Saturday, June 30, 2007

Odds and Ends

Just thought that I would add a few pictures to the Blog because my last post didn't have any pictures...BORING! The other day we went to an outdoor shopping/common area called "the district" for family night and had a great time. We stopped by Ben and Jerry's for a quick ice cream and then headed out to the lawn to relax. It was very relaxing until we ran into some friends that have a little boy Cades age and had a little disaster. The two little ones were running around and having a great time, that was until Cade got a little over zealous with a toy car. He had so much energy, it was an hour past his bed time, and he was a little on the "wound up" side and he threw the toy car into the air and it smacked the other little boy right in the head, drawing blood!! I dont know who shed more tears, the little boy or me! I felt so terrible!! I know that Cade is still a little boy who is almost 2 but I swear that I have taught him better than that. Needless to say, we apologized profusely and exited quickly. Oh, the learning curves of life!
Here are a few more pictures from the family vacation. I ended up taking over 700 pictures in a few days and most of them were of this little darling, my niece Molly.

I love the picture of her doing the summer-sault with her dress over her head and also the one of her with her dress up and her finger in the nose. She is such a GIRL that it makes them even more classic. I also think it is too funny that all Molly wants to do is look at the water and Cade cannot get into it fast enough. Such a difference between boys and girls!

I think that I love the story behind this picture even more than the picture itself. As I said before, Molly is all girl and loves anything and everything that is girly, including dancing. One of our days on the beach I was snapping some pictures of the kids and turned around to see Molly dancing with her Daddy in the waves as he sang "beauty and the beast." It was so precious, I loved it and then at the end he said, "bow to the prince" and she bowed to him and then he bowed back to her. So tender.
Here are my silly boys being themselves at Knots Berry Farm. They saw the bench with the statues and they both snuggled right up to was classic Jared and Josh.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Oh What Do You Do In the Summer Time?

I have had the opportunity of thinking about summer this week, partly because it is our "pond" of the week and partly because it is 100 degrees by 8:00 a.m. so there is no escaping the fact that summer has arrived. I have pondered a great deal about the celebration of the summer season which brings many things to mind: watermelon, lemonade, swimming, kids saying "mom, I'm bored," riding bikes, family vacations, going to the beach. There are so many things to do in the summer time that are so exciting and looked forward to all year long. However, I have realized one thing during this pond.... I am getting OLD! Yes, I know, I am only 24 years old, but that can be the only explanation as the why I love to be home. Don't get me wrong, I love vacations just as much as the next guy but I also love to come home from them as well. I love my own bed, my own sheets, my own food, my own crazy routines, my own smells, my own home. I remember as a child we were not a big traveling family which was mostly because I was the first of the 4 and therefore lived in the "poor" years if you will. However, I always knew that family vacation time was important to my parents. So, out of pure creativity and resourcefulness my mom created the "city vacation." I must admit that I was a little hesitant about the idea when it was first introduced but in the end couldn't wait for the next year to come so we could do it again. Each child had a $100 dollar budget and a whole day to plan actives that the whole family had to participate in. Upon hearing that we got a $100 dollars our imaginations started to run wild with thoughts of hot air balloons and water parks which were quickly deflated and turned toward fishing and the Nickel arcade but still just as exciting to a 10-year-old mind. We spent the whole week exploring the city we lived in and discovering things we didn't even know existed. As we grew older our city vacations were replaced with trips to Orlando, Florida and Duck, North Carolina which were still exciting but could never be as enchanting as our "city vacations" were to our young minds. Now that I am in the "young family" stage I look forward to the days that I can take my children out to explore our city and then come home to our own beds.
However, summer is not just about vacations. As I have thought about this season and loathed the merciless heat I have decided to make the most of it. We have found ourselves at the pool countless times and have made many stops at the ice cream shop. However, I think that my very favorite thing about summer is the fruit. I cannot help but smile when berries finally come in season and a tear comes to my eye when the fruit prices begin to go up and the taste begins to go down. I have always loved fruit and I do not think I have met a fruit that I didn't like but I think that fruit has brought on a whole new meaning of summer in my old age. It brings me so much joy to fill my fridge with watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple and bananas. I love to feed them to Cade and I love to eat the fresh juicy berries for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I know that it is strange considering all the great things there are about the summer but I have found that it is the fruit that makes the heat worth it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Nielson Family Vacation

