May Clean-Up

It's been a busy month!  We got to visit with Grandma and Grandpa Smedley at the beginning of the month and Grandma and Grandpa Perigo at the the end of the month.  Lots of visitors, field trips, sports, and fun

Everyone's favorite Aunt: Alina

~don't get between a girl and her doughnut~

Isaac is a little ball-hog (in a GOOD way!)

Landon cooked his first meal -  he's on breakfast duty from now on! ;)

Passing time during soccer practice

After-bath-time Dancing Queen

Women's Conference was a great get-away, reminder, and motivator

Isaac drew this picture of Grandma Smedley.  She's wearing her "favorite green shirt", he says.  

Making friends at baseball practice.  I love how she can make friends anywhere!

Backyard Family Football game

A week's worth of treasures from 3 boy's pockets

Austin held my hand when I went to school with him!  Mother heart = happy

Grandpa and Isaac (Grandpa's namesake) started calling themselves the 'Creighton Observatory Team'.  The 'COT' has comforted Isaac many times when he's felt left out.

The boys take turns sleeping at Grandma's and Grandpa's motor home.

The favorite game-player is hands-down, Grandma Perigo

I got to go on a field trip with Landon!  So fun.  I think it may be the last time I can go with him, because, well, do they have field trips in Middle School?  Furthermore, will he want me there in Middle School?!  I'm treasuring this day with growing-up boy.

Austin's 2nd grade field trip.  We had a lot of fun!  I love how he hung out with his friends but he came and "checked up" on me through out the day.

A fun afternoon in an abandoned, old mining town.  The cloudy, foggy weather added to the mystique.


Landon is E.L.E.V.E.N.

Today is Landon's eleventh birthday!  I can't believe it's been so long!

We started the day off right with our family's traditional birthday breakfast....

....and finished the day off with a fun dirt bike-themed family birthday party.

Landon was lucky enough to have Grandma and Grandpa Perigo here for his birthday celebration.  He requested BBQ ribs for dinner and Mint Chocolate Mud Pie Birthday cake.

Favorite present just might have been this bag of Resse's!

I kind of love Austin's face in this picture!  He's like, "uh, I'm not so sure about that, Landon."  
Obviously, Landon was happy to light his own birthday candles!

Make a wish! 

Later in the week, after a mad dash from his last baseball game (that went much longer than anyone could have thought!) we took a few of Landon's favorite friends to the Bruneau Sand Pits for more dirt-bike birthday fun!

(the invitation)

Happiest Birthday to one of my favorite boys!  I love this kid more than I could ever say!


Lessons From Women's Conference

This past weekend, I attended BYU's Women's Conference; a two day conference dedicated to the women of the LDS church.  It was an inspiring few days that left me motivated,uplifted and inspired.  In year's past I've taken notes, and while some things continue to stick with me, I've found myself forgetting things. This year, as I took notes, I made extra notes of things that I really wanted to apply to my life. I'm writing them down here to help me remember.

