Wednesday, April 30, 2008

1. Mama back in town. My mom is in town this week. She's got a booth at the woman's expo to show her new greeting card/signs. It's always nice to have mom around though. She's just so loving and giving.

2. BriAnn's baby shower. I just got back from that actually. It was so fun to see her pregnant belly. Lots of people were there to support her. Lots of great advice given during the candy bar game. Lots of cute gifts. What a fun and exciting time for her!

3. Sunless tanning lotion. So with warmer weather I'm finally showing my legs in shorts and skirts again- and they were WHITE. Thank heaven's that sunless tanning lotions have come a long ways. Since my Hawaii days I'm not such a fan of frying myself in the sun or in a bed- but these daily lotions that slowly give you a little glow give me no guilt- and make me not so blinding.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

1. Yoga!!! So I've been trying to be better about getting excerise into my daily routine- up until now its been bike rides or my yoga/pilates dvd - which are both great- but yesterday I started my three weeks unlimited yoga at a really cool yoga studio in the riverbottoms. It's where I went for prenatal yoga when I was prego with both boys- but I've never been to their regular classes. I've done regular yoga classes at other places, and with my home DVD and always love it- but this class kicked my butt. It kicked it in a good way though. I love yoga because it speaks to my body. I just respond to it so well. It hurts- especially when they move as fast as this class did- but it hurts in a good way. I'm so excited because whenever I really get into yoga I start sleeping better, eating better, having better posture, having more energy, etc etc etc. It was just a great feeling to take my body through that whole workout and really push myself (which I don't do as much when I'm just doing the DVD at home by myself).

2. A hubby sponsored date night. JAke took the initiative to plan a nice date night for us on Friday. We went to McGraff's fish house (a favorite- but a pricey one- that we don't go to often) and then to a comedy club. The headliner at the club was HILLARIOUS- my favorite was when he talked about what its like to be non LDS in Provo/Orem. "My other NO-MO (you can't use that, that's our term) friends come up to me and say, 'It's hard to not be LDS and live in Provo' and I say, 'What?!' yeah its hard to live here and have your yard raked and you driveway snowblowed and casseroles brought to you when you're sick... Man I have NO problems working the system- I go to my Mormon neighbors and say, 'Hey, I'm your non-member neighbor and I was just wondering if you know anything about sprinkler systems...' the next thing I know I'm an elder's quorom project! Yeah- I agree with you guys this IS the place!"

3. A relaxing weekend. With now talks or lessons to teach at church this Sunday it was a pretty kick back weekend.

4. A beautiful evening. Tonight was beautiful and we ate outside again. The lighting was nice and I got some nice photos of the boys.

5. New haircut. I've been wanting to cut my hair for a while but couldn't decide on a style and length- I finally went and just did it. I cut it to shoulder length- and while its not as drastic as I was maybe thinking I might go in length or style- its a good change and I like it well enough.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

1. Family bike rides. Jake found a good deal on a street bike on KSL and bought it last weekend. The weather this week has been crazy, but he's ridden his bike to work a couple times- I've ridden with the boys a couple times, and last night we all went on a ride together. It's been lots of fun.

2. Bath time. The kids love it, and after playing outside all day (yesterday) they needed one! After bath I'm happy and so are they.

3. Navajo tacos. I haven't made these in forever because I hate frying food (not very healthy and it smokes/stinks up the house) but every once in a while I'll break down for this yummy recipe. We also fry up the dough for honey-buttered scones. Tasty!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

1. playing outside.

2. Jake's softball game.

3. A working refrigerator/freezer. Ours was out of comission for a little bit and I realized how crucial this item is. I had to move all the stuff in the freezer to the mini-freezer in our garage and try and keep everything cold in the refrigerator till it could get fixed. Besides quite a bit of milk we made it through the ordeal ok.

Monday, April 21, 2008

It was a good weekend.

