Tuesday, March 31, 2009


SouleMama just wrote a beautiful post. She said, "This blog, you see, is one of those things for me. It's a meditation of sorts. It's one of the ways in which I remind myself of the joys, the beauty and the blessings around me each and every day. Writing here helps me to remember. And it helps me to see and look for those things, people and moments which do bring me joy. Writing about them helps me hold onto those moments. And I find myself wanting and making more space and opportunity for these kinds of moments to enter our days...and my heart. You see how that works? It's a silly little ridiculous joy-addiction that feeds itself". (see HERE)
I read that paragraph and thought to myself, "How true it is, my blog is 'a meditation of sorts'. I love to capture moments and stories to hold them as treasures forever". Then I read the rest of the blog and started crying. SouleMama has four kids, I'm not far off. I just hope I can keep searching for the joy and beauty and sacred in everyday and keep recording it. There is a line in "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" which reads "Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live." I kept repeating that to myself yesterday and we used it as a basis for our family home evening lesson. We sang "Love At Home" and I think we should sing it every week until it sinks in (surely that means we'll be singing it until we are 'empty nesters'). This is what I am pondering, meditating today. Am I providing an atmosphere of love and righteousness for my children to grow up in, am I providing for their various physical and spiritual needs, am I teaching them to love and serve one another, etc.? When my basic responsibilities are broken down into pieces like that I feel it is possible, with the help of my Heavenly Father of course. Because certainly there are times when I feel that these are not my children, rather priceless spirit children of my Father and He has trusted me to care for them for a while. The first tends to be what I once called "a sad experiment" because she feels the brunt of my inadequacy, the last I fear will be spoiled beyond hope, and the middle ones will inevitably fall somewhere in the middle.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Recipe for Eternal Life

"Enduring to the end is definitely not a do-it-yourself project. First, it requires the Savior’s redemptive power. We cannot return to our Heavenly Father’s presence unless we are clean, and so we must continue to repent. Ideally, we repent moment by moment, but we also attend sacrament meeting each week to partake of the sacrament and renew our baptismal covenants. Second, enduring to the end requires the Holy Ghost, who will both guide and sanctify us. Third, we must be an integral part of a community of Saints, serving and receiving service from our brothers and sisters in the gospel. With baptism we become part of the body of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 12:11–13); each of us has a role to play, each of us is important, but in order to succeed we must be unified in our Savior. Fourth, we must share the gospel with others. The promises of bringing even one soul unto the Lord are profound and eternal (see D&C 18:15). Moreover, the gospel takes deeper root in those who share it frequently. Finally, we must always maintain faith and hope in Christ to endure to the end, and among the many ways we do this are praying, fasting, and reading the scriptures. These practices will fortify us against the subtle schemes and fiery darts of the adversary".
L. Tom Perry "The Gospel of Jesus Christ"

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spaghetti, a Luau, and Examples of Faith

Relatives from Denmark were on "holiday" here in Colorado and we were able to meet up with them for lunch on Friday at the Old Spaghetti Factory.  I'm embarrassed to say I didn't get any pictures of them, but we will see them again soon and I'll be camera ready.

We went to Steve and Sarah Vigil's wedding on Friday night.  It was a Luau theme and one of the best receptions I've ever been to (good cake + dancing = Mindi is happy).

Sierra and her friends got to practice their hula skills.

My handsome boys watching the Luau dancers.

Kaia the flower child.  She swiped a few flowers from the tables as we were leaving and this is how I found her when I opened the door to get her out of the truck.

