Saturday, October 31, 2015


On Friday, KT and I hiked Grandeur Peak Trail. I. Love. Fall.

Marty, Chris and I all picked up chestnuts. We were done in 15 minutes and there were no chestnuts--only shells. I suspect the squirrels took the chestnuts. But that's a first. They haven't in the past. 
Very interesting. We haven't had very many the last couple of years. What a relief!

Dan's office has a Halloween party each year with trick-or-treating for the kids. 
These two kids wanted to go. I love that Marty isn't too old to dress up!!
Marty is Malzahar from League of Legends. He made his costume himself. So creative.

Nick took the opportunity to wear a different costume and resurrected the old Jedi costume. 
The color of the light saber was serious business. When I was gathering his costume to meet him at Dan's office (he was dropped off there straight after school), both Marty and Chris asked at separate times, "What color light saber is he wanting?" 

Donald and Hillary were a big hit. Christopher had the awesome idea. 
See how important Family Home Evening is?

Halloween on a Saturday is a little anti-climatic. We woke up and did chores and practicing. (First I took a bike ride. Love that the weather is still warm!) We moved all the patio furniture to under the deck and brought the cushions to the garage. We washed off the ping pong table and brought it inside and Marty and Chris rehung three boards that had fallen off the deck. (They felt very confident they knew what to do. So glad they're comfortable with these little handyman projects!)

I finally put the kibosh on the FoozBall table that does not fit anywhere and took it over to the new house for demolition. Also cleaned up the garage a bit.

And then we went to lunch at Hire's. 

Later that afternoon the youngest children had a friendly game of Water Pong!?! What-the-what?!
Only in Utah do your 10-year-olds play "water pong" and you say, "How cute!" because the older siblings who taught it to them, also only play water pong. And it does look pretty fun. 
But I'm not happy about all the cups that I have to wash now.

The gang getting ready to go out trick-or-treating!
Halloween 2015!

The FBI guy.

One half of Bill and Ted (He's Ted -- had to look it up) and a hippy friend.
Doesn't he look just like Ted?!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Mother's Day in October

Wednesday was Mother's Day at Nick's school. Which meant I got to spend the morning with him in classes. We made his sign for Colonial Day. (He gets to be George Washington, so the symbol he chose was the Colonial Flag).

Back in the kick-ball days, I always played with him at recess (on Mother's Day) with some of the other parents. But now that they do wall-ball, I just watched. It's intense! Nick's really good at it. In fact, he said he usually wins.

Nick's locker
After recess his teacher let us continue working on the signs and skip something else that didn't sound as fun. Then it was time for art. The art classroom was emanating creativity. I wished I could take art there! And I don't really even like art!

They are in the middle of creating fish -- silly, crazy fish! They are so cute! She explained the process they've taken up to now -- including drawing a shape on stiff foam, carefully cutting away the foam, then sanding down the pointy edges. Last week they paper mache'd and today we worked together sanding the rough parts smooth with an emory board and small piece of sand paper. After it was smooth we painted it with primer. I can't wait to see how this fish turns out!
Look top right corner of photo at the yellow fish hanging from ceiling--that's what we're making!

Finally, we got to eat lunch together in the lunchroom. Kristin and Grant ate with us also. It was so fun to be in Nick's world for a while!

After school I ran to the dentist office to get my temporary crown. Ugh! I didn't mind the hour closing my eyes and laying down, but the sound of the drill was psyching me out! I'm good at relaxing, so I wasn't in pain and calm. But after 20 minutes of that drill I wanted to scream!

Courtney -- if you need to invent something, add a silent dental drill to your list. I imagine it will be a sell-out!

Imagine my surprise when two days later I finally was standing at the mirror brushing my teeth (instead of in the dark at night or walking around getting my clothes on or making my bed like in the morning) and I saw I have a HUGE silver molar! Yikes! When I smile big you can totally see it! Grateful it's only temporary.

As the numbing started wearing off, the feeling was annoying and unsettling. But worse was the pain after the numbing was gone. I went to bed and Marty was so kind to drive Chris to his Halloween Lacrosse Scrimmage (in costume)! Marty did some more driving and picking up for me. Thank you!!

