I'm feeling grateful that General Conference was so uplifting and inspiring. It made me think of this lovely daughter of mine who sets a great example for me of going to the temple to do baptisms at least 3 times a month. A few months ago she took a family name that she had discovered while doing some family history work. She is awesome.
Next she is going to teach me all about how to index and do my family history research:)
I'm happy we were able to celebrate my husband's 39th birthday this past week. It was a fun gathering for all. It left me wondering what fun 40th celebration I need to get planning for next year… perhaps just a quiet getaway with the two of us? Unlikely but dreamy sounding.
Kurt is kind and helpful and always gives service. His patience with me is constant and I am ever thankful for his willingness to allow me my independance while loving me and helping me with my big plans. We have big dreams and I hope we both live long so we may accomplish and dream up more of them.
It was another fun filled two weeks. We had an amazing birthday party at my parents' home with a pinata and fun games to celebrate my sister in law. Good times were had by all. The best part was when Grandpa said 'It's going to take forever to crack this pinata' and then at that moment it busted open (this was on the 6th hit and only half way through the line).
We have been having a blast at the stables and are learning so much. This past week the children thought it was especially fun to ride with their green St. Patrick's Day mustaches on that Grandma Smith sent. Silly.
Clark got his cast off and his foot seem to be better most of the time. He is such an active boy that it's hard to keep him down.
We fluctuate on a daily basis between wind, cold and snow and 65 degree days. We are having a hard time figuring out what season we are really in but we are enjoying the sunshine when we get it!
I had a great conversation with a friend this week that helped me to think more about the things in life that matter most. I love it when I am reminded that I need to stay close to my Father in Heaven on a daily basis and make sure that HIS approval is the only one I'm looking for as I choose how to spend my time and energy each day.
I've also had the great reminder that sometimes we allow ourselves to be in bondage to things that we don't even intend to limit us, but as we allow them to get out of balance they do. Sometimes we are in bondage to 'good' things because we are not choosing what is 'even better'.
Feel free to check out this great talk for some more good reflection about life and our world. I really enjoyed studying it yesterday.
Because I have neglected to sti down at the computer for a few weeks I have a lot to pack in to this post. I hope you treat yourself to something great if you are brave enough to scroll through them all.
There is an ongoing battle between the three oldest children right now for who can finish reading the Harry Potter series first. It's best to be first because, well, we only have one set of books. I'm sorry to say there has been hiding of books, sneaking into each other's bedrooms to steal books, and many trips to the library to acquire additional copies. For some reason, though, it remains more desirable to steal your sister's copy than to read from the library copy. I'll let you know when I figure that one out. The funniest thing is that Faye is convinced that his REAL name is Harry Cotter. I have banned Harry Potter discussions on Sundays as I need at least one day of the week to have conversation about other things in life.
Savanna graduated from having an expander to having an expander AND upper braces. It's nothing for the faint of heart to endure and she has been a trooper. The sad part is how she instantly looks like a teenager. I wasn't ready for that.
My children insisted that they needed the experience of sleeping on the trampoline in the dead of winter. I really cannot find any way of understanding this. They begged and begged. The funniest part is that it was Christian, Emma, and Clark. I thought for sure they would be inside freezing by midnight (because it was 30 degrees!) but they stayed out there the entire night. I took a photo of them from my warm and cozy bed upstairs. Check that one off the bucket list!
Basketball season is ending, soccer has already started up again. Piano and guitar lessons continue and the house is in a constant flux of wreck and picked up but never as spotless as I dream. This leads me to know that I have way too much 'stuff' and I'm trying my hardest to get rid of something each day. I need serious practice with this and I find it difficult to say goodbye to things (especially if they are made of out wood - what's with that?). I'm getting better at going through clothing and before I wash things in the laundry I inspect them for rips or stains.
Emma quickly caught on to me and now avoids putting her clothes in the laundry because she has noticed that some of her favorite items (leggings that were too small, worn out, with holes in both knees and a shirt that could no longer be restored to it's state of being white) go missing that way. Perhaps I need new methods. This is how Emma feels about me casting off her favorite things. Acutally, this is how Emma feels 50% of the time.
By watching how quickly she goes from saying "this is the best day of my life" to crying "this is the worst day of my life" I am reminded that beneath her show of fancy, sassy, sure of herself actions is a delicate soul who needs to be reminded that we live most of life in the middle, rather than in the extremes. It also reminds me that others around me feel more passionately about some things than I do and that I need to seek to understand them so I can better love and teach.
As we continue to visit the stables every Monday for our 'real world schooling' we are learning not just about horses but about life and hard work. We are having a great time and are feeling so grateful to Rofino, our kind teacher who is so patient with all of the children's questions and always has special jobs waiting for them to do when we arrive. Who knew that picking up rocks out of pastures could be so much fun?
I could go on and on with the photos but that dinner isn't making itself!
This photo is just stealing my heart these days. I caught it completely candid and I think it's about the cutest thing. I couldn't have posed it better myself - the barn door with the peeling paint, her hand up. Be still my heart. I need to get this girl a horse.
Clark broke his foot last week. It wasn't until I heard him telling my brother that I got the real story about what happened. When he told me he made it sound like he was just playing around on the stairs. I later learned that he was climbing up the outside of the upper stairs and jumping down to the lower stairs. Hmmmm. We only engage in the safest entertainment around here.
As you can see, the cast has really slowed him down a lot. He explained to me that the cast is great for skateboarding because he can stop himself by just dragging the cast on the sidewalk. Perfect!
I'm so glad we have this fun five year old around to keep things exciting. You know, just in case there was ever a few minutes where I was feeling bored.
We couldn't serve her breakfast in bed because she insisted on sleeping in her 'fort' in her bedroom. In true Emma form, she wanted time to wake up and take out her curl formers before I took any pictures. She is a little bit of a diva!
She was beyond excited about her new high heels (pink of course!) and her tea pot from Grandma Smith to help her out with her many fancy tea parties. The boogie board from Grandma and Grandpa Sheffield has been a huge hit as well. Kurt and I got her a new dress and it was a really fun day. We had the best party with family coming over and more gifts, I can't even remember them all exactly! It was a great day and Emma is such a fun, emotional, 100 percent girly girl who is such a great addition to our family. It is hard to believe that she is 7 years old!
I love you Emma !