Friday, February 28, 2014

Memory Lane

We are having some trim work done to our stairs. I am so excited and so far the progress looks amazing but with all the work comes a BIG mess. Cali and I are confined to a few rooms and she hates the sound of the nail gun. I mean like someone might be losing a limb kind of  screaming over that dang nail gun sound.

With nothing else to do since I cant access my whole house I started looking through old photos.

I just bawled while I scrolled through them. Not so much a sad feeling though, more just so much gratitude for a beautiful life.



















































































If only I could just reach into the screen and kiss those cute little baby faces!

I also liked the few I have of our ordinary life back then..





















I can remember the days of having three car seats in our car but wow!






















I like this one. Kaden looks conniving, Brylee looks horrified and Branson is just loving his life.




I am not a huge fan of nursing pictures and I have seriously about 3 total of all my years of nursing but I am glad for this one. It's modest and I spent a heck of a lot of time nursing those little twins so I guess its good to have a record of it.
 
Two arms two babies. I would give up so much to just get a few hours with those two babies!
 
I loved this picture! Still do.
 
Looking through old pictures is such a good reminder to enjoy each day for what it is. Time just passes in such a weird way that before you know it a whole era of life has passed.
 
 
"A normal day! Holding it in my hand this one moment, I have come to see it as more than an ordinary rock. It is a gem, a jewel...normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, savor you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in a quest for some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it will not always be so. One day i shall...want more than all the world your return. And then I will know what I now am guessing: that you are, indeed, a common rock, and not a jewel, but that a common rock made of the very mass substance of the earth in all its strength and plenty puts a gem to shame."
-Mary Jean Irion

 
 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

My Scriptures

Last night Scott was showing me one of the Temple Cultural Celebration songs on Youtube. Unfortunately for me, during the song my eye caught a glance at something on the side bar. It was a mean-spirited and immature jab at the Book of Mormon.

It made me feel like hiking to the top of a Mountain so I could declare to the world my love for and testimony of the Book of Mormon and the Bible.

I have owned 4 sets of scriptures in my life.

























All four sets have included The Bible, The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. The first was given to me at my baptism by my Grandma and Grandpa Johnson. They are hardly used but I can remember feeling pretty cool about having my name on my very own set of scriptures. I also love the inscription inside the front cover. This set reminds me of my baptism, my grandparents and primary.


























When I started seminary in 9th grade my parents bought me a second set. It is filled with glued in Mormon ads, and my big bubbly teenager penmanship. As I turn its pages I can see myself growing up in the chosen highlights and handwritten notes. This set reminds me of the beginnings of my testimony, just the soil that I prepped and fed and readied for planting.












When I got married I wanted scriptures that said my new married name on them so Scott got me a new set shortly after we were married. These pages hold the makings of the deep roots of my testimony that sprouted and strengthen through the years of pregnancy, nursing, sleep deprivation, little money, new callings and all sorts of parenting questions and concerns. This was my first set that is truly worn out. The pages are soft from use and touch and the margins are filled with bits of my own thoughts and understanding. The whole book is torn from the binding, a few pages are loose and if you look closely there are a few places where a toddler got a hold of them and left their own little scribbles. The markings are more steady and less dramatic than the last set but still hold evidence of lessons learned.




























This last Christmas Scott got me a brand new set of scriptures to replace my 15 year old ones that were falling apart so badly that I actually had to handle them like a new born baby. They smell of new leather and the pages are crisp with the gold edging still fully lustrous. There are almost no markings and the verses that I have highlighted are done with careful new lines. I am sure when the newness has worn off a bit I will go back to just quickly filling in the good parts. The empty pages give me a feeling of excitement and anticipation for all the lessons and insight I can get from them in the coming years. If I use these as long as the last set I will be almost 50 years old the next time I get new scriptures.



























I left all the papers and notes in each one as I finished with them. The only thing I transferred to my new set is the scripture size copy of my patriarchal blessing. My Dad made this little copy and gave it to me 20 years ago and it has been in my scriptures ever since. The paper almost feels like silk because it is so smooth and worn. There is a piece of scotch tape running up the middle that I put there after an unfortunate run-in with a toddler. Surprisingly the printed text is still totally legible despite a lot of fading.


























I don't know everything but I do know from my own experience the peace that comes from the scriptures. I love them. In defense of the Book of Mormon Elder Holland said this:

"For 179 years this book has been examined and attacked, denied and deconstructed, targeted and torn apart like perhaps no other book in modern religious history—perhaps like no other book in any religious history. And still it stands. Failed theories about its origins have been born and parroted and have died—from Ethan Smith to Solomon Spaulding to deranged paranoid to cunning genius. None of these frankly pathetic answers for this book has ever withstood examination because there is no other answer than the one Joseph gave as its young unlearned translator. In this I stand with my own great-grandfather, who said simply enough, “No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so."

That statement is hands down my very favorite about the Book of Mormon. I love the scriptures they are more valuable to me than all the gold in all the world, I am so grateful for them.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fun Run? I Beg to Differ

Our school has what they like to call a "fun run" every so often.

The older kids run a timed mile and the younger kids run a timed quarter mile.

This stupid so called fun run is the equivalent of a major life crisis for my kids. They go out for blood. I have tried explaining to them that it is called fun for a reason. There aint nothin fun about it thanks to their innate competitive spirits. The PE teacher goes on and on about how this is for fun and it doesn't matter what place you get as long as you try your best. Doesn't matter my big toe! It's a noble effort on her part, I would do the same but are you kidding? You tell a bunch of elementary kids that they have to run a mile together and that it will be timed and you really think that what place they get isn't going to matter to them? Oh it matters my friends. These kids could make a contest out of anything! Whose Dad is older, whose shoe size is biggest, who has stayed up the latest, who can eat the most pizza slices. The list could go on.