Nick was invited to a Trunk-or-Treat so got to wear his costume for the first time! (An FBI agent.) He came home empty-handed though because he'd lost all his candy during candy poker after. He was bummed, but at least he still had real Halloween. I said he probably learned a good lesson. He said, "Yes, I learned that I always lose at Poker."

That night we all laid in my bed and watched Blackish. Because it was a Wednesday night.
Thursday I went back to bed after the kids went to school. Because that's what I do when my mouth is in pain. (I seriously think all my nerve endings are in my mouth because I don't deal well with mouth pain.)

But when I finally got up I went on a LONG walk and enjoyed fall to the fullest (being outside) -- even doing my lunges and other exercises while out walking (but while no cars were driving by so they wouldn't think I was weird). I knew I'd never go down to the basement and do them when I got home.

I ran to Target to get food to send to Courtney in England. She's having an American Football Party at Thanksgiving and needed American chips (Hint of Lime and Scoops), pretzels, Ruffles & goldfish.  Also red vines and candy corn.  And a bag of stuffing she could make on Thanksgiving. I ended up having extra room so asked what else they wanted. If you can imagine, their request was "Hershey's chocolate!!" OK. We LOVE when we get European chocolate because Hershey's is cheap, waxy and gross. And still. That's what they requested. Hilarious!

And when I got home, it was like a Friday (even though it was Thursday) because Friday was an end-of-term day off of school (That makes 3 Fridays off this month. It's CrAzy, People!) So all the Jr. High'ers were here. And stayed until late at night. Good times.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fall in Full Swing

Nicholas got his bottom braces on this week. So now he is just two short years away from being done with braces. And what I realized about him starting braces a little early (5th grade -- almost two years earlier than Chris started his braces), is that its an extra two years of having to worry if he's wearing his retainer or not! And will he leave it in a napkin and have to search the trash cans? Two extra years that it will be in his pocket waiting to fall out and get crushed by a kayak as we take it off the top of the car (is that how that really happened, or am I remembering it incorrectly? Now that I'm writing it down, it sounds a little made-up.)

That's the last thing a mom needs -- an extra two years of worry about ANYTHING! What was I thinking?!

Speaking of moms and worry, I read the best article on how to feed your picky children and help them learn to eat anything. I SOO wish I'd had this 15 years ago! It's mostly common sense and how to best respond when they don't want to eat something. APPARENTLY, that's ok! So very Crestwood Hills Co-op, and now I'm mad they didn't have a workshop on this while I was there!

I am posting a link so anyone in that stage can benefit -- that would be Rebekah and Rachel. But I don't think anyone reads this blog but Courtney. And Dan about a month or two after the fact. So the three of us, let's remember this article for when the rest of our boys have their own picky eaters. (That is one thing I can't wait for!)

Parents of young children commonly commiserate about their kids' eating habits. 
Complaints often relate to a child's exceedingly limited "kid food" diet, rejection of anything green, 
refusal to try anything new or the explosive mealtime battles that make dinnertime stressful for everyone.

Speaking of mealtime, we went to Benihana for Family Night and because we were a small group we were seated with 3 other girls. We were in conversation with our family and they were in conversation with themselves (not the painful small-talk we had on the cruise--aaack!). But Marty noticed we were all ignoring the chef. We'd simply glanced at the onion volcano instead of oohing and ahhing over it. Then, we realized he didn't do the "catch a flying shrimp" throw. Do you think they are relieved when they don't have to put on a show? Or disappointed?

My friends have missed the last month of scripture class which means no one has saved me a seat (because they are always early and I am always late -- always been that way). The room is crowded but usually friendly faces scootch over and make space for me. This week it was two of my mom's best friends -- Suzanne Hansen and Robyn Bechthold. Almost like being in Young Women's again!

The crux of the lesson focused on the Jonah and the Whale story. Do you remember that Jonah is ticked off because God showed Ninevah mercy? And he just wanted justice. He sat on a hillside waiting for them to be destroyed, but instead they repented and God forgave them. And Jonah was so bugged. I think sometimes we're all like Jonah. It's really not fair when we're trying to be good and people who aren't just suddenly repent and everything's forgotten. I felt like that once in college and was telling my dad about the kids who partied in high school and then were just going on missions even though "they partied!"

