Why does the title look misspelled? Beginnings… hmm, I guess that’s right. Spell check knows all.
K was invited to New Beginnings at church.
NEW BEGINNINGS!! Do you know what this means? I’m OLD! It also means that K will be 12 this year and entering Young Women’s.
So weird. (I swear I was just entering Young Women’s a year or two ago. :/)
Anthony and I were invited (as were all the other parents). It was so fun to see K be presented with a crown and beads. The theme was ‘royalty’. We are all royalty in God’s eyes. We are his princesses. There were a couple of talks given and they were powerful. Integrity and Virtue…. what are they and how do we apply them to our lives and our character.
The program was short and simple.
K with the other two girls being welcomed this year. One of them is her best friend, on the right.
And this is the other best friend. They can’t wait to join her in YW.
You can’t tell from the picture since they are sitting down but they are both significantly taller than K. She’s not short, just average. They just happen to be super tall!
I’m pretty sure I look amazing in this one. Do you love the bunched up skin on my neck/cheek? Me too.
We were supposed to do a silly one first then we BOTH would kiss her on the cheek in the next one. Anthony totally ruined it! The punk! K is absolutely embarrassed about this picture. Don’t tell her I used it… she’ll be mortified. **Enter evil laugh**
We’re both so stinkin’ proud of the beautiful young woman that K is becoming. She is talented beyond measure and knows how to make anyone feel loved and needed. She’s a shining example of how to be a real friend.
Keep it up, K! We sure love you!!
Our little man received a name and a blessing a couple weeks ago. January 6th to be exact.
For those who may be unfamiliar with my faith, we have our babies blessed in order to give them an official name within the church. They are not only receiving a Father’s blessing along with having a priesthood ordinance performed, but they are also put upon the records of the church. It’s really a neat thing.
The blessing was beautiful, as they all have been. I never remember anything that was said but I remember the feeling I get every time Anthony is able to perform this ordinance. It’s a very special event to watch your husband or other priesthood holder walk up to the front of the chapel along with a whole slew of other invited priesthood holders, stand in a circle around your baby with all of their hands supporting the baby, and listen to the words of the blessing and it’s meaning. One of my favorite things!
I also love when Anthony gets up to bear his testimony. He’s done it with each of the kids as they have always been blessed on Fast Sunday. Always emotional and sentimental. Love that man!
My mother-in-law also bore her testimony which was really neat. She expressed her pride in Anthony and the man that he has become. She also thanked my parents for the way that they raised me. Made me feel good.
It was a great day filled with lots of spirit and lots of food after church. I had my dad snap a few pics of my family. Apparently I forgot to remind him that he could zoom out or take a few steps backwards to make sure more of the kids in the front row would show… you know, more than just their shoulders and head. :/ But whatever. I had a friend fix one of the pics to make it somewhat usable. Some of us are cut off in weird places but it works. I’m just grateful to have pictures at all.
H looks a little silly in this one. She had just lost a tooth and was in the middle of laughing at my uncle.
After everyone left I tried to get a little mini session with Baby in his blessing outfit (my mom made it, she’s so talented!) but he was not cooperating. So I tried again a few days later but no matter how hard I tried to get him to stay asleep after nursing him, he kept waking up every time I laid him down for a shot. This was the best one. We didn’t get any sleepy ones . Hopefully it doesn’t have ‘the alien look’ my friend, Cari, warned me about. Not sure what that looks like…
A while back Anthony was called in for a Stake interview with a counselor in our Stake Presidency. Little did he know what he was in for. Since then, he’s learned so much and I’ve watched his testimony of the gospel grow along with his devotion and loyalty to just about everything. He’s my hero! I love that man and can’t imagine going through this crazy life with anyone else. I aspire to be more like him in so many ways.
The day that Anthony was made a High Priest was a pretty special day for him. Only one thing could have made it better. You see, Anthony’s dad had not been called to the office of High Priest. Therefore, he was unable to ordain Anthony to that higher priesthood. Instead, Anthony asked one his good friends in the ward to do it.
