Monday, March 30, 2009

From Learning to Action

This morning's reading of President Eyring's quote jump started me into action.  I have wanted to be better at Family Home Evening lessons for some time.  You should see my office.  I have a file drawer filled with lesson ideas and materials.  I guess I keep thinking that when my life is in order, I'll pull it all out and have some great lessons.  That kind of thinking is getting me no where fast!  

So this afternoon, I pulled The Friend and scanned for lesson ideas.  I prepared one of the ideas for our Family Night lesson.  It contained looking up and pulling information from the scriptures as a part of the lesson.  We had prayer together, a lesson on the blessings we receive because of the Savior's Atonement, and review of a couple of our Primary songs.  Here's the kicker...because we prepared and did tonight the way it was designed to be done, we were  able to get the kids their dessert, get their teeth brushed, remember to have them lay out their clothes and get them tucked them in before 9:00 p.m. And did I mention that all of this was accomplished on top of spending a couple of hours at the Discovery Center after school?   There was a calm feeling to all of this instead of the hectic rush of trying to throw together a spiritual thought and hurriedly trying to get them ready for bed with the feeling that another day had slipped by without the important things being accomplished.

I know we were blessed today because I prepared an appropriate gospel-centered Family Night lesson.  I was able to spend time with my girls after school, get home in time to have dinner together as a family (thanks to Kelly getting it prepared while we were on the road), and have the evening go really smoothly.  There is no doubt in my mind that this whole afternoon and evening was a blessing from a Heavenly Father who blessed me for my efforts.

In case you are wondering, my house is still a cluttery mess.  Not caring too much at the moment.  I'll clean it up tomorrow.  I'm exponentially happier that we cracked open our scriptures tonight than I would have been about my clean house with no time left for scripture reading.  

Teaching Our Children

I read this this morning and it sent something of a zing through me.  It is in the April 2009 issue of the Ensign, and the author is Henry B. Eyring.

"We have the greatest opportunity with the young.  The best time to teach is early, while children are still immune to the temptations of their mortal enemy and long before the words of truth may be harder for them to hear in the noise of their personal struggles.

A wise parent would never miss a chance to gather children together to learn of the doctrine of Jesus Christ.  Such moments are so rare in comparison with the efforts of the enemy.  For every hour the power of doctrine is introduced into a child's life, there may be hundreds of hours of messages and images denying or ignoring the saving truths.

The question should not be whether we are too tired to prepare to teach doctrine or whether it would be better to draw a child closer by just having fun or whether the child is beginning to think that we preach too much.  The question must be, 'With so little time and so few opportunities, what words of doctrine from me will fortify them against the attacks on their faith which are sure to come?'  The words you speak today may be the ones they remember.  And today will soon be gone."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Twilight DVD Party

Okay, so when the DVD was released on March 21, I was performing in a concert and couldn't celebrate properly.   So I figured better later than never, and I invited friends over to view the DVD.  I didn't know if everyone would want to come because it would be over a week since the release, but the answer from nearly everyone was a resounding YES!  

I loved setting the table, and the treats everyone brought were fabulous!

We did a group shot before we dug into the food...

and then another one when everyone was present.
L to R Front:  Kristie, Angie, Michelle and Michelle (sis)
Back:  Kim, Darrell, me, Shea, Marina and Sheryl.
My sister introduced me to the series, and except for Kristie, the rest of these women were my victims.  *evil laugh*  It was so fun to watch this together!  Thanks you guys!

Park and Zoo Day

We spent Friday at Irvine Park with Aunt Michelle, Gavin and Grandpa.  I don't know why we don't go there more often.

We rode the train around the park.

We walked to the zoo via the lake.  We played on the rocks...
ate lunch, and fed the ducks.

We spent a bit of time at the zoo, the favorite part being the petting zoo with the goats.  After the zoo we hit the playground and then In-N-Out for shakes on the way home..

More practice...

My sis gave me some more camera instructions so I practiced a bit.  I had great subjects.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Can't get enough of the beach...

It was early release day for the girls, so Gavin, Michelle, Grandpa and I picked them up and headed for Ruby's on the Huntington Beach Pier.  We did the beach on Tuesday after the Disneyland stuff didn't work out, but Gavin wanted to go back and do some more beach!

I realize after each time we take our company to some of our best spots in town that I take for granted where we live.  The coast is so pretty!  And we live 4.5 miles from it.  I need to remember to be in gratitude more often.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Rainforest, The Easter Bunny & S'mores

It's day 4 of my sister's vacation here in CA.  This morning, we went shopping out in Rancho Cucamonga at the new Tai Pan Trading Company.  After the girls got out of school, and Kelly came home from work, we headed over to South Coast Plaza to have dinner at The Rainforest Cafe. 

The carousel in the mall was all set with the traditional Easter bunnies.

On the way in, the girls weren't interested in the Easter Bunny (gasp!), but on the way out, they wanted to chat with him (whew!).

Momma and her girls pose on one of the benches in the Easter Bunny's garden.

Later on in the evening, the kids roasted marshmallows over the barbeque and enjoyed some S'mores.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

CA Adventure was a bust!

