Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hope in The Light

"Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38 when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate. their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air. they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there. they were filled wit
h such joy, they didn't know what to say. they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day. "where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse. "this is heaven." declared a small boy. "we're spending Christmas at God's house." when what to their wondering eyes did appear, but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near. He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same. then He opened His arms and He called them by name. And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring those children all flew into the arms of their King and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace, one small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face. and as if He could read all the questions she had He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad." then He looked down on earth, the world far below He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand, "Let My power and presence re-enter this land!" "may this country be delivered from the hands of fools" "I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!" then He and the children stood up without a sound. "come now my children, let me show you around." excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran. all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can. and I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight, "in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

After the terrible tragedy in Connecticut--the mass shooting at and elementary school, I am amazed to see the grace and loving kindness extended by those who have lost loved ones. So grateful to shre this world such amazing people.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Foster Parents

 Peter and I with our wonderful teachers--Dawn Glavin (orange) and Jenn Smith (purple)
"For out of much affliction and anguish of heart….a door was opened unto me of the Lord….Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ." 2 Corinthians chapter 2

After years of waiting we were finally able to see "
the door". On Monday night (Dec 3rd) Peter and I received our certificate to become foster (hoping to adopt) parents. Despite us both having fevers of 102 we were still able to smile. one more med paperwork class, a few weeks for them to process all the paperwork, and we should have 2 more little ones running around.

We are so grateful to Heavenly Father for His "mysterious", but beautiful ways of bringing about miracles in our lives. We are grateful to have two more angels join our home. All the sadness of loss and waiting is swallowed up in the love of the Savior which is filling our hearts our hearts for the children we have not yet met.

And I am grateful to see just how amazing my two little sons are--so brave and full of love. Everytime I warn them of some difficulty that may come as we foster (extreme behavior problems, loving the kids and then having to return them to their bio. families, affects of abuse etc.), they are still so willing to do whatever needs to be done. Their hearts are so full of love and they are the best brothers on the planet to share that love with others who so desperatly need it. I feel honored to be their mother, and so honored to become the mother (for however long or short that time may be) to two more amazing, strong and brave young ones who already know so much or heartache. I am truely blessed to be around such wonderful souls and to learn from them the things of Heaven.

I was listening to this talk from confence and I knew it was a message from Hevaenly Father that applied to our family (present and soon coming) as we all go through a difficult process.

Where Is the Pavilion?

Although His time is not always our time, we can be sure that the Lord keeps His promises. For any of you who now feel that He is hard to reach, I testify that the day will come that we all will see Him face to face. Just as there is nothing now to obscure His view of us, there will be nothing to obscure our view of Him. We will all stand before Him, in person. Like my granddaughter, we want to see Jesus Christ now, but our certain reunion with Him at the judgment bar will be more pleasing if we first do the things that make Him as familiar to us as we are to Him. As we serve Him, we become like Him, and we feel closer to Him as we approach that day when nothing will hide our view.
The movement toward God can be ongoing. “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,”7 the Savior teaches. And then He tells us how:
“For I was an hungered  and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
“Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
“Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered  and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
“When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
“Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”8
As we do what He would have us do for His Father’s children, the Lord considers it kindness to Him, and we will feel closer to Him as we feel His love and His approval. In time we will become like Him and will think of the Judgment Day with happy anticipation.
The pavilion that seems to be hiding you from God may be fear of man rather than this desire to serve others. The Savior’s only motivation was to help people. Many of you, as I have, have felt fear in approaching someone you have offended or who has hurt you. And yet I have seen the Lord melt hearts time after time, including my own. And so I challenge you to go for the Lord to someone, despite any fear you may have, to extend love and forgiveness. I promise you that as you do, you will feel the love of the Savior for that person and His love for you, and it will not seem to come from a great distance. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Joey and Kimball's Great Creativity

Joey's talk in primary and one of his weekly journal writings for school
Joey's list of necessary foods for survival--cotton candy of course

Apparently Kimball was getting bored in kindergarten. He practiced cursive and writing backwards instead. I still don't know how he can write backwards so perfectly.

Madera Canyon

It's so fun to live close to mountains again. There is a beautiful, green canyon  30 minutes from our house. We all love being out there hiking, throwing rocks and exploring.

Joey loved collecting all the seed pods from the tall grasses as we walked

picnic dinner

   cute little sillies

We found a little stream near the top. Pretty good for the middle of the desert!


The most exciting discovery was the tarantula hawk. As the sun was setting, Kimball and Dad were getting tired, but Joey and I wanted to explore some more so we started off down a little trail. After a few minutes I saw something moving and it looked like a tarantula  I steeped in to get a closer look and saw a huge bug dragging the tarantula  I sent Joey to run back and get Dad, Kimball and the camera while I kept an eye on the show so it wouldn't disappear  We watched until they disappeared into the bushes. When we got home we discovered (after a scientific Google search) that it was a tarantula hawk.-tarantula hawk is a spider wasp which hunts tarantulas as food for its larvaeThe stinger of a female tarantula hawk can be up to 7 mm (1/3 in) long, and the sting is considered among the most painful insect stings in the world.
The female tarantula hawk captures, stings, and paralyzes the spider, then either drags her prey back into her own burrow or transports it to a specially prepared nest, where a single egg is laid on the spider’s abdomen, and the entrance is covered. When the wasp larva hatches, it creates a small hole in the spider's abdomen, then enters and feeds voraciously, avoiding vital organs for as long as possible to keep the spider alive. After several weeks, the larva pupates. Finally, the wasp becomes an adult, and emerges from the spider's abdomen to continue the life cycle. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

One of many neighborhood parties

I think this was the Labor day Party. We love having lots of fun , free parties to go to right here. There was a magician who taught the kids a few tricks so they could do magic of their own. The boys loved it, especially Joey. 
 Leaning how to push a spear through a balloon without popping it. The secret--essences of dinosaur (petroleum jelly) : smear it all over the skewer before inserting it.

