Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Because He Lives!

Remember one of my New year's resolutions was to join the ward choir? Well, I did and the blessings are tremendous. I am no fabulous singer by any means, but the music is SO beautiful and I love the people in our choir. It's so fun!
Right now we are practicing a song we are going to sing on Easter Sunday. It was written by Sally Deford. She's from Colorado Springs, so she must be cool! I found a sound bite here . It is so amazing... I can't even sing it, I just sit there and listen to everyone else and cry. This song just keeps going through my head over and over. What a blessing! I am so thankful for our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know He lives and He loves us.

"Because He Lives"
by Sally Deford

Because He lives; because He rose in mighty triumph from the grave
I put my trust in Him, and seek to follow Him in faith
Because He lives

Because He lives, I shall find strength to stand against the tempter's power
He is my refuge and defense in every troubled hour
Because He lives

Because He lives, I can bear whatever burden may be mine
I am encircled in the arms of love divine because He lives
Because He lives, He will banish every shadow of my pain
Every sorrow will be swallowed up in Him
For in His hand is healing for the weary soul
This I know because He lives

Because He lives my heart is filled with peace amid a world of fear
And through the blindness of the night, in Him I rest secure
Because He lives

Because He lives there is no task so great that I cannot endure
I bear no heartache that His tender mercy cannot cure
Because He lives

(Repeat chorus)

Because He lives I will fear no darkness
Because He lives I will walk in light
Because He lives I will praise His kindness
Because He lives hope shines ever bright
Because He lives I will seek His righteousness
Because He lives I'll follow where He leads
Because He lives I shall conquer even death
And I shall live because He lives!

Because He lives I will rejoice in Christ and glorify His name
And with the willing voice of gratitude proclaim: My Savior lives!
Because He lives He will banish every shadow of my pain
Every sorrow will be swallowed up in Him
For in His hand is healing for the weary soul
This I know, because He lives

I am really looking forward to conference this weekend.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

And the quilt goes to...

Today I took the I-Spy Quilt over to my dear friend, Julie. I was so excited to give it to her. This is Julie (on the right) with another good friend of mine, Jenny, who let me use her picture of them. Thanks, Jenny.
She's ALWAYS doing amazing things for me and I wanted to do something extra special for her. For example, one night she agreed to watch my children at my house while Zeke and I went on a date. Pretty cool, right? But it gets better: while we were gone, she helped the kids clean our entire house AND brought prizes for them when they finished. Can you say A-M-A-Z-I-N-G?!

Just recently, she let our family borrow the train table from her preschool to keep in our house "as long as we wanted to" and play with just because Beck really likes trains. Yeah, she is a really special friend. She just takes the time to help others in really personal ways and is very genuine.

She is so much fun to be with too! I remember the last Relief Society Christmas party I got to sit by Julie. We laughed so much... I think the other sisters thought something was wrong with us. I went home and tried to tell Zeke how funny it was... and I couldn't really explain what exactly we'd even been talking about. You just had to be there! It was the best :)

Zeke and I had so much fun visiting with Julie and her husband, Jody, today. You know some of our friends; some are my friends and some are Zeke's. Some couples I really enjoy the wife and then other couples Zeke really gets along well with the husband, but with Julie and Jody we just CLICK!! We could talk for HOURS with them and never want to leave... which is basically what happened today. Well, maybe it was only an hour, but we had to get home to the kids.

Julie is one of the most talented, organized, generous, spiritual, and intelligent people I know. She is one of my "heroes" that I really look up to and want to pattern my life after. I hope she knows how special she is. I am so thankful for good friends in my life. Thanks, Julie, for everything! I need a picture of us together :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's finished!

I've been working on an I-Spy Quilt since February. It's going to be a surprise for a really good friend of mine. I can't wait to give it to her! It is NOT professional by any means, but I think it turned out really cute. I especially like the yellow corners, stitching and ties; I think it goes well with the denim. The only thing I bought for this quilt was the binding. I already had everything else at home. My goal this year is to use up all of the fabric I already have before I buy any more. (There! I put it in writing!)
Zoe and Gabe, my cute and crazy quilt holders.
Gabe was so amazed to see it all come together.
I really enjoyed having the kids watch me and help me as I worked on it.
Close up of one cornerI tried to get it all in one shot...