"If you're so upset that you didn't get a chance to drink and they did, go ahead and get drunk and see what it's like." he said, "But if it's because you think they got off easy, just know, repenting isn't easy, Angela. It's hard."  I think he was referring to breaking habits, changing lifestyles, even saying you're sorry. Forgiving yourself. I came to learn that he was right. But the good news, I also learned to be more forgiving of others.

After class I went to Costco (and got a close parking spot)! When I arrived home, my plumber had just arrived to fix our broken water heater. (Which last time it broke was 6 years and 10 days ago -- I know this because he wrote the replacement date on the heater. AND last time he installed the heater in a metal "basin" with a 2" rim with pipes directed to the drain so that it would drain instead of flood the basement (like it did the first time). AND he added shut off valves to the individual heaters so if one broke, we could shut the water off and still use the other.

There are some older men in my life that I'm just little bit in love with. Joe, our plumber is one. Don, our cabinet installer, is the other. In fact, they kind of look alike, both are probably my Dad's age, are problem solvers, do things "the right way" and it kinda feels like they're looking out for you. That's why I'm a little bit in love with them. Actually, I'm going to categorize my own Dad, and father-in-law, Marty in this category too. And Dimitrios. The group of men that can do anything. But I'm a lot in love with those last three men.

(I think Joe's wife might get a little freaked out if I said I'm in love with her husband. I already feel awkward every time I have to leave a message with her because I call so much. And of course, he doesn't have a separate cell number. Now that I think of it, he actually does have a cell phone because I've seen him with it. I guess I should take that as a hint.)

Back to my arrival home from Costco and Joe arriving to fix the water heater, the Christmas Lights guys were also at the house hanging lights in the trees! Yay!! Tis the season is approaching!

When I got out of the car to talk to Joe, he asked, "Are you always smiling?! Seriously, every time I see you you have the biggest smile! Even when I almost arrested you when you were a teenager, you just had the biggest smile!" (That arresting story is a good one but I'm not going to tell it now. Suffice it to say, Joe used to be a volunteer cop and I was driving with my friends in a church parking lot near his house and he came to check us out and make sure we weren't hooligans. And when he asked for my license I announced I had TWO! (With a big, totally innocent smile!) There's so much more to the story!)

But I'm sure I was smiling because it felt like the perfect fall day -- temp was cool, but not cold. Leaves were changing colors and just beginning to fall. The Christmas lights were being hung and I didn't even have to nag anyone to get them done. They called me to ask if I'd like lights again and I said, "Yes!" The water heater was being fixed and we hadn't even had to be without hot water. AND they company covered the warranty even though it was 10 days over.

To top it off, the missionaries were coming for dinner and I was making a really yummy Chicken Cordon Bleu casserole from Pinterest and Costco had the already-shredded rotisserie chicken. Everything was going my way.

One of our new missionaries is from Alaska, has been out 2 1/2 months and is 10 days younger than Marty. That was something to think about. The other missionary has 2 months left to go and is from Missouri. It's been a great thing for our family to have the missionaries come.

Sunday, October 25, 2015


Guess What I Forgot?! We do not have ONE. SINGLE. PICTURE. of our whole family together this year! And Courtney is too far away to get one between now and Christmas!! AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!

That's like my favorite part of Christmas -- Christmas cards! I found one of our trip to Hawaii in January that I thought could work. But Chris says I can't use it because he still has braces. (And it doesn't show off how cool his hair is now and he'd probably also like one with his shirt off so he can show off his abs.)

Some suggestions I've received are to have the whole family with a side photo of Courtney--like families do with a missionary. Ugh. No. 

I've got to get my thinking cap on! (Quote courtesy of my mother who used to always say that!)

I also haven't figured out what we're going to be for Halloween!


Sunday night during our Pumpkin party I went running up the stairs and smashed my foot into the stair riser. By that night it was so sore and definitely sprained.  Boo! I hate when my exercise plan gets derailed!
Love coming home to this Halloween-y sight!

Fortunately I could still walk if I was careful and by Wednesday it didn't hurt at all. I rode my bike Thursday and Saturday which made it a bit sore but not painful. So glad it didn't interfere with my enjoying exercising in the Fall!

