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Sunday, December 30, 2007

1. Family in town! My mom, step-dad Denny, Garrett, and Kari are all here and staying with us this week. They came down to visit and drop off Garrett and Kari at BYU- but they can't check into their apartments till the 2nd- and so I get some good family time in. They drove down from WA and I'm also very thankful they made it here safely since the roads weren't all that good.

2. After Christmas sales.

3. hand lotion.

Friday, December 28, 2007

1. Home sweet home. It was a great trip- but its always good to be back home in our own beds and routine.

2. Safe trip.

3. Christmas dinner- man was it good!

4. Games. Card games, video games, board games, interactive games... we played several. Mafia is always a favorite!

5. Christmas PJs. We have a tradition of each getting a pair of new pjs at the foot of our bed from Santa- that we change into and wear Christmas morning. We got some fun ones this year!

6. Gospel discussions. After church on Sunday Jake and I got in a gospel discussion with his siblings- it started out defining "being born again" and moved from there through a few other topics but seemed to center around truth, conversion, and how our faith differs from other Christian faiths.

Another night we again conversation followed a spiritual tone as Jake talked about his "conversion". It's amazing to me how the Lord works. I've heard before Jake's struggle with understanding and accepting the gospel as a youth- growing up in such a small town with very few members, and then seeing his parents go through a divorce that he never saw coming presented some hurtles- but hearing him again recount about his rollover car accident, miraculous survival, and the way in which it humbled him, forced him to put things on hold (he was in a body cast and foot cast for several months), giving him space an time to think, it gave him perspective, and allowed for others to encourage him to serve a mission, and that decision helped him really find his testimony... it was just cool to hear it all again- and to then hear how that decision helped his younger brother and sister. I'm so thankful for the Spirit, and how in moments like those it testifies to me allover again of the truthfulness of the gospel.

Jake's brother-in-law also shared a little about his conversion (he started investigating the church after he met Jake's sister Leah- they were married not long after he got baptized, and sealed a year later). It was also cool to see Jake's stepfather (who was just baptized in August after about 10 years investigating the church) pass the sacrament and to see him lead the family in prayers and such.

Monday, December 24, 2007

1. Christ's birth.

2. Wise Men.

3. Heavenly messengers.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

1. Vacations! Maybe I'm a slacker for not writing entries every day while on vacation- but hey- its vacation! Plus internet access here isn't super reliable...which brings me to my next one...

2. Buena Vista. That's where we are. A small town in the middle of the Colorado mountains. The tiny town with one stop light that my husband knows as home. On Friday we left the boys with Nana and took a drive. Jake took me to Mt. Princeton and St. Elmo which is a small ghost town at the end of an old mining road. then we drove around town and he showed me the three other homes he's lived in and some "historic" spots. It's crazy to drive through this little town with only one stop light and Subway being the only chain restaurant. There's tons of snow piled up everywhere with cars that obviously aren't hoping to move again till spring- and deer literally on people's front porches. Hearing Jake's stories of growing up here is crazy to me. Its a fun place to visit- and while Jake says it was really hard growing up here and tells me about all the trouble he got himself into as a teenager- ultimatly it molded him into who he is- and I love him.

3. Safe travels. We got here safe and sound with just a little bit of snow fall through Price Canyon and snow on the roads of the last hour.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Busy, busy!

Monday was Jake's office party, yesterday Josh's Birthday party, and today I'm getting packed and ready to drive to Colorado (we leave tomorrow morning)...Busy times- but fun times!!!

1. White elephant gifts. We did a gift exchange of these sorts at Jake's work party. It was so funny. A bed pan, "Dunder Mifflin" paper, and dog faced slippers were just some of the highlights!

2. My THREE year old!!! Oh- these boys are growing up too fast! I can't believe Josh is three, and Dekker will turn ONE next month. Josh had a VERY happy birthday at Chuck E Cheese's.

3. New BYU shirts! We gave Josh two new ones for his Birthday- and he's wearing one today- which means hopefully they've passed the Josh requirements for acceptable attire.

Monday, December 17, 2007

1. Grandmas!!! Yesterday I talked to my grandma Blanche, Josh's Nana (Jake's mom) and Josh's Grandma Chris (my mom). How grateful I am for such wonderful women who love my little family so much!

2. Family history. Our ward family history rep came over and talked to us about all the changes that have happened in family history work over the last couple of years. He worked with Jake's line showing us some cool website and how to know what we can do to help in the work. It was really cool and its true about "the hearts of the children turning to the father" - Jake got all excited and after he left Jake pulled out his grandma's (yet another grandma experience for yesterday!) recently finished personal history book and started reading it. He was laughing at some of the stories and talking about how crazy it is to "humanize" your grandparents.

