Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Birthday in Heaven

Dear Grandpa,

It's your first birthday in heaven. Funny how a birthday is such an earthly holiday. We celebrate the day one leaves his or her heavenly home and mourn the day he or she returns. If we were to look at the eternal perspective I'm sure the celebrating and mourning might be reversed. But with our limited earth-life vision, it is hard to celebrate the day you returned to your Heavenly Father. It's hard to rejoice when we were left behind. 

But I think about that day a lot. It's the day Sister Monson died. It was the last day we shared a picnic together in the living room. Another funny thing is of all the happy memories I have of us, I cling to that last picnic. If I would have known that it would be the last, I would have taken a picture. But instead I replay it over and over in my mind. 

I miss you Grandpa. Maybe because tomorrow is meant to be a celebration of life. But you're not here to attend your party. Maybe because I spent so much time with you all growing up and especially these last few years. Maybe because I plan on it being a long time until I will see you again. But when my time comes, promise you will be there waiting for me. I look forward to that so much. Until then, I know we both have work to do. I have a son to raise and a life to fill with the gospel. You have spirit world stuff to work on. But if you happen to have some spare time, will you please find my other grandpa? He died when I was 7 and I don't remember him well. But maybe you can tell him stories of me and teach him the gospel? Then we can all be sealed together as one big happy family. 

Your Loving Granddaughter,

{P.S. I'm sending this letter to heaven. You are all just privileged to read it along its delivery.}

P.P.S. This post goes along with "in an instant" and "Jesus Wept" that I wrote last May, a week after my grandfather died.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Countdown to General Conference

When I was growing up, there was something magical about a countdown chain. I remember my mom would help make them for our birthdays. The anticipation made the actual day that much more special.

Last night I was thinking about General Conference. It's almost September so General Conference is *almost* next month. I absolutely love General Conference and am excited that it is coming around again. In our home, GC is just about as big as a birthday. We celebrate it and have family traditions (our Conference Bribe--treats for notes, is one of my favorite. And I think we might start eating cinnamon rolls on Saturday morning....). But more than the food we associate with it, I love the spirit. I love listening to the Prophet and Apostles.  I love the counsel. There is so much power from listening to and following the counsel.

I absolutely just love the Primary Song called "Follow the Prophet." I remember singing it growing up. And while I don't remember the words to all nine verses, I do remember and think about the 9th and the chorus rather often.
Now we have a world where people are confused.
If you don't believe it, go and watch the news.
We can get direction all along our way,
If we heed the prophets-- follow what they say. 
Follow the prophet, follow the prophet,
Follow the prophet; don't go astray.
Follow the prophet, follow the prophet,
Follow the prophet; he knows the way.
Heavenly Father really loves us so much to bless us with a prophet. This world is definitely not an easy place. But gratefully, we don't have to follow the world's way; we can follow a better way. And there truly are so many blessings that will always come from following the prophet.

Anyway... back to last night. I should have been in bed. But school started so Casey was up doing homework. Our little Baby Bunny was asleep in his crib (yes, CRIB-- not pack'n'play!! Whooo!!). And I didn't know what to do with myself. I kept thinking about General Conference and decided to randomly count how many talks there were during the April 2013 GC. If I counted everything (including the Young Women's meeting and each report given during the Saturday Afternoon session) there were 40. 

I thought it would be great to start a countdown for this coming October Conference by reading one talk a day. So I counted how many days there were between now (yesterday) and Oct. 5th. 41. Oh my gosh. It was perfect!! By starting yesterday, I could read one talk a day, finish on Friday October 4th (which is also a VERY special day around here for me... just sayin'...) and be ready to listen to the new messages which will be shared the next day.

General Conference really is just as special as my special day. I searched the stack of boxes in the basement, found the construction paper and cut some strips. On each strip, I wrote the numbers 1-40. Then on number 40, I wrote the "Welcome to Conference" (the title of the first talk). #39 has the title of the second talk and so on.

Whether you make your own paper chain or simply read study a talk each day, I hope you will join me as we celebrate General Conference coming again. I know studying will be uplifting and inspiring. I know it will bring blessings. I know it will be a great way to prepare to listen to the new talks. And this is also the last chance to study April 2013 and have it be the "current" conference issue. {And... if you are just reading this today, 8/27/2013, then you have to read the first 2 talks in order to be caught up. No biggie. The first talk by Pres. Monson is super short!}

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Date Night Defined

When we were teenagers, Elder Dallin H. Oaks described what a date is in a CES fireside.
"A date must pass the test of the three p's:
(1) planned ahead,
(2) paid for, and
(3) paired off."
Casey and I talked about it. Nowhere in his definition does it say, "This is only for the single adults." or "This counsel only applies before marriage." No. It is the definition of a date. Period. It doesn't matter the age or marital relationship. A date is planned ahead, paid for, and paired off.

