Friday, May 31, 2013

May according to my iphone

 Started the month off with a fun trip to see WICKED with Greg and Sharon. We then went to Chuys to celebrate Cinco De Mayo with them.  
 It seemed like this last month of school was kind of brutal on the Argyles.  This is one day that Kiki stayed home from school with a sore throat.  We went to Smashburger to get her a shake.  Can you tell she doesn't feel good?

 Shoes! Shoes! and More Shoes!  Lots of our friends helped chip in and watch Tanner's shoe donation boxes at each of the campuses where he was collecting shoes for Project Sole for his Eagle Project.  I got this text from one of my friends who grabbed the "overflow" one day at one of the elementary schools.  Can you believe it filled up the back of her SUV?  And that was the OVERFLOW.  Overall, They think they received over 500 pairs of shoes, doubling Tanner's goal.
 Trek consumed alot of May as we prepared for our first meeting with the AP/YW committee, decided on a theme and prepped all the clipboards to pass around each ward so people can sign up to help.  This calling is going to teach me alot.  I can already tell.
 Lindsey and I have been blasting our bodies at barbell body blast and Zumba.  I took this picture one morning before BBBB because I think it wears me out just to set up all the equipment before class even starts.  

 Brent and Tanner went on the annual Father and Son campout. and while they enjoyed camping in the rain, we had our semi annual girl's night with the Lloyds.  We went to dinner and shopping.  It was nice to have some girl time with our good friends that we love spending time with.

 I tell you what, these last few weeks of school are really tough for the upper classmen.  I had to crack up at this text I got from Jensen one school day.

 Of course, we can't get enough pool time. 


 Cheri snapped this cute pic of the girls at the end of the school year party.
In addition to all this, Brent was called to the High Council again.  He is over the Stake Young Men so it will be a busy assignment.  We were able to help chaperone our first stake dance in a really long time. As a family, we are adjusting to not having him around on Sunday mornings again.  He will be doing double duty helping me with Trek too. 

 Jensen got a job at Old Navy 
and she loves it.  She really seems to be enjoying the people she works with.  

Tanner got a summer job at the movie theater.  It is really his dream job since he loves movies so much.  He gets two free movie passes every time he works a shift.  Both employers have been very accomodating with them not wanting to work Sundays, which is nice.
  
We had a fun graduation party for Jensen at my Mom's house.  I can't believe we have a graduate!  Time flies...

Thursday, May 30, 2013

achievement

This week has been a whirlwind of all of the usual end of the school year awards assemblies.
Yesterday was Brady's.  He was awarded 
MOST SPORTY
the SOCIAL STUDIES award
EXCELLENT STUDENT award
and A/B HONOR ROLL
(Man he came awfully close to making the all A honor roll!)
 Here he is with his cute teacher, Mrs. Jones.

 Today we had the Middle school awards assembly.  I loved this banner that they had all the 6th graders sign.  They are moving to the 7th/8th grade campus next year.

 Reagan was recognized for serving as a member of the
  student council 
and getting 
all "A's" for the year.
 I was able to snap this cute picture with one of her good friends, Taylor,  after the awards ceremony.
McKinley was recognized for making the "A"honor roll too
but I didn't get a picture of that because she was so far away!  I'll make up for it tomorrow at the UIL Awards assembly....Holy Cow!!!  This place really believes in recognizing achievement.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Missionary Service Night



We had a great night a couple of weeks ago when a group of great families got together to learn about missionaries and missionary work.  We had the missionaries that are currently serving IN our ward come talk to the kids about what their day is like, what kinds of rules they live by, and how mail and care packages from home help them stay positive.
 The Schaacks, Margetts, Nielsens, Whitneys, Lloyds joined us for a great night of service!
 The kids wrote letters to 6 missionaries that are currently serving from Prosper.  Two are in Mexico, 1 in Brazil, 1 in Chile, 1 in Arizona, and 1 in Virginia.  Everyone brought things that were favorites of the missionaries.  (We found out what their faves were from their moms.

)

I can't believe I will have a missionary out in just over a year. 
Who knows?  
Maybe I will have two!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Why I have an ugly brown couch in my family room

 Yes.  Here it is.
The ugly brown couch.
We bought it many years ago when we weren't really even looking for a new couch.  We walked into the furniture store and saw a salesman demonstrate how easy it was to clean and we were sold.  He pulled a ballpoint pen out of his shirt pocket and proceeded to mark ALL OVER THE COUCH CUSHIONS.  I gasped.  Then he took a damp rag and wiped it clean with no effort.  This is a mother's dream couch I tell you!
Especially a mother that had 5 young children.