It's so satisfying to create something. Writing this post made me think of the talk by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: "Happiness, Your Heritage" . Here's just a part of this great talk:

"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before. Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty.

Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty—and I am not talking about the process of cleaning the rooms of your teenage children.

You might say, “I’m not the creative type. When I sing, I’m always half a tone above or below the note. I cannot draw a line without a ruler. And the only practical use for my homemade bread is as a paperweight or as a doorstop.”

If that is how you feel, think again, and remember that you are spirit daughters of the most creative Being in the universe. Isn’t it remarkable to think that your very spirits are fashioned by an endlessly creative and eternally compassionate God? Think about it—your spirit body is a masterpiece, created with a beauty, function, and capacity beyond imagination.

If you are a mother, you participate with God in His work of creation—not only by providing physical bodies for your children but also by teaching and nurturing them. If you are not a mother now, the creative talents you develop will prepare you for that day, in this life or the next.

You may think you don’t have talents, but that is a false assumption, for we all have talents and gifts, every one of us. The bounds of creativity extend far beyond the limits of a canvas or a sheet of paper and do not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano. Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before—colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter.

What you create doesn’t have to be perfect. So what if the eggs are greasy or the toast is burned? Don’t let fear of failure discourage you. Don’t let the voice of critics paralyze you—whether that voice comes from the outside or the inside.

If you still feel incapable of creating, start small. Try to see how many smiles you can create, write a letter of appreciation, learn a new skill, identify a space and beautify it.

The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit, the greater your capacity to create. That is your opportunity in this life and your destiny in the life to come. Sisters, trust and rely on the Spirit. As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you."

I really love this talk and I love Pres. Uchtdorf. Now I've started making pillows (LOTS of pillows!) for my bedroom and living room...

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Post you've been waiting for: Our Trip!

Me and my sweetie

Okay, for those of you that don't know, we went on our first overnight "getaway" without the children last weekend. It was absolutely so much fun. I really really really enjoyed every single second of it.
A BIG Thanks again to my Mom and Dad for watching our children!

For some reason, I've been feeling really antsy the last few days. Spring is coming and I have lots of projects I want to do before school gets out. I'm having trouble focusing on my blog... I go through phases I guess. So, here's a "quick" photo gallery with captions about our amazing trip:

This is Lily, she pulled our carriage. Isn't she beautiful?
I have to admit, I was a tiny bit scared to stand by her; she's HUGE!!
This is Kathy, our fabulous carriage driver. She was a lot of fun!
We really enjoyed riding around Manti and learning about its history and fun facts. It was very peaceful and slow-paced: something I am not accustomed to! But I could definitely get used to it.
Here's me right when the carriage lurched forward a bit.
Heh heh heh (nervous laugh)
Here's Zeke right before said "lurch", "How's that, babe?"
Dinner at "Dirk's Farmhouse" after the carriage ride. The B&B recommended it and gave us a coupon to use there. We were so twitterpated, we forgot the coupon entirely. DANG! Anyway, I thought the food was really yummy. Zeke got prime rib and I got salmon. We also got a slice of pecan pie and a slice of razzleberry pie to take back to the room with us. I love how Zeke always teases the server when we go out to eat. We always have a lot of fun regardless of the service or the food.
She took our picture, thanks.

The B&B we stayed at is called Yardley Inn & Spa .
We will DEFINITELY go back!
Here's the lobby... it's basically an old house that's been added onto and made into a B&B. I think there are 6 rooms you can stay in.
I love how it was decorated!
(Except for that painting of the lady at the piano, ca-reepy!)

Our room was on the second floor, we are coming down the stairs looking at the dining room where we ate breakfast Saturday morning. Good food, although a bit too health-concsious for my tastes (yeah, I'm terrible!)
But turkey-bacon? Seriously. I guess some people like it. This is the sunroom on the south side of the B&B off of the lobby; I was in HEAVEN!! This room reminded me of my mother-in-law, Patty's, house; full of light and plants. It was gorgeous! Zeke and I really want to build one of these on the back of our kitchen.