Wow it has been a long time!! We have finally gotten back into the swing of things after our family vacation. I can finally see the bottom of the laundry basket, suit cases are back in the closet (only to come out again in 2 weeks) and the fridge has now been rescued from its pathetic empty state. So now I sit at the computer to share with you our trip to Southern California. We had a wonderful time with Jared's family and feel so lucky to have been able to see all of them. We rented a beach house that was about 3 miles from San Clemente beach that we filled to the brim with 13 adults and 14 kids.

Although we were gone for a whole week I do not have much to report because much of our time was spent relaxing on the beach. We all talked and talked, built sand castles, boggie boarded, some surfed, played smash ball, ate lots of snacks, and had many family competitions. Haha, I do not know many families that can find as much enjoyment and competition out of push-ups and wheel barrel races as we do. Cade did not like the beach as much as I thought that he would. He has become a very "cautious" boy or in other words, a scardy cat, and was afraid of the waves. I felt it was a major accomplishment that by the end of the week I could stand in the water while holding him. However he did love the sand and also the showers at the beach so even though he did not get in the ocean he still came home wet and sandy.

The one day we broke away from the beach we went to knots berry farm. I was a little nervous to take Cade because I didn't think he would like it too much but I think in the end he liked it more than anyone else. He LOVED "driving" the trucks that went around and around and spent most of the day doing so. It was so funny to watch him because he would keep one hand on the wheel but also hang out the window and wave to everyone that would look at him.
We had a great time and loved spending time with the family. If you are dying to see more pictures you can also look on my photo journal for the pictures from the week. We love you guys and hope to see you again soon!

Friday, June 15, 2007

"The Truth about life's great questions is now Restored"

What a crazy life this past week has been. We have been so lucky to have family and friends come to visit and are now getting ready to leave for the Nielson Family vacation tomorrow. Summer is definitely in full swing in our home! I have thought a lot about our "pond" this week and have found a new appreciation for missionary work.
I am lucky enough to live in an area where they are running a test pilot for the new advertising for the Church. They have revamped everything from pass-along cards to commercials. They are saturating the area with the commercials, billboards, radio and internet advertisements, newspaper adds, and any other type of media you can think of. They have overhauled and completely updated the website and it is amazing. It provides investigators with the opportunity to research the Church from the comfort of their own home. I personally think it is a guineas idea because think of how much is done online these days!! The new tag line attached to all the media advertisement is "Truth about life's great questions is now restored." As I was learning about the new advertising I was so impressed by the passion and the faith that the brotheren had it its potential success however, that is only if I and all the other members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are willing to open their mouths and share.
I am the first to admit that I am a terrible missionary in words. I have always been afraid to open up a gospel conversation with a non-member, not because I do not believe it is true but because I do. I have always been afraid to share something that I love so dearly and potentially have it thrown back into my face or laughed at. I know, that is very selfish on my part, but none the less, true. However, as I have stepped out of my shell and realized that there are so many good people in this world, doing good things, and desiring truth it has become a little easier.
I have found however the place that I love being a "missionary" the most is in my home. Even though I have a family that are all active members of the church it truly brings me so much joy to know that I am teaching the gospel in a small way. I love knowing that I am helping to prepare future missionaries to go forth and serve. I love being able to teach my little one how to pray and what obedient means. I love sharing an insight with my sweet husband and hearing his mission stories. I love reading Cade scripture stories before bed and looking at pictures in "the Friend" before naps. I love hearing the hymns being played as we prepare for the day. I just love teaching those that I love the most.
I know that there is so much left to be done as far as missionary work is concerned and that I need to contribute my part. I believe that at times it can feel almost overwhelming as to where to start but once again I am continually amazed at our Heavenly Fathers patience and simple plan. If we just ask He will show us the first simple step. That is all it is, one small step after another. We are not expected to convert every person we come in contact with. We are just asked to listen to the promptings and open our mouths because "The truth about life's great questions is now Restored" and how lucky we are to know!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Park Excursions

We went to the park today, which will be one of the last times that we will be able to go for the rest of the summer. It is such a shame that it gets so hot here because there are so many fun parks. Jared got off work a little early today so we could take care of our car insurance...yuck...but yeah we got to be together as a family.

