So Happy Together

We recently went to Rob’s office as a family field trip. He needed to make a call to Australia on a Sunday evening, which was their Monday morning, so it was a good opportunity to show us around without being a distraction. First we visited his office. A computer, piles of papers, a telephone, pretty predictable. Hard to believe our fantastic Daddy spends his work hours in such an ordinary place. I remember going to my dad’s office as a kid and thinking it was the most exciting place to be. I’d play on the phone, write post it notes, and type on the typewriters. Our kids were the same way visiting their dad’s office. So many work things and office supplies to see!

In the 60’s the buildings were hip, but now it’s not quite as  impressive. However, there are beautiful grounds to walk around on. The kids loved walking around the gardens and looking at all of the beautiful plants, flowers, and trees which have been labeled with little plaques just like you’d see in a nature preserve. Here are some pictures I took of the kids with their Dad:

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Be A Hero

This is the fourth year that we have done Hero Camp. If you want to see past years here are the links: 2007 Operation Divine Love, 2008 Always Remember, 2009 Feel the Joy.  Because it is so fun and such a testimony builder, I decided that I really wanted the kids to have this experience again this summer, so we commuted the hour and a half drive to participate. We stayed with our good friends on Tuesday and Thursday night to break up the week and it wasn’t bad at all. Totally worth it!

This year’s theme was “Be a Hero.” The Olympics was part of the theme and the social hall was decorated like a stadium with balloon people. So cute. Each day (Mon-Thu) had a focus and a hero and there there are classes and activities revolving around that. The kids also practice songs throughout the week and perform them on Friday morning for their parents. There is a memory book that is put together for each child during the week too. This year I was on the committee for this so I didn’t spend much time involved with the classes, and don’t have as many pictures. But you’ll get a feeling for it.

Monday: Believe – Nephi – “I will go and do as the Lord commands…” 1 Nephi 3:7 – The kids talked about setting worthy goals and believing that the Lord will help you accomplish them. Hunter was a counselor this year and helped with organizing the groups and getting the kids where they need to be. He did a great job!

Tuesday: Train – Missionaries – “Be ye strong therefore,… for your work shall be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:7 –  The kids had their pictures taken in front of a Wheaties box for their memory books, and saw a dog show to demonstrate “the five S’s of training: stamina, speed, strength, skill and spirit.” -K. Doherty

Wednesday: Overcome – Job (Who better to demonstrate the ability to overcome obstacles?) – “And to him who overcometh, and keepeth my commandments unto the end, will I give power…” JST Revelations 2:26 –  A bubble lady gave a demonstration and there was an obstacle course that the kids did with donations going to an Autism awareness charity.

Thursday: Unite – Helaman and the Stripling Warriors (sorry the picture is so dark) – “they did assemble themselves together… and they were exceedingly valiant for courage… they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God…” Alma 53:16,20,21 – Each child had a picture taken with their mother and wrote a note for their memory book with the words “my mother taught me…” Sabrina wrote to swim; Hannah wrote to share and love; Emma wrote to be an example. They all decorated a cardboard shield and got an inflatable sword.

Friday is the most fun for the parents because that’s when the kids perform their songs, watch a slide show from the weeks activities, and get a memory book. Then everyone heads over to the lagoon to swim and play with their new and old friends. This year there was a sno-cone machine and nachos which Hunter hovered around much of the day. The girls swam and played for hours and then we left for home. I heard many times that week why did we have to move mom? I wish we could stay… I’ve heard a rumor that there will be a sort of manual made so others can start Hero Camps in their areas. I would be nervous to head it up, but it would be so fun to start it here next year. Something to think about…

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Sunday Best in Utah

Here’s a quick picture I took on Sunday while we were visiting Mammy and Pappy in Utah. If you look closely, you’ll count one extra member of the family. That’s Haven, our 9 year old cousin (and Kit Kittredge look-alike). She and Emma had a grand time together over our vacation. As did all of us with the whole bunch of cousins. More details to follow.

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Summer Vacation Day One

  • The kids built blanket forts in the family room
  • We had a family meeting (except for Rob, he was at work) and wrote on the calendar the things we want to do this summer
  • Drove 27 miles each way to get a pair of glasses left at a water park on a field trip
  • Had a discussion about consequences with my son regarding why I was making him pay me gas money for the trip there
  • Stopped at Barnes & Noble to pick up their summer reading program for the kids
  • We looked around and wrote out titles of books we like in preparation for a trip to the library tomorrow. I could never afford to buy enough to keep them busy all summer.
  • Mailed back a Netflix DVD
  • Got my Mother’s Day present from The Vintage Pearl. I love it! I’ve been wanting a mother’s necklace for years and Rob gave me a card on Mother’s Day that told me I should order up the one I liked.
  • Ate lunch – pizza tortillas
  • We all read and rested
  • Washed three loads of  laundry
  • Brought Emma to a swim activity
  • Decided it must be allergies that are making Hannah’s eyes water and making her feel sick.
  • Gave Hannah some Benadryl
  • Made the kids clean up their forts and did chores
  • Listened to lots of fuss from a certain youngest child
  • Vowed that tomorrow we will work first, and play later
  • Hunter sent out emails for his “Bake Sale.”  He’s making, selling, and delivering yummy treats.
  • Made stroganoff for dinner
  • Welcomed home Daddy
  • Decided maybe it’s not allergies, because after a nap, Hannah still has a tummy ache
  • Watched some Veggie Tales with the kids

Bedtime now, and we’ll see what tomorrow brings

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February Ketchup

Here is a new batch of pictures! Unfortunately I’m only to February in my photo gallery. For more pictures not seen here, visit the February gallery.

