Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Moments of Motherhood: Sewing with Ellie

I usually sew when my kids are sleeping because... well... for obvious reasons. Today, however, I was still working on the kids' stockings when Ellie woke up from her nap. Usually I would have finished up and put things away, but today she pulled up a chair and asked me if I could keep sewing so she could watch. I of course gave her the "don't touch" spiel, and I kept sewing. She asked me questions, and I answered, and we both enjoyed ourselves. We got into a rhythm of her handing me pins when I needed them and then she would put them back into the pin cushion when I was through with them. She warned me to "be careful so you don't hurt your fingers," and I talked to her about each step, explaining in 3-year-old terms why I was doing what. She was quite proud of the fact that she was my "special helper." After about 20 minutes she said "Mom, we're having girl time. I love staying up late (staying up late is the best privilege EVER for her right now) and having girl time with you. Nathan's not awake, Jonah's not awake, just us. And you're teaching me how to sew for when I'm a big girl and I can do it all by myself."

For the next hour she and I sat together sewing and pinning, with her telling me several times how much she loved sewing with me and reminding me over and over again that I would teach her how to do it by herself when she was big.

I am so grateful for times like this afternoon when I get to just listen to my little girl tell me what's on her mind, and her and I get to bond and share in something that we enjoy. It reminds me that I could do better to slow down and revel in these sweet moments of motherhood, because my little princess is growing up right before my eyes.

(The neighbors brought by some hand-me-downs yesterday, and Ellie could not be more thrilled with her new Rapunzel nightgown. It was quite the task to get her to take it off this morning so she could get dressed.)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Santa and "Cookies"

The kids got to see Santa at Sam's work party a few weeks ago, and there were no tears from any of them. I consider that a success!

Ellie was right at home on his lap. She skipped right up to him, climbed on his lap, and talked to him like they were old friends.

Jonah just stared at him for awhile, then decided to look toward the flash of the camera.

And Nathan was pretty hesitant about the whole thing, but he ultimately decided he would stay... But only if he could hold Ellie's hand. (So sweet)

Now if only I could get Nathan to realize that the cinnamon ornaments we made last year are NOT cookies, we would be good.

I guess you can't make something look and smell like a cookie and expect the two-year-old not to try and eat it.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Without Christ, There Would Be No Christmas

"Without Christ, there would be no Christmas. Without Christ, there can be no fulness of joy. Without His birth and Atonement, we would have no Intercessor, no Advocate with the Father, and no Mediator who makes it possible for us to return to the presence of our loving Heavenly Father and live together as eternal families."

Image from here.

"This Christmas, as the spirit of the season permeates our hearts, let us do something that expresses our feelings in an outward way, showing that we understand that the babe born in Bethlehem is the real Redeemer."1

"This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again."2

I am so grateful for the Savior, who came into this world the same way all of us do: as a tiny, newborn baby. And I am so grateful that because He was born that day, and because He died for us, we can live with God again. I know this to be true.

Have you seen this video yet?

Discover, Embrace, and Share the Gift at christmas.mormon.org.

1. The Reality of Christmas, Gary E. Stevenson
2. The Gifts of Christmas, Howard W. Hunter

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Moments of Motherhood

"The joy of motherhood comes in moments. There will be hard times and frustrating times. But amid the challenges, there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction."

- M. Russell Ballard, Daughters of God

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Reason for the Christmas Season

“No worry or anxiety over the choosing and giving of gifts; no enjoyment of holiday feasts; no decorations however modern or attractive; no social parties however jovial, should ever overshadow the fact that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ who came to give life, light, and peace to all mankind, and who marked the way by which these eternal blessings may be obtained. Let us ever remember that ". . . God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16.)

- “Man May Know for Himself: Teachings of President David O. McKay”

Watch the beautiful video and learn more about the reason for the Christmas Season here:

Monday, November 24, 2014

Nathan Turns Two!

Our Nathan turned 2 yesterday! I can't believe it has been two years already. Wow.

We had been hyping him up for a week or so that it would be his birthday on Sunday, so when we woke him up and told him it was his birthday TODAY he was so excited!

We made the cake before church. Can you tell the kids were pretty happy about it?

Of course he got to lick the frosting beater after church... I should have made him take his shirt off first. Oh well, it was his birthday! Thank goodness for Shout.

We relit the candles several times so he could blow them out as many times as he wanted.

And he opened presents, of course. When he opened the first present Ellie took a big breath and said "look what it is, Nathan!" So when he pulled the paper off of the second present he looked at the paper and said "look what it is!" It was pretty funny that he was so excited about the paper. I don't think he fully understood the point of presents.

But he got a little bin full of beans and a little bag of farm animals to play in it with. He LOVES it. Though I let him and Ellie go a little crazy with the beans yesterday. I'm going to have to watch them a little more closely next time... Let's just say that getting beans that are the same color as our carpet wasn't exactly my brightest idea ever.

This little boy absolutely thrived on the extra attention he got yesterday. I think being the middle child (with an older sister that commands attention 24/7) he doesn't always get as much attention as he deserves. But his cute little eyes were lit up all day long yesterday, and I'm so glad he got to have a day that was all about him. Happy Birthday handsome boy! We are so glad you are part of our family!

Monday, November 17, 2014

I Love Being A Mom

I love finding things like this around the house:

I'm so incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be a mom. I love it.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

It's crazy how fast the weather changed here in Rexburg this year. Last weekend it was 50 degrees and sunny and this weekend it is 27 degrees and snowy. We have spent the last few days inside because it had been too cold to be outside, but it was warmer today so we ventured out to the front yard. Besides, the kids just couldn't resist the snow! 

It's one of those beautiful days where there is no wind, and the snow just falls in big flakes.

Of course they had to catch snowflakes on their tongues!

