Saturday, May 21, 2016

April


Kaydence is such a flexible little thing, especially her back, she can bring her legs around to her chin. She is trying out for her school talent show again this year and wants to do a tumbling routine.

They were learning about birds and nests in preschool. Kesler always shows me what he did in school and I just love it.

I got the girls these Disney princess magazines at the library and Marley wanted a picture with this little looking glass she made out of it. She is such a cute little thing, she's got the pose down.
Marley isn't camera shy.

Grant fell asleep in his high chair with his head craned all the way back, he likes to put his head in this position when he gets tired in my arms.


Playing outside in the dirt.

When Grant saw me he came climbing up me and forgot about the dirt (I have to sneak away when he finds something entertaining if I want to get anything done). It's sweet though, he makes me feel so loved.



Enjoying the sunshine!


Kaydence is so sweet and writes us the sweetest letters, these are a few of them. I am the luckiest mom in the world, at least that is how .I feel


I took Kaydence out of school for lunch and took all the kids to get a sandwich at Jimmy Johns and ate them at the park. This day Jimmy Johns had their 8 inch subs for $1 and the weather was beautiful so I thought it was a perfect day to get lunch and eat at the park.

My moms siblings and their spouses all got together for a little reunion in Salt Lake. My uncle Gary and Aunt Lucy are serving a mission there at temple square so they all had a sleepover in their little apartment talking all night. They got amazing tours of temple square, a "backstage pass" with Gary and Lucy. We got to spend time with them on Saturday for lunch at the park. We got to walk through the beautiful "Peace Gardens" and just visit, it was wonderful. Oh my goodness I love seeing them all! I feel like my best childhood memories have them all in it, we had the best family reunions! My cousin Ann and her family were able to come too!





So you know how I said Marley has been liking her picture taken? Well she's adorable and she would ask for a picture next to a tree, flower, or bridge and if other kids tried to join in the picture she got upset and would run off.






Kaydence is upsetting Marley again, getting in on her picture. This picture depicts the situation well, you can see Marley on the verge of annoyance and Kaydence trying to pull a "funny".


I canned a lot of dry ingredients in the 10# cans and it turns out there are some things you shouldn't can... unless you want an explosion. Baking Powder happens to be one (the only one I know of... so far) that will do this. I had 6 cans of it under the stairs and I was bathing the boys and I thought I heard the ceiling fall down in the next room. It was literally like a bomb went off. There was baking powder everywhere!!! It was fun to try and get everything cleaned up (insert sarcasm). Trav got a picture of me covered in the powder but you can't really see it in the picture like I though you could, I felt like I had it in every crack and crevice (it just looks like a butt shot, but you know what as I get older and things start drifting south I might want a good ole butt pic).

Travis took the class to get his concealed weapon permit, he is official now! They say you can't smile for it but I love this picture because I can still see the hint of a smile in his face. He's so cute!


Hale Center Theater with my parents. Best dates, it's so fun to get to do them with my parents. My parents took Kesler out for his birthday while they were here too. They got Kelser a new ninja turtle scooter and this cool Lego space ship set!




The following weekend was crazy. We had stake conference and Elder Durham (of the seventy)  and Sister Durham (just released from the primary presidency)  were visiting and presiding over conference. Travis had a lot of meetings, and in between sessions on Saturday the bishops and their wives were able to talk with the Durhams and have a luncheon together. I sure loved sister Durhams talk this last session of General Conference and she was so sweet and humble when I talked to her. I was also asked three days before to speak in Stake conference and so I was nervous about how little preparation I was able to have for it. Then on top of that Travis had the honor of escorting Brandon Hatch through the temple for his first time.
Travis taught Brandon in seminary and he is sure an exceptional young man.
Monte and Kim came down for the day to help watch the kids so we could be at everything, it was so nice! The kids sure loved it and they took them out to eat for Keslers birthday (he chose Wendy's so he could get a frosty) and they got him a card and cash to go birthday shopping, yeah!