Monday the Stake Primary hosted the annual lunch for the Stake Auxiliary Presidencies. (Took me 5 tries to get "auxiliary" spelled right just now!) It's a fun way to get to know some of the other women in the stake. And delicious.

We went to "The Walk" for Family Night at the Gateway. For dinner we ate sandwiches downtown at Caputo's. At the movies, we were the only ones in the whole theater! It made you feel like you were in your own living room and could talk as loud as you wanted.  And kick your feet up on the seat in front of you. Of course the boys chose to sit in the very back row.

Great movie but it was sooooo hard to watch him rope walking between the Twin Towers! It made me super nervous even though I've read the book and new exactly what was going to happen.

In Scripture Class we talked about the Old Testament, but also Moses 1. Chris read this scripture for Family Home Evening tonight too and it reminded me of our lesson -- which I shared with everyone (much to their disappointment that Family Night wasn't going to be a 3 min. scripture by Chris but instead an additional 10 minute story by mom, including me getting choked up which always happens and I REALLY wish didn't.)

Moses 1:6
"And I have a work for thee, Moses, my son; and thou art in the similitude of mine Only Begotten; and mine Only Begotten is and shall be the Savior, for he is full of grace and truth..."

That short scripture contains important knowledge meant for not only Moses, but also for us:
1) God has a plan and purpose for all of us.
2) We are his sons and daughters.
3) We are created in the similitude of the Savior, who is full of grace and truth.

Moses 1
12: "And it came to pass that when Moses had said these words, behold, Satan came tempting him, saying: Moses, son of man, worship me.

13: "And it came to pass that Moses looked upon Satan and said: Who art thou? For behold, I am a son of God..."

18: ...Depart hence, Satan.
19: And now, when Moses had said these words, Satan cried with a loud voice, and ranted upon the earth and commanded, saying,: I am the Only Begotten, worship me.
20: And it came to pass that Moses began to fear exceedingly; and as he began to fear, he saw the bitterness of hell. Nevertheless, calling upon God, he received strength, and he commanded saying: Depart from me, Satan, for this one God only will I worship, which is the God of glory.
21: And now Satan began to tremble, and the earth shook; and Moses received strength, and called upon God, saying: In the name of the Only Begotten, depart hence, Satan.
22: And it came to pass that Satan cried with a loud voice, with weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth; and he departed hence..."

In verse 13, because Moses knows that he is a son of God, he is not tempted by Satan. And in verse 19, when Satan ranted upon the earth and Moses began to fear, Moses called upon God to receive strength.

Christopher shared this scripture and that when we pray and call on God, he will give us strength to overcome all of our hardships.

Good job, Chris -- and whoever is teaching him -- Young Men's leaders and seminary teachers! It takes a village!

Tuesday night Marty had his last lacrosse game -- in the rain. Nick had Pack Meeting where they learned how to use tools, Chris had Parkour and I hosted book club. We stay up WAYYYY too late on book club nights. But it's so fun talking to these friends. I've got to figure out how long we've been having book club with this group. A long time.  We read "Dead Wake." Very Interesting and I learned a lot about WWI. Erik Larson is the author -- same author as "Devil in the White City."
Trying to get my reading organized.

I looked for more tile (getting closer!) and met with a Kitchen Cabinet company. Was very impressed and would love to work with them if their bid comes in at a number we feel good about.

Instead of listening in on Nick's Saxophone lesson, I sat in the car and FaceTimed Courtney. (Hi, Courtney!)

While Dan, Marty and Chris were at Young Men's, Nick and I had apple crisp for dessert. He thought the whip cream was out so we started to take off the lid. (We have a whip creamer that I add the whipping cream, sugar and vanilla, then put in a CO2 charger and have instant whipping cream!) As the lid loosened, whipping cream came pouring over the edges. Thinking taking off the whole lid would be better, I started unscrewing it more. Suddenly the lid popped off like a champagne cork, hit Nick in the head, and whip cream exploded all over the room.

I'm quite proud that I laughed instead of getting upset. It really was hilarious -- we were covered in whip cream and so was the kitchen! All sides of the room -- all walls, ceilings, floors, cabinets, surfaces were splattered. Nick was a helpful cleaner and together we got it wiped up. But let's be honest, I was sooooooo relieved it was Wednesday. Because the cleaning ladies come on Thursday. And if that had splattered over a recently cleaned house, I might have been a lot more frustrated. Just sayin'.

