Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Eve

I love Christmas Eve. It all started when we woke up at my Mom's house to the smell of her biscuits and gravy breakfast being cooked. After scarffing that down, Grace opened her presents from Mamaw.

We hurriedly packed all of our stuff BACK into the car and set off for Price before a snow storm moved in. I had a huge melt down when part of Grace's Christmas present, a mirror, broke in the car. Thank heavens there is a Wal-Mart in every town... even Price. We spent the middle part of the day just hanging out and enjoying the company of our family. In keeping with tradition, we ate sandwiches and snacks just before beginning the evening program and the crepe paper ball. Grace opened and modeled her fancy jammies. Once the kiddies were in bed, the grown-ups put out the last of their presents and set the scene for Santa to stop by.

Monday, December 29, 2008

So Much Love...

Grace is one lucky girl! She has so many people who love her dearly. We were grateful to have the opportunity to meet with her Birthmom and Birthgrandmother during our visit to Utah. We spent some time at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building where we exchanged gifts and chatted. We also took a stroll around Temple Square to see the lights. It was only 2 years ago that she gave us the GREATEST Christmas gift imaginable...a baby girl. This gift just keeps on giving!

Goes out "The Boy"...Comes home a Man!

{December 18th}

Jeff's youngest brother made a triumphant return from his mission in Pocatello, Idaho. Wow, 2 years really flew by. A lot can happen in that short of a time. Jace returned to a new family. Since he left, his only sister was married and he became an uncle...TWICE! We weren't the only ones to change. He lost 65 pounds! He had tremendous success and has grown into an increadible man. We are so proud of him and glad he's home. Now let's get him married!

Josh, Jamie & Corbin

I shot some family photos for Josh and Jamie and here are a few of my faves...

Give Me Glitter!

What are you usually doing at 1 a.m.? There were no sugarplum fairies dancing in my head this particular night. I tossed and turned and finally got up to do something crafty. I bought these reindeer for $1 a piece at a yard sale, and I knew they had a fabulous side screaming to be seen. Add some glue and glitter and they took on a whole new attitude! (And I was finally tired enough to fall asleep.) Mission accomplished.

Wishing You a Sweet Holiday Season

Off the Grid

I haven't so much as looked at a blog in 2 weeks! How am I still alive? (Prior to this hiatus Jeff told me if I were a country singer my name would be "Kenny Bloggins.") With the holidays in full swing, I found myself quite busy. It's time for some power blogging! Now begins my Reader's Digest version of the Hunt Happenin's. Starting with...

{December 7th}
We all bundled up and went to see the temple lights. Grace was amazed! It has been so fun to see her enjoy all of the wonderment of Christmas for the first time.

Beanie Babies

Grace contimplates the birth of the Christ child.

Our Temple

My Loves

This is how Grace likes to ride around.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Walk with Christ-Day 13

"Walk" Day 12 Thoughts

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." -3Nephi 13:33

Priorities. Everyone has them. It's the order that is crucial. In theory I could place them in order of importance, but in practice...not so much. Often times I find myself out of balance.

I am always excited during this time of year. Not just for Christmas, but also for the coming of the new year. For me it is a great time for introspection. I evaluate the year that has just wrapped up...what worked for me and what could be changed. I feel an added measure of the Spirit in setting goals and making plans. I take the opportunity to counsel with the Lord to realign my path and start that leg of the journey fresh and optimistic. I am grateful for the above scripture because it helps to set the tone for prioritizing my life. Sure, as the year progresses the need for tweaks and adjustments arrise, but at least I know what should always come first.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Walk with Christ-Day 12

"Walk" Day 11 Thoughts

My thought are these...the Holy Spirit ROCKS and I am lucky to occasionally feel a portion of it's influence. When things are going well and I am doing as I should, I think I must be crazy to ever let myself become past feeling. When I have allowed all the noise to drown out the still small voice, I guess mild amnesia sets in. I forget what a comfort and guide the Holy Spirit is. What a privilege it is to have the opportunity to have the HS as a constant companion. I must do better to be worthy of that blessing at all times. It's not like I don't know all of this...it's nice to have the reminder.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Walk with Christ-Day 11

"Walk" Day 10 Thoughts

My little sister came home from kindergarten one afternoon with a huge frown on her face. My mother inquired about her glum state and Alexis replied, "Mom, I have a 'bad attitude!' My butt's been itchin' all day and it gave me a bad attitude!"