  • Take JOY in our contributions, no matter how small.  Each choice we make and what we do with our time, energy, money, etc, really do matter and make a difference.  Moroni 7:3-4  {"by their works ye shall know them; for if their works be good, then they are good also."}
  • Practice saying the word 'rejoice' in our prayers - this will help us focus on things to be grateful for.
  • Christ will magnify our efforts to find peace in our trials.  Christ was already in Gethsemane - We don't need to dwell there.  Accept his gift of the atonement and find peace
  • Electronics and Technology: (I especially liked this class as it applied to my kid's use of technology and plan to dedicate a FHE to talk about these things)
    • 1. base decisions in life on the plan of salvation:
      • Does the use of media impede the companionship of the Holy Ghost?
      • Does the time you spend using media take away from service and other things that bring you closer to Christ?
    • 2. use tools that will help you on your journey and improve your quality of life and others
      • idea read a scripture as often as you send a text
    • 3. electronics can lead us away from the Savior if not managed well
    • 4. technology must be used with discipline
    • 5. does technology drown out the still small voice?  are you looking at things virtuous, lovely or of good report?  Use your agency to make good choices about what you look at - and what you post
  • Building Families Upon the Rock of Our Redeemer:
    • 1. Prayer - prayer is essential to a Christ-centered life
      • Regular family prayer will make family members draw closer, not only to God, but to each other.  Make it a priority
      • In our prayers: acknowledge our accountability, ask for blessings, be thankful
    • 2. Scriptures - reading as a family will make the spirit of reverence exist and the spirit of contention will leave
      • Be consistent; read together 5 minutes a day
      • Begin with the desire to read then make it a priority and pray to help you make the time
    • 3. Temple - The promises of the temple are worth every sacrifice
      • apostolic promise - the use of the temple will safeguard our youth now and throughout their lives
      • Sunday afternoon activity - family history
      • It is the small things we do that will bring our children to the Savior
  • Communicating With Our Children
    • Time Matters - find time be alone with each child.  Spending time with them "speaks" louder than words
    • Get to know them.  Talk about what they are interested in
    • Kids need to be told that they amount to something and they are capable and worthwhile - find ways to help them see that (let them be in charge of meals, chores, etc and PRAISE, praise, praise their efforts)
    • Pray with them and for them - As we communicate with God through prayer our children will learn about unconditional love, repentance, forgiveness, and asking for help and strength; Heavenly Father trusts us with our children and we need to trust HIM to help us lead them
    • Learn their love language - 5 Love Languages for Children and Teens: take the quiz and love them in their language (I plan to give this quiz during a FHE lesson where I will also give the assignment that each of us show love to our family members through their language)
    • Kids WILL talk to us.  They talk when they need to and WE NEED to recognize when they are trying to.  It will often come at night - No matter how tired you are RECOGNIZE the opportunities to communicate with them.  They may not know what they need but as they open up it will come out
    • Create Bridges to Good Communication:
      • Safe Place - create a mood of safety in your communication: be positive, have empathy, no judging or criticizing.  How we speak to our children builds their confidence and self worth
      • Time - they way we spend our time communicates our priorities.  Love is communicated when support our children's events and give them our time
      • Get to know our children's interests - prayer can help; we can be inspired to know what to talk to our children about
  • Showing the Lord We Love Him
    • Chapter 6 Preach My Gospel : Answer questions on pg 126 of Preach My Gospel and evaluate where you are at.
      • Faith - if we are reading the scriptures the Spirit will strengthen our faith.  The Lord looks after the faithful
      • Hope, Charity, Love - Celestial Attributes - In order to develop these we may be asked to do the very things that are hardest for us - if we are serious about our discipleship - Charity is a state of becoming not a destination.  Pure love of Christ is a state of Being - it's who we are, what's in our hearts
      • Virtue - originates in our innermost thoughts
      • Knowledge  - ponder what we learn, how can we teach it?
      • Patience - with patience our trials can become highlights of our lives - patience helps us endure to the end.  Patience is the capacity to endure without anger, malice, or lack of faith
      • Humility - willingness to submit to the will of the Lord and give Him the credit
      • Diligence - Earnest, Energetic effort - "I have fought the good fight"
      • Obedience - first law of Heaven.  DO what you know.  Humbly have a change of heart and desire to obey
      • Ether 12:27 - address our shortcomings.  The final judgement in not a list of what we've done but what we have become on this earth.  
      •  God's influence is felt in the details of our lives - make each choice with exactness
  • Discipleship
    • Mark - The Gospel of  Mark shows examples of discipleship that we CAN be imperfect.  We can be uncertain and unsure.  Mark 9:24 "Help thou my unbelief" - we can follow Christ and still need help.
    • Matthew - We are called to be disciples - B attitude #4 - be filled with the Holy Ghost so we can live the higher law.  Be forgiving Matt 18:15 
    • Luke - ANYONE can be a disciple  - Luke 8:3 - women ministered unto Him of their substance - selfless service  Luke 10:28-42  - focus on the needful things
    • John - Disciples of Christ are His friends. John 15:14-15;  John 11:45-46 - it was Mary who told Lazarous' story - preach the gospel always, use words when necessary: Be an EXAMPLE with everything we do.  John 20 - Mary sees Jesus because she stayed at the tomb.  She was still there when Christ came - "linger" and wait for Christ through prayer
  • We Never Check Our Religion At the Door 
    • Don't walk through a "doorway" that will make you think about forgetting who you are, such as conversations, other's opinions, music or media
    • This is not a religion of perfection but progression: allow other's to progress.  Think of Peter.  Don't judge.  We should continue to refine ourselves.  Accept ourselves because God created us
    • Prayer brings our will and the Lord's will for us together.  Bend our will to God's.
    • Be the woman that will raise disciples of Jesus Christ
    • The Lord gave Adam and Eve 4 "gifts" when they left the Garden - we have those gifts too:
      • protection - garments are the tangible love of Christ - we are protected through them
      • prayer
      • promises - covenants help us avoid destruction.  Think of them as a warm relationship : we can do what we promise hand in hand with the Lord
      • priesthood
  • 'Is This Really the World I Live In?' by Elder Eyring
    • Danger has been true all through history.  This world isn't different in that we need divine protection.  We can have confidence and joy.
    • Lead your life as if there are no storm clouds in the sky.  We have no control over the storms
    • The Lord calls us friends - He knows our hearts and has seen us trying to live His will - 'You are my friends if you do whatsoever I command you.'
    • The Lord protects and guides and watches over His friends
    • He sends help to willful hearts
    • The Holy Ghost in action is the gift of comfort, peace, and safety from discouragement - fear can not hold us if we call upon the gift of the Holy Ghost
    • We have no need to fear
    • We don't know who is on the Lord's errand - we are each placed on Earth to reach out, through the spirit, to touch other's lives.  The Lord sends the Holy Ghost to help us answer prayers.  He hears our prayers and sends other's to help us.  We can pray, "Who can I help today?"  We can bring other's joy on their journey.  
    • We will feel the spirit of protection as we offer that blessing to others - be open to the spirit and  do what we feel, don't wait.
  • 10 Things Teens Won't Tell You (I got this from a friend who went to a class I didn't go to.  I love it.)
    1. You are the most important person in my life. 
    2. I need rules and expectations.
    3. I want you to notice me.
    4. I'm tempted to compromise to fit in.
    5. Those corny things we do are kind of cool.
    6. You are my hero.
    7. Your stress affects my life.
    8. I need you to interfere.
    9. I want you to expect great things of me.
    10. Hearing you talk about what is right and wrong is important.


Easter Memories

The Dying of the Eggs

The Fun of Having Grandparents Here

 The Boy with the 102* Fever; Too Sick to Enjoy It  

The Resurrection Rolls and the Telling of the Easter Story as they're Prepared & The Boy That Couldn't Quite Believe the Marshmallows Just Disappeared All On their Own.  {He thought for sure I took them out while they were cooking - it opened up another great conversation about the Resurrection} 

The Attempt to Keep the Focus on the Real Reason We Celebrate Easter

The After-Church Egg Hunting MC'd by Grandpa

The Cuteness of Her Pink Fingernails

The Enthusiasm of the Egg Hunter Extraordinaire  - He Took Full Advantage of His Brother's lack of Enthusiasm Toward Jelly Bean Filled Eggs 

The Attempt to Take a "Frameable" Picture of Four Smiling Kids in their Coordinating Easter Sunday Clothes