Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Nie Nie

Okay, I just had my good cry for the day thanks to this. But, before you go to the link, here is a little back story for any of you who are not familiar with Nie Nie (if there's anyone left).

NieNie is a blogger that has an amazing way of sharing her passion for life, her kids, and her husband. That is what attracted me (and many others) to her blog. I have been a faithful reader for over a year and was always inspired by her words.

A little over 2 months ago, she and her husband were in a private plane crash in Arizona. Her husband's flight instructor was killed in the crash and she and her husband were badly burned over most of their bodies. I have been obsessed with the story because, even though I don't really know her, I feel like I do from her blog. And it hits close to home since Jason is also a pilot. What has happened since the crash is nothing short of a miracle. It is so inspiring to be able to read of such a strong family and friends coming together. Her sisters immediately took her children in and having been doing their best to care for them the way she would. And friends, acquaintances, and strangers all over the blogosphere have been organizing events and auctions and donating money to help her family. It's amazing to see the influence she has had. Seriously, if you haven't heard about this before, take a few minutes to read her sister's blog and be inspired by these people. It is such an example of the power of love, sisterhood, prayers, family, and friends.

Anyway, last weekend in Arizona, Mindy Gledhill held a benefit concert to raise money for the family. Claire and Jane, NieNie's two daughters, sang a song with her and that is what the link at the beginning is. Watch as these two sweet girls sing for their mother who is slowly waking up from a 2 month medical induced coma. The words are so fitting. And I love how the girls are clutching each others hands, giving each other support.

Receiving Counsel and Chastisement

I started writing this post about a week ago, but never finished. This is what I have been working on the past week or so.

So, the second thing that Pres. Benson talks about in choosing to be humble is to receive counsel and chastisement. My comments on this subject will be more brief than the first because I'm already so good at it. :) Just kidding.
I really tried to think about how I am doing about receiving counsel. I came to the conclusion that it really depends on who is giving the counsel. And, of course, we don't have to and really shouldn't follow after everyone's counsel. I love to hear the prophet and apostles speak and I hunger for anything that they are saying that I can use in my life. But, that doesn't mean that I am always so good about implementing it.
So, here are a few things I learned from the scriptures.
*We can trust the Lord's counsel because it comes from wisdom, justice, and mercy (Jacob 4:10)
*The Lord chastens us because He loves us (Helaman 15:3)
*When we don't follow the Lord's counsel, we lose the Spirit (D&C 63:55)
*We cannot be sanctified without chastening from the Lord (D&C 101:4-5)
*We must be tried in all things to receive the glory He has in store for us (D&C 136:31)

After studying this topic, I decided I needed to work on receiving counsel from the Lord with an open heart, but also receiving counsel from others humbly and without offense and then taking that counsel to the Lord to see if it is good for me. Since we just had General Conference, I decided to go back and study the talks that were given to make sure I am heeding all of the counsel. This will be an ongoing thing, since I have only made it through 3 talks so far. But, it's already helped me immensely.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Congratulations Kammermans!

We just got word that Patricia just delivered the twins--Jacob and Emily! They are all doing well. I can't wait to meet them and will post some pics as soon as possible!

Update: To see pictures, go to Aaron's blog.

Happy Birthday Ethan!

Saturday it was Ethan's (Biz's son) 1st birthday. So, we all gathered for a celebration.

Britton, Sheryl, Ethan, Haley

Biz holding Ethan as we are singing "Happy Birthday"

The blowing out of the candle--Ethan wasn't too interested.
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Friday, October 24, 2008

I Can Dream

I want a vacation. Either of these places will do.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

We're Changing Things Up

Yesterday Britton said okay when I asked him if he wanted to take a turkey and cheese sandwich to lunch instead of his usual peanut butter and honey. For those of you who don't know Britton the way I do, THIS IS HUGE!!! Peanut butter and honey sandwiches are totally his comfort food. For many years now he has had at least one everyday. If he's sad, he says he needs one. If it's late at night and he can't fall asleep, he says he needs one. If he doesn't like what we're having for dinner, he says he needs one. It's more than just his sandwich of choice.
So the fact that he can make it through the day at school without one is a good thing. I love that he is loving school.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Great 8 Tag

8 Favorite t.v. shows:
1. The Office
2. Heroes

Those are the only 2 shows I watch now, but here's some I like that will be starting later.
3. Lost
4. 24
5. American Idol

And here are some that are over, but I still enjoy watching
6. Gilmore Girls
7. Arrested Development
8. ?????

