Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Making Plans for the New Year

This is a time of resolutions and planning for the new year. I'd like to share here with all my friends and family some simple truths I've learned this year and my hope for the next. 

We all have a need for relief in our lives. Relief from pain, relief from sorrow, relief from stress, relief from illness, and relief from the burdens of sin. The relief for each of these is found in the same place. The healer and lifter of burdens invites us with open arms to come to Him and find rest and peace. True peace comes only from one source, and it cannot be counterfeited.  

With humble heart, I have sought the peace promised by the Holy One, I've prayed, asked for comfort, forgiveness, and for miracles at various times in my life, and you know what I found out?  Relief comes, in Gods own time, and miracles are real. God really does care about me and my measly problems. He really does know what I'm suffering through and he knows how to help me. He has given me peace time and time again.  And I have found relief. 

Now I feel it is my duty to share with everyone this truth. Our lives were not meant to be without hardships, but to know the source of true peace can bring light to your darkest nights and hope to your aching soul. The source of peace is Jesus Christ. Pray and find the hope and happiness that awaits you in your trials.  He has suffered everything so he'd know how to help us.  He is merciful and forgives even the most grievous sins. He lightens burdens and can relieve your pain.  It is my hope that in this new year we can all rely more on our Savior, Jesus Christ and find relief. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Timpanogos Storytelling Weekend in August 2014

Y'know, I've never been to the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival until this year.  You'd think I would have been to at least one event, seeing as I grew up in the birthplace of the festival, but even so, I've never been, not even for a school field trip.  Anyhow, I thought that I would give it a try, and it sounded like a good opportunity for my kids to have an educational field trip.  So, at the end of August, after public school had begun, my girls and I packed up for a week-long excursion to my hometown, Orem. 

The festival ran from Wednesday through Saturday and it was fantastic, and such a great experience for us all.  Because we homeschool, we got in a for a slightly discounted rate, too.
We invited Steve's parents to join us one day.  Steve's mom took us up on the offer and joined us for part of the day, then Steve's dad came to pick her up after lunch.  We saw jugglers.
And puppet shows!
The girls enjoyed the stories, also. 

We met up with Joe and Missy's family for dinner one night.  We went to Costa Vida, a first for me.  It was yummy food.  Lily liked the chips and queso, and I liked my pork salad. 
And I liked getting to share this meal with some of my darling nieces and nephews.
One night, we got to go to the Scera Shell Outdoor theater for a night of "bedtime stories."  It was really fun.  My girls actually were really good listeners and even when I thought they weren't listening, they would laugh and respond at the witty remarks/jokes. 

We stayed at my dad's house, and enjoyed our time visiting with my dad and Debby when the time permitted.  We even got to give Abby a bath.  My girls were in heaven!

My dad always spoils us with yummy food. The girls enjoyed the breakfast of pancakes with whip cream and chocolate sauce!
Then, the festival concluded with an event called Laughin' night. Dad and Debby had tickets to that, so we all went together. It really was so funny! We loved hearing Antonio Rocha talk about his experience on a safari in Africa. There's also a really talented little boy who talked about is dad eating chicken wings and his eyes swelling up.  There were also some storytellers that used music along with the storytelling, which was really cool.
We went to bed happy. Then we woke up happy to these tasty breakfast sandwiches known as the egg Mcdaddy!  My dad made these at a youth conference, when I was a youth, and they were a huge hit with all the kids at that summer camp.
We celebrated Malia's birthday, since she was out of town for it. Lily and Amara and Malia put on a play for us on the side yard, and then we had cake and ice cream.

Happy birthday Malia!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Festival of Trees 2014

One of my favorite Christmas traditions growing up was making a gingerbread house as a family and donating it to the festival of trees each year.
Then, going to the festival and buying Christmas treats, playing at the Kid's Corner, and seeing the different trees.  I miss getting to do that every year.

This year, I was lucky and was in town for the festival and gingerbread house making.

We were already there for Thanksgiving,

and we stayed in town for another week so that Lily and Amara could do their Christmas sleepover with Grandma Debby, who would be gone over Christmas.  (They loved that sleepover with their other girl cousins, by the way.)

Making Icicles.

We had such a good time helping decorate the gingerbread house.  Dad did such a good job constructing it!  It turned out beautiful!

Here's a slideshow of the festival of trees and the gingerbread village:

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Thanksgiving Weekend

The turkey. Two angles. I had Steve take pictures at Thanksgiving this year, because my camera is dead, and I was helping out in the kitchen quite a bit. He took some great pictures, especially of the kids. But I have to say, it's kind of funny that the only pictures we have of the feast are these two pictures of the turkey.  Anyhow, we had the feast at my dads house. Jacob and Kelli and their kids were in town for Thanksgiving this year!  Because they were going to be in town, I made sure that I was there too. My family was very blessed that the weather was so decent for travel. 

We went on a nature walk with Steve's dad during Thanksgiving weekend. There were ducks, acorns, and lots of opportunities for pretty pictures.

We made a special trip to the temple while Jacob was in town so that we could all go together.

Lily loves dogs, and my dad's neighbors had a cute puppy running around in their front yard that Lily got to play with for a little while.

And the kids proved that you don't need snow to go sledding!

And the trees were perfect for climbing at grandpa Jim's house.
Isn't this picture pretty?
And this is what all the kids were doing while they waited for the food to be ready.

Good times! 

On another night, we also took over a whole section of a restaurant in Lindon called China Village. We were probably the most lively group they had ever seen, where the kids actually outnumbered the adults. We were so glad to have our own section of the restaurant. No one was there when we arrived, but more arrived after.
We all walked away with no major destruction to the place, so I say it was a success. 

I love to see my kids spending quality time together.