 Getting their magic fish to come alive

 Bounce houses and watersides are awesome!

First Day of school #1

 Kimball kindergarten
Joey 2nd grade
Kimball was so excited to start going to the big school with Joey. He was disappointed that he couldn't ride the bus since we lived so close, but he was just happy to be able to go to school.

This year they wanted a letter cookie and a heart cookie after their first day

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New neighborhood fun

We live in a master built community in a tiny town just south of Tucson called Sahuarita. All the street names are in Spanish and the highway we use is in kilometers :) We have been enjoying exploring the desert. 
 We got these cheap, inflatable rafts to paddle around the lake next to us. We had a lot of fun despite the chep paddles 
 Backyard BBQ. Yup, that is an AstroTurf rug you see back there. Grass is a weed here and too hard to maintain so we bought the fake stuff--not at all the same.
The summer was not near as bad as everyone led us too believe. Granted, it is hot, but because it is also monsoon season, there is almost always an afternoon rain shower to cool things off. After years of drought in Texas, the boys were very happy to play in the daily rainstorms.

 Then they played in the mud. Kimball found a feather and used it for a paintbrush to decorate his body with mud--so creative.

 Awesome train track the day after we arrived
 Here's the neighborhood mini golf course with a few holes-in-one

 The cool kiddie train that goes around the clubhouse

 The awesome waterpark
 The fun giant turtles by the lake

The week we moved in Peter and I celebrated our 8 year anniversary. As you can see it was very low key at home with our 2 favorite boys. We're saving up for 10 years for when he graduates and we'll go away for a whole month and leave our kids with grandma and grandpa--get ready :)

 I just love when Joey spontaneously reads to Kimball. I love seeing them snuggled together being sweet brothers
 Joey was begging me to let him ride his bike through the big puddle in the road, so one day when dad got home early we went (I knew Kimball would want to too, but that might have been dangerous until he gets older). Joey had one messy back when we got home

 Filling up the honey jar. Every so often we have to fill up the honey jar from the 5 gallon bucket of raw homey we have. It's so cute to see the boys sit there for quite a while and just watch the honey drip from the funnel into the jar. It made me so happy to see that that is entertaining to them. Not watching tv and rarely playing computer games has payed off--the simple pleasures of life are still amazing to them. Or they could just be doing that because they know if they stay there long enough they will get to lick all the honey equipment when I'm done :)

Backwards day. We got Ice Cream for Breakfast from the library and the boys begged me for weeks to have backwards day, so one day I finally caved (after I made carrot cake so they could have a semi healthy dessert for breakfast.). So one morning we woke them up and said good night, they put their shirts on backward, and then we had cake followed by peas and grilled cheese for breakfast. They attempted to walk backward all day just like Huckle did, but that lost it's charm after a while. It was fun to have a silly day with them!

Joey inherited my small mouth and his 2 permanent teeth weren't coming out because there was no room so Peter took two baby teeth out. The hygienist said she thought the tooth fairy payed extra when you're brave and get your teeth pulled out by the dentist, so we found this note next to his teeth, "My teeth we're pulled out at the dentist." Written partially in cursive nonetheless  so she had to give a good reward.

Backyard Buddies. right next door to us is a family with a little girl, Katie, who is in Kimball's class at school. The boys really like playing over the wall with her. On Saturday mornings we hear a little voice yelling, "Joey, Kimball, can you play." They often throw balls back and forth to each other over the wall.

The boys really wanted the missionaries to stay and play with them one night after they ate over, but they had to get to an appointment. So they got out their planners and made an appointment to come back and play chase with the boys. It was so cute. I was so impressed that these Elders would come run around our yard in the hot Arizona sun. They are really good guys. We will really miss Elder King when he goes. He always shares a scripture with the boys about respecting your parents and appreciating you mom. He is welcome in my house anytime!

 Because we live out in the boonies, and because there is a city ordinance against street lights because of the observatory on the mountain, we can see some amazing stars right in our backyard. We have seen quite a few shooting stars! The boys love to listen to stories we make  up staring them as we watch.

 The boys had endless hours of fun going down the water slides. It's so much better than crowded Sea World!

 This fun Saguaro is down the street. It has two little balls growing from it that make it look like eyes.

  This frog was on our front porch one night. Apparently some kids lick the frogs back to get high. It secretes a chemical similar to LSD. People have to watch their dogs because they love to lick these guys too. How desperate do you have to be to get a buzz.

The boys got a certificate for their 4 days of summer camp!