Monday, December 30, 2019

Monday December 30

Just another day gone by when we don't really have plans and no one knows what day it is and everyone is bored :)
Madi and I got our workouts done.
Madi had a meeting for her job today.
Cassi went and got a cute haircut.
I had the kids help me take down Christmas.
It's not totally clean yet...but getting closer.
Madi and Porter chatted with Logan for a while and did Come Follow Me together.
It was pretty cute.
That is pretty much all we did today :)
Oh, Madi's wedding dress came today.
It is very pretty and man....we got a really good deal on it!!!

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Sunday December 29

We had a really nice day at church.
Bubble and Eldon had visitors.... Eldon's brother and his wife from salt lake.
They are members and so they attended church with us, so that was cool πŸ‘πŸ»
After church, Madi and I decided to try a couple different pretzel recipes out.
We did like one better than the other and learned a few things 😊
We will try again another time.
She wants pretzels at her reception.... So we are finding the best recipe πŸ‘πŸ»
We put our puzzle together.
After dinner we did our come follow me and then went to the Morgan's and played some games...until really late!
But it was a fun time.
Better than fighting here at home!
Hopefully we don't have a bunch of grumps tomorrow!
Oh something so sad happened last night!
I noticed Brent coming back into our bedroom with the flashlight on at like 4:30 in the morning.
He said he heard a weird yelp/whimper sound and decided to go check it out.
Mater, who we tie up at night, had hung himself off the side of the stairs!!!!
Still goes to the chain and just dangling.
Luckily Brent went out and checked when he did. 
He pulled Mater up and he untied him.
He was okay.
But oh man, I can't imagine finding that if Brent hadn't checked him...or if Brent was at work because I didn't hear Mater at all!!!
Breaks my heart!
He's gotten extra loves today and he seems fine.
So scary though!!!!!!!

Elsie's charades...... She's a nutcracker!

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Saturday December 28

Kind of another lazy day.
I think we are all kind of sick of it..... Ready for our routine back!
After Madi worked out, she went outside with Elsie and rode bikes.
Those dang hives/rash came back!!!!
It didn't itch, but her skin burned.
It went away after about an hour.
Dang it!!!!
Cass hung out with friends this afternoon.
Port went and played at the church with the Morgan's for a little while.
Dad made a really yummy dinner tonight.
Then Dad and I went on our last temple date for the year.
I'm glad we got to get there.
We were almost the only couple in the session!
But then at the last minute a couple others came in.
But they told us they run the session even if they only have one patron!
Anyway, it was nice to go and feel the peace there.
Madi had friends over this evening, hot tubbing.
And Cassi is still hanging with friends.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Friday December 27

We all slept in past 8 today :)
It is nice to sleep in, but I need to get the kids back on schedule so it isn't super hard when school starts again!!!!
I am almost done with the BofM again, 4th time this year.
I read every morning and I take notes when I find stuff that goes with our year family theme of Fortify and Conquer.
This morning I noticed one of my notes in Ether 12:34 :)
There is a reason that is so fun and why I want to blog about it.
For years, Cassi and I have found each other, or text each other when the clock says 12:34, or when the treadmill timer is at 12:34 or anytime we see those 4 numbers together :)
That is over 10 years ago!!!!
Anyway...just a special thing between her and I.
And it just made my heart happy to see that this morning and I sent her a picture right away.
I hope it is something she remembers for a long time...that little special thing that just she and I have together ❤
I had to workout a little later because Madi was in the gym.
It was pretty nice outside and I probably could have run outside.....but I just wasn't feeling it.
Maybe tomorrow :)
Stacia came over and chatted with us for a little while after my workout.
Then Dad and I decided to go out on a date.
We left kind of early because we wanted to go to Kahootz, and that tends to fill up fast.
So we got there and had a yummy dinner.
Then we went grocery romantic :)
Cassi is babysitting this evening, so when we got home we played games with the other three kiddos.
It was a fun time, and we missed Cassi.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Thursday December 26