So we took a look at what our date night evolved into when our family became a trio. Date night was always paid for. Check! Seeing how we only have one income and we share the budget, it had to be paid for. Sweet! We still had one part of a date down.

But we failed on the other two parts of the test. Planned ahead and paired off.

Date night quickly became a "let's just go out to eat on Friday night so at least I don't have to make dinner" event and "let's just grab a movie from Redbox after we are done eating." And this was our typical 'date night' conversation: "Where do you want to go eat?" "I don't know. Where do you want to eat?" "I decided last week; it's your turn." "Well, I don't know. What are you in the mood for?" "I don't know." We would then drive all over the city trying to find a restaurant that looked good. It was not successful to say the least. And no where in the definition of a date does it mention food. We don't have to go out to eat for it to be a date!

And then we come to paired off. Super easy when we were a family of two! Every night was date night. But then we added a Baby Bunny. And it was just easier to take him with. Arranging a babysitter would have required planning ahead to figure out schedules and the added expense of the service. Nope. Date night required no effort and no extra cost as a trio.

Something had to change though. I was beginning to hate Friday nights. It would have just been easier to make something at home then driving all over and playing the IDK game. Plus bringing our tag-a-long in the car seat and getting in the high chair and spending all my time trying to feed him and cleaning him up and etc. Yeah date night was not something I looked forward to or enjoyed.

We made a goal and changed the budget to include the cost of babysitting. We were going to go on a real date, passing all three parts of the test, 4 Friday nights in a row. And we made a plan. One person was going to be in charge each week. That person would be responsible to plan a date in our budget, ask the other person out by Tuesday and arrange a babysitter. We also agreed that odd calendar dates are Casey's and even ones are mine.

We are still in the middle of this experiment. Three weeks and three dates later, I can already see positive changes in our relationship. And I once again look forward to Fridays rather than dreading them. And... this is not going to stop after week four. Nope. Date night has changed for the rest of our lives!

Picture was taken at our "Bookstore Scavenger Hunt" date.
We copied the idea from one of our best friends.
And used the clues she already made! :)

Friday, August 23, 2013

More Than Enough

I wish our house was bigger. I wish we had a third bedroom right now and a place for the computer. I wish we had a garage. I wish the basement was finished. I wish the walls were painted with beautiful colors. I wish our ceiling fan didn't rattle/ click. I wish the dishwasher worked. I wish the backyard was grass. I wish we had a fire pit and a patio. I wish we had a working furnace. I wish the curtains and pictures were hung. I wish the basement wasn't piled with boxes.

I wish. I wish. I wish.

But I have to remind myself. This is enough. This was the house we were meant to buy. All the other offers fell through and Heavenly Father doesn't make mistakes.

We don't need a bigger house, it would just mean more to clean. There is no one to live in the third bedroom right now anyway. The computer works just fine in the basement. The cars are protected in our double carport. A finished basement would just mean moldy walls with all the plumbing/ leaking problems. The walls are at least clean. The fan normally stops clicking after it has been for a long time and then I fall asleep. We are saving money on electricity and I keep up with the dishes so at least they don't pile up. Devin doesn't mind playing on the weeds. Are standing fire pits even legal?? And if we want to have friends over on a patio--move the cars and instant "patio" under the carport. Who needs a furnace in the middle of summer?! There are blinds! I really don't spend much time in the basement anyway so I don't see the boxes... Devin is not allowed down here and screams at the door if I'm down here without him.

It is more than enough. My stake has a free exercise class every day--this means the world to me and gives me motivation to get up and get ready in the morning. It feels so good to exercise again. This is such a needed blessing!

It is more than enough. There are several young women in the ward who baby sit. So far we keep asking the same girl. She is great with Devin. She brings a sweet spirit into our home. And we can afford to pay her! Plus she babysat for free while we went to the temple. Words cannot even express what a blessing this is!! Sometimes the temple takes way longer than you plan because it is crowded. Without her generosity, I'm sure I would be a total stress case in the temple trying to get in and out and forgetting to learn and enjoy while we were there.

