Saturday, December 29, 2007

Festivities

Oh how I love this time of year!

Just a few of the festivities....


I've always wanted to string popcorn and cranberries... and now I have!


Sledding with the cousins.


He doesn't look big, but he was like 8 feet tall!! I had to hire the neighbor boys to lift the pieces on top of each other!

It was Taylor's first kiss... can you tell?!

And a fun recipe from Mitch!

The Anatomy of PEACE: Resolving the Heart of Conflict

A friend suggested the book “The Anatomy of Peace” by the Arbinger Institute to me. It was incredible. It was all about how we see and treat other people. It gave me some questions to ask every time I meet someone. Such as:

*What are this person's or people's challenges, trials, burdens, and pains?

*How am I, or some group of which I am a part, adding to these challenges, trials, burdens, and pains?

*In what other ways have I or my group neglected or mistreated this person or group?

*In what ways are my better-than, I-deserve, worse-than, and must-be-seen-as boxes obscuring the truth about others and myself and interfering with potential solutions?

*What am I feeling I should do for this person or group? What could I do to help?


Every time we have a prompting to do something we can either betray or honor the sense. I hope to become better at honoring the sense so that I don't have to rationalize my actions.

I highly suggest this book... it is full of goodness!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Temple Square Lovin'

…Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh hear the angel voices!
Oh night divine, oh night when Christ was born…



…The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!...


…Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all us within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim!



Thursday, December 13, 2007

Babysitting

A night ago I was asked to tend some neighbor kids. My sister was originally supposed to do it, but something came up so she asked me to go over. I was greeted with disappointment. In fact when I asked the 5-year-old if he would like some more dinner, he said, “No. I want Jenny.” Ouch. :) At that point I made it a goal to win their hearts over by the end of the night. :) Chloe (3) finished dinner and hid from me in her parent’s bed and fell asleep so that left the two boys (7 and 5). They ignored me for an hour or so and then I convinced them that we should draw pictures and by the time we had finished drawing kissing reindeer, macho elves, and Santa as a rat they were laffing their heads off! After that we read for a bit and then I put them to bed. All was quiet for about 10 minutes and then I heard Chloe crying. I went and picked her up and immediately felt what was wrong… she had wet their bed! So I cleaned her up and put her in her bed and then the boys jumped out of bed and chased each other around the house for like 30 minutes until I finally got them back in bed. No worries though, when the parents got home, I appeared completely calm and collected and all three were asleep!

Words can’t even describe how much I want the insanity of children in my life! You would think that experiences like this would make me glad that they could be years away, but instead it makes me want them more. Kids are so awesome!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Joy to the World!

While I’m at it, I might as well post my favorites from the First Presidency Devotional too. :)

Chose to feel the light and love of the Savior. –Eyring

True happiness is found only in making others happy. –Monson

Lighten the burdens of others. We need to increase our love and let it permeate our lives. -Hinckley

Lucky

Some of you know that I hostess at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Technically it’s a church service mission for the Public Affairs and Hosting Department of the church. Last Friday, as a special devotional, Elders M. Russell Ballard and Quentin L. Cook were invited to speak to us! (It makes sense because they are in charge of the Public Affairs for the church…) It was such a treat to be 100 feet away from them and hear them speak. Here are some of my favorite highlights...

Cook:
* If Christ came tonight, to whom would He come?
* Our purpose is to help the spiritual condition of each person we meet.
* “If you have not chosen the Kingdom of God first, it will in the end make no difference what you have chosen instead.” –William Law
* “There is an answer to the passionate longings of the heart for fullness… live in all things outside yourself by love, and you will have joy. That is the life of God; it ought to be our life.” –Robert Browning

Ballard:
* Instead of worrying so much about getting the perfect gifts, give gifts that will leave memories.
* Never underestimate the power you have to cause someone to feel the power of the restoration.
* Reach out and touch others through your testimony and quiet acts of service.
* The star of Bethlehem is the only way to find happiness. Keep your eye on the star.


I really do love this gospel... there is only good in it!

And I'm so excited for this holiday season!

*s*n*o*w*

LOVE it!
A good time is coming, I wish it were here,
The very best time in the whole of the year;
I'm counting each day on my fingers and thumbs--
The weeks that must pass before Santa Claus comes.
-unknown-



One of my all time favorite sounds is that of falling snow.