This is our itty bitty tv that is in our family room.  
I'm not sure how many inches the screen is, but trust me - it's small.  
Upstairs we have a media room with a Giant screen tv.  
My kids RARELY watch tv up there.  For the longest time I couldn't figure out why.  
They are always downstairs when they want to watch tv.  

I'm not complaining, mind you.  I LOVE having them down here while I m cooking or cleaning or working on various projects.  I really do love that.  But I couldn't figure out why.  Then it occurred to me.  It's because of the 
ugly brown couch. 
 It is SUPER comfy.  We all love it.  You can kick back, put your feet up, sink into the cushions.  It has large overstuffed pillows that are perfect for getting in just the right position to watch a movie or take a cozy nap.  

All of us have had times when the 
ugly brown couch
has been our best friend while we were sick and laid out with a fever or a sore throat or a stomach bug.  

Brent spent many a night on the 
ugly brown couch 
when he was sick.  If he couldn't sleep in the middle of the night and didn't want to wake me, he would go in there and watch tv.  I could come in most mornings and find him fast asleep on the 
ugly brown couch
Noone can battle insomnia for very long on it.

It has room for the whole family too.  Here we are at our  most recent family movie night. 
 And because it is an 
UGLY brown couch, 
movie night is almost always accompanied by buttery popcorn.  Note the big yellow bowl.



I seriously thought a few months ago about getting a new couch for the family room and moving the 
Ugly Brown Couch
into the media room.  
Then I realized, I would probably never see my kids again.  
So I think it will stay for awhile longer.    

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

fighting battles


Just had a sudden reminder on Monday that there are lots of people out there that have their "church face" on that are hiding the fact that they might be struggling with some really really hard trials.  From outward appearances things might seem like they are smooth sailing but deep down inside they are really suffering.
I had lunch with two friends from a neighboring ward yesterday.  They were telling me about a cool experience that had happened several months ago in  their Relief Society.  A new sister in their ward was asked to provide a spiritual thought to start off the RS meeting one Sunday.  She passed out pieces of paper and pencils and asked each sister to write down the hardest thing she was dealing with and to do it anonymously.  Then she read them out loud.  Completely without judgement or emotion.  Things like "My husband is addicted to pornography", "I have a substance abuse problem", " We might lose our house if things don't turn around soon."  This list went on and on with things that these women who sat side by side were struggling with.  But they had on their church faces so noone knew. 

 I am trying to be mindful of that.  

Everyone is fighting a hard battle.  

We need to be gentle with each other.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Lord, who needs me today? Tell me her name.

This quote came from a talk at Women's conference at BYU a few weeks ago.  
It is from Sister Elaine Marshall.  
I can't wait to be able to read the entire talk once they are published. 

  I am not a super-sensitive person. 
 I don't think I naturally notice things that might clue me in on the fact that someone around me is having a hard time.  I have always admired people who seemed to be the kind that do.  I had a dear friend call me several months ago out of the blue and ask how I was doing.  I had been heavy with worry about something and just talking it over with her made my burden seem lighter.  

 I wrote a few days ago about spiritual gifts and I think this is one of those gifts that some people naturally have and others don't.  My friend clearly does.  I can even see it has been given to one of my children in particular.  She notices things that others do not.  Like that one of the carpool boys seemed uncharacteristically quiet or that a friend of hers wasn't invited to a gathering.  I am not sure where she got it because I don't think Brent and I are especially good at modeling that kind of sensitivity so it must be innate.  

But I really believe that when we prayerfully strive to acquire spiritual gifts for ourselves and commit to use them in a way that will bless the lives of others, we can get them.  This past New Year's,  I made a resolution to serve someone outside my family every day.  It could be as simple as a letter or phone call or an arm around someone.  I have dropped popsicles off to one of the kids I pick up for carpool when he was sick, taken "princess movies" to a friend when her daughter was under the weather, invited new families over for dinner, etc .  Some days - most days-  the opportunity has dropped right in my lap.  I have been so surprised at how easy it has been to find something to do!  It makes me feel bad that I wasn't seeing it all before this year and this resolution because I think opportunities were right before my eyes each and every day. I wasn't seeing them because I wasn't really looking.  

   What are some of the Spiritual gifts you wish you had?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Be ye therefore mediocre?

Yesterday we had a sunday school lesson on
spiritual gifts.
It made me think.  As I sat in the relief society room and looked around at all the talent and spiritual gifts in that room, I was a little awestruck.  There are so many remarkable people in my ward family that have been blessed with really wonderful abilities.  

We have "Scriptorians" who have a terrific grasp of the scriptures- 
people who are especially great at caring for those who have needs-
many who are helpful with administrative tasks-
or wise beyond their years and great at articulating that wisdom so that the rest of us can benefit from it-
we have people who have an uncanny ability to love others ( like our current RS president)
We have great teachers and speakers.
I could go on forever.