This photo does not do justice to the extent of the splatter and mess!

I rode my bike -- Yay!

My dad had surgery that afternoon so Luke, Sam and Max slept over. Of course everyone loved having them here. Felt like a holiday. Dad's surgery went pretty well, but turned out more intense than originally speculated. Quoting, Diane: "His esophagus is pretty messed up." I haven't heard more details yet.

I had my friends' breakfast which is always lots of laughs and good sharing.  It was the two-year anniversary of Marty's car accident and so much was eerily the same. Two years ago I'd sat with the same friends at the same house and laughed until I cried. That night was the Skyline/Olympus game at Skyline -- exactly like this year. Marty's accident happened as he was driving to the tailgate party before the game.  This year was completely uneventful and we are all so grateful.

Chris had a million friends over, as usual.
Backpacks and shoes -- a typical Friday.
Nick had a Halloween party that night with his school friends and had a blast.

Dan and I tried a newish restaurant -- Provisions. Nice ambiance and good food.

Olympus beat Skyline in overtime so we get the rock back!

Marty had the ACT! It's impossible to know how you've done until the scores come in. Timing is never an issue for him so he couldn't assess anything based on that. His quote to Grandma tonight was, "You answer them all correctly and then find out you didn't." Actually, it was something much more eloquent than that. But that was the idea.

Nick had his last lacrosse game and creamed the other team -- which is really nice to get a chance to do, once in a while! His game was in Woodscross, so he asked if we'd drop he and his friend off at Lagoon after because he's been dying to go on Cannibal all summer. It was a 50 minute wait in the single rider line, but he waited and said it was worth it.

We actually dropped the two off and they "did Lagoon" on their own. They felt super independent and cool.
Nick always makes breakfast on Saturdays for him and whoever else is awake. Breakfast burritos today!
He's such a confident chef!
I taught Nick's class today, which I love substituting in because they are so fun and now that I've finally had kids of all ages and personalities, I'm a much more patient and fun Primary teacher. We even had time to go outside and play a game of Infection before going to sharing time. Totally makes up for me not bringing treats.

Grandma came over for dinner tonight -- it's always fun to be with her because she's so interested in everything and so positive!

And that, Dear Courtney, is what's happened this week at home.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

UEA -- More Kids With No School

I had two days this week to run errands before Marty and Chris had UEA. Because the kids go to different schools with different vacation days, there are fewer weeks where everyone is in school for all 5 days than there are short vacation weeks!

Wednesday I ran New House errands -- design stores to see light fixtures, the carpet store for pricing and tile shops to compare tile colors, prices and counter slabs. I take lots of pictures and some notes and then come home and make lots and lots of notes and enter everything into my Excel spreadsheet.

This week I've created the Tile & Stone Schedule, a Lighting Schedule and Plumbing Schedule listing each room, what goes where, name, manufacturer, color, style, list price and total cost. This will help us with budgeting and decision-making so we're not rushed at the last minute!

Eagle Project!
While running errands, I stopped and bought 2 dozen donuts and pizza for Chris' friends who he'd asked to come over after school and help add on to his Eagle Project.  After making 40 Harry Potter wands two weeks ago with his troop and collecting a huge amount of donations, Chris called Primary's so he could deliver. He asked the supervisor how many children they had and if they could use more wands. She was thrilled to have 40, but said they could use 100 if Chris could make them.

Chris was happy to make more. (Making wands is actually super fun!) And he invited his friends who hadn't left out of town to see if they'd want to come over and help. 

So for the first evening of UEA vacation, 7 teenage boys came over and spent 2 hours carving Harry Potter wands. They are amazing to be willing to do this service! Yes, it is fun; but, you have to agree to do it before you find out that it's actually fun.  I was really proud of Chris and his friends. I loved that Chris was willing to ask them -- and I love that he knew they were the types of kids who would be happy to do it!

