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Friday, February 26, 2010

A bit absent, but fully thoughtful

I've had a lot of thoughts on my mind lately. Ones that are hard to put into words though- or seem way too simplified once in writing compared to the depth of feeling they carry inside me... I wish I could though because all the feelings have increased my level of thankfulness.

In a very simplified form, here are a few thoughts of gratitude I've had lately.

1. Tithing. I have such a testimony of this. With all the crazy unexpected expenses we decided to re-examine our tithing contributions. We realized that perhaps we hadn't fully recognized all our "increase", and so made an adjustment. IMMEDIATLY our "bad luck" was replaced with good luck. Example? I was frustrated because our Tahoe didn't pass the required emissions test because of a check engine light reading and I had to take it to a mechanic. I found a mechanic who was rated well online (I'm always leary) and he tested everything only to find no problem at all, he cleared the light and told me that after a full drive cycle I should pass the test. Said that it was probably either from not keeping the gas cap tight, or a vent valve getting stuck because of debri (which he cleaned). His charge? ZERO DOLLARS! Yeah- I'll be taking my cars to him for all future maintenance needs. It wasn't as if we weren't paying an honest tithe before, but when you are generous with the Lord he is generous with you.

2. Small trials. I REALLY do not want to sound like I'm complaining too much about our "bad luck" as of late. It's true we've been through some challenges- but I know others who are going through so much more. Our really has a been a light burden. On Sunday we had ward conference. The stake relief society president spoke in RS and talked about self-reliance. She spoke about the needs in our stake and how the top three are employment, health and relationship issues. I've personally learned of these needs of some of the sisters in our ward, but also have friends and family members I know of going through such trials; and let us not forget those suffering in Haiti. As she spoke of the council we've been given surrounding tithing, budgeting, savings, emergency preparedness as well as education, emotional and spiritual well-being and then spoke of the promsises of peace that can come when we are doing our best to follow that council- I was washed over with the Spirit of testimony. I KNOW that we have been blessed because we have done our best to follow such council. We can make it through our own trials, and help others make it through theirs if we follow the council of our inspired leaders.

3. Small changes. I've recently tried to make some small changes in my attitude and in some of my personal spiritual goals. Again, my testimonty has been strengthened. It's amazing how the Lord magnifies our efforts, and how he blesses us for even the small efforts we make.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Games

1. Spiderman Memory. Becca gave this game to Josh for his Birthday and it has gotten TONS of use. The boys learned how to play pretty quickly and are actually really good at it too. It's actually a pretty fun one for us adults to play with them, but they also do a decent job of playing it together by themselves.

2. Go Fish. Nana bought this for the boys over the weekend (she must have gotten worn out on Memory). So it is now another favorite. We played it last night for FHE and it was fun.

3. Battleship. Jake and I were playing this a few weeks back and Josh wanted to learn. While it is certainly too complicated for Dekker to play, I'm ashamed to say that I thought it would be too hard for Josh as well. It wasn't though. Jake taught Josh how to read the coordinants and they've since played a few different times. Josh has even won!

4. The Olympics. Very inspiring. I love watching these games bring the nations together!

Monday, February 8, 2010

When it all falls apart...

We've had a string of "bad luck" lately. I think I told the stories of when our boat sank at Bear Lake, and when the kids decided to wash Jake's Audi with sand. More recently our Refrigerator broke, the glass in our oven door broke, our basement flooded, and our furnace broke- plus a few other things.

Worst of all though was that Roxy got out, was hit by a car and died. Friday night we realized she'd pushed the back door of the garage open and gotten out through the open garage door. We immediately went out looking for her. I went out first, then my mom, Denny, Kari and Garrett all split up in different directions. When Jake got home from class he went out looking too. Saturday morning Jake and I went to the animal shelter to look for her. Jake had sent out texts to tons of people in our ward, and at around 11am we got a call from one saying he'd found her dead by the stake center, and that she must have been hit by a car on 1600 North (just behind our house). Jake and I picked up her body and then drove up the canyon and found a nice place to bury her body. We both bawled- but I knew it was much harder for Jake- since in all reality she was HIS dog. We came home and told Josh and Dekker. Dekker doesn't understand- but Josh cried for a good half hour or more.

So yes, we've had a rough go.

However, there is still much to be thankful for:

1. Missionary work. My sister Karina has decided to serve a mission! I love missionary work and so I'm so excited for her and all that lies ahead. A while back when she was starting to think about it she came to me and asked me some of my thoughts. I had to hold back from saying "GO GO GO!" because my mission was and continues to be such a blessing in my life, but at the same time I know, that it is a very personal question and answer that really only the Lord can answer. It was so neat to hear how her answers came though,and to see that quiet confidence settle in her smile as she talks about it.

2. Sibling love. Two cute stories. First, the other day I had left Naomi alseep on my bed, but forgot to lock my bedroom door while I went into the bathroom. I came out to find Dekker leaning right over the top of her. "Dekker, please leave her alone and let her sleep," I asked. "But MOM, Look, SO SO pretty!" How could I dare ask him to leave such a cute little bundle of a sister alone?!
Second, we were needing a pick me up Saturday night- so we invited our friends, the Barrands, to meet us at Pirate Island Pizza. We all had a good time, but when it was time to leave Josh and Sam hadn't had enough time together I guess because Josh was already asking when he could see Sam again. Marcia invited Josh to go home with them and stay the night and offered to bring him home in the morning on their way to their Poruguese branch. Josh has never had a sleep over all by himself before, but seemed VERY excited, so we said he could go. When we started walking to our car though, and Dekker realized Josh wasn't coming he starting SCREAMING for Josh. We got him calmed down in the car- but it must have pulled on Josh's little heart string because I got a call from Marcia not too long later saying that she was bringing Josh home because he was crying and saying that "Dekker will have bad dreams without me!". When Josh got home Dekker was still bouncing around in his room and so I sent Josh in to give him a hug. "Josh you're home!" Dekker exclaimed happily. They hugged and then both went peacefully to bed.

3. Having my Mom in town. It was so nice to have my mom around this last week. Especially since I was still dealing with a lot of the flood and furnace repairs. I was also able to get in for much needed dentist and hair appointments- go to the gym and run other miscellaneous errands. Also very nice to have her prepare almost all the dinners this week, as well as do lots of laundry and cleaning etc. I would have to guess that her love language is acts of service because it seems like that's all she does, is look for ways to serve those she loves!