We had a real lazy day.
We watched movies and we played games.
We got our workouts done.
Then we shot up the gingerbread houses, except Elsie's.
She wanted to save hers :)
We all went out...even Elsie. and it was pretty chilly out there!!!
But we had a fun time.
Elsie didn't want to shoot the loud guns, so Porter went in the house and got his air soft gun for her to shoot.
It wasn't working very good, but she still had a fun time with it :)
And it was fun for her to participate with us too.
Usually she just hangs out inside.
Dad made an amazing roast beef dinner for us.
The one that was supposed to be our Christmas dinner, but we didn't have enough time to make it after the movie :)
Well, I am glad we waited!
It was so so yummy!
Then we played some more games and then we watched Top Gun.
We saw the preview at the Star Wars movie yesterday....and Dad got so excited about it!
So we found it and watched it on Vidangel :)
Hopefully tomorrow we can get some house cleaning done :)

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Wednesday December 25 MERRY CHRISTMAS

It was a pretty great day for us today.
Fighting, of course......always fighting (I feel like I have said that before!)
The kids slept until 7.
They were all ready to come down the stairs :)
They got some fun stuff, but the big present was a little fake Passport inviting them to join us in Mexico this summer.
We were gonna do it over Spring break, but Madi and Logan kind of messed those plans up ;)
So it will be a summer adventure.
After presents we cuddled up on the couch and watched home videos for s few hours.
Mostly Madi and Cassi....but some from wen Dad was a little kid and then also some really old ones with Grams and Gramps.
It was so much fun to watch!!!!
Then we had lunch and headed to the movie theatre.
We watched the new Star Wars and boy did we all love it.
Lots of awesome life lessons in there!!!!
On the way home, some giant snow flakes started falling.
Nothing stuck, but it kept falling for a while.
Port got a new gun for Christmas and the boys spent some time shooting.
The movie was longer than we had our dinner plans were a little messed up.
We have a roast beef we wanted to cook.
So we decided to go out for dinner.
We went to the Japanese steakhouse Sukana.
Such yummy we decided to make it a Christmas day tradition!
We will eat our roast beef tomorrow :)
We got home and decided to all jump in the hot tub.
We had a nice time in there, then I decided to have a Christmas hot tub challenge.
Porter went first....he ran to the trampoline, which still had some snow on it.
He jumped 3 times and then made a snow angel....then back to the Hot tub.
Cassi ran to the tramp and made a mini snowman from the snow there....then slid down the slide (kind of hurt her bum on the icy slide :)
Madi ran to the middle of the grass and yelled MERRY CHRISTMAS as loud as she could.
We didn't want her to do something too intense for fear of a big hive breakout with the temp change.....she just got some small freckle hives afterwards.
Dad and Elsie ran around one of the trees outside.
The kids made me to jump on the tramp three times, then run to the back of the lawn and do a cart wheel.
Lots of fun around these parts :)
Then we came in and had pie.
Trying to get them to go to bed now.
It was easy for Elsie to be talked into it.....she is exhausted!!!!
So hopefully we can all get some good sleep tonight.
It was a wonderful day spent together ❤

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Tuesday December 24 CHRISTMAS EVE

We had a fun day.
Kind of lazy morning with some workouts getting done too.
Then we all went to Winco for some last minute stuff.
Came home and we made Gingerbread houses.
We made it a contest on Instagram and we will who wins....
Then we had out traditional fondue dinner.
Then of course they like to open their sibling gifts on Christmas eve as well as their Christmas a Jammies.
Except this year we opted for robes, and I think everyone is excited about them.
They are nice and cozy!
Dad read us the Christmas story from the bible and then it was time to go to bed.
Porter went to put some reindeer food out and he totally slipped and totally biffed it on the stairs outside, really bruising his backside :(
They are all sleeping in Elsie's room this year.
I am sure this is the last year that they will be sleeping together in someones room!
There was fighting about this....Madi just wants her bed.
But we told her this was the last time!
I think everyone is just so tired.
Hopefully they all sleep good and we can make it a great day tomorrow!!!!

