Monday, October 31, 2011

Sydney's school

A few weeks ago Sydney attended her first school assembly and she came home telling us that she was getting an award. Jeff and I both attended her assembly w/ camera in hand of course. She got a Language Arts award for Excellent handwriting. It has become more apparent since starting school that Sydney is meticulous and a perfectionist.
Last week we had her teacher/parent conference. She scored proficient at everything. She scored above proficient on "counts by 1's to 100." She counts to 109. She also got above proficient on classwork effort. "She participates and always tries her best. She knows her phonograms and her handwriting is excellent. She has lots of friends and generally gets along w/ everyone. Sometimes she has trouble controlling her impulses and makes poor choices instead of asking for help." We're very happy with everything Sydney is doing in school and are working on making good choices and asking for help. Last week she was Star Student and she was excited to make a poster about herself and speak in class about the pictures on her poster.
Last Thursday was "Twin Day." Her and 2 other friends dressed in Christmas dresses. Of course they weren't the exact same dresses. I just thought it was funny they wanted to dress up in Christmas dresses. We're having a fun time observing Sydney participate in school. Today we're celebrating halloween. Post coming soon.

Her teacher: Ms. Deming

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Before halloween is over, I should post the crafts I did this month thanks in part to Pinterest. If you haven't heard of Pinterest then come out of hibernation and enjoy the inspiration that awaits you. The candy corn and BOO sign were both made out of yarn and by the time I finished these 2 projects, I swore I wasn't going to lay my hands on yarn for another few years. These things were time consuming and not as easy as the cute, little pictures on Pinterest that I saw. For the BOO sign, I would've rather chosen to do the word EEK instead. Wrapping yard around the B was tricky. And if you ever decide to do the candy corn start from the tip of the cone and work down. Have your glue gun close by too. Funny, they don't mention these tips on the tutorial I looked at. I do like the final project. I like doing projects when Jeff is gone on a trip. It keeps me busy at night after the kids go to bed. You can be sure to see these decorations in my home for years to come to make the time it took well worth it. Jeff was gone for a few weeks in October. I made this Welcome Home banner with Sydney's help. Jeff's gone quite a bit so this sign will get well used, and as my kids get older I will be using it for them too. Hope you feel inspired by Pinterest as well and try a few things you see.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


This morning I got an email from a sister telling me she didn't want to visit teach anymore or have visiting teachers. I called her this evening to hear her out. She pretty much said she hasn't been visiting teaching since she's been here and that's she's too busy to do it. She said her daughter is in preschool and goes to speech therapy and that her companion is just as busy as her. I told her I could get her a new VT companion. She said she's still just "too busy." I anticipated this conversation to be awkward. Before I called her I felt the need to ask her this favor. I asked her if she would thoughtfully pray and ask if this is Heavenly Father's will for her not to visit teach. I told her that she would benefit, the sisters she would visit would benefit, and the ward also. She told me she's thought about this for a couple months now. Again I asked if she would pray about it and let me know on Sunday. Her parting words, "It's not gonna change." I will pray for her this week that she will think about my words and pray about it. I'm interested to see if she has a change of heart about visiting teaching.
I have to admit, I was insulted when she said she was "too busy." After all, don't we all have kids, family, work, callings, appts., and commitments we have. And then I was sad. If I'm insulted, how does Heavenly Father feel? He has done so much for us, so much that we are always indebted to him, and here this sister is "too busy" to care for another sister. And then I thought about myself. Have I ever thought to myself, "I'm too busy to prepare for that lesson, or I'm too busy to follow that prompting or reading my scriptures today or having family home evening, etc" I'm sure I have, but I hope that I never do again. I'm grateful for this new perspective I've gained. I realize that everything I am and everything I have comes from my Heavenly Father. I hope to be able to help others in my talents, time, and blessings to do what I can to help build the kingdom of God.

More faith

Yesterday morning, gosh that seems so long ago, Jeff informed me that his position as State Manager was no longer a position. They were going to decide to lay him off or keep him where he is -- as a District Manager. This same situation occurred 3 years ago when we were living in Colorado but he got rehired and we moved to Alaska. This time around I was a little more nervous because if he got laid off, moving our family back to the lower 48 would be a huge expense, not to mention being unemployed. Last night, out of nowhere, Jeff asked if we should pay tithing. I said "sure", forgetting that Jeff might be w/o a job the beginning of the new year. Had I remembered I probably would've said, "Let's wait until we know if you have a job or not." But luckily I'm married to a faithful guy because he knew exactly what he was doing. We paid our tithing, fast offering, and extra money to a missionary in our ward. Again, "Faith without works is dead." For about 36 hours Jeff and I discussed other job opportunities, moving from AK, where to move, etc. We believed and had faith that things would all work out no matter what happened. At about 4 this afternoon, Jeff got a phone call informing him that he still had a job. How thankful, excited, and relieved we were to hear that good news. Jeff mentioned at dinner time, "how crazy was it that we paid all that money knowing I might be without a job in a few days?" Then I remembered and realized 1. wow. I married a great person and 2. That's the second experience in a week reminding me that faith requires action and work from us and we will be blessed for that work, sacrifice, action, and faith we demonstrate.

Monday, October 17, 2011

local visitors

These guys were all around our neighborhood last week. I can't tell you the number of times we saw them. I only have a picture of the female, the male, was eating from my neighbors yeard. One morning she was eating breakfast from our bush and then preceded to walk across the street and eat from a neighbor's tree. I've seen a lot of moose and it is still as exciting as the first moose I ever saw.