Frozen Frosty




My talk given in Stake Conference (not word for word but close)
How faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ helps me as a mother
Experience this week with my oldest, who is 8, asking me the question, “Is it hard for you to have faith, has it ever been hard?” For only a couple seconds I reflected on my life, the trials I’ve had, the losses I’ve experienced, etc. things that may have tested my faith.
Elder Anderson “Faith is not by chance but by choice”
Faith is a principle of power, important not only in this life but also in our progression beyond the veil. By the grace of Christ, we will one day be saved through faith on his name. The future of your faith is not by chance, but by choice.
As I thought about that being taken out of the equation of my life I realized I would be taking away the very thing that gives me purpose, that makes me so happy, and that gives me hope. Those are the three things I’m going to discuss further is how the gospel gives me purpose, makes me happy and gives me hope.
The spirit gently prompted the answer that I knew was true as I replied, “no, it really hasn’t been hard for me. And do you know why?” It is because I decided long ago that I would be obedient and try my hardest to follow Jesus Christ. I would listen and heed the words of the prophets, read the scriptures, pray, and do the things that invite the spirit into my life every day.
Ether 12:6
 And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witnessuntil after the trial of your faith.
Elder Richard G. Scott said
“God has given us the capacity (we have it in each of us but it is our choice) to exercise faith, that we may find peace, joy, and purpose in life.”
When I chose to have faith in my Savior and his gospel I have purpose and meaning in my life.
The gospel of Jesus Christ gives me direction, gives me greater purpose, helps me see with Heavens eyes (what treasures my children are, the daily blessings, that my works are significant and that what I do holds value that nothing surpasses).
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, says, “If you are a mother, you participate with God in His work of creation—not only by providing physical bodies for your children but also by teaching and nurturing them.”
“The Family: A Proclamation to the World” states that “The family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children”. Every day I get to have a hand in the most central part of Heavenly Fathers plan. “Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live.”
I can’t think of a greater honor and responsibility I could be entrusted with, that gives me purpose.
There are times when it’s easy to see the day to day tasks I have as mundane: doing dishes, laundry, changing diapers, and taking care of the basic needs of my children just to get up and redo it all over again, I see what I do every day with different eyes. I am not a maid, a cook, a decorator, a nurse, a teacher, I am a mother and I am a daughter of God. I see how much the Lord loves me and how much he loves my children and my capacity to love them seems to only get stronger as I try to live close to the spirit. I look past the tasks of my day and look at my children and the real work I am doing.
In Matthew 14, Thomas asked the Savior “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?”
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
I am learning to be more selfless like my Savior, giving up the immediate wants I may have for the wants and needs of my family, I am learning to put their desires above my own, I am learning to care less about what I look like and more about how the way I feel about myself affects how my children will feel about themselves, being a mother is helping me learn to be more like my Savior. Helping me not focus on myself so much but to focus on others, namely my children.
Trying to live this way has not made me feel less important but quite the contrary, it has made me more. It makes me feel more important, it makes me feel more loved, more valuable, and like my actions and the things I accomplish go much deeper than they would otherwise. I am becoming something; I have a purpose as a mother and as a daughter of God and my works will have a greater positive impact than they ever would have if I was left to my own devices.
Having a purpose and feeling like you’re making a difference can’t help but make me feel more happy and fulfilled.
When I chose to have faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ It Makes me happier, gives me a greater capacity to love, helps me get an inkling of what an honor it is to be entrusted with these precious spirit children of his).
2 nephi 2:25
Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
When I take the time to invite the spirit to be with me during the day I feel like I see things a little more brightly. Like there is a bubble of light in my chest that makes me want to smile more, that makes me try to enjoy my children more. I have had to put my comforts on the back burner but that is exactly what the Savior teaches we must do to find happiness.
Matthew 10:39
He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
For me I’ve found that this is true when it comes to finding happiness.
Elder Holland Living after the manner of Happiness
 “Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”  This is one of those great gospel ironies that often don’t seem to make sense, … So how do we optimize our chance for happiness without pursuing it so directly that we miss it? 
President James E. Faust once phrased it: “Happiness is not given to us in a package that we can just open up and consume.  Nobody,” he said, “is ever happy 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Above all else, ultimate happiness, true peace, and anything even remotely close to scriptural joy are found first, foremost, and forever in living the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
< If we seek happiness we will find it through him. >
Elder David O. McKay just short of a full century ago, “[Unlike gratification or pleasure or some kind of thrill, true] happiness is found only along that well beaten [gospel] track, narrow as it is, . . . [and] straight [as it is], which leads to life eternal.”7
When I chose to have faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ I have hope.
Gives me hope - makes me want to do better – I know I can become a better person because of my Savior. Through him I receive forgiveness, knowing that everyday is a new day and that the Lord can help me become a better mother when I turn to him (he won’t give up on me even though every day as I reflect on my day in my prayers there is always something I find myself repenting for).
I don’t know how I could be a good mother without my Savior and the hope that I’m give through his atonement. We can be hard on ourselves, especially when we’re tempted to compare ourselves to others.
Elder Holland, “Because she is a Mother”
may I say to mothers collectively, in the name of the Lord, you are magnificent. You are doing terrifically well. The very fact that you have been given such a responsibility is everlasting evidence of the trust your Father in Heaven has in you. He knows that your giving birth to a child does not immediately propel you into the circle of the omniscient. If you and your husband will strive to love God and live the gospel yourselves; if you will plead for that guidance and comfort of the Holy Spirit promised to the faithful; if you will go to the temple to both make and claim the promises of the most sacred covenants a woman or man can make in this world; if you will show others, including your children, the same caring, compassionate, forgiving heart you want heaven to show you; if you try your best to be the best parent you can be, you will have done all that a human being can do and all that God expects you to do.
…When you have come to the Lord in meekness and lowliness of heart and, as one mother said, “pounded on the doors of heaven to ask for, to plead for… guidance and wisdom and help for this wondrous task,” that door is thrown open to provide you the influence and the help of all eternity. Claim the promises of the Savior of the world. Ask for the healing balm of the Atonement for whatever may be troubling you or your children. Know that in faith things will be made right in spite of you, or more correctly, because of you.
Rely on Him. Rely on Him heavily. Rely on Him forever. And “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope.” You are doing God’s work. You are doing it wonderfully well. He is blessing you and He will bless you, even—no, especially—when your days and your nights may be the most challenging. Like the woman who anonymously, meekly, perhaps even with hesitation and some embarrassment, fought her way through the crowd just to touch the hem of the Master’s garment, so Christ will say to the women who worry and wonder and sometimes weep over their responsibility as mothers, “Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.” And it will make your children whole as well.