My friend, Kristi, her husband Tim, and their three children came to visit us today.  They are leaving soon for a mission in Iraq among the Kurdish people.  We were able to go to a meeting tonight to learn more about their mission.  I am amazed at their faith and dedication.  We are excited to support them through prayer while they are gone for many years to serve and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Kaia, Tristan, Sierra, Annie, Toby and Jessie enjoying a hardy meal.  Please notice in the above picture of the "adult lunch" that with Kristi's help I did not burn the grilled cheese.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Yes, We Have No Bananas

We enjoyed a spring snowstorm today.  I thought I'd be tough and brave the roads so that I could take Kaia to Joy School, hit the gym, pick Kaia up then take all three kids into Michael's (during a full blown blizzard).  We only lasted long enough in Michael's to take Sierra to the potty, then Tristan threw a fantastic 2 year-old tantrum and we were forced to leave.  Driving in the "white out" was slightly stressful, luckily we had "Yes, We Have No Bananas" blasting on the radio to lighten the situation. Later that day we spent 20 minutes getting snow clothes on just to spend 5 minutes in the snow.  We probably got 12 inches, but heavy winds made for some delightful drifts.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

12 Hugs A Day

"We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth." --Virginia Satir.

Yesterday morning I put Tristan in bed with Kaia to help me wake her up. He snuggled in next to her, they held hands, hugged, then played under the covers for a while. It was a 'lovey-dovey' moment. I saw this quote on hugs on another blog and wondered to myself if I'm giving/getting enough hugs. I've never been the type to hug a friend every time I see them. In fact, in high school I was standing with a group of friends and a girl walked up (the huggy type). She lifted her arm to give me a hug and I quick and gave her a high five. It was a comical/awkward moment and I still laugh to myself when I think about it. And so I wonder 'Is there power in hugs?'.
These sources seem to think so:
The Power In A Hug
Healing With Hugs
ABC News: The Power of A Hug
Well, my husband and children are all walking in the door. I think I'll go give them all a big hug.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Weekend Treasures

The weather was perfect.  Kaia and Sierra both had different birthday parties to attend on Saturday.  They even brought home goodie bags from each and shared with one another (sort of).  Our seeds for our square foot garden are sprouting.  Flowers in our yard that someone else planted long ago are blooming.  Sierra made a "memory" game from some of my old business cards (part of me wonders if I jumped into the travel business just so I could have these beautiful cards...(sigh) live and learn).  Gram and Pop spoiled us rotten.  I beat Adam in a Nintendo competition (we played the original Mario Bros.) even though Sierra was rooting for me to lose.  Adam made delicious dinners two nights in a row.  Today marks 33 weeks of pregnancy for me.  Life is good.  

Monday, March 16, 2009

3 Events I Should Have Documented on Film, But Didn't

1. Sierra was styling her hair on Saturday morning. She came out of the bathroom with a thick, plastic comb stuck in her hair. I guess she'd been trying to get her hair curly like Kaia's, she even used the curly spray. I didn't think much of it, until I tried to remove said comb. She had wrapped and twisted her hair around it so many times it was impossible to remove. After five minutes of futile effort, I finally broke the comb. I think I can remember doing such a thing as a little girl.
2. I have drawings of all 16 Latter-Day Prophets on the wall in Tristan's room. A while back I used an oversize stencil to make a "Follow the Prophet" sign. I never liked it much so I asked my friend, Lauren, if I could borrow her "Stampin' Up Paper Piercing Tool". This involves punching hundreds of little holes around the lettering, in an attempt to add excitement and decoration. I was working on this project at the kitchen table when Adam came along and asked, "What are you doing?" in a very calm voice. I went on to explain that I was wasting even more time on this dumb sign and it wasn't looking any better. "Well, do you know that you are punching holes in the table?" he asked again, just as calm. "What!?" I say and move my paper to the side. Sure enough, there is now hundreds of tiny holes spelling out "Follow" on one end of the table. Good thing we got the table for free and it is also covered in a variety of ink and marker scribbles.
3. This morning I gave the kids their choice of cold cereal. Tristan and Sierra went with Honey Nut Cheerios and Kaia chose Chex. Next thing I know, Tristan is trying to move closer to Kaia (he is insisting on making the change from high chair to big kid table, and it obviously isn't going so well) and this is making Kaia furious. Why would it bother Kaia to have Tristan sit close to her, you may be wondering? Could it be that he is messy and would most likely get her messy? No. Could it be that she enjoys and understands the concept of personal space? Definitely not. Her response to this question was that she didn't want Tristan to sit by her because "his cereal smells bad"! I had to step out of the kitchen when I heard that (to laugh, to throw my hands up in frustration, and to re-hang the "Follow The Prophet" sign in Tristan's room). Moments later yelling had turned to screams of hysteria. I started walking back to the kitchen and met Kaia in the hall. She was so upset she wasn't breathing. Somehow during the skirmish Tristan managed to turn her bowl of cereal completely over. Milk was everywhere. Tristan was banished back to the high chair, a fate he did not take easily. But eventually everyone ate breakfast and I was able to get showered and dressed before taking Sierra to school at 11:30 (mostly because Adam arrived home right after the cereal incident).

