Sweet Stomach Ache!!

We have sooo much junk food!  I guess it is the time of year, but holy cow!  In the last 24 hours I have used about 5 1/2 pounds of butter!  We have Swedish tea rings, Turtles, Caramel, two different kinds of short bread, cut out cookies, and the left over candy from the graham cracker houses.  In addition to what I have made, we have rosettes, peanut butter cookies, and pumpkin rolls from our neighbors.  It is all sooooo good!  But I tell ya, I go to bed almost every night with a sweets stomach ache.  I really wonder how the kids do it sometimes.  Even with our “Eat healthy first rule”, they still eat more of the sweets than I do.  How do they keep their stomachs from exploding?  Garion’s answer was the best. “Mom, remember, we have different stomachs for different kinds of food.  A vegetable stomach, a meat stomach, a drink stomach and a dessert stomach (which is the biggest I bet!).”  I just had to laugh.  Well, here is “Cheers” to our dessert stomach and the holidays that keep it filled to the max!

Snow Storm!!

We are finally getting the major storms we have been hearing about for the last month.  All day today it has been snowing like MAD!!  I took a couple of pictures to show everyone what it is like.  I think this is the most snow we have had at one time since we have lived here.  I could be wrong though…but I don’t think so.  So, because of the storm, all of my plans for the day have been cancelled.  My friend Krissy was suppose to come, but didn’t want to brave the roads!  Smart!  Then, we were suppose to go ice skating with the family, but I don’t want to brave the roads either.  One of my main concerns is that the last time we had anything near this bad of a storm, the two roads in and out of our town both closed and the kids and I were stuck in the car in the storm for 4 hours.  A lot of people had it worse and were stuck a lot longer than that.  So I count myself lucky that we made it home as fast as we did.  That being said, I would rather not get stuck again.  So  we are having a snow day at home.  I am cleaning, doing laundry, and baking.  Garion is glued to the computer playing games and Kayla and Brynn are running wild through the house.  Gotta love it!! 🙂

Annual Graham Cracker House Night

Yesterday we were suppose to go ice skating with Jason’s family, but unfortuantely, Heather and Allison were up most of Friday night throwing up.  Needless to say, the ice skating trip was cancelled.  It worked out pretty good for us though.  The ice skating is rescheduled for Monday afternoon and we had a night to make graham cracker houses.  We spent the afternoon going from store to store to find the right candy.  Jason in particular wanted a specific kind of hard to find candy that took us to 4 different stores.  But at the end of the day, we had everything under the sun that we could possibly want to put on a graham cracker house.  On the way home we stopped at Marley’s, the restaurant in the Harley Davidson store to get some sliders for dinner.  We also ordered a Black Cherry Vanilla custard that they forgot to give us, but of course we were all the way in Lehi before we realized we didn’t get it.  Bummer.  Anyway, after we got home, I made the frosting while Jason helped the kids cut the graham crackers to the right sizes and then we spent the next couple hours gluing, frosting and covering our houses with candy.  Kayla and Garion both had the goal to not only use every single kind of candy we had, but to cover the entire house and the 10 inch paper plate the house was sitting on.  We had a great time!  Amazingly enough, there were no fights, arguments, tears or tantrums the whole time!  The houses turned out really cute too!  The only problem now is how to keep the kids from devouring them all at one time!  But then again, it is Christmas, why not!!  🙂

Sledding!!