As we sat there in the room and Anthony was being ordained, Mark (Anthony’s dad) was overwhelmed with emotion. I personally have only seen him that emotional one other time. (When Anthony’s sister passed away.) The tears were flowing and we all just knew that he was so happy for Anthony, yet at the same time he wished so badly that he had been able to perform the sacred ordinance himself.
Well, a couple weeks ago Anthony got a phone call from his dad informing him that he had better make plans to go to church with him that coming Sunday. He played it down for a minute and then finally announced that he had been called to the office of High Priest! I think Anthony was just as excited about it as his dad was. And the neatest part for them both was that Anthony was able to ordain Mark!
It became quite the ordeal as all of Anthony’s sisters who could make it were there. One even drove up from Arizona for the occasion. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the ordination being that my kids had already gone to church in our own ward and I knew attempting a second Sacrament Meeting with the boys would turn into a major nightmare! We waited at my in-laws house for everyone to come back and then we partied the best way we know how… lots of Mark’s favorite foods!
It was a day of celebration, indeed! Mark was on cloud nine and everyone else had no choice but to be right there with him. You just have to know the guy. He puts a smile on your face without even trying when he’s in a good mood. So what if he’s a
lot little stubborn and likes to argue about which foods are healthy and which ones are not…. it’s only extremely slightly frustrating!
I totally won that argument, by the way. He just doesn’t realize it.
My all time favorite Primary song has always been I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus. It’s just a song that has really touched me ever since I was very small. Just recently I discovered this video of David Archuletta singing it and I am totally in love!
Any other David fans out there? I love his voice! (And I’m super ecstatic that he is going on a mission!)
But this post really isn’t about David. It’s really about this song that I love and how beautifully it can be portrayed. There’s a little bit of talking in the beginning so if you want to skip that, skip ahead to about 1:05.
Up until this past October, I had never really had a plan for studying my scriptures. Anthony and I decided when the last session of General Conference rolled around that we needed a real plan. Something that we could both stick with and even work on together.
Anthony reads and studies during lunch at work. Yes, he’s had a few snickers and laughs about that from co-workers but unlike in years past, it doesn’t bother him. We’ve been deeply humbled by circumstances in the past few years and while it certainly hasn’t been easy, I can honestly say that it’s been worth it! The ‘world’ has much less of an influence on both of us and we just don’t really care what the ‘world’ thinks. We are a PECULIAR people!
I read just after lunch when the boys go to bed. The girls have quiet time and I am able to sit and read with… minimal interruptions. There are always a few. I mean, c’mon, we’ve got a gazillion kids!
Yes, five is the new gazillion.
As a couple, Anthony and I study together after family scriptures and once the kids are all in bed. In addition to our scriptures themselves, here’s what our ‘study’ looks like.
We’ve started scripture journals! Mine is on the bottom. Anthony even takes his to work and fills it out. He is NOT a journal guy. The only journals he’s ever kept are the two from his mission. Other than that, nothing! I found this fabulous blog (scripture journal tips here) that has really helped in so many ways. She is amazing! I can’t tell you what her blog has done for my study of the scriptures. Remember, I’m a first-timer here. I’ve never made it through the whole BOM… don’t judge.
If you’re interested in starting your own scripture journal, the above links are FABULOUS for ideas on what to include and how to do it but there are some awesome pages (along with more ideas) to print from Latter-Day Homeschooling (which I am a contributor for on the 16th of every month ).
I have to admit that Anthony is actually far more dedicated about scripture journaling than I am. He comes home and tells me about things he wants to ponder and epiphanies he has. They’re all right there in his big ol’ binder full of inspirational thoughts and wisdom. Everything from the Higher Priesthood to temple sessions to parenting to likening the scriptures. I’ve never seen him more excited about studying the scriptures. He loves having somewhere to write his personal thoughts and insights.
Guys, it’s like I have a new husband! One that keeps a journal… of sorts. It’s always bothered me that I am not even mentioned in any journals of his because he hasn’t kept one for the whole time I’ve known him. Guess what… I’m in his scripture journal. He really does think about me! Oh, the kids are there, too. He loves us!!
