Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Family Night

Every Monday night, we get together as a family, sing songs and learn about a story from the scriptures. A friend was asking me how I did this, and how I kept my two young children excited about it. Although it might be embarrassing on my part - I had Shawn record my song and dance that has become tradition to begin our FHE. ENJOY!

I thought I would post this video too. A few weeks ago, we learned about Rebecca and her willingness to draw water for Abraham's servant and his 10 camels. We each took a turn drawing water from our "well".

Also - here is a copy of the letter I wrote my little brother and parents who are all serving a mission for our church. My little brother is in Chile and my parents are in Russia. I shared with them another FHE we had last week. It was so fun!

Hey Fellow Missionaries,

I wanted to let you all know that after receiving mom's letter last week, I obtained 2 fresh blue copies of the Book of Mormon from our neighbor's (the Elder's) and printed off your letter. For family night, we talked about the Book of Mormon and why it was important and also about Jesus. I gave Shawn and I a new Book of Mormon and then read mom's letter.

We were excited for the challenge. I started that night - read the introduction of PMG and then read through the introduction of the book of mormon as well as 1 Nephi 1. It is AMAZING how much just the introduction, the testimonies from the witnesses and chapter one talk about Christ. I could had spent so much time reading and studying - I loved it. I was so tempted to mark all the doctrines and princlipes too - they are just ALL together - but I didn't, waiting for round 2.

Anyways, I just wanted to say, it is amazing how the study of scriptures can be magnified when you are reading with a purpose and not just reading to check it off the list. I need to get Shawn a red pencil...he has been reading, but hasn't been marking yet.

We sure love you all and know that this will strengthen our family and our testimonies of the gospel. It will be fun to see and hear everyone's experiences and growth.

Here is one more story. Tonight for family night, Andie chose from our bucket a candle. The lesson was on letting your light so shine. I told Shawn to get a flash light, but hide it until I was ready. We turned out the lights and lit a candle and talked about how we can see with the light of the candle and how it is important to let people see our light. Andie held up the "birthday candle" from the FHE box and wanted to light it. I took that and said, "Good Andie" (I was holding the original candle). I lit her candle and explained how we can lite other people light when we share our light. We read from Matthew 5:14-16 and talked about ways we can share our light - being nice to our sisters, helping clean up when asked, being nice to our friends, etc.

After the lesson, we played a game with the flash light. Shawn went first. He went and hid and we had all the lights out. (It was raining and thundering so Ali was a little scared.) We looked for "Dad" and when we couldn't find him we said, "Dad - let your light so shine!" He turned on the flashlight to help us find him. Again, Ali was scared when she saw just a light and the shadows. But, as we each took turns, they loved it. When it was Andie's turn to go and hide we said, "Andie, let your light so shine." We then heard, "Oh No! It's broken!!" I showed her how to turn on the flashlight and she said, "Andie's light so shining." It was funny.

After the game, the girls colored a picture of 2 candles and put them up on the fridge. It has been so fun having FHE with them, and seeing their excitement every Monday night. We sing songs, have a lesson, play a game and color a picture. The picture is then on the fridge all week and Andie always points it out and usually remembers what we talked about. Sometimes when we don't have anything to do (on other week nights or weekends) I will say, "What should we do?" and Andie ususally says, "I know.....FAMILY NIGHT!" it is great.

We sure love you all and know what you are doing is pleasing unto our Heavenly Father. This gospel is great - we sure love it and are so grateful for it in our lives.

Have a great week!


Monday, September 28, 2009

More of Atlanta...


Shawn had a conference in Atlanta last week. He actually presented at this conference, a portion of his Thesis from his Master's Degree that he earned at BYU. It was a great opportunity to expose his name in his field. He did a great job too!

His presentation was at 8:20am on Friday morning - so we made a mini family vacation and got a hotel room for Thursday night. It was perfect - and always so much fun to spend time together as a family.We stayed in the heart of downtown Atlanta at the Holiday Inn. It was VERY nice and we got an awesome deal through priceline, "Name your own price" - we payed $39. It was great!
Shawn had gone to Atlanta early Thursday morning. The girls and I drove out Thursday afternoon and got us checked into the Hotel. When I opened up the door to our room, Andie said, "Oh!!! Cute Bed!" It was so funny. I wish you could hear her high pitched voice.They had fun, enjoying a snack and watching TV while waiting for Dad to be done with meetings for the day.When Shawn was done, we walked 2 blocks up from our hotel for dinner. We were thinking of eating at the Hard Rock Cafe, but across the street from it, we found Jalapeno Charlie's!! It was a delicious mexican food! The fun part too, was our waitress was from RUSSIA. We explained to her that my parents lived there and she looked at us and ask (confused), "Why did they move to Russia?"
We took a few pictures of downtown. Hard to see what anything is on ground level.
The room only came with ONE queen size bed, so I packed the blow up materess hoping there would be room - yipee, there was. All the girls wanted to sleep on the bed, which Dad enjoyed as well. Andie eventually joined Dad and Ali stayed with me in our fun purple bed!
We had a great time - I will post the rest of our pictures in a slide show - to come. The next day while Shawn was in the conference, the girls and I walked one block in the opposite direction of food. We saw the CNN center - where Shawn had his conference, Centennial Olympic Park, the Coca-Cola Factory and the Georgia Aquarium. It was fun to walk around and take pictures. We didn't enter anything because the Coke factory was $15 or $30 to enter and the Aquarium was $27. CRAZY!!