8 Favorite Restaurants:
1. Cafe Rio
2. Black Angus
3. Olive Garden
4. Rumbi's
5. PF Chang's
6. Great China
7. Mimi's Cafe
8. Beto's

8 Things that happened yesterday:
1. Went back to sleep after my alarm went off
2. Storytime at the library
3. Played with Mijoung and Chloie
4. FINALLY signed Britton up for swimming lessons
5. Rode my bike
6. Made rolls
7. Went to Enrichment
8. Went to the Dollar Store

8 Things to look forward too:
1. Christmas
2. BYU game this Saturday
3. going to the cabin on Friday
4. meeting my new niece and nephew--the C-section is scheduled for Oct. 28 yippee!
5. Halloween
6. Primary Program on Sunday--my absolute favorite sacrament meeting
7. jogging in the morning
8. playing with my kids

8 Things on my wish list
1. a house in Southern France
2. a trip to DC
3. jeans
4. sweater
5. tree house
6. bathroom remodeled
7. new shoes
8. a trip to the beach

8 Things I love about Fall:
1. the crisp air
2. hearing the leaves crunch under my feet
3. the view of my backyard covered in colored leaves
4. hot chocolate
5. pumpkin chocolate chip bread
6. the anticipation and preparation for the holidays
7. drives in the mountains
8. football games

8 people I tag: I'm just going to tag the first 8 people who are in my links list, so here goes for all you who are at the beginning of the alphabet...
1. Aaron
2. Amber
3. Anna
4. Biz
5. Britton
6. Chris and Karli
7. Daphne
8. Desiree

Happy Little Witch

Today was "W" day for preschool for Haley so we did everything to do with witches. We had so much fun. Here's a picture of the snack that we made. And just so that I remember, here is an outline of the things that we did:
Game--Halloween Memory
Math--How Many Witches? Worksheet
Song--3 Little Witches
Art--Make flying witches out of construction paper
Reading--Learn the W sound and read "The W book"
Writing--Practice W's
Poem--Old Witch
P.E.--"Keep the Witch Up"
Science--make witches brew
Treat--Witch Ice Cream Cones
Coloring Sheet

If anyone is interested in any of the activities, let me know. I made the games and worksheets and have the song and poem typed up. I'd be happy to share.

Now Haley wants to be a witch for Halloween instead of a fairy. I hope it lasts because she was a fairy last year (and dresses up as one almost everyday) so a witch would be a fun switch.
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Daily Life

I'm trying to be better at taking pictures of just everyday life. So here are a few from the past few days.

"We are artists!"--Britton's exact words as they were creating.

Jason hard at work. It's not really work, it's a game we just got for Britton, the one where you can build amusement parks and zoos and waterparks. We are all addicted. (Side note: Up until about my junior year of high school I wanted to be an engineer who designed rollercoasters, so this game is like a childhood dream come true for me.) (Another side note: Jason is WAY better at designing roller coasters than I am.) (One more: I LOVE LOVE LOVE going on rollercoasters!)

Britton studying his Mushroom Classification Chart. (He looks a bit irritated that I am taking his picture.)

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Fall Break

Britton had Thursday, Friday, and Monday off school for UEA and Teacher Comp. Day. Originally I really wanted to go on a trip, but we just ended up staying home. It was great though. Mostly, we did nothing. I let the kids watch tons of TV and play lots of computer. And it was wonderful. We slept over at my sisters and played lots with cousins. We did make it out one day to go to the pumpkin patch with friends.

Britton and Haley

Britton, Haley, and Maya


Maya, Grace, and Haley (and kids I don't know)

I'm trying to get more pictures of me on this blog even if it's painful at times.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Conquering Enmity--Part 3

There were two more scriptures that went along with conquering enmity: D&C 81:5 and D&C 84:106. I will share some of the things I learned from each one.

D&C 81:5 "Wherefore, be faithful; stand in the office which I have appointed you; succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees."
This was an interesting scripture to me to go along with getting rid of enmity. But, when I thought about it, it made me realize that any calling we have in this life is a call to serve not to be over anyone. And this isn't just in church callings, but in any position we find ourselves in in this life. So, what are my callings right now? wife, mother, sister, daughter, teacher, friend, neighbor And, how can I serve in each capacity? I need to try harder to succor the weak, lift up hands, and strengthen feeble knees.

D&C 84:106 "And if any man among you be strong in the Spirit, let him take with him him that is weak, that he may be edified in all meekness, that he may become strong also."
Here are some questions that this scripture inspired:
*What are my strengths?
*How can they be used to help others?
*What are my weaknesses?
*How can I allow others to help strengthen me?
I am still trying to answer these and incorporate them in my life.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Day!

Today is my 1/2 Birthday! Yippee! I must think of a good way to celebrate.

Conquering Enmity--Part 2

One of the scriptures that really helped give me some perspective is 1 Corinthians 4:7. It says, "For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?" I need to remember this scripture when I start feeling like I am better than someone else for whatever reason. Remember that everything was given to me. Everything comes from God, not ourselves. I need to remember to be grateful and humble, not hateful and proud.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Funny Kids

I so wish Britton would allow me to take a picture of him right now.

