Saturday, October 10, 2015

Your mom goes to college!

Any of you who have seen Napoleon Dynamite will recognize that phrase.  It's one of my favorite lines from the movie, and I quote it to my children often.  Now it is actually true!  I have recently started and online course through the church called Pathway.  It's a starting point to finish my college education. The cost of college courses, and lets face it my own fears, have always been a big roadblock for me.  This program makes it very affordable, and is a perfect way to ease back into and education after a 20 year hiatus.  

One of the two classes I'm taking this semester is the first half of the Book of Mormon, and an assignment is called "Putting it All Together".  This is where I can share or teach what I've been learning.  One of the options for this assignment is making a blog post, so here I am.  This week we have been studying 1 Nephi 15-22 .  

I'm going to talk focus on a quote I found in the Book of Mormon student manual which came from Richard G. Scott in the October 1995 conference:

“May I share some suggestions with you who face … the testing that a wise Heavenly Father determines is needed even when you are living a worthy, righteous life and are obedient to His commandments.
“Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more (see Proverbs 3:11–12). He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain” 

I feel like I can take great comfort in this quote.  I've heard the phrase "Why do bad things happen to good people" often.  Some may feel abandoned by God when hard times come.  Trials and challenges don't mean that my Heavenly Father has forgotten us, but that He knows our ability to grow and learn from our circumstances.  We need to take comfort in the fact that our Heavenly Father is aware of our capabilities.  How wonderful is it to know that when we are challenged, even if we don't have the confidence in ourselves, our Heavenly Father does.  That knowledge can help us rely more on the Lord  To pray to Him for the strength he knows we have.  

In the Book of Mormon 1 Nephi 16:18-32 tells of Nephi's bow being broken.  He could not provide for his family.  They had been traveling in the wilderness for many days and I'm sure they were exhausted and hungry. Laman and Lemuel did what they always do and murmured against the Lord.  they were joined by the sons of Ishmael, and surprisingly, even Lehi began to murmur.  Nephi had always been faithful and could have asked "why me?", instead he chose to do something about it.  He made a new bow, then in humility asked his father "wither shall I go to obtain food?"  Lehi in turn had to humble himself and ask the Lord.  Lehi "was truly chastened."  The Liahona worked again, Nephi was able to find food and "how great was [his family's] joy!...They did humble themselves before the Lord and did give thanks unto him."

Although I don't think I want to ask for trials, I hope that in my trials I can remember and rely on the Lord's confidence in my strength and ability to grow.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentines Day!

I have always thought I was pretty indifferent to Valentines day, but this year I realized  it is probably my favorite holiday. Not because of all the commercialized nonsense that makes people feel like they need to go into debt to prove their love, but because some of my favorite traditions happen around the holiday of love.  They are cute and easy and small, but I love them.
Clockwise: The kids get heart streamers on their doorway and they usually stay up at least until the middle of march.  Heart balloons from the dollar store.  Flowers made from chocolate hearts.  And of course our oldest tradition, decorating heart cakes.  No one can remember when we first started doing this, but it's close to 30 years:)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Jennifer Whitney Goodman

December 8,1976- January 23,2014

This beautiful lady went home on Thursday morning.  Her funeral is today, but I couldn't go, so I will remember her here.  I will always remember Jeni like the pictures above.  Long curly blonde hair and a wonderful smile.  She is one of my most favorite people ever.   We've been friends since high school and we were able to be roommates in college. Jeni was always willing to see the best in every situation.  In high school she was in a car accident and broke her back, but I never saw her use that as an excuse not to do something.  I honestly can't remember a time when she complained about it.  I'm sure she had her down times, but she did her very best to give her kids as normal a life as you can when going through cancer.  She was an amazing mother.  She had a cousin, Rachel, who was also her best friend and she was killed in a car accident on her way home from helping Jeni during her first go around with chemo.  I know there is a a lot of family welcoming Jeni home but I think the most joyous reunion happening in Heaven is between Jeni and Rachel.  I feel so blessed that I was able to visit with her a couple of months ago.  As sad as I am that she is no longer on this earth, and as hateful as I think cancer is, I am so thankful to know she is free from the pain her limited earthly body and with our Heavenly Father again.  I love you Jeni.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Guest room re-do