1. Saturday we had a BBQ to celebrate my friend Becca's Birthday. Mexican style taquitos- yumm!

2. In preperation for the BBQ we finished laying our patio tiles, bricks, and firepit area. I think it looks pretty snazzy.

3. Cold Stone Ice Cream Cake for dessert. Not healthy at all- but oh so good.

4. Sunday Josh gave his first talk in primary. It was so cute. He practiced saying aloud what Jake whispered in his ear- and holding up his blue Book of Mormon when he talked about the scriptures (but when it came to that point in his actual talk he was so concerned about holding the microphone he just tapped on them as they were sitting on the podium next to him). Our little boy is growing up so fast. Here's Josh's talk:

"God gave us prophets to teach us what is right. Our prophet today is Thomas S. Monson. Prophets teach us that we should read and pray about the scriptures. The Book of Mormon is scripture that teach us about Jesus. I love to read my scriptures and say my prayers."

5. On Sunday I spoke in sacrament meeting. I mentioned a few days ago my first random thoughts on my topic. Included here is the outline of my talk. I didn't think it went all that well- but I got TONS of compliments- and Jake and Becca both said I did well.

My talk is on diligence and faith- with an emphasis on diligence
I’m very thankful for the subject I was assigned, as it has really lead me to understand how important diligence is in our salvation- yes you heard me right- I now believe diligence is a requirement to our salvation. Honestly- I had no idea how many times the word diligence was mentioned in the scriptures until I looked it up in the topical guide (there is an entire column of references!). As I read through and thought more about diligence I came to realize that it really is the 5th principle of the gospel. Don’t believe me- you’re thinking then why wasn’t it listed in the 4th article of faith?
Let me explain, as a missionary when we taught people what was then the2nd discussion we taught them about the first principles and ordinances of the gospel; faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the holy ghost- the discussion didn’t end there though- the last principle we taught them was the principle of obedience and enduring to the end. 2 Ne 31 is an excellent discourse on this subject verses 15 & 16 read….. There it is. Enduring to the end is required for salvation and I believe diligence is what Nephi referred to as enduring to the end.
The definitions of enduring and diligence are similar
To support adverse force or influence of any kind; suffer without yielding; suffer patiently
Surely this is important, but even Nephi is saying more beyond just “suffering life patiently” after baptism and the gift of the holy ghost. In verses 19-20 he says….
1.constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken; persistent exertion of body or mind.
And that is what Nephi is really explaining here- and that is why throughout the scriptures we continue to see examples and teachings of diligence. So why ISN’T it listed in the fourth article of faith? Maybe because if we’ve truly developed FAITH diligence will then follow. Faith is always the seed for diligence. Ether 12:4 teaches us that…. So if faith gives us this anchor that leads to diligence and unwavering- why do we so often feel faith in something and then not remain diligent? That is because lasting faith, requires nourishment and work; Alma 32:41 teaches this…. Thus, while we must start with that hope and particle of faith, our faith becomes stronger after work- and over time work and faith will lead to true diligence.
In other words brothers and sisters, Do you DO because you KNOW? Or do you KNOW because you DO? If we feel we lack in faith- we can increase our efforts to be obedient (do, do,do), as we see the blessings that come from our efforts our faith is increased. If our faith is increased, our desire to work will increase- and over time we become diligent in that thing. That principle has now become a part of us. We have become changed. We no longer have a desire for evil- but to continue in the good unceasingly. When we have gained diligence in one principle of the gospel it will inspire faith, works and eventually diligence in other things as well. I believe this is what Alma is trying to convey in Alma 5- this discourse used to frustrate me because after verse 26 alma launches into a series of questions “are you humble, are you prideful, are you envious, so on and so on?” and I’d feel like- man I’ll never be everything I’m supposed to be- but if we look at verse 26 we can see that he’s not really trying to inspire guilt-
Alma5:26 says…
So what he’s really teaching us is that if we have felt faith and change- that is no enough- it must be the kind of change that continues to ask “can you feel so now?” or “is there yet more to change an gain faith in?”
That is when we’ve gained true diligence. When our diligence has moved from being diligent in certain aspects of the gospel- to being diligent in change of heart- of growing closer to our savior- of being truly committed to him.
I hope that brothers and sisters is what I can leave you with today- the desire to be diligent in change. Yes we can start by being diligent in certain aspects of the gospel- this is what ask (what am I diligent in and where do I need to learn to be more diligent)- but the greater diligence is diligence in continued growth and change- until we are prepared to meet our Father and say- I have done all that I can, and now with the Lord seek to be whole.
After that message there is one other thing I would like to share- and that is something that hit me with added force recently while teaching the laurels--- we were reading in 1 Nephi 16
Verse 28
As we seek to be diligent the Lord will guide our lives to OUR PROMISED LAND!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My favorite things of today have to do with Josh imitating his father:

