Monday, August 31, 2009

Lessons from Hilton Head

Lessons we learned while at the beach.

Boogie boarding is really fun.

When it comes to boogie boarding, dad is better than any wave. don't even need waves or your dad to have fun on a boogie board.

Don't do this again:

Because, nobody likes walking around with a pound of sand in the bottom of their bathing suit.

Crabbing takes a lot of patience.

We do not have patience (nor do we like tying chicken necks to the net).

p.s. for those who asked...I edited the previous post with Elder Carlson's remarks.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Awesome Sabbath Day

Can I just tell you how much I love going to church?


I enjoy every week...and find it a wonderful opportunity to refresh, and recharge, and refocus on what is important. was especially good because we were able to be instructed by a General Authority...and it was soooo what I needed to hear today.

It was wonderful to receive his counsel and instruction...which we will be taking to heart...but it was also gratifying to feel the spirit of the Lord so strongly in one whom He has called.


Today, we were instructed by Elder Carlson, of the Seventy.

He instructed us on the essentials of helping our children stay strong in the Gospel and how the ages of 12 to 22 are so crucial to the development of spiritual foundations.

These are the things he said:

If we are going to raise spiritually strong children, we must, teach them:

1. To pray -- as a family, as individuals, out loud and for each other by name.
2. About Chirst -- about His Birth, His Life, His Mission, and most of all about the Atonement -- and that the Atonement allows us to be rescued from death, both physically and spiritually.
3. The Significance of the Sacrament -- that we should partake in remembrance of the Savior -- His body and His blood, about His very "personal" sacrifice (that He would have made the same Atonement if He were making it just for one person or for billions), and that we should be making our sacrifice in return...laying our sins upon the altar where the sacrament is blessed, and that it should be a spiritual experience each time we partake.
4. About the importance of Joseph Smith and of living prophets today.
5. About the importance of the scriptures -- while the stories and pictures are nice additions, we should be reading the actual scriptures to our children (of all ages).
6. About the significance of the restoration of the Priesthood.
7. About the importance of honoring our mother and our father.
8. About the importance of being worthy to go on a mission.
9. About the importance of being worthy to go to the temple.
10. About the blessings of paying tithing.
11. About the blessings of obeying the Word of Wisdom.
12. About the value of education.

It was such inspired counsel and I feel blessed to have been present for it.

Good Idea, Gone Bad

Did you ever have an idea that you thought would be so fun...and seemed like such a good idea at the time...but something went terribly, terribly wrong?

I think Joe feels this way about having suggested that we bury him in the sand.

Joe thought it would be so fun...he even dug a little hole and laid down and we all went to work to help him achieve his goal.

This is where the story goes takes a turn for the worse.

If you have a weak stomach, please...look away.


As you can see, Joe's joy in the experience turned to utter horror after his mother turned him into a mermaid...clevage and all.

He's a good sport, huh?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

No Sir, Not One Bit

It's funny how family vacations can be such a different experience for everyone on the trip.

We all had such a good time...but I think that it's the sum total of our experiences that make for the best memories.

For example.

Katie did not like the water. No sir, not one bit.

She was content to walk along the shoreline until the waves would break and then she was off like a shot...crying the whole way. only took almost the entire trip...but here she is on the last day.

Brave, and strong, and loving it.

Friday, August 28, 2009

If You Are Ever in Hilton Head...

And you want to look for my they are. case you were wasn't really quicksand I fell victim to...but pluff. (Sounds a little StayPuff Marshmallow dangerous, doesn't it?) can continue to tell Mia that there is no quicksand at the beach. I might keep the part about pluff to myself.

The Great Kayak Adventure 2009

We had such a great time in Hilton Head...maybe too great, cause as soon as we got home I fell into bed...too sick to even lift my head.

But...i'm feeling a little more human now...and excited to show off the photos of our trip.

I thought I would do it in one big blog post...but apparently I cannot restrain myself when it comes to taking photos because I have 1,000 photos to go through.

Here's a little teaser of our trip in the form of the kid's great kayak adventure.

The kids thought that kayaking was so much fun...but only got to spend about 20 minutes on the water.

So...we all went back for a family kayak trip...and OHMYGOSH...but that was the most amazing thing ever.

