Friday, July 31, 2009

Summer Vacations

My three favorite vacations as a kid were: camping at Bear Lake, Hatch, and camping in the Uintahs. This past month we went to Bear Lake and the Uintahs.

A few weeks ago, my brother and sister (and their spouse, and maybe spouse to be) were up at the Uintahs (Trial Lake). They asked me to come up with the kids for the day. I have so many good memories staying up there with my grandma and grandpa, it makes me sad that my kids haven't had some like them yet. So, anyway, I was nervous driving my three kids up there by myself (Tavish had to work), but I decided that if I want something done, I need to do it myself. So, I drove them up, and we did fine. Andrew and Sara went fishing for the first time. They loved it. It was so nice and peaceful up there. I'm glad that the kids were able to get a taste of nature and fishing. Of course, it made me think of the days when we would sit on the rocks fishing with my grandpa. I sure miss him. The kids had a great time.

Sara with her uncle Jay

We kept two fish.

Jay told Sara to hold the fish still, and she just grabbed it with no fear. Yuck- that's one thing I don't like- handling the fish. She didn't mind at all. Andrew did.

Getting ready to hike to Lily Pond Lake.

Worn Out

We also went camping at Bear Lake last week. I've always loved camping. But when I first took Andrew camping when he was a baby I thought, "This isn't fun." Camping with babies is hard work- no sleep, getting up with the birds, dirt, crying, feeding, changing, not being able to do what you want like stay up late, swim out deep... Being without our modern day comforts makes me appreciate the pioneers. So, I was dreading parts of this camping trip too- especially with Mac. At least I knew more what to expect this time. But again, like with the Uintahs, I wanted my kids to enjoy the things I enjoyed as a kid.

I tried to keep a positive attitude this time. It went much better. I'm not saying it was easy, it wasn't, by the end I was tired out and ready to go home. But I enjoyed being out in the sun, swimming with the kids, napping with Mac, and sitting around the camp fire. We didn't even get sunburned really.

So, how did I see the hand of God in my life through all of this?
1- I got to be out in God's beautiful world- I like being outside. (One of Kohlberg's seven intellegences is nature- I must have some of that.)
2- I am blessed with wonderful family and extended family who make life much more meaningful. I'm lucky my brothers, sisters, and parents help me so much too.
3- I tried to Enjoy the Journey like Pres. Monson suggested, and it makes it all so much more enjoyable.

*I'll have to post pics of Bear Lake later. Out of time.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

My accomplishment today

How I recognized the hand of God in my life today:
Have you ever had a calling that you just dreaded? That's my calling. We had a really good organist in our ward who moved out. We have a limited number of pianists in our ward and an even more limited number of organists. I knew I was going to be next.

A few months ago the Bishop and his counselor came over and I just had that uggh, dread feeling in my stomach, because I knew what they were there for. So, out of desperation, they asked me to be a ward organist.

Why have I dreaded having this calling? Here are some reasons:

1- I really don't know how to play the organ right, so I'm not confident. I had a summer of lessons in High School thinking that I would learn it quick since I played the piano. I was wrong; the more I learned the more I realized that this wasn't like a piano. It's a totally different instrument.

You have to play differently with your fingers because there is no sustain pedal. There are lots of different buttons and sounds to learn, and the worst part for me- You play the bass with your feet. Talk about multi tasking! Luckily, our organ has this little button that you can push, and it plays the bottom note you play with your fingers as a bass note (sounds from the pedal settings). Then I don't have to think about the feet.

2- When you make a mistake on the organ (which is easy to do just because the keys are sensitive), it isn't a quiet little mistake, it blares.

3- It's hard to take three little kids over to the church to practice.

4- I have to get to church 10-15 min early. (Luckily we have the 1:00 time, next year it's 9:00)

5- I don't like being in front of everyone. I know that is dumb, but it's true.

6- I think I'm in it for life.

