Saturday, November 22, 2008


I can't believe it's actually here!! CRAZY!!

So if you're wondering why I haven't posted all week, it's because 1) My husband came home on Sunday!! Yay!! I'm no longer a widow!! 2) We've been packing and getting everything ready to go. 3) I've had lots of goodbye lunches, dinners, and visits! So sad and so fun! And 4) I don't post consistently anyway, so you probably weren't wondering in the first place. :)

Anyway, gotta make this short and sweet since we're leaving in just a few hours and I still need to shower.

As soon as we get the internet in our new place (hopefully within the week) I'll have LOTS to post about! In the mean time, you'll just have to wait patiently.

Yes, I'm excited to get out of my parents' house. Yes, I'm excited to live in the same state as my husband again. Yes, I'm excited to NOT share a room with my children! And yes, I'm actually excited to live in this cute little small town, Green River.

Yes, I'm completely depressed about leaving my family. Yes, I'm completely depressed about leaving the most WONDERFUL friends in the world. I honestly couldn't ask for better. Yes, I'm not looking forward to unpacking and organizing and cleaning everything that's been in storage the last 8 or so months. And yes, I'm not looking forward to starting over. Making friends is so much easier when you're young! I get nervous. And I'm sure no one will ever compare to the friends I have here.

So to you who I haven't been able to say goodbye to, know that I love you and I'll miss you like CRAZY! And to those I have, thanks for the GREAT memories this week! You're all the best!!

See you in Green River!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tis the Season!!

(Post inspired by Catherine :)

**DISCLAIMER** I am not skipping Thanksgiving!! In fact, I have strict rules about listening to Christmas music, decorating for the holidays, watching Christmas movies, etc. before the DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING!! Just so you know. :)

Shoot Your Eye Out
Comments & Myspace layouts

My family has always had GREAT Christmas traditions!! During the month of December we have several holiday activities.

We walk around Temple Square in Salt Lake one night to see the lights and end our night with hot chocolate at the mall.

We spend one night with my aunt and uncle and cousins. We eat yummy food, of course. And the kids dress up and enact the Nativity as it is read and we all sing the accompanying hymns. This is usually followed by challenges of song.

"Play something on the guitar!"
"Get out the harmonica!" "Now all the boy sing Jingle Bells!" "All the girl cousins sing Rudolf!" "I'll sing a solo if you do!"

It turns into most of us rolling on the floor in laughter. I love it.

On Christmas Eve, my family drops off the neighbors' Christmas gifts (usually yummy bread from Kneaders and a scripture like John 6:33). That night, everyone wears their pajamas and we have an elaborate candlelit dinner in the formal dining room. Dinner is always delicious, but never the same, except for the sparkling cider.

After dinner we play Christmas bingo, do a reader's theater about Jesus Christ, try to remember the answers to some Christmas trivia (we do the same questions every year, you'd think eventually we'd get the right answers!), listen to my dad read The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg and I Believe In Santa Claus by Diane G. Adamson, and then open one gift (always an ornament from Santa Claus!). We have hot chocolate with peppermint stir sticks and usually watch a Christmas movie before bed.

That night, all the kids sleep in the same bedroom. When everyone is awake (I was always waking everyone up around five am, which is really crazy because I was never up before noon if I could help it) we wait for Mom and Dad to turn on lights and take a few pictures. Then everyone comes down the hall,
to oldest,
to see what Santa brought during the night!

After those presents are opened, we clean up the wrapping paper and make a HUGE breakfast!!

pork chops,
buttermilk biscuits,
jams and jellies
(usually gifts received from neighbors),
and juice.


When everyone is stuffed beyond belief we head into the living room. My mom has a HUGE tree that is PERFECTLY decorated. It's probably the most beautiful tree in the world. :) Presents are sorted by recipient and then we open them 1 at a time, youngest to oldest. This way, everyone sees what everyone gets and we get to watch everyone's excitement. It also makes Christmas last until around two in the afternoon! :)

By the time we're on the last few gifts, everyone is bored and wants to play with their own toys so we shred through the last ones.

We spend the rest of the day trying on new clothes, playing with toys, watching new movies, calling relatives and friends, and just being together as a family.