Photos to come.

Unfortunately...couldn't take my nice camera on that I bought a little underwater disposable (no instant gratification for me).

Monday, August 24, 2009

No...not me.

We are in Hilton Head and having a wonderful time.

The word for the first two days of our trip was traffic...but since then, things have been looking up.

We went out to Harbour Town yesterday to walk around and get acquainted with this sleeply little part of the island.

There was this great little Trolley that drove us right out to the end of the island.

We walked the steps of the lighthouse and from the top saw a sweet little beach with thousands of shells.

Of course, we had to head right down there. we were beach combing...I got a little mud on my I stopped to walk out to the water and wash off.

It was a little marshy...and the going was slow...but I perservered.

Just as I was about to each the water's edge...I hit a boggy patch and sunk right into the mud...about mid calf. was gross.

As I continued to sink...I had visions of emergency personnel being called out to rescue know, with like a crane. lol!

So...I decided I had better get out of there and fast.

As I worked to get unstuck...I couldn't lift my feet out. Finlly, in desperation -- I slipped out of my shoes, pulled my feet free and moved to safer ground.

As I turned around to see where my shoes were...the holes in the marshy sand had already filled over. There was no sign that I had even been there.

I didn't really want to walk all over town without I went to see if I could buy new pair.

The only shop to even sell flip flops was asking $48.00.

For flip flops.

Are you kidding?

No way.

So off we went to catch the Trolley back to our car...without shoes.


Some of you may leave your heart when you go on vacation.

But not me.

I leave my shoes.

p.s. photos.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Once a Long, Long Time Ago

14 years to be exact...

Troy and I were married.

I think it's crazy when I think about it....all these years together...and I love him more today than I did then -- and I know now...that in 14 more years I will love him even more than I do now.

Here's us by the numbers:

14 -- wonderful years of marriage
13 -- states we've visited (or traveled through) in the last 12 months
12 -- Troy's desired number of kids
11 -- the day in March we went on our first date and the day in April Troy proposed
10 -- the number Troy allows me to take of him each trip we go on.
9 -- hours I have spent trying to think of something for number 9. ack.
8 -- years we've lived in Virginia
7 -- crazy kids**
6 -- years we've lived in Utah
5 -- months from our first date to our wedding date
4 -- vacations taken without the children
3 -- house purchases
2 -- lives that are now 1
1 -- sweet, sweet husband

Happy Anniversary Sweetheart.

**ETA: apparently I am causing quite a stir with my seven kids comment. LOL! This number is not an announcement that I am pregnant -- much to Troy's disappointment.

I could not write about the last 14 years with Troy and not include our son Jacob. You can read about him here if you are interested.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


I have such good intentions to blog...and my life seems to get in the way.

But, I can't complain too much. We were finally able to get away for a little familiy vacation and it was so fun.

We have wanted to go to Philadelphia the entire time that we have lived on the east coast...and Troy got a wild hair...took a few days off work and away we went.

We started out in Amish country. I was really surprised at how much the kids enjoyed this part of our trip.

I really thought they might be bored...but they weren't.

We started at the Intercourse Pretzel Factory where the kids learned how hard pretzels are made and had a chance to twist their own. It was surprisingly hard...and those little teenagers that spend their summers twisting pretzels are amazingly good!

It was a yummy visit all the way around.

We then did the ultimate tourist thing and took a buggy ride through Amish Country. Our driver was a sweet Amish gentleman who took us on a ride through town...and even through his very own farm...where his parents had lived, where he was born, and where his son now lives. It was humbling to think of these many generations of families working the land and making their lives here.

I know I drove everyone crazy with my photo taking...but I couldn't help myself.

It was lovely.

Then we headed up to Philly.

We took a little walking tour of Philly at night. It was really pretty. Of course, our schedules were off and we didn't end up eating dinner until 9 pm...and the only thing open was Dunkin' Donuts. So the kids were crushed to have to have donuts for dinner. LOL! (They asked the next night if we could do it again.)

Our hotel was right across the street from City cool.

We started out the next day bright and early. We visited Independence Hall.

We had some time before our tour of Independence Hall to goof off and take some photos.

I really enjoyed learning about the history of Independence Hall and the founding of our nation. It's truly amazing all that occurred in that tiny building 200 years ago.

