Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Parade of Homes

The Vancouver, WA Parade of Homes was so fun! We had a glorious time!

S, you made me laugh heartily when I heard you describing to all the people around you why you loved each room and the details.

The last house, you went into the basement.  A few moments later you ran up the stairs shouting, "Ew!  IT STINKS DOWN THERE!"  A couple of people that were headed down their looked at us, completely shocked.  I smiled at them and said two words, "Wine cellar."  They laughed to each other.

What fun to make faces into the eight inch wide magnification mirror (the only one I saw).  Can you tell this was in a bathroom.  We had you climb up onto the tub, S, so you could get in the photo--K, you were asleep, strapped to me.
 You kept trying to fix the blankets on the beds, even though I think they were scrunched up to look like the people had just barely left the comfort of their beds to get a drink or something and then they would cuddle back up into the beauty of the house.
Okay, this is one thing I wish our new house had.  So did you, apparently, S because when you stepped in there you did an operatic "Ah!"
 This one, S, you said, "Take a picture of me Mom, by this treasure chest."  That house was filled with reclaimed wood from a barn that was 150 years old.
You loved that the free lunch we had because we were one of the first three hundred people in the gates. But your favorite was the free stuff--especially the ice cream.
 I moustache you a question.
You loved the desks. Every time we go to the stores that have desks it is the first thing you want to go see.  Love you!

Happy birthday K!

Dear K:

Happy birthday!

I know your birthday was actually awhile ago, but I have to say--I really enjoy you. It's not that I didn't enjoy your brothers or sister, it is that when they were your age I felt like either I didn't quite know what I was doing and that made me a little nervous (like with R when he was the only one) or I felt like I couldn't keep up with anything (like when T was a baby and R and S were small children into e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.).

You started walking about a month after you turned one.  You have been pretty sick, and every time we take you to the doctor they tell us that you are just teething and that eventually you will grow out of it.  I hope they are right, but it doesn't keep you from waking up at night, nearly every night with either a high fever or screams of pain.   I'm not sure pediatricians know how to find out if something is beyond teething or an ear ache.  So far, I think that is the limit of their knowledge because they are never curious enough to find out if it is something else.  But before I make this letter you a rant about pediatricians, I want you to know that I love you soooooo dearly.

Every day when I look at you I cannot help but feel blown away by blessedness.  I look at you and your siblings and my heart feels like it will burst with gladness.  You have parents that love you and hope the best for you, always.

I just paused my writing to give you five kisses on your delightful face.

One of my favorite things you do is dance.  You've loved to dance since you were around six months old.   You would try to move with the music.  Now you to the up and down jostle whenever music comes on that you like (which is often).

You also have one of the world's best snuggles.  You know exactly where to put your head and I can just move my head a tiny bit and give you a smooch right on your head and breathe in your dear baby-smell. It is so validating to be hugged like that!

I love you so dearly!  Thank you for being my baby!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Parade of Homes--Vancouver, WA

We've done another thing that was on my bucket list--a parade of homes.

Honestly, I was searching for some inspiration for our new home, I'm going to post some photos, when I have ones that I have taken myself.

Meanwhile, here are some photos to salivate over.  These are not our home.  But there are bits that I would like to incorporate.
 I felt like I could say over and over, "I'll take one of those and one of those and one of those . . . "    I love love love these built in shelves.  This may have been my most favorite thing about the whole parade.  I could have sat there and analyzed it for hours.  I loved the beautiful tiles.  I showed it to my friend and she said she wasn't sure she' have enough beautiful things to put on it.  I hadn't thought about that, but I am sure I would have found several things (probably A LOT of family photos).
 I have been seeing more and more of these high backed chairs all over decorating websites that I frequent.

 Look at these glorious cupboards and backsplash. It's beautiful.

Did you know, I love nautical?  But I don't understand the glass ball on the floor.  Cra-azy.

Again with the nautical theme. . . Look at that painting and the layering of the textures.

Some of the things that I noticed with this years parade of home was paint. Every house had grey paint.

I really want to go next year.  It was so fun!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

We Own A Home!!!

We finally found a house that had everything on our list.
We are so happy and excited!  The photo above is when we signed it.  We made it a crazy family affair.  You loved the business chairs that turned, but since this was professional--you kept the chair turning to a limit, at the request of your father. :)
 Here we are for a quick celebratory lunch.
We are elated and so blessed!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

YW Testimony Treasure Hunt

I worked a long time on an activity for this week's YW.  I decided that rather than have someone who has a similar idea or whatnot, that they should be able to copy and paste what they need, mostly, from this blog.  It took a lot of time, but it was worth it.  

