Saturday, July 25, 2015

Indianapolis Temple Open House

Yesterday was a great day. We left first thing in the morning to attend the Indianapolis Temple Open House. Oh, it was so beautiful! We are so excited that this is going to be our temple. I loved being there with my kids. It's the first time we've been in a temple with Sadie. 

After our tour, we got this picture together:

There was a huge tent set up next to the temple where they had displays and information about the church and temples. I love this picture of the kids in front of the Christus statue replica. It looks like He's ready to swallow them all up in a big hug.

Jeff, Savannah and the boys all had the opportunity to serve at the temple for 5 hours after our tour. Sadie and I did a little shopping and then hung out on the temple grounds while we waited for them. There was a big photo screen where people could get their picture with the temple. There wasn't time to get one with our whole family, but Sadie got one that turned out super cute.

Jeff's assignment was to help with parking. It was a hot and sweaty job, but he said he had a great time. We can't decide if he looks more like Indiana Jones or Luke Skywalker. :)

The other kids helped with a few different things. Mostly they put shoe coverings on the visitors before they entered the temple. Sometimes they moved to the exit and helped take the shoe coverings off. For a while, Savannah got to help take pictures of the guests in front of the temple. Each of the kids had a good experience and they were happy to help.

It was a great day and one we'll remember for a long, long time!

Friday, July 24, 2015

So Far This Summer

Loads of Nerf wars.

Perfect camping weather.

Time with cousins (not quite enough time, according to Sadie!)

Beautiful scenery. (Hands down, western Wyoming is my favorite place to drive through!)

Lots of storms...

...with plenty of rain!
Fishing galore.

Beautiful sunsets.

Cool clouds.

And plenty (plenty!!) of peaches!

I could go on and on. I never want it to end!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

It's the Little Things

Look at our sad, sorry curtain tie-backs. Aren't they pathetic? In the past, when the end loop has broken through, I just trimmed it and used the next row down. Over the years, they've broken so many times that I couldn't trim them anymore. Everyday it was an adventure just trying to find a loop that was still intact so I could open the curtains.

Finally, Sadie and I worked together to fix the problem. It took us an hour, maybe two at the most. Oh, what a difference! We should have done this months ago. 

Little things make a big difference!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Indianapolis Temple

We've been attending the St. Louis temple since we moved here in 2000. Next month, a new temple in Indianapolis will be dedicated and that will be "our" temple from now on.

After a temple is built and before it is dedicated, it is open to the public to tour and learn why temples are so important and sacred to members of our church.

That public open house is going on right now.

Through August 8th (Sundays excluded), you can go inside the temple. We're looking forward to attending the open house this Friday. This is really a unique opportunity because it's the only time that this temple will be open to the general public.

The temple will be dedicated on August 23. After that, only members who hold a recommend (where members certify that they keep the commandments and are prepared to keep sacred temple covenants) will be allowed to enter.

If you're interested and would like to attend the Indianapolis Temple Open House, here's what you need to do:

Click on this link:
Click the "reserve now" button under the Indianapolis Indiana Temple.
Follow the instructions to choose a day and time that works for you.

Maybe I'll see you there! :)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Ladybug Impromptu

We stayed with my sister Amy during the Utah portion of our vacation last month. Her kids were still in school for another few weeks so one afternoon Sadie and I were helping her kindergartner put together a ladybug project. We'd gone through what ladybugs eat, where they live and other facts when we came to a more subjective question: What is your favorite thing about Ladybugs?

I asked my niece this question. She thought for just a few seconds and then, in all of her 6-year old innocence, she said:


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Hump Day

Today marks one year down and one year to go for our favorite missionary! Sam is doing really well and loves his mission. As much as we miss him, we wouldn't want him to be doing anything else.

Sam has had some amazing spiritual experiences during this past year. He has had several opportunities to share his testimony through music as well. While Sam is happy to spend most of his time teaching others the gospel of Jesus Christ, the pictures below show that there is also time for fun, service and food!

We love you, Sam!! See you next year.

You've got to play hard if you're going to work hard!

Always up for a good service project!

Rabbit for dinner? Yummy.

Rabbit is one thing, but eating a scorpion? Gross.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

11 Ways to Play the Violin

Sterling is at it again. I always know we're in for some good entertainment when Sterling disappears with the video camera. This kid is a one-man band. He is the writer, director, producer, cameraman, and actor all wrapped up in one clever (and handsome!) package.

Please enjoy his latest installment as he demonstrates several ways to play the violin.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Double Digits

My baby girl is ten! How did this happen? I'm telling you, I've got to stop blinking!!

It seems like just last week she was making her grand entrance into the world. My mind is fuzzy on a lot of things, but I remember that night so clearly. We didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl and we were excited to find out. My doctor told me at my last appointment that, based on the way I was carrying and the heart rate, etc., he thought it was a boy. I love my boys, but we were really hoping for a little girl this time. We'd had her name picked out for six years and I just knew that there was a little Sadie meant to be a part of our family.