We also visited Betsy Ross's House, The Church of Christ where Benjamin Franklin and his wife were buried, and the US Mint.

Afterward we went down to the Delaware River to have lunch and look around. We were debating taking a ferry ride across the Delaware of heading off to Philly's famous kids museum - the Please Touch Museum. We decided on the museum and found out as we were getting there that it was closed. grrr.

So...we drove all the way back across town to do the ferry ride. we made our way back...we passed the Philadelphia Museum of Art and what did I see?

OMYGOSH!!! The "Rocky" Statue. I almost caused Troy to get into an accident with my I made him pull over so we could take pictures.

I don't know about everyone else, but this was the HIGHLIGHT of my trip. (I am easily amused.)

We did all the tourist photos..right up to running up the steps and pumping our fists into the air.

It was awesome.

The kids just kept asking "What's Rocky?" LOL! When I finally said it's the movie that the song "Eye of the Tiger" is from...they all said, "OHHHHH." Thank you Guitar Hero!

The steps of the museum were the perfect backdrop for a few more photos.

As was the area by the side of the guess I think every where is a good place to take photos. LOL!

There were lots of fountains in the area...and it was a riot (mostly) to watch Katie take her shoes off and try to get into each and every one.

And...can I just wasn't much easier keeping the big kids out of the fountain?

The museum was really beautiful.

We did finally make it down to the Penn's Landing and took the ferry ride. It was really relaxing and the perfect way to end our trip.

We heart Philly.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I Want To Jump Too

I know you are wondering what the universe said to me...and while I intended to write about it straight away (if nothing at least quiet the baby rumors!!!)...the universe had other things in mind for me this week.

It was a full and eventful week as we watched Melanie's 3 boys. They were angels...but add three more kids to mix, and my house is a little nuts. (I didn't even remember to take photos (gasp) ... that's how crazy it was.)

But...back to what the universe was saying.

I have been reading this blog...about a man who found out he has cancer and how he is coming to grips with what this means for his life.

And David has gotten me to think...about my own life and my purpose.

I have been thinking a lot about trials and the experiences that make us who we are.

Every choice we make...every step we take leads us down one path or another.

And sometimes...if we are, no...lucky isn't the right word here.

Sometimes...if we are deliberate, conscious, knowing...we take the steps that we are supposed to take. We live the life we were meant to live.

Now, I suppose this is the ideal life, however, there are times in our lives where we just put one foot in front of the other and go, regardless of the direction.

Well, I have been doing a lot of that lately.

For whatever reason, I have spent the better part of the last year filling up my days...and still not having enough time for the things that really matter.

Does your life get like that?

Well, I have been feeling (strongly) like I need to take my life back...and be a little more deliberate. To have care in where I choose to spend my time.

I guess, the bottom line for me, is that I have been feeling "casual" in my spiritual quest...and it's time to have a little more purpose.

I still need to put one foot in front of the other...but this time...I want it to make sure it means something.

So...if you (Troy) were waiting for me to tell you we are having another baby then i'm sorry to disappoint. But...right now, I'm just grateful the universe and I are on speaking terms.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Universe is Speaking

Do you ever feel like the universe is trying to tell you something?

Do you ever feel like there is a message someone wants you to hear?

Do you ever feel're about to have a moment...but you don't know if you're ready?


I'm there.

I keep hearing the same message over and over church, at home, in random places that have nothing even remotely spiritual about them...except that I am there...and apparently hard of hearing.

How many times do you have to hear something before you get up and do?

I'm not sure what that number is for me...but I think i'm close to finding out.

p.s. this is NOT about having another's just me thinking out loud.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Possible Job Opening

Well...we have come to conclusion that the tooth fairy is indeed related to the Easter Bunny.

Josh lost a tooth at the beginning of the week.

And he has been waiting patiently for the tooth fairy to come and take the tooth. In fact...he even had to put up a little sign so no one would bother his tooth while he waited.

Poor guy.

What we are finding is that the tooth fairy actually likes to come in the middle of the day...right after you have checked your tooth and asked your mom why the tooth fairy hasn't come yet and can you please write her a note?

But...poor job skills was totally worth the wait.

Don't you think?

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