Thursday, May 31, 2012

Decorating

So here's one of the crafty projects we did last week - I had a good collection of fake flowers from the thrift store and dollar store which we took apart to make hair flowers and headbands...


And I also brought some magnets along, so we glued some of those too -


As I did that, it occurred to me that magnets would probably stick to the iron thingy I had bought for over our master bed:

 

I did a flower for each kid - Joe through Sophia from left to right, and Corey and I are the two flowers close together at the top/middle (Corey's BYU blue and white, I'm red cause that's my color).  It's fun decorating.  Here are the framed individual pictures of the kids - I love these beautiful little people.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Artists

Melodie won a school art contest last week for her drawing of a Grizzly bear.  There was one winner for photography, one art winner for kindergarten through 3rd, and one winner for the 4th-6th grades.



Good job Mel.  (She really wanted to win, she entered 3 drawings)


We might have a future photographer on our hands in Ethan. 


He keeps taking my camera and taking random pictures, eventhough I've told him a hundred times not to touch it.  Cute picture of Sophi though.


Some of them are kind of abstractly artistic, the one below I've titled "Peanut Butter"


 "Dirty Socks on Counter"


In other news, my cleaning party's almost over.  A door to door salesman came by selling Advantage cleaner last week.  He was doing a great job with his salesman skills, he was nice, and I was feeling charitable, and he was able to clean out every carpet spot I had him try, so I bought some.  Although I do really hate it that his little demonstrations brought to my attention how absolutely filthy the grout in the kitchen is.  Got about half of it cleaned, going to try and finish that tonight.  Thanks to him, I discovered I had a lot more work to do than I originally thought, on stuff that I didn't even notice before.  Although I should be grateful, cause I'm sure other people noticed it.  Nasty floors.  

The Advantage cleaned out all the spots on the stairs carpet - I did that after the kids went to bed, and the dirty carpet by the kitchen, so the carpet looking pretty good, just gotta finish the kitchen.  Kinda pricy stuff, but I felt like I was able to be the kind purchaser to the salesman in the movie The Pursuit of Happyness, which as I watched that I was grateful for him everytime some kind soul bought one of his machines.  Let's help each other out, right?  So, kitchen tile, bathroom tile, then hopefully my desk which is always last on the list and the one thing I never ever get to.  Sigh.  But gotta put things back together today, Corey comes home tomorrow ~

He's had a long trip and lots of plane flights and bus rides.  "The charm (of traveling) has worn off" he says, so hopefully the software will be up and running soon enough that he won't have to go down to "babysit" it during their pilots.   I don't like being a single mom.  It was only 10 days and I'm feeling pretty beat up.  Don't know how our military families do it, Thank you for your sacrifices.  I remember and honor you on Veterans day and every day.  God Bless America, land of the free and home of the brave. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Kirby vs. Dyson

The Kirby man gave us a demo many years ago.  The Kirby vacuum knocked the socks off of our Hoover.  So we knew we'd need it but we couldn't afford it.  Then the Dyson was introduced in 2001 and I found my happy solution - a vacuum just as good as a Kirby for a lot less money.  I was happy.  I was a true Dyson fan for 10 years, but then... the Mr. Kirby guy knocked on the door again this past January.  He gave us a demo and my Dyson Animal proved to be in pretty sad shape, and not just cause it was hammered after 10 years and 8 kids.  Even if it was brand spankin' new it still wouldn't be able to compete with a Kirby.

Research I did that night (google) proved the salesman spoke the truth.  Here's a review of Dyson Vs. Kirby - Kirby won 8 out of the 10 tests, Dyson only winning the "coolness" factor and easier/lighter to use.  (I did feel pretty cool for the first 5 years of my Dyson). Thassit.

But once again, we couldn't afford it.  No way we could do $2000 bucks for a vacuum.  He said "Either way you'll be paying for it - in carpet cleaning costs over the years and carpet replacement, or you buy a Kirby and keep your carpets clean and looking new."  I agreed with that, but I knew I could do it for lots cheaper.  And I did! I found an Ultimate G Kirby on the ksl classifieds for just over $200, which was $300 less than what I was mentally budgeting to pay for another Dyson. Woohoo!
The Kirby is a better machine.   I still have my Dyson for the basement when I'm just doing a quick surface clean, and the difference in suction is so obvious as you push them over the carpet.  The Kirby is a great machine.  I've been very pleased with the Kirby and I think this one will hold up for a long time, but if I do decide I want a newer version, I'll just keep my eyes on the classifieds.  :) The only thing I'm going to have to get used to is making sure I have more of the vacuum bags on hand - soon to be put on my mental list.
So, I've been re-arrangin' the furniture between rooms and vacuuming a ton, cleaned the stairs last night, got out all the spots with the Advantage cleaner that I got from another door to door salesman yesterday.  I used that instead of the official Kirby shampoo, it worked great, another score for saving money.  The carpets all look like new, it's so nice! (Did you know that the Advantage cleaner stuff will even get out permanent marker! Don't try it yourself, just read this and take my word for it!)

