Saturday, December 29, 2007

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!!

Here is our Christmas Post- Card ! ( Michelle Wasden Photography RULES!!) I tried to get them out on time and handed too many out and RAN OUT!! please don't take it personally! Also, if you don't think I have your home address- just shoot me an email! I am currently updating my address book (and I am QUITE particular about it!)
The back had the following text (feel free to ask for clarification):
Family-Church in AM! Disney with Fraileys, visit with Lucy & TX, HP, hosting yard sales, helping Ali move, new big HDTV on wall, 2 weeks in Hawaii for 10th Anniversary while kids played with grandparents! All Healthy!
Derick-3 bosses, 2 promotions, WW II modeler, Astronomy & Telescopes
Malissa- thrift store shopping, knitting, sprint triathlon, NYC- Chicago & Hairspray,
1/2 marathon, “dropping” 50 lbs, blogging, reading
Gibson (5)-learning alphabet and how to read, Power Rangers, Transformers,
taking care of sister
Delaney (1½)- flirting, eating, singing, dancing and talking
Visit our blog for more pictures and mayhem@

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Obviously, I was behind!

So I am writing a month's worth of emails to night beacuase I am so far behind- but this was too good of an experience to pass up! I fit in a dress that I bought for me and Derick's first Valentine's day (that's nearly 10 years ago folks!!) together this past Sunday!! Also Delaney got a GORGEOUS new outfit (thanks Ali!) and she wore it to church on the same day, so we TRIED to get some pictures- then of course Gibson got the camera and took a few shots himself! Gibson had on a festive Green sweater that looked so good on him too- but it is hard to tell behind the little diva!

Coming to town

I was behind a truck at an intersection the other day, and I look up to see a bright red, superbly restored antique chevy truck (think - Old Navy truck) with the license plate Santa 57 on it with a decal saying "oh what fun it is to ride" on the back. I look closer and sure enough, the driver has flowing white hair and a red suit and hat on!! I turned off the blinker and ended up following him to an office complex, wher we waited until he got out, before we rolled down the windows and shouted "Merry Christmas Santa" he turns around and laughs and I appologized for stalking him, and he said it happens all the time- then he asked how many kids were in the car, and he brought over really nice candy canes. When Gibson got his, he said "wow this is a really big nice candy cane!!". Santa just giggled and said it was because it came from the real santa and not from a helper. He told us he had to go get his teeth cleaned and he had to go, so he went back to his truck, took out some jingle bells and a huge black sack, and went into the office building while we sat in the car and gawped at him, and took pictures with my cell phone!

It is so ironic that someone as non-Santa as I am was totally caught up in how sweet this was!

Give my regards

Ali surprised me (kinda) last week and I surprised her and added her to the plan I had to take my friend Taji to see a Broadway musical! We went and saw the TREE, and then we saw HARISPRAY!! it was FANTASTIC!!!!

We had a fantastic friend come babysit all day-remember Brooke, Ali's 2 year old was here too- so two little girls and GIbson after school. Derick came home early at 4 - so we arrived home at 8pm to find Derick curled up in the fetal position on the couch asleep, and the girl's room looking like this.... Luckily Gibson was still really into his "chores for quarters" gig (see earlier posts on chores and the GIMMIES) and we paid him off to take the edge off of the disaster! Good times, good times.

Hangin' with the guys!

We invited a family of three girls, one mom and a hubby over to watch the BEST movie you 've never heard of (STARDUST), when we found out that the dad would be away. Derick kinda moped that it was just going to be a girl's night, and that he was going to be the only guy and that Gibson would even turn with all the pretty girls here! When I told my friend, she said "oh no! we'll make sure that Derick is taken care of and that he feels like we're hanging out." So this is how they arrived tonight-

Then they took off their tape (OUCHES were heard all around) and they put it on Laney-

She even did a manly growl too!

and BTW, I think they all loved the movie!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Golden compass again!

This was an interesting article about Golden compass again. It has opinions from several releigious groups about the author and the book- quite a well-rounded perspective. I have to admit- the movie previews are breathtaking!!!

Wow! 50th!

I just noticed this is my 50th blog- what a milestone, sob! (Just kidding folks, really!)

Anyway, the kids were so cute for church this morning I tried to get their pictures! They were so good about posing and smiling, but the blasted digital camera is SOOOO slow that by the time the picture was taken, the smiles had faded and the pose had moved on! I have to get on friendlier terms with that thing! I finally got to do Delaney's hair again using TWO manipulative measures- first, putting her in her high chair distracted by FOOD! and second, telling her I want her to have pretty hair like Rita, our friend who we've been playing with lately, who has adorable little hair-dos. Even with these measures, she was very wiggly and her hair is so out of practice that the growth patterns and cowlicks and parts have all changed! All said and done though, she looked pretty dang cute and that brother of hers sure is a handsome cuss too, don't 'cha think???