1. "Let's do this!" Jake always says this when he's feeling motivated and wanting to get going (not always an easy thing with two little ones around). Josh has recently picked this up and now when he's wanting to get going to gymnastics, or a promised walk to the park, or whatever else he's started saying, "Come'on Mom- Let's do this!"

2. "Here's the deal..." Jake uses this when trying to get me to agree with him on an idea or something. Yesterday and today when I've told Josh "No" to something he's started trying to compromise/negotiate "Okay Mom, here's the deal..."

3. Hugs and snuggles. Both Josh and Dekker are good at offering snugglers, huggs, and kisses. Today Jake came home from work and after eating dinner I followed him upstairs talking. As he was changing his clothes I laid on the bed, he then came curled up with me as we finished what we were talking about. We were both half asleep when the boys came in (they're never too far behind)- they couldn't stand not being part of the "circle of love" of course and so Josh climbed up on the bed and laid right over the top of us- Dekker meanwhile cried at the edge of the bed until we helped him up to join the party. I realized that they probably picked up on the hugs n loves from watching their Daddy.

Faith and Diligence

I was asked to speak in sacrament meeting this coming Sunday on Faith and Diligence. I wasn't given any specific scripture, but told that there was a quote by Elder Scott that connected the two themes. I've been going through the topical guide looking at the two words and where they're find... I'm sitting down right now to see if I can find the Elder Scott quote.

So far I've been impressed with how much the word diligence is in the scriptures- more than I had realized. At first my though, and I think it was influenced by my bishop's implication that diligence in obedience leads to an increase of faith. While that is certainly true- I think its kinda like the bearing of testimony can strengthen a testimony- or grace and works- that the opposite is also true. Faith truly is an "anchor" to our souls, if we have faith it helps us to be steadfast and immovable. If we feel we lack faith- we can improve our efforts to be diligent, and as we do we will gain testimony and faith in those things to which we are obedient. The gift of faith though will always encourage obedience, improvement and therefore diligence...

What are some of YOUR thoughts?

Monday, April 14, 2008

1. Warm sunny days! Today was HOT- I think it topped out at about 80 degrees! The boys and I were outside almost all day. Thanks to me not remembering sunscreen (who can remember that after such a long winter?!) we even got a little bit pink.

2. Bike rides with my boys. With nicer weather I'm out biking with the boys a lot. Sometimes Josh and I "race" around the cul-de-sac. Him on his tricycle, me on my bike with Dekker in the trailer. Other times Josh hops in the trailer and we ride over to one of the few nearby parks. It's lots of fun and good exercise too.