Mom makes a ham, spinach dip, cheese ball, and more and we much on those and crackers and veggie trays all day. :)

Jason's family never really had traditions like these, so he's loved being able to experience it with my side of the family the last four Christmases.

This year we'll be in Wyoming. Jason is scheduled to work the week of Christmas so we won't be coming home. A part of me is sad and will miss my family, but another part of me is so excited to be on our own! We'll be incorporating so many of these traditions and making them our own.

Now, I don't want to do EXACTLY what my family does every year. I want to have our own traditions. Things that our kids will remember forever. This is where you come in! What are your favorite family traditions? They can be fun, spiritual, food related, for Christmas day or not, whatever!! I need some great ideas to make our 1st Christmas alone special for our little family!!

Can't wait to hear what you do!!

Propostition 8


We've all been hearing about Proposition 8. Although it has already passed, and it was an issue only in California this time, I know we all have very strong feelings one way or the other. It has frequently been a topic of conversation in our home.

Recently I have received personal hateful e-mail and had very personal attacks because of my position on Prop 8. I'd like to share my own views on the subject.

Initially, I was conflicted. I feel that rights should be given equally to ALL. I feel that VERY strongly. I didn't understand how this would affect me and my family and I couldn't comprehend why my church (the LDS church) would be in support of denying rights to anyone.

However, putting my own feelings aside I also believe this church is Jesus Christ's church, under the authority and direction of my Heavenly Father, 100%. I can never deny it. I believe that the prophet on the earth today, President Thomas S. Monson, was called of God and ordained by the correct authority to the position he holds.

The day it was announced he would be the new president of our church I had been praying continually for my own confirmation that this was the Lord's will. I trust my church leaders, however I have been promised that I can know all things for myself through the Holy Ghost, and I wanted this knowledge.

Jack had just had a blow out diaper. Feces was EVERYWHERE. Not a fun thing to clean up. I had the press conference on in the background turned up so that I could here it as I bathed Jack and cleaned up the mess. When they announced President Monson as the prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, tears filled my eyes. My heart knew this man was who my Heavenly Father had chosen to lead and guide His church. I knew it without a doubt.

I laughed when I realized that this sacred moment came in the midst of cleaning a poop covered child. :) But regardless of the circumstances, I received the confirmation I had sought for.

In April of 2008, at the church semi annual General Conference, I stood in my home, raised my arm to the square, and sustained President Thomas S Monson, his counselors, and other leaders of the church.

There is something natural in each of us that confirms what TRUTH is. When something is true we feel it. I know this to be the Holy Ghost. When I feel it, I am forever changed. I would suffer beyond comprehension unto death before I denied it.

That said, although I wasn't sure how I felt about Proposition 8 in the beginning, I knew that I had to support it, if only because the Lord, through His latter-day prophet, had asked me to.

Shortly after exercising this faith, I began to learn more. I began to understand the reason the the Lord and the prophet were asking me to support this. I watched the news and read the Yes on 8 information I received in e-mails from trusted friends and family members, and then researched each story on my own. I did not want to be accused later on of blindly believing something that turned out to be false.

Recently, I was introduced to an interview with with Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church, and Elder Lance B. Wickman, a member of the Seventy which completely describes my personal views on homosexuality. The article is REALLY long, so I won't post it here. But I hope you'll click here and read it.

Situations are already popping up in states where gay marriage has been legalized. A teacher in California took her first grade class to a gay wedding as a field trip. First graders. Parents were not notified and given an option.

David Parker of Lexington, MA was arrested for simply requesting that the school sign something agreeing that they would notify him before reading stories such as, Who's In A Family by Robert Skutch.

Also, some friends have stated the information better than I could myself, and have given me permission to share their thoughts. (Some thoughts may be duplicated.)

Michelle said:


In March of 2000, California voters passed Proposition 22 to crate a law that said only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. However, in May of 2008 the California Supreme Court Ruled that the statute enacted by Proposition 22 and other statutes that limit marriage to a relationship between a man and a woman violated the equal protection clause of the California Constitution. They also ruled that same sex marriages would be recognized under the California Constitution.

Prop 8 Proposal

Proposition 8 is a measure the will amend the California Constitution to specify that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. It would overturn the California Supreme Court ruling of May 2008 and make marriage between a man and a woman the only recognized marriage in California.