It is more than enough. With the Relief Society sisters all starting the Personal Progress program, I have found motivation to become better in the basics. I will admit. I was definitely slacking. But that changed because I want to pass off my experiences. But more than that, I want to transform into a Princess. This is probably one of the biggest blessings in my life right now--coming closer to the Savior and Heavenly Father!

It is more than enough.
My ward is just filled with the sweetest, most caring people. I know I have mentioned this before. But it is such a huge blessing to feel comfortable in my ward. To feel like I have friends. To feel like everyone in the ward shares our same standards.

So when the wishes start creeping in and I want something bigger/better/fancier/etc, I just have to remember. This house is more than enough. Heavenly Father did not make an accident. We are here for a purpose and we are so richly blessed!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Dishes with Daddy

Some things just melt my heart. 
And this is absolutely one of them!

My boys in white shirts while cleaning!

Thanks Sweetheart for washing the dishes!
And thanks for teaching entertaining Baby Bunny at the same time! :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Heart Healthy Bisquick Mix

It's has been about forever and a day since I posted a recipe. But I had to share!! This recipe is a must have for the #healthyeating, #pennypinching, #notimetocook lifestyle!! Which means it is perfect for us and has become a staple in our home. And it was one of the first things I made (the mix itself) after we moved.

I love Bisquick! Pour some mix in the bowl, add water, then cook. And your done. It was fast and conievent. But not healthy at all and way cheaper to make it yourself. 

I searched for a healthy Homemade Bisquick mix. No luck. I searched for whole wheat Bisquick and heart healthy Bisquick mix. Nothing promising. 

With a few vague ideas, I began several experiments trying to figure it out. The requirements: healthy, tastes good, cheap, easy to make, no shortening, and long shelf life. After some adjustments and trying again, I found the perfect combination!! 

100% whole wheat, fat-free, sugar-free, "Heart Healthy" homemade Bisquick mix!! It is very affordable with common ingredients and has a super long shelf life!!

6 1/2 c.whole wheat flour (or use all-purpose flour if you wanted)
2 c. non-fat dry milk powder
1 c. cornstarch
1/2 c. Splenda (sugar)
1/8 c. baking powder
1 T. salt
2 t. baking soda

Mix everything together. Store in an airtight container. (My container is about 12 cups.) Before using each time, stir the mix. 

Use in place of regular Bisquick. 

To make drop biscuits (this recipe is terrible--sorry!), pour some mix into a bowl and add a enough water until thick ball forms. Drop by rounded spoonfuls on lightly greased cookie heart. Bake at 450*F for 8-10 min. (Note: I only make about 4-5 biscuits at a time and use the toaster oven.)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Personal Progress--it's for me

Since we moved into our ward and attended church for the first time on July 21, I was greatly looking forward to last night. The Relief Society was planning a picnic and I was anxious to attend. It was an opportunity to talk and mingle and hopefully make more friends. The reminder sheet stated "Potluck Picnic," "Personal Progress," and "Personal Phitness." Apparently the planning committee had a "P" thing going on.

The potluck picnic was predictable. And the personal phitness was listed as doing yoga. But I could not figure out what Personal Progress was. So I started asking questions. What does it mean? Are the young women coming and the sisters help them? Are the sisters in my ward all working on personal progress? (If this was the case then I was going to ask for my own copy of the book so I could get started as well.) As I waited for a response, I looked up the program and was really hoping that I would be given my book and could start working on the program.

But the response came and I was disappointed. Apparently the point was to talk about goals. A guest speaker would come and help us set goals but they used the phrase "Personal Progress" because they wanted something with the letter "P." Even though it was not what I hoped for, I was still excited because it was still a chance to meet sisters in the ward. Seriously the activity could have been anything and I would have been just as excited.

While we were doing the yoga part of the evening, I learned that my stake has an hour fitness class Monday-Friday. And it is in the morning. And it's free. And Devin can come with and just play with toys/ run around near me. This is perfect. After one RS Zumba class in my old ward, I was converted! But the cost of the class and child care was out of our budget. Anyway... this is not the point of the post... so more on exercise classes another day. :)

The picnic was enjoyable. The conversation was sweet. The friendship will be enduring--I'm sure!

And by this point, I completely forgot about "Personal Progress."

