Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lydia's baby blessing

I never did get a picture of Lydia in her blessing dress. She wore the same dress that I wore for my blessing and the same dress that Becca wore. I never got a picture of Becca in it either. The dress is still draped over her bassinet waiting for my good intentions of putting her back in it to take a picture. Both girls got rashes on their face the day of their blessing and the commonality is the dress. I think Lydia is too big to wear it anymore - she is only 3 months old but moving into size 6 months. I guess I should at least try.

Friday, November 14, 2008


I found these photos online and thought they were beautiful and needed to be shared.

What is your favorite season

Yesterday I bought a Circle Journal and the idea is to share the journal back and forth between two (or more) people. I bought it to share with my husband. I find it easier to write what I'm thinking than to share it outloud sometimes, so I thought this would great for sharing things with my husband that I might not otherwise share.

That is what I love about blogs - a place to share our thoughts that we might not otherwise vocalize and we can see into others and come to know them and their hearts. I'm glad for those that let me in on their thoughts and their lives - I'm glad to be a part of yours and to let you be a part of mine.

I thought I would share my journal entry today "What is your favorite season of the year". If you like either respond back in the comment section or put a post on your own blog.

"My favorite season of the year is this season - whatever time of year it is, the current season is my favorite. When fall begins I think, "Oh, I love fall." I love it getting colder, I love the pretty color changes of the trees, I love the wrm days and cold nights, I love the smell in the air.
When winter comes I think, "Oh, I love winter". I love the beauty of snow blanketing the ground, I love the winter holidays - the energy of the season, the smells of baking, the tastes of hot chocolate, the sights of decorations, the sounds of music and the feeling of love. Winter means time indoors, together as a family, playing games, eating together, celebrating together, and warm, cozy fires.
Then comes spring and I thing, "Oh, I love Spring". I am so happy to see the snow melt and the buds on the trees - new life is on its way. Spring is refreshing and invigorating. I love spring flowers - the colors, the smells. Growing up lilacs were my favorites, I would gather armloads and bring them to my bedroom and let the scent fill the air.
Summer comes quickly after spring (at least in St. George) and I think "Oh, I love summer". Summer is for fun and outdoor play, for baseball games and water fights, swimming and hotdogs, for staying up late and gazing at the stars.
I think the best part about life it that things change - there is always something new to look forward to.

I invite you to be part of my circle journal and to share your favorite season with me. It doesn't have to be long like my response was - I just tend to be verbose - even a sentence would be great.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Recent photos

I have been going through my pictures and realized I have a lot of pictures I've taken recently. I thought I should put some of these on my blog for family to see.Grandma Smyth stayed with us for a few weeks after baby Lydia was born. Here she is with Charlie and Tom.
Grandma Smyth with Becca and Lydia.
One night Jeremy was putting Becca to bed and he laid Lydia down by Becca - it was too cute to not take a photo of them together.
Every once in a while I try to do Becca's hair. I tried hair rollers, but all they did was make her hair extremely poofy. This was worse than her normal hair, so I wet the poof down and let the natural look be the look of the day.
One day a few weeks ago I heard the kids all laughing together and found them on the front lawn enjoying ice cream. They had carried the baby and her chair outside and luckily didn't try feeding her any of the ice cream.
Sweet sleeping baby Lydia.
Charlie loves his baby sister. He is always carrying her around and playing with her.
What a sweet face. Lydia is an angel baby. She is just happy to be - but don't leave her alone, she loves interacting with everyone.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Sharing my testimony

The Ensign conference issue came today in the mail and I read all the talks from Saturday morning session. When I read Sister Silvia Allred’s talk about missionary work I really identified with her statement about the impact her mission had on her life – “I learned to rely more on the Lord, to seek the guidance of the Spirit, and to feel and overwhelming love for God’s children. My knowledge of the scriptures and my understanding of the doctrines increased. So did my desire to be obedient and to keep the commandments with exactness. My testimony of the Savior and His infinite Atonement was strengthened.”

I served a mission in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1997-1998. I truly loved the people of Russia, and my testimony of the gospel and of Jesus Christ were strengthened – in fact all of the above quote from Sister Allred is true for me. One thought I had while reading this talk was if I am a return missionary, who went abroad to share the gospel with others, and if I have such a strong conviction of the truthfulness of the gospel and the restoration of the gospel then why do I have such hesitation in sharing the gospel with others? Why do I hesitate to pray to have missionary opportunities?

Today as I pondered that I had the thought that I don’t doubt my testimony or conviction of the gospel (I’ve always known the gospel to be true and known that it was restored in its fullness through Joseph Smith) the thing that I doubt is other people believing it. I don’t doubt my testimony, I doubt the ability of others to believe. I forget that it isn’t by our minds that we are converted, but by our hearts – more specifically by the Holy Ghost speaking to our hearts, telling us that it is true.

