Saturday, April 04, 2009

We Must Inspire Some Hope!

If you read the headlines in the news tonight this is what you read:

Police: 5 children, father die in murder-suicide (AP)
Europe praises Obama, pledges few Afghan troops (AP)
Gunman 'lying in wait' kills 3 Pittsburgh officers (AP)
As gunman's life fell apart, he took others' (AP)
Freed American UN aid worker leaves Pakistan (AP)

It doesn't take much to see that there is an overabundance of despair in the world. There have been more then three mass slayings just this week (that I know of) just in America. Most of these slayings have involved family members killing other family members.

Leif and I talked about this tonight as we ate dinner. It got me thinking. My ideas might seem small and not very profound. But I think every little bit can help. I believe that we need to go the extra mile to bring more opportunity for people to feel some hope and sense of accomplishment in their lives. So many people have lost their jobs and are becoming stagnant. This is leading to despair. We need to give people opportunities to get outside of themselves. Here are my ideas of how to do this. Mind you, I know these are not new ideas. I just think it would be good to involve more people in these activities:

Provident Living: FREE workshops on gardening, green houses, canning, bottling, food storage, raising animals, etc.
Creativity: FREE workshops about things from crafts to auto mechanics where people can share their individual skills and teach others. Also Free workshops and "camps" for children and teenagers where they can come and learn something new as well as have their "cup" filled by the attention they receive.
Pure Fun: FREE community events. Concerts and movies in the parks, community sports, barbeque's and picnics, theme parades, anything to bring cheer and smiles to as many people as possible.

There is no way to help everyone. And yes, it is true that not everyone wants help. But there are ways to help some people. I will try to do my part. The first step is to find ways that I can reach out. The second is to inspire others to reach out.

Saturday Is A Special Day: General Conference

Today was a wonderful day! We all slept in a bit because it was cloudy outside. When we woke up we had a yummy breakfast of Sunshine Toast (eggs fried in the middle of bread.) Leif and Jakob set up the conference tent while I made breakfast.

All of our conference helps were just that, a great help! We were all able to pay attention a lot better. All of the chocolate and junk wiped me out. But MMM they were yummy! BINGO was the biggest hit. Jakob payed attention well and earned plenty of candy from that. I of course was just happy to have him with us and basking in the spirit and listening for special words and phrases here and there. However, I am often amazed by how much he actually takes in during things like this.


Leif and I feel like we were able to really get what we needed out of the talks so far. He went to the Priesthood Session and came home with that glow from the upliftment that the spirit brings. We felt the strong guidance of the spirit reminding us to be careful as we accept financial aid for school. Leif also feels that he was directed to talk with certain people while at the priesthood session. He feels that there are good things in the works for possible massage therapy employment in the future as we need it. That might help us be more self reliant. A great blessing. I am the "deep Thinker" out of Leif and I (at least when it comes to expressing my thoughts) So I was touched by the talks that focused on our temple covenants and eternal families. Words can't really express my gratitude for the sealing power of eternal marriage which makes eternal families....
This picture captured how I felt today with my family.


Friday, April 03, 2009

Let The Fun Begin!

Well, we had a great day today! I am so thrilled about all that I/we were able to accomplish. Leif worked, got his homework done, planted some tomato's, got rid of some old car parts that were taking up space, and managed to help me around the house and play King Benjamin. I was able to get the house clean and organized, vacuum, dust, get papers filed, plant peppermint-spearmint-rosemary-lavender plants in planters and hung in the house. It feels Great!
After dinner tonight we were able to have our Family Home Evening. It was funny and cute. Though filled with laughter, it still got the point across. In fact, Jakob was so excited for conference that he was ready for bed an hour early (he didn't know it was early, and we didn't tell him;) We sang Follow the Prophet and We Thank Thee Oh God For a Prophet and then we introduced King Benjamin. It was raining outside. So he used a stool. Leif told the story of King Benjamin teaching on the tower at the temple. It was Very Cute! Just as we expected, Jakob is THRILLED with the idea of having a Conference Tent. We put up the ropes tonight and we'll hang the blankets tomorrow. We let Jakob mix up the trail mix for tomorrow and that got him excited about conference even more. We have a lot to look forward too...
Earlier today I found Jakob combing Caleb's hair. When I came over to see, Jakob informed me that he was fixing Caleb's hair for conference. Mohawks aren't my first choice for a conference hair-do, but what can ya say? I still think he's pretty cute!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

What We're Doing To Help Our Four Year Old Find General Conference Exciting!