Monday, December 23, 2019

Monday December 23

It rained a little today, but luckily the sun came out enough and I went for a good run.
It was like 48 degrees too!
Cassi Babysat, Madi soldered, Porter went skiing with the Edwards boys and Elsie....she was kind of lazy today. 
But she did read all our Christmas books :)
After my run, I finally got Christmas wrapped!
Most of it anyway.
Dad took care of the leaves outside.
Then he and I went shopping for tomorrows and Christmas dinner supplies.
Back at home, we made burgers and then the whole family watched Noelle.
I can't believe it is almost Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Sunday December 22

We had a wonderful Christmas Sunday.
Dad was asked to speak, and asked to speak more on the Atonement made possible by Christ than of Christ's birth.
Kind of a different topic than we are used to for Christmas.
But if not for his Atonement ad life, his birth would have been just another baby being born.
It went along with this past week's come follow me.
Anyway....we had some dear friends come to watch.
Bubble and Eldon came, which was fun.
And a friend of Dad and mine, Lynn, came.
He is a pretty cool dude.
First the choir sang, then the YW girls got up and sang.
Cass had a solo part and sang beautifully.
Then Dad got to speak.
He really did an amazing job.
It was very powerful and he didn't shy away from real topics.
I typed it out so it can be saved forever :)

As we learned in Come Follow Me this week, it's not only important to know how Christ was born but to know WHY.  We know that he came here to redeem us and we know that he came here to bring us the atonement of Christ.
The Atonement of Christ is something that is very near to my heart. I've come to appreciate it and to understand it in ways I didn't know were possible. It has brought great change to my life. I really can't say enough about it.
I found that hope in Christ and the Atonement of Christ are very powerful tools that we can use in our everyday life. And I need to use in my everyday life just to avoid the pitfalls of this world we live in.  They are powerful tools, but tools are only good if we use them.
I liken this to what happens to me quite often at get-togethers or parties when I meet someone new and they find out I am a fire fighter, one of the first things they say is, 'well good, if the house catches on fire we have to to put it out.' and I have to kind of laugh to myself because, I have a working knowledge of how to put fires out, I have experience with fire fighting but without my protective gear to get in close to the seed of the fire, without the big red engine outside pumping water through my hose, I am little more effective than anyone else there.
I liken that to how I was living my spiritual life.
I was born in the church, I had a very active family, read the scriptures, graduated seminary. I had a working knowledge of the gospel and I had experience with church but I was not utilizing the tools that I had at my fingertips. Specifically the tool of the atonement.  I have been thinking a lot about what are some of the reasons that keep us from using these tools that we know are so vital to our spiritual growth.
Even though the reasons may vary from person to person, there is one common denominator and that is the adversary.
As Elder Johnson told us in the October general conference, the adversary likes using the three D's to keep us distracted from our mission. Those three D's being deception, distraction and discouragement.
Deception, that has got to be one of his favorite ones, right? He's been using that since the very beginning and he has become very skilled at it. He knows what lies to tell us and how to make us believe them.  One of his best ones is that, whatever fight you are fighting, that we are fighting it alone. That we are the only ones going through addiction. We are the only ones that are dealing with depression.  The only ones that have feelings of inadequacy, that are experiencing loneliness.  He tells us we are the only ones with family issues.  By telling us these things, we put up walls.  He, essentially, is isolating us.  And we are isolating ourselves.  We are isolating ourselves from our friends and our families, from our ward, and most importantly, we are isolating ourselves from Jesus and from Heavenly Father. 
Once he's got us isolated, it's real easy for him to pile discouragement on top of that.  What that does is it isolates us further. It takes us further from the Light of Christ and from everything we know to be true. You know, we may feel overwhelming guilt for sins of our past or we are just unable to control certain behaviors in our life right now. We may feel that we just aren't good enough to be loved by God.  These are all lies that he loves to tell.
So how do we combat that isolation and the shame?  Well I propose that the opposite of isolation, the opposite of depression, the opposite of any of this stuff is connection.
