Saturday, September 24, 2016

women's conference

from Ramona's class
Today was a very good day, for me.  Not so good for Rob.  I had women's conference at the stake center.  It was nourishing and wonderful.  We had many good classes full of encouragement and doctrine and advice.  Plus we had a nice lunch, beautiful musical numbers and the joy of gathering together as sisters.
love this picture of Abe and Clayton
In the middle of the day I got this cute photo from Jenna.  They are camping and little Abe got tired on the hike.

Meanwhile Rob went jeeping with the jeep squad.  They went out to Kennedy Meadows and took their jeeps up some "easy trails".  So easy that he broke the motor mounts and had to be towed down the mountain and rescued by a bunch of good men.  It ended well, in that he is home in one piece and got the help he needed.  Not so well in the $$ of the repair and the frustration of the day.

waiting for our food
When I got home from conference I took the kids to chili's.  We had a fun dinner and visit.  I love my family.  I love the gospel. I love the Lord.

FYI the children pretty much fended for themselves all day and they did fine.  (read: house is standing, no one bled:) )

At the end of the day Hannah and I watched the general conference women's session and that was awesome as well.  I love Pres. Uchtdorf and the sister leaders who spoke.  We are so blessed to hear from God's servants.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Crazy cat lady

We really like this silly cat. I'm not sure who's the most crazy about him.
Also I think he thinks that he is a dog.
Where we are, he is. It doesn't matter if we are folding the clothes or playing a game he likes to be in the middle of the action.
Turns out he is also a cheat, he kept moving our game pieces trying to give Grace the advantage.
Handsome boy


city walk

fun pink wall in ET parking

trying to do a handstand

trying to do a handstand

photo booth fun
If you just looked at the pictures you would think we had the best Friday afternoon ever.  My kids sometimes accuse me of putting a positive spin on life, and on my record of our life.  When I ask them to find something that's not true they can't, they just say I make it sound more fun than it was or is or whatever.  It's all about your perception I guess.

Today, like many days the children claimed illness and wanted to stay home from school.  I haven't let them yet.  

Around mid day Ethan texted that he really wasn't feeling well and would I come get him? So I did. He looked fine.  20 minutes later Hannah comes home with off Friday Dad. Also looking fine and dandy.  As a punishment for missing the end of school I decided it was the perfect day for some forced family fun.  At universal city walk they have lots of shops and restaurants and a movie theater and it's fun and busy.  Last time we were there Hannah and I checked the menu and saw that lunch at the Brazilian BBQ was only $15.  So I talked to Rob and we agreed we'd get Lu, drive down, go to lunch and a movie and do some shop-seeing then come home.  Festive Friday Fun.

We got down there with little mishap and only a little grumpiness from Ethan.  Then disaster struck.  We found out, once we were seated that the $15 lunch was for the "vegetarian" offering.  And the regular with meat lunch was $35. That fine print has been biting me in the behind lately. So we left.  $200 for lunch is a little too rich for our blood.  Also who goes to an all you can eat Brazilian BBQ for the salad bar only?? 
We walked around and decided where to eat, a fun Mexican place that was yummy. Then went to get tickets to the movies where we discovered that no one wanted to see the same thing and some people didn't want to go at all.  Shop hopping was vetoed and we trudged back to the car and headed home.  Spoiled children.

It wasn't awful but we definitely would not have driven an hour down and an hour back for enchiladas. Ugh!! 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

First day of fall

Rob had to take a quick trip to Fort Worth. Out yesterday, back today.

The kids begged me to make bread for dinner. I also made lentil soup which everyone but Grace liked.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


FYI: Hannah driving to seminary is the greatest thing ever. I still have to get up and make breakfast and get the kids out of the door but then I get to go back to bed until 6:30!
Brody, Ethan, Noah and Jon Silva (Preston had already left)
Brody and Noah played in a soccer game against each other tonight. Preston and Ethan and Brother Silva all went to watch. Ethan really loves the boys in his quorum and also his leaders! They are awesome men.