One of the things that I think I have been blessed with is a spiritual gift that most might not think of as a spiritual gift. 

But the more I study and reflect on it, the more I do.
  
It is the blessing of being content.
  I love the scripture in Phillipians 4:11:
  "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." 
This is a little ironic to me.  It was the Apostle Paul who said this and Paul accomplished some truly amazing things during his life.  He was a prolific missionary.  He wrote some of the most profound passages of scipture ever.  He was an example of one of the true great "ministerers" of the church.  He traveled ALL OVER during his relatively short life preaching the gospel to anyone and everyone that would hear it.  Some might think of Paul as being someone who was relentlessly driven.  But it appears that he, also, was one that valued contentment.  I like the two verses before these where Paul refers to God as a "God of peace" and tells us how to have that peace with us.  I think that we DO worship a God of peace and he wants us to feel of his peace every single day of our lives.  

That is not to say that it's not good to be goal oriented.  I pretty much set several new year's resolutions every year and more often than not, I do them.  I remember the year I resolved to cook  more for my family each week.  That was big for me.  I hate to cook. It wasn't easy.   But I did it.  We have set financial goals as a family and are slowly working toward them.  I have set fitness goals every year for the last 10 years and have reached most of them.  I set spiritual goals as well to go to the temple more often or read scripture so much a day...  
In fact, I was listening to a talk from Sheri Dew the other day that rang true to me as well.  She said, "the status quo is unispiring.  Our spirits CRAVE to progress, and if we aren't moving forward, we're not happy.  We believe in progression, and progression by design is difficult.  How inspiring would it have been if our Father had said, "be ye therefore mediocre"?  Though our knees buckle at times under life's pressures, none of us wants to stay just like we are.  Embedded within our spirits is the need to become more and more like our Father."

So the thing that I have figured out is that there must be a sweet spot in the midst of the two.  Paul and Sheri are both right.  I am grateful today for the gift of contentment and for the example of Paul because I don't feel the need to constantly be driven to excel in everything I do but yet I love the feeling of making progress.  


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Life doesn't come with a manual, it comes with a Mother

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Wicked, Good Time

 We went to see Wicked with my Aunt and Uncle this weekend and had a fantastic time.
Holy cow!  What an amazing production.  I was just in awe at the talent.  I don't know what was more impressive: the sets, musical score, creative storyline, or the amazing voices!  Never having been blessed with amazing musical talents, I sure am a girl that can appreciate the talents of others and this show was unforgettable.
Even the boys liked it.

And of course, Jensen was in heaven.  This girl never met a musical she didn't love.



Then we went to Chuys for some yummy mexican food and ate the big-as yo-face burritos.  Tanner was definitely in his happy place there.





I feel so grateful to have such a terrific aunt and uncle!  We love them so much and have so many great memories with them.  They really are such a blessing to us.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Senior Appreciation Night

 Our ward started a new tradition this year of having a night dedicated to the Seniors that are graduating.  They had each Senior set a table display telling about themselves and did a fun slide show.  Each of the younger youth talked in a video about what they loved about the Seniors and parents submitted photos.  Parents were given time to pay tribute to their graduates and in turn the graduates were able to share a few words of wisdom to the younger kids.  It was such a fun night.
We decided to have each of Jensen's brothers and sisters share some things that they loved about her and have learned from her example.   We printed it up and put it on display with pictures of her.  These are the things they wrote.: 

"Jensen is friendly.  She's always nice to everyone.  I've never heard her say anything mean about anyone.  She doesn't fight with us.  She is a peacemaker.  She can get along with just about anyone.  She is smart and works hard at her school work.  She takes good care of me when Mom and Dad are gone.  She is prayerful about important decisions."
-Brady

"The thing that I have learned from Jensen is how to be humble. She is never boastful. She never brags. She puts others first before she thinks about herself. I've seen her serve others without expecting something in return. When I think of words to describe Jensen, I think of Righteous, obedience, joyful, and example. Even if she doesn't feel like it, whenever I need something from her, she will do it willingly. She is a better sister than I could ever imagine and I love her with all my heart." 
-Reagan

"I am so glad that Jensen is my sister.  Honestly, she is the ultimate example because she is so Christlike and I always have her to look up to.  I love how she is so virtuous and has the characteristics of Christ.  She is always reading her scriptures and saying her prayers.  I love you Jensen!"
-McKinley

"Jensen is easy to get along with.  I am always impressed with how she is able to get through to my siblings when they are upset or angry.  She doesn't sweat the small stuff and has never gotten involved in any sort  of drama, in that way she is kind of a freak of nature compared to most teenage girls, but I am so grateful for that."
-Tanner