Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Trying to Read the Scriptures More Often

This new ward that I'm in has for some reason given us many challenges to read the Book of Mormon more often. I guess this was something I needed to hear. Our bishop has encouraged us many times to try to fit in what he calls the "Hour of Power." Then our relief society has encouraged us to read the Book of Mormon in one month, starting the month of June. I would love to write that I've taken on both challenges and gone above and beyond what was expected of me. Sadly, I can't say that. What I will say is that the challenges have inspired me.

Prior to these challenges I've only read the Book of Mormon maybe twice. Once on my own as a teenager and once in college for my religion classes. On many occasions I've started the book many times and for some reason get stuck in Second Nephi and then I discontinue reading. I guess you could say, reading this book for me has been quite the challenge. For the last five years, I've slowly worked my way through and up until the beginning of this month, I had been in Alma for what seemed like forever. So when I decided I would take on the 30-day challenge, I said to myself, "I'm not starting over from the beginning. I'll start from where I am and do my best to make it around back to where I am, which at the time was Alma 60. Since it is already June 28, I should roughly be in Alma 44, right? Not even close. I'm in Ether 14. However, I did want to take a moment to document that I'm amazed at how quickly I've gotten through so much when it has taken me five years to get to Alma. In less than a month, I've gotten through Helaman, the 3rd and 4th books of Nephi, Mormon and almost all of Ether. And I don't write this to prove that I'm a fast reader or anything. Though we all know how quickly I can get through the Harry Potter and Twilight series. I'm rather impressed with the fact that I've been able to get through so much despite my ability to make excuses for "not being able to," or "not having enough time." I guess I'm just trying to focus on the positive.

In my attempt to read the book in 30 days, though I've failed to achieve that goal, I've gotten further than I once thought possible. If you're like me, you find the language in the book difficult to understand at times. But I have learned so much this month about myself and my testimony has surely begun to grow. I have spent too many years thriving off of others and in a sense living off of others' testimonies. I truly feel like for the first time in my life, I'm really wanting to have a knowledge for myself. So, as slowly as that may come about, I'm determined now more than ever before to make scripture reading of the utmost priority. I suppose that by blogging this, I am in a way having others hold me accountable to my goals. They say unwritten goals are just wishes anyways, right? So, it is written.

Some things I've noticed:

-When I read for about an hour, I have more drive throughout the monotonous days of motherhood.

-Orion asks me what I'm doing a lot and when I explain that I'm reading the Book of Mormon, he says to me, "Oh, okay, I'll wait till your done," at which point he actually waits silently and gives me some peace rather than asking me 20 questions every hour and . . .

- . . . more recently, he has asked, "Mommy, can you read me the stories?"

-When I try to read with a more animated narration so that he can understand things better, somehow I understand them better too.

-Reading out loud helps a lot. At least for me.

-Chrysalis flips through her Gospel Art Book on occasion while sitting next to me and claims, "I'm reading my scriptures." This, I find terribly cute.

-I feel more productive.

-I don't feel so alone all the time.

Anyways, those are just a few things I've noticed. So, even though I haven't read the whole Book in 30 days, I'm pleased to say that I'm about 12 chapters away from finishing the Book of Mormon for the third time in my life. Yay! I should make myself a certificate. I will finish the book this week. Then keep working my way around again. Once I've done that, I intend to get through the Bible again too. One small goal at a time though, right?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

April's Shower Brings May Flower

I know, I'm a thief. I stole the title and some pics from Alyssa's blog.

And a May flower it did bring as little Lillian was indeed born on May 27th. So here is April's shower of which I took Magen's colors and decorations and expounded upon the same idea. I even found some pretty lillies to display that I thought were just daintily approrpriate but sadly they didn't open up to their full bloom until a few days later. Oh well. At least I got some photos of them here to show. Aren't they the most vibrantly beautiful flowers?! ". . . Consider the lilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these." -3 Nephi 13:28-29.

Here is the invitation I put together with the help of my parents since three kids make it near impossible to cut and paste handmade invitations. I still prefer handmade things. I know. I've often thought of just buying ready-made cards and invitations but I never give in. Handmade is always better in my mind. And less expensive too. You should have seen my dad carefully cutting ribbons and pasting flowers. It really was quite the bonding experience as I tried to explain to him that it wasn't done right if the ribbon was too far to the right. I know. I'm crazy. Call me OCD if you want. Me and my nervous ticks for perfection. But we laughed at the silly assembly line that took place in making these. I should start a business or something.

And here is the spread.

My lovely sister-in-law in full bloom. She really does glow.

I love these little shoes that say Jack and Lily on the soles.

April getting showered.

My kids pestering their cousin Lily. I guess the name runs in the family. So fitting. I love it.

Hope you enjoyed your shower April. The kids and I loved putting it together. Orion helped stick flowers on the diaper cake. And Gio was sad she couldn't be there even though she spent three hours helping me make poofballs as she likes to call them. Your little girl is beautiful. And we're so happy that Chrysalis has a little girl cousin nearby to play with now. More pics to come.

Little Girls Really are Sugar and Spice

I just want everyone to know how much I love throwing baby showers. Yes it does take some planning time, but when it all seems to finally come together, it's just such a thrill to me. I thought this year I'd finally be able to throw a girly shower because my sister-in-law April was due in May with their first little girl. I'd thrown nothing but boy showers up to this point. But another sweet Momma decided her little girl was coming sooner. An old friend, Magen was due much sooner with their little girl Liberty. So she gave me some time to throw some quick ideas together that I later elaborated upon with April's shower. So the color scheme and decorations are similar. I really prefer doing different and unique things for different showers but this year it saved my hubby some money doing it this way. I think they were still unique in their own ways.

A small gift I made for Magen.

And here she is being showered.

Thanks Magen for letting me practice my first girly shower on you. Hope you enjoyed it. I sure love girly stuff.

Among other things . . .

Hinckley had a very benign case of what looked like the chicken pox or measles. Hard to tell which exactly. But he had a fever of 102 a couple of months ago and shortly thereafter broke into a rash all over his body. Poor little guy. But I wasn't all that worried. He didn't seem bothered much by it. And the rash practically disappeared the next day. If I hadn't taken pictures of it, no one would probably believe me. But the way I figure, it's one less vaccine to worry about. It was hard to catch the small bumps even on camera. But it was all over his face and ears and even in his scalp.

This was probably a few days after that outbreak. See how quickly he cleared up. I love how my mother staying with us means that I don't have to be in charge of as many baths. She seems to take great joy in bath times and I'm not going to be one to stop her. I have a baby bathtub for Hinckley but she seems more comfortable doing it the old fashioned way: in the kitchen sink. This picture reminds me of one I have that I'll have to find sometime of her giving me a bath as a baby. I'm getting too used to this. She surely is spoiling me. But the kids sure love spending their time with their Grand Mamita Eloisita or as Chrysalis likes to call her "Gran Pasita," which makes my mom laugh because she came up with this nickname on her own and in spanish it means "Great Raisin." Leave it to the kids to say the darndest things.

We've had strange weather around here this year. Some beautiful spring flowers despite the occasional snowy mountains and super rainy and windy days. Here's Orion strolling around the temple.

It really is quite the peaceful place to go for walks around. We're so lucky to live 5 minutes away from one.

Here is my Dad with his latest Grandson.

Orion wanted to take a picture of Hinckley one day. So I let him. Then I edited it. Not too bad.

Our little swimmer