We told Cade that if he would be a good boy at the insurance office we would take him to the park and get some ice cream. I know, sad, we are using bribery for almost 2 year old....never too young to start, eh? So, as you can see... he was a good kid.

He played and played and played. He ran up and down, climbed on everything, and took a moment to chat with his dad. We had a great time at the park even though it was a little warm and minus the ice cream. We had already passed the ice cream shop once we got to the park so we decided that cookies would work just as well.

He was so excited about the cookies and ran around saying "cooooookie, cooooookie, cooooookie," it was rather funny. I think, however, he liked the cookie dough even better. It was a good day and we had a great time together as a family.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Struttin' His Stuff

This is Cades new church shirt. Jared thinks he looks like a cowboy but I think it is cute. Cade thought he was hot stuff, strutting into nursery and loving all the little girls. He is such a goof. I love this little boy!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Fun Visits

It is not very often that I get to be on the picture end of the camera and even more unique to this rare occurrence is that I also have make-up on...incredible! So I just thought that I would share.

We had the opportunity to have my mom come and visit for the day. We had so much fun spending time with her and Cade was absolutely fascinated with her as well. He was too funny because he kept asking for a taste of my moms "juice," as he would call it (diet coke). I gave my mom the approval and she gave him a little sip to which the above face resulted...haha it startled him a bit but he quickly decided it was a neat juice. We also had some fondue for dinner. It was really yummy stuff. We had 2 cheeses and 1 chocolate/caramel with all the fixings. It was a fun change of pace and Cade loved that he not only got to "poke" his food but dip it too.

We played and played with Uma (my mom) and had a wonderful time. Thanks for coming to see us mom. We love you!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Pondering Response

I have always loved this picture of the 10 virgins. My grandma Joyce had this picture hanging in the hall by her front door when I was a little girl and I can remember countless times that I would look at the picture on the way out and think, "which one would I be?" As I have prepared my lesson for Relief Society this week and pondered on our question I have taken a wonderful journey into my soul. I have learned a great deal about being prepared and how it is that I can help my family become not only prepared but Completely prepared. I have come to learn that the parable of the 10 virgins is not about good and bad, righteous and unrighteous, followers and unbelievers, but it is about those that are prepared and completely prepared.
In Jewish tradition when a wedding was drawing closer much time was spent in preparation for the event and the feast that would follow, of which preparation all 10 of the virgins were involved in. As the day approached the bride would stay at her home with her family/friends and the bridegroom would stay at his home with his family/friends and finish the celebration preparations, which could have lasted hours upon hours. Once the bridegroom had finished, he along with those that were with him would start the procession, call upon the bride once they reached her home and then the bride and her family/friends would join and they would all make their way to the place of the wedding and feast.
Back to the parable, the 10 virgins were waiting for the bridegroom to finish preparations and had fallen asleep. When the bridegroom was heard coming at the unlikely hour of 12 midnight 5 of the virgins realized that they would not have enough oil for their lamps to light the way. These were women who loved the couple and wanted to be part in the celebration, not just random people off the street, but loved ones. They had made many preparations for the celebration, they waited all hours of the night for the bridegroom but none the less they were not Completely Prepared with enough oil. They quickly asked the other 5 who had brought enough oil if they could borrow some, to which the reply was "Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves." Matthew 25 However, once these women returned from purchasing more oil the procession had left and the door to the celebrations had been shut.
The thing that I have learned to most from this journey and the parable is that often times we put a great deal of time into preparing ourselves and our families but when it comes to the little things the physical things: food storage, staying out of debt, saving money, we forget that we must do those things ALSO to be completely prepared. We are not expected to do it all at once but it is a journey, here a little, there a little. But, we have been counciled time and time again by our prophets to prepare ourselves that I think that often times we forget that they are talking to us and not just everyone else.
I also know that for me the thought of food storage is a little overwhelming, expensive, and "where am I going to put it?" comes to mind. However, through this journey I have seen that the Lord will provide a way if I am willing to listen and submit. "...
prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." Malachi 3:10
In answer to the question "If you were part of the Parable of the 10 virgins which one of the virgins would you be and why?" I would have to say that I would hope that I would have enough oil for my lamp. I know that my preparations are not complete but I am diligently working on "having enough oil," physically and spiritually. But this I know to be true, the Lord will provide if we are willing to ask, listen, and act so that we might be prepared when he calls upon us.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Grandma Dear