I have to grudgingly admit that winter does have it’s advantages.  On Thursday after it stopped snowing, I took 7  kids (by myself) sledding to the hill at the amphitheater.  I had Brynn, Kayla, Garion, Grace and Meg, and Tyler and MaKenna.  We had a blast!  Kayla in particular has been asking to go sledding for weeks!  We didn’t even own a sled until about 2 weeks ago and since then have just been waiting for the snow.  It finally came.  And it came hard!  Wednesday night and Thursday it snowed pretty hard, then Friday it stormed really bad all day and rumor has it, it is suppose to snow and storm all weekend.  Although, here it is noon on Saturday and not a flake yet today.  Maybe it will hit tonight.  Anyway, the kids had a blast sledding and afterward we all came back here for a cup of hot cocoa!  We made it sledding for about an hour before the girls all got too cold.  Since we only had 3 sleds for the 7 kids they had to share, but the 4 year olds had a hard time getting up the hill and down by themselves.  They need a parent to help, so I would like to get another sled so that while Garion is doing his thing, either Jason or I could be taking the girls down the hill.  So mainly, while Meg, Tyler and Garion sledded, the girls and I played in the snow at the foot of the hill.  At the end of the hour, when we were leaving, they took off their gloves and all their fingers were bright pink and ice cold!  So I took a picture of them all saying “Burrr!!” and holding out their hands.  Super cute!!!

Meeting Santa

I want to relate a quick story about the ward Christmas party.   I forgot to mention it before.  I have discovered that Grace, Kayla’s friend is out to sabotage Kayla’s Christmas! 🙂  Just Kidding.  But it was so funny!  The ward Christmas party was a breakfast in the morning.  We ate yummy food, then they had a really cute program and then, of course, Santa came.  They didn’t have the kids all line up to sit on his lap like they have done in years past.  Instead, they gathered all the kids into a circle around Santa’s feet and Santa talked to them about all the symbolism of Christmas.  He had a “goody” bag with an example of each thing in it.  Like a star, a wreath, a candy cane, etc.  It was really great.  Kayla, Grace and Garion ended up on the floor right at Santa’s feet.  Kayla was touching his boots.  She sat in rapture awe of Santa the whole time!  I wish I had my camera to take her picture with her head back and mouth open and smiling at the same time as she stared at him!  Anyway, just after he sat down, it got really quiet as everyone waited for him to begin.  Just as it got quiet, Grace says to him “Santa!  Kayla has been mean to me!!”  Santa was very surprised by this declaration.  He was quite speechless actually. 🙂  He mumbled something I didn’t quite hear because I was laughing so hard and then went on with the program.  The funny thing was that Kayla had been really nice to Grace that day.  When they play, they argue on and off, but nothing unusual.  The only thing I can figure is that Grace must think that if she rats Kayla out, she will get more gifts!  The best part of the whole thing was that Kayla didn’t do anything more then smile shyly at him and look down for a second.  She looked so guilty!  Hopefully Santa will know she has been nice and not naughty and put more in her stocking than coal!

The True Meaning of Christmas

Well, the Christmas season is upon us in force!  I love this time of year.  Especially this year, with the good weather.  If you ask Jason he would say the weather stinks.  We should be covered in snow with unbearably cold temperatures.  But being from California, I love the more mild weather.  I know the snow would be good for us as far as the drought goes, but I would be lying if I didn’t say how much I LOVE the nice weather.  It is December and I can still walk outside during the day with bare feet and a t-shirt on!

I feel like Christmas is different for me in more ways than the weather this year.  As the kids grow and their understanding about the world changes, Christmas is changing.  I  should preface this next paragraph by saying that I love to shop.  It is very easy for me to get caught up in the whole materialism and “things” part of the season.  There are really great sales that make it sooo easy to buy things and spend lots of money!  I love to think about the looks on peoples faces when I give them the perfect gift.  I have long since realized that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on someone to give them the perfect gift, but at Christmas, there are just so many people to buy for that before I know it, I have a closet FULL of stuff and an empty bank account.  I am very lucky to have a frugal and grounded husband who keeps me on track and out of debt.  Before we started any of our Christmas shopping this year, we decided to set a budget for each child, since this is the area that I have the hardest time with.  I love to spoil my kids! 🙂  A dollar amount that is significantly smaller than in previous years.  I have been bound and determined to stay within my budget.  I feel very strongly, more so this year than in the past, that we need to be more concerned with the true spirit of the season than the things we get.  There are so many people in need and we have the means to really help others.  But also, I am feeling so strongly, almost anxious, that my kids need to learn that Christmas is about Christ and not about gifts.  It is hard to teach that lesson that when they get so much stuff!  My Mom, bless her heart, does the 12 Days of Christmas for my kids each year.  It is wonderful!  But that means that the 12 days before we even get to Christmas, they are opening a gift.  Then a gift Christmas Eve, which is our tradition.  And then of course Christmas morning there is the gift frenzy with all the rest of the gifts under the tree.  We are soo blessed!  We get so much stuff!  But I want my children to realize that our most important blessings come from Heavenly Father in ways that we can’t unwrap on Christmas morning.  Anyway, even though I have tried very hard to stay in my budget for each kid, we have exceeded it.  Doubled it in fact.  I am disappointed in myself.  I can return several things and get smaller versions…but that won’t decrease the amount of things they are getting.  I can just return a few things and not buy anything to replace it.  I don’t think I can express how difficult it would be for me to return the things I have bought.  The kids will LOVE them so much!  So where does that leave me?

