Monday, December 7, 2009

Called To Serve

D&C 65:2 The Keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth.

Last Wednesday, Collin went into the MTC! He is going to be serving in the Japan Fukuoka Mission. We're so proud of him!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Giving Thanks

D&C 78:19 "And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more."

This year we celebrated Thanksgiving with my Mom's side of the family. With my Mom & Dad in Europe enjoying Dad's 2 week leave, I got to help Grandma with this year's dinner. I've always helped in years past, but I've never actually been "in charge" and I was worried! But luckily all the food turned out great!

After dinner, everyone claimed that they wanted to watch the football game. In truth, they all just wanted to sit on the couch and take a nap! Grandma & Kaya snuck off to Grandma's comfy bed for a quick nap.

I love that this holiday brings us together as a family and we get to enjoy so much time together.
Throughout the rest of the week we had fun hanging out with Alicia & Rusty. We played lots of video games, watched movies, and
ate lots and lots of yummy food! Most of all, just relaxing and enjoying being together.

We were blessed to be able to have Alicia & Rusty hanging out with us all week long, and had such a wonferul time. Parker and I talk often about how full and blessed our lives are. We are so very thankful for our family and friends--we love all of you so much. Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and were able to reflect on all that we have to be grateful for.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Little Organization

I have a shelf! This may be mundane news to some of you, but I am SO excited about it! Parker and I have a storage closet on the outside of our condo and for the last year it has been a complete disaster. It didn't matter how I tried to organize it, it was always such a mess. And in order to get the box or item we needed I would have to unload the whole closet. Such a hassle.

Well, not anymore! My super helpful brother Rusty came over during Thanksgiving break and built a shelf in my closet. I can practically hear the Hallelujah chorus! I'm wishing I would have thought to take a "before" picture but here is the "after"!

Isn't it wonderful?!

And of course Krug found a way to include himself. He had fun playing with all the 2x4 scrap pieces.

Thank you so much Rusty!!!

The new shelf is perfect!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Have I mentioned that I have the MOST wonderful husband?! He somehow manages to put up with all my craziness--including my need to get my Christmas decorations out as early as possible! I am a complete Christmas nerd and love all things Christmas. The week before Thanksgiving he took the initiative and helped me haul out all the decorations and put up our Christmas Tree (which, if you saw the base close-up, you would realize what a complete and utter hassle that is.) He sang along with me to all our cheesy Christmas albums and helped me make our home look so very festive.

Even Krug enjoyed getting into the holiday spirit with his little doggie candy cane.

And apparently I wasn't supervising Parker's decorating efforts close enough. Can you tell what's wrong with this Nativity scene?

Here's a closer look. Can you see it now?

He put the little snowboarder next to Mary & Joseph! He thought he was so sneaky and funny but luckily I caught him. He was a little disappointed that I noticed so quickly :)

And I even managed to get all our shopping done and all the presents wrapped. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Finding Answers

The last couple of weeks I've been feeling like I was in a bit of funk. Something was missing and no matter how I searched, thought or prayed, I just couldn't figure it out. Life is really wonderful right now--my blessings far outweighing my trials. But somehow, I was just feeling lost.

During my lunch break today, I was reading through some past posts on a blog I've been following since the beginning of summer. It is written by a woman named Stephanie Nielson. Have you heard of her? I hope you have. Her posts are wonderfully inspiring. Her words change me. Her story has made me think about my own. It's reminded me that my life is my own--to make of it whatever I will. I need and want to make some changes.

I sat at my desk reading one of her posts about her beloved Mr. Nielson...and in that moment I found my answer.

If you haven't read her story, please do. Many times our days are filled with wasted moments. This will not be one of them.

This link provides the short version of her story.

The link to her blog (The NieNie Dialogues) is in my sidebar.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Rule #1: Projects involving glitter should always be done outside.

Rule #2: You should never wear a brand new expensive white shirt while doing said project.

Rule #3: Do not make the mistake of thinking the project will turn out exactly how you planned.

Needless to say, I broke all three of these rules this last Saturday. My Mom had given me some pumpkins a few weeks ago and after my Jack-o-Lantern disaster (more details on that project below) I decided that I would come up with an alternative to carving. I found a fun example of some pumpkins that had been decorated with glitter and used as Harvest decorations. A little glue and some glitter—how hard could this be? Famous last words!

I won’t go into detail but let’s just say that despite my best efforts glitter got everywhere. And I do mean EVERYWHERE! I also now need to scrub glue and glitter speckles out of a new white shirt (what was I thinking?!) And for some reason the darn red glitter ended up looking like oozing, dribbling blood. Not very Harvest-y if you ask me. But you know what? I actually had a fun time and enjoyed my afternoon glitter disaster. Hopefully I’m learning my lessons and my holiday projects next year will go a little smoother.