This could also be used as a family home evening, though I would suggest putting more of your own memories and testimony of these things (and others) because our children love to hear stories of our past.

Follow the clues, they're not too difficult--because the focus is on what they review and remember as they read.  This way, hopefully, when they look at different items or places in the church they will remember and cherish (and grow) their testimony, just a little more.  First they read the portion about the room they are in (or substitute it with a leader's testimony), complete the task then read the clue.  

1. Relief Society Room
The Lord in His wisdom has provided a Relief Society to help His daughters in these latter days. When Relief Society functions in an inspired way, it lifts women up and out of a troubled world and into a way of living that prepares them for the blessings of eternal life. This society has at its very core the responsibility to help sisters increase faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and seek out and help others who are in need. Through Relief Society, sisters can receive answers to their questions and be blessed by the combined spiritual power of all the sisters. Relief Society validates the true and eternal nature of daughters of God. It is a sacred trust, a guiding light, and a system of watchcare that teaches and inspires women to be strong and immovable. Its motto, “Charity never faileth,” is embodied in all good women.
When a girl advances into Relief Society or when a woman is baptized into the Church, she becomes part of a sisterhood that strengthens her in her preparation for eternal life. Entrance into Relief Society signifies that a woman can be trusted and relied upon to make a significant contribution in the Church. She continues to progress as an individual without receiving much outward credit or praise.  Julie B. Beck. April 2010. General Conference.

What is one act of service that you can do secretly for at least one sister in your young women’s class?  Please carry out this act by Sunday.
Where is one of the most important things we do each week prepared?  Remember, please be reverent. This is the Lord’s house.  Be open to feeling the Holy Ghost.  Reach out to others.  Be kind.  You are loved.
Clue #1:  Play this quick game of LDS Mad Gab -- zahgramit tehbull

2. Sacrament Table

We live in the perilous times prophesied by the Apostle Paul (see 2 Timothy 3:1). Those who try to walk the straight and narrow path see inviting detours on every hand. We can be distracted, degraded, downhearted, or depressed. How can we have the Spirit of the Lord to guide our choices and keep us on the path?
In modern revelation the Lord gave the answer in this commandment:
“And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day;
“For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High” (D&C 59:9–10).
This is a commandment with a promise. By participating weekly and appropriately in the ordinance of the sacrament we qualify for the promise that we will “always have his Spirit to be with [us]” (D&C 20:77). That Spirit is the foundation of our testimony. It testifies of the Father and the Son, brings all things to our remembrance, and leads us into truth. It is the compass to guide us on our path. This gift of the Holy Ghost, President Wilford Woodruff taught, “is the greatest gift that can be bestowed upon man” (Deseret Weekly, Apr. 6, 1889, 451).  
Elder Oaks. October 2008. Sacrament Meeting and the Sacrament.
Task: Separate the talk into sections.  Read your section and tell in twenty seconds the things that touched your heart.

Clue: I’ll tell you every time. It’s ten cents from a dollar and a penny from a dime.

3. Tithing Envelope Box
I am grateful to President Grant and other prophets for teaching the principle of tithing to my parents and to them for teaching it to me. My attitude toward the law of tithing was set in place by the example and words of my mother, illustrated in a conversation I remember from my youth.
During World War II, my widowed mother supported her three young children on a schoolteacher’s salary that was meager. When I became conscious that we went without some desirable things because we didn’t have enough money, I asked my mother why she paid so much of her salary as tithing. I have never forgotten her explanation: “Dallin, there might be some people who can get along without paying tithing, but we can’t. The Lord has chosen to take your father and leave me to raise you children. I cannot do that without the blessings of the Lord, and I obtain those blessings by paying an honest tithing. When I pay my tithing, I have the Lord’s promise that he will bless us, and we must have those blessings if we are to get along.”  Elder Oaks. April 1994. Tithing. General Conference.

Go through the enclosed faux money (or Fauney--pronounced funny), and figure out how much tithing you would pay.

Clue: Often one of the first things you hear when you come and sit in Sacrament Meeting.

