Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving

We had a nice Thanksgiving at my Aunt and Uncle's house. Here are some pics.

This is my Aunt, Sharon. She is one of my best friends and favorite people walking the planet!
Everyone chipped in to help. Reagan sets one of three tables. We had ALOT of people there.

My Uncle, Greg. Gettin in the mood for the holidays with some reindeer ears.
This is my little sister, Lindsey. Everyone says Reagan looks (and acts) just like her.

I brought a Tomato/Mozzarella Salad. It is my new fave.

and a Granola Chocolate-Chip Pie. It sounds weird but it's divine!


"Chief" Brady made sure the Native American population was represented at our Thanksgiving festivities. He made this at pre-school for their party and insisted on wearing it again.
"Gigi" ( my grandmother) with the girls. They played dominoes while we waited for the feast to begin. Check her out in her black leather coat. She is the coolest and I just love her so much. Every year I wonder if this might be my last holiday with my grandparents. I hope I can still play dominoes when I am 83.

I don't know how I ended up without any pics of Tanner. He and Brent went out to toss the football and somehow Tanner ended up in the pool. He had to take his pants off and wear a blanket around him while his pants dried. I should have taken a picture but I must have been busy somewhere else.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

the virtue of kindness

I love this talk! I found it years ago. I was having a trial because of someone who had been less than kind to me over an extended period of time. This talk provided alot of peace and comfort to me. I keep it in a file of favorites to study every once in awhile. I especially love the story at the end from the life of Elder Talmadge. He was the author of "Jesus the Christ". After reading this, it is no wonder he had such an understanding of the Savior's nature. He exemplified it in his own life. If you don't have time for scripture study today, read this post and then reflect on it while you spend time with the kids, cook, grocery shop, clean the house and it will edify you. I promise.


I often wonder why some feel they must be critical of others. It gets in their blood, I suppose, and it becomes so natural they often don’t even think about it. They seem to criticize everyone—the way Sister Jones leads the music, the way Brother Smith teaches a lesson or plants his garden.

Even when we think we are doing no harm by our critical remarks, consequences often follow. I am reminded of a boy who handed a donation envelope to his bishop and told him it was for him. The bishop, using this as a teaching moment, explained to the boy that he should mark on the donation slip whether it was for tithing, fast offerings, or for something else. The boy insisted the money was for the bishop himself. When the bishop asked why, the boy replied, “Because my father says you’re one of the poorest bishops we’ve ever had.”

The Church is not a place where perfect people gather to say perfect things, or have perfect thoughts, or have perfect feelings. The Church is a place where imperfect people gather to provide encouragement, support, and service to each other as we press on in our journey to return to our Heavenly Father.

Each one of us will travel a different road during this life. Each progresses at a different rate. Temptations that trouble your brother may not challenge you at all. Strengths that you possess may seem impossible to another.

Never look down on those who are less perfect than you. Don’t be upset because someone can’t sew as well as you, can’t throw as well as you, can’t row or hoe as well as you.

One way you can measure your value in the kingdom of God is to ask, “How well am I doing in helping others reach their potential? Do I support others in the Church, or do I criticize them?”


If you are criticizing others, you are weakening the Church. If you are building others, you are building the kingdom of God. As Heavenly Father is kind, we also should be kind to others.

Elder James E. Talmage, a man who is remembered for his doctrinal teachings, showed great kindness to a neighbor family in distress. They were complete strangers to him. Before he was an Apostle, as a young father, he became aware of great suffering at a neighbor’s home whose large family was stricken with the dreaded diphtheria. He did not care that they were not members of the Church; his kindness and charity moved him to act. The Relief Society was desperately trying to find people to help, but no one would because of the contagious nature of the disease.

When he arrived, James found one toddler already dead and two others who were in agony from the disease. He immediately went to work, cleaning the untidy house, preparing the young body for burial, cleaning and providing for the other sick children, spending the entire day doing so. He came back the next morning to find that one more of the children had died during the night. A third child was still suffering terribly. He wrote in his journal: “She clung to my neck, ofttimes coughing [germs] on my face and clothing, … yet I could not put her from me. During the half hour immediately preceding her death, I walked the floor with the little creature in my arms. She died in agony at 10 a.m.” The three children had all departed within the space of 24 hours. He then assisted the family with the burial arrangements and spoke at their graveside services. This he did all for a family of strangers. What a great example of Christlike kindness!

When we are filled with kindness, we are not judgmental. The Savior taught, “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.” He also taught that “with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”

“But,” you ask, “what if people are rude?”

Love them.

“If they are obnoxious?”

Love them.

“But what if they offend? Surely I must do something then?”

Love them.

“Wayward?”

The answer is the same.
Be kind. Love them.

Why? In the scriptures Jude taught, “And of some have compassion, making a difference.”

Who can tell what far-reaching impact we can have if we are only kind?

May we be models of kindness. May we ever live up to the words of the Savior: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

from "The Virtue of Kindness" May 2005 Ensign

by Joseph B. Wirthlin

Sunday, November 23, 2008

picture tag, thanks Karen :O)

When Tanner got his brown belt - right before he got his Black belt. Can you believe how much he has changedin 4 short years?