So, now that I've complained about it, I'll be a little more positive. I keep trying to have a positive attitude about all of this. About a month ago, while I was practicing, I had the thought come to me, "Holly, this is a great opportunity to learn a new intrument and develope a new talent." Maybe God was telling me to quit my whining. Most people don't get this opportunity. So, since then practicing has been more enjoyable. I like trying new sounds and trying to keep the feet going. I've gotten better at playing the feet in practice, but as soon as I'm in sacrament meeting accompanying, it all seems to go out the window; I panic. Then I just push the little bass button- ahh :). But not today! I played the last song without the bass button and played with my feet! I was so excited! I played all the prelude with my feet too. I'm sure my finger technique slipped a little after focusing on the feet, but I did it!

I know this might seem like a minor little thing, but I was so proud of myself today. I think God is helping me with my calling, and who knows, maybe someday I will actually enjoy playing in Sacrament meeting as much as practicing and be happy that this is my calling for life :).

Here's a picture of an organ like our church organ. It's a pretty nice one I think. Look at all those buttons and pedals!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

New Deck

How I've seen the hand of God in my life this week:

I keep thinking of things I'm going to post, but haven't gotten around to it. One thing this week that has happened is the completion of our new deck. This is a picture of our old deck (sorry it's blurry). When the house was first built I thought that it was maybe a joke that the builders did, or at least a temporary thing. Nope- this is it. It did make a nice time out cage for the kids though :).

So, three years later we were blessed with the Trex materials from Tavish's dad, an availiable cousin to do the work, and the money to build it.

My cousin Craig did a great job! He wanted everything to be perfect and worked so hard at making it the best he could. He has the ablities and experience that we don't, so we really appreciate his help. We love it! It's nice to be able to sit out in the evening and have access to our back yard from the house. I hope some employer can recognize Craig's talents and work ethic and snatch him up.

Here are some pictures of the new and improved deck and Craig the Builder:

Monday, July 13, 2009

Six Years Old

I need to post on one of my greatest blessings: Andrew. It was his birthday last week. We all love Andrew. He is unique. Here are some of his positive qualities:

He cares about others. Andrew sticks up for the under dog. He's also very protective of his sister and brother.
He is honest; he confesses when he's done something naughty. Luckily he also tells me about some of his bright ideas- like his plans to jump off the deck onto the mini exercise tramp, or trying to fly off the deck using paper plates for wings. (His dad warned him, from his own personal experience, that a tarp doesn't make a good parachute either.)
He loves to learn. Andrew is like a sponge- he asks question after question and just soaks in the answers. Right now he especially likes to learn about robots, fish, bugs, plants... It's amazing to me how he can remember what he learns and picks up on things so quickly. He definitely didn't get that from his mom.
He is creative. Andrew is someone who always has ideas about something. This is also one of the traits that can drive me crazy. He makes all kinds of robots using things around the house: batteries, light bulbs (from the night lights), wires (that he cuts from my USB cord), papers, flashlights, water, plants, tinker toys, paper plates, straws, screws, legos, and any other random thing laying around the house.
He is a spiritual boy. Andrew likes to learn about God, the purpose of life, scripture stories... he prays often and about almost everything. He has a lot of faith. He is a good example to me.

Since this is about Andrew, I'm going to have him share some things about his past year of life.

Things that made me happy this year: I got a camera before my birthday, I went to swimming lessons ( I like floating on my back). I went to kindergarten- I like science, special events, reading with my teacher, and I got to have a break on winter. I went to my friend Zac's birthday party. I like summer vacation.

Somethings that I didn't like this year: I went to Teague's party and they all fought. Braydon squeezed my neck at school. Braydon was mean to me at school and Hatch teased me on the bus.

Way too many presents!

Caged in at Chuck-E-Cheese

Andrew with some of his favorite presents
robots, robot arm, telescope, magnifying glass, camera

My mom and dad came up for Andrew's birthday. We went miniature golfing and to Chuck-E- Cheese. His great grandma came to visit him on his birthday. His other great grandparents sent him a present that he has wanted for a long time (the camera). Grandma Bobby and Grandpa Art took Andrew out to lunch, spent the day with him.

I hope my Andrew knows how blessed he is to have wonderful grandparents and great grandparents on both sides. They are so good to us. I know we sometimes take them for granted. I am definitly blessed to have such a sweet boy and wonderful family. I love them all.

Swim Lessons

Finally got some pics of swim lessons. (The teacher's name is Gina)