We stayed in one of the honeymoon suites called "Lavender and Lace."
Cheesy? Maybe. But I enjoyed every minute of it!
This was the bed. Isn't it gorgeous?
One of the things I really enjoyed was waking up the next morning simply because I was done sleeping. (What!?)
No alarm! No children! Pure BLISS!
Here's the jacuzzi and fireplace. The bathroom is through that doorway.
Close-up of the fireplace. Can I just tell you I love purple? There were hints of every shade of purple all over the room and the rest was white with dark cherry furniture. Beautiful and simple.
Zeke lighting the fireplace. How romantic!
Here's another view of the room. I think it was bigger than our living room and kitchen combined! We got sparkling cider and chocolate from the B&B. They also have a HUGE library/movie collection on the second floor (I forgot to take a picture). We took "Ever After", "Far and Away", and "Pride and Prejudice" back to the room with us. We ended up watching "Far and Away." I love that one. I wish Tom Cruise wasn't so icky now. Zeke is watching the end of it while I'm getting ready to go to the temple the next morning.

Here we are married 15 years and we still like each other!
I love the Manti temple. It is SO beautiful. I forgot how cool the live sessions are. We saw quite a few people from Salina and Redmond. Thanks, Brother Jensen for taking our picture. It was so fun! I really enjoyed the endowment session. The Spirit was so strong. There were quite a few brides and missionaries receiving their endowments that day. Awesome!

We took 4 family names through. My niece, Brooke, has been doing a lot of family history work and I really appreciate her letting us do these names. The name I did was "Charlotte Stroud." I had a stack of 8 names. I have a little girl in my Primary class named Charlotte (her Mom is a good friend of mine). And with the last name Stroud, I knew this Charlotte was related to my Grandpa Jody (my Mom's Dad). Her name really stood out to me and I just felt like it was her turn that day. I hope she was there and I hope she accepts the Gospel.

I love looking over at Zeke and smiling at him. I love the temple workers. They are so beautiful to me. I love all their little crocheted white sweaters and comfortable white shoes and pearl earrings. I love their wrinkles and their white hair. I wish I could go to the temple everyday.

We ate lunch at Miller's Drive Inn after the temple and then we headed back to Salina to see if my parents survived. They did. Gabe was a HUGE help to them and I love him for it! Kaia and Beck were having trouble with their asthma and my Mom had to give them breathing treatments and such. It's sad and ironic, but with my Dad's emphysema and all the medicine she has to give him, my Mom was the best person for the job.
She knew just what to do. I owe her big time!!
Me with my Mom and Dad
My Mom and the kids
My Dad and the kids
After this picture, my Dad said, "How much does Beck weigh!?"
I wanted a picture of us. Zeke said, "Here, I'll sit on your lap!" And he did!
I love this guy!! He is the greatest thing about me.
(Thanks, Mom, for taking this picture!)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Find-A-Friend Friday

Guess what!?
I was chosen to be interviewed by Stephanie at Diapers and Divinity
for "Find-A-Friend Friday". I'm so excited! I love Stephanie and her blog.
Look for my interview tomorrow... I hope you like it! :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Still The One!

I know I said I was going to do a post about our trip,
but I wanted to do this one first!
Married 15 years and you're still the one! :)

NSHS Uniques Spook Alley, October 1990

Wrestling Tournament, January 1991

NSHS Prom, March 1991 (Yes, Zeke wore shorts!)

Christmas 1991
Zeke leaving for his mission, December 1992
(No, I'm not happy)

Our Engagement Picture
Logan Canyon, February 1996

Just Married!
Manti Temple, March 16, 1996

My Favorite Wedding Picture

June 1997: Pregnancy test positive!

Christmas 1997

Military Ball, December 1998

Thanksgiving 2001

1st Sunday in Logan 12th Ward, August 2003

10th Anniversary, March 2006

I love this song... every time I hear it I think of Zeke.

I love you, babe! Thanks for putting up with me. :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sneak Peek

Hello, blog friends... it's been awhile. Zeke and I were SO blessed to go out of town for the weekend sans children. (This is a first! Pathetic I know... but better late than never.)