Happy Birthday to my Grandma...who is only the BEST grandma in the whole world! Today is the day that she graced the world with her presence and how thankful I am for that day. I have been so blessed to have her in my life. We have spent many hours together in my little life and when I was little I honestly thought that everyone was best friends with their moms and grandmas. I loved to sit and listen to my mom and grandma chat while eating tuna fish sandwiches and drinking diet coke. I loved sitting for HOURS while she tried to learn how to french braid my hair or tie it in rags. I loved going shopping with her and asking to hear stories about me, to which she kindly obliged. I loved daydreaming about my wedding, what colors I would use, what food we would eat, and what the groom would be like. I loved actually having the blessing of having her by my side as we did plan my wedding. I loved the countless hours of yard work and meeting her at the gym the summer I lived with her. I loved having her as my support when I was in labor and gave birth to my little Cade.
Grandma, I have been so blessed to have you in my life and thank you for all the love, support, and encouragemet you have given. We all love you grandma! Thank you for being my friend!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Photo Journal

So I have decided to try and keep a history for my family through pictures. I figure that I am taking them anyway, I mine as well use it for something. I have made the goal to take one picture a day that captures the feelings, activities, and accomplishments of the day. I am really excited and ready to learn more about photography and take a more creative look into my life. You can take a look here or click on the link on the left side of the page. Enjoy and I invite you all to join in creating your own photo journal with a picture a day.

Monday, June 4, 2007


Monday is here again which means time to add another question the the "pond." I am preparing my lesson for Relief Society on Sunday and the topic is being self reliant and prepared so this topic has been on my mind a great deal lately. So today when I was reading an article out of the newest Ensign about the parable of the 10 virgins it really hit home and touched my heart. I started thinking about how all 10 of these women were converted, willing, and had the desire to follow the bridegroom but 5 were not prepared. Therefore the inspiration for the pond this week....

"If you were part of the Parable of the 10 virgins which one of the virgins would you be and why?"

I know that it is a little bit of a different question but I think it will be an interesting journey to find where you are, why you are there, and where you want to be. Enjoy and I look forward to hearing your insights on Friday.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

The Weekend in Review

Welcome welcome to the summer! We had my dad come out to visit us for Jared's birthday. He was planning on only staying for the day but once he stepped off the plane and saw his grandsons smile we roped him in for another day. It was lots of fun to have him here with us. We watched the Jazz game, went out to dinner, visited the park, and the boys played lots of basketball. I also had the opportunity to take a spot on the opposite end of the camera for some family pictures that he snapped for us...thanks dad!

We have a children's activity pool by our house that we went and checked out on Saturday. It was so much fun so I am sure there will be many many more pictures of the pool to come. Cade was a little unsure about the pool at first, surprise surprise, but soon warmed up to it and had a blast!
He loved rolling around in the water and splashing Jared. Who needs kids your own age around when you have a daddy!
This picture, one on the left, is one of my favorites. Cade had a little crush on the life guard and kept checking her out. It was too funny to watch him as he would try and get as close to her as he could without her seeing him and then would run away when she looked down at him. Watch out ladies...he is learning young!
Another love of Cades is cookie dough...he is a boy after his mothers heart. I took dinner to a friend that just had a baby the other day and so decided to make a quick batch of cookies. Cade was so interested in watching everything go into the bowl but was even more excited about licking the spoon after it was mixed. It was too cute, aside from the tummy aches we both had after eating way too much dough.