I mention this story because service has a lot to do with attitude. It doesn't do you any good to do something for someone with a bad attitude...you forfeit the blessings. ("For behold, if a man being evil giveth a gift, he doeth it grudgingly; wherefore it is counted unto him the same as if he had retained the gift; wherefore he is counted evil before God." - Moroni 7:8) Elder Dallin H. Oaks gives a great talk on the reasons for service.

Today I went to work with Jeff to help do deliveries. I'll be the first to admit, my attitude could have been a lot better. Jeff totally called me on it. He warned, "you're gonna lose the blessings if you keep on like this." To that I replied, "I'm just in a bad mood, okay? I'm PMSing and I hate doing deliveries and that's alright! I do them because it's worth the money."

Well, well, well...Look who who just lost her blessings! Jeff just chuckled and we both had a good laugh at my expense. My hubby has a way with me. He turned my hostile mood right around. They say, "all's well that ends well." In this case it was certainly true. Jeff reminded me that I was not just working to earn extra money, but also to help and spend some time with him. I am one lucky girl. I could endure anything, as long as I have Jeff by my side...even deliveries. Look who was blessed after all!

Walk with Christ-Day 10

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

"Walk" Day 9 Thoughts

When I set out to begin this "Walk" activity one of my chief goals was to have an added measure of the Spirit in my life. I am so glad to report that the Lord has blessed me in that regard. I feel a softness in my heart where there had been resistance. Spirituality is truly like a muscle. If not used it begins to atrophy and weaken. If not worked and fed properly damage occurs. Luckily, with even just a little TLC it can get to working again. The key is consistency. The best results are had when spirituality is treated like a marathon and not a sprint.

"Is the Lord my light?" His life gives me a perfect, shining example. His gospel leads and directs me. His word is the iron rod that I must hold on to. His atonement puts me back on the right path. He is my guardian and I am his follower.

Walk with Christ-Day 9

"Walk" Day 8 Thoughts

No one is immune to exhibiting some form of pride. That's why it referred to as "the Great Stumbling Block." (That and medium size rocks, Jeff says.) It is the "go to" sin for Satan. He's not going to tempt most of us with drinking, doing drugs, or murder. We wouldn't fall for that! His plan is much more subtle: get us to find fault with those around us, compare everyone and everything, refuse to compliment someone, get jealous when someone else enjoys success...the list goes on and on.

The BEST talk I have ever read on the subject of pride was given by President Benson. I refer back to this talk whenever I feel like my pride has gotten a little out of hand. My head instantly is deflated and my heart aches for my sinful state. The plainness and truthfulness of his words cannot be denied. It leads me to humility and the desire to seek forgiveness.

I especially appreciate the advice found in Alma 32:16 concerning humility. (the antidote of pride) "Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble..." I use it more as a warning. "Mindy, you better repent and become humble OR I'll give you something to be humble about!"

I am just so grateful for the gospel and the instructions we have been given to guide us throughout life. I am grateful to be a part of a church that is lead by modern revelation. What a blessing it is to have "watchmen" in the tower of this world who look out for us and warn us of danger. It never ceases to amaze me how perfect the Lord's plan is.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Walk with Christ-Day 8

"Walk" Day 7 Thoughts

Sometimes I think I have a faulty filter in my head. You know, the one that keeps certain thoughts in instead of slipping out. I must get that from my mom.

I have sat here staring at my screen for what seems like forever and I really don't know what more to add to this post. This is one of those areas that I always have to be vigilant in. Thankfully for me, I have very forgiving friends and family!