Here we are on our way in...Jenna, Heather, Gavin, Michelle and Grandpa.

Here is the non-stop flow of people.  This was taken on our way out and they were still coming in droves!

This is just the security line...the ticket line was just as bad.

Here are Michelle and Gavin on the way out with an, "Oh well."  We decided that with that many people, the lines inside would be even worse.   We began to form a plan B.

So we went to the beach instead...

When it's 77 degrees in March, it's not a bad idea.  The wind was a bit nippy though!
Here they go...
Heather and Gavin on the jetty in Newport
Jenna 7, Gavin 8 and Heather 9

Monday, March 23, 2009

Learning the Ropes

My sis is here this week, and she showed me how to use some of the settings on my camera this afternoon.  These are the pics I took in the 'manual' setting.  I had no idea how to do this before and had always used 'auto'.  Tomorrow she will show me the color adjustments in iPhoto so that I can add some color the these pics.  Anyway, the cousins had fun playing on the play set this afternoon.

Jenna going high

Heather, Gavin and Jenna attempting a three person train down the slide

Heather and Jenna going alone

Heather doing supermodel poses...actually those were kinda funny, so I posted the one with her natural smile.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


My Jog-A-Thon post had mad errors in it, so I'm sending this oops note to family and friends who get it through email.  If you click on the blog link, you can see my corrected post.


Thursday was our elementary school's Jog-A-Thon fundraiser.  I know, it's Sunday, and I'm just now posting.  Thursday evening was our concert rehearsal, Friday was busy with Jenna home with fever and preparations for company, and Saturday was our dress rehearsal and concert.  I say better late than never!  

Jenna ran 43 laps and came in 2nd for the girls in her class.

Heather ran 38 laps compared to her 33 last year.  She wasn't close to the girl who won with 40 laps, but she was happy to have improved her number of laps.

Both sisters have won this jog before, Heather in First grade, and Jenna in Kindergarten.  They both would like to have won this time also, but we talked it through and they knew they did well.  Since it was early release day, I let them choose what they wanted for lunch.  We went to Subway for Heather and picked up a Lunchables for Jenna.  Both girls were very happy with that!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Today I am thankful for...

1.  No more jog-a-thon until next year!
2.  A husband who can handle dinner, bathtime and an unexpected fever while I'm out and unreachable for an entire evening
3.  Cute things like blogs that help me keep on top of news about people I love (hint, hint)
4.  My sister's willingness to drive all the way out here and visit me often  
5.  Good friends who don't mind when I call to ask them a quick question and then keep gabbing for 20 minutes
6.  Flowers in bloom
7.  Tax refunds

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Our New Recreational Vehicle

We're ready to go camping again!  On Saturday we found our dream trailer.  We weren't planning on it, but several things fell into place, and we drove home with our new fifth wheel in tow.  I call it our 'dream' trailer because we never dreamed that we'd find something this nice in our price range!  We were used to rust and a leaky roof and crossing our fingers that our motor home held up during our camping adventures.  Now we will be traveling in a nearly new second hand rig that seems more like a palace to us.  It is so pretty!
We've parked it in the driveway for the moment so we can enjoy it and check it out.  I am afraid to be in it for fear of damaging something!  It is so nice inside that we cannot believe that someone else owned it before us.
The layout is really great with plenty of room for the kids to play and sleep.  I love the bedroom "up stairs".  The girls are so excited that they want to do their homework in there and have a sleep over one night in the driveway.  We can't wait to take it out for our first trip!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Little Leprechauns

It was green pancake morning this morning.  Mom even fished out all the green M&M's for Jenna's pancakes.

Here are the sleepy heads with their green breakfast.

And here they are ready for school all decked out in green.  The green army pants didn't match, but they were so excited about wearing all green that I let it go.  Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Visitors from Northern Ca

My cousin, Kim, was here this weekend.  She and her youngest boys stayed with us on Saturday night.  She brought her friend, Katrina, and her three children also.  We all fit nice and snug in our little house and the kids got along really well.  We went to Ruby's Diner on the pier on Saturday night, and then spent several hours together at Disneyland on Monday afternoon.  It was some great visiting time.

Friday, March 13, 2009

News Round-up

Thursday - Got fed up with the office and kicked it's butt into shape.  Woo-hoo!  Project complete!  The room is more function than form, but I'm okay with it.  It is such a multi-purpose room that function is what it needed to be designed for.  If I had tons of extra money, I'd go to Pottery Barn and purchase the "form".  Ha, ha. 

Thursday - Received St. Patrick's Day bundle from secret leprechaun.  Thanks Shari for spearheading this covert operation.  I want to know who my leprechaun was.
Look at all the fun stuff in my cute tin...The papers have all kinds of fun meal and snack ideas on them as well as activities for St. Patty's Day.

Friday - While I finished housecleaning, I missed a monumental event in the guinea pig world.  Lizzy, the lighter colored guinea, who is normally very skittish and has just barely started approaching us for treats, actually climbed up on Kelly for food tonight.  Linny's been doing this for weeks, but this was Lizzy's first time.  Hooray!