One of the Young Women leaders then stood up and introduced the Personal Progress program and said that the Relief Society sisters would each be starting their own Personal Progress. I about died. What?! Obviously there was a total change in plans then from what I was first told. And I could hardly believe it. As this Young Women leader spoke and bore her testimony, the gentle feeling of the spirit came over me. 

This is exactly what I need right now in my life. Its a new dream to work on day by day. But it's not just a goal to finish to earn a medallion. It is a goal to change... to become better... to strengthen my family... to improve my relationship with the Savior. I am so excited to start and so grateful for the opportunity.

As I struggled to sleep last night (too many yummy treats from the picnic and too much excitement to start Personal Progress), I kept thinking about how blessed we are to have bought a house in this ward. I'm sure any Relief Society could start doing the Personal Progress program but the thing is, this ward is doing it. And I am able to start it with everyone. The timing is perfect for me. I get to start at the beginning instead of joining after the fact and feeling like I have to catch up. And I need it in my life. Heavenly Father knew what he was doing when all the other house offers fell through and when this one worked out. He knew we needed to be here. I'm just so grateful that He answers our prayers better than we could have even imagined.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Lifelong Learner

A sweet girl in our ward is getting ready to leave for BYU in a couple of weeks. She just graduated from high school and is about to begin her BYU experience. Seeing her excitement has really made me pause to remember my BYU experience.

I remembered the Aims of BYU and decided to reread it.
"BYU seeks to develop students of faith, intellect, and character who have the skills and the desire to continue learning and to serve others throughout their lives."
School is one of my favorite places. Seriously. My love for learning and the classroom was likely a large contributing factor in deciding to become a teacher. I would love to continue learning and earn my master's degree. But it's not practical for me to go back to school right now. We can't afford it and there is no way we would take out student loans for me.

But there had to be more to becoming a "Lifelong Learner" other than attending a graduate school program. The in depth reading of "Lifelong Learning" stated,
"BYU should inspire students to keep alive their curiosity and prepare them to continue learning throughout their lives. BYU should produce careful readers, prayerful thinkers, and active participants in solving family, professional, religious, and social problems.... Thus a BYU diploma is a beginning, not an end, pointing the way to a habit of constant learning."
 I wanted to keep learning. I just had to figure out how. I decided to browse BYU Independent Study to see what it offered and if we could afford to have me in one class. Well... I discovered something wonderful!!

BYU IS supports Lifelong Learning for the financially-strained, living-on-one-income, hubby's-still-in-school,  just-bought-a-house, stay-at-home-mom (etc) lifestyle. THEY OFFER CLASSES FOR FREE!!! Yes. FREE! I filled out their sign up sheet and began browsing all the wonderful topics I can learn about--religious, gardening, parenting, values, swimming, the list goes on. (Here is the thing with the free classes though, they are non-graded and you earn no university credit.)

BYU IS free courses are perfect for me right now! I can continue learning without the expense of tuition. These classes are now part of my "Finding a New Dream." Goal: I am going to complete one class a month. I am not going to rush through the class just to get it done. I am going to enjoy learning and focus on applying what I learn to my life.

{I'm still reading and rereading all of the suggestions in the comments about finding a new dream... a new purpose... a new goal in life. I would love to hear more suggestions. I'm hoping these classes will help me become a "Sister Scriptorian" as well as a well balanced mother.}

P.S. BYU Independent Study is open to ANYONE! Not just BYU students or graduates! ANYONE! (And some of the classes are obviously designed for people with very low education. The goal is to teach anyone who is willing to learn.) You all should check it out! :)

Friday, August 9, 2013

Choosing Kindness instead of Anger

When we first moved into our house, life was chaotic. I couldn't find anything. I was stressed from moving out of the apartment. I began to hate cleaning. I struggled to make dinner--forget eating healthy.

Almost everything began to upset me. I snapped at the little things and shouted at the bigger ones. (I hate to admit that! :| ) I was taking my anxiety/ feelings out on my husband... but especially on Devin. I had this thing permanently attached to my leg. And I was home with him all day... all by myself. He was probably sensing my annoyance and was concerned. Not too mention his own confusion of his whole life changing. But he would follow me around and try to help. I didn't want his help. I just wanted to get life back in order... quickly, with no distractions.

My anger continued to rise until I realized that something had to change. Getting rid of my little buddy was not an option. Locking him up in a closet or making him sit in his high chair all day was not an option. The only option I could actually control was me. I had to change me.