I'll put up more pictures and write more later. Right now, I'm unpacking and dealing with two crazy children, hyped up on albuterol from a rough weekend with their asthma. Oh, my Mom is a saint!

Zeke and I had so much fun... here we are at dinner the first night:
NEXT POST: Anniversary Trip to Manti :)

P.S. Can I just tell you how much I love the temple?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The "B" Post

The B Book is one of my all time favorite children's books. We read it at least once a week. I can recite it in my head at night when I can't sleep or in the car when Beck is being cranky and needs a distraction. You seriously need to read it. It makes me laugh every time. Definitely on my Top Ten.

So Thursday was my Birthday. 36 years old. I really like getting older. I feel so Blessed to be alive. This was a birthday full of "B's".

So it's your birthday, what do you do? You go to the urologist of course! No? Well, I did. And I'm glad. Yes, you read that right. I went in early Thursday and finally had the dreaded Bladder scope (Cytoscopy, but that doesn't start with B). I was supposed to do this in November. I feel so Brave and proud of myself and relieved. No tumors or ulcers, just dumb IC. I can live with that.

Book Club:
Yes, total Bliss. Love these women! How did I get so lucky? Thanks, Lora, I will forever be in debt to you. I think at least once a month, you should laugh so hard your stomach hurts. It's good for you. Oh, and Blueberry Pancakes. And Deb gave me chocolate! :)

Zeke surprised me with one. I have wanted a Breadmaker ever since we got married. It's been really fun! He is the BEST husband and friend ever. I wish I could tell you all the cute stuff he says to me, but it has nothing to do with bread really, or the letter B. Other than you might barf!

Berry Pie:
After 2 cakes in the last week from Gabe and Beck's birthdays, I had to break the mold. Razzleberry Pie was my "cake".

One of my Best Buddies, Jessica, brought me some absolutely scrumptious Tillamook Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream. Yes, she loves me! Oh and an almond truffle from her daughter, Charlotte (she's in my Primary class). Thanks you guys, it really made me feel special.

Beautiful Blue Bathing Suit:
This is what I got with some of my Birthday money.
(Thanks, Mom, Patty, Barb, Clyde, and Dani)!
I wasn't actually looking for a bathing suit, but it found me! Really.

It's one of those perfect shopping moments that hardly ever happen: cutest suit ever, my size, on sale, and it fits perfectly!! I can't wait to wear it :) Here's a close-up of the fabric:

Beautiful Blue Bathing Suit, Bonus Breadmaker, Best Buddies,
enevolent Bridegroom, Book Club Bliss, Breathtaking Berry Pie,
ounteous Blueberry Pancakes, Belated Bladder Blessings
... and that's what made Lacy's Birthday Beyond Compare!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Happy Sunday!

My blog friend, Hilary, posted this and I enjoyed it so much I wanted to share it with you :) I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love the Spirit of hope it brings to our lives. And I love the youth of our Church.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Birthdays for Brothers = Lots of Pictures

Gabe made his own cake. Those are real guitar picks around the top edge.
Oh, and he likes to spell his name G-A-E-B now. :)
He says it's the Latin spelling.
We put trick candles on Gabe's cake...
Zeke helping Gabe with his new love:
I am amazed at how well he plays. He's been taking a class at school. First song he played? "Silent Night" :) And then "Smoke on the Water" of course. I feel like I'm 10 years old again listening to my brother, Jody, play his guitar -- all night long. My theme song playing in the background of all my childhood dreams? "Cat Scratch Fever" from Ted Nugent. Literally.
Love you, Jode. You are Gabe's Idol!
Beck wanted a guitar cake like Gabe (of course).
He's sampling the frosting and talking to Grandma Patty. :)
I love his face!
Talking to Grandma
Beck loves to get birthday cards.
These are the survivors (Sorry, Brooke, yours was well loved!)
Daddy brought Beck 3 balloons:
Beck and his new guitar! Oh boy, what was I thinking?
Gabe is Beck's Idol!
Holding still for a moment:
Zoe and Gabe telling Beck how to blow out the candles:
This is serious business:
3 years in a row -- cake overload!Gabe, what are you doing?
Mom, "Red eye flashes twice!!"
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