As for me, I’m working on utilizing my scripture journal more. I guess I’m just not as insightful.
What about you? Do you keep a scripture journal or any journal at all for that matter?
K is my HERO!!
When she turned 8 years old, Anthony and I challenged her to read the Book of Mormon. On December 30, 2011 she finished. It took her just over two years and I am so darn proud of her!
She’s accomplished something that most kids her age have never done. She took Moroni up on his promise (Moroni 10: 3-5), prayed about what she had read and has determined that it is true. She started all over again on January 1st!
I have a confession… Not only has she accomplished something that most KIDS have never done, she’s accomplished something that I have never done. I’m pretty sure that I’ve read the whole thing in pieces and parts many times over but I’ve never sat down and read it from beginning to end. Never in order. It’s a work in progress though and I’m going to be finished soon. How embarrassing to admit that I’ve never read the Book of Mormon myself! However, even without reading it front to back on my own, I have a testimony of it’s truthfulness. I have no doubt that it is Another Testament of Jesus Christ! But I look forward to the day when I am able to pray about it again and gain an even stronger testimony of it’s truth. That day will come soon, you’ll be sure to hear about it when it happens.
K has been such an inspiration to me. Every morning for about the past three months or so, when I thought she was still sound asleep, I’d peek in her room and there she would be. On her bed, scriptures in hand, reading away. Meanwhile, her little sisters were sawing logs!
(A has started reading it now that she is eight. Can’t have that older sister showing her up! A’s goal is to finish before she’s 9.)
**K, I can’t express how lucky I feel to have you as my firstborn. You have been such a great example to me of how the gospel works and how to truly live it. Thank you so much for your quiet example. You truly are my hero! I look up to you in so many ways.
We are so proud of our little A. She was baptized on New Year’s Eve (Saturday) in order to accommodate for family that was in town for the holidays.
There was a slight scare on Friday morning when Anthony received an email from the Stake President informing us that the fire department was on it’s way to the Stake Center after someone called in reporting smoke coming out from the roof. Anthony hadn’t gone to work yet so he hopped in the car to rush over there just after we heard and saw the fire truck whiz by our house.
Luckily, the fire was small and was only in the attic area. There is now an arson investigation because it appears that someone was tampering with the a/c unit.
After the building was cleared, we were told that we would still be able to hold the baptism the next morning.
Later that day, my mother-in-law called to inform me that A’s aunt, who was supposed to give the Baptism talk, wouldn’t be able to do it because she was really sick and had absolutely no voice!
I asked A to hurry and choose someone to replace her. She chose my cousin so I started to dial her on the phone and then…
“WAIT!! Can you do it, Mom?”
Hmm, considering that it’s Friday afternoon, I still have to run to the store for a few things for the party to be held after the baptism, the missionaries are coming over for dinner tonight, and once the kids all go to bed I need to get the house ready for company…
But how do you tell your sweet little girl no?
I had absolutely NO time to prepare anything. I was going to wing it!
Saturday morning was chaotic trying to get all the last minute things done, get everyone dressed, and make sure that WE weren’t late for our own event. It happens sometimes.
I was maybe
severely a little panicked about what I was going to say for my ‘talk’ and then a miracle happened! A MIRACLE, I tell you! My sister-in-law walked in, sick as a dog, and handed me her already prepared talk.
What a relief!
my her talk, A was baptized, Grandpa gave his talk on the Holy Ghost, and A was confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. What a wonderful thing! I can’t even explain the great feeling it gives me as a mom to watch my kids be baptized and know that they’ve made such an important, significant decision.
A, I’m so very proud of you! You’re such a sweet and sassy girl with so many talents. It really is mind boggling! I love you very much. Please remember how you felt on this very important day.
My mom made her dress.
Just before changing into baptism clothing.
All of us on that very special day! (And yes, I have the largest forehead in history.)
I don’t think it’s a bad thing to get excited about Santa Claus and presents, but I think it’s most important to remember our perfect brother, Jesus Christ, for whom we celebrate the glorious holiday in the first place.