I began studying about learning to control my anger on And something amazing appeared in the search results! I found a manual with the entire lesson devoted to "Controlling Our Anger." It was exactly what I needed to hear. After thoroughly studying it, I continued to read various other articles from about controlling anger and being kind. Allow me just to say, that it was not an overnight change. I had to constantly remind myself to stay calm and in control. When Devin would frustrate me and I was about to blow, I would say over and over in my head, "Be kind to Devin!" I recited this hourly, maybe even every few minutes at first. Sometimes I had to put myself in timeout.

But something miraculous happened. Slowly. 

I realized this morning that I have not rehearsed "be kind to Devin" for a little while now. And I didn't just stop saying it because I gave up on the idea. I changed and didn't need to constantly remind myself of it. (Now this is not to say that I will never need to remind myself again. I'm sure life will change and I will have to change too and will still need reminders....)

The more I focused on being kind, the less frustration I had. The more I was willing to see that Devin was just trying to learn and was not trying to upset me. I saw that he wanted to be with me because he loved me and trusted me. I saw that he was trying to be like me. And Devin changed too. Since he was mirroring me, the kinder and gentler I was, the happier and more obedient he was.

Instead of wanting to just get things done, I began to let him work beside me. It takes way more time on my part but he loves it. He is so proud of his hard work. And I love watching him grow and smile! I especially love the sweet spirit that dwells in our home as we are kind to each other.

teach 'em young...

Devin LOVES helping me wipe the counter down!
So instead of getting out one rag for me,
we use two every time.
When we finish, Devin will take the rags
and throw them in the dirty laundry basket.
He is such a happy helper!

{Just for the record... the only reason I am posting this is because I like to think I'm not the only one who has ever shouted at/ ignored/ etc my child. I feel like I'm admitting a huge weakness... so please be gentle with your response!}

P.S. The picture was taken yesterday. Today is Devin's 14 month "birthday."

Finding a New Dream

I need to find a new dream, a new life goal. I was realizing that my "decade of decisions" is complete. I married my best friend in the temple. I graduated from BYU. I used my degree to teach for a year. We had a baby. I'm a stay-at-home mom. We bought a house. Pretty much all the major life decisions that I planned for, dreamed about, had goals to accomplish, while in high school are finished.

The only other goal I have is to serve a mission with Casey. But that won't be for another 30-40 years.

I need to find a new dream for my life right now.

We will have another child(ren?) someday. So I'm looking forward to that. And we are going to work on finishing our basement. But these don't really seem like MY  life goals because I can't directly control either.

Right now, I have no desire to go back to work--even once all the kids are in school. I never wanted to be career woman. I went to college because that is what you do when you graduate from high school. I finished my degree because I wanted to have something to show for my time. But I never intended to use it. Ever. It was just the back up plan.

And this is where I'm struggling. What do I want to do with the next decade of my life? What do I want to accomplish? Who will I become?

I am searching for new dreams. New goals. New direction. New purpose.

P.S. I would love to hear some of your life goals... maybe I will adapt them to become some of mine! :)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Yeah for Devin

Several Devin updates and pictures. 
I sure do love this little boy!!

While Devin has been waving for a long time... he finally started clapping. It is really cute. He claps when he is happy or excited. He claps when he is bored and needs something to do (like if I leave him in his high chair while I'm cleaning). He claps to get my attention.

Normally I don't let him drag his blankie all around the house. It stays in the crib. Maybe the car. But it is not something that I keep as a permanent attachment. However, I let him carry it with us a week or so ago when he turned into my Cuddlebug. And then he started playing peek-a-boo with it. He has absolutely loved playing peek-a-boo for many, MANY months... but has never played himself--probably because he was never allowed to have his blanket. This is now one of his favorite games to play during the day, especially when I'm changing his diaper!

About a week and half ago or so (since we have lived in our home), Devin finally figured out how to play with this shape sorting cube. And he LOVES it!! Before, he would just open the lid and take all the shapes out then put them back in the lid. We would try to show him how each shape fit in a different space. He randomly figured that out (all by himself--I was in the kitchen working on something and he was in the living room the first time) and is SOOO proud/ happy/ excited when the shape goes in correctly.

Devin had an absolute blast helping me pack all of the fragile things when we were at our apartment. He appointed himself as the newspaper-shredder and smile-grinner while we were working.

