Christmas Update

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Natalie's Baptism

Can you believe the cousins' clothes all coordinated?  How fun is that!

I left a spot to photoshop Hannah into the picture.  ;-)

So the baptism went great.  We were happy to have some family drive down to be with us.  And there were some wonderful ward friends who showed up as well, which made it very special for Natalie.  She was so excited, but we were worried she was coming down with a cold.  
Luckily she pulled it together for the big day.

Obviously we are not used to grouping together for a family picture without Hannah.  There are gaps in all of them!

Congrats, Natalie!  We are so pleased with your decision to be baptized and your excitement about it. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

8 is GREAT!

Yep.  At 12:21am Miss Natalie turned 8.  Since she was 8 for so long before breakfast, we figured she was practically 8 1/2 now.  She's pretty excited about this birthday of hers!

This little girl was born 8 years ago.  She was the second and only child other than Hannah where I started labor at home (that is weird when you think about it).  Great story from her birth - I had to have antibiotics and an IV because of the strep B that sometimes is present.  We decided to do an epidural to help the wait along (antibiotics have to be spread out in two doses).  So I was feeling pretty good during labor.  My doctor came over after work and I remember him sitting on the side of the bed telling me that he was going to rupture the amniotic sac so that labor would start progressing. He did the tiniest of tears because I WARNED HIM.... and a huge fire hydrant's worth of fluid came gushing out all over him, the bed, the floor.  It was a mess.  He had a stunned, shocked look on his face and I felt bad - I knew he'd had a rough day already.  But then he just laughed and said he guessed it was time to put on his scrubs!

I was really grateful that she waited until it was March to be born.  I don't know why.  I think because February is a hard month for me to say, but I've always had a thing about February being my least favorite month.

Natalie was also not even due until March 9.  She came early!!  I was so grateful, though.  My only early baby.  But she was healthy and chubby and ready to go!

Favorite sleeping thumb

Natalie was a very happy baby.  She was low-maintenance, easy to feed, easy to put to bed.  Just a joyful baby.

She has always had lots of happy energy.  She has strong emotions when she's upset.  Her moods change in an instant - she isn't the type to sulk.  She loves people, making friends, and is very physically expressive with her love.

Natalie has started learning how to feel the Spirit and has shared some lovely experiences with me when she knew she felt the Holy Ghost.  It is really special to have my children share those things.  And it makes me happy that she knows that Heavenly Father loves her and that the Holy Ghost is real.

She is full of energy and fun, and we love having Miss Natalie in our family.

February 2015
December 2016

Happy 8th Birthday, Natty-bug!!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Ed Week 3

This is the last post from Education Week.  I think.  I went to a bunch of classes by Stephanie Sorensen.  One was on the Beauty Paradox - it was a great talk about Righteousness, Self-Image, and Power.  If you want those notes, email me.  Great stuff to teach teenage girls (and their moms!)

But I really loved the class she gave entitled "Women as Gospel Scholars".  If you've paid attention lately at conference, there have been several talks about the need for the women of the church to have a "bedrock understanding of Gospel principles".  So this class is pretty timely as far as I'm concerned.  She shared talk after talk after talk.  I wrote down the reference so that I could go back and study them.  So what you have here are my brief notes jotted down during the flood of information, and lists of talks.  But I think they would make a great basis for improving Gospel study for anyone who's feeling a little at loose ends as to the WHAT of their study.

“We need more women who are Gospel scholars and more men who are Christians”. - Neal A. Maxwell

  1.  Why study?
Kimball GC 10/1979 “Role of Righteous Women” - use our scripture knowledge to love and serve others (nurturers)
Monson GC 4/1995  “A Time to Choose” - the scriptures were written for ME

  1.  What to study?
Start with a question or desire to learn.  Then ask God, not Google.  prayer, revealed, sinned, authorized sources: scriptures, standard works, guides, study helps, manuals.
________ GC 10/2011 “Power of Scripture”

inspired solutions to life’s perplexing problems
key to opening the channel to commune with Heavenly Father

Pinnock GC 10/1984 - learning our father’s will - words of living prophets.

Research tools: (search: discussions - has BYU professors discussing scripture) - all the seminary and institute stuff including 4 new foundation courses

Kimball GC 10/1979 or 1978 “Privileges and Responsibility”
Nelson GC 10/2015 “A Plea to My Sisters”
Kimball GC 10/1979 “Role of Righteous Women”

Maybe read last 5 years of 1 apostle’s conference talks to see the pattern of the apostolic witness they feel prompted to teach.