I thought I'd show a very cool Kirby feature - it can go all the way under some of the beds in our house -


Not the bed in the master bedroom, but still, pretty snazzy!  I was excited.  (I'm such a mom to get excited about vacuuming).  I have kept the Dyson downstairs and vacuumed with it down there, and could really tell the difference in how much less suction it has, it's also so much lighter to push, I could tell that the Dyson is only a surface cleaner, the Kirby really gets out the dirt from the carpet.  Would love to let you borrow it and try it out if you want!Kirby vs. Dyson vacuum better review price dyson vacuum review kirby or dyson better
Lucky for me, I don't have to worry about looking good cause Corey's in Chile.  Until his return, I am able to slack off on and wear the same clothes for a few days, not put on make up, hair pulled back in a ponytail, feeling pretty!  Yes, I've been focusing solely on the house.  I shampooed the carpets last night with the Kirby, went pretty well, hooray for YouTube instructional videos!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

15 May 1992

Just looking through a scrapbook yesterday, thought I'd digitize this picture of Corey and I on our first date in high school ~


Awww... young love ~ 


Corey still has that cute paisley bow tie.  Thankfully, I do not still have that dress.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Daily & Weekly Schedule

Been one of those mornings...


Lily's so meek, ya just can't get upset with her, I mean just look at that little face.  Besides, getting upset doesn't make the clean-up go any faster.  So just turn on some Brandon Flowers and then "whistle while you work" ~


Speaking of work, I've had these ideas for a daily schedule floating around in my head for months, and last night I finally put it all together for myself, so here is my plan of attack, from one busy mom (trying to lose the last 10-15 lbs) to another:

FOOD - 
My friend Nicole sent me this video (Chocolate, Cheese, Meat, Sugar chemically addictive? Who knew! ps: i want cheesecake) it gave me some motivation to try and listen to my body more, to figure out what it responds well to and what foods make me bloated, constipated, and moody.  So going to experiment for 3 weeks and eat like this vegan video guy says combined with a little Marilu - fruit in the morning at 7, veggies and no chocolate, cheese, meat, or sugar for the rest of the meals during the day. 

7:00 - Fruit - I've got apples and kiwi for my breakfasts (how simple is that!)
KIDS - cereal/oatmeal/cinnamon, raisins, slices of apple - fiber!!!

10:00 - going to do protein spinach shake at 10:00 (cocoa powder, but no sugar, so not really chocolate, but I'm wondering about the protein powder's effects on the body, shall do more research)
KIDS - spinach protein shakes

1:00 - serving of nuts and raisins if I'm out running errands or salad at home
KIDS - PB&J and fruit & carrots

4:00 - big egg and salsa salad or egg and mustard salad
KIDS - a treat (we gotta try and create a perfect world for these kids!)

6 or 7:00 - healthy version of what I'm feeding the kids or vegetable bean soup

SCHEDULE: 
This will for now and after the kids are out of school.

7:00 - 10:00: ME TIME (before and after meal 1) exercise, shower and dress, email, blog plus quick clean up of kitchen

10:00 - 1:00: HOME TIME  (after meal 2) clean, blog, plan errands, decorate

  1. Monday - Mop, Master, Main floor
  2. Tuesday - Toys (in basement & Lego room), Toilets/Bathrooms
  3. Wednesday - Wash (laundry), Windows/mirrors, wals
  4. Thursday - Thoroughly organize a zone
  5. Friday - Floors (vacuum/mop/stairs) Front Room
  6. Saturday - South of the house (Yardwork), Side room, Study
  7. Sunday - rest
1:00 - 4:00: SPIRIT TIME (after meal 3) - kids take a nap, read, scriptures, study General Conference

4:00 - 7:00: COOK TIME (after meal 4) get dinner ready, plan menues, print recipes