I have really been trying to pray and do some soul searching.  I think it leaves me still focusing on the gift and “things” aspect of the season.  I am talking with Jason about what we can do to get back on track monetarily, but I am still left with how to teach my kids the true meaning of the season.  I need to change my whole perspective.  Stop focusing on the gifts myself.  Just giving my kids less isn’t going to teach them how to serve those in need or how to appreciate what they have been given.  The only way to do that is to set the example and really serve those around us.  And to involve the kids in that service.  That is really hard sometimes because they can’t keep a secret and they have no tact in their speech about other people appearance and situations.  They just call it how they see it and in not so quiet voices.  Also, it takes time to teach and lead and show them how and what to do.  It takes patience.  But, therein is the true meaning of Christmas.  Teaching, serving, loving and giving time.  I have started with baby steps in bringing this stronger spirit of Christmas into out home.  We read a scripture and Christmas story every night before bed and most nights we talk about what we have learned and how we can apply it to our own life.  Through our neighbors we have found a family with 8 kids that may not be having a Christmas this year because of some really terrible circumstances.  We have talked with our kids about it and are going to do secret Santa for this family together with another family or two.  We are really increasing the amount of Christmas activities that we do.  I had the opportunity to go to The Forgotten Carols with a friend last week and it was FABULOUS!!  I am totally taking my whole family next year.  Last night Jason and I went to the First Presidency Christmas Devotional and it was excellent as well!  I love our first presidency!  They are so inspired!  I am trying to go to the temple more.  We are taking the kids to shop for the secret Santa family and then going to see the lights at temple square in a week.  Anyway, you don’t need to hear my whole schedule.  But my point is, that this season, I am trying to give the kids more experiences as their gifts than presents as their gifts.  It is hard because the really spiritual things have age limits of 8 years and up.  So, we are trying find spiritual things to do without the age limit.  I would LOVE to serve with Garion and Kayla (if she is old enough) in a soup kitchen.  If anyone has any other ideas on activities we can do as a family to teach the true meaning of Christmas either this year or in years to come, please let me know.  I would love some ideas!  My next goal, will be to carry the attitude and acts of service throughout the year, with the kids involved!

It is funny to me, because it seems like I am going to be learning more than my kids this year about giving and serving and loving.  But I guess that is how it goes.  The teacher almost always learns more than the student at first.  If Jason and I  have done our job and taught them well enough, then they will learn from our examples what is truly important and when the time comes for them to teach, their experiences will deepen their understandings and increase their testimonies of Christ.  “And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” -Mosiah 2:17

Crazy Busy Weekend!