After Nick got home from school, but before we did wand carving, he had Clarinet and then he did his exercises for his Webeloes Achievement. 100 yd dash (18.24 seconds), 3 sets of 10 bicep curls w/ 10 lbs., 3 sets of 10 sit-ups, and 2 sets of jumping rope for 1 min. He records his progress for 30 days. He's a dedicated kid, so this will be fun.

All of Chris' friends slept over that night and UEA got off to a great staycation start.  Dan, Nick and I watched Modern Family and Blackish. And then after Nick went to bed we watched Mindy Project. We love TV night.

The great thing about having friends stay over (one of Chris' friends was staying the weekend with us) is when you ask your son to sit down and fill out his Eagle project paperwork, he has a more positive attitude. And when you give suggestions for improvement, he just does it instead of talking back. It was so wonderful, we should all kid swap when we have things that need to get done!

So Chris finished the forms and we loaded up the car to deliver to Primary's. They asked him to unload some of the donations and make a little display on the receptionist desk so they could take his photo with his donations.  As many employees walked by, they were thrilled when they saw so much play-doh!

Just a small portion of the donations Christopher received to help Primary Children's Hospital.
They also loved his wands and can't wait to give them to the kids for their Harry Potter Halloween party!

After delivering to Primary's, I was talked into taking Chris and his friends to the skateboard store. The last time I was talked into this, we were there for an hour and a half. This time was no different. Fortunately it was lunchtime so I sat at Shiver's and ate lunch by myself surrounded by moms and their young children. It was delightful, actually. 

All his friends spent a second night at our house, because, why not?! It's vacation. (Except for Nicholas, who was still getting up and going to school each morning.)

After we got Nick off to school, Dan and I rode 21 miles up to Ruth's Diner and back. It was a beautiful fall day -- windy, in fact. But a great ride. 

I spent the day working on my Lighting Schedule which seems a little tedious, but I like it and it makes me feel prepared for building our house. 

Friday night Nicholas had a birthday party so Dan and I went to dinner and a movie -- Bridge of Spies. Dinner actually ended up being sitting in a Greek restaurant for 30 min. before we realized their kitchen was swamped by a party of 30 and we would never get our food in time. They were relieved when we kindly said we'd come back another night when they weren't so busy. We tried to get Oh Mai but they were swamped too. We had Apollo Burger for dinner. And I ate half in the car because we only had 10 min. to eat before our movie started.

Bridge of Spies was fantastic! 4 stars! Great acting, terrific story. 

Dan and I worked out while Nick made pancakes. He loves to cook breakfast and is really good at it. He's very comfortable reading the recipe and making sure the measurements are just right.

Dan, Marty, Nick and I tried a new sushi restaurant for lunch --  Itto's Sushi. Best one yet.

We were home no more than 15 min. before Chris asked if Dan could take his friends to lunch.

Sigh, Saturday.

Saturday night Dan and I saw The Intern. 4 stars. Funny, Great acting, Great storyline, lovable characters and no trash whatsoever. I'll probably see it again. It was that entertaining. And it's Anne Hathaway who I'm usually very critical of. But I totally loved her.

Sunday morning I've been trying to get the boys Scouting stuff passed off. So Nick and Dan worked on First Aid (because he missed that day at scouts) and I got Chris' Eagle paperwork organized so he can start to fill it out. 

The best part was tonight when My Dad and Diane and their boys, Aunt Marge, and Michael, Katie and their kids came over for dinner and pumpkin carving. We have literally not seen each other since the beginning of the summer! I see my Dad or Diane at class or in dropping off/picking up kids, (or passing at parent/teacher conference which was funny since one teacher had no idea about the connection and was stunned when I told her... "I knew Chris and Luke were good friends, but I didn't realize Luke is Chris' uncle!" Ha!), but we haven't talked for more than a minute since beginning of summer.   

It was fun to all be together with the added entertainment of pumpkin carving! Not sure if the pumpkins will last until Halloween, but it was worth it!!

Courtney, when you get back from England, Brooklyn wants to talk to you about going away to college and study abroad! She is getting so old and mature and is already making big plans!! 

Love my family and love spending time with them!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

No Coincidences

This afternoon one of my errands was to buy more dowels for Chris to make more Harry Potter wands for Primary Children's Hospital. He made 40 with his scout troop last week. When he called Primary's to arrange a delivery time, he asked how many kids they had right now and how many wands they could use. She said they were thrilled to have 40, but right now had 100 kids. Chris was willing to make 60 more.