7:00 - 9:00: KID TIME (after meal 5) get kids to help clean up, brush teeth, scriptures, FHE,

9:00 - 10:00 ME TIME 2 - plan tomorrow, email, calendar/schedule, coordinate with dear husband

10:00 - Get ready for bed, read a little more, be asleep by 11

So there's my plan, we'll see how it goes!  :)  Off to mop the floor, (whistle ~ whistle)

daily schedule busy mom schedule daily routines kid calendar plan schedule school out

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pig Update

The happy couple - Medusa and Butterfinger

We gave Medusa a haircut, and now she doesn't look like an alien's pet.  We can also tell which side is her front end and back end now, and so we've decided she's cute and that we like her.  Abi and Lily really really like her.  Watch out if you try to take her from one of them.  Yesterday Mel, Hyrum, Wes, Abi, and Lily were all out playing with the pigs, Abi and Lily were fighting over Medusa while the other pigs all got claimed, I insisted Abi let Lily hold Medusa.  So Lily took her and 4 kids were sitting with guinea pigs on their laps with Abi standing watching and then protesting "Then which one am I gonna have!?"  And I thought "Oh dear, 4 guinea pigs and it's still not enough..."

 
The kids are planning a guinea pig wedding for our happy pigs.  Probably sometime after school gets out.  Then they've already told me they want the pictures printed so they can make some frames pictures for their respective homes.  I just wanted my kids to stay busy and be creative outside during the summer time, and I think my plan is working!

I also had to share these pictures - this is Brooke - she is Abi's primary teacher at school.  It was just cute to see her playing with Abi, had to snap a few pics.



Brooke came over to see our guinea pigs, then Abi asked her if she could play, it was cute.  Brooke is the one who started us out on the rats idea which led to the guinea pigs follow through and the "Summer of the Guinea Pigs" adventure we are embarking upon.  Last summer was the "Summer of the Monarch" which was fun, but doesn't provide all the elements of "how the natural world works" that we're getting from the guinea pigs.  On Saturday, each of the kids except Joe came privately to ask me "Mom, why does Butterfinger keeps getting on top of Medusa?" or would tell me "Mom, I saw Butterfinger was climbing on Eve..." and even "Butterfinger was getting on Oreo..."

Monarach = finding an egg on a leaf.

Guinea Pigs = there's a little bit of daily mating going on here.

Made for some fun discussion, at least as much as the kids can tolerate, cause as soon as I start to explain anything, they say "EEEWWWWW!!!!!!"  I'd say though that having the subject come up because of pet animals is much preferred than by way of friends in school or tv or magazines.  It's been good.  :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Solar Eclipse


Ten days ago my dad emailed all of us kids telling us about the upcoming solar eclipse that would be visible from Utah. I toyed with the idea of heading to Southern Utah to see it, but Saturday turned into a busier day than expected for Corey - with the Fathers and Sons campout, then when they got home from that they went and did a service project for a neighbor, cutting down a big tree and turning it into woodchips - he got a lot of freshly made chips for the back yard play area which was nice.  He ran around doing some final errands the rest of Saturday evening to get ready for his trip to Chile, so Sunday he was ready to just relax at home.  So we didn't execute any plans to drive down to Kanaraville.  But we still had a really fun time seeing the eclipse from here in the Salt Lake valley -

My dad set up some of his telescopes on the upper parking level at the Union Heights Theaters parking garage.  The sun peeked through the clouds a few times for us as the eclipse started, but then a big cloud came and we were worried we'd miss it at it's most coverage.  We played some soccer and duck duck goose with the kids while we waited, all offering simple prayers for the clouds to leave, and at 7:30, when the eclipse was to be at it's maximum totality, the clouds parted and everyone was able to see it ~


Everyone was passing around eclipse glasses, taking turns looking into the telescopes, and the kids also liked the diy cardboard things my dad had made.



It was sooooo neat, it was amazing.  Impossible to wrap your head around level of the incredibleness of what we were seeing - but I loved every minute of it.  So cool to behold God's handiwork. He goes over the top sometimes with his heavenly wonders, don't you think?  It was awesome.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Time For Bed


Read the kids a story about Joseph Smith tonight.  It was a very interesting nail biter of a story, I promise, but still I could tell I was starting to lose my audience, so every now and then I'd ask, "You guys still awake?" and Joe would answer in the affirmative, so I kept reading, but even he couldn't hold on till the end.