3. Water. When you're out playing in the sun, its nice to get a good long drink of that wonderful H2O.

4. Feeling better. I'm finally feeling quite a bit better today. Nothing like sunshine and running around to clear your head.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

So its been a pretty crazy week. The agent of our dream home started contacting Jake recently to see if we were still interested in the home and might be able to work things out. Jake told him that trying to get the sell of our home and the buy of that home to work out had just been too frustrating- so the only way we'd be interested is if we could work out a lease to own option that would allow us time to sell our home without the stress of aligning the two contracts. Surprisingly he said that the seller was willing to consider it. However, her lease amount was the same of what ownership payments would be - which would not make it easy for us to take time selling our home, and just didn't really make any sense. However, she also said she'd offer owner financing for a purchase- this made more sense because she would require less of a down payment that would could afford with savings and then have more money left over after the sell of our home. Through all of this I really didn't get excited- I just was so burnt out after our last efforts to make things work that I didn't want to get my hopes up again. Jake however, for the first time, was getting really excited. We decided to get a couple of friends who said they'd be interested in renting out the basement over to check it out, and to give ourselves another chance to see the home and see how we felt.

Honestly, I thought I'd go and not like the home as much as I'd remembered- but I fell in love with it all over again and as we spent more time there- found MORE things I really liked about it- and our friends thought the basement was great for renting as well. Before I knew it we were writing up an offer with owner financing details. That was Wednesday night- and we put a Friday by 9pm response time- but told the agent he'd have to contact us by cell phone since we were leaving for Rexburg the next morning and wouldn't be back until Saturday.

We went to Rexburg for Jake's brother's graduation. We set tried to put thoughts of the home out of mind and just enjoy times with the family. It really was a fun visit- but we were frustrated when 9pm on Friday rolled around and we'd heard nothing from the agent. Jake sent him a text asking what the status was. He responded apologetically that he didn't have a formal counter offer together but that we should call him the next day and he'd have the details for us. We were upset that they hadn't responded within the set time frame- we'd told them we wouldn't be back till Saturday, but we'd still expected to hear on Friday. We weren't too suprised that she wanted to counter- we'd figured she'd want to negotiate the interest rate and/or down payment- but we were shocked when on Saturday we got word from the agent that she'd decided she no longer wanted to offer owner financing! This lady apparently has lots of money, and lots of people telling her how they think she should manage it, and she can never seem to make her own decisions, or stick with them for that matter. Here she'd come to us with the owner financing option- and now she was backing out! The agent tried to be positive by saying, "but she is willing to lower the price on the home even more if you want to fin a conventional loan, though she's not willing to make it contingent on the sale of your home." Sorry- we're not falling for that. With our luck we'd go through all the trouble of finding a buyer for our home again just to have her say, "Oh, I'm not really willing to sell it for that price after all."

We're trying to say, "Let's just forget about it. It's obviously not going to work." But its hard when we both love the home and neighborhood so much. It's hard because we feel like if we're going to stay here we should spend more money fixing up and paying off this home- but neither of us really feels that committed to staying here and so then we think well- maybe we continue to save money to try and buy that home- but yet it just never seems to work out. Jake said he wishes it would just sell so we couldn't even think about it anymore. I can't honestly say that yet... I still keep hoping maybe its just about things falling into the right time/place. Argh. That's that I guess.

On to a few best things:

1. A relatively smooth road trip. Thanks to a new movie and a plug in video game, the boys did well- and we are so thankful for a dependable car that can make these trips without any problems.

2. A random bed and breakfast. ALL the hotel rooms in Rexburg were sold out even a couple months before the graduation- I somehow found a little "bed and breakfast" that was just 4 miles south of Rexburg for a reasonable rate. I was nervous what it would be like since it sounded like it was just a couple rooms in the basement of an elderly man's home- but it was surprisingly roomy and nice - much more welcoming than a hotel room would have been. It was a little hard to leave the "party" at Rick and Jenny's where everyone else was crashing (on the floor and couches) but it made for much better sleeping for all (even them- apparently Kiley got sick and was throwing up during the night, so I'm sure it would have been worse if there were two more kids there waking up at random moments during the night). Especially since I and the boys do not do well sleeping in new places. I really do count it a tender mercy that I somehow found this place.