Had some fun pictures taken of the kids last week.  Look to the end of the blog for the gallery of pictures from the week.  🙂

Well, the weekend was fabulous!  Thanksgiving was super fun at Jeremy and Heathers.  The food was great, and the Wii games were fun.  They just got Dance Revolution.  I actually tried it.  For those of you that know me, you know that I have absolutely no rhythm.  But I held my own on the game.  🙂  I didn’t do well at all, but I didn’t do any worse than anyone else either.  So it is all good.  Garion and Kayla spent the night and Jason took Brynn back over the next morning after she woke up.  Michelle and I left at 4:30am Friday to go shopping!  It was CRAZY!!  Walmart was so busy I can’t adequately describe it.  We got there at 5am.  The parking lot was full.  I mean full!  There were no shopping carts and once we got into the store, there was no moving.  Most isles were so packed, the people were at a stand still.  It took us about 15 minutes just to get from the front of the store to the toys!  Then we grabbed what we wanted in about 10 minutes and then spent about 40 minutes in line.  It was claustrophobic!  Luckily, Walmart was the busiest place we went.  We also visited Lowes, Walgreens and the University Mall.  I had so much fun!  I got almost all of my Christmas shopping done with the exceptions of a few stocking stuffers and an iTunes gift card.  🙂  After Michelle and I got back, our husbands went out for the rest of the day.  Then to top off the day, we chatted with Jamison and Michelle till 1 am, laughing so hard my sides were hurting. 🙂

Saturday was another highlight of the weekend for me.  My mom and I have started to do our genealogy.  She has done a little more work then I have, but on the same set of names, she prepared them for the temple and I found all their census records.  It was so neat!  I found out information my grandmother didn’t even know about my great grandmother!  Once the names were recorded in temple ready we were ready to take them to the temple.  I realize there are several people reading this that may not know what that means.  When we take a name to the temple, we act as proxy for them to be baptised, receive the Holy Ghost, and take part in all the other ordinances the temple has to offer.  We believe that these individuals still have the choice to accept or reject the gospel, just as they did when they were alive.  However, since they are dead, they need someone to act as proxy for them if they do choose to accept the gospel.  That is where Jason and I come in.  On Saturday, we took my first family names through the temple.  It was such a sweet experience!  I was very nearly in tears the whole time we were there.  We acted as proxy for 5 women and 4 men.  My two great grandmothers, 2 great, great grandmothers and my 3xgreat grandmother.  Jason acted as proxy for my grandpa, great grandpa, and my two great, great grandfathers.  I wish I could convey that depth of my joy at having given my family the opportunity to accept the gospel.  I often feel a wall up between my family and myself as far as things spiritual go.  They do not believe the way my mother and I do, and I wish that they did.  Just so that we could connect on a much deeper level.  And even more so, I wish they could have the joy and peace that comes from knowing our Saviour.  I am really looking forward to going back to the temple to perform the other ordinances for my ancestors.  I get a shot of adrenaline and excitement  in my veins whenever I think about it!  After the temple, Jason and I babysat both the Law kids and the McNair kids while they doubled and went to see Savior of the World.  It was really fun.  The kids played, danced, ate, watched a movie and finally fell asleep on the family room floor watching the Christmas Tree lights.  Jason and I get to go see Savior of the World in December with our family.  I am so excited!

Sunday was definitely a hangover day.  I spent the entire day in bed with a Migraine headache.  I think I had too many  late nights and maybe even too much fun!  Noo…just too many late nights. 🙂  When I was finally able to pull myself out of bed about 5:30pm, we put up the rest of our Christmas decorations.  The kids had a BALL decorating the tree.  Every year we each get a new ornament.  This is a tradition that my family has done since I was a baby.  So we have a great time every year reliving the previous Christmases through the different ornaments we have.

Last night we had family home evening and I have posted a video of Kayla singing to us.  We let each kid pick a song to sing at the beginning of the evening.  Last night, Kayla wanted to sing to us instead of all of us singing together.  She is so darn cute!!  On this note, I have to mention Garion.  Over the last few weeks and for the coming 10 weeks we are on a quest to memorize the articles of Faith.  We are doing one a week for FHE and then review it off and on through out the next week.  Jason already knows them all, but Garion and I have now memorized the first 3.  I am really amazed at how fast Garion is picking them up.  We review it a couple times at FHE and then he is good to go.  Some of the ones coming up are quite long, but I am not worried at all.  It has been really fun actually, because just with the first 3, we have been able to explain parts of the gospel to Garion that he had questions about.  Things that we hadn’t covered in previous lessons, or things that are a little more advanced that what he would learn in his primary class in school.
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I am sooo sad to hear of Elder Wirthlins death last night.  He was one of my favorite apostles.  I pray that his testimony can now live on through each of us.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Daddy and BRynn playing Patty-Cake