It was just too quiet and it's so hard to stay awake if you're holding still.  Seeing all their exhausted bodies laying around the room made me smile.  Nice to have the house all quiet, I think we'll join them in dreamland, Goodnight!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Learning Experiences

Last night we went and picked up two female guinea pigs and already we are gaining experience.  We have named them Medusa and Eve.

Medusa has long hair and is very nasty tempered, hence why we felt Medusa would be an appropriate name.
We gave her a slight haircut around her eyes this morning, hoping that atleast having eye contact with her can start to endear her to us.  I asked the mom and daughter we bought them from if they were nice cause they seemed very skittish and determined to avoid human interaction.  They assured me that the pigs were very nice, love people, and love being held.  I think they might have been lying to me.  I think Medusa's got issues for several reasons, such as she and Eve were in such a small cage (I thought) and didn't have a little igloo to hide in.  Plus Medusa's long hair really does make her look like some kind of freak pet - she's like a little skunk colored puff ball that goes berserk if it feels anything touching it.  Glad we can see her eyes now.  She might know she's odd looking and that is why she's self conscious and avoiding contact with us.

Eve is short haired and much nicer than Medusa, so we gave her a nice short name.
Melodie grooming Eve's nails above.  Yes, Eve is nice, but the only thing fun about Medusa so far is laughing and shaking our heads and what a weirdo she is.

So, now for today's lesson.  Corey and I often joke that so far we think we've been pretty good at creating our own trials and experiences in life, hoping God doesn't feel the need to give us any.  If we keep pushing ourselves and learning, doing our own homework enthusiastically on our own, then maybe He'll not feel any need to intervene to help us learn and will go find others who need a little help or motivation to do their class work.  That being said, these new guinea pigs we picked up last night have already reinforced in me great valuable lesson. 

"Leave it alone."  The several times last evening when we tried to touch or hold Medusa, I was thinking I'd call back the lady and demand to return these girls.  Just crossed my mind briefly as my knee jerk reaction to help me deal with my newly found stress, but I'm sure that would only create a hassle and confrontation and make the lady feel bad, and this isn't that big of a deal, it's just guinea pigs...  I can handle this, right?  I got some perspective as I remembered the story quoted below~

My life was changed by a saintly patriarch. He married his sweetheart. They were deeply in love, and soon she was expecting their first child.

The night the baby was born, there were complications. The only doctor was somewhere in the countryside tending to the sick. After many hours of labor, the condition of the mother-to-be became desperate. Finally, the doctor was located. In the emergency, he acted quickly and soon the baby was born, and the crisis, it appeared, was over. But some days later, the young mother died from the very infection that the doctor had been treating at another home that night.

The young man’s world was shattered. As the weeks wore on, his grief festered. He thought of little else, and in his bitterness he became threatening. Today, no doubt, he would have been pressed to file a malpractice suit, as though money would solve anything.

One night a knock came at his door. A little girl said simply, “Daddy wants you to come over. He wants to talk to you.”

“Daddy” was the stake president. The counsel from that wise leader was simply “John, leave it alone. Nothing you do about it will bring her back. Anything you do will make it worse. John, leave it alone.”

This had been my friend’s trial. How could he leave it alone? A terrible wrong had been committed. He struggled to get hold of himself and finally determined that he should be obedient and follow the counsel of that wise stake president. He would leave it alone.

He said, “I was an old man before I understood and could finally see a poor country doctor—overworked, underpaid, run ragged from patient to patient, with little medicine, no hospital, few instruments, struggling to save lives, and succeeding for the most part. He had come in a moment of crisis, when two lives hung in the balance, and had acted without delay. I finally understood!” He said, “I would have ruined my life and the lives of others.”

Many times he had thanked the Lord on his knees for a wise priesthood leader who counseled simply, “John, leave it alone.”  

Yes, my family is safe and everything is still fine.  This "big deal" is just guinea pigs.  I can't find the quote now, but Eckhart Tolle wrote something in his book A New Earth that I've remembered along the lines of "There are no 'problems' in life, there are situations, situations to be dealt with" and that we add the drama (I might review that book, it's got some thought provoking ideas, but mostly I found it to be his opinions presented as truth with a few quotes from the Savior or scriptures to validate them.  Some good stuff, but false teachings too.  Anyway...)  So, none of my children are in danger, we're not starving, my marriage is strong.  Life is good, and these guinea pigs are small potatoes.  I can figure this out, I can handle this.