And of course it ended the way it always does: with someone falling in the snow and deciding they were done.

The only disappointment was that our attempt at building a snow man didn't go well - it was too cold. That's alright, we have the rest of the winter to do that!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

We Have A Climber!

I'm not sure how I feel about this...

But he's pretty proud of himself!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The First Snow

We woke up to this yesterday morning:

Ellie and Nathan were so excited they could hardly contain themselves. Of course we had to celebrate by having pancakes with "snow" (powdered sugar) and listening to Christmas music.

We needed to get out of the house, so we decided to go to story time at the library. Ellie chose her own outfit, complete with the snow boots. It made me laugh. This was the best picture I got because she was mad that Nathan wanted to be in the picture...... Yeah. 

The boots complete the ensemble, don't you think?

Now that there is snow, Ellie keeps asking me when Christmas is.... 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

God is the Source of Light We Seek

     "Even if you cannot always see that silver lining on your clouds, God can, for He is the very source of the light you seek. He does love you, and He knows your fears. He hears your prayers. He is your Heavenly Father, and surely He matches with His own the tears His children shed...

     "No, it is not without a recognition of life’s tempests but fully and directly because of them that I testify of God’s love and the Savior’s power to calm the storm. Always remember in that biblical story that He was out there on the water also, that He faced the worst of it right along with the newest and youngest and most fearful. Only one who has fought against those ominous waves is justified in telling us—as well as the sea—to “be still.” Only one who has taken the full brunt of such adversity could ever be justified in telling us in such times to “be of good cheer.” Such counsel is not a jaunty pep talk about the power of positive thinking, though positive thinking is much needed in the world. No, Christ knows better than all others that the trials of life can be very deep and we are not shallow people if we struggle with them. But even as the Lord avoids sugary rhetoric, He rebukes faithlessness and He deplores pessimism. He expects us to believe!"

     "He knows that for the faithful, things will be made right soon enough. He is a King; He speaks for the crown; He knows what can be promised. He knows that “the Lord … will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble...

     "Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come."

- taken from An High Priest of Good Things to Come by Jeffrey R. Holland.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Come and See! (Why I Share My Beliefs)

     I'm sure many of you wonder why I choose to be so open with sharing my religious and personal beliefs with you. In the October 2014 session of General Conference, a talk was given by David A. Bednar called "Come and See." He articulated my thoughts much better than I ever could on my own, so I want to share his words as well as some of my own to answer this question.

1.  I am not trying to sell you anything.

     I don't know about you, but one of my least favorite things in the world is being used as the target of a sales pitch. Like you, I hate feeling like I am being duped into buying a product because of the risk of offending the seller. I despise it when my friends just view me as a ticket to their next pay raise. And I definitely don't like finding out that an advertisement's promise was too good to be true. 

     Lucky for you, you don't have to worry about any of these three things. 

     "When we invite you to attend church with us or to learn with the full-time missionaries, we are not trying to sell you a product. As members of the Church, we do not receive prizes or bonus points in a heavenly contest. We are not seeking simply to increase the numerical size of the Church. And most importantly, we are not attempting to coerce you to believe as we do. We are inviting you to hear the restored truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ so you can study, ponder, pray, and come to know for yourself if the things we are sharing with you are true." 

     And if you decide not to take this invitation, then you don't need to worry about offending me or compromising our friendship. 

2. I am not trying to put you or your beliefs down in any way.

     By sharing my beliefs with you I am in no way putting yours down, nor am I saying that I am somehow better than you because of what I believe. I am simply sharing with a hope that something I say will resonate with you.

     As Elder Bednar says, "Some of you may respond [to the invitation in the above quote], 'But I already believe in Jesus and follow His teachings,' or 'I am not sure if God really exists.' Our invitations to you are not an attempt to diminish your religious tradition or life experience. Bring all that you know is true, good, and praiseworthy—and test our message. Just as Jesus beckoned two of His disciples to “come and see” (John 1:39), so we urge you to come and see if the restored gospel of Jesus Christ enlarges and enriches that which you already believe to be true."

3. Living the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings me joy, and I want to share that joy with you.

     Above all, the reason I share my beliefs with you is because of the great joy living them has brought to my life. "...[My] desire to share the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with you is a reflection of how important these truths are to [me]... [I] also have experienced the cleansing, the peace of conscience, the spiritual healing and renewal, and the guidance that are obtained only by learning and living the principles of the Savior’s gospel.

      "The Atonement of Jesus Christ provides the cleanser necessary to be made pure and clean, the soothing salve to heal spiritual wounds and remove guilt, and the protection that enables us to be faithful in times both good and bad."

     Unlike many of the sales pitches of today, I can promise you that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is in no way too good to be true. "...His Church has been restored in its fulness in these latter days," and there is so much peace, love, and joy to be found in its teachings. 

     Again, I invite you to "come and see." Come and see what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has to offer. Read the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. You can request a free copy here or read it online here. What have you got to lose? At the very least, it is a book full of interesting and uplifting stories from ancient times. But it could also change your life. I know it has changed mine. 

     If you decide to read the Book of Mormon, send me an email! I would LOVE to hear your thoughts! To learn more about Jesus Christ, locate a Mormon church close to you, (visitors ALWAYS welcome) meet with the Mormon missionaries, learn more about Joseph Smith, or chat with Church representatives, go here.

Monday, November 3, 2014


This year for Halloween we were Little Red Riding Hood, two big bad wolves, the woodcutter, and Granny.

Sam took the kids around the neighborhood:

I absolutely LOVE watching him be a dad. He is one of the best, that's for sure.

The kids got entirely too much candy, and are still coming off of the sugar high. But they had fun, and that's what matters, right?

And, of course, what is Halloween without nasty, drooly vampire teeth?

Images by Freepik