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hugs for Candy

We've got our seeds planted and we are so excited for our garden this year.  Because we are just renting this house and there isn't really a garden area, we'll be using the Square Foot Gardening method.
Tristan's "Sloth" from Goonies impersonation.
We have my brother and sister over for the weekend.  We've kept busy playing cards (you can tell Kaia is really into this game), going to the park, to the pool, watching movies, etc.

Here they all are starting Saturday morning off right, with cartoons.  Then I shoved them all outside for hours and hours.  We even had a little picnic when the following memorable moment occurred:  I was handing out the last two pieces of candy, one for Tristan and one for me. Kaia ran up and said she wanted a piece. I told her if I gave her the last piece then I wouldn't have one. She said, "That's OK, Mom. This can be your candy." Then she gave me a big hug. Can't beat that, I say. So I turned over the last piece to my smart, sweet girl.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Mormons and Big Love

I've enjoyed reading the following articles and blog post about the controversy behind "Big Love" and their upcoming episode about the LDS temple ceremony:



I really like this quote from Richard Bushman: "Mormons know you can go online, get every last word of the temple ceremony. It's all there. So it's not like it's hidden from the world. Anybody can get it. But among us, we don't talk about it that way. It means something to us. It means a lot". So no matter what "the world" does with what I feel to be sacred, I can still move forward, firm in my faith, rejoicing in the opportunity to participate in temple ordinances.
I'll admit when I first heard about this I joined in with the email forwarding chain asking people to email/write/call Time Warner and ask them to not air the episode.  Adam's wise cousin, Monica, emailed me back and said she felt the Church's official statement was asking us not to get involved in such actions.  I don't regret the letter I sent to Time Warner, but I do agree with Monica who said our boycotts will only get HBO the attention they want and they don't deserve our attention.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Week 31

I don't have many pictures of myself on my blog.  I guess that is because I'm usually the one behind the camera.  I was always amazed while reading NieNie's blog (BC) with how many pictures she was in and how great she always looked.  Who took all those pictures? I wondered. Well, today I handed the camera to Kaia and asked her to take my picture.  Last night at the playroom in the gym a little girl kept staring at me.  She was probably 3 or 4 years-old.  Finally she said, "Your belly is REALLY big!"  I just smiled and said, "That's because there is a baby in there."  She proceeded to look at me like I was totally crazy and just making up stuff to justify my abnormality.  I wondered if it was possible that she'd never seen a pregnant lady before.  I guess I could have been just like her at that age because I was an only child and was about 6 or 7 before another cousin came along.  Her parents probably told her that storks deliver babies to your doorstep...and they probably let her believe the Easter Bunny is real too.

Anyway, I thought there should at least be one picture of me to document this pregnancy.  Also, my kids believe in the Easter Bunny, just in case you were wondering.

