Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I am Ironman...

The movie "Iron Man" has been on TV a lot lately, and someone decided to DVR it, so we have it recorded.  Pretty funny that it's the only thing that Jack wants to watch for the last few weeks!  Not sure if an almost 3 year old should have a PG-13 movie as his favorite--nonetheless, it is edited for TV at least--and the boy LOVES it!  Go ahead, I know what you're thinking...and YES, I will accept your nomination for mother of the year!  Funniest thing?  Someone in this house (who has yet to be positively identified...although I'm pretty sure he's the other boy in this house) taught Jack the Iron Man theme song...and apparently it goes like this:
"I am Iron Man--running into fat people with my van!"
Needless to say, I am getting some funny looks from people when we walk by them and Jack is singing the song OVER AND OVER AND OVER again while we are shopping and running errands. 
Tonight Ashlie (bless her heart) tried to teach him a kinder, gentler version of the song:
"I am Iron Man--running into APPLES with my van."
Jack wasn't having any of that...
Oh my...let's hope he gets back to loving DORA or ELMO real soon...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Random Things I am LOVING...♥

On Valentines Day--I thought I would let you know some things that I am LOVING about my life right now.  We have our challenges right now--but life goes on, and I don't want to focus so much on the negative.  There is always something POSITIVE about our lives--and I have a GREAT family!  There are so many things I am LOVING...♥♥♥
♥We have put our house on the market (BOO--I know), but since we have to file a lawsuit against the Allen Funeral Home since they are not paying their debt to us, we don't have much of a choice. If you want a beautiful house in a GREAT ward--with amazing neighbors and friends--call me!   BUT--I am LOVING how my kids have worked with us to get it ready to sell, and how they have been willing to pitch in and help out.  Cleaning is never my favorite--but all the help has made it so much easier.  I am also LOVING that although I know that another move will not be easy on any of them--they are putting on a happy face and not complaining.  Sometimes we don't get what we want in life...we are learning together all about that fact!
♥Todd and I have had to get creative in our budget.  I LOVE how it makes me think of when we were first married, and how we just wanted to be TOGETHER!  We didn't much care about how much money we had, or how nice the restaurant was we were eating at.  Friday's date night was our FREE dinner at our ward party--and a dollar movie!  Can't get better than that!
♥I LOVE that my kids have good friends!  Emie had some friends over this weekend.  They are all such good kids!  It makes me so HAPPY that they are doing good things and staying out of trouble!  It makes me PROUD that I can trust them!  I LOVE these teenagers! Check out what they do for fun:

♥Erin is finished with softball as of last week, but I want her to know how much I LOVE watching her play!  I always have--ever since she was little--isn't she a CUTIE!  LOVE this girl--she plays with enthusiasm, and you can tell that she LOVES the game!  This year, her coach wasn't the best--and she didn't play as much as she would've liked to--but next year will be better!  Have I told you how amazing my Erin is--well, now I have!
♥If you know me well, you know that I LOVE football!  This year--after I got my fix of college football, I got to see my Josh play in a flag football league in our neighborhood!  It was just enough to satisfy my LOVE for football on Saturdays!  He was adorable--and FAST and I LOVED watching him play!  Check out his pics--isn't 8 years old just the best age!  This kid couldn't care less if he combed his hair or looked nice for his picture--he just wanted to get out there and PLAY!  LOVE this kid!

♥We have finally found something that Abby LOVES!  This year we put her in a cheer and dance class in a neighborhood that is around the corner from ours.  This girl LOVES to cheer and dance!  So glad I finally let her quit piano...something she hated, and find something she absolutely LOVES!  Do you know that Abby did the splits last week!!!!  She is amazing!  Also, I LOVE the idea that a lady in our ward had this last week to have all the primary kids sign rocks to put in the foundation for the new Gilbert Temple!  My kids had such a blast, and are so excited that a rock they wrote on will be in the foundation!  What a great idea!  LOVE IT!  Here are some pics...

♥I LOVE that my Ashlie gave a talk yesterday in primary, and she stood up there and read her talk like a PRO!  I'm sure she could've memorized it too--if we hadn't written it at 11:20--and left the house at 11:25...! I am so prepared!  Seriously, this girl is SO stinkin' smart!  She amazes me--what kindergartener doesn't have to have help reading words like immortality, or commandments, or example.  I LOVE this girl--she is amazing!

♥I am LOVING listening to my little Jack say prayers right now.  He says them in the sweetest, quietest little boy voice, and this is the basic prayer right now, "Heavenly Father, thank you for the day.  Please bless the beach, and the lake, and the park, and the temple, AMEN!"  I just LOVE listening to my children pray!  Especially when they are little & innocent & SO sincere!  He is almost 3, where did the time go?  Here he is signing his rock:

♥I have such a supportive family that I absolutely LOVE!  Things have been hard, and stressful, and I haven't really felt like going places, or family parties, or talking a lot about our situation, but I want them to know that we feel your prayers, we appreciate your thoughtfulness, and we LOVE you.  We are truly grateful for both our families! 
♥ I LOVE that it's springtime--and almost Easter time!  We went to the store to buy the kids Valentines & I scored these--my absolute favorite Easter treat!  They couldn't come at a better time... For me, STRESS=CHOCOLATE!  I can't get enough right now!  LOVE IT!