Decorating our new home has been painfully slow.  Living on a budget is only fun when the credit card bill comes;)  Chris gave me a Home Depot gift certificate for Christmas so I decided to tackle the guest room.  Why waste my money on a room we rarely use you ask?  Well it was kind of dark, didn't have a very good paint job, and I hated looking at it.  Also I have such a hard time making a decision on paint colors so if it didn't work out I could close the door and try to forget about it. I chose Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray, color matched at Home Depot.  I really like it.  The room seems so much brighter and cleaner.  I love to look at it and I have lots of ideas of things I can't wait to add.
I thought I had a better before picture (like always).  This is one Chris took mainly to see the floor, but it works.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Chris 41.0

Chris is a sweetheart and takes the day off for my birthday, but he won't do it for his own.  He doesn't really like much of a fuss, which makes us a good match because neither do I.  I made his favorite dinner and cake, but he had scouts and the girls had mutual so it was a small celebration.  I sure love this guy!
The kids love to tell Chris how old he is all the time. I didn't have any candles so we recycled the ones form his 39th birthday.  It seemed fitting:)  He got that lovely lamp from his favorite holiday movie from Megan and Lindsay.  He's acquiring quite a collection of Christmas Story merch.  Chris will probably be mad that I posted that sleeping picture but it was too funny to me.  His nose is the only thing you can see in his cocoon:)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

New Years on the Strip

We had a great new years eve with family where I made the goal to take more pictures, then didn't take any.  Whatever, that's how I roll.  We decided that most of the new years eve crazies on the strip would be to hungover to come out the next day so it would be a good time to go out there.  I don't like to go to the strip very often so it's funny to me how much it has changed since the last time I was there.  I'm not sure when the characters started showing up, but there are a lot now.  We didn't get any pictures with them , because I'm not willing to tip for that, but it was actually kind of fun.
Top: Coca-cola world has a taste from around the world tray for only $7.  You get 16 little cups with flavors from different countries.  Some of them were really nasty, but it was really cool.
Bottom: 3-D movie at M&M world.  House built out of chocolate at the Bellagio gardens.  The Coke bear.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas 2014

I love how Santa wraps his presents for our house these days!
We had a really low key Christmas this year (wait do I say that every year?) which was really good because I was feeling really stressed out.  Christmas Eve the kids got their pajamas (probably my favorite tradition, I love pj's!)  As per usual Christmas morning started extremely early.  I think Chris, being the trickster he is, may have conspired with Santa this year.  The last present the kids opened was a Wii-U, something Dalin has been asking for almost everyday for over a year.  The excitement was short lived, because when the kids opened the Wii-U box it was full of lotion.  Santa was trying to be tricky, but he also showed some kindness because after some investigating the kids found that the Wii-U was already set up and ready to play.  Silly Santa!  We went to my parents house for breakfast and more presents.  My grandma Haynes was visiting and it was really nice to have her there.  We decided to have Christmas dinner by ourselves, but I didn't want to cook.  I figured we could find some Chinese restaurant that was open (you know like in the Christmas Story movie) but no.  We ended up going to Buffalo Wild Wings.  Not to fancy, but we have fun when we are together:)  MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

We're Crazy Like That

I found an organization called smiles change lives that works with local orthodontists to offer braces at a huge discount.  I sent in applications for Kaylee and Ashton, and part of the application asked for several up close pictures of their teeth.  Our dentist was kind enough to loan us a cheek retractor so we could get better pictures and it was so funny we all had to give it a try.  Do you remember Two Face from the batman cartoons?  It looked a lot like that.  Hilarious, and slightly crazy!  Don't worry, we thoroughly washed and disinfected it before it got passed to the next person.
I know, super creepy, but I can't stop laughing!