Daddy and Brynn playing Patty-Cake

I love this holiday!  It gives us all cause to stop, reflect, acknowledge and then express gratitude for our blessings.  I have so many blessings in my life.  Too many to name here.  But a few of them are a wonderful, supportive, loving husband who is my best friend and soul mate.  3 beautiful children who are my light and joy.  An awesome mother who is my guiding light, my example and my other best friend!  I have a great family!  Even though most of us are separated by large distances, I know they are there for me and I hope that they all know I am there for them for anything!  I love them all dearly!  I am surrounded by friends on all sides.  I am so grateful for my girlfriends.  We laugh, cry, commiserate, and party together as mothers, women, wives and friends.  I have a roof over my head, food in my pantry, clothes on my back and good health.  I have the gospel of Jesus Christ, without which, I would be lost.  I am so grateful for my Savior!  I know He lives!  I know he knows me by name and he loves me!

Okay, it is not like me to be so publicly sentimental.  But there you go.  I am grateful for my life!

We usually wait until after Thanksgiving to put up our Christmas tree.  It seems like every year, these two holidays

Jason and Garion with the new tree.

Jason and Garion with the new tree.

get more and more mixed up. 😉  But we decided to buy a new, Pre-lit, tree this year instead of putting up the ratty 6 year old one we have stuffed up in the garage.  On Monday night we went to Cost Co and let the kids pick it out. It has been sitting in the entry way since.  There was no reason to put it away when we were just going to get it back out this weekend.  So, last night while I was cooking dinner, the kids were a little restless.  So we decided to put the tree up a little early.  The kids loved it!  They all helped and after it was up and the lights were on, all three of them ran around the tree, jumping and dancing and shouting!  Even Brynn kept pointing to the tree and yelling and laughing!  It was the cutest thing I have ever seen!  Not long after, we ate dinner and Kayla decided it would be a great idea to eat dinner by Christmas Tree light.  So she proceeded to go around the house and turn off every light she could find!  Soon it was really dark, except for the tree lights.  Not quite enough to eat by, so Jason got out one of our oil lamps and we put on some Christmas music in the background and soon we had a very nostalgic atmosphere.  Kayla loved that we could see the tree lights reflecting in all the windows.  And Garion said “If you make your eyes blurry on purpose, the lights on the tree look like a bunch of fireworks!”  All in all it was a VERY fun evening.  Kayla was pretty upset that we didn’t do the ornaments last night too, but since they are hiding in the garage and we need to find them, it wasn’t happening.  Now that the tree is up there is a sense of anticipation and excitement for the next month.

This Friday, tomorrow :), is Black Friday.  I love this day.  I know it is weird, but I love the crowds, the good deals and the opportunity to shop all day!  Thanks to my sister-in-law, Heather, and her super kind heart, we are able to go without the kids.  They are so excited to spend the night at their cousins house so Jason and I can get an early start tomorrow morning.  Brynn will be staying with us, but Jason is going to drop her off when he goes n the morning.  Since he will be leaving a little later than me.  I am hopefully going to be going about 4:30am with my friend Michelle.  Gotta beat the crowds!  I have a list of stores to go to and items to buy.  SO FUN!!

This last week has been a really fun one.  Last Thursday night, I went to the midnight release of Twilight.  As most

Twilight Group!

Twilight Group!

of you know, I am completely obsessed with this story.  The night was awesome!  There was a group of 15 of us in the end.  My friend Jana and her friend and I went to dinner at Applebees and waited there for the rest of the group to arrive.  They met us for dessert and it was a party from then on!  We made our way to the theater and it was a MADHOUSE!!  There were 20 screens in the theater we went to, and all 20 had sold out midnight showings.  We figured there were over 3000 people there.  Some even dressed up for a prom promotion they had going on.  (At least I am not THAT obsessed.:))  Anyway, the movie was FABULOUS!!  I loved it.  They followed the story line really well.  I was a little worried.  They had to change or cut out a few of the details to make it flow better on the big screen, but it didn’t take away from the story.  So it was good.  It was a little low budget, and you could tell in the special effects, but I still really liked it.  And now that they know they have made enough to make New Moon, we can look forward to better effects and such.  Can you believe they made 70 MILLION on midnight showings alone!  Crazy!