Thank you everyone who sent me your ideas of how we can help Jakob enjoy General Conference (which will help ALL of us enjoy conference.) Last year we weren't able to really pay attention to conference. Jakob was young and I was Very Pregnant. I vowed that the following year would be better. That we would actually be able to recall what was taught. So here is our plan.

FRIDAY:
  • I will make sure the house gets clean (especially around the computer, which is where we will watch conference.)

  • We will have a special Family Home Evening centered on King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon and the General Conference that they had (told about in Mosiah Chapter 2). I think we will have Leif play King Benjamin and he will teach us from the tower (our front porch) and we will sit below and learn about their conference when they sat in tents and listened to conference. Jakob will love the next part;) We're going to build our own "Conference Tent" with the door open towards the computer screen so we can watch conference. I thought I came up with this fun idea. But the seed must have been planted in my mind a long time ago. Because if you go to Sugardoodle.net you'll find it sprinkled throughout their ideas. Either way, Leif and I are Really Excited! We're going to put blankets up with string and clothes pins. This will go along with our FHE. But it will also make boundaries for Jakob while we watch conference. I will bring in all of the treats, activities, and picnic food. And we will stay in the tent during conference. I hope it turns out fun!

SATURDAY and SUNDAY:

  • We will watch conference in our tent. I printed off an activity packet for each of us from Sugardoodle.net. Jakob's is all coloring pictures. I printed one that is for older kid's for Leif and I. Who said parents don't need help paying attention during conference!? Ours has a page for each speaker. We get to draw his face and doodle. But it also has a place for us to take notes. It also has a special page for the new apostle who will be called. It should turn out cute and be helpful.

  • We'll play the game where we get a little treat for certain words that are said during conference (like service, preparedness, etc.) we bought WAY too much chocolate for this whole weekend. I'm a sucker for Easter Candy. We bought things for trail mix too and veggies and dip (that helps me feel better;)

  • Conference BINGO of course. I remember playing this as a little girl with my family. Sugardoodle has BINGO cards if you don't want to make your own.

  • I'm going to pull out the centerfold pictures of the General Authorities out of the Ensign. Each time someone new gets up to speak, we will give Jakob a treat if he can find the speakers photo.

  • Jakob loves to play with clay and doe so I am going to make some play doe for him.

With all of these activities we should have a great experience with some great memories. I have always enjoyed conference. As a youth I would go with my friends to the Tabernacle and listen to conference outside on the lawn. I remember one time we had Elder L. Tom Perry come out and shake our hands. That was a very special time. I vaguely remember going with my family too. Either way conference was always a part of my life. I am grateful for that! Having a prophet on the earth today is a very special gift. We will become more and more grateful for his presence, guidance, and authority as the years progress.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I Need Watching Conference With Kids Suggestions!

This weekend is General Conference. I would like Jakob to sit with us and watch as much as possible this year. I have some ideas of how to make this possible. But I'm up for any suggestions!! Let me know you're ideas and I'll post my plan later.

One Year Ago

I think pregnancy things are on my mind because Caleb is turning one year old. Yesterday I realized that I have a really great picture that depicts how I felt and looked one year ago today.:)

This photo was taken one week before Caleb was born. I was obviously EXTREMELY pregnant and I was desperate to be done with the pregnancy. So, we went hiking:) The next day we went one a very very bumpy off road trip in a truck. Each day after that I walked a good mile every day. This desperation lasted for five or so days. Then I finally just accepted the fact that this was just out of my hands. So I relaxed. Up to that point my body refused to progress towards labor. Once I relaxed and let nature take it's course, it did. Ahhh, the joys of the journey!
BTW: Tiffany, that's what I mean by "Hippo Pregnancy Syndrome!" ;)


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Remembering Funny Stories: Pregnancy Sickness

I need to write about something funny! These stories that I am about to share are Funny NOW. They were definitely not funny at the moment. But I feel like reminiscing. Leif and I were thinking back trying to figure out when the last time was that we had a romantic weekend together without any children. We remembered, and this is where I will begin:

When Jakob was almost 2 years old we found out I was pregnant again. We were excited! We knew that it wouldn't be easy to get away together once we had another baby. So Leif and I took the opportunity to go on a little business convention trip to Park City. We left Jakob with grandma and set out on our way. Now something you have to realize is that I was a few days shy of my sixth week of pregnancy. We knew that we were cutting things close when it came to my traditional pregnancy sickness trimester. But we wanted to get away together. So we decided to risk it. And we paid the price!