♥ I do have a friend who I have been able to talk to through this whole trial, and I want her to know how much I LOVE her, and how grateful I am for her listening to me. I have known her forever, and I can tell her things I cannot tell anyone else (except maybe my husband). I am so grateful for you & your friendship. I LOVE you for not judging me, and for just listening. I LOVE you for not giving advice, or telling me it will all work out just fine...or that I need to be grateful for this trial--because sometimes it doesn't, and sometimes I'm NOT!  I LOVE that you support me, even when it's hard. Thank you, and you know who you are. I couldn't do this without you!
♥On a lighter note, I LOVE this country that we live in...and that there is always someone with a new business idea.  This one has been right outside of Payson for years...and it makes me wonder--if this guy can make a living with this business--why can't I figure out how to make our Jerusalem store in the mall profitable?  HA!  I have always wanted to go in this place just to see what the girls actually look like!  There is always something you can find to laugh about!  Maybe this is where we'll go for our next cheap date:  HA!

♥This is my new drive thru lunch that I LOVE!  Wendy's new Apple Pecan Chicken Salad!  YUM!  Every day right around 2, I talk Jack into going for a drive--(mostly so he can fall asleep).  We hit Sonic first for my Route 44 Coke Zero with vanilla at happy hour (LOVE♥), then Wendy's drive thru for this salad.  Half size--only $3.99!  I LOVE that he gets a nap & I get some yummy food!

♥Add to that my very favorite treat right now--a QT chocolate donut with hot chocolate--otherwise known as "A Bite of Heaven...".  LOVE these!  The bars are the best though--cuz their bigger!  YUM!

♥Most of all, I LOVE this guy.  We have truly been to hell and back (actually, maybe we haven't come all the way back yet...) in this last year, but we still keep fighting.  (No pun intended).  He is passionate, and he is strong, and he amazes me, and we will get through this together!  I LOVE you babe.  Happy Valentines Day!


♥P.S. This guy brought me home another thing that I LOVE--See's Chocolates--Nuts & Chews!  My baby knows that flowers DIE--(kinda like our hopes & dreams...HA!) but Chocolate is FOREVER (just look at my belly fat)!  Love you babe--no one knows better the things I LOVE! 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My NEW Blurb book!

I got the new book made--and ordered it just in time to use my GROUPON! YAY! 424 pages (better than last years 450),over 750 pictures uploaded, and with the groupon it was only $128! SO worth it! Here's a little preview of what it looks like!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I Choose...Faith.

My brother in law reminded me of this talk this week.  It was a timely reminder.  I have been guilty lately of choosing fear over faith.  Sometimes, if we are not careful, Satan can discourage us, and distract us, just long enough to lose a little bit of faith at a time.  We have to constantly be on our guard, and CHOOSE faith over fear.  I am determined to remain faithful.  Sometimes, I do feel like the father in this talk, who expressed to the Savior these words:  "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief".  I don't think there's any shame in that.  Sometimes, life is hard.  Our Father in Heaven knows that sometimes our human hearts struggle with faith.  That's why he sends us reminders such as these: (emphasis me) 

Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
In a household of faith, there is no need to fear or doubt. Choose to live by faith and not fear.
By, Kevin W. Pearson April 2009 General Conference
I humbly invite the companionship of the Holy Ghost as we discuss a vital principle of the gospel: faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I acknowledge with deep appreciation and love great examples of true faith and faithfulness in my own life. To goodly parents, family, priesthood leaders, beloved missionaries, wonderful children, and a precious eternal companion, I express my deepest love and gratitude. I acknowledge my own need and desire for greater faith as a disciple and witness of Christ. There has never been a greater need for faith in my own life than now.

As parents, we have been commanded to teach our children “to understand the doctrine of … faith in Christ the Son of the living God” (D&C 68:25). This requires more than merely recognizing faith as a gospel principle. “To have faith is to have confidence in something or someone” (Bible Dictionary, “Faith,” 669). True faith must be centered in Jesus Christ. “Faith is a principle of action and of power” (Bible Dictionary, 670). It requires us to do, not merely to believe. Faith is a spiritual gift from God that comes through the Holy Ghost. It requires a correct understanding and knowledge of Jesus Christ, His divine attributes and perfect character, His teachings, Atonement, Resurrection, and priesthood power. Obedience to these principles develops complete trust in Him and His ordained servants and assurance of His promised blessings.

There is no other thing in which we can have absolute assurance. There is no other foundation in life that can bring the same peace, joy, and hope. In uncertain and difficult times, faith is truly a spiritual gift worthy of our utmost efforts. We can give our children education, lessons, athletics, the arts, and material possessions, but if we do not give them faith in Christ, we have given little.