So last night as the evening progressed and we continued to see Medusa's unkind temperment, seriously she wouldn't let me touch her, she didn't bite or anything, but I was chasing her all over the yard thinking "Fine!  You don't want to come into the safety of your cage for the night, that's just fine my me, I'll leave you to the fox, you little miss attitude..."  Plus, after we let the boys meet the girls, it was like a switch went off and I worried that I had robbed my family of the sweet innocent boy pigs we had and had created two man pigs with appetites that would now forever dominate their behavior.  Butterfinger was going nuts when we separated the boys and girls.
Mel cried a little and we both went to bed feeling a pit in our stomachs, wishing we could just go back in time and not even have bought the girls.  I put them up for free on the classifieds where I bought them and figured "Ok, we'll just try to give them away and chock that up as a learning experience."  We all had a sleepover in my room and in the morning, with the sun shining, we woke up with lighter hearts and attitudes and went to check on the pigs and all is well.  The men came home from their camp outing and were excited, I showed our new pets to Corey who looked at Medusa the puff flopping around on the grass and looked at it with one eyebrow raised saying "That.... is not normal." We spent some time with them and Abi was able to pick up and hold Medusa, I was so impressed.  Now Lily can to, so I think we'll be able to get to know them and have them get used to us and we're all feeling better about things.  So there is our first lesson learned from these pigs - to stay calm and not worry, things will work out, don't feed your worries and concerns, turn them off and learn to just trust that you can handle it and will learn from it.

I'm sure we'll have more pig lessons to share as the summer progresses!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Girl's Night Out

Guess what surprise I'm giving to my girls tonight while the boys go on a Father & Sons campout (in the rain, have fun!) with their Daddy?  Well, first we're going to go exchange some shoes at the mall that I ordered that are too small (that's not the surprise) then we're going to drive to Provo for some Krispy Kreme doughnuts -


...they'll be excited about that one, but wait, there's more!  Cause after we pick up some doughnuts, we are going to go to pick up these (that's the surprise).  Mel's gonna scream.  I think I'm slightly crazy to bring home two girls when I have two boys, but it will be fun.  We will keep them separated in their respective boys and girls boxes, and keep an eye on them to make sure they don't fool around on the grass.  Prep ourselves and learn some stuff about how to care for the babies just in case.  I read this, don't agree with all their opinions and concerns, but good to know.  We'll show you pictures tomorrow if I don't change my mind when we see them.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lost in a Book

So yesterday I started to read The Hunger Games, book one.  It was fun cause I really hardly knew anything about it, so it was all new and kept me wondering and guessing.  I stayed up until 2 a.m. reading "just one more chapter." Then "Ok, just one more." Another 20 minutes later... "What time is it?  Ok, this is the last one." Got to chapter 25, forced myself to put it down, then I think I fell asleep around 3.


Ethan and I had a race, and he beat me in finishing his book The Candy Shop War before I finished Hunger Games, then he followed me around like a hyena waiting for the lionesses to finish her prey.  It's fun to read a book with the kids, and he wants me to read Candy Shop, but I've probably got my fiction fix for a while. Maybe I'll pick it up when Corey's gone next week, but I've got so much to do, I'd rather listen to it on cd while I paint or something, so much I want to do, I need to multi-task or I won't survive.  My house is a wreck since I didn't get the kids to work yesterday and I didn't work either.  My life might not be too ideal for getting lost in books right now.  Atleast not books that I can't put down.  But it was a fun book.  But I also feel bad to only spend 20 minutes in scriptures or conference talks and then spend 6 hours in a fiction book.  But there are some good lessons to be learned from the Hunger Games.  But just not where I should be investing my time.  I have this magazine clipping on my bathroom wall -

Keep All Things in Balance - 
“One of the ways Satan lessens your effectiveness and weakens your spiritual strength is by encouraging you to spend large blocks of your time doing things that matter very little. I speak of such things as sitting for hours on end watching television or videos, playing video games night in and night out, surfing the Internet, or devoting huge blocks of time to sports, games, or other recreational activities.
“Don’t misunderstand me. These activities are not wrong in and of themselves (unless, of course, you are watching salacious programs or seeking out pornographic images on the Internet). …
“But I speak of letting things get out of balance. …
“One devastating effect of idling away our time is that it deflects us from focusing on the things that matter most. Too many people are willing to sit back and let life just happen to them. It takes time to develop the attributes that will help you to be a well-balanced person.”  
- Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Be Strong in the Lord,” Ensign, July 2004, 13–14.