All went wonderful for the whole trip up to the last day. We had a wonderfully romantic hotel room, yummy food, and a great time together. And Then it happened! I woke up the morning that we were supposed to go home and I FELT IT, PREGNANCY SICKNESS! I remember nibbling on an apple and crackers telling myself that this would go away and the next six hours in a moving car, winding through the mountains would not faze me. I got up, got dressed, got in the car, and we started to drive. We made it three miles to the McDonald's parking lot. That is where the fun began... once the car stopped, I immediately opened the door and lost all contents of my stomach in the parking lot. In any other situation you would just stop and wait until the illness went away. But we knew otherwise. This was only going to get increasingly worse for the next 8 weeks. So, we drove on.

I had a plastic bag with me that was respectfully dubbed the "gag bag." We made it to Provo when Leif really started to wonder if I was going to survive the journey. He decided to pull off on a random exit and look for a church. It was a Sunday and he knew he could find a church right away and find someone to help him give me a blessing. We did find a church right away. He helped me out of the car and into a chair. Then we realized something, everyone around us was speaking Spanish! We had fell upon a Spanish speaking ward.:) Luckily, we found someone who spoke English and Leif and this brother gave me a blessing. The power of the priesthood is real! From that point on I managed to fall asleep for the next several hours.

I remember how it felt to arrive home and see my sweet mother in law and her sympathetic face as she handed me a cup of ice chips to suck on. Little did we know, that was only the beginning... I found out that I was pregnant with twins a couple of weeks later.

I have several pregnancy sickness stories I could share. Like the one where Leif drove me to work in the morning and I stepped out of the car, puked in the snow, and walked in to the house where I worked. Or the time when I woke the little boy up in the morning with my melodious worship session of the porcelain throne. And Finally, a word of advise: NEVER suck on frozen cherries when you have the threat of throwing them up! They are a bugger to clean up! ;)

Looking back, these stories makes Leif and I smile and chuckle. They are NO FUN at the moment that they are taking place. But ahhh, the memories and lessons they teach us in the end.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Just What's On My Mind

I know there is A LOT going on when I sit at the computer to write and I have five different opening statements come to mind. I haven't written for a week. That usually indicates emotional turmoil or something. That's not really the case this time. Just a busy world.

I have lost track of days and time...

Last week we had family come in to town for their Spring Break. It was fun to visit and spend a little time together. Jakob was So grateful to have cousins to play with. It was fun to marvel at how everyone is growing up and notice the differences and similarities. We are blessed with very good family. It was a pleasure to have them here. I fear I wasn't the best co-hostess, I apologize for that! But I did enjoy the time we were able to spend together!!

I have really bad Hay Fever this year. I have never had it before. It is very Frustrating! Luckily, I have been able to manage it through nutritional medicine. But on occasion it gets so bad I have to take a lot of OTC medicine. No Fun! Especially when we try to work outside.

Life is pretty much "business as usual." I am really looking forward to this Summer!! I love having Leif home with me! He is such a positive influence. He will be busy with school work, but just having him around boosts my spirits.

I am learning a lot with my schooling. My focus has narrowed down to Nutritional Medicine and Women and Children's Health. I love learning about how what we eat, the supplements we take/don't take, and the things we do on a daily basis effect every detail of our life. My favorite book is called The New Optimum Nutrition Bible by Patrick Holford. I have learned a lot about the basics of living a healthy lifestyle. The latest avenue of research has been about the "Blood Type Theory." It is based on the Dr. D'Adamo's book titled Eat Right 4 Your Type. Dr. D'Adamo details what each individual blood type should and should not eat, and why. It has been a great reference. I was disappointed to find that Leif is an O blood type which is polar opposite of me an A blood type. This makes for hard menu planning! His body requires hard core red meat. Where the kid's and I Shouldn't eat meat and require Lot's of vegetables and foods that you harvest. I knew we were opposites from the beginning, but this is a bummer!;)

Next week my baby Caleb will be One Year Old! It seems unreal. He's still so little and... my baby! I'll update the boy's blogs so you can read about how fun and cute they are.:)

That's about sums it up at the moment.

Until Later...
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