Friday night we went to Tyler’s birthday party.  Garion’s best friend.  They ate pizza and played Kung Fu Panda.  That is a great movie.  I love that the cartoon movies are geared toward adult humor as well as kids entertainment.  It makes watching them a really enjoyable experience for all involved. 🙂

Last Thursday Kayla and I both got injured. 🙂  It is worth mentioning because they were not just little injuries.  Kayla and her friend McKenna decided to play in McKenna’s basement even though it is off limits and under construction.  I am not sure what they were doing, but a piece of framing fell on Kayla’s foot.  It landed on the top of the foot right above the big toe.  There as a nice inch long cut and a pretty purple bruise to follow.  She was, understandable, so upset that she wouldn’t let Michelle near her.  So I had to make the trek across the back yard to get her.  For those of you who don’t know, we are back yard neighbors and we have a gate that connects us.  When I got there, I picked her up and started to walk home.  But I was wearing my red ballet slipper shoes and they have no traction.  So, as I was about to walk down the 3 stairs out of the back of Michelle’s house, I fell.  With Kayla in my arms.  Man, that hurt.  As I lifted my right foot to step off the stair, my left foot sipped off the edge of the landing I was standing on.  So both of my feet were in the air and I landed on my rear end on the edge of the landing and then bounced down a stair, hitting the edge of that stair too before I came to rest on the second stair down.  All this while I have Kayla in my arms so I can’t even try to break my fall with my hands.  She added a nice 35 pounds to the weight that hit the edge of the landing.  I had to sit there for a good 3-4 minutes before I could even breath.  Kayla was screaming “Don’t put me down!”  and I was trying not cry in front of my friend Michelle who saw everything.  I finally managed to get up and carry Kayla home, bandage her foot and then try to asses my own damage.  I had no idea that my body could turn the color of eggplant.  I have a nice bruise that is about 4 inches long and 2 inches wide and the color of egg plant.  I still can’t sit straight and I can’t run or walk fast or do anything will make the muscles back there move.  Ouch.

Well, that about sums up this last week.  My friend Krissy and her boys came over yesterday to play for the morning.  We had a great visit!  And today is Thansgiving.  We are going to Jeremy and Heathers house for dinner and games.  Tomorow I go shopping and Saturday we will hopefully sleep and recover. 🙂

Kayla’s Dreams

The last week or so, Kayla has been having some really weird dreams.  Just thought I would share .  I bet they will make you smile. 🙂  The first one happened while we were driving in the car.  She fell asleep and when she woke up she said she dreamed she was in her car seat, but upside down and her pee came out her nose!  A couple days later she had a dream that our house had big, fat lips and that it ate her up!  🙂  I wonder what goes on in her mind….but then I Think, who am I to talk.  I have some weird dreams too.

This morning was a wonderful morning.  Garion got up and dressed all the way to his shoes and got breakfast for himself and Brynn, since I slept in an extra 20 minutes.  Then, while I made his lunch, HE read the scriptures to ME while I made his lunch.  This is the first time he has had the ability to read the scriptures.  A lot of the words are pretty complicated.  It goes to show how much improvement he has made in reading this year.  He is definitely deserving of the Principles 200 Club Award he got last week for improvement in reading!

