Monday, October 31, 2011

11 years ago!

11 years ago today John and I met. I looked like this:

Just thought you'd like to know.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Five Things Friday

1. Tuesday night we went out for ice cream. It was the kids reward for being quiet during conference and letting John and I listen. This is our second time doing this and I love watching a new tradition start.

Everyone but Tyler was done with ice cream. He was having a hard time eating his frozen skittles. So I took the girls and headed down a few stores to this new store that's opened up, Altar'd State. I love this store!!!! The girls and I had fun browsing the jewelry, belts, scarves and fluffy coats as Hannah called them. It was so much fun to watch them get so excited over truly girly stuff. They both found some hats they liked, but there was no mirror close by. So they would try on a hat, look at each other and then switch. I guess they figured they could tell what they each looked like in the hats by looking at the other one wearing it. Oh, to have an identical twin!

Then the boys showed up. Tyler tried to sneak in. He's a bad sneak but it makes watching him try to be a good one so funny. I ended up scaring the living day lights out of him instead! I showed John these overly expensive and amazingly gorgeous coats I will never buy but just dream about daily. We found the $300 boots I tried on the last time I was there. Still love them! The girls and I decided that if we have a few hours that we will have to have a girl outing at Christmas to that store.

2. For awhile now the kids have been giving John and I math problems to solve in our heads. Most of the time they are pretty easy. "What's 1,000 + 300?" Well, on the way home from ice cream they decided to up the difficulty. "What's 1,000 x 200 (so far I'm thinking I can do this) + 27 x 2, 097 (now I'm not so sure) x 400 + 84 (now they've officially stumped me)?" I start to get out the calculator on my phone. Then I realize they don't know the answer anymore than I do. "4,623,479," I lie. "WOW!!" "How'd you do that?" "You figured it out?!"

One day I'll let them in on my secret, but for a while I'm content being the math genius. (By the way, the real answer is 22,847,684.)

3. Karena slipped coming down the stairs yesterday. She's fine. Just a little bump on the head. She was supposed to be upstairs doing her schoolwork, so as I rocked her to calm her down I asked her why she was coming down stairs. "Because I don't know any other way to get down here," was her reply.

4. Have you ever read the blog, Diapers and Divinity. Stephanie runs a fantastic blog that I've been following for a while now. I'm not sure how I stumbled on to it but do know it was for her General Conference book club! You ought to try it sometime. Anyway, she's been running a series called, Find a Friend Friday, and today I'm that friend! Go check it out. Maybe you'll learn something new about me.

5. Tyler and I were working on his reading earlier in the week. He informed me that he didn't like to read. It was boring. I started to tell him about all the adventure stories he could read one day, the ones about pirates and cowboys. I went on and on about all the fun reading could bring.

Tyler: But Mommy, I like it better when you read it.
Me: What about when you go to college?
Tyler: You can come with me.
Me: What about when you are married and have a baby and your baby wants you to read her a story?
Tyler: I'll call you and you can read it.

I hope his wife doesn't mind.

The Remarkable Women of God

This is a powerful video from Seth Adam Smith's Blog. I hope you take the time to watch it.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Conference Meme

I've been reading the blog, Diapers and Divinity, for a while now. Her love of General Conference is contagious. She is hosting a Conference Meme. Quoting her, "A meme is a questionnaire of sorts that is a little bit “viral”– it gets passed around among several people online." If you want to link up with this click here. So here are my answers to this October General Conference Meme.

1. Who were your three favorite speakers? Which talk spoke to you the most?

I loved Elder Uchtdorf’s RS talk – especially the part about not being forgotten. Elder Christofferson’s talk on repentance was very insightful. I need to study that one more in depth. Elder Arden’s talk on time management hit me as something I need to work on more.

2. What was your favorite Hymn and why did it move you? Did the music enhance your General Conference experience? How?

I love the music of General Conference. I love it when they sing songs my kids know and hearing them sing along. “I Believe in Christ” and “Consider the Lilies” were two of my favorites. I also loved listening to the Primary Choir.

3. Which speaker was the best dressed? (Come on, we can have a little fun.)

I’m not sure. I did notice some hairstyles I liked from the different choir members.

4. Were there any topics that you felt like were repeated often? Any conference “themes”?

Scriptures – read them, use them, make them your friend.

Missionary Work – be prepared, don’t be afraid to be one

Being charitable


5. Share a few of your favorite quotes from any of the talks (paraphrasing is fine).

“Scripture can calm an agitated soul” – Elder Scott

“It is the caring that counts.” – Sister Beck

“Before immortality there must be mortality.” – Elder Anderson

“It’s better to look up.” – Pres. Monson, quoted by Elder Cook of the Seventy

Speaking of the Book of Mormon, “Drink deeply and often.” – Elder Eyring

6. Name something(s) that made you smile or laugh during conference.

Pres. Monson’s stories, the 5 dollar bill and the temple speaker, his facial expressions this time were fantastic and his welcoming, “Hello!”

The fried chicken story

7. Was there any evidence that your children paid attention?

Amazingly yes! Karena has just soaked in conference this weekend. I knew she listened to Elder Bednar’s talk on family history but I didn’t know how much until Sunday morning. The kids love the games and stories on Karena had asked to get on there before conference started back up again. The next thing I know she is hollering through the house, “Mom, how do you spell history?” She was trying to get to the website Elder Bednar mentioned in his talk. She, John and eventually all the kids got on and spent another hour on that part of the website. She was a little disappointed to learn she couldn’t log in herself for another few months. (You have to be 8 first.)

8. What are some of your post-conference goals?

Read my scriptures with more purpose and diligence. Watch, read, or listen to a conference talk daily. Work on memorizing scriptures with my family. Be a better visiting teacher. Be more charitable to those around me.

Sunday, October 02, 2011


Why is it that a person will travel hundreds of miles and spend lots of money to see other parts of the country but fails to visit what's available in their own town? I've lived in this area since 1995 minus 4 years for college and have experienced very little of the historical and interesting sights it has to offer. I hope over the next few years to fix that. As of last week I am now one step closer to that goal.

We went on a family field trip to Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Mansion. John took the day off and we all went. It was coordinated by our local homeschool group. We started with a garden tour, had a picnic lunch and then toured the mansion and some more of the grounds. I wasn't too thrilled with the mansion. It was a big house with a lot of big rooms. The art they had displayed though was beautiful. I wish I could have taken some pictures to remember. There was a lot of nature scenes. John was captivated by a few of them.

The gardens were spectacular. I'd like to go back in the spring and see more of what they have. We walked through these amazing herb gardens. Everything smelled delicious. I was very jealous. They even had a lime balm plant that smelled like fresh limes.

One of the displays they have up now is a small collection of model trains. There is probably only about 5 trains but their tracks pass by models of different historical buildings throughout Tennessee. All of the model buildings are made of found, natural substances. Acorns, sticks, leaves, bark, etc. It was very remarkable to see them all.

It was a fantastic day. The grounds are very large and we didn't get to see all that we wanted. I'm excited to go again and see more of what they have to offer.

The sun was shining just right there and the weather was gorgeous. I was able to get some great shots off there.

Water Lily

Morning Glory seed pods

Japanese Dogwood

The Model Train Exhibit

Family Pictures