Monday, November 24, 2008

Weekend Wrap-Up

We had a pretty great weekend.

On Saturday I had a girl's night out with Heather and I haven't had one of those in I don't know how long. We started out by going to a craft store and getting some way cute gift ideas.

Then we went to Costa Vida for dinner. I had a sweet pork salad that was SO GOOD! I've been craving another one ever since.

After that we went to see Twilight. Can I get a WOO-HOO?! I loved this book series. They were so fun to read and I really got attached to the characters. I was actually kind of disappointed in the movie though. Of course movies that are based on books are never as good as the books themselves, but this kind of seemed like a low budget, independent film or something. Parts of it were really good (like Edward) but some were kind of silly. I'm still totally glad I went to see it though. How could I not after spending the last 2 years reading the books? The experience was a blast. I felt kind of bad for the husbands/boyfriends that were dragged to the movie by their wives/girlfriends because if you hadn't read the books (which I'm assuming most of them hadn't) I think parts of the movie wouldn't make a lot of sense and you just wouldn't be as into it as the hard core followers. Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to make Jared watch it when it comes out on video. =) I'm already super excited for the next one!

Last but not least we went to Chili's to get some dessert to bring home to the hubbies. We figured that by making such a nice gesture they'd be more likely to let us have another girl's night soon. Oh, and the lady who took our order thought Heather and I were twins which made my day since everyone thinks she's a super model. =) It was kind of weird though because the entire time we were there we kept saying the same exact thing at the same exact time. It was like we were sharing a brain or something. The lady kept laughing at us and giving us strange looks.

We also took the kids to see Madagascar 2 this weekend. They had a lot of fun. Addison was so cute watching it. She was laughing and cheering and clapping the entire time. She loved it! Urban was really good in the beginning. He would laugh and dance every time he heard music. That boy loves to dance! It's like he just can't help himself, if he hears music he HAS to dance. We went during his nap time though so once he got sick of eating popcorn & dancing he was not to pleased to be sitting still on my lap. We ended up spending half of the movie out in the van playing around. Oh well, it was still a really fun family time.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Today's Tidbits

A conversation between Addison & me

Addi: (looking down at her hands in disgust) "Mom, I need to wash my hands because they're all dirty."

Me: "Okay. Did they get dirty when you were playing outside?"

Addi: (looking at me like I'm crazy) "No, because I was picking my nose."

At least she's honest!

Later in the evening, Jared & I were looking through a Victoria's Secret catalog that came in the mail (what? we were looking at the clothing section ;-) ). Well Addison came up and started looking at it too, telling us about all of the things she wanted. She liked the pretty mommy panties, make-up, lotion, pajamas, etc. (she has very girly, sophisticated taste). Jared didn't realize that they sold "real" clothing (what man does?) so when we got to that section he said "hey, this stuff is really cute."

me: "yeah, I know. I wish they carried it in their stores because I'd rather try stuff on than buy it from a catalog."

Jared: "That's stupid that they don't."

Addi: "Hey, don't call Heather stupid."

Jared & me: "First of all, that's not a nice word, daddy shouldn't have said that. But what are you talking about? Where do you see Heather?"

Addi: (pointing to one of the V.S. models) "Right there, that's Heather."

Jared & me: (laughing) "That's not Heather."

Jared: "Actually, that looks like Cindy Crawford."

me: "That's not Cindy Crawford, but Heather's going to love this story."

So apparently my daughter thinks her Aunt Heather looks like a Victoria's Secret model. Don't worry, I'm not bitter about this at all. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go cry myself to sleep! ;)

Monday, November 17, 2008


I met a man a couple of Sundays ago who unknowingly taught me a very valuable lesson.

Urban was fussing during Sacrament so I was walking him through the halls at church when a man came walking in through the back doors.

"Who runs this ship?" he asked me in a gruff voice.