Hannah has a big psychology project on the brain to do. I helped her while we watched some of the new fall TV shows tonight. I think we will have some new faves.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

good news and bad

Yesterday Audrey and I met to talk about YW.  She's never served before but she is excited and I know she will do great!

Yesterday we went to "frostrock" for FHE treat, but we didn't have FHE, just the treat.
home made pumpkin donuts
Today I made these donuts and they were delicious!! Also Ethan had a soccer game and they won and we had our first YW meeting.  Audrey brought apple slices and a little crock pot of carmel and things to dip them in, like crushed oreos, marshmallows, nuts and mini chocolate chips.  It was super tasty and cute.  I did the activity, we made conference journals and played a game. I think it was a lot of fun. The girls were cute and fun.

cute towels mom sent me
Mom sent me these cute towels! It was so cheerful and nice and it came on the perfect day because I had a very frustrating morning.  We got our electric bill, which is no biggie because it's usually like $1.27 or $2.16 due to our fabulous solar panels BUT the bill this month was $1972. 67!! I thought it must be a mistake BUT NO, I called first thing and they said with our solar contract we pay the blah blah blah tax or fee or whatever and then at the end of the year if we have used less than our panels produced we get $ back and if we have spent more we pay.  What?!?!?! The representative very helpfully told me that this is explained on page 4 of the bill each month with a notice of if we are over or under.  Who reads page 4????   I was SUPER unhappy about that.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

sweet is the peace the gospel brings

who wore it best? LOL
I got a new dress, which I really like.  And then I was walking by the ironing board and saw that we matched! Crazy. I thought it was pretty funny.

Last week Rob and I got called in to visit with Pres. Silva.  I was released from my calling as a counselor in the stake YW presidency.  It was a huge surprise.  I haven't served very long but the Lord's timing is not always the same as ours. It was a good experience.  Our presidency was sort of a different one than most I have served in, we had more differences of opinion and some challenges that were surprising. I am most grateful for the time I spent with these good women and the things I learned from them, and the friendships we grew and fun we had.  

I was equally surprised when the next day we were called to meet with the Bishop and I was asked to be the new ward YW president. It is a calling I love but always feel ill equipped to handle. When I was a younger woman I thought by the time I was 50 (so I guess I have almost 2 years still to really become) I would have it all together.  I would be wise and kind and loving, generous and faithful and learned, I was be a mentor and a pillar of example and faith and virtue. I would be industrious and productive and patient, well read, soft spoken, multi lingual, insightful and have a servant heart.   On a really good day I am half of that, and there are not too many really good days.

Lately I have read a little about alchemy. It's come up here and there more than I have sought it out.  Alchemy is the process of turning something into gold. It is a long, tedious, exacting process that S.L.O.W.L.Y culls out all the impurities and imperfections until at the end you are left with gold.  Precious and pure and of great worth.  The Lord is the greatest alchemist around.  Only He works with people.  He refines us and changes us.  It's painful for us, and for Him I am sure. Why would He do that? Why would He bother? It's because He loves us and sees who/what we can become. As we serve we change.  As we face trails we change. As we learn we change.  Ever so slowly.  I am so grateful that despite the glaring flaws in my character, my behavior, my very thoughts He still takes the time to teach me and to guide me.  To trust me with responsibilities that are oh so precious and for which I am woefully inadequate.  I feel my Saviors love, His forgiveness and His grace as I serve and live each day.  What a tremendous blessing that is. What a gift. 

Another side blessing, something small but so sweet.  We have lived here a year and it's taken time but today I was hugged by friends.  Some were excited that I would now serve with their daughters.  Others sharing a vote of confidence.  Others just because. I know my sisters in the QH ward and I love them. It is a tender mercy and a joyful gift to be sisters in Zion.

And lastly today was the primary program, a favorite week of the year.  It went so well.  It was Grace's last and she sang sweetly and spoke clearly and looked pretty.  All the children did a darling job.