Tonight is the Twilight movie release!!  I am so excited, I can hardly sit still!!!  A group of 15 of us are going to the midnight release.  I am leaving at 8pm with my friend Jana and going to dinner and then the rest of our group is going to meet up with us for dessert about an hour later.  Then we will go the theater and browse the vendors they have there.  We have assigned seats and very good ones at that.  It is so nice to have assigned seats so we don’t have to wait in line for days to get a good one. 🙂  Like Jason and I had to do for the Lord of the Rings release and a couple other movies we are die hard about.  I have heard great things about the movie!!  We are going to the District theater and our friend Summer is a manager there.  She said there are 20 theaters, and all 20 of them are sold out for the midnight showing, so they opened a 2:30am showing, which is almost all sold out as well!  Crazy!  I will letyou know tomorrow how awesome it was!!

A week of stories!

This last week and a half has been a very fun one!  My last blog I was leaving for Denver to visit my brother for his wedding reception.  Josh and Jackie were actually married in July in Puerto Rico, which was the trip of a life time and I am very blessed to have been there with my entire family!  But not everyone could be there, so they had a reception for everyone else last weekend; technically two weekends ago now.  It was a cocktail party at the beautiful home of a close family friend named Debbie.  So, to start at the beginning, Kayla, Brynn and I left Friday morning and drove 4 hours without stopping once to Glenwood Springs, where we met my parents, Grandmother, Josh and Jackie.  They drove up from Denver to meet us and to see the city where Jackie’s family has taken family vacations since childhood.  After a good lunch at Rib City and a walk around the town, we headed on to Denver.  It was VERY nice to have my mom with me for this portion of the ride.  It is really hard to drive long distances and I have a bad habit of sleeping in the car.  I am always terrified that I am going to fall asleep behind the wheel.  The longer the drive, the more worried I am.  So, the last part of the drive was fun and full of stimulating conversation. I was very proud of my girls!   They didn’t fight or complain once the whole way there!  We had pizza for dinner and had a great evening talking.

Soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Asternak! :)

Soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Asternak! 🙂

My sister Megan and her fiance’ Chuck arrived around Midnight, but the girls and I were already asleep, so we saw them in the morning.  It was wonderful to see Megan!  It has been about 2 years since I saw her last.  It was also the first time I have met Chuck.  They are to be married on June 20th, 2009!  I can’t wait!  I really liked Chuck a lot.  He seemed to be the perfect gentleman.  They make a great couple and I am very happy for them.

After breakfast, the girls and I took a nice little drive to Brighton to visit my best friend, Lori.  We spent the morning and early afternoon with her and Jonathan.  It was sooo good to see her again!  We talked, ate Chinese food

Kayla took this for us all by herself!

Kayla took this for us all by herself!

and after lunch, we took the kids to the park!  The only down part of the day was that Jonathan threw up in the car on the way to the park.  Poor guy!  But he then played and seemed fine at the park.  Lori and I have been friends since 5th grade.  I am so grateful that she lives somewhere I can visit her often!  At least as often as I get to visit my brother!  🙂

Saturday night, we hired some babysitters for the three kids and after we got all dolled up, we went to the cocktail party!  I was so mad because I forgot my camera!  So, when I get pictures forwarded to me from my mom or Megan, then I will post some from the party.  It was FABULOUS!!  There was a beautiful appetizer table, a chocolate fountain, the amazing cake, an open kayla_at_park_denverbar, and a poker table.  The party started at 7 and we made it home around 1am.  I was worried about being at a party that late.  It seems that since I have had kids, I get so tired so early!  But we had the most wonderful time I didn’t even notice the hour!  I was the desiganated driver to get Josh, Jackie, Megan and Chuck home.  Although, Megan didn’t really drink that much and could have driven also.  But I was happy to take on the role.  If you can believe it, that was the first party I have ever been to that served alchohol.

Sunday Morning, we all got a bit of a slow start.  My girls had me up bright and early before 7.  I told them to go find Chuck!  🙂  SInce he so kindly volunteered to get up with them in the morning!  🙂  But before Kayla made it to him, she found Steve, who was nice enough to get her breakfast and turn on some cartoons.  However, Brynn had me out of bed only a half hour later.  I was hoping to see Josh and Jackie open their gifts, but unfortunatley, we had

Brynn discovered Cap'n Crunch Sunday.  Loved it!

