Sunday, October 19, 2008

WELCOME HOME PARTY

We had our "welcome home Bunny" party Friday night. The girls had been looking forward to the promised party all week. We got cupcakes from the bakery and blew up balloons. I made bunny ears in the cupcakes out of sample spoons from the deli colored with crayon. Probably the simplest party ever. We had a great time singing welcome home songs and eating cupcakes. We have one loved Bunny. 

Bunny Portraits

Brian and the girls make some cute bunny portraits the other day. Aubrey traced bunny all over the driveway, and Brian did a Bunny pose drawing. 




























(I have to say it - when I came out to look at what Aubrey had done, my first thought was that it looked like a mass bunny homicide scene. Now all we need is the bright yellow "Police line! Do not Cross!" tape.) 

Making up for lost time

Bunny was gone so long, when he got home he insisted on making up for lost time. Here are his adventures!






Three in the tub

Bubbles in the bath don't happen too often here, so Joe joined the girls for the bubble bath. They all had fun.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lost and FOUND!!!!




















Aubrey's best friend Bunny, who has been missing since January, has been found!!! We searched the house for weeks, hoping to find bunny. After several months, I tried to help Aubrey come to grips with the idea that bunny is probably lost for good. We had offered prayers, and looked in every spot imaginable. 
Today, as we were driving in town, Aubrey drew a comparison between bunny and a little mirrior of Joe's that we left behind on the airplane. "It probably went to the garbage or charity or something like bunny, huh, mommy." "Yes Aubrey, the people there didn't know it belonged to us, so thats all they could do with it. Its gone." I would look at pictures and feel a deep loss. I really don't know who felt worse about bunny missing, Aubrey or me. What a loss for her future self and her children - no precious bunny, just pictures. 
Now to take a small detour in the story, I will say a little of an experience Aubrey had last week. We were cleaning her room and she had a real stinky attitude about the whole thing. I told her that if she believed in Jesus Christ and God, she could pray and then do her part, and God would help change her heart so that she would be able to clean without resentment. I invited her to do it if she really wanted to change her attitude. To my surprise she did. She went to another room and offered a prayer. She came back ready to try to work. It was not long before she was a cheerful happy Aubrey with a clean room through her own industry. I mentioned that I noticed the change in her attitude and suggested that it was an answer to the prayer of faith, and that it was a miracle in her very own heart. She went to give a prayer of thanks to God for the miracle. As we left for an appointment in the car a few minutes later, I looked at her in the rear veiw mirrior. She had a glowing peaceful smile on her face, and said "I feel happy mommy!". I said "Aubrey, that is the spirit telling you that what you have done is right." She is a special girl.  Anyway, fast forward to this evening. Brian and I went to a meeting at the church and the kids came with us. Usually we stick them in the nursury to amuse themselves. Tonight another little boy was there. He told me that he would be happy to look after the kids because he is in first grade. So they all went in together. After the meeting I went to get all the kids. All were well, and there were toys strewn about as usual. I began to pick up. Hurry, hurry kids! As I was putting a few toys away in a cupboard, my eyes saw something that looked familiar - and then it registered - BUNNY!!! I brought him out and gave him to Aubrey. The whole family knew just how important this was. Bunny was part of the family, and had finally been found! Brian and Aubrey went to say a prayer of thanks as I continued to pick up, eyes watering. I know that this was a gift from a loving Heavenly Father to a choice and sweet child who is faithful to him. I appreciate my blessings so much,  but for some reason, when I see blessings on behalf of my children it means double to me. There is no gift that would mean so much to Aubrey as finding her best friend Bunny, and our loving Father in Heaven knew it, and gave this precious gift to her! I love being a mommy! 

Pumpkins!

For family home evening Monday our family did our first pumpkin carving event. The kids all loved it and the pumpkins are nothing short of jolly looking. I guess I forgot to take a picture of that. But, here are some pictures of the carving fun. After carving, we toasted up the pumpkin seeds and tried a new snack - marginally successful with the kiddos. No worries, Brian likes them. 















Tuesday, October 7, 2008

6 Degrees of Separation... or something like that

Today was flu shot day. I had the kids weighed while we were there. Joe weighs about 24 lbs., heidi about 30 lbs, and Aubrey about 36 lbs. 6 lbs difference between each kid. Hmm.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

General Conference Days!