He was dressed in raggedy clothes and had scruffy facial hair. He smelled so strongly of cigarettes that it almost took my breath away. I explained to him that our Bishop is in charge but that he was in the middle of a meeting at the moment. I asked him if there was anything I could do for him. He went on talking to me for about 15 minutes or so. He told me that he was a hobo (his words, not mine) and that he travels around with a friend of his and their dog. He said that they usually hop trains to get to where they're going, but since it was raining so heavily the trains weren't running so they had nowhere to go. He didn't know how long they were going to be stranded here but he wanted to talk to the bishop about possibly getting a little something for a few meals. They had already gone to a local pet store and someone was nice enough to give them a bag of dog food.

I let him know that our meeting was supposed to be over in about 20 minutes and at that time I could ask the Bishop to come speak with him. He said he would appreciate it then continued to tell a little bit more about his life. He told me that about 10 years ago his wife & son were murdered by a 14 year old boy. It was at that time that he became homeless. He said he just gave up, he didn't care any more. He realized that it wasn't the material things that mattered. Then Tony looked me in the eye and said "this is going to sound bad, but in some weird way that happening was kind of a blessing because it was then that I found God. I can't say that I knew Him before that." I was speechless and trying to choke back tears. What a tragedy this man lived through and look what he got out of it. In many people's eyes it would appear that he's worthless and went in the opposite direction from what he should have. But in his own eyes he came out a better person and he was as happy as he could be considering what happened. He went on to ask me why it is that people don't like homeless people? He said that they don't steal, kill or try to take people's jobs. He said they just keep to themselves and try to survive yet everyone always looks down on them. He told me that sadly it was usually the "religious ones, people with crosses or fish signs (sorry, I don't know what those things are called) on their cars that turn the other way and pretend not to see him holding his sign". I wasn't quite sure how to respond to him. I told him that people usually aren't comfortable with what they're not familiar with and being homeless is something most people can't relate to.

To make a long story short, I went back to sacrament meeting and waited for it to be over so I could go talk to our bishop. Our closing hymn happened to be "Because I Have Been Given Much" and that was just too much for me to handle. I started bawling. I felt like such a fool but I just couldn't help it. I felt so overwhelmed with emotions of gratitude for all that I have and of sorrow for this homeless man I just encountered. I couldn't pull myself together. I cried all through the song and during the closing prayer and all the way up to talk to the bishop. Luckily Jared translated for me since I was crying so hard I couldn't really even breathe, much less talk. Our bishop was very sympathetic but said unfortunately since it was Sunday none of the church's facilities were open and since they don't just hand out money all he could do was refer the man to a local shelter.

I felt so bad. I didn't know what to do. I asked Jared what he thought we could do to help this man. He said that since we had just paid our last little bit of money to tithing there wasn't much we could do. Well, of course I was sobbing the whole way home so as we pulled into our driveway Jared said "let's go inside and fix Tony and his friend some food and I'll bring it back to him". I was so excited to do this. So we made a bunch of sandwiches and threw some snacks and a gallon of water into a bag and Jared drove it back down to the church. Of course by the time he got there Tony was no longer there, but Jared drove around the block a little ways and found him standing on a corner with his sign. He drove up to him and explained that his wife was the one talking to him at the church. He was so very grateful and appreciative for the food we had prepared for him but said he was disappointed in the church for not doing more to help. This made me so very sad because our church is so giving and charitable. I had understood where the bishop was coming from but apparently Tony did not. Hopefully our little gesture shed a little light onto the true spirit and kindness our church possesses.

I hate how emotional I get sometimes but I just can't help it in certain situations. I am just overtaken by such strong feelings. I'm pretty sure my bishop thinks I'm a nut. The next 2 times he saw me after that Sunday he came up to ask me how I was doing and make sure I was okay while assuring me that things like that used to really bother him too but it happens so often now that he kind of got used to it.

Anyway, I know this is a lengthy post, but I also wanted to attach the lyrics to the wonderful hymn that helped me to feel the Spirit so strongly.

Because I have been given much, I too must give
Because of thy great bounty, Lord, each day I live
I shall divide my gifts from thee With ev'ry brother that I see
Who has the need of help from me.

Because I have been sheltered, fed by thy good care,
I cannot see another's lack and I not share
My glowing fire, my loaf of bread, My roof's safe shelter overhead,
That he too may be comforted.