Walk with Christ-Day 7

Saturday, December 6, 2008

"Walk" Day 6 Thoughts

I know thoughts have power. The most significant proof I have of this is my conversion story. This story has so many details, so many examples of thought in action, but I am going to choose the most critical instance.

It was the beginning 2001, and like most people do I set about making goals for the year. What was different about these resolutions was the way I went about making them. Each night I would thank God in advance for the blessings I had in mind. My list was this: a new job that would give me financial breathing room, a car that was dependable, to meet and get to know my extended relatives, to get braces and to find peace and happiness. The key was to have total faith that these things would come about in the right way and time. It wasn't a matter of if, only when. I never expected my prayers to be answered so quickly.

Just before Valentine's Day I met a nice returned missionary. Two weeks later I became very sick. I called my Mom and told her how terrible I was feeling (she's a nurse) and she told me I needed to see a doctor. Not having insurance was an issue, so she called her uncle for a favor. (I need to share a little background here. Her uncle Charles is a doctor. He is the brother of her father, with whom there are some MAJOR ill feelings. It had been years since she had spoken to Charles, but a mother will go to extraordinary lengths for her sick child.) I went to his office where I was greeted by him, his wife, and children all of whom work there. It turned out that I actually had scarlet fever. (I know what you're thinking...who gets scarlet fever this day and age?) Upon chatting with my newly found family the subject of my employment came up. My cousin offered me a job right then and there. I was to get well and come back in to start work at a huge pay raise! New job...check! Getting to know my relatives...check! An unexpected bonus...I was falling in love.

A month later my car, Tootie, finally died. My family (the ones I was working for) offered to pay the down payment on a new car, and I would repay them with a deduction from my wages. It was only the beginning of April and I had 4 of my 5 goals reached. I thought I couldn't be happier. Surprisingly, I was wrong.

The GREATEST blessing of that year, and of my entire life, took place in August...when I became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I had not asked for this specifically, but in a way I had asked for it. After all, one of my goals was to find peace and happiness.

The only thing that didn't happen that year was getting braces. Don't fret, today I wear Invisalign. The blessings of 2001 can be traced back to the power of thought, and of course, the "Man Upstairs."

The Gift of Christmas Past

I was rummaging through old pictures (on a quest to see if Grace and I look alike at her age) and I came across these BEAUTIES!

I blieve I was 5 years old here. I totally remember helping to pick out the tree and stringing the popcorn garland each Christmas. Sadly, some of the popcorn made it to my belly and not "The Bid Show." Good times. I am lovin' the dress and belt!

Same year as before, WAY worse outfit! It apears that I have a sweatshirt over a bathing suit?? Why would I sport a swim suit in the winter? Silly kid! I love how this picture is all about me...William who?? (My mom's best friend's son.) I wish my legs still looked that thin. BLARG!

What the heck Mom? My little cousin (in the next picture) and I were thrilled to get life size dolls. Her doll was beautiful and blond (just like her)......mine......WELL.... Is that the best she could do? (I am totally kidding Mom.) All that matters is that I LOVED it.

Age: 7 Aunt Lisa, Kelly, Mom, and I at Mamaw's.

Age: 8 (Florida) Who didn't love puffy paint?

Walk with Christ-Day 6

"Walk" Day 5 Thoughts

Am I a light to the world? I don't know, what do you think? I try to be. I sure hope I am, but sometimes I am an example of what not to do.

My example is really manifest in sweet Gracie. She is such a little copycat. I am so proud of her when we are saying prayers and I peak to see her with her arms folded. My heart melts when she repeats, "amen." I love that she recognizes any picture of "Sesus." It tickles me to hear her say, "Hemimee Fodder." She surprises me with her manners...always quick to say, "sorry, please, thank you, and welcome." (She is way into "thank you" and says it all the time. When she gives me a smooch and says it, I repeat "thank YOU! Then we giggle...) Those are a few of my good teachings.

On occasion I have slipped a naughty word and heard it echoed. Dang it! I really have to do better about that.

Being a righteous example takes effort. It takes introspection. Choosing the right isn't always easy, but it is always worth it.

Friday, December 5, 2008