I heard this poem several years ago and it has been my favorite ever since. It reminds me of the real reason for the whole Christmas season.
At Christmas time there was a man,
who looked so out of place.
As people rushed about him,
at a hurried sort of pace.
He stared at all the Christmas lights,
the tinsel everywhere.
The shopping center Santa Claus,
with children gathered near.
The mall was packed with shoppers,
who were going to and fro.
Some with smiles, some with frowns,
and some too tired to go.
They rested on benches,
or they hurried on their way.
To fight the crowds for purchases,
to carry home that day.
The music from the stereo,
was playing loud and clear.
Of Santa Claus and snowmen,
and funny nosed reindeer.
He heard the people talk about,
the good times on the way.
Of parties, fun and food galore,
and gifts exchanged that day.
“I’d like to know what’s going on,”
the man was heard to say.
”There seems to be some sort,
of celebration on the way.
“And would you tell me who this is,
all dressed in red and white?
And why are children asking
"him" about a special night?”
The answer came in disbelief,
”I can’t believe my ear.
I can’t believe you do not know,
that Christmas time is here.
“The time when Santa comes around,
with gifts for girls and boys.
When they are asleep on Christmas Eve,
he leaves them books and toys.
“The man you see in red and white,
is Santa Claus so sly.
The children love his joyful laugh,
and twinkle in his eye.
“His gift packed sleigh is pulled along,
by very small reindeer.
As he flies quickly through the air,
while darting here and there.
“The children learn of Santa Claus,
while they are still quite small.
When Christmas comes he is
the most, important one of all!”
The stranger hung His head in shame,
He closed a nail pierced hand.
His body shook in disbelief,
He did not understand.
A shadow crossed His stricken face,
His voice was low but clear.
"After all these years they still don’t know."
And JESUS shed a tear.
In case I don’t get a chance to blog tomorrow…
I hope it’s a great one! And please, remember Him!!
Before I get into the calendar, I need to announce the winner of the Hand Vibes giveaway… (It’s still Friday )
The winner is Briana! Congratulations! I hope you enjoy them. (P.S. I always got Lipsmackers in my stocking, too!)
And now on to the calendar.
This year, we are trying to focus more on the Christ aspect of Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, we are huge fans of Santa Claus around here. I believe Santa is a very Christ-like ‘being’ and we try to focus on those aspects. We just wanted to integrate more of Christ himself into our holiday this year.
That’s why we decided to study the Names of Christ for the days leading up to Christmas. To be honest, I had no idea that Christ actually has so many names. I found the idea on a blog that I absolutely love. Here is the link. She’s got TONS of other great ideas, too. Just look around, you’re bound to find something you love there!
I was able to find some free printable Christmas tags here that I copied and pasted onto Word, printed it out (duh!), then I wrote all the names on each of the 25 tags before cutting them out. On the back, I wrote all the dates. So far (last night and tonight), the girls have really enjoyed it. We’ve learned that Christ, Messiah, and Anointed One all mean the same thing. They just originate from different languages.
As much as I would have loved to have them at a height accessible for all the kids to reach and actually participate in the flipping of each days’ name, I have two little monkeys (C and B) that would have the whole calendar torn apart quicker than I could say… anything, really. **Sigh** Someday we’ll have nice things. Maybe.
But until then, we must keep advent calendars up high.
You really should go check it out.
**P.S. Please forgive me for not posting as often lately. It’s been a crazy few weeks for us and our insane December has just begun but I plan to post every day for the month of December. Stay tuned, I’ve got lots of recipes, gift ideas, and real life stories to share.**
I am a member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It is our belief that we are called to certain positions, within the organization of our church, by the Lord. He calls us to where we need to be whether it be to help others or because we need to be there to learn something for ourselves.
We are called to these positions after careful consideration and prayerful thought by our leaders. There may be times that we are surprised by the positions we are asked to take on and in those instances we are certainly entitled to our own personal revelation. Take for example my calling to be a Relief Society teacher. Hi, I’m Brooke and I don’t teach women!! I teach kids. I’m comfortable with kids. Let me teach kids!!