3. Temples. We were able to visit the new Rexburg temple grounds. It is a beautiful temple that looks so pretty up on the hill all lit up at night. Its amazing to me how each temple carries the same special feeling/spirit.

4. Sunny weather uppon our return. Rexburg was cold, with a biting wind- so it was nice to come home to warmer sunny weather!

5. Educations. Congrats to Rick on finishing his degree. He's taking a year off and then headed to medical school. I'm thankful for my own education, for the LDS colleges, as well as so many other great schools across this nation. Our public schools may be struggling in comparison to the world- but our private universities are always the best in the world!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

1. Finishing The Alchemist. Loved this book. This is not a great book as far as characters or a moving story. It is great because the writer gives great insight to life, and the gospel even in almost every sentence. It is amazing to me that SO many profound thoughts/ideas are expressed in so few pages and words. This book is a perfect example of how the mysteries of God are revealed to those who are willing to seek them.

2. Dinner and FHE with the Barrands. Yummy brazillian food - thank you Marcia! Great kid-tailored FHE lesson- thank you Bryce!

3. Spareribs Cantonese. A new favorite recipe that I found and made on Sunday. For the recipe go to the familyfoodshare link on my family photoshare page.

Monday, April 7, 2008

I apologize for the lack of entries as of late. There was a week or two where we were batteling the viruses, and then this last week my family was visiting- so I just haven't been able to write as much.

1. The Resurrection and atonement. I wanted to write this in back closer to Easter- I really am thankful for the knowledge that Christ died for me, and that he lives again. To know that he overcame both sin and death so that I can also have the right to those blessings give me greater understanding for the relationship I should be seeking with Him, and such great perspective and insight into the Plan that our Heavenly Father has for us- that there really is meaning and purpose to this life and the choices I make in this life.

2. Christ centered Ensign. The Ensign is a magazine our church puts out every month. The issue for the month of March was all Christ based. It was the resource for two young women lessons this month- one of which I had the opportunity to teach. It was a great issue!

3. General Conference weekend. Saturday and yesterday were the two days that our church holds a world wide conference that is broadcast and recorded/distributed around the world. This is done twice a year (October and April). Saturday was especially unique in that it was a "solemn assembly:- due to the recent passing of President Hinkley, it was the church's time to sustain our new Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, his councilors, as well as a new member of the 12 apostles and a few new members of the 70. It was neat to be a part of that assembly and wonderful to hear so many inspiring words from the inspired leaders of our church whom the Lord has called.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

1. Mom in town. Can I just say once again how nice it was to have my mom and stepfather in town for a few days?! It was so nice to be able to leave the kids with them and run some errands- and it was so nice to just have them around. My mom is so sweet- she just makes you feel good!

2. Dan in Real Life. Last night was their last night here (they left early this morning) and so my sister and brother came over and we all had dinner (made by Mom) and then watched Dan in Real Life. I'd seen it before- but it was fun to see a second time.

3. The Alchemist. I borrowed this book from a friend- I haven't had a ton of time to read yet, but I've started it and I'm excited because I've heard good things about it.

4. Sharing in other people's lives. My friend Bri recently found out her and her husband will be going to New Mexico for his residency- and so they went to check it out and ended up putting an offer in on their first home (they should find out today if it gets accepted). Its just so fun to hear her excitement and to share in such a big step in their lives!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

1. Soccer game. Saturday afternoon Jake took Josh to a Real Salt Lake Soccer game. They said it was cold but fun. I love that Jake does these little outings with Josh- I think its good for Josh, and nice for Dekker to have one on one time with just me sometimes too.

2. Jazz game. Jake's mom gave us tickets to a Jazz game for Jake's birthda- and the game was last night. It was fun. The Jazz stuck it to the Wizards!

3. Parents in town! My mom and stepfather came into town for a few days! It's been so great to have them around. My mom is especially cute with the boys. Josh adores her.