Thursday, June 24, 2010

SuperLove!


I recently realized that I never documented the secret sign that Sabrina and I have had since she was like three years old. I assume she made it up since she's fun and creative, but I don't remember. We flash the sign to each other whenever we feel like it. Sometimes we just flash the sign, double I love you signs pointed any way we feel like it, but most of the time we flash it while saying "SuperLove!"
Okay, I guess it's not a secret anymore, but we'll keep using it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Marching Through Summer

Alexander has quite a busy summer. He was so excited to start his first year of marching band, which means that he goes to practice at 7:30 am every weekday and then he has parades just as early almost every Saturday. Although I miss being able to sleep in during the summer, I've enjoyed seeing him so dedicated to something that he enjoys. He is learning good skills that will help him at work, on a mission, and in his life.

He has been in two parades so far. At the first one, they didn't have their plumes (feathers) or gloves yet, but they did for the second one. Unfortunately, when he passed by our spot both days, he wasn't even playing. It was still fun to see him.

Then on Sunday, Alexander gave a talk in sacrament meeting...in Spanish! It was the first time he has done that. He did a great job and received so many compliments from surprised people who never expected him to start speaking in Spanish when he started his talk. I am very proud of him. I can't imagine having done that as a 14-year old.

In many ways I'm sad that my first baby is getting so old. Less than 5 years before he'll be leaving me on his mission. But it's also great to see him learning new things and developing into his own young adult character. I love you, Alexander.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Mandarin Berry Cooler

This is a refreshing fruit drink, great in the summer heat or any time. I was bad and didn't even measure the milk this time so yours might be thicker.
Mandarin Berry Cooler
1 (11-oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
1 (8-oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 c. sliced fresh strawberries
1 med. ripe banana, cut into chunks
6 ice cubes
3/4 c. milk

In a blender, combine oranges, pineapple, strawberries and banana; cover and process until blended. Add ice and milk. Serve immediately in chilled glasses.
Yield: 4 servings.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Latin American Charity Dinner

One of Alex's primary teachers, Maria Govea, found out a couple of years ago that she had cancer. Even though Alex was a handful for her since he was 11 and then 12 when he was in her class, he really liked having her as a teacher. The thing that I remember most that she taught him was when one of her friends was sick and she asked the class to pray for her. Alex prayed for several weeks until he finally asked how she was doing. He found out that she was better and learned so much from praying for someone.

Maria went through all the cancer treatments and it went into remission. Unfortunately, not long after, they found cancer again. She has since moved from our ward, but she is still loved. She is not doing well, but we are hopeful. Many ladies (and probably some men too) are donating food for a Latin American dinner (and dessert!). Come and donate to a wonderful cause and eat some gooooood food. I will be dropping food off, but can't stay since I have to be somewhere else, but I hope you can come!

(Sorry I don't have a photo of Maria!)
Date: Friday, June 18, 2010
Time: 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: LDS Chapel at 3477 E Riverbottoms Rd Spanish Fork, UT

EXIT 258 toward US-89 E/PRICE/MANTI
The Exit takes you onto Highway 6. Continue on Highway 6 up the hill.
At the 5th light after the exit (past Burger King, McDonalds, Dominoes), right before Spanish Fork Canyon, turn right onto Canyon Rd.
Turn left at the first road onto 3400 E. and follow it down the hill.
Turn left onto Riverbottoms Rd.
The chapel is two blocks to the left.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Parade Time

One of my favorite holidays isn't really a holiday. It's Parade of Homes time!!! There are around 20 homes throughout Utah Valley that are built, decorated and open to walk through every May or June. The kids and I love going. I can't believe kids enjoy it, but I'm glad they do. We always have fun together exploring, dreaming, critiquing and stopping for snacks somewhere in between some of the homes.

The last couple of years have been a little disappointing since they aren't building as many huge houses as they used to, but it's still fun.

Sabrina loves to look for playrooms.

I like to see the different styles of design. (Unfortunately, I didn't take as many photos this year as usual so I don't have much to show you.)



Some of the homes had breath-taking views!