I hate the ever lovin fun run.

However, Branson actually took this one pretty calmly and ended up crossing first. Brylee had a full break down which included a teary call home because, lets face it, the girl isn't used to losing to anyone even boys and it is a little shock to her system that the boys are starting to get more competitive. She was first in the girls but what does that matter when boys you have been beating since Kindergarten are all of a sudden ahead of you. Major-life-crisis. Wow!

And who knew Ella Pants actually has a little fire under her after all. She killed it at the fun run and then fell to the ground and begged for water all cardiac arrest style.

Hilarious. Plus she held the belt of her jacket the whole way.



































And to top it off Cali started out overly protective of Ella's water bottle...

































then she moved on to the playground...


































and by the time we left she had wet about a quarters worth of her bladder into her stretch pants and the wet spot was all stuck with sand.

Nice. I got myself and my pee plus sand bottom girl the heck out of there glad that the uh...... fun run is over for a bit.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Deep Thoughts on a Tuesday

I have been cycling through two lines of deep thought this week. I love a good deep thought amid all the,

"What will we have for dinner tonight?"
"Why do I have a patch of gray hair at 34?"
"What is that smell and where is it coming from?"
"Why oh why are their 8 million pairs of socks laying all over my house at any given moment?"

Deep thought number one. I must MUST teach my children that doing whats right, doing your duty and serving is always important but it is most important when you feel like not a single soul on Earth cares or sees or notices. Its mostly easy to do all of that good stuff when people are telling you how awesome you are for it but it is much harder when no body is.

Last night I said to Scott if someone loves running and is really good at it why do they sign up for organized marathons? Why not just go and run 26.2 miles on your own?

Glory, a number tag, cheering spectators, bragging rights, a medal.

There is nothing wrong with all that. We all love it. The only time I have ever ran 26.2 miles was under those exact circumstances. But I am learning to develop and embrace and even find solace in doing what you love and even doing what you don't love but have to do anyway, quietly and without fan fair. I admire that. It applies in so so many areas of life. And if God is the only one that notices then He is the only one that matters.

Deep thought number two. Everyday after school I take Branson to gymnastics. I always invite all the kids to ride along, sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. But 99% of the time I take Cali with me. Yesterday Brylee asked if Ella and Cali could stay home with her. I didn't even think twice about it. Brylee takes excellent care of her sisters and I trust her. I had no sooner pulled out of our neighborhood yesterday when I was completely overcome with a very real and very big fear that something was wrong at home. I tried calling but got no answer and I was praying frantically that they would be safe. I kept thinking that Cali would find away to climb the pool fence even though I have never even seen her try. I called home about a hundred times and never got anyone to pick-up. By the time I had dropped Branson off I was literally speeding through the streets frantic to get home. I pulled in and ran inside only to find everyone perfectly safe and perfectly happy.

It was the best feeling ever! The BEST, I felt such a wonderful dose of thankfulness and gratitude. Just moments earlier I was feeling a terrible anguish of panic and worry and this was the exact opposite feeling.  You could have told me that we had lost our home, our cars, Scott's job and I would have still felt like the luckiest girl ever. I mean I had worked myself up so much I was practically planning a funeral and expecting to see ambulances in front of my house (tell me that happens to other mothers?).

Later I silently asked Heavenly Father this question.

"Why was my feeling of concern and fear that something was wrong so profound and how am I supposed to tell the difference between my own irrational fears and true promptings?"

The answer was immediate and clear.

"I let you feel that today so that you could feel the kind of gratitude you should feel everyday."

So this morning I just couldn't help but love this-little bit of green smoothie, little bit of nutella, little bit of bed head and a lot of super cute face. I am a lucky lucky girl.











Monday, February 24, 2014

Good Stuff Weekend

Weekends are the best and this one was pretty good as far as weekends are ranked.

Scott and Kaden had a really good time on Saturday practicing for the Temple Cultural Celebration. I am so thankful that they get to be a part of it. I am really happy for them. It was a pretty amazing sight.

































Cousins!


Kaden and his cute dance partner Mallory












































































The girls and I cleaned up the house and did all the laundry making it really nice to have a clean house on Sunday. Not as glamorous as the cultural celebration but someones got to do it. Since Monday is my cleaning day the house is usually a disaster by Sunday. And BONUS I was able to finish ALL the bed skirts instead of just Brylee's. woowhoo!


























sweetie-pie Brylee mopping the kitchen





































Branson went off to his meet on Saturday with one of our gymnastics friends so that I didn't have to figure out how to get Cali and Ella to sit still in the bleachers for 5 hours. I was SO sad to miss it especially when I got a text of Branson getting the 2nd all around medal. Pretty good! He medaled in all 6 events plus the all around and I missed it. These situations are so hard as a Mom-you just cant be in two places at once.


























Later Saturday night after we picked up Branson we went for a visit at Grandma and Grandpa's new house. It is coming along so good and we are excited to have them just up the street! As long as I don't think to much about  how much I will miss the old house and all the sweet memories it holds I will be fine.

One more week and we will finally have the Gilbert Temple dedicated. What a blessing it is and after all these years I can hardly believe it's real. But it is!