Connection with each other, connection with our families and most importantly connection with Heavenly Father.
Sometimes, reestablishing those connections is tough.  We feel that we might have burned bridges that can't be repaired. We feel that we are just scared of being judged by others.  And sometimes we feel like we are in no position to ask Heavenly Father for anything.  Sometimes the situation is bad enough that praying and reading our scriptures isn't gonna help a whole lot. And we have made up our minds to go it alone. 
This duality has always interested me, how on one hand we can be so discouraged and down on ourselves and demoralized but on the other hand we are still too prideful to go to our Heavenly Father and ask for forgiveness.
But we have all been told that it is impossible for us to fall any lower than the light of Christ can reach and what an amazing thought that is. There is no situation in which we cannot fall on our knees and call upon our Heavenly Father. There is not anything we can do that would disqualify us from the atonement of Christ.
As President Packer taught 'for some reason we thing the atonement of Christ applies only at the end of our mortal lives to redeem us from the fall.  It is much more than that. It is an ever present power to call upon in everyday life.'
We can use it to give us strength when we don't have enough strength of our own. We can use it to overcome temptation.  We can use it to deal with grief. In other words, it is capable of healing us.
I testify of the power of the atonement on my own life.  I am a daily, if not hourly, user of the atonement. I have learned that there is great power and it has changed the very way I live my life. It made it possible for me to course correct when I did not like what I had become. The atonement has given me hope and that is important because there are times in my life that I had very little hope. This change didn't happen overnight and it has been a hard fought battle but I wouldn't change it for the world.  I do believe that all our trials are given to us for a purpose. I wanna believe that my trial will someday help others. I have learned to no longer compare myself to others, but I compare who I was yesterday to who I am today and who I want to be in the future. All we can do it just try.  President Hinckley said 'all the Lord expects of us is to try, but we truly have to try.'
I testify that there is great power in consistent incremental change. Be a little better tomorrow than you are today.
I also testify that the feeling of Joy and happiness that we feel during this Holiday season can be accessed, by any one of us throughout the year by utilizing the atonement of Jesus Christ.
I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I am sure hearts were touched today.
We only had one hour church, so after wards we came home and had lunch.
Dad got a call from an older guy in the ward who wanted to tell Dad of an experience after they left church today.
He said that they brought their Non-member son in law with them.
He has been to church many times and he complains about the 'Mormon' talks being shallow and (to him) self promoting.
I don't think that is the case.....but this is what this non-member feels.
He said that when they got home, his son in law told him that he has never heard a talk like that before.
It was real and raw and hit his heart.
I am grateful that our friend shared that story with us because just before he called Brent was saying how even though he saw people nodding off in the congregation, if there was only one heart touched, that was all he wanted.
And then we got the call saying that was exactly what happened.
But, I know for sure more than one heart was touched.
I am so grateful for Brent and his testimony and the growth I have seen in him.
He is a pretty amazing guy ❤
We were talking today and feeling the Christmas spirit.
I usually equate the spirit to emotional and crying.
But today was very different for me.
No crying.
But just a feeling of complete happiness.
I really think it because I have been feeling this 'Christmas spirit and joy' for much of this past year.
It is a feeling of happiness and contentment and love for all I have been blessed with, trials and all!!!
I love feeling like this and I hope I can continue to feel this into the new year as well.
We watched the Christmas devotional since we missed it when we were in Utah.
Then we all took a nap/quiet time!
After dinner we made some card and treat deliveries to neighbors.
We have been blessed with such great people in our lives.
I am just beyond grateful!!!!
Of course, today wasn't all peaches and cream.
There was actually a lot of fighting and grumpiness from the kids.
But, I am still grateful for all the good and all the not-as-good.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Friday December 20 and Saturday December 21