He came in wearing Haley's blue and light blue striped shirt and short blue skirt saying, "I'm a BYU cheerleader!" and jumping up and down. And what is a short skirt on Haley is a VERY short skirt on Britton. Now Haley is coaching him in different cheers and they are trying to do lifts only Haley is trying to lift Britton not the other way around. It's hilarious. But, when I asked if I could take a picture, he said no. And I have to oblige. His skinny legs just look so cute in that skirt. :)

Clever Boy

This morning Britton was taking a bath. Haley has these tub toys that are a hippo with 3 babies hippos. Britton was playing with them and when I came in he pointed to the 3 babies and said, "They're hipplets!" Very clever, hippo triplets are hipplets.

Conquering Enmity--Part 1

I haven't been able to post as often as I'd like about my studies on pride. In fact, I haven't been able to study as much as I like either, but here are my thoughts for now.

The first thing in Pres. Benson's talk that will help us be humble is conquering enmity. He defines enmity as "hatred towards, hostility to, or a state of opposition." And then he says this is the "power by which Satan wishes to reign over us." I thought that was very interesting. Satan wants power out of hatred and pride. And the opposite of that is Christ who wants to serve and love. I think in every relationship we have we can ask ourselves if we are trying to have power over that person or if we are trying to serve and love that person.

The first scripture going along with conquering enmity is D&C 38:24 . In it, it says, "And let every man esteem his brother as himself..." If we esteem everyone as ourselves, we will not feel enmity towards them. But, this is much easier said than done. For me, it is way too easy to think of myself first and think that my priorities, thoughts, and ideas are more important and/or better than others. This is something that is really difficult for me and will probably be a lifelong pursuit. But, this week, as I have been trying to focus on others and esteeming them as myself, I have already felt a great change in my life. I've been trying to think of other's needs first or at least as often as I think of my own. It has allowed me to have so much more patience and understanding with my kids. And more love in our home.

Although this is something that I've had to consciously work on this week in my family, it is still a somewhat easy thing to do because I already love my family and would do anything for them. But, what about everyone else? Do I esteem them as myself? Do I think I am better than others? Am I able to show love to everyone? These are the things that I have been thinking about and hope to be able to improve on.

More to come about conquering enmity...
Additional scriptures: Deuteronomy 17:20 and 1 Corinthians 4:7

Monday, October 13, 2008

BYU Homecoming 5k

Saturday morning I braved the cold, cold weather to run in the BYU Homecoming 5k. I am so glad that I did it. I have been saying that I wanted to do a race ever since I got home from China, but I always talk myself out of even signing up. There's always some excuse. So, this week, I just signed up and made myself do it, even though I probably was better prepared for it a few months ago. I didn't have too many expectations going into the race since I haven't been running much these days. My goal was just to run the whole way without stopping and I did that. So, I was happy. My time ended up being 30:07 which I was okay with. I had to stop to tie my shoe twice so next race I'll have to remember to double knot. :) I forgot how good it feels to finish a race. It was a great way to start my day, even if it was snowing at the beginning and freezing the whole time.
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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Beware of Pride

I recently re-read Ezra Taft Benson's talk, "Beware of Pride". It is one of my all time favorite talks. It's very enlightening and eye-opening to the sin of pride and all its aspects. One of the major themes in the Book of Mormon is how pride leads to the downfall of people and nations. I can really see that happening in the world today. In the middle of an economic crisis, I think it's not hard to see the devastating effects of pride on this nation.
Anyway, I have really been feeling like it's something that I need to focus on in my life right now. At the end of the talk, President Benson gives 8 things that we can do to choose to be humble and get rid of our pride. Over the next little while, I'm going to focus my studies on these 8 things and hopefully share some of my thoughts on this blog.

Birthday Week

It is Jason's Birthday Week this week (his birthday is Sat. Oct. 11). So, we have all kinds of fun things planned for him. The kids made this sign and hung it on the house for when he got home from work yesterday. Not the prettiest sign ever, but it sure made him smile. He came home to one of his favorite dinners, shredded beef burritos, and a favorite dessert, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.

Stay tuned for more celebrating throughout the week.
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The Weekend

Jason and I were able to have a little overnight get-away and go up to Logan for the BYU game. It was a lot of fun just being able to get away. The game was fun, even though it was a bit sloppy.
I'm not really sure what I'm doing here, I guess saying "We're #1"
Jason was trying to make it look like he was holding up the football players, but it didn't really work so well.
Here was the score at half time--24 to 0. We won't really talk about the second half. But, the final score was BYU 34, Utah State 14.