I thought of my sister-in-law Summer, who loves Atlanta - wish you could have been here!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fun= Breakfast, Rain & My Boot

We have had to get creative this last week - it has rained EVERY single day since....hmm...I can't remember - a solid week for sure, maybe even longer. The last few days, it has really come down. It was reported that Atlanta received 20 inches in 2 days. It's been crazy. Guess What - it is still raining as we speak. We are grateful for the rain, and it has not caused any problems for us.....knock on wood.

Here is a picture of the little "pond" behind our house. 2 weeks ago, it was dry - nothing. Tonight I looked out and it had passed the trees. YIKES. It is forcasted to all week again - so we'll see how long it takes to make a lake!!

My girls LOVE cereal. Every meal I ask, "What do you want?" and the response is always CEREAL!!! Although at times it would be cheap and easy to serve cereal at every meal, I don't. However, they do eat it about every morning for breakfast.Ali has graduated herself to sitting at the table and insists on using a utensil at every meal...correction, holding a utensil!

Here is Ali enjoying breakfast....she cracks me up. I especially love her little victory dance at the end. She wiggles those hips EVERY time she is excited.

Finally, here is a picture (courtesy of Andie!) of the lovely boot I have been sporting around for the past 2 weeks.
Last Thursday the doctor said my Achilles tendon is healing, but needs more time. He reassured me again how it was "the LARGEST knot in my tendon he had EVER felt/seen and was shocked it hadn't ruptured." He really is proud at how well I injured my self. I go to a physical therapist tomorrow to learn stretches for it and continue the "healing" process. I am allowed to not wear my boot, unless it starts hurting again. I have found that when I am wearing high heals that it doesn't hurt. I didn't wear the boot at all yesterday and part of the day today and it is already sore - so, like my mom and doctor have suggested - MORE BOOT!

I am sad that I still can't run - I was enjoying that - but it is more important avoid further damage. I just have to find another way to exercise!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Moon

As you know, I was not a fan of the first Twilight movie. But I must say, this trailer is done very well and I am excited for the second one.

We'll see.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Enrichment - Back to School, Back to Basics

We had our quarterly enrichment last night - and it turned out great. I was put in as the Enrichment Leader back in April and had a hard time with it at first. I loved the callings I had previous and wasn't ready to be released. Enrichment takes so much time, creativity, planning and energy. However, last night was a success, I enjoyed preparing it and do enjoy my calling (even if it's not my calling of choice.)

We had a "Back to School, Back to Basics" theme for the night. I made invitations with an unsharpened pencil attached that said, "Come SHARPEN your skills in building family unity by getting back to the basics of the gospel. We had 6 tables decorated with a school different school subject. I had 6 different sisters take a table and they were SO creative. I absolutely LOVED each table and the ideas that came. It was perfect.

Joy and I decorated the Math table - she did most of it. I just decorated the paper. (ps - yes, I learned that the church tables are 8 ft. long, not 6ft.)

The "P.E." table was a favorite...thanks to Wendi and her cute kids!!
The "Music" table - so colorful and fun - Thanks Kadee!!

Our "English" table featured different Authors, their lives and books - it was really well done. Thanks to Sister Winger (former UGA English teacher!)

Sister Cochran with "Art". SO creative and so cute!

Whittney decorated our "Communication" class table. A more difficult topic to display - but she did awesome and it was great!

The evening included "school lunch" (baked potato bar, salad, rolls and cobbler.) As they were eating, I introduced our assembly. I started out talking about the importance of family unity and then showed 4 Mormon ad commercials about families. You've seen them, they are great. After the movies, I told them the backpacks on the chairs are not only decoration, but in them they would find an assignment to complete as a group. The backpacks were full of props and instructions to make their own mormon ad, using the props and featuring a "basic" theme of the gospel. Our themes were: personal & family scripture study, personal & family prayer, family home evening, serving others and the For Strength of Youth pamphlet. The skits were GREAT and so funny. I think everyone had a great time and enjoyed.