Use the index to connect scripture and conference talks.  Awesome resource.

Maybe we should use the websites for FHE - have the kids learn about them, what resources are there

  1.  How to study?
What do you want to learn?  Be a seeker.


You can know.  The Gospel can be written in my heart.

Julie Beck “Comfort in Questions”

Start with what you know.  Search for more patterns.  Questions that will strengthen our faith are the ones we are more likely to receive answers to.

Alma 31:5, 32:27, John 7:16-17
Acting upon knowledge brings MORE knowledge

Shannon Foster (Red Headed Hostess) - How a busy mom can study her scriptures
principle of grace tells us that we can take something that’s not that great and it will be good enough.

Julie Beck GC 4/2010 “Handmaids’ talk  see quote starting with “insights…”

Ed Week post 2

Since I've been lazing around a little more than usual trying to recuperate from my cold, I've taken a little more time to go over my notes from Education Week last summer.  I thought I'd post a little more of my favorite stuff.


Kevin Hinckley had a class on Forgiveness.

Reasons or signs I may not have forgiven:
  1.  I may not be done grieving - rushing or ignoring creates physical ailments
  2. I still have bad days - emotional triggers cause NORMAL FEELINGS  Trauma changes us permanently and IT’S OK.
  3. I keep repeating my grief story - burns into you, forms you identity.  All the emotions and physical feelings come back.
        Peace is not the absence of conflict; real peace can exist in the midst of conflict.  Peace                         is often the acceptance of conflict.

    1 Nephi 1:1  - Nephi starts off by telling us that his is a gratitude story.   Can’t pretend the bad stuff never happened, but….  I went through some really hard times, Nevertheless…

    Gratitude goes to every cell in your body.  You are more healed.  Impacts all your body systems.

  1.   I’m waiting for ________ to do/say/change ________.
this gives power to the events and people that affect us.

  1.     I will have to accept being changed.  I will never be the same person.  Accept that mortality changes us.


I also went to all the classes by - oh shoot - his last name is Taeger but I didn't get the first name written down.  Anyway, one of his sessions was on marriage.  A few highlights:

people are appalled when their spouse criticizes.  Marriage doesn’t bring you into confrontation with your spouse so much as confront YOU with yourself.

When we get angry at another person’s mistakes we are saying “I would never make that mistake”.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Prepping for RS

I'm giving the Relief Society Lesson on Sunday -  here are my thoughts and preparation so far.

I felt inspired about three weeks ago to start preparing a lesson on the purpose of Relief Society.  To that end I did a ton of reading.  I read the entire "Daughters of My Kingdom" book (the little blue book that came out awhile back) and every conference talk I could find on the subject.  I also browsed blog posts by other women and delved into the scriptures.  And then I got stuck in my lesson preparation.  See there was SO much good information but I couldn't figure out what or how much to share in a 30 minute Relief Society lesson.  How on earth do you distill 3 weeks of study into a 30 minute class (plus let others have a chance to talk).  It actually made me wonder if I was barking up the wrong tree - maybe I just needed to learn this for myself and I wasn't meant to actually teach on it.

But with prayer and some great ideas that were sparked by conversations with various people I got a little more direction and decided to focus on Relief Society principles and how they have been exhibited by women through the ages, and of course how they can be exhibited by us.

To that end I utilized as a wonderful resource a great blog called Women In The Scriptures, which gave me an already put together list of every single woman listed in the scriptures.  If you're curious - there are a LOT.  Not all of them have a lot written about them, but many of them have something written that we can learn from.  So I took these lists and went to the scriptures to see which sisters in history I wanted to talk about in Relief Society.  I decided to try to stick to more commonly known stories with the most information so that we would have a good chance at having everyone familiar with the general stories surrounding them women we discussed.