After the game, we got to go over to visit my friend Hilary (Vaveeka). Her family just moved to Providence. It was fun seeing her new, beautiful house and just chatting for hours with them. I love getting together with friends and just talking. Vaveeka and I kind of left the boys talking and were in our own little world reminiscing about Oakcrest. So many good memories. As we were driving back to our hotel, Jason said, "Man, you two were talking so fast and so loud. And you kept getting louder and louder." I guess that's how I get around my friends. It's been a while since he's seen that.

We headed back home so that we could listen to Conference in the car and then watch it in the afternoon. What a fun little trip.
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Thursday, October 02, 2008


The other day Haley said, "Can I just be a normal mom when I grow up?"

I didn't dare ask her what kind of a mom she thought I was. :)


I was tagged two times recently, so I'll put them both in the same post. Aaron tagged me to share 5 things you may not know about me. I'm going to cheat on this one and tell you 5 things you may or may not know about Jason since I am always writing about myself and my kids on this blog. So, here goes.

1. Jason has the cutest feet I've ever seen. And lucky for me, he's like the rest of our family and hates wearing shoes, so I get to see his feet a lot.

2. Jason is obsessed with electronic gadgets. He can spend hours and days fiddling around with a new cell phone or other new device. He has to figure everything out. I prefer just not knowing.

3. Jason has the most giving heart. He always likes to help people and will bend over backwards for people he barely even knows. To say that he has a hard time saying "no" to people would be an understatement because I don't think I've ever even seen him say no. He just figures out a way to help in whatever way he can.

4. Jason hasn't had carbonation in about 15 years. I'm not exactly sure how long its been. He feels very strongly about not drinking carbonation and has no problem expressing his opinions when he sees me drinking it. :) I admire his willpower and steadfastness. Other than that, though, his eating habits are horrible (i.e. skipping breakfast, eating in the middle of the night, etc.)

5. My favorite thing to do is watch Jason play with our kids. He can get them laughing so hard. They both adore him and love to have attention from him.

The next tag was from Rachelle (her blog is private, so no link, unfortunately). I am supposed to answer each thing with only ONE word. Here goes...

1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Where is your significant other? away
3. Your hair color? brown
4. Your mother? Sheryl
5. Your father? Howard
6. Your favorite thing? Family
7. Your dream last night? Weird
8. Your dream/goal? Happiness
9. The room you're in? Family
10. Your hobby? writing
11. Your fear? dying
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? here
13. Where were you last night? Grandma's
14. What you're not? organized
15. One of your wish-list items? vacation
16. Where you grew up? Kearns
17. The last thing you did? Lunch
18. What are you wearing? Clothes
19. Your TV? projector
20. Your pet? Never
21. Your computer? Chinese
22. Your mood? pensive
23. Missing someone? Yes!
24. Your car? adequate
25. Something you're not wearing? shoes
26. Favorite store? Ikea
27. Your summer? amazing
28. Love someone? Yes!
29. Your favorite color? yellow
30. When is the last time you laughed? lunch
31. Last time you cried? ???

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Sweetest Thing

Haley can be the sweetest thing sometimes. There were a few things that she did yesterday that I just wanted to document.

*First, we were in the car ready to leave for the library and Jason was loading up his truck getting ready to head out for work. Haley said, "Wait, I want to give dad a hug when he passes by." So she rolled down her window, stopped him when he passed by, and gave him a hug and a kiss. Afterwards, she was just smiling so cutely. And she said to me, "I just gave him some good luck."

*When I pulled into the parking space at the library, I accidentally hit the curb. It made a pretty loud noise and it kind of scared Haley. So, as we were walking in I said, "I'm not a very good driver." Haley quickly responded, "You're a great mom, though. You take care of everybody." It was so cute that she wanted to reassure me that I'm good at something. :)

*Each time we go to the library, Haley puts the books into the drop off thing one by one and it kind of takes a while. She was going through all the books, returning them, and then she got to the princess DVD we had checked out. She paused, looked at it, then kissed it. As she put it in the drop off, she said, "Bye, I will sure miss you." It was really cute.


I'm really missing China right now. I've had several dreams lately that I was still there. I miss the simple life. I miss my friends. I miss being able to travel.

It doesn't help that this week is vacation time there. I keep thinking how we could be in Vietnam this week. And then planning a trip to Australia for Chritmas/Chinese New Year. I've always loved to travel and see new places. Guangzhou was such a central location with travel possibilities to so many different cool places. And it was much more affordable than travel is here.

This weekend Jason and I are going to Logan for the BYU/Utah State football game. Then in a few weeks, we may go to St. George and Las Vegas. As fun as these things are, it's just not quite the same as Halong Bay or the Great Barrier Reef. I guess, for now, I'll just have to keep visiting these places in my dreams.