Why we are Voting Yes!

When the Supreme Court gave their decision last May they said changing the definition of marriage “would not alter substantive nature of the legal institution of marriage or impinge upon religious freedom.” However, the apparent fallacy in this statement is shown by the new rights that will be granted if Prop 8 is not passed. One of these rights would allow individuals to sue religious institutions that teach traditional marriage. If a religious institution doesn't conform their teachings to the definition that the California Supreme Court issued (recognizing same sex marriage) they could be sued and lose their tax-exempt status. It appears that embedded in this Proposition there is another agenda beyond the desire to marry. We believe this will be just the first step toward a wide range of issues that will be more easily pursued if Prop 8 is not passed.

We see Proposition 8 as a direct attack on the family.

The decision of the California Supreme Court renders all civil marriage meaningless. The state Education Code requires that teachers instruct children as young as kindergartners about marriage. If the same-sex marriage ruling becomes permanent, teachers will have no choice but to teach young children there is no difference between same-sex marriage and traditional marriage, we are already seeing this happen in Massachusetts. I personally don't like that 4 judges on the Supreme Court can tell me that my child will learn about this in public school, period. It is wrong that they have gone against the will of the people (Proposition 22) and can tell us on such a huge ideal or belief that our children will learn about it and they get to say how. The issue of same-sex relationships is an issue that parents should discuss with their children, in their own homes, in keeping with their own beliefs. It is not something that should be forced on us or our children.

Redefining marriage will deny many children the right to be raised by a mother and a father. There are specific characteristics that are innate and irreplaceable that men and women bring into a successful raising of a child. However flawed traditional families can be, being flawed is not a good argument against traditional families. The flaws being pointed out are human and are flaws that non-traditional families will have as well (death, divorce, or other issues). The best environment for a child to grow up in is a family with a loving mother and a loving father. Statistics have shown how important it is for a child to grow up in a home with both parents (a mother and a father). It is important that we allow a child to have every opportunity to succeed in life and redefining marriage will only create one more situation in which a child could be denied this opportunity.

Proposition 8 does not take away any rights or benefits from gay or lesbian domestic partners. Under California law, “domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections and benefits” as married spouses. There are no exceptions to this. Proposition 8 will not change this. Proposition 8 is not an attack on the gay lifestyle, but rather about preserving marriage.

Cara pointed out:

Six Consequences If Proposition 8 Fails

1. Children in public schools will have to be taught that same-sex marriage is just as good as traditional marriage.The California Education Code already requires that health education classes instruct children about marriage. (§51890)Therefore, unless Proposition 8 passes, children will be taught that marriage is between any two adults regardless of gender. There will be serious clashes between the secular school system and the right of parents to teach their children their own values and beliefs. (Schools are not required to get a 'permission slip' for this.)

2. Churches may be sued over their tax exempt status if they refuse to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies in their religious buildings open to the public. Ask whether your pastor, priest, minister, bishop, or rabbi is ready to perform such marriages in your chapels and sanctuaries.

3. Religious adoption agencies will be challenged by government agencies to give up their long-held right to place children only in homes with both a mother and a father. Catholic Charities in Boston already closed its doors in Massachusetts because courts legalized same-sex marriage there.

4. Religions that sponsor private schools with married student housing may be required to provide housing for same-sex couples, even if counter to church doctrine, or risk lawsuits over tax exemptions and related benefits.

5. Ministers who preach against same-sex marriages may be sued for hate speech and risk government fines. It already happened in Canada, a country that legalized gay marriage. A recent California court held that municipal employees may not say: “traditional marriage,” or “family values” because, after the same-sex marriage case, it is “hate speech.”

6. It will cost you money. This change in the definition of marriage will bring a cascade of lawsuits, including some already lost (e.g., photographers cannot now refuse to photograph gay marriages, doctors cannot now refuse to perform artificial insemination of gays even given other willing doctors). Even if courts eventually find in favor of a defender of traditional marriage (highly improbable given today’s activist judges), think of the money – your money – that will be spent on such legal battles.

