anyone has the chance to notice! But it is nice to feel appreciated. Today, I felt cherished by my hubby and loved by my children, and I am happy.

These were from Mr. Wonderful "just because"...

Then I dozed off when the kids were having quiet/naptime, and woke up to this, which had been placed right next to my face...

I mean, is there a sweeter way to wake up?! It's amazing how kids pick up on things. The other day when Jon was at Bball, I drove by the church and left a little love note on his window. I guess she must have been watching. :)

And I even got to splurge on my first ever cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. (Thanks again Mom!) Um. Yum. I guess there goes my healthy eating goal this week!

I really believe it's the small and simple acts of kindness and love that make the difference in family life. 1Nephi 16:29- "By small means the Lord can bring about great things."


Jakey has a new trick! He did it for the first time at dinner tonight and we just laughed ourselves sick! We just LOVE our happy, smiley boy!!

(Celeste was especially amused by her baby brother) :) So here is a short clip of our little guy hamming it up!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Baby Steps

Both Baby Jakey and Charity accomplished a couple major milestones this week. Charity is finally potty trained, and Baby Jakey is cruising all over the place!
Woo-hoo! Success!!

...sort of.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Fooled once again!

There were a few fun surprises today at the Hudson Haven...

Jon and the kids had a few pranks set up for me... they put soap on the door knobs, and they set up this bag full of packing peanuts that fell on my head when I opened the door!

Then there was this... I'll admit I wasn't too thrilled about this one. The rule for April Fools, is as long as it's not harmful, or hurtful, it's fair game... but I would call this one borderline because I seriously just about had a heart attack!

And then a mystery friend did this to the Burbage... I have no idea who it was, but it cracked us up!!! What a funny idea! The only clue they left was a marshmallow peep on the ground. Does anyone know who it could be??!

I had a few tricks up my sleeve too! ;)

The kids were absolutely thrilled to get chicken nuggets (toasted coconut donuts), mashed potatoes and gravy (ice cream with caramel sauce), and peas (chewy jolly ranchers) for dinner!! But the biggest hit was the juice that wouldn't come out of the straw because it was strawberry jello, (which worked out nicely when Charity accidently knocked it over!)

Here are a couple pictures of them trying to drink their special "juice"!

Hope you had a fun day too!


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