However, I was glad to accept this RS calling after fretting and stewing over what I thought I was going to be called to. I knew of two positions that were opening up…. Achievement Days Leader (which I could handle) and Primary chorister. THAT one I would definitely NOT handle well. I don’t do music… even if it is in the Primary, with the kids. I am not musically inclined in any way, shape or form. The Relief Society teacher position was a surprise. I was soooo nervous. However, I knew the moment I was asked that it was right. That’s where the Lord wants me right now. For the life of me I can’t figure out why but I know that’s where I need to be.
I believe that sometimes even the leaders themselves are a bit surprised at who the Lord wants in certain positions. And sometimes, even if the leaders aren’t surprised, you wonder how in the world you might cope with a particular calling. (Just FYI for those not of my faith, none of these positions are paid.)
Let me paint the picture:
Anthony gets a call on his phone to go meet with a member of the Stake Presidency. Leading up to the day when they would actually meet, I repeatedly asked Anthony over and over what he thought they might be calling him in for. He was sure they were just going to release him from his Stake sports calling. After all, if it had been a new calling, they would have called me in too. That usually isn’t done on a ward level but we know from experience that when a Stake calling is given, they usually try to include the spouse to make sure he/she will be supportive of said calling.
He went in that Thursday night and I anxiously waited for him to arrive home so he could tell me that they were relieving him of his sports duties.
I knew as soon as I saw him through the window walking up to the house. He had that look. The look of bewilderment and overwhelming astonishment. I think it is commonly referred to as ‘deer in the headlights’. I knew it!! He was being called to …..
I would wait for him to tell me. Although it was still strange that they hadn’t called me in. Hmm, no matter. I was sure to hear the words “Elder’s Quorum Presidency” momentarily.
Except that it wasn’t those words that I heard. Instead, it was “Stake High Council”.
I thought he was kidding. Surely not! That’s for old guys. I mean, we’re no spring chickens any more but we’re certainly not old!! Besides, they would have called me in for sure for that, no doubt! When I inquired about that he said that they realized it would be tough with the five kids.
But no worries… so, he’ll be giving talks in other wards once in a while, no biggie. That’s what I thought. But I was quickly informed that it’s much more than that. I still don’t know all the details but I know it’s a calling with quite the load of responsibilities.
Speaking honestly, my first thought (once I realized it wasn’t a joke) was something along the lines of ‘What Yahoo would put a man, with five young kids (two of whom are VERY high maintenance) and an already frazzled wife, on the High Council?’
And I admit, I asked Anthony to seriously pray about this calling to find out if it truly was right. He did, and it was. I prayed as well and wasn’t completely comfortable with the whole thing until Sunday when he was sustained as a High Priest, ordained, and set apart for his new calling. That’s when the Spirit testified to me that it truly was right and that the Lord really does want/need him in that position.
Sunday morning he had meetings. He was gone for over three hours which left me to get all the kids ready on my own. Normally, that is a task that would frustrate me to no end and be nearly impossible. However, everything went quite smoothly. I felt the Spirit in my home… on SUNDAY! Sounds weird but I swear the adversary makes himself very well known here on many Sundays. Not in a big way. It just seems that on any given Sunday, there is a lot of bickering (amongst the kids) and whatnot going on. And church itself seems like a daunting task so to think that Anthony will be away often at other wards or on other assignments is a little scary.
His new calling is Stake High Councilman… Mine? Survivor! (and Relief Society Teacher ) ‘I WILL SURVIVE!!’
Maybe it seems silly but I can already feel the Spirit stronger in my home. Things seem to be running a lot smoother than normal and I feel like we are well on our way to receiving some much needed blessings. I believe we are blessed when we accept and magnify our callings, whether it be Relief Society teacher, Primary teacher, Visiting Teacher, Bishop, Stake High Council, Primary Chorister or anything else. It doesn’t matter what the calling is, we will be blessed. There truly is no calling within the Church that is more important than another. Some may hold more responsibility than others but “God is no respecter of persons.”
He only wants us to magnify whatever calling we have, no matter how small it may seem!
Linking up here!