When I said before that I have been personally attacked for my position here, I will give you an example. The other day I was told that I was no different from a member of the KKK. I have personally been called sheltered, a prude, ignorant, a bigot, intolerant, and hateful because of my faith and beliefs. I have lost friends. My church buildings and temples have been vandalized and picketed (respectively) because of what I, and others, believe.

There are both good and bad people on both sides of this issue. I will not deny that gays and lesbians are discriminated against by many. They are suffering right now as well.

This issue does not need to yield hate. Fighting meanness with meanness, disrespect with disrespect, and hate with hate does no good. Ever.

The last thing I want to say is that regardless of any of this, I do not hate anyone. I am not a perfect person, by any means. But I can honestly say that I don't hate gays or anyone else. I don't hate anyone who is against Proposition 8. I don't believe in smoking, however I still love people who smoke. This is the same thing. We don't have to believe the same things to be friends, to be family, to get along, to love one another. I have both close friends and relatives who are gay. I love them no differently than if they were straight. Seeing the hurt that this debate causes them makes me sad. I can't deny my beliefs and faith, but that doesn't make it easy for me to watch them suffer.

I welcome your comments on this subject, whether you agree or disagree. The only thing I ask is that EVERYONE, on either side of the issue, be respectful of everyone else. We can discuss this and agree to respectfully disagree. Please harness your passion and convictions just enough to remain kind. I will remove anything that is intended to hurt anyone else, on either side.

P.S. Also thought this was interesting!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


So, I'm wanting more free stuff. Each time I post another one of these I'm reminded how incredibly greedy I am. :( But oh well!! I want it! So, I'm hoping to win this giveaway this time.

Wish me luck!

Tiggity Iggity Tag

Tagged by Erin. This is the 4th folder 10th picture. Although I couldn't do just one. I needed one of each of my kids. So one is 4th folder from the top, and one is 4th from the bottom! :) It worked out just right. Gotta keep things even! I wouldn't want anyone finding out who my favorite is! ;)

This is over the summer here at Grandma's house. We spent most of the summer out by the pool. Payson started getting really posey (I've decided it's a word) and wouldn't take any normal pictures. If only I looked that cute in a bathing suit!

And here's my sweet little guy on his first birthday! Also this last summer. Wonder what's going on in that cutest little head I've ever seen?!

Hmmmm....I tag Randi, Kristen, Ally, and Kate!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Gratitude...How appropriate :)

Funny that this happens to fall on the month of Thanksgiving. Although it wouldn't matter at all if it were the farthest day from it. I have to share my thoughts with you.

Obviously, the last few weeks haven't been easy for me. Last week was especially difficult. This week is better. Not easy, but definitely better. Let me tell you why.

Shortly after I posted, my cousin (in law) an dear, dear, sweet friend texted me out of the blue. "What's your favorite ice cream?" Minutes later she and her darling husband and kids were here with hugs and a giant cup of rocky road ice cream from Iceburg. :) Of course, I cried.

Wednesday night we had our ward Halloween party (pictures to come soon). Then Thursday night, another bestest friend, Kristen, took me out for the night. It was a much needed escape. After the kids were in bed, she and I headed to PF Chang's and split a Great Wall of Chocolate and Banana Spring Rolls. Heaven. We spent the night being silly and talking.

I also received several uplifting comments, phone calls, and text messages from you all. They were perfect. Just what I needed.

A couple of nights ago I was up late with Jack. I flipped through the channels and found a documentary on Joseph Smith. It was on his letters to Emma and others during his time in Liberty Jail. A passage from D & c 121 was read:

My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands.
(D & C 121: 7-9)

I wasn't in prison. I wasn't being persecuted. I wasn't separated indefinitely from my loved ones. I wasn't denied sun light, good food, or my freedoms.

It was simply a hard day. And I don't know that I endured it well. However, immediately, when I heard this scripture quoted I knew this promise had been kept for me. My friends were there to support and lift me up. You didn't make my problems go way. You weren't able to swish a magic wand and fix it all. But for the time being I was able to focus on my gratitude for friends, true friends. I didn't think for a second about my hard days or weeks. I just thought of how much I love each of you and how much love I felt from you.

I hope at some point I can return that beautiful service to each of you.

Thank you to each of you who helped me this week. I love you!