I concluded giving them each homework, to take what they have learned tonight and apply it into their own families. I used a talk by President Faust and gave them a handout with the 9 points to strengthen the family.

The superintendent (Bishop Palmer) then closed the night with wonderful words of council and encouragement to help strengthen our marriages and in turn, strengthen our families. It was a great success. I could have done it without all the help of so many. You know who you are - thank you SO much!

We also put together school kits for a RS stake humanitarian project. We had a TON of donated supplies - I forgot to get a count of how many kits we put together - but it looked like a LOT. Thanks everyone - many lives will be blessed.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


NOTE: This is for journaling purposes and if you don't want to read - feel free to skip.

We have had a pretty crazy past 10 days. It started out with our ward's Emergency Preparedness Fair. It was a huge success. I was put in charge, with my friend Joy, of the Family Home Storage Booth. We had a #10 canner on display along with bottling and freezing supplies, a one month supply of food and non-food items, and a tasters table. We served Boston Baked Whole Wheat, Black Beans, Red Beans, Roasted Wheat Kernels and Powdered Milk. All stuff you can make from your home food storage. All was very tasty...many were surprised. I believe the estimate was about 250 people showed up from the community - including the Mayor!! So, we were very excited. They had many other booths, the red cross, poison control, insurance agents, 72-hour kits for people and pets, emergency communication (with a high frequency radio up and running) the fire department and police department, flu protection booth, power tool safety, dutch oven cooking and camping. All and all, it was a success.

However, I think we over did it. The next day, I felt like I had been hit by a semi-truck. The girls and I came home from church early and I slept the better part of the rest of the day. Then, you know what happened on the next day - EGGS!!! - Yeah, don't remind me!

I was feeling a little better - at least had more energy. I had a Doctor's appointment on Thursday about my Achilles Tendon. I thought I had injured it running - I was right. In fact, the doctor was impressed with how well I had pulled it and thought it was near being ruptured. So - I was put in a walking boot for 2 weeks - to "immobilize" my leg. (right!) It seems to be working and giving my muscle a chance to relax and heal.

Friday we were able to leave the girls and attend the ward temple trip. We drove 3 hours to the Columbia, SC temple. Attended a session and then drove 3 hours home. It was a GREAT trip - we had the van full of wonderful sisters! All I have to say is, "TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE TEMPLE IF YOU LIVE CLOSE!" I can't believe we used to only be 20 minutes from 2 temples!! WOW. We were spoiled. We had a great time and the girls had fun with their friends as well.

Saturday, little Ali woke up and looked paler than a ghost. She didn't want any food and NO milk. Oh no - this is not my little Al! She sat on my lap all morning, completely drained of any energy. She fell asleep at about 11:30 and woke up at 3:00. She finally had a drink of milk and some juice and then threw-up it all up. She had diarrhea and no appetite for 3 days. We gave her a blessing Sunday night and she started eating again Monday afternoon.

Don't worry - we're only half way through. Sunday night, WITHOUT warning....Andie begins throwing up, and throwing up and throwing up! YEP....EVERYWHERE, all over my newly cleaned carpet. Poor girl threw up 6 times Sunday night and finally at 2:00am was able to sleep the rest of the night. We gave her a blessing on Sunday as well. She didn't eat anything Monday and this morning ate breakfast. However, she was very sad and looked so tired all morning long. I noticed her holding her ear and turning her head if she laid on that side. So, I called the doctor, got her in and guess what. She has an ear infection. I think it's only the 2nd one she has ever had. Did I mention she has been sick with me all last week with the head cold, congestion and runny nose. (I know, it doesn't make sense, but it's true). The poor girls has caught EVERYTHING someone has had. However, we are finally on antibiotics and hopefully she is on the mend.

Finally, our beloved husband and father Shawn has been a GREAT support though all of this. He has stepped in, helped out tremendously, and been wonderful. But the inevitable has happened. He woke up early this morning with the stomach bug - missed school and has been in bed most of the day. Poor Guy.

Needless to say - we are happy and really, hope to be on the mend. We HAVE to be. I have enrichment this Thursday and can't afford to take any more sick days!! We want to get back to our regular crazy life!!! We can't wait!

Andie enjoys sitting on the filing cabinet and uses the computer speaker to call people. I have asked who she is calling and most always she says, "Grandma, Grandpa on mission in Russia." She also likes to talk to Abbey and Megan. Her conversations usually include, "Hi! How are you? Good...Fine...Yes...Ok...bye!" I guess that is what she hears me say.
We miss being able to play with our friends. We had started a little princess preschool/play group with 5 of Andie's friends. We have only been together twice - but hope that everyone can be healthy this week to play again!