Because I have been blessed by thy great love, dear Lord,
I'll share thy love again, according to thy word.
I shall give love to those in need; I'll show that love by word and deed:
Thus shall my thanks be thanks indeed.

I realized that it's so easy for me to take things for granted. It's so easy for me to focus on the things that I don't have and that I want rather than be thankful for all that I do have which is truly so much more than I need. I need to kneel in prayer daily, even several times daily, and express heartfelt gratitude to my Heavenly Father.

I realized that I need to do more for others who may not be so blessed with adequate shelter or food supply or the same opportunities as me. I want to volunteer and help those in my community who may be less fortunate and be a good example to my children.

I was reminded that I should never judge others no matter what because I never know their circumstances or what they've been through. Even if I do learn of their story I still shouldn't judge because everything effects everyone differently.

I learned that love, something that takes absolutely nothing away from me or my family in any way, is also something that needs to be shared. I learned that love can be shown and shared in so many different ways. Even if it's just lending an ear to a lonely stranger who has a story to tell.

Please don't think I'm just trying to pat myself on the back by sharing this story. That is not the case at all, in fact I wish there was so much more I could do. It was really just a wonderful, spiritual learning experience for me so I thought I would share. In reality Tony did so much more for me than we did for him.

Thank you Tony. May peace, safety and health accompany you during your travels.

(All right, so I didn't make this a short story at all. Thanks for hanging in there.)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Where are you


Here are some pictures of Urban as scooby-doo since I didn't really post any last time. He looked so cute!

The kids had a blast trick-or-treating. We all got dressed up again and went around the neighborhood.

Urban was a little fussy in the beginning so we gave him a rice cake to keep him busy in his stroller. The first house we went to was our next door neighbor who is a sweet little old lady. Our kids have fun playing with her dog through the fence in our backyard. When our neighbor opened up her door her dog came running out, went straight up to Urban and snatched his rice cake right out of his hands. He started to pout a little bit, but we all started laughing so he realized it was okay. As soon as we got going again he was perfectly happy seeing all of the Halloween sights.

We went down our street and the street behind us and figured that was plenty of candy, especially since we still had so much at home. I was kind of surprised because Addison is so shy, but she went up to every door and knocked, said "trick-or-treat", let everybody ooh & aah over how cute she was, answer all of their questions and then say "thank-you" after she got some candy. Both of the kids did such a great job. We really had a fun night.

I'm sad to have to take down all of my Halloween decorations but am looking forward to the upcoming holidays.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Carving pumpkins

We completely forgot about carving our pumpkins from the pumpkin patch until Thursday night, but that was the night of our ward shindig. By the time we got home we just didn't feel like doing it so the kids and I carved our pumpkins Friday afternoon so they'd be ready for Halloween night. Addison didn't want to touch the "pumpkin guts" because she doesn't like being dirty and I wasn't brave enough to let Urban get his hands on a raw pumpkin, although I'm sure he would have loved it (maybe if Jared was with us). So I ended up doing most of the work by myself while the kids watched. We still had a lot of fun. Urban just played with his little pumpkin and our pumpkin lids while Addison did whatever she could to help. She carefully tried to scrape the inside of a pumpkin, but when she accidentally flipped a seed up on to her face it was all over. She just looked at me trying not to get too upset saying "get it off, get it off!". I started cracking up at her reaction, or should I say over-reaction (after all, it was just one little pumpkin seed) so she finally started giggling too. She settled for letting me do the dirty work while she decorated the pumpkins. One of the kits we got came with glitter pens, so she went to work making the pumpkins sparkle and look pretty.

As you can see, Urban got a little wild and crazy with his pumpkin. This is why we call him "monster man". It's quite fitting.

Here she is apprehensively cleaning out her pumpkin.

Can you see the lone little pumpkin seed on her cheek?

Here she explained to me that her pumpkin was tired, so she gave it a hug goodnight. She has quite an imagination, I don't know where she gets half of the stuff she says from.

VOILA! The finished products. Addison picked out both of the designs. We had a fun afternoon carving pumpkins. Next year we'll be more on the ball so daddy can do it with us.