Brynn discovered Captain Crunch Sunday. Loved it!

to leave to drive home before everyone was ready for that.  We left about noon, after lunch and a power nap for me.    The drive home was long, but not too bad.  We made it to Green River in one step, then stopped there for dinner.  After that, Brynn had had it in the car and cried the rest of the way home.  She slept for about 30 minutes in the middle, but before and after that, she cried.  Needless to say, I went as fast as I could to get home without guaranteeing myself a ticket.  Luckily, no ticket and I made it home about 9 that night.

Garion and Jason had an awesome father/son weekend.  Friday night, Jason helped his mom move to her new room at Jamestown while Garion played at his friend, Tyler’s house.  Then on Saturday, they went shooting, to Cabelas, to a movie, to dinner, and they rode on Jason’s

Kayla and Jake!  What CUTE cousins!!

Kayla and Jake! What CUTE cousins!!

motorcycle!  Guy heaven!

The week since then has been a good one.  No huge happenings, just school and church and the normal.  Jason had Plug meeting Wednesday night and after the kids went to bed, I took the baby monitor and hang out with my neighbors.  It was fun to be with them since we haven’t really hang out for  awhile.  We use to get together all the time!  But school had throw our schedule off and I miss them!

We had a great experience this weekend with Garion.  He really is turning into a young man with wisdom and understanding.  It was a simple thing, but it made me proud.  He came to me Saturday morning with tears in his eyes saying he wanted to fast that day.  Let me preface this story by saying that on fast Sunday this month I approached him and asked him to fast with me.  I just figured that since he is turning 8 in the beginning of the year, he is old enough to learn this principle.  I explained to him that once a month we fast, or give up two meals to show  Heavenly Father that we are willing to sacrifice to show our gratitude for the blessings we have received and to show that we are willing to sacrifice to receive blessings.  I told him that we fast with the ward once a month for the members of the ward and we have the ability and opportunity to fast any other time we want to if we have a special need or desire or problem.  Fasting helps us to become closer to the spirit to hear the promptings of the Lord.  After my explanation of fasting, Garion refused.  He said he didn’t want to give up breakfast and be hungry.  I wasn’t surprised, he is only 7 after all.  But I fasted that day that he would have a desire to fast so he could gain a testimony for himself of the blessings and peace that fasting can bring.  So this weekend, when he came to me telling me he wanted to fast, I knew my prayer had been answered.  It just isn’t in the nature of boys to give up their food willingly. 🙂  I asked him what he wanted to fast about.  He had tears in his eyes so I knew it must be something dear to him.  He said he wanted to fast for Willow.  Our cat.  I asked why to which he responded “I don’t want her to die!”  Willow is 16 years old and has a huge tumor on her neck.  She is losing weight and has no teeth.  We are sure the end is fairly near for her.  Garion must have heard Jason and I talking about it sometime in the past.  I suggested to him that we wait and fast the next day, Sunday, when we didn’t have any big activities planned.  Also, that way we could start our fast during our bedtime prayers that evening.  I also suggested that we only fast until lunch time, since it was his first time.  He agreed.  So, at bedtime, Garion and I started our fast for Willow.  When he woke up in the morning, he remembered his purpose and went without food even though Kayla, Brynn and Daddy had breakfast in front of him.  About 10 am, he said he was starting to feel sick from hunger, so we said a prayer that we would be strong, that the hunger pains would leave and that we would remember Willow and be guided as to how to help her and if we cannot, that we would have the strength to endure.  That was the only time throughout the fast that Garion complained.  He made it until 12:30pm.  At which time he ended his fast with a prayer and ate lunch.  At bed time Sunday night, he told me he wants to fast for Willow again on the upcoming fast Sunday.  Only he wants to go all the way till dinner.

It makes my heart sing to see Garion turning to the Lord with his feelings and trials.  Nothing is to trivial for Heavenly Father and when we place our faith in Him, he will always answer our prayers and guide us.  I know this from my own personal experience.  And now, Garion is learning it for himself as well.  The blessings of the Lord abound!  I am grateful!