Wednesday, July 31, 2013

forty six

Brent turned forty six yesterday.  Wow! 
A birthday that big calls for a two part celebration.
It started on Friday.  We all  went to Hawaiian Falls for the day.  (except Jensen who was working.)  :O(
But even my sister and her family were able to join us.

Tanner with his cute cousin, Hank.

 Can you tell we kind of like that kid?

and on TUESDAY, his actual birthday,  we celebrated at Twisted Root Burger.
Instead of cake, we had custom milkshakes.  I can't think of  a better way to celebrate such a great hubby, dad, and person.

We are a lucky crew to have him at the helm.  

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Baptism Day

Brady took the plunge on Saturday and was baptized.

 This is the great group of men that participated in his confirmation.  (Left to Right)  Matt Lloyd, Mike Hennefer, John Sallaway, Brent, Wells B. Anderson, Jake Wortham, and Herc Rainey.
Tanner baptized him and Brent performed the confirmation.

I gave the talk on Baptism and Brother Rainey (Brady's adopted grandpa) gave the talk on the Holy Ghost.  Reagan and McKinley offered prayers and Jensen led the music.  It was truly a family affair.

I am sad I didn't get more pictures but we were so caught up seeing old friends that I just plum lost track of time and before I knew it, it was time to start.  It meant so much to us that Lindsey and her family, Tyler and Amy, Mimi, Greg , Sharon, Poppy, and the Hennefers all came.

Afterward we went back to our place for Brady's favorite thing: homemade chicken pot pie and swimming.  

It was a wonderful day for all.

Monday, July 22, 2013

bright idea: 5 minute room rescue

I wish it was my brain child.  
But it's not.  
I stole it from flylady and then revised it to fit my family. 
She calls it a 20 minute room rescue.  
Usually, we only need 5 to rescue rooms pretty well.

Saturday mornings we work hard doing our chore auction and cleaning every nook and cranny in the house.  But I have noticed now that we have 9am church and are able to lounge around the house the better part of the day on Sunday - come Sunday evening its a clean but un-tidy mess again.

So that's when I pull out this.

 And we draw 12 little slips of paper from it.
 And you get to run and spend five minutes tidying up whatever room you draw.  It's like a game and usually everyone is happy to chip in and bring order back to the house.  Everyone usually does two slips of paper and we have one parent go around and check things. 
 It works like a charm.  
Your welcome.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

mean mom idea for encouraging timely gratitude

Here's a tip from me, for what it's worth.
Some might accuse me of being a 
mean mom 
for doing it this way.  
(Please suspend judgement until the end.)

Fact #1: Brady got a TON of birthday presents at his party.  So many that it was a little overwhelming. 
In fact, here is the haul.  See for yourself.  
( I really am in awe of how generous people are each and every time my kids have a party, btw.)

Fact #2:  Gratitude, feeling it and expressing it, are kind of a big thing in my house.  

Fact #3:  The thought of getting all those thank you notes written by an 8 year old boy  in a timely manner makes my head spin.  Of course he was so excited about all of it and couldn't wait to open them all and play with them. 

Fact #4: It hasn't been 24 hours yet since he opened all the above presents and all but three of the thank you notes are written without any nagging or prodding from me.  He is more than happy to write each and every one.

2013 thank you note miracle, you say?


How does this miracle occur, you ask?

I ...ummmm...well...
hold the presents hostage 
until he writes the corresponding thank you note.

I know, I sound like a horrible person.  BUT...

He chooses when he writes the note, which one he writes, and in what order.  It is all based on what present he wants to open up and play with first.  He has been hard at work ever since we came home from church.  

I love this strategy because it ddddrrrrraaaaawwwwwssss out the gift opening afterglow and helps facilitate a heart of gratitude for the generosity of others.

So if you are one of the ones who came to the party and gets a thank you note this week, I hope you realize that yours was a favorite.

Monday, July 15, 2013

swim meet

I need to start with a disclaimer.  I don't have any pictures of my littlest swim teamer because he is such a social butterfly that between events he was off with friends and I never got any pictures of him but he was definitely the most improved swimmer from our family.  Bringing home the blue (1st place) for every individual event he swam (3 of them) and a red for his relay.  Way to go Brady!
 Kiki, Henley, Reagan, and Marrin.  Beautiful bunch of girls.
 But I had to get a picture of this cute relay team comprised of the girls and our neighbors.  They DOMINATED the medley relay and brought home the blue.  What a cute bunch of kids.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Brady's Big Ole' Birthday Bash

Brady celebrated turning 8 this past weekend and boy howdy was it a rockin' party.

 Brother Rainey had the distinction of being the oldest party guest invited.  
and my nephew, Grant was the youngest.

And what 8 year old boy party would be complete without swimming and pool hoops.  
Each boy got a water squirter and they were a huge hit.

 But the Kona Ice man was an even bigger hit.
 Brady was surrounded by so many good friends

Aunt Lindsey was there.
Uncle Kyle and  Baby Hank.
and lots of other people that our family loves.

And did I mention that there was a band?  Brady bid on them at the church youth auction and won so they came and played for an hour.  It was fantastic.