4. Organ

Those who have listened to music understand well the impact it can have on the mind and spirit. Positive, uplifting music can bring feelings of happiness and peace. The hymns of the Church are a key part of worship and invite the Spirit of the Lord. They can be especially helpful in controlling one's thoughts. In contrast, unwholesome, negative music can encourage inappropriate thoughts and behavior. As with other forms of media, Church members are encouraged to be careful in their choice of music.

Task:  The one who picked up this envelope needs to choose their favorite song for all to sing.

Clue:  Babies get their fill here.

5. Mother’s Room
“When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
“Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.” John 19:26-27

47 Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathersthan they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.
48 And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.  Alma 56:47-4800
Task:  Take two minutes to write a thank you note to your mother to thank her for three things she has done for you.

Clue:    Do you feel a need to quench your thirst?

6. Drinking Fountain

Not only is the gospel the water of life, but . . . okay, the drinking fountain is a monument of service to me.  I had to be lifted up to get a drink of water when I was young.  Then later I had to make sure either I or some good friend or my mom or dad would hold my hair back so it wouldn’t get wet when I drank.  Even later, now I have to do these things for my children.  Sometimes when my babies were fussy in church I would walk back and forth counting the times I would pass the drinking fountain.  Also, there were many times the fountain would serve to quench my thirst.

Task: Get a drink, if you are thirsty. Tell each other one way the Gospel has quenched your spiritual thirst.  

Clue: In order to become a member of the church, you will go here.

7. Baptismal Font
When we are baptized in His name and always remember Him and keep His commandments, He gives us the greatest blessing He can give us: that is to always have His Spirit to be with us. That Spirit of the Lord is light. “Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am the life and the light of the world” (D&C 11:28; see also 3 Ne. 9:18). “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). This is “the light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed” (D&C 88:13). Light and darkness cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Where the light of Christ is found, the darkness of Lucifer, even Satan, must depart, defeated. May we follow the light and choose the right.  Elder Robert D. Hales; Conference Report; October 1997.

Task:  Share what it was like the day you got baptized, if you remember.  

Clue: We meet here every Sunday.

8. Young Women's Room
Leader testimony of YW.

Just as a note, I printed the clue part at the bottom of the page, bent the bottom of the page over it and then taped the bent portion so they couldn't see the clue until they had completed the task (I personally think it builds the excitement of finding the clue).  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Have a Great Day!

These moments were captured as you were walking in from church. K and I stayed home because, you, K were sick.  How I love you all!  I feel so blessed to have you!  It was our last Sunday as non-home-owners.  Yay!

Monday, July 14, 2014


I don't tell you that we are going shopping.  Because I know that it will be met with groans and gripes (what can I say, we are a work in progress). I remind you that we do a lot of fun things and a lot of times we have to do the things we need to do--like clothes shopping.

 We went to the Woodburn Outlets and got some clothes that you and I needed.

 I love you dearly! You are wonderful children and I love it when we work together to make our family run smoothly!  You make me happy!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

International Rose Test Garden

 This is a free rose garden in Portland.  It is stunning.
 They have fountains with easily accessible coins at the bottom, which you felt could be recycled for free wishes.  Some of you kept some for future fountains and you made it it easier for the coin gatherers by putting it in the donation boxes (with a little persuasion).

 At one point, you chased one another down, making sure that everyone had re-donated the retrieved coins.  I reminded you that you are not the mothers and that if you believed that someone had passed the rules to talk to the mothers about your theories.

 You stood in this entrance and called out "OO EE  OO EE!"  in a chant-like style for the people passing by.  After a few strange/worried looks Erika and I called out to the people, "They are just welcoming you to the garden."  After awhile we suggested you welcome people with the traditional words, "Welcome to the garden!" so people wouldn't be worried.  Then people started smiling at you.

 You had so much fun!
  This photo is the proof I really need to clean the camera on my phone. I'm working on figuring out how to clean it.

 You kept moving so quickly because sometimes it was difficult to keep track of you. S, you and S found a bunny.  You tried to follow it.  There were fabulous views of the city and if it had been a clear day we would have had a marvelous view of Mt. Hood.    It was a great temperature, thankfully and even if we missed the view, I was grateful for the cool temps.

 R and T, you decided that you would commandeer these drinking fountains for water fight duties, but thankfully we mothers were near by, encouraging you to just get drinks and move on.
 So thankful for these great friends and for beautiful Rose-city Portland.
Obviously the boys were doing their own thing for this photo--but I love that the girls are very happy to pose for the photo.