Reading fiction isn't necessarily "idling away" my time, but it might not exactly be taking me towards the goals I have for myself.  Hunger Games did make me get out of balance, so either I need to learn how to keep balance while reading fun books like that, or I need to steer clear of them.  I've got like 6 books I'm in right now.  Atleast with Hunger Games I finished it and can check it off, unlike the others that sit around half read for months ~

Teasing Fun

Mel and Joe tease each other a lot, but it's fun cause they both are able to take it in fun and give it equally, and it's really funny.  Melodie's latest tease to Joe - she cut this little room tag off of the back of a coloring book Lily had and put it on Joe's door. After she put it on, she sat there admiring her work and laughing as she thought of him as a 12 year old boy who loved Elmo and Cookie Monster. 
 

I came over to see and started to laugh too, then Ethan joined us and Hyrum then Wes, all of us chuckling.  Joe came out of the bathroom, came over to the doorway of the boys room, we all looked at him smiling, he looked at us wondering what the joke was, but didn't notice it on the door.  Finally we pointed it out to him, he looked at it, smiled as he rolled his eyes and quickly tore it off the door, thinking of his revenge.  We left.  Joseph came down later and said "I hid that thing where you will NEVER find it!!"  Melodie found it though, taped on the wall behind a picture frame.  Joe didn't know it, but Melodie happened upon him unnoticed as he hid it, and later during the day Joe noticed it on his door again, amazed that Mel had bested him.  That time he tried to think of an even better place to hide it, but decided he'd just destroy it and presented Mel with a torn up pile of papers. They are funny when they play and tease cause they don't end up whining or crying to me about their teasing, I think it will be a lot of fun as all these kids get older and are able to give and take in their teasing games and fun, they are all so clever, I think we're going to have a lot of fun.  :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Patient as a Pig

These poor pigs...




They are so sweet and patient.  These little guys let my kids dress them up in lacy doll panties and little doll vests.  The vest is super cute on Butterfinger, I don't think Oreo cared too much for the underwear, however.




Melodie and her friends are having fun with the Pigs.  Melodie crocheted them both little collars to wear.  Melodie is good to them, Lily is a little rough, so I'm glad they are big guinea pigs instead of baby rats, I'm sure if we had baby anythings right now Lily would have already loved them to death.  Yeah, not sure if the Pigs are enjoying all this attention, but I love that I don't ever hear them complaining!  They are such good examples, I'm hoping these human children of mine pick up some good habits from the pigs. Just look up with cute little eyes, don't say a word, like the pigs do, or Sophi does. That is the way to get people to be your slaves. 


I promise you it will soften our hearts.  Talking back. nagging, or demanding things from us could get you killed. Maybe I'll get all my kids binkis to help remind them to keep silent.  God gave us two ears and two eyes, but only one mouth.  Spend 40% of your day watching and learning by example, 40% listening to instructions, and only 20% talking about what you know.  I'll try to take that advice myself, I think it is a key to loving and serving others, you have to know about them, and you don't get that by talking, you get it by watching and listening to them.  So I'll keep talking to myself when I blog, but that's it - when I'm not in virtual reality, I'm all ears.

The Ultimate Career

I watched this video of Mitt Romney giving a commencement address at Liberty University - I thought it went along perfectly with the book and thoughts from yesterdays post - The introduction for Governor Romney begins at 25:27 with remarks from Chancellor Falwell and Mark DeMoss, Chairman of Liberty University. (don't skip the intros):


(source: MittRomneyCentral.com)



It's all good, here are some of my most favorite parts:


Jerry Falwell, Senior, long ago observed that “You do not determine a man’s greatness by his talent or wealth, as the world does, but rather by what it takes to discourage him.”

Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman.

The protection of religious freedom has also become a matter of debate. It strikes me as odd that the free exercise of religious faith is sometimes treated as a problem, something America is stuck with instead of blessed with. Perhaps religious conscience upsets the designs of those who feel that the highest wisdom and authority comes from government.

But from the beginning, this nation trusted in God, not man. Religious liberty is the first freedom in our Constitution. And whether the cause is justice for the persecuted, compassion for the needy and the sick, or mercy for the child waiting to be born, there is no greater force for good in the nation than Christian conscience in action.

