Friday, September 26, 2008

Seriously So Funny

Have you ever felt depressed after looking at blogs for awhile?

Wondered why everyone else had such a great life and just went to Hawaii/Mexico/Disneyland while you were at home surrounded by piles of unfolded laundry, unanswered emails, unshopped for groceries?

Why they had kids who were clean and perfect while yours are currently stepping in the ice cream they spilled on the kitchen floor, tracking it around the house at the same time they are having an air soft battle with all the neighborhood kids in which the INSIDE of your house appears to be some sort of base and weapons are being fired at and from all doors and windows on the first floor?

Why their husbands bring them flowers every week when you are grateful for 5 minutes of uninterrupted conversation in any one day?

Well, I don't know anything about any of that, but I think that must be how this person felt when they created the ultimate mockery blog. Need a good laugh? Try If that doesn't work, come hang with me for an afternoon - I love my messy, air softing, busy life and I'd be happy to share with you!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Book of Mormon...

...battles that my mommy plans for me. hehe Some kids can sing about the stories their mom tells them, mine can sing about beating each other with foam swords! This is a waaaaaay after the fact post (this happened a year ago!), but due to popular demand, here are the details of the
Stripling Warrior Family Home Evenings and Battle:

This class totally changed how I read those chapters and inspired me to be a better mom and gospel teacher in my home. After Ed Week, my sweet friends always have an ed week lunch where we all share notes from the classes we went to. At this lunch we decided to implement this class together through some joint FHE's. Here's the invitation that went out (this thing has been on my fridge for a year, never mind the smudges!):

You know the invitation rule of thirds? Only 1/3 of people invited will attend?! Ha! That is how I ended up with over 50 people crammed into my little house for our first meeting - yes, that was almost 100% attendance! Any of you who have been to my house or were stacked on top of someone else that night are cracking up at the thought. Anyway, the first night we talked about why this was important:

From Ezra Taft Benson:
"The Book of Mormon was written for us today ...God, who knows the end from the beginning, told Mormon what to include in his abridgment that we would need for our day. Therefore, if the Book of Mormon prophets "saw our day and chose those things which would be of greatest worth to us, is not that how we should study the Book of Mormon? We should constantly ask ourselves, "Why did the Lord inspire Mormon (or Mornoni or Alma) to include that in his record? What lesson can I learn from that to help me live in this day and age? In the Book of Mormon we find a pattern for preparing for the Second Coming ...The record of the Nephite history just prior to the Savior's visit reveals many parallels to our day as we anticipate the Savior's second coming."

Yea, those war chapters you just breeze through? Guess what?! That was right before Christ came the first time! And that nation, on the brink of destruction is us - on the brink of spiritual destruction. And guess who saved them? A group of covenant keeping, prophet following, valiant, courageous, and obedient YOUTH. Who were taught by their mothers. Who knew their mothers did.not.doubt.

And dads, you are totally not off the hook here - We are told 7 times that they were TAUGHT, 4 times it specifically says by mothers. Well, guess where the dads were? If you Stripling Warrior, were too young (younger than 7) to covenant in 80 BC to lay down your weapons, then you are, at the oldest, 23, but probably closer to 16. And your dad is most likely found in Alma 24:22 - willing to die rather than break a covenant with your Heavenly Father. So dads, you count!

So our first night together focused on Alma 49-52- Fortifying. Each family had a pan of sand and a variety of sticks and building materials to read together and build and talk amongst themselves what heaps of earth and timbers and pickets and towers were for their family.

And thus we find what I think is KEY to successfully studying these chapters. YOUR FAMILY IS DIFFERENT FROM MY FAMILY. I can't tell you what defenses you need, or what tools Satan is most likely to use against you - I can only do that for my family. So we all went home from our first night with suggestions for the next 6 weeks of FHE ON OUR OWN.

The 6 suggestions were:

1. Alma 23 - Tell about Anti-Nephites/Lehites. Decide what needs to be buried in your family. Bury it! (We used paper swords that we wrote on and buried them in the backyard)
2. Search/Hunt your house for "weapons" Satan can use. Set family standards.
3. Alma 48 - Search house for signs of who your heroes are. Add/Replace with pictures of worthy heroes. What character traits are you looking for in heroes and friends?
4. Alma 43 - Decide what makes your armor and how you put it on daily. Build some armor! (Ours was made from cardboard and duct tape and we wrote the spiritual "stuff" on it)
5. Decide what weapons you have against Satan. Build some!
6. Alma 45 - Talk about raising your standards as a family. Make a Title of Liberty for your family.

At the end of the 6 weeks, we met together again. We had potluck dinner and a BATTLE. We ended up finding foam swords at the dollar store that were PERFECT, so everyone had the same swords, but the armor was all different. We had a testimony meeting too and it was awesome! The kids still talk about the battle part, but I remember most that first night singing Armies of Helaman and feeling so overwhelmed by all these people wanting to strengthen our families together. It was so cool. Lots of battle pictures here.

I do have more detailed notes from the class and I would be more than happy to email those to any of you. Just leave a comment.