He was equally as helpful when we would unpack the boxes at our home. He would climb in the boxes and hand me whatever was inside. (Most of the time he was faster at handing me things than I could put away but at least I didn't have to dig down deep into the boxes!) He helped unpack the entire kitchen/ pantry. The only time Devin stopped handing me what was inside the box was when he found the chocolate chips. Instead of giving them to me, he quickly tried to eat as many as he could.

Devin loved finding our flour and sugar buckets. He would drag them all over the house and stack them up. He likes to drag/ push anything he can get his hands on. The dining room furniture is constantly being rearranged. :)

Sometimes I wonder why we even buy this kid toys. It is so funny the things that amuse him. Like his helmet. We have always kept them in a closet at our apartment. However, they were left out in the giant pile of stuff at our new home when we first moved. He found his (and both of ours) and thought it was the greatest thing ever. I'm not sure why he loved it because when he has to wear it in the bike stroller, he screams. The picture on the left is his frowny face. He was struggling to get the helmet on and ended up banging it against his head pretty hard trying to figure it out. (Instead of helping him immediately, I took a picture. Haha.)

Devin had a natural instinct for going up the stairs. I didn't have to teach him anything. He just went straight up the first time he saw stairs. However, he had no sense of height or fear and would try to walk straight down them and end up falling/ stumbling/ rolling down. I tried to teach how to sit down and scoot. He didn't get it. I kept trying. Later when I was scrubbing walls, he saw me standing on the black two-step ladder and wanted to climb up as well. He loved being taller and seeing what I was doing. But he never fell off it. He would go back down the same way he came up. I caught onto this pretty fast and used that technique to teach him how to go down the stairs. (The picture on the right is him coming down.) He comes down backward and he almost slides. But he is super fast and I'm just grateful he doesn't fall anymore. (He also knows the phrase "down on your tummy" and will sit down then roll over to his tummy. I rarely tell him "down on your tummy" anymore though because it is a habit.)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

I Just Love Our Ward

A couple of lines from an old love song keep running through my head. The song is meant to be a marriage song and was actually on our playlist at our wedding reception. But the opening two lines are how I feel about our new ward.
Grow old along with me,
The best is yet to be.
I want to grow old with these people in our sweet ward. 30 years from now, I want to look back and remember all the times we rubbed shoulders and served together. All the times we laughed and cried together. All the times that we were there for each other. The best truly is yet to come.

One of the absolute requirements on Our Dream Home list was to move into a good ward. And we had no idea how to tell. I could research schools online. We drove the neighborhoods day and night. But there wasn't much we could do about moving into a good ward. I was tempted to go to the new ward while we still lived in the apartment but we never did. Part of me was afraid that it wouldn't be the ward we dreamed of raising our son (and future--someday, not an announcement!--children) in and I didn't know what we would do. I was afraid that the ward would be less than amazing and then we would be faced with the choice to back out of buying our home. So we didn't do anything. We just left it in Heavenly Father's hands. 
And prayed. 
And prayed. 
And prayed!!

Words can't even express how much love and kindness and friendship we have felt in the past 15 days.

Complete strangers showed up to help us move in. They finished building our shed. And assembled our bed. And we weren't even there. We were at our apartment cleaning for 7 hours (both of us... so 14 hours total!) trying to check out.

For the first week, we ate homemade banana bread everyday for breakfast because I couldn't find anything else to eat. One of our neighbors left it while we were cleaning our apartment.

(I could keep going and list off a million other "little things.")

At church, everyone is so gracious and welcoming. And it's genuine. These people really care about us even though no one really knows us. For three Sundays now, I have sat by different sisters in Relief Society and I feel like I have three new best friends and a whole room of best friends still to meet. Smiling across the room. Introducing themselves in the hall. Calling me by name. And I leave church with the biggest grin on my face because I just feel so loved.

Heavenly Father really answered our prayers... in more ways than we could even imagine. I just love our ward and I'm SOOO grateful all the other offers we had on houses fell through. We are meant to be here.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Defense Against the Dark Arts

"Perhaps there has never been a time when we had greater need to pray and to teach our family members to pray. Prayer is a defense against temptation. It is through earnest and heartfelt prayer that we can receive the needed blessings and the support required to make our way in this sometimes difficult and challenging journey we call mortality."
{Pres. Thomas S. Monson GC Oct. 2007}

Devin picks up on the little things. He watches us fold our arms to pray and has started joining in prayers--especially when I pray at meal time. I think he is even beginning to associate the word "prayer" with folding his arms. I love that I am equipping him with his defense against the dark arts. :)