Princess Dress-ups from Nana’s closet.

Nana helped the kids make an early-birthday fairy cake for Sabrina with fondant! A first for all of us.

Fondant flowers, butterflies, lipsticks, and a lake with Tinkerbell flying over head- All of Sabrina’s favorites- Especially when the candles were on.

We were so excited to see our cousins again! Owen jumped out of the van before they even made it up the hill…

…And then Kate promptly tackled Hannah!

The kids (mostly Owen and Davis) spent lots of time with the gazillion legos.

Kate kept swiping the girls’ clothes and shoes and showing up in them. She really liked Sabrina’s princess shoes!

By the end of the visit “Brina Bell” and “Katerbug” had traded names. Such cuties!

The day before her birthday Sabrina insisted that we decorate Easter eggs. We ate them for breakfast the next morning along with the traditional donuts.

Sabrina is four years old!

Candles and a lip gloss necklace, her favorite!

Sabrina wanted the cute princess castles and shoes in her cupcakes.

Such a lovely girl!

And as quick as you can blow out a candle, that was the end of February!

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Mothers And Daughters

Today I went Visiting Teaching and was in charge of sharing a lesson. Since April was General Conference I got to choose the message. So in honor of Mother’s Day I chose the talk by Elder Ballard, Mothers and Daughters. After reading the talk and then presenting it three times this morning, I just had to share some of my favorite parts.

It’s hard to find our place as women in the world when so often we are berated for standing up for morals and values. Elder Ballard reminds us of the sacred role we play in Heavenly Father’s plan and of the respect the priesthood leaders of the church have for women: “It is, unfortunately, all too easy to illustrate the confusion and distortion of womanhood in contemporary society. Immodest, immoral, intemperate women jam the airwaves, monopolize magazines, and slink across movie screens—all while being celebrated by the world. The Apostle Paul spoke prophetically of “perilous times” that will come in the last days and specifically referenced something that may have seemed particularly perilous to him: “silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts” (2 Timothy 3:1, 6). Popular culture today often makes women look silly, inconsequential, mindless, and powerless. It objectifies them and disrespects them and then suggests that they are able to leave their mark on mankind only by seduction—easily the most pervasively dangerous message the adversary sends to women about themselves.”

My mom with her reunion committee last summer

Message I most want my daughters and nieces to hear, because it’s so true. I can see this clearly now about my own mother, but I wasn’t always so sure (love you mom!): “Love your mother, my young sisters. Respect her. Listen to her. Trust her. She has your best interests at heart. She cares about your eternal safety and happiness. So be kind to her. Be patient with her imperfections, for she has them. We all do.

For all mothers of daughters and sons this is crucial. Everything we say and do goes into their heads and is processed. As my dear friend recently reminded me, they may not seem to be listening or watching, but they are; So we should fill their heads with positive things: “Let me assure you that even when you think your daughter is not listening to a thing you say, she is still learning from you as she watches you to see if your actions match your words. As Ralph Waldo Emerson is believed to have said, “What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.”

With Sabrina and Hannah after The Three Bears

Some reminders of the things Mothers can do to raise daughters of faith:

  • …avoid the temptation to gossip or judge one another
  • A mother-daughter relationship is where a daughter learns how to nurture by being nurtured.
  • …(teach) the importance of making covenants, and then show them how to keep those covenants in such a way that they will desire to live worthy to go to the temple.
  • Immodest, unchaste women are glamorized and all too often celebrated and emulated….You need to have frequent, open discussions during which you teach your daughters the truth about these issues.
  • …learn how to recognize the presence and the voice of the Spirit.
  • Point them to the scriptures.
  • Give them experiences that will help them cherish the blessing of priesthood power in their lives.
  • God will truly hear and answer their prayers.
  • if needed, teach them how to repent and how to remain pure and worthy.

The thesis for Elder Ballard’s talk: “I hope you are listening and see a pattern and hear a steady, consistent message that in these last days it is essential—even critical—that parents and children listen to and learn from one another. These are not just ethereal concepts about which I have been speaking. They are the essence, the center, of God’s plan for our eternal happiness and peace.”

Me and the big kids on New Years

Hunter graduates from primary soon, and we enter the world of  “the youth.” I hope and pray that this is a time of learning and growth for him, and his parents, as he figures out the man he wants to become: “…the home is the most important place to prepare the youth of today to lead the families and the Church of tomorrow. It rests upon each one of us as mothers and fathers to do all we can to prepare our youth to be faithful, righteous men and women. It is in the home where we must teach the gospel by precept and by example.”

The Mutual theme for 2010 applies to our youth as well as to all of us: “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:9).

My family

Our family at Cabrillo Tidepools

Elder Ballard closes with this beautiful quote from President Joseph F. Smith that reminds me why families and motherhood are so important: “…We form associations and relations for time and all eternity. . . . Who are there besides the Latter-day Saints who contemplate the thought that beyond the grave we will continue in the family organization? the father, the mother, the children recognizing each other..? this family organization being a unit in the great and perfect organization of God’s work, and all destined to continue throughout time and eternity?”

To listen to this talk click here.

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