So when my daughter asked me if it’s hard to have faith at times and I said it wasn’t it didn’t mean that life isn’t really hard at times because it is. Those times in my life where I feel like I’m carrying too much I will crack underneath the weight, or when I cry out in exhaustion, or when I feel deep pain in my heart, those are the times where my faith carries me through it all. When my Savior can carry me through because I’ve placed my faith in him.
Elder Scott in his talk, “Sustaining Power of faith in times of uncertainty and testing”:
“Faith will forge strength of character available to you in times of urgent need. Such character is not developed in moments of great challenge or temptation. That is when it is used, Character is woven patiently from threads of principle, doctrine, and obedience.”
Testimony.

We celebrated Kesler's birthday at Chuck-E Cheese this year, that is where he said he wanted to go. We went on a weekday and early enough where there was only one or two other families there the whole time we were there. The kids had so much fun running around riding rides and playing games with all their tokens, we got 100 tokens and it took them almost 2 hours to go through them all. We had cake and presents and then the girls gave all their tickets to Kesler so he could pick whatever prizes he wanted (they had over 400 tickets).

Kesler was out by 6 p.m. He tuckered himself outrunning around and playing so hard (I also think he's going through a growth spurt at the moment because he has been sleeping a lot longer lately and his pants have all the sudden gotten shorter on him).

So crazy about this sweet boy of ours. I love him so much, he is so tender and loving. He always wants to open the gate for me and the doors sometimes. He always tells me he'll miss me and he loves me if he or I have to go somewhere. He is the hardest to get pictures of, he still doesn't like having his picture taken and has a pained expression on his face while saying "cheese" when I try. He loves to play the ipad or any kind of electronic game. We love this boy to infinity and beyond!!!
I've done videos in the past asking each of these questions to my kids on their birthday but I think I would like it written down too:
1. What is your favorite color? Green and blue
2. What is your favorite toy? Planes
3. What is your favorite fruit? Grapes
4. What is your favorite tv show? Spiderman
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Smoothie
6. What is your favorite outfit? Spiderman shirts
7. What is your favorite game? Wii Mario games
8. What is your favorite snack? fruit snacks
9. What is your favorite animal? baby dragon
10. What is your favorite song? Families Can Be Together Forever
11. What is your favorite book? Spiderman
12. Who is your best friend? Connor
13. What is your favorite cereal? Chocolate cereal
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Swim
15. What is your favorite drink? milk
16. What is your favorite holiday? Halloween
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? my doggie
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Cereal
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Hamburgers
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? A SuperHero