This poor little guy has been visiting our house ever since we've moved here. One time he made it into our house and I got it out w/o killing it. It visits our porch multiple times a day looking for crumbs. We made the mistake of shaking our rugs out onto the porch and I think that was our problem. But what once was a cute little chipmunk (or maybe a squirrel, I don't know) became an intruder. I saw him climb up our raingutter (w/ sticks in mouth) and go under our roof several times. Immediately I told Jeff we needed to kill it. I'm protective of my family and home and I wasn't going to let a chipmunk nest for the winter in our attic, or even worse, give birth to a bunch of chipmunks and cause havoc to our home. We borrowed a BB gun and whoever saw the thing had to kill it. Well Jeff shot it, 3 times, before it finally fell over and was dead. I kinda was hoping I'd kill it, but I don't think I would've expected him to continue jumping from tree to tree and I don't think I would've been able to shoot and hit it 3 it's probably better Jeff did it and the chipmunk didn't have to suffer too long. The kids wanted pictures. I suggested wearing protective gloves and Jeff laughed. I had no desire to hold a dead chipmunk. Part of me was scared it would wake up and bite me. I know that's ridiculous but I've seen too many scary movies and that's what always happens. So Jeff threw the chipmunk off our cliff to get rid of it. It was hilarious. When he chucked it, he was holding it by the tail, the tail came off, still left in Jeff's fingers, and the dead body barely made it off the cliff. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time.

Never a dull moment at our house.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Faith = Action

Yesterday Jeff left for New York for a business trip for a week. I noticed that we had about 1/2 cup of milk left. Well Levi drank about 1/3 of a cup with his breakfast. I knew I needed milk and thought I'd go after church. During Sunday School, I caught the 2nd half because several people needed to talk to me. But what I did listen to was about Faith. The teacher's point was that faith requires action. I knew that already, but reminders are good, because that's not the first thing I think of when I hear faith. After church, I debated about running to the store to get a gallon of milk since I knew Levi would need it. The girls can do without, but Levi pretty much needs it still. I felt bad that I didn't figure this out on Saturday but thought I could easily justify a trip to walmart that was just up the street. I remembered the lesson and thought I would put this to the test. I thought that if I keep the Sabbath day holy and avoid being an example of disobedience to my children, Heavenly Father would make it possible for Levi to get through the night w/ the rest of the milk I had (17% of a 1/2 cup). I believe that when we're obedient we get blessings. The rest of the day, the kids had water and crystal light I made. Levi went to bed at 8pm and woke up at 6am. I then gave him the 17% of milk I had left and added some water to it. I handed it to him in his crib, I worked out in the basement for an hour, and he didn't wake up until 8am. I believe that faith requires action. I believe that we're blessed for keeping commandments and living how we promised we'd live. I'm thankful that I didn't sacrifice my commitment to my Savior for a gallon of milk. Actions speak louder than words and our faith reflects our actions.

Jordyn's ears pierced

Jordyn has been wanting to get her ears pierced for quite some time. She watches Sydney change out her earrings regularly and desires to do the same. I've been stalling to get it done because....well just go to a dr. visit w/ me and you'll know why. Even when we're at the dr. for Levi and not her, she cries FOR Levi when he gets his shot. But this past Saturday we headed to the mall to get her ears pierced, knowing she would cry and perhaps cause a scene. Unfortunately for her there was only 1 person certified to pierce ears so she couldn't pierce both ears at the same time. I told her it would hurt a little bit and she still wanted to go through w/ it. Here are the pictures:

1. before: putting dots on ears.
2. Here we go.....
3. This was a bad idea. OUCH.
4. 1 min. later--got my sucker. It's all good.
5. See, I got my ears pierced. I look so pretty.
Jordyn did a lot better than I ever expected. Not like how she reacts to a shot. She didn't cause a scene; rather, she took it like a woman. When we were leaving the mall, she told everyone we passed by, "look I got my ears pierced." Most people were talking to each other or on their cell phones so no one even heard her, but I did, and it was adorable.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

general conference

This past weekend was general conference. After the first session of Saturday, I told Jeff we should have a question in our minds that we want answered. Little did he know that I had been thinking about this for several days already. I wanted/want to know if our family is complete or if there is another spirit waiting to join our family. It's something I wonder about and it's a hard decision for many reasons. I was talking it over w/ Shannon and I told her I wanted my answer to come in a loud, undeniable voice.
Jeff asked what I had in mind. I told him we should pray and listen to know if our family is complete. I left it at that because I didn't want my thoughts to persuade him one way or another. The second session started and the second speaker was Elder Anderson. His talk was about family and children and he pretty much said that the number of children and when they come is a decision you prayerfully make w/ your spouse and the Lord. We were both amazed that we heard a talk exactly about the question we had in mind. Even though I hoped for a direct answer, I knew this would be the council I would hear.
Throughout the entire conference I heard a lot about receiving answer to prayer. I heard that most times it's a feeling or an impression on the mind and/or heart. I heard that although it can happen it's not always a "voice." I have heard all these things before, but what I learned is that it doesn't matter if it's a feeling, whisper, or loud's an answer and no matter the audible level of the answer, the Holy Ghost is speaking, and it's what the Lord wants you to do and it is undeniable what you should do. I feel honored and humbled just to receive answer to prayer based on my worthiness and that is what matters. Being worthy, being prepared, recognizing and obeying the answers and promptings of the Holy Ghost should be our priority.