Friday, April 30, 2010

sharpening his skills...

Wyatt wanted to practice his photography skills so he snapped quick picture of us at a school activity one evening in March.
Hope Sig1

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

a pet peeve.

I really hate it when someone uses the dishtowel and then doesn't replace it by hanging it back on the oven handle.

Do I also make this mistake sometimes?
But does it annoy me as much as when other people do it and then I can't find the towel when I need it?
Heck no.

I hate not having the dish towel where it needs to be when I (*I!*) need it in a hurry!

Alright-y...I feel better now.

Hope Sig1

a melt-in-your-mouth you FONDUE?

In March we helped celebrate my brother Mike's birthday with an awesome evening at the Melting Pot (okay, he's my brother-in-law, but really those are just words...he's as much a brother as flesh and blood). We'd never eaten there before--it's a definite splurge so we don't anticipate going back soon, but when we do go back, it will be something we look forward to. It was such a unique dining experience. I'd go without the meat course next time and settle for just the cheese and dessert, but we were glad we tried everything the first time so we can know what we'll like best in the future! My favorite part of dessert was the cheesecake in the rich turtle chocolate fondue...I'm salivating just thinking about it!

Hope Sig1

Monday, April 26, 2010

a tender mercy in six-minutes (and five shopping carts), and no less...

I have about 15 grocery bags sitting on my kitchen counter and floor competing for my attention but this post simply could not wait. I had to document, to share, my sweet little experience at the store just now.
I was all done--my cart was overflowing, both with children and food and other products from Target's well-stocked shelves. I had one last item to grab, a rotisserie chicken from the deli. I won't go as far as to say I was angry or that it ruined my day, but I cannot deny I was annoyed that after 75 minutes of shopping with two little boys, I was going to have to wait another SIX MINUTES for the deli's next batch of chicken to be done cooking. SIX MINUTES, which any young mother knows can seem like an eternity! All the items from my list had been found and collected, so there was nothing to do but wait. How bad did I really want this chicken? Hmmm...mentally I weighed my options: wait six minutes for tonight's dinner or save myself six minutes NOW and pay for it by cooking 20 minutes tonight. Mental calculation DONE: waiting it was. Thankfully my boys continued being very well-behaved and I was surprised how quickly the six minutes passed. Yes, I was tired of being there and sooo ready for it to be over, but any annoyance I'd had was now gone as I made my way to the check-out stand.
Two registers were open: 5 and 6. Pulling into 5 I noticed there was only one customer in front of me, a man who looked to be in his mid-to-late 50's. Now everyone knows having just one customer in front of you is definitely not that bad. However, this man had four (YES, FOUR!) very full carts trailing behind him. Puzzled and assuming not all those carts could belong to him, I asked the Target employee if someone else had left one or two of the carts there while they ran to get something they forgot. The man answered for her saying, "No these are all mine and my wife is coming with a fifth." He gave his most apologetic smile as he contined, "I'm afraid we're going to be a while." Grateful for the warning, but still astonished (and curious!) at the humongous purchase he was making, I headed into Checkout 6, where a woman twice my age and yet three times as skinny in her yoga pants bought a small collection of items - Protein Bars, Protein Shakes, and bottled water. (Yeah...give me my size 16 pajama pants and my Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, I say...)
Anyway, by the time it was my turn to unload the cart, the wife of Mr. Checkout 5 had come with the fifth cart and they were about half-way through scanning it all. I could hear a Target supervisor calling for employees to assist this couple with their items to the car. I found that I could not take my eyes off them! They were buying everything under the sun, it seemed: canned food, blankets, first-aid items, pantry food, batteries, tupperware, bedsheets, you name it. And then I heard it. The question every person within earshot was dying to have answered. The supervisor asked about this unusual amount of merchandise. Their answer? The wife timidly replied they were shipping everything to Africa, where they were soon to become the mission presidents in the Congo area. She explained it is a brand new mission and they are the ones to get it started. Of course her answer was interesting enough, but the look on her face spoke volumes. In one look she translated several emotions, such as nervousness, humility, and maybe even a little bit of insecurity. But above it all, she was brilliant with the look of FAITH. I mean, you'd have to have faith to do leave everything (everyone) behind and do something like that! I stood there paying for my (one) cart of groceries, in awe of these two servants. Here they are, spending $1692 (yes, I absolutely could not resist peeking at the total on the register screen as I walked by) and basically turning their lives upside down to travel across the world to a vulnerable area to begin the Lord's work. I wondered what their lives had been like since they'd gotten the call--tying up loose ends...either selling their home or finding someone to maintain it, squeezing in as much time with their children and grandchildren as possible, doing research on the internet and making list after list of the necessary preparations.
My eyes grew hot with tears and it took all I had not to completely succumb to the emotions in the burning of my chest. How grateful I was that I had been there to witness this scene. And had I been to the register 6 minutes earlier? I'm confident there is a high possibility I would have missed it. The Lord knew I needed that today. He knew I needed to see the sweet sacrifices others make to not only live the gospel but to share it with others. I couldn't get home fast enough to journal that moment--I was afraid somehow those feelings would leave me and I'd forget all about it. But as I write, it's apparent that I will keep this tender mercy with me for quite some time. Probably even beyond dinner tonight at 6:00 when we all sit down for our Rotisserie Chicken. And I'm also betting that at 6:00 p.m., somewhere in Davis County, is a middle-aged couple who will still be unloading their Target bags of groceries.
Hope Sig1