I have an attitude of fear which needs to be replaced by an attitude of faith. I also have a lack of confidence in my ability to share the gospel in an effective manner. Again, that goes back to thinking that it is me that has to be convincing, which is not true, it is the Spirit that does the convincing. I just have to live the gospel with diligence and never be apologetic to others for living the gospel and keeping the commandments. If others object to the way I live then it’s not me they have a problem with but God’s laws, for I live my life according to God’s laws.

Sister Allred gives two fundamental truths to keep in mind:
1 – have a clear understanding that God loves all His children and desires their salvation
2 – Our message of Christ and His restored gospel is the most important gift we can give

I know I have a powerful testimony of the restored gospel, I felt it very acutely last Sunday when I bore my testimony. I know this is a gift from God, not given to me to keep to myself, but to share with others.

I’m looking forward to reading more of the conference talks and being reminded about what was spoken at conference.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Upholding the Constitution

Proposition 8, in California passed, but that doesn't mean that the fight is over. This was a very controversial issue and it's not likely to go away - we are going to have to continue to fight for traditional marriage and for anti-traditional marriage to not be propagandized to our children. Also, as was pointed out, this wasn't just and issue about who can or cannot get married, it's about the Constitution and who is and isn't allowed to make and amend laws. Orson Scott Card wrote an article, Upholding the Constitution that is worth reading.

He explains "there should never have been a Proposition 8.In order to make such a radical change in human behavior and custom, the proponents of gay marriage should have followed constitutional, democratic process and persuaded people to support it until a majority was achieved....small groups of dictators (pro gay) have simply taken it upon themselves to deny universal human practice and remake the law as they saw fit, without waiting for democratic process. ...No branch of government was ever intended to have the power to dictate new law without other branches of government having a chance to stop them or at least slow them down.... But they think only in the short term. They don't mind leaving democracy in a shambles and making the Constitution a joke, as long as they get their way on this issue. ...As much as I think gay marriage is a terrible idea, grounded on neither science nor common sense, we should be even more concerned that our republic is in the process of ceasing to be in any meaningful sense a democracy."

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Well, according to my kids, "Halloween is the BEST EVER!" That is what Tom and Charlie kept saying yesterday. Of course who doesn't love getting dressed up in something fun and then getting lots of candy from people.
What they dressed as:
Charlie - Grim Reaper
Tom - Ninja
Becca - Tinkerbell
Lydia - witch
Jeremy - as self (nurse)
Jenni - as self

We started out the day with orange pancakes and green dragon milk (credit goes to Jeremy for making this fun breakfast for the kids). The kids loved it and commented "Dad spoils us too much". The kids wore their costumes all day long, so by the time night rolled around they were dirty. Trick or treating for us started at the Bloomington Hills circle park where all the neighbors park their cars around the park, some of them decking their cars out with halloween decor and while Jeremy stayed at our van to pass out treats I walked with the children from car to car to load up on loot. It is so fun to see everyone dressed up - a lot of the adults dress up too. Everyone is so creative - there is such a variety and little duplication.
I enjoyed halloween when I was young. Every year there was a Halloween carnival at the elementary school with games to play and treats to eat and everyone dressed up. I like the sense of community when people are gathered together celebrating - that is probably why I enjoy going to the circle park on Halloween, to gather with others and enjoy it together.

After the trunk or treat at the park we stopped at a couple of houses and then came home for dinner (yes, I do know that it is a bad idea to start the gathering of the candy before a nutritious dinner is in the stomach, then the little ones just eat the candy and dinner is neglected, but my timing is always off on these things). I took Charlie and Tom to a few of our neighbors after our late dinner and Charlie wanted to do just one more and one more. Soon we were a couple blocks away and poor Tom was tired (it was 8:45 pm). When we got to the Murdocks house he asked Sister Murdock if she would give us a ride home. I didn't realized that he was so tired and was surprised he asked her, but glad because then we were able to go home without one more and one more, because Charlie was a die hard and would have kept going.

This morning, on advice from a neighbor, we portioned our candy out into baggies so the kids can have controlled amounts from time to time - I think we have our year's supply of candy. We had the boys help assemble the bags, I thought this would help them take ownership for the idea and not feel jipped that we weren't going to let them just have free access to the candy at all times.

When Becca got up this morning I noticed little red dots on her head. Of course it worried me, I didn't know what they were or how she could have got them. I had Jeremy look at them and he was concerned too. We decided we should bathe her and then take a good look at them (her hair was wild from sleep and the hair gel I used last night in getting her ready, also, I thought maybe the spots were a reaction from the hair gel). Well, thankfully after her bath the spots were miraculously gone. What ever they were, the soap cleared them right up. I still can't imagine what she got on her head that created rash like spots, but they washed right away.