Anyway, here are the scriptures I hope to go over on Sunday:

Luke 2:36-38
Mark 12:41-44
Widow with 2 Mites
Luke 7:37-39, 44-50
Woman who washed the Savior’s feet

Ruth 1:16
Alma 56:47-48, 57:21, 26-27
Mothers of the Stripling Warriors
Moses 5:11-12, D&C 138:38-39
Eve and her Daughters
Romans 16:1
Genesis 24:45-46
1 Kings 17:10-16, Luke 4:25-26
Widow of Zarapheth

The idea is that we read them and talk about how each sister exhibits one of the three purposes of Relief Society: increase faith and personal righteousness, strengthen home and family, and help those in need.  
We will talk about how relief society existed in the original church that the Savior established.  For a cool idea about that - check out the scripture on Phebe.  Doesn't it sound like she was the Relief Society president??

I guess my main concern is that this is a lot of scriptures to read aloud - and I think that's boring sometimes.  So maybe we'll break up into small groups and have them work together?  That would be an different-style RS lesson!  I don't usually see much interaction like that.  Then they can take notes as each small group does their presentation.  Hmm... things to think about.  Anyway - I was excited about the things that I learned about these sisters in the scriptures and thought I'd share part of what I'm planning.  If I remember, I will share how the lesson turned out.  I'm looking forward to learning from the sisters.

Monday, January 30, 2017


I posted a few videos on YouTube.  Just some fun insights into life in our family.

First, the kids love, love, love to hear Josh laughing when he thinks something is super funny.  This little clip is after I sat on my bed and listened to him giggling for probably five minutes.  I couldn't figure out what was so funny for so long.  I finally got up to record it because this is just JOSH.  He's tapering off here, but obviously something was quite entertaining!

And this cute clip is Faith getting ready in the morning.  She's a woman of few words but I love it.

When Hannah got home from school or work she would do stuff like this EVERY day.  I know Hannah reads this blog and I don't want to embarrass her - but I gotta say I miss this!  She's awesome.

In December we went to Brynne's orchestra concert.  Here is a little clip.  Such a great performance!

And finally - sledding

Monday, January 23, 2017

One week in January

Natalie and Kenna both received top and bottom palate expanders, and Kenna also got four braces put on front.   This week we go in to see if they need more expanding on top, or what the next step is.

Logan started wrestling.  He's been teaching Natalie as he goes.  He loves it. 
 Comes home from practice a happy, worn out boy.

Co-op started back up after Christmas break and a snow day.  Faith enjoys getting ready to go with me.  I teach the first hour.  She packs her own lunch and eats it as soon as I start teaching (about 10:30 a.m.)  Which is fabulous because after I teach I take myself out to lunch and she is content with a smoothie.  Best Thursday tradition ever.

have you ever seen anything cuter?

Kenna took a sewing class with three of her friends.  
She gave away everything she made at the class,
 but then came home and promptly began sewing again.  
This is her first creation - pockets for one of her play skirts.  

Logan was invited to a birthday party where they raced goldfish.  Live goldfish.  It seemed sort of cruel to the fish.  But I guess these fish are raised for food and don't live long anyway.

Went exploring to Pacifica Garden and enjoyed the ice.

The pond was frozen solid.  Josh was finally able to find a rock big enough to make a dent and go through the thick ice - it was a rock about the size of a loaf of bread.

Otherwise the kids just broke the ice along the edge and enjoyed that.  We made them be ultra careful - no falling into freezing cold ponds allowed!

We had a service day and got to play with twins!

After less than two weeks of practice, the first wrestling meet occurred.

Logan was pleased that he won both of his matches.

See that outstretched arm in the photo below?  Apparently that is the hold you are going for.
See the guy with the rolled up towel?  His job is to time each 90 second period.  When it's over he gets to whack the ref with the towel.  I totally want that job. 

I learned a lot I about wrestling just by watching.  And squeezed Faith so hard every time Logan wrestled that she would start to cry.  I tried to encourage her to not stand between my legs but she insisted and I couldn't help the excitement!

This girl started Sunbeams.   She has two of the best grandma teachers in the world and she loves it.

We had a science day and for once all the experiments worked like they were supposed to.

I love when Brynne comes home.  She stands on the stairs and tells me funny stories from her day.

It's hard to see here, but she got a haircut -including bangs.  

Faith kept telling me she wrote me a letter (as I kept telling her to stay off the computer).  I found out later she did indeed write me a "letter".  I found an open document on my computer entitled "Letter" that was filled with - of all crazy things - letters.   I'm not sure how she did that.

this is her trying to convince me, cutely, that she should use the computer.

Sometimes I have a weird family.  But only sometimes.

Last night Brynne taught our Gospel Study.  It was cool.  I love having big kids who love the Gospel.