Since I didn’t get a chance to post them earlier, here are some of the pictures of my Jack-o-Lanterns from Halloween. I won’t go into details with this little project either. To make a long story short, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my pumpkins and it didn’t turn out. Not One. Single. Bit. Apparently pumpkin carving is not my forte. Or maybe it's just pumpkins in general?
Luckily, I have the BEST sister in the entire world and she took over my pumpkins (with a little help from Krug) and carved my mini Jack-o-Lanterns for me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Little Elevator Girl

The Little Elevator Girl. Doesn’t that sound like a great book title? Maybe someday. But for now, The Little Elevator Girl is one of the greatest highlights of my work week. Are any of you out there People Watchers? As of late, I have become a People Listener of sorts. Before you jump to the conclusion that I am a nosy eaves dropper, let me explain. My office can get pretty dang quiet and my desk is right next our front door which opens into a large inter -office foyer—great echoes, let me tell you! As a result, I can hear pretty much ANYTHING that goes on out there. After a year of listening to “foyer talk” I trained myself to listen for a few of my favorites. (The Whistler is one of my favorites too but I’ll have to tell you about him another time.)

Each week this little girl and her mother come to our building. I assume that they are visiting a spouse or family member on the 2nd floor (see I have to make up stories and assumptions to go along with my characters). This little girl is probably about 3 years old and has so much enthusiasm for life—I just love it! You can hear her chattering as soon as she enters the building. She then quickly jumps to the main topic of their weekly discussion: THE ELEVATOR.

She argues that she is big enough and always wants to ride it by herself. It’s so fun to hear how focused she is and she repeats herself over and over until she gets her point across.
“No, you take the stairs Mom!” (You really need to picture her saying this in her little 3 year old voice. It’s so darn cute!)

Her mother, always patiently responds that she will take the stairs but only after she makes sure her little girl pushes the right button. So trusting! As they walk closer and closer to the waiting elevator the little girl repeats urgently, “No, you take the stairs Mom!”

It seems that every step her Mother takes closer to the elevator is only assuring this little girl that her Mother will not, after all, allow her to ride it alone.

“I will take the stairs, but I need to watch you push the button first. Which button do you push?”
“One!” she responds enthusiastically.

“No, you need to push Two” Mom calmly replies.

“Two!” she shouts out excitedly.

And then comes my favorite part. I hear the elevator door close and moments later I hear the doors open on the 2nd floor and she shouts out, “I beat you!” (Which is so adorable after I have listened to her mother walk slowly up the stairs and even pause once or twice in order to give the elevator time to reach the top.)

And then I wait until the following week so I can hear this sweet little exchange once again.

I’m so thankful for the little things in life that make us smile!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Blessings of the Temple

“Let us be a temple-attending people. Attend the temple as frequently as personal circumstances allow. Keep a picture of a temple in your home that your children may see it. Teach them about the purposes of the House of the Lord. Have them plan from their earliest years to go there and to remain worthy of that blessing.” –President Howard W. Hunter, Ensign, Nov. 1994, 8

I wanted to take a moment and share how thankful I am for the temple. We had the special privilege of going to the temple the other night with the Ainge’s. Collin was going through the temple for the first time and I can’t even explain how wonderful it was to be there together as a family. I’m so grateful for this Gospel and the purpose it brings to our lives. And so thankful for a Savior who loves us and has made it possible for us to be together as families forever.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Hope you all had a fun Halloween weekend! We made another quick trip this weekend and went to St. George with some good friends to see Thriller at the Tuachan Theater. We had a really great time and owe a really big THANK YOU to Grandma Ainge for letting us stay in her condo while we were down there.

We got to be lazy on Saturday (which was WONDERFUL). We had fun playing games with Brad and Jenny. We get together with them and play games quite a bit. They are really good friends and we're so glad they came down with us. The boys are excellent game players and us girls have lost more than our fair share of games, but we're catching on to their tricks and strategies and learning to hold our own!
That night we drove out to the Tuachan Theater to see Thriller. It was A-MAY-ZING! The theater itself is beautiful as it is built right into the red rock mountains. The production was great and very entertaining. We stayed warm with our blankets and Jenny & I were both relieved that none of the zombies wandering through the audience came to bother us. (I love Halloween but absolutely hate to be scared! Ironic?)

They had a costume contest at the very beginning. I had to post this picture because it is the most creative costume I have ever seen! And this couple won, of course!