Thursday, November 20, 2008

Santa came a lil' early....

TA DA!!! Why did Santa come early? Because I was grossly negligent with my last camera. A really nice one that my dh gave me LAST year for Christmas. I dropped it while taking pictures on the first day of school and even though my dh took it in to get it fixed- it was never the same. I wanted one that was small and could fit in my purse.

That is also the reason I haven't posted much this week. Never fear dear friends!! I will be back in the saddle as soon as she is done charging up!!!! Have a great weekend Folks!

Friday, November 14, 2008

stretching




My cousin posted this pic when she mentioned that she had some changes in her life that would require some stretching on her part. It got me to thinkin' about all the things that have helped me stretch over the years. Here are my top five, in order.
1. Brent's illness
2. Being married to a Bishop while trying to raise 4 young children
3. graduating from College while working, being a newlywed
4. My present calling
5. being raised as a step-child
I am a different person today because of all of the above and I am so glad I made it!
What is the thing that has made you stretch the most and why?

BRAG Boards

Don't know what to do with all those pictures, certificates, ribbons, etc that your little guys come home with all the time? I had an idea once and now when other moms come over they comment on it so I thought I would share (sorry about the picture quality, I am having camera issues again but you get the idea)... Some of you are so talented - you could doll your brag boards up but since I am not crafty mine are just plain....










You can put anything on them. I have pictures of my girls when they were flower girls at my sister's wedding, Tanner's certificate showing he is a black belt in Karate, notes from the desk fairy proclaiming desk cleanliness, swim team ribbons, original artwork, etc.








Wednesday, November 12, 2008

TANNER teaches ME!


I love this kid. Sometimes I marvel that 1/2 of him came from MY gene pool. Brent and I secretly refer to him as our little Nephi. He is such a good boy. No he is a GREAT PERSON. One of the BEST people I know.

Today he suffered a disappointment. It broke his mother's heart. I went in my room where noone could see and shed a tear. I love him so much and ,as his mom, it is hard for me to see him experience disappointment.

Not making the team doesn't really seem like a big deal but when you are in the 7th grade it can feel like it. Not this 7th grader, though. He walked through the door with a big smile on his face, announced the bad news, and then went outside to shoot some more hoops. He is not the least bit upset. Even when he told me that one of his "friends" who had made the team kind of rubbed it in (SO not cool) he said it didn't bother him. I really don't think it did. I think he was happy for the guy.

I love that about him.

There are kids that seem like they get everything they want...success and achievement come naturally to them in everything they do.

Things that come naturally to Tanner are:
friends,
integrity,
kindness,
and a great attitude.
I am sad to see him not get what he wants, but I recognize that it it is how we deal with disappointments, not the successes, in life that build the most character. Times like these will make him the kind of honorable man his dad is. Tonight, for that, I am grateful.

My new and improved "office" aka I love IKEA!!!

I used to have a little corner in our bedroom for my desk but got a wild idea to move it upstairs to an area off the game room. Now I have more space and the added bonus of being able to see the tv in the media room while I pay bills, scrap, e-mail, blog, etc...What do you think? The big pink boxes hold all of my scrapbooking supplies. Zeus thinks the green rug on the floor was purchased just for him to lie on when I am up there working. It needs paint but I haven't decided yet what color. Any suggestions?



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ear-isistable!!

We took Jensen's friend, Caitlin, to see HSM3 on Saturday - she hadn't seen it yet -and we LOVED it and wanted to see it again. Then we suprised McKinley with a suggestion after the movie, "since you are turning 8 tomorrow do you want to go get your ears pierced?"


If you have a little girl wanting to get her ears pierced I recommend Libby Lu - they make a much bigger deal about it and are so good with the girls AND they were ALOT cheaper than Claire's (where we got Jensen's pierced last year).

She was so nervous!





And a shout out to my bud Tanner who was a trooper sitting in the front of Libby Lu (for all to see) watching our purses and bags during the big event. That had to be sheer torture for a 12 year old boy but he was a great sport, as always.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Traveling in safety

We were coming home from dinner in West Plano tonight in the heavy rain. I was driving. All of a sudden the car completely hydroplaned and we literally spinned twice completely around on the toll road. I can't believe we didn't roll. It was a miracle. Noone was hurt. We were all pretty shaken up, realizing how close we came to rolling and who knows what else... We immediately went to our knees when we got home and said a prayer of thanks to Heavenly Father for keeping us safe. I know he kept me calm in the midst of it all so that I could think clearly. I know he kept us from hitting the barrier or jumping the barrier or rolling the car with the 6 most precious things I have in it. Miracles DO happen.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

awards and accolades



At our awards ceremony on Friday Reagan was recognized for achievement in Language Arts (she is a big time reader like her mom) and again by the Art teacher for achievement in Art (which she MUST get from Dad cuz' I haven't got an artsy bone in my body and we seem to have a few kids with that ability).