I like to think of General Conference weekend as a Holy Holiday. Its the kind of holiday I wish every holiday were like. I wish that after say, Halloween or Thanksgiving, I were not full of candy or food, but full of the Holy Ghost as I am during General Conference time. I wish after Christmas particularly, I could feel just like this. I want to feel like doing good to all mankind, a desire to keep the commandments more exactly, and a hope for a better world. I want to go forth with stronger faith in Jesus Christ and a stronger determination to follow him. I would give up all the gifts and trees and Santas just to know that on the other side of Christmas vacation I would be a better Christian.


A Holy Holiday leaves me forever changed, and I love it.


The video broadcasts of conference are immediately available for veiwing and the text transcripts are available this Thursday. There were between 30 - 40 talks this conference, and I can only say that they were all inspired of God, because they echoed the wisperings of the spirit that have come to me in recent weeks. They answer the questions I have about how to live in the world and not to be of it, and how to strenghten my family when it seems strong loving families are an endangered species.

I know with even greater surety that there is a Prophet who speaks for God on the earth today. I know that the work that is being done in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a good work that will continue to grow until the end of the earth. That it is in accordance with the will of God. I know that in the doctrines of the church are found the answers to the perplexities of this world and the key to obtaining peace and happiness in this life. I know that because of Jesus Christ, joy is not only our destiny for the next life, but also this one. His atonement has made all joy possible. I know God loves each and every one of his children and has sent each to earth to maximize our joy and to reach our fullest potential as we give heed unto his Spirit. I know it because I received these answers through the wisperings of the Spirit of God confirming the absolute truth of these things. I testify that all these things are true in the name of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Impromptu Vacation to Utah











We aren't really exactly spur of the moment people, but when Brian was invited to do some recruiting at the BYU Engineering career fair, we decided on an imprompu vacation. We have been really wanting to get back to Utah and our friends (and fav restaurants) for a visit. Here are some pictures that chronicle the adventure!


This is us and Ben and Kelsey Dean at the new Hinckley Alumni Center. It is one beautiful building!




















At Leatherby's we got the medium sized banana split - Big enough for a family of 5!

































Brick Oven is a Provo favorite. We love their pizza!




























Then the Deans and the Critchfields went to visit President Richard Nixon (the mission President Nixon). He and his wife are in remarkable health and we enjoyed a nice visit with them catching up on the various directions they and the elders from the Sacremento mission have gone with life. They even provided entertainment for the "mission grandkids".















































L to R: Ben Dean, President Nixon, Sister Nixon, Brian














President and Sister Nixon always have an abundant harvest from their large gardens. In the fall you are not allowed to go home without something from the harvest - this time it was peaches. (Last time it was Apricots, and we had so many we ate ourselves sick on them before we got tired of apricots and they spoiled.)















This is my most special friend from Provo. Her name is Irene. She lived behind the apartments we lived in and had the most beautiful roses of all colors lining the bordering fence. I met her over the roses. When Aubrey was born, we made regular visits. She never married or had children, but had lived in Provo for most of her life and is about 92 years old now. She enjoyed Aubrey. She always felt she was a special little girl. We would go over and she would get out her baby toy, and we would chat and play until it was nap time. Her little sister, Mary, would come over often, and I loved to watch the two sisters visit. I thought they were hillarious. They even came to visit us when Heidi was born. (Which was a big deal because walking had become very difficult for Irene). Then not much after that we left for Ponca City. I think about Irene frequently. I came to love her so much. We came for a visit at her house this time and it was just like always except for more kids. She really enjoyed all of them and it was painful to leave. Mary mentioned while Irene was out of the room that after we left, it was months before she could look at the baby toys she had in the cupboard. I think that Irene and the Critchfields have a friendship that is really something special.


















We made the voyage to Salt Lake City to visit temple square with the Deans and the kids. It was beautiful as ususal. They keep the grounds beautifully. There were so many bridal parties at the temple taking pictures. And there were new beautiful buildings built since we had left. We had a wonderful visit.
























































































































Of all the coincidences, we met up with one of the Elders that served with Ben and Brian in Sacremento. Elder Phillips (I don't remember his first name) is currently working security at Temple Square. I'm sure his wife feels its a real improvement from the streets of Arizona, where he used to work as a police officer.















The last night we were out, we had a family dinner with Packhams, Neilsons, Bennetts, and Woods. I loved seeing my family again, but I confess the most wonderful part was seeing my girls playing with my cousins and my cousins children.



















































Heidi and Lucy are really two of a kind. They made fast friends and when it was time to go, Lucy began to cry. Heidi really enjoyed Lucy and didn't want her to be sad, so she gave Lucy one big hug. Then- all better. I love kids.