Snow and Burnt GC

Let it snow! In typical Colorado style, we woke up to a few inches of snow and by the afternoon it was almost all melted and the sun was shinning happily.  Sierra wanted to shovel snow onto the grass from the deck, but all she could find to use was a giant lid.  I think she heard me say how grateful I was that it snowed so that the grass could finally have a drink.
I was making dinner last night and trying to burn a DVD at the same time, bad combo.  This reminded me of when Adam and I were engaged and I said something to the effect of, "You don't even know what a great cook I am.  I'm going to make you some grilled cheese right now."  Then I burnt the grilled cheese.  I don't think I've been able to make non-burnt grilled cheese ever since.  We also had tomato soup to go with our sandwich, which Tristan picked up and poured on his head.  
I read in the Ensign about a mom who spent a few minutes with each of her kids, one-on-one, right before bed each night.  I decided to start this tradition in hopes of improving relations between Sierra and I.  Some times I feel like the whole day goes by and all I've said to her was "Don't do that" and "Stop making that noise" and "You don't like it when Kaia does that to you so don't do it to her!", etc.  So I sat down with her last night and let her talk about whatever she wanted.  She said she wanted to make a list of what we were doing the next day.  She loves lists and we were able to stick to this one fairly well (except for the 8:30 bedtime--that was wishful thinking on my part).

Spiritual Enlightenment HERE

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Weekend Getaway: Utah

My pictures posted in reverse order so I'm going to describe our trip to Utah backwards, just to mix things up a bit:
Here we are somewhere in Wyoming at a Subway on Monday afternoon. I'm not sure how Kaia gets her sandwich all over her face, coat, Sierra's coat, and my arm, but she does.
Sunday night we stayed with Ryan and Jackie Beecher in Lehi.  Here is Sierra showing Ryan a thing or two about leg wrestling.
Bob and Katie Beecher fed us the most wonderful Sunday dinner.  It was Issac's 6th birthday also so we got to join in on brownies and ice cream.  Sierra is smiling because she just snagged the bowl with the biggest brownie, much to Issac's dismay.
Saturday was Finn Wilmore's (pictured here with parents Ellynn and Jason) baby blessing and Bennett Allen's baptism.
We also celebrated LeAnne and Wilohm's birthdays.  Aunt Jack made this cake and I don't think I've ever had a better sheet cake.
Hazel reached the end of her rope, luckily Meagan was there to catch her.
Geof., Adam, and our great friend Ashlee Ross (who watched 10 Bennett/Allen kids plus three of her own while we went to the wedding lunch.  Thanks again, Ashlee.)
We had some time to kill so we visited Cabella's in Alpine.  The kids loved it, but Adam and I voted that Bass Pro in Denver outdoes this Cabella's.
Here is little Hazel at the Stevenson farm.  We spent Saturday morning there while Adam filmed Uncle Sharm telling stories about the farm.  I'd attach the footage here, but it is 76 minutes long.  What a treasure.
Tristan, Bennett, Hazel, Chloe, and Kaia by the old tractor.
Uncle Sharm telling the kids all about the trees on the farm.
Kaia in front of the farmhouse.
Tristan sings some tractor tunes.
Oops, this is Bennett and Finn after the baptism/blessing.  
Friday was Adam's cousin, Joel's, wedding at the Logan Temple.  I'm kicking myself for not getting any pictures at the wedding lunch or the reception, because both were so so beautiful. But after the reception we drove up to the Temple and got a passer-by to take this photo for us. Our weekend was action packed (as always with the Bennetts) but we sure had a wonderful time.  And like Adam's mom said, "There's nothing like a wedding/baptism/baby blessing to bring some eternal perspective."

Events not pictured, but immensely enjoyed:
Spending two nights with the Hatch's and eating two yummy breakfasts with them.
Visiting the Weber family who we haven't seen in at least 6 years.
Playing cards at Aunt Joan's beautiful new house until after midnight with the cousins and significant others.
Not having to drive in a snowstorm like the WA Bennetts did (they spent over 15 hours in the car on the way down).