3. Dekker's babbeling... its just cute!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

1. Chocolate advent calendars.

2. The Spanish Fork Festival of Lights. We went to my cousins for dinner last night and then after piled into their truck (boys and bigger kids bundled up in back) and drove through the festival of lights. It was really fun.

3. A clean house. Yesterday we had an open house. We left during the hours of the open house, and haven't heard from our relator how it went- which my guess means it didn't have a great turn out- but if nothing else it got us to get our house in showing order. We cleaned as much as we could from top to bottom and replaced a bunch of door knobs and light fixtures. The house looks pretty good- so even if it doesn't sell- we'll enjoy it more.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

1. Chapstick

2. Hand Lotion.

3. Home Depot.

4. Dry cleaners.

5. My brown leather boots!

6. Egg nog.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

An e-mail from my mom:
We had over 2,000 volunteers that came form Vancouver to Bremerton to help today. It was amazing what they were able to accomplish. There is still lots to do but it hopefully helped some victims past the overwhelmed stage and shed a ray of hope that life may be restored to normal some day. Plus the president declared it a disaster so they can now get FEMA help.

Many volunteers brought with them donations of food and clothing.There were some wonderful and sad stories that came back to us from the field.

Here is the list of items needed by the United Way needs for flood victims. Gift cards are good but you can also mail donations under "other" in a tithing envelope to our Bishop(since most all of the losses were in our ward (some in Chehalis) and he will buy gift cards here. Or, what we did for Katrina victims is donated under other to our Bishop and he wired the money or something to the Bishop of the ward we adopted and they purchased and distributed the gift cards. I'll put that address and then list the items needed.
Bishop John Henricksen
Adna Ward
198 Devereese Road
Chehalis, WA 98532

Items needed:
work gloves-large and XL
space heater
underwear for kids
warm socks
bleach
storage bins (plastic)
Rain gear
garbage bags shovels
rubber gloves
brooms, mops
garden hoses & nozzles
first aid kits

1. Charity. I'm thankful that there are good people trying to help during this disaster. I feel so far away- so it gives me some comfort to hear there are people there that care.

2. Offerings. Isn't it amazing to know that our offerings can be used to help in such ways. I talked to my mom for a bit on the phone yesterday (she's been so busy, but we finally had a moment to chat) and she shared her testimony of how great our church is in helping in situations like this.

3. FEMA. I guess after Katrina they've tried to improve their efforts. My mom also shared that since its been declared a national emergency people are now able to get assistance from FEMA as well. Apparently homeowner's insurance doesn't cover floods- and flood insurance is super expensive. FEMA will qualify victims for up to $28,000- which helps- but that won't rebuild a home that sat under 5 ft of water, or farms that lost livestock and produce. There is still much need.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

1. Christmas cards. I got most of mine in the mail yesterday finally- and we've been getting some in the mail lately. Its so fun to hear from so many friends and family through the mail (what seems more and more an outdated form of communication- but is so FUN to get)lately.

2. KSL.com this website has a great classifieds section where you can advertise pretty much anything for free! We helped our friend sell his dryer (we'd been storing it for him) yesterday, and I've found good deals there myself in the past.

3. Go getters... so I think we're actually doing it. We found a real estate agent that we were able to work out a couple of deals with who I just think might be able to make this whole house selling/buying thing happen. AGH! Is this really happening?!?!

Monday, December 10, 2007

1. Chocolate croissants! My dad has a connection with an famous pastry chef who makes these delectable treats. Thus, every year for Christmas we get a package of frozen chocolate croissants that we then thaw and bake for a spectacular holiday treat. They came to our door this week and I'm just trying to decide what special day we'll allow ourselves to eat them!

2. Deep thoughts from a 3 year old! Last night Josh was being so cute- he came and sat by me and was just carrying on the cutest little conversations with me! It wasn't so much what he was saying, just that he was sitting so quietly and chattering on with such a sweet smile on his face.

3. Sanitizing wipes. These are a life saver as far as I'm concerned.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

OOPS! Its been a few days. Thing have just been busy (but good) lately. That and Josh has found a love for his Blues Clues computer game and seems to monopolize the computer during times when I think to sit down and write.