McKinley was recognized with the certificate of citizenship for Outstanding Behavior.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

pretty impressive stuff


I think this is pretty impressive stuff - and still ANOTHER reason I love life in a small town. How many of you got birthday letters from your Superintendent of schools for your big day? Well, you do if you live in our town. We have the most AMAZING superintendent. I have been so impressed by him. He sent McKinley (and Jensen) letters for their birthdays and it is signed by him. Granted, I know a secretary probably typed it up, licked the stamp, and stuck it in the envelope but I think that is so cool. They felt so good when they opened up the letter and saw it.

Dr. Watkins also rotates among all the schools (even the high school!) and does car pool lines in the morning. He greets them and helps them out of the car - yes, cold days too. He goes to most of the games too. All the kids know him and yell "hi" to him when they see him.


Impressive!!!!

I am enclosing his follow up comments to an email I sent him about it just to show you what a nice man he is...

"Thank you so much for your kind words. By the way, you are right... my secretary does mail the birthday letters, but I create and print them. As much as I want it to mean something to the students, I want it to mean something to me. I feel less invested if I just sign my name. I am truly blessed to be allowed to serve so many wonderful families in our district - I am glad the Argyle family is a part of the bigger Prosper family. Enjoy the rest of your weekend with your great family! Thanks again!"

-Drew Watkins

Thursday, November 6, 2008

In Honor of Thanksgiving...





I am going to try to to list a few things each week in November of things I am truly grateful for. Here is my starter list. Now realize that these are ASIDE from the obvious ones like Gospel, family. hubby, etc..
1. I am grateful for my health. Watching my grandfather in the final stages of his battle with Liver Cancer and seeing how hard every day is for him has made me realize what a precious thing it is to have your health and to be able to do the things you love because you feel good.

2. Good Friends (Old and New) When we moved here a little over a year ago, we did it for the benefit of our youth age kids. Brent and I left an IDEAL situation for us where we had a TON of life-long, thick and thin friends that we did stuff with all the time and that were like family. We were totally willing to do it so that our kids could have more opportunities to make friends with other youth their age because there were hardly any in our old ward. I came here with the mind set that I didn't really care if I made alot of new friends because I had been blessed with that before and now it was their turn. I have been blown away by how many of you have been so great to us! My Patriarchal blessing has a whole paragraph in it that talks about how I will be blessed with great friends throughout my life. I think Heavenly Father did that for me to compensate for the lack I had of support from family. Some of the people that have influenced my life have been like mothers, fathers, brothersand sisters to . I am so grateful for their example and love and support. I get to see some of them this weekend!!!
3. BYU TV. I love watching/listening to old conference talks while I clean the house.
4. Living in a land of FREEDOM. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to vote, even if the candidate I choose isn't the winner....it is a beautiful thing that we get to CHOOSE our leaders.

Monday, November 3, 2008

"...stronger at the broken places" - Hemingway

I listened to a conference talk today where they referenced this quote from President Packer. I was so intrigued that I researched it and found it. Man, I love him! He is one of my favorite speakers. I e-mailed it to a dear friend going through a particularly hard situation and then had the after-thought that many of you are going through similar situations so it might be helpful to you:


"We live in a day when the adversary stresses on every hand the philosophy of instant gratification. We seem to demand instant everything, including instant solutions to our problems. We are indoctrinated that somehow we should always be instantly emotionally comfortable. When that is not so, some become anxious... It was meant to be that life would be a challenge. To suffer some anxiety, some depression, some disappointment, even some failure is normal.
Teach our members that if they have a good, miserable day once in a while, or several in a row, to stand steady and face them. Things will straighten out. There is great purpose in our struggle in life. " President Boyd k. Packer (Then ELDER Packer, April 1978; Welfare Conference)



Then he went on to quote this little poem:



Yes, my fretting,


Frowning child,

I could cross

The room to you

More easily.



But I’ve already

Learned to walk,

So I make you

Come to me.


Let go now

There!

You see?


Oh, remember

This simple lesson,

Child,

And when

In later years

You cry out

With tight fists

And tears

“Oh, help me, God—please.”

Just listen

And you’ll hear

A silent voice:


“I would, child,

I would.

But it’s you,

Not I,

Who needs to try Godhood.”

(Carol Lynn Pearson, “The Lesson,” Beginnings, New York: Doubleday and Co., 1975, p. 18)


Ernest Hemingway said it well:
"The world breaks everyone and afterward many are stronger at the broken places." -

Sunday, November 2, 2008

not-so-fun-family home evening

Imagine how ecstatic our 5 offspring were when we picked them up from school on Monday and then announced that we were going to get flu shots for family home evening. This is a yearly tradition. We have a"Staph-prone" child so it is a REALLY good idea for her that we try to maintain a flu-free home.
After the shots we went to visit my grandparents. They just recently moved out of their home of over twenty years and moved into a "retirement community". It has been a tough adjustment, needless to say. My grandfater has stage 4 cancer and my grandmother has Alzheimers. It was time.


Then we went to get ice cream at the place Brent refers to as the "$10 ice cream store". Its not far from the truth. A scoop of ice cream with a mix in is almost $10. I rationalized it to him by saying that it was the least we could do for them considering what the initial activity was.....