So I went to Michael's to buy the dowels. I had a coupon for 50% off ONE item. I thought maybe they'd give me 50% off the 20 dowels I wanted to buy (since they were only $1 each). But they wouldn't. Not even the manager. I had been thinking I should go to Home Depot where they would cut them for me, but I didn't want to make another trip. I had all the dowels and I was standing here at checkout at Michaels, I really should just buy them. But, I honestly think I was prompted to go to Home Depot. So I asked the Michael's lady to hold the dowels and I'd check Home Depot first. And I felt really good about that decision.

To go to Home Depot and see if I could buy dowels there and have them cut them to the right length. As if there is a right and wrong decision to go to Home Depot or Michaels.

At Home Depot I found what I needed and asked a young guy if he could cut them for me. "Let's do it!" he said. He asked me what they were for and I told him about Christopher's Eagle project and then he told me about his Eagle project when he was that age. We chatted about this and that and brainstormed about how to cut the dowels in a group instead of one-by-one and eventually he figured out a solution.

He was about done when he asked, "Are you LDS?"
"Yep, I am."
"I'm meeting with the missionaries," he said. "I'm trying to learn everything again. Are you solid?" he asked.
I replied, "I really am. I know Heavenly Father loves me. I know he answers my prayers. I'm so grateful to have a way to get guidance and help in my life."
He said, "I stopped going when I was about 16."
"So you got your Eagle and decided you were done?"
"Pretty much. But I want a wife and a family. I want more out of my life. I think I've always known it's true. It just seemed so complicated."
"When you have a family, you'll be so grateful to have prayer to help make decisions as a parent. It's been such a blessing in my life. Don't give up because you think you knew everything at 16. I've had a lifetime to learn, practice prayer and receive answers. I know it's true."

He finished cutting the last dowels and said, "It seems so complicated, but when I meet cool people like you who are 'solid,' it makes me think it's right."

"Pray about it." I said. "You'll know. It's not complicated."
"That's what they tell me. I will pray about it."

So pray for this sweet boy who is looking for answers. I know I was prompted to go to Home Depot and talk to him. And I love that he wasn't afraid to ask me questions.

Just one more confirmation that there are people out there who are ready.

Five minutes later I was walking into Target and truthfully, a little bit teary thinking about the sweet experience I'd just had. A friend of mine was in her car turning into the parking lot.

"I've been meaning to text you!" she said. "Thank you so much for making my daughter's baptism so beautiful. It was a wonderful day."

I love that part of my calling! I quickly told her about my Home Depot experience. "That wasn't a coincidence" she said. No, most definitely not.

Ponderize #1
Alma 13:27-29
 27 And now, my brethren, I wish from the inmost part of my heart, yea, with great anxiety even unto pain, that ye would hearken unto my words, and cast off your sins, and not procrastinate the day of your repentance;
 28 But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering;
 29 Having faith on the Lord; having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life; having the love of God always in your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day and enter into his rest.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Columbus Day is Cornbellys and Nicholas Day

No school for Nick today so we got the house decorated for Halloween!

Pulling out our display of these photos is seriously my favorite part. 
I never get tired of these memories!

We also worked on a few scouting achievements: Plant a tree or plant. If this avocado turns into a tree, we will plant it. If not, we will say that we tried. He planted two for good measure.

Also needed to "Create an exercise plan for 30 days" -- so we went out and measured 100 yards so he could practice the 100 yard dash. Also some sit ups, bicep curls and jumping rope. And, made some healthy eating goals and started a food journal to be kept for the entire week. Finally, made two types of cookies to give to his troop tomorrow with a small object lesson for his Cyber Chip requirement. Moving towards that Arrow of Light!

And best of all, tonight was our annual trip to Thanksgiving Point for dinner and Cornbellys with the Rigby family. Kids all ran off on their own and we sat and ate treats and talked. So glad for good friends who have known us for as long as we've lived here (longer actually because Eric and I went to high school together AND he and Dan got to know each other in the MTC! Who would have thought that fast forward 15 years and our children and families would become best friends!)
Cornbellys 2015
Cornbellys a few years ago...