1. Blessing of service. My cousin Natalie just had her third child 3 weeks ago. We visited her in the hospital- but with Thanksgiving and colds etc I haven't been able to see her since. Thursday I took the boys to her house. I told her I'd be there in the afternoon to take care of her older two kids and make her dinner so she could rest, focus on the baby, and do whatever else she needed to for the afternoon. It worked out great because Josh loves playing with "cousins" and so he loved it, and she had to take baby Nora for a hearing check and so was able to go and come back without hauling the other two around with her. We also had time to chat and hang out some- and heaven knows a little adult conversation during the day is nice for stay at home moms!

2. Christmas music! I've been pulling out CDs and downloading some new tracks into a new '07 Christmas Favs and I just love Christmas music. Josh's favorite is "Jingle Bells" since the lyrics are pretty easy for him to sing along to!

3. Snow- not rain. So the storm that flooded my parents home has reached us and has dumped tons of snow on us! There was mostly rain for one day, and then it turned to snow. My mom has been busy with disaster relief (she's the relief society president of their ward) but once again I'm also grateful they're doing relatively well.

4. "Aunt Trish". My friend Becca watched the boys for us yesterday. We dropped them at her house and then headed up to Brighton to take advantage of all this glorious powder and do some snowboarding! It was such a fun day- and we got cheap lift tickets as part of a fund raiser for the special olympics!

5. Dreams. I think I've mentioned my "dream home" on here in the past. Its funny how things work. Once I let go of the "I have to have it" idea things have begun to turn in our favor. We hit our savings reserve goal, interest rates are dropping below 5.5%, home prices are dropping, and the home has now sat on the market with no offers for several months. Even with prices dropping we probably have enough equity in our current home to make a substantial down payment, and it has a full kitchen in the basement and enough rooms on the upper floor that we can rent it out to a friend to help with the change in mortgage payment for the first while. Oh- and Jake has suddenly decided he really loves it too, and our second business is making great progress. Does this mean we're buying the house for sure? No. But we went and looked at it again Friday, and it sure seems like the stars are aligning! We'll see what happens.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Thanks:

1. Our sewer/plumbing system. This may seem like a strange pick- but when you think about it- it really is amazing. There are many countries that don't have such a sophisticated systems.

2. Online shopping. I don't do a ton of this- but it sure can be nice and convenient at times. I especially like sending my digital files to be printed into photographs.

3. Christmas crafts. Last night for our laurel activity we made cute "Wise men still seek him" signs.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Thanks:

1. Relief Society. I don't know a lot of the sisters in my ward group- but last night I went to our enrichement "Christmas Share" night- and it was nice to see how many I do know, and to feel the spirit and learn more about some I don't know very well.

2. Christmas stories. There were many shared last night, and I pulled out all of our Christmas books and have been reading them with Josh and I just love all the wonderful stories that have been inspired by Christmas.

3. Modern medicine.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Thanks:

1. FHE. Primary song sing time. A good lesson from Jake. Hungry Hungry Hippo rounds. And ice cream for our treat. It was a fun one.

2. A prepared family. There is major flooding where my mom and family live right now (Centralia, WA). Homes, cars and livestock have been washed away. Luckily my family lives at the top of a huge hill (my step-dad new they were moving to a "flood zone" and so they only looked at properties on higher grounds) and they have lots of wood and food storage to help them get through the next few days. This is a huge blessing, because even though they are much better off than people in the valley- they are expecting to be stuck at home till at least Wednesday.

3. Warm socks.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Thanks:

1. Snow! We woke up to lots of beautiful snow Saturday morning. If it's gonna be cold, it might as well snow!

2. Home teaching. Yesterday we received a home teaching visit- and it was a good lesson that I think we needed. My husband got a new home teaching assignment, and couldn't get ahold of his companion- so we made cookies and took them to this new couple who've moved into our ward. They're a fun couple and we have quite a bit in common (they're younger with no kids, but we still have similar interests/hobbies). It was nice to get to meet them.

3. Ward Christmas parties. Our was nothing special- but still fun. We sat next to two young women who were so cute and helpful with my boys. And we have LOTS of people musically talented who performed and brought in the Christmas Spirit.

4. Christmas Discovery. I've been reading Christmas books with Josh, and he loves pointing out the Christmas lights and trees as we drive around, and he's learning some Christmas tunes... its cute to see him catch the Spirit of it all.

5. Family time. Life can get so busy. Sometimes even when we're all home it seems like we're not really together- but this weekend we made time for some good family time- I love my growing family and how much fun we have together!

6. "Pretty Please!" its the first time Josh added "pretty" to his pleases. Must have picked it up in nursery. I thought it was cute.