Religious freedom opens a door for Americans that is closed to too many others around the world. But whether we walk through that door, and what we do with our lives after we do, is up to us.
Someone once observed that the great drama of Christianity is not a crowd shot, following the movements of collectives or even nations. The drama is always personal, individual, unfolding in one’s own life. We’re not alone in sensing this. Men and women of every faith, and good people with none at all, sincerely strive to do right and lead a purpose-driven life.


Someone once observed that the great drama of Christianity is not a crowd shot, following the movements of collectives or even nations. The drama is always personal, individual, unfolding in one’s own life. We’re not alone in sensing this. Men and women of every faith, and good people with none at all, sincerely strive to do right and lead a purpose-driven life.

And, in the way of lessons learned, by hitting the mark or by falling short, I can tell you this much for sure.

All that you have heard here at Liberty University – about trusting in God and in His purpose for each of us–makes for more than a good sermon. It makes for a good life. So many things compete for our attention and devotion. That doesn’t stop as you get older. We are all prone, at various turns, to treat the trivial things as all-important, the all-important things as trivial, and little by little lose sight of the one thing that endures forever.

No person I have ever met, not even the most righteous or pure of heart, has gone without those times when faith recedes in the busy-ness of life. It’s normal, and sometimes even the smallest glimpses of the Lord’s work in our lives can reawaken our hearts. They bring us back to ourselves – and, better still, to something far greater than ourselves.

What we have, what we wish we had – ambitions fulfilled, ambitions disappointed … investments won, investments lost … elections won, elections lost – these things may occupy our attention, but they do not define us. And each of them is subject to the vagaries and serendipities of life. Our relationship with our Maker, however, depends on none of this. It is entirely in our control, for He is always at the door, and knocks for us. Our worldly successes cannot be guaranteed, but our ability to achieve spiritual success is entirely up to us, thanks to the grace of God. The best advice I know is to give those worldly things your best but never your all, reserving the ultimate hope for the only one who can grant it.


As C.S. Lewis is said to have remarked, “The home is the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose, and that is to support the ultimate career.”

Monday, May 14, 2012

How Will You Measure Your Life?

Corey read this news article yesterday and is very excited to read Clayton Christensen's new book -
Go read that article, it's really good. (time lapse) Did you read it?  Good stuff, huh!  Here's my favorite part:

Forbes wrote this about the book: "It mixes tested business theories, a heap of common sense and Clay's deep confidence in the authority of God. It's one of the more surprisingly powerful books of personal philosophy of the 21st century. The questions it asks are the right ones: How do I find satisfaction in work? How do I create a family with relationships that are meaningful and fulfilling? How do I raise kids who are responsible, kind and make good choices?
 
"Ask any recovering alcoholic or addicted gambler or adulterer. They'll tell you what Clay tells you: it's easier to hold to one's principles 100 percent of the time than it is to hold to them 98 percent of the time. For kids graduating from college right now, this is the best time to engage in this personal reflection. Life, kids, careers and other pressures have a way of swallowing up time. Decide now what you stand for. Stand for it all the time."

Corey will be getting it to read during his trip to Chile next week.  Corey's got all of the Innovators books, plus he was super flattered and thought it was fun that he was mentioned in the Innovators DNA as an example of how innovators observe and learn from their environment. Plus he's also mentioned there in the acknowledgements, fun!  It as Corey's first time being published.
Things are going great with M o v i e Mouth by the way.  I have to type M o vi e Mouth that way (with spaces) so that Google search doesn't find it on our blog, Corey's not ready for it to be publicized too much yet and our blog was too high up there on the search engine from my posts during our time in Chile.He had me go through the blog and change every reference to M o v i e Mouth to "Media Mouth", which is the official name of his incorporation. 

Anyway, loved that whole article.  True happiness is found in your relationships, in the people around you, in our family, and in righteous living.  Like to give a shout out to Corey, he's a great Dad and he's so good to the kids and to me.

We had a fun Mother's Day yesterday.  Had a little BBQ and visit with extended family, then the kids had fun playing outside in the backyard.  Corey was showing his impressive move of doing a rainbow with the soccerball, and did it beautifully over his head...
...and right into the neighbor's backyard.  It was funny.
Melodie asked me "Can we do this every Sunday?"  Playing with Dad and Popsicles - sounds great to me.
Well, popsicles for Corey and the kids, chocolate truffles for Sophia and me!  :)
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