And many had fun extras---
Like slides that come down from another floor into the basement
Sports courts or rec rooms in the basement
And a few had pools

Fun for us!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Continue in Patience

I love General Conference and am always excited when that weekend comes around again. I haven't always loved it, but I'm so glad that many years ago I discovered what a treasure it really is. Every talk is like a gift and I can't wait to see what's inside. And I love when the Conference edition of the Ensign comes to my house. The first talks I read are the ones from the priesthood session if I haven't already read them online.

In this past edition, I especially loved President Uchtdorf's talk Continue in Patience. (You can watch it at the end of the post if you like.) I chose it for the visiting teaching message last month even though it was directed to the priesthood since it obviously applies to us all. President Uchtdorf talked about how difficult it was for him to learn English after he and his family moved to West Germany when he was 10. He didn't learn it immediately, but with work and practice, he was able to learn. He learned the following from this:

"From that experience, I learned that patience was far more than simply waiting for something to happen—patience required actively working toward worthwhile goals and not getting discouraged when results didn’t appear instantly or without effort.

There is an important concept here: patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can—working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!"

I love that truth. "Patience is not passive resignation." We have to trust in the Lord's time and will, but work and continue in faith. Like the saying says, "Pray as though everything depended on God and act as if everything depended on you.” Well, I don't think we should act like everything depends on us, but we should act and press forward.

Later in the talk, President Uchtdorf says "Patience is a process of perfection." Some people have patience as one of their wonderful gifts from God. Patience does not always come easy to me, but I know that Heavenly Father can help me develop it with prayer and practice. It is one of the characteristics that we need to develop to be more like our Savior.

Wasn't that a beautiful gift of a talk?


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Prodigal Daughter

I have decided to finally write down the words that have been in my mind for years about the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15 and share it with my readers, if I have any left after several long absences. This post was the first that I thought of sharing when I started my blog, but I decided against it because it would show a not-so-pretty side of me. But who is perfect, right?

I remember being a child, sitting in the Kettering ward primary in Ohio and my leaders were teaching the story of the prodigal son. It wasn’t the first time I had heard it and as soon as I heard the topic, I sighed. “Not again. I hate this story. I think the good brother deserves a party.” (I always did like a good party.)

As I got older, I continued to dislike the story. Strange to dislike a scripture story, I know, but I did. I understood that it was a story to teach about how our Heavenly Father will always welcome back the one who goes astray. I often heard people say they loved that story and I would think, “Yeah, of course, because you did something wrong—something big (you know the list of big ones).” But I hadn’t done anything big wrong and I wanted the party, not the whole farm to work on. (Told ya it was a not-so-pretty side.) Then when I got married, it was one of my husband’s favorite scripture stories and it was one of the first church videos we owned.

One day I decided that it was not a good attitude to have about a story in the scriptures, but especially one used by Jesus. So I prayed about being able to see the story and understand what I was missing. I decided to read the story directly from the scriptures, which I hadn’t done in a long time. I can’t remember what verse it was, but while I was reading, I was HIT with this thought that never crossed my mind, “I am the prodigal son, not the good son!” No, I hadn’t done anything that kept me away from the church, but all of my smaller sins were still sins that moved me away from the Spirit and could keep me from my Father’s presence. I read from verse 18 “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee”. That’s true. I had. Of course, I wanted to be welcomed back each time I made a mistake. And then the really big realization hit me, I had been committing one of the BIG sins---pride. That pride had led me to have a lack of compassion for those who made “bigger” mistakes than I did when I didn’t think they were as deserving of a “party” as I was.
This experience helped me in two ways. It helped me understand the atonement better. Every one of us is in need of the atonement just as much as the other since none of us is perfect. And I can also rejoice when one who was lost, is found. Secondly, it helped strengthen my testimony of the power that is in the scriptures. Hearing the stories re-told in different words or watching a movie about the scripture stories are wonderful, but they can’t replace opening the scriptures and reading the words we have been given. That power is special and irreplaceable. I am grateful that I decided to ponder and learn and that my Father blessed me with better understanding of His plan. And you know what? It is one of my favorite scripture stories now.

Pepperoni, Mozzarella & Broccoli Pasta Salad

I have been making this for a very long time and can't believe I haven't blogged it before. My family got this recipe when my sister...