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

making it all better with some brotherly love...

The other week Halle wrecked while riding her bike and skinned the ol' elbow up good. I was touched to see Carson hop off his tricycle, run over to her and give his crying sister a hug.

Hope Sig1

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

a visit from the COW boys...

In February, Eric called to say he was coming out to get some cows (yes, COWS) and wondered if he and his boys could stay at our house overnight as it would be too late for him to drive back to Vernal. It was such a lovely visit! We wish we could have enjoyed more time with them.

Hope Sig1

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tunturi C4 Cross-Trainer Elliptical - $400

We are selling our 2005 Elliptical, which still retails for $1300, for $400. "When" we used it we really enjoyed it, but we were only disciplined enough to exercise regularly at home for the first year of owning it. Then we took a 3-year hiatus until we joined a gym last year. If you're wanting to get in shape for swimsuit season, this could be a very affordable way to do it! Email me if you're interested:

Hope Sig1

Sunday, April 18, 2010

get a clue...

One of our favorite games to
play as a family is CLUE JR.
We don't get to do it often, as we have to wait until
busy-body Carson is preoccupied or asleep,
but it's worth the wait as we have such a fun time!
First we played "boys against girls" but then
we had fun doing kids vs. grownups.
Here, the kids are whispering their strategy to each other.
Too bad their "whispers" are loud enough for the entire room to hear!
So fun playing DETECTIVE...

Hope Sig1

Monday, April 12, 2010

always on my mind...

it's there.
no matter what.
i try to distract myself, but no matter what i am doing, a part of my brain and a huge piece of my heart is unceasingly devoted to them.
and that's when i close my eyes and try to connect with the Divine...hoping the Lord truly is aware of the prayers in our hearts. the prayers we repeat over and over and over, if not verbally then silently, even subconsciously as we do other things.
they are on my mind
in my heart.
in so many hearts.
and because of that i am comforted.
because He does.
He does know our hearts.
and that's what's gonna get them through it.
that's what's gonna get us all through it.
Hope Sig1



Hope Sig1

Sunday, April 11, 2010

FAVORITE QUOTES from April 2010 General Conference:

This Conference I prayed to receive some specific instruction and, as usual, Heavenly Father did not let me down. There were two issues on my mind as Conference weekend approached (1: questions and a desire for reassurance regarding a beloved family member's health, and 2: a need for guidance and direction in a certain aspect of my own life) and I felt my Savior's arms around me several times as I listened to the counsel and love offered from our Church leaders. I fervantly scribbled eight full pages of their words, but here are my favorites:

President Packer:
"Authority of the Priesthood comes from ordination. POWER of the Priesthood comes from faithful, obedient, honorable living."

Julie B. Beck:
"There has never been a greater need for increased faith & personal righteousness."
"Qualifying for the Lord's Spirit starts with worthiness & desire. Then add to it with temple worship."
"Insight found in the scriptures increases in time. Write & read impressions & ideas."
"Promised personal revelation comes when we: 1) ASK, 2)PREPARE, 3)GO FORWARD WITH FAITH."
"Peace, joy, & hope are available to those who MEASURE SUCCESS PROPERLY."