And in case I sound a little too *whacko* about that battle stuff for you - we're not strapping any bomb backpacks on the kids! It is serious stuff though - please read this:
"There is another war that has gone on since before the world was created and which is likely to continue for a long time...That war, so bitter, so intense, has gone on and has never ceased. It is the war between truth and error, between agency and compulsion, between the followers of Christ and those who have denied Him...The war is waged across the world in and day out our own our homes, in our work, in our school associations; it is waged over questions of love and respect, of loyalty and fidelity, of obedience and integrity and we are all involved in it....a great eternal struggle that concerns the very souls of sons and daughters of God." Gordon B. Hinckley

Monday, September 22, 2008

Summer, Oh Summer... I long to grab you in my hands and squeeze as tight as I can so that you will just stay a little longer. You came so late this year (remember that snow AFTER school got out?), don't we deserve for you to leave late too?

By the time Fall is over, I'm ready for winter- pretty colors gone, bring on the snow! By the time Winter is over, I'm READY to move on. Spring? Blink and you might miss it up here, but summer ...I never want you to leave. Just a few more lazy days in the backyard, please?There are more air soft forts to be built:
More friends to hang out with:

Yet it is undeniable that fall is in the air. The mountains are turning beautiful colors, our windows have been shut at night for over a month, the schlepping of the hockey bags in and out of the rink has begun:

High School Football is in full swing (Geoffrey is the play-by-play guy for PCTV for Miners Football) and blogging about it once in a while here:

The salsa has been made (3 friends+12 hours = 48 quart jars!):

And the real signal that summer is dead: Nutcracker rehearsals are in full swing. 93 Days Until Christmas!
Yes, that's Sara leading those little soldier boys during auditions!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sarah or Tina?

Sarah Palin and Tina Fey are different people? When I first saw McCain's running mate, I thought he HAD chosen Tina Fey!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Public vs. Private

Some background ...I have friends who have gone private with their blogs, and I did it for a while too, but anyone who knows us knows we are pretty open books about our lives. Who has not left a dinner with my husband and said at least once in the car on the way home "I can't believe he said that!"?

That having been said, my sweet daughter has someone bothering her online. They have tried to friend her on Facebook, sent messages after she has asked them not too, joined her networks as a sneaky back door attempt to see her profile, and NOW they are consistently viewing our blogs, and worse, our family photo site - looking at our precious memories and stealing our photos - creepy! She has let them know that their contact with her is unwelcome, yet they continue to behave this way.

So there's been some conversation in our home. She thought we should get a lawyer, send some kind of legal warning. We talked about making our blogs private, changing our Smugmug password to something only people we told would know. We talked about what it means to be respectful of other people and how best to respond when other people are not respectful of you.

The thing is, I don't mind sharing my life. I love sharing my pictures and smugmug has been blessing for my calling this summer - getting photos people wanted out a different way would have been a full time job for several people!

If you're reading this and you know me, chances are I love you and I'm glad you're reading this! If you're reading this and you're a stranger, let's be friends - I always love making new ones! Anyone is welcome here unless you have harassed my daughter - you're messing with mama instincts now! If you're reading this and you know I'm talking about you, please be respectful. Delete pictures you stole from me and don't return to this blog or Sara's or Geoffrey's or our picture site, and for goodness sake, leave her alone on Facebook.

September 11 was a good day to have this conversation. We haven't stopped getting on airplanes or going to public places because of terrorists and we decided as a family not to change the way we live online because of cyber terrorists.

Thanks for letting me share - Life is too short for worries, instead we'll focus on the fact that Life is Good.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Jack Bauer for Secretary of Defense

Sorry I couldn't get this to show up in the previous post, but here it is!

Don't You Just Want to Squeeze Her?

Look at this cutie - the new daughter of my brother Tim and his wife Romla. They are in Thailand, so it will probably be a while before I get to hold her. Yea for the internet - at least I get to see pictures of her!

Introducing Hana Madeline Markin:
And is just me, or does it look like Tim is trying to channel Jack Bauer? Tim after a few years laying on the beaches of Thailand: Jack Bauer after a few years in a Chinese prison:
That's OK - if we're lucky Jack Bauer will be our next Secretary of Defense:

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I have two new blogger friends I'm super excited for! First is Kara - too bad for all of you, she's private. She's also one of the kindest and most creative people I've ever met. I never get to talk to her anymore so I hope she blogs a lot!

Second is Stephanie. Her kids are hilarious and she always says "If I had blog I could write about that ....". So now she can!

She doesn't have any pictures yet, but lucky for her I took a few while she was visiting a few weeks ago! We spent a whole glorious week at Education Week and then her family stayed one way-too-short night with us and were here for Nixon's priesthood ordination. Thanks Talon!!

She probably wants to kill me for putting this picture of Sarelle about to make a tasty snack out of our friend Wade, but I couldn't resist - how darling is that little princess?
And why couldn't our kids help us take a normal picture anyway?

Love you gals! Hope to see lots of updating and pictures :).