“Faith is kindled by hearing the testimony of those who have faith” (Bible Dictionary, 669; see also Romans 10:14–17). Do your children know that you know? Do they see and feel your conviction? “Strong faith is developed by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ” (Bible Dictionary, 669).

Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught: “Faith is a gift of God bestowed as a reward for personal righteousness. It is always given when righteousness is present, and the greater the measure of obedience to God’s laws the greater will be the endowment of faith” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 264). If we desire more faith, we must be more obedient. When we teach our children by example or precept to be casual or situational in obeying God’s commandments, we prevent them from receiving this vital spiritual gift. Faith requires an attitude of exact obedience, even in the small, simple things.

Desire is a particle of faith that develops within us as we experience divine truth. It is like spiritual photosynthesis. The influence of the Holy Ghost, acting on the Light of Christ within every human being, produces the spiritual equivalent of a chemical reaction—a stirring, a change of heart, or a desire to know. Hope develops as particles of faith become molecules and as simple efforts to live true principles occur.

As patterns of obedience develop, the specific blessings associated with obedience are realized and belief emerges. Desire, hope, and belief are forms of faith, but faith as a principle of power comes from a consistent pattern of obedient behavior and attitudes. Personal righteousness is a choice. Faith is a gift from God, and one possessed of it can receive enormous spiritual power.

There is a quality of faith which develops as we focus all of our heart, might, mind, and strength. It is seen and felt in the eyes of a great missionary, a valiant and virtuous young woman, and righteous mothers, fathers, and grandparents. It can be seen in the lives of individuals young and old, in every land and culture, speaking every language, in every circumstance and station in life. It is the “eye of faith” spoken of by the prophet Alma (see Alma 5:15–26)—the ability to focus and be steadfast, continually holding fast to true principles, nothing wavering, even when the mist of darkness confronting us is exceedingly great. This quality of faith is exceedingly powerful.

However, “it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. … The Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other” (2 Nephi 2:11, 16). And so it is with faith. It can be enticing to choose doubt and disbelief over faith.

As Jesus returned from the transcendent spiritual experience on the Mount of Transfiguration, He was approached by a desperate father whose son needed help. The father pleaded, “If thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.”

Jesus replied, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

“And straightway the father … cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:22–24).

Faith and fear cannot coexist. One gives way to the other. The simple fact is we all need to constantly build faith and overcome sources of destructive disbelief. The Savior’s teaching comparing faith to a grain of mustard seed recognizes this reality (see Matthew 13:31–32). Consider it this way: our net usable faith is what we have left to exercise after we subtract our sources of doubt and disbelief. You might ask yourself this question: “Is my own net faith positive or negative?” If your faith exceeds your doubt and disbelief, the answer is likely positive. If you allow doubt and disbelief to control you, the answer might be negative.

We do have a choice. We get what we focus on consistently. Because there is an opposition in all things, there are forces that erode our faith. Some are the result of Satan’s direct influence. But for others, we have no one but ourselves to blame. These stem from personal tendencies, attitudes, and habits we can learn to change. I will refer to these influences as the “Six Destructive Ds.” As I do, consider their influence on you or your children.

First is doubt. Doubt is not a principle of the gospel. It does not come from the Light of Christ or the influence of the Holy Ghost. Doubt is a negative emotion related to fear. It comes from a lack of confidence in one’s self or abilities. It is inconsistent with our divine identity as children of God.

Doubt leads to discouragement. Discouragement comes from missed expectations. Chronic discouragement leads to lower expectations, decreased effort, weakened desire, and greater difficulty feeling and following the Spirit (see Preach My Gospel [2004], 10). Discouragement and despair are the very antithesis of faith.

Discouragement leads to distraction, a lack of focus. Distraction eliminates the very focus the eye of faith requires. Discouragement and distraction are two of Satan’s most effective tools, but they are also bad habits.

Distraction leads to a lack of diligence, a reduced commitment to remain true and faithful and to carry on through despite hardship and disappointment. Disappointment is an inevitable part of life, but it need not lead to doubt, discouragement, distraction, or lack of diligence.

If not reversed, this path ultimately leads to disobedience, which undermines the very basis of faith. So often the result is disbelief, the conscious or unconscious refusal to believe.

The scriptures describe disbelief as the state of having chosen to harden one’s heart. It is to be past feeling.

These Six Destructive Ds—doubt, discouragement, distraction, lack of diligence, disobedience, and disbelief—all erode and destroy our faith. We can choose to avoid and overcome them.

Challenging times require greater spiritual power. Consider carefully the Savior’s promise: “If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me” (Moroni 7:33).

I humbly declare that God, our Heavenly Father, lives and loves each of us, His children. Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. He lives and personally leads His Church through President Monson, His anointed prophet. Because He lives, there is always hope smiling brightly before us. In a household of faith, there is no need to fear or doubt. Choose to live by faith and not fear. In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Love this...

Love this song, this video & this message.  I hope my children realize this as they grow older.  There are so many people who love you, especially me & your Dad--most of all I hope you know that your Heavenly Father, and Jesus love you.  You are truly Never Alone...

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