M. Russell Ballard:
"When you are willing to listen & learn, some of life's most meaningful lessons will come from those who have gone before."
"It is critical parents & children listen to and learn from each other."

President Eyring:
"Personal Progress requires Consistency, Effort, and Learning."
"Personal Progress helps you understand who you are, why you are here on earth, and helps you prepare for the day you enter the temple & make covenants with your Heavenly Father."

David Bednar:
"The best Family Home Evenings are not necessarily the product of pre-prepared or purchased lessons."

President Uchtdorf:
"It seems only proper that we extend to others what we so desperately want for ourselves."

Donald L. Hallstrom:
"Great joy is sometimes opposed by great pain."
"Spiritual declines can happen as an affect of how we respond to our trials."
"Never let an earthly circumstance disable you spiritually."

Quentin L. Cook:
"We must find time to slow down, ponder, & pray if we want to feel the spirit in our lives."

President Monson:
A Hopeless Dawn
"To understand the meaning of death, we must understand the purpose of life."
"I have read, and I believe."
"The darkness of death can be dispelled by the light of revealed truth."
Revelation 21:4
Bradley D. Foster
"There is no greater good in all the world than motherhood."
"A distraction does not have to be evil to be effective."
"The end will be better than the beginning."
James B. Martino
"Each of us will face trial & tests, but it is how we react in those situations that will get us through them."
"We may never know in this life why we face the things that we do, but we can have confidence it will be for our good."
"What we can learn from the Savior's last hours on Earth:
1. He desired to accomplish the Lord's will, not his own. Trust in Heavenly Father.
2. He did not complain or murmur. Instead of asking 'Why me?', ask 'What am I to do? What can I learn from this? How can I change?'
3. Seek greater help from God. Often the answers from Heavenly Father do not remove the trial from us, but He will always strengthen us.
4. Learn to serve & think of others in the midst of your trials.
5. Forgive others & do not seek to blame our situation onto them.
6. Keep an eternal perspective."
Gregory Schwitzer
"A person can never be a good judge without the gospel in their life as a reference."
"Learn to listen to the Holy Ghost. Listening is vital in developing good judgment. Provide a quiet environment where one can listen & ponder. The peace that comes from listening to the spirit removes any fear of making a wrong choice."
and the quote that meant the very most to me, the one that was an answer to my prayers, was:
"Many blessings in life are missed
because worldly judgment was applied
to what was really a spiritual decision."
(Elder Schwitzer)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

latest guilty pleasure...

I love this show on A&E, "Kirstie Alley's Big Life". Let it be known I am NOT a reality TV fan, but I have to admit how much I chuckle watching this show. It's honest, it's funny, it's real, and I so can relate to her emotional-eating issues.

Hope Sig1

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

such a CHORE...

Wyatt emptying the dishwasher
This is why we have they can get to the point
that they eventually do all our work for us!
Thankfully I have fabulous little helpers who are
still young enough to pitch in with a SMILE (most of the time)!
Halle folding socks

Hope Sig1

Saturday, April 3, 2010

H.H.H. (Triple Threat)

To celebrate sweet Heather (L.)'s birthday, Heather (H.) and I took her to lunch at the newly-opened Salt City Burgers in Bountiful on 500 S. (which, by the way, was very delish and super-reasonable prices...yummy sweet potato fries and kid-size oreo milkshake, too!). It was a wonderful escape, going out with two fun, beautiful friends, kid-free! Thanks, ladies! Looking forward to Heather (H.)'s birthday lunch in a couple weeks!
Hope Sig1

Thursday, April 1, 2010

2010: Year of the Tiger

We had a fun Chinese New Year party with our dear friends, the Hodges. To prepare, the kids made a Chinese centerpiece.
Of course, we had so much fun during the dinner party that I didn't actually take any pictures. And thankfully, I continued not taking pictures at the "after party" (the part where we all got the runs from the Lo Mein...)

Hope Sig1
"The democracy will cease to exist when you TAKE AWAY from those who are willing to work AND GIVE to those who would not."

Thomas Jefferson