Today wasn't as cold, but it was windy.
I decided to run outside and be tough in the wind.
Man, it was hard!
It was pretty strong wind!
But I pushed hard and actually ran the first 4 miles better than my normal pace.
But then I turned around and man, I was going REALLY fast!
I'm glad the second half had the wind with me, because the first half took most my strength!
Dad FINALLY got the present I told him (and have him the money) to get for his birthday/Christmas LAST YEAR!
He's been looking and had had a few picked out, but just couldn't get himself to do it.
Today he went in and they had a$250 off deal, so he got it.
The next problem, we had to get it in the house πŸ˜‚
Luckily he had Madi, Cassi and myself to help him haul all 800 lbs!
We had a big roller dolly to help us out and a lot of muscle!
It looks pretty great in it's spot.
We swapped it for the armour that was in our room, that never got used.
So now I'm happy everything is safe and secure in the safe.
Dad and I had a little dinner date night.
Then we had to go but stocking stuffer stuff.
I'm pretty much done except for wrapping everything and also the neighbor gifts need to get done too.
Not stressing yet πŸ‘πŸ»

I totally forgot to blog I am adding it here!
All I can remember (this is why I have to blog......I forget everything!) is that I went for a long run.
And the kids got to get their Christmas clothes outft.
Oh I also cut the boys hair :)

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Thursday December 19

First of all, happy birthday to Logan!!!!
It was a very nice day today.
I let Elsie go to school late because she was SO SO SO tired!!!!
Then Dad and I worked out.
Madi and I played with the solder stuff.
Then Dad and I went to the temple.
It was such a nice and peaceful time.
We went to Costco and got dinner... And other stuff.
You have to always get other stuff at CostcoπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
We came home and ate.
Then everyone got in their jammies and dad set up the projector on our living room wall and we watched "Christmas vacation".
It was pretty fun!
We moved the couch so it was like one giant bed.
We all just cuddled and watched the movie.
Ya, there was fighting.... But overall I think it was fun.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Wednesday December 18

These boys are so cute and dressed up in their Christmas hats and sweaters!
I helped in the office today.
Then don't some time with Stacia.
Her surgery went well, but she did not sleep last night.
I helped her get ice in her shoulder and tucked into bed.
Then I came home and made white chocolate pretzels.
Then u went for a good run, 7.5 miles.
It was cold!!!
It was nice, but man, it was still come!
We might get a other snow tomorrow... But then I think it turns to rain.
This evening for YW we went caroling with the YM.
Again, it was cold, but it was pretty fun.
I mean...I actually hate caroling, but I think I had a fun group and the people we sang to were all really happy with us visiting them.
So it was a good night 😊

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Tuesday December 17

Madi slept in until like 11:30!
Girl was tired!
She got up and worked on some school work and art work.
I cleaned the kitchen, but also cleaned out two boxes in the garage.
I'm desperately trying to find our wedding video.
I think it would be so fun to see, since our 20 year is coming up so soon. least I got some junk thrown away πŸ‘πŸ»
I worked outside in our little gym today.
The sun was out but the wind was so so so cold!
And running in wind, I just wasn't feeling it today!
I picked Elsie up from school early for PT.
Then after that picked Porter to and went right to piano.
Cassi had her choir concert again tonight.
This evening was Porter's last pack meeting.
He earned his Webelos.
The scout master kind of rushed through the award part because he wanted to get going on the caroling.
Well, Porter didn't want to Carol in the cold and I has another being to get to.
Do it worked out.
I didn't get any pictures though ☹️
Oh well.
So scouts is done now....
Kinda happy and sad.
But he's gonna be in YM now and there will be exciting stuff happening for him ❤️

Monday, December 16, 2019

Monday December 16

Madi is HOME!!!!!
She has been up since 4 a.m.!!!
She took Logan to the airport, then drove to Idaho.
She said the drive went quick.
I am just glad to have her here safe and sound.
I got my Christmas cards addressed and in the mail.
Feels good to have that done with!!!!
I went for a snow here.
I want snow for Christmas, but it isn't looking like that will happen.
So I will take advantage and run outside as much as I can :)
This evening, we went and watched Cassi's choir Christmas performance.
Dad had some EQ stuff to do, delivering gifts to people in the ward.
But the rest of us went.
It was a beautiful concert.
Cass did a great job.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Sunday December 15

It's been a very nice Sunday.
There has been a lot of singing practice for Cassi.
Next week the YW are singing a song during the sacrament meeting.
Cassi has a solo part.
So after church they practiced and then also later on in the chapel, before choir practice.
It's gonna sound beautiful.
May and Logan got all packed up to head home.
Well, they headed to Utah today because Logan has an early flight tomorrow.
They are staying at a friend's house.
Madi will drop him off, then head our way.
They are gonna have to wake up at 4 am too get him to the airport in good time!!!!
They got to bed early, and I'm sure hoping they get good sleep.
Especially Madi.... She'll have to drive a long way tomorrow!
This evening was the temple and priesthood prep meeting.
I was asked to speak on temple preparation.
I think that went pretty good.
Port is so excited about becoming a Deacon, receiving the priesthood and going to the temple.
Big, big, exciting things happening around here!