Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Stuff Memories Are Made Of

Friday is traditionally date night, but as we sat around the table after dinner, we just didn’t have the heart to leave Ryan and Melissa home by themselves. Janae, Julia, and Spencer were all gone for the evening, so it was just the four of us. “What should we do?” I asked. Someone suggested we go for a walk in the dark. “How about the walking path at Wildwood Park?” Someone else added. We decided that Curt and I would walk the length of the circular path while Ryan rode the scooter and Melissa rollerbladed. Everyone liked that idea and Ryan and Melissa were thrilled to be invited on our date. On the way there, it started to rain, but did that stop us? No way! By that time, we were up for an adventure. The four of us spent the evening walking and running, skating and scooting around in the rain. Melissa found an umbrella in the car, so she looked like “Singing in the Rain’ on skates. In the end, we played tag and took goofy pictures at the adjacent playground. And the best part: we had a wonderful time together, laughing, playing, and enjoying a rainy winter evening, and it didn’t cost a dime!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Tee-Peeing Era (1998-?)

Early this morning, at precisely 1:40am, I awoke to our front door slamming shut. I got up to investigate and Ryan and Melissa were out front reveling in streams of t.p. hanging from the tree. "Get back in here!" I shouted. "Someone might steal you! Besides," I fumed, "you scared me half to death!" Reluctantly, they ran back inside. "We were trying to sleep," they exclaimed excitedly," and we heard the dog barking, and then someone knocked on the door, and we got up and looked out the window, and there were people running away!!!" Unfortunately, I know this drill all too well. I think the first time we were tee-peed was somewhere around the time Tyler was 13 or 14. The signature of a tee-peed house is this, teenagers live there. Consequently, since we've had teenagers in our home for 10 years, we have been tee-peed at least once a year for the past decade (I say, at least). I think, all those years ago it might have been thrilling, or exciting, or mysterious when we heard that now familiar, "Bam! Bam! Bam!" on the front door at 2am, followed by a car racing away. Now, when we discover toilet paper draped all over our front yard...again, Curt and I just look at each other and sigh. And wouldn't you know, it rained last night! Maybe with the struggling economy, people will have to ration toilet paper and The Tee-Peeing Era will end prematurely. We can only hope. :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

"It's giving life that counts..."

A classic clip from a classic movie! And, oh so TRUE!!

It's Amazing What a Little Dose of Sunshine Can Do

Last week we had one of "those" weeks when everyone was snapping at everyone else, including me. We'd been in the house for too many days in a row. We woke Thursday to a beautiful, clear day. We had much to do that day, but somehow none of it seemed as important as the need to be outside. I figured a hike would do us good. Janae (who happened to be home that day), Melissa, Ryan, and I decided to cast the schedule aside and go hiking. It turned out to be just the medicine we need for a case of the "winter blues". Afterward, we felt so much better! It's amazing what a little dose of sunshine can do!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy 1st Anniversary Tyler and Natalie!

Congratulations on a wonderful year together! We are so happy that you found each other! We love you both.

Friday, January 9, 2009

"Finding Joy in the Journey"

I read President Monson's conference talk this morning titled, "Finding Joy in the Journey". The entire talk is beautiful, but he shared a quote that I loved so much, I wanted to post it.

"Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend...when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that's present- love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness]-the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth."
~Sarah Ban Breathnach (quoted by Thomas S. Monson)

How can life be anything but fulfilling, when we are led by a prophet who helps us understand what is really important and where our focus should lie? How blessed we are. ~J

Monday, January 5, 2009

Five Weeks of Fun!

Whitney has been living in Virginia since the end of May '08, and it was a huge treat to get to have her home for five weeks. She arrived just before Thanksgiving, and went back to VA on December 30th. We had five weeks of fun; actually it literally felt like a party most evenings. With the rest of the teenagers and their friends hanging around, there is a considerable amount of "night life" around here during any school break. December was no exception. They stayed up late watching movies, visiting with friends, and listening to David Archuleta's new CD over and over. One Sunday, I had all four of my girls in Young Womens. Of course, Janae, Julia, Melissa, and I are usually there, so we convinced Whitney to come with us and skip Relief Society. The girls thought it was the lesson that was making me so emotional, but truthfully I was just feeling sentimental about having them all there together. What a blessing to have four daughters!

Greetings from England

It was wonderful to talk to Jordan on Christmas! Who needs gifts when you have a phone call to look forward to? Each member of the family took a turn. He definitely has a British accent, although he can talk without it if he tries. We asked him to turn on a thick accent and he sounded just like a native! About two weeks before Christmas, he wrote home and told us that he had been asked to participate in the Leeds University Atheist Society's interfaith panel. He and his companion had the opportunity to sit on the panel and answer questions with members of other religions. He told us that they had webcast the meeting, and if we wanted to, we could find it on the web. What an opportunity! I found the Leeds Atheist Society and emailed them. The next day they emailed me back with the link. It was amazing, to say the least, to watch him in action as a missionary. Every missionary parent wishes they could be a fly on the wall and watch their child, and we had this unique chance to do just that! Click on the link below, and you will see the panel. The meeting is quite long, so if you just want to hear Elder Keables bear his testimony, fast forward to 57 minutes and watch for about 5. It's a treat!