After Sadie was born, my doctor said, "I was just kidding. I knew it was a girl!" Very funny. :)

Brand-new baby Sadie with big sister Savannah. Savannah was so happy to finally have another girl in the family. 
Sadie has been so fun these past few months. She wants to learn everything! We got a new sewing machine and Sadie has been so patient trying to learn how to use it. My limited sewing skills are starting to come back and we've had fun figuring it all out. I'm super impressed with her first project: an adorable little stuffed horse. Sadie is a finisher and she whipped this thing out last week in only 2-3 days. Isn't it cute?

The birthday girl.
Sadie is also learning to crochet. She likes to help in the kitchen and she even likes doing laundry! She is organized and likes to get rid of things she doesn't use or need anymore. She's super funny and inquisitive. She loves to build puzzles and play games with me.  

I think we'll keep her! :)

Happy Birthday, my sweet Sadie-bug. I hope this is your best year so far!


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Food for Thought

I saw this great quote in the newspaper while we were on vacation last month. Too true!

"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." 

--Frederick Douglass

Friday, July 10, 2015

A Sweet Ride

While in Idaho last month, Jeff and I took his parents' Porsche Boxster for a ride. This is their latest little run-around car that they drive when they don't need a lot of stuff (for obvious reasons). It's super fun and I think Jeff looks pretty great in it! :)

Fun stuff!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Life-Changing Magic

A somewhat trendy book right now is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo. I loved this book! I felt like Marie Kondo was giving me permission to finally get rid of all the odds-and-ends I've been holding onto. You know, all the stuff that we don't use or really need, but that we might wish we had "someday." Well, someday never seems to come around here! 

I started purging way before I finished reading. I just couldn't wait. We donated bags and bags of items that just needed a new home and threw out probably half as many in trash. I'm not finished yet, but we're off to a great start and I love the feeling of freedom each time I place another item in the donation bin. 

An unexpected (but somewhat obvious) perk? I find I don't spend as much money because I don't want to bring more stuff back in! I love the feeling of being uncluttered and free from the responsibility of stuff. Don't get me wrong, we still have more than we need, but it's a work in progress and I'm motivated to continue to simplify until we're down to the basics. 

The trunk completely full of donations for goodwill. It wouldn't all fit. We filled the backseat as well (next photo).

It's a great feeling!!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

A Free Country

Happy Independence Day!

I had an overwhelming feeling of gratitude this morning as I thought about how much I love this country and the freedoms we enjoy.

But then I immediately had a pang of fear that some of those hard won freedoms might be in jeopardy.

Ever since the Supreme Court ruling last week, I've been hearing some unsettling possibilities about how things might change in our country as a result - scary things I'd never considered before. I won't go into details here because a) that's not the purpose of this post and b) this is a happy blog so I'll probably never address them here.

But I'm realizing how often I take my First Amendment freedoms for granted. The thought of losing them is a sobering thought. Maybe sobering isn't the right word. Terrifying is more accurate. I hope that next year, 5 years from now, even next century, we are still free. Free to speak, worship and assemble how we choose.

Despite these uncertainties, today in my little corner of the world was a beautiful day. We enjoyed some of our small town festivities, did a little shopping and watched the hometown fireworks display that was "choreographed" to several patriotic themed songs broadcast by a local country station.

So today, I'm grateful for the country I live in. You can be sure that I'll be praying like crazy that our leaders will make wise decisions so that my children and I can continue to enjoy the freedoms that make America a pretty great place to be.

One of Jeff's fancy red, white and blue buttermilk pancakes this morning.

Sadie is showing off the corn that's much taller than "knee high by the fourth of July!"
For the record, there are several fields around town where the corn is even taller than this!

Friday, July 3, 2015

President Boyd K. Packer

I just found out a few hours ago that President Packer, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, passed away this afternoon. He was 90 years old and died from causes incident to age.

As my brother said, this is the end of an era. President Packer was a great teacher and always consistent and practical in his teachings on the family, repentance, understanding doctrine, and obedience, just to name a few.

When I think of President Packer, the first quote that comes to mind is, "True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior."

One thing I know for sure, President Packer knew and loved the Savior Jesus Christ. He testified of Him countless times during his 45 year tenure as one of His chosen apostles.

He will be missed.

"We need not live in fear of the future. We have every reason to rejoice
and little reason to fear. If we follow the promptings of the Spirit,
we will be safe, whatever the future holds. We will be shown what to do."

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Mormon Night at the Cardinals Game

We attended the 2nd annual Mormon Night at the Cardinals on Tuesday night. I heard there were over 3,000 people attending from the 8 stakes in the surrounding area. By surrounding area, I mean within about 3 hours or so. We had a 2 1/2 hour drive there and back which made for a pretty late night.

Before the game started.

Jeff and the boys snuck away from Scout camp to attend the game. I think they were just happy to shower and sleep in their own beds for the night, even if it was a pretty short night by the time we arrived home at 1:30 a.m!

The St. Louis Arch is in the upper left corner.
I love how they mow the arch into the field as well. 

Jeff was on the field with the other 7 stake presidents as our area authority threw out a pitch. The game went into extra innings. The score was 1-1 until the White Sox scored a home run at the top of the 11th inning. Despite our best efforts, we couldn't match it so the game ended 2-1. Despite the loss, it was a fun night!