Then, he ran in the house and got his own guitar and asked the band to sign it.  
They were happy to oblige.  :O)

 And at the very end they called Brady up to sing his favorite song, which they had learned just for his party; "Pork and Beans" by Weezer.  What a great group of guys.  It was a party he won't ever forget.
 Now were off to go write a serious amount of thank you notes.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Swallowed up in the Will of the Father

This past weekend, I felt prompted to seek out the advice of a couple from our old ward regarding a stupid, bothersome trial we have been dealing with.  We love this couple with all of our hearts and both of us think of them as spiritual mentors and parental figures.  One of the hardest things about moving from our old ward  to this one was leaving behind these treasured friends.

We walked away after two hours of counseling with them with some terrific advice that I have been thinking about.  The counsel they gave was to submit our will a little more in one particular area of our lives.  It reminded me of this talk that was brought up one day at Institute last Spring.  (Man, I miss Institute!  Can't wait til that starts back up in the fall.)

I have included parts of the talk here.  It is from Elder Neal A. Maxwell and it's called "Swallowed up in the Will of the Father.".

I think I have some room to improve .... 

To the extent that we are not willing to be led by the Lord, we will be driven by our appetites, or we will be greatly preoccupied with the lesser things of the day. 
... only by aligning our wills with God’s is full happiness to be found. Anything less results in a lesser portion (see Alma 12:10–11). The Lord will work with us even if, at first, we “can no more than desire” but are willing to “give place for a portion of [His] words” (Alma 32:27). A small foothold is all He needs! But we must desire and provide it.
As one’s will is increasingly submissive to the will of God, he can receive inspiration and revelation so much needed to help meet the trials of life. In the trying and very defining Isaac episode, faithful Abraham “staggered not … through unbelief” (Rom. 4:20). Of that episode John Taylor observed that “nothing but the spirit of revelation could have given him this confidence, and … sustained him under these peculiar circumstances” (inJournal of Discourses, 14:361). Will we too trust the Lord amid a perplexing trial for which we have no easy explanation? Do we understand—really comprehend—that Jesus knows and understands when we are stressed and perplexed? The complete consecration which effected the Atonement ensured Jesus’ perfect empathy; He felt our very pains and afflictions before we did and knows how to succor us (see Alma 7:11–12;2 Ne. 9:21). 
Since the Most Innocent suffered the most, our own cries of “Why?” cannot match His. But we can utter the same submissive word “nevertheless …” (Matt. 26:39).
Thus, brothers and sisters, 
consecration is not resignation or a mindless caving in. Rather, it is a deliberate expanding outward, making us more honest when we sing, “More used would I be” (“More Holiness Give Me,”1985, Hymns, no. 131). Consecration, likewise, is not shoulder-shrugging acceptance, but, instead, shoulder-squaring to better bear the yoke.
Consecration involves pressing forward “with a steadfastness in Christ” with a “brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men … [while] feasting upon the word of Christ” (2 Ne. 31:20). Jesus pressed forward sublimely. He did not shrink...
Each of us might well ask, “In what ways am I shrinking or holding back?” Meek introspection may yield some bold insights! For example, we can tell much by what we have already willingly discarded along the pathway of discipleship. It is the only pathway where littering is permissible, even encouraged. In the early stages, the debris left behind includes the grosser sins of commission. Later debris differs; things begin to be discarded which have caused the misuse or underuse of our time and talent.
Along this pathway leading to consecration, stern and unsought challenges sometimes hasten this jettisoning, which is needed to achieve increased consecration (see Hel. 12:3).
 If we have grown soft, hard times may be necessary.
 If we are too contented, a dose of divine discontent may come.
 A relevant insight may be contained in reproof.
A new calling beckons us away from comfortable routines wherein the needed competencies have already been developed. 
One may be stripped of accustomed luxury so that the malignant mole of materialism may be removed.
One may be scorched by humiliation so pride can be melted away. 
Whatever we lack will get attention, one way or another.

Therefore, we will not always understand the role of God’s hand, but we know enough of his heart and mind to be submissive. Thus when we are perplexed and stressed, explanatory help is not always immediately forthcoming, but compensatory help will be. Thus our process of cognition gives way to our personal submission, as we experience those moments when we learn to 

“be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10).
Then, the more one’s will is thus “swallowed up,” the more his afflictions, rather than necessarily being removed, will be “swallowed up in the joy of Christ” (Alma 31:38).
In conclusion, the submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we “give,” brothers and sisters, are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him! It is the only possession which is truly ours to give!
Consecration thus constitutes the only unconditional surrender which is also a total victory!
May we deeply desire that victory, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Monday, July 8, 2013

a fun 4th and 5th

We had a great 4th of July - and 5th.  We went to the Pace's for barbecue and swimming with some other great families from our church and then we all went over to watch Fireworks together and play with poppers.  We aren't allowed to do fireworks.  :O/

 On the 5th, Brent took the day off too so we decided to venture off to one of our favorite summer spots, the Sherman Pool.  As you can see, we had a blast.

Have I mentioned how much I love Summer?