He did another paid chore for me yesterday- sweeping the floor under the HIGH CHAIR- a HIGH VOLUME AREA of debris!!! After several attempts of trying to pass it off as done, a few tears and raised voices, he got it all up except for the food that (and I quote Gibson here) "is stuck hard to the floor and I can't get it off". Sigh. So true, so true.

We also had a disastorurous date last night- Derick took the other woman (His Blackberry) and was on it all night due to some disaster in the computerized testing world (and I mean world too- I think one call/email was from China) and I had a throbbing headache and wasn't much fun either. The movie was cute (Enchanted) and the food was AMAZING (Elements of Asia) and our babysitters were the best!! (The Bagley FAMILY!!!- Thanks!)

Friday, November 30, 2007

New regime!

I was talking to a friend the other day about Gibson's Gimmies! They are driving me up the wall and are making teaching opportunities about Christmas nearly impossible! She said that letting her children earn and spend their money really helped them to understand better, and then we started talking about chores and stuff too. I always wanted my children to do chores, but I always thought they were too young and put it off- but now GIbson is 5 and I am frustrated that I waited SOO long!
This morning I did not want to get out of bed, so after turning on the TV for him (PBS, though, I swear) and going back to bed for 15 minutes, I came out to the living room to find my son had gotten out a bowl and a cup, the cereal and milk, made breakfast for himself, and put everything away with out spilling anything.

so he's ready for chores- beyond ready really. So we made a chart with LOVELY pictures and words of everything (click on picture and zoom in to see!), then ran back to try it and it went really well! then we made a to do chart for mommy, who needs a cleaner room (and house!!!) too! We also made a little list of Money earners- let's see how THIS goes- because the biggest gimmies are transformers, and they cost a good 6 weeks of work- at least!!!!

Stick'em up- with Rhumba ruffles!

So Gib and Joshua were playing in the living room the other night, I was washing dishes, and Laney comes pelting into the kitchen, roaring, wearing her rhumba tights on her head.

Pink ones, by the way.

So if your 7-11 is ever held up by an impossibly cute, roaring, 2 foot tall person in pink rhumba tights, please bring her back home where her mommy will still be wondering where she comes up with this stuff!!!!
She kept doing it, and I caught it with the ol' digital!

ANd to Top it off..

Gibson INSISTED on a star this year that HE had to put on top while DADDY picked him up- he must have seen this on a show, because when I told him we were ANGEL people he cried and was devastated. Luckily my MORAVIAN star ornament has a area for a candle that worked fine as tree topper- so here are my boys, topping it all off!

Hello Kitty???

Yeah, I'm Askin the question before everyone else does! But it was the only one that said Merry Christmas that didn't look wrong on my screen. It's cheerful right? Maybe I just hung around too many Asian Toursists in Hawaii- cause they were ALL about Hello, Kitty!
ANYWAY! MErry CHristmas!

New look

And I hate it. Tried to get a great subdude CHristmas background and it is failing miserably!! so I don't lose my content I just went back to this one for now. Please come back soon! I have some cute video and pix to post!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Books: Which way to go?

Most of you who know me, know how much I love to read. All the time, take one with me, read in line at the grocery store, movie theatre and I can go on. So, now I am the cooridnator for our CHurch's Reader's night and I love it- always have! We have found some wonderful books to discuss and I am even considering starting a Book Blog or kind of book club that friends and family from other places could do together (online book club, totally stole the ideas from the CARTER family - Thanks!).

One thing that has come up recently is this whole GOlden Compass thing. and I have to say, it is all true, but the way everything is being handled can be disturbing. I got the following review from the AFA website:

I saw the movie trailer months ago and decided to read the book it was based on because my children and I enjoy watching fantasy films together. I always prefer to read the book before seeing a movie. I was dumbstruck and morally outraged by what I read! I have one thing to say about Mr Pullman, whatever else he is, he is a masterful writer. Unfortunately, this book will go a long way in leading an entire generation of youth into atheism and satanism. Mr. Pullman may be a confessed atheist but in actuality most of the underlying themes of the trilogy (His dark materials)exemplify the satanic laws (see wikipedia article on the satanic church). The bottom line of this trilogy is to kill God, reenact the original sin, which by the way means the two main characters in the series, Lyra & Will (12 & 13) must have sex in order to "save mankind" - and to restore the balance of power from the controlling god who only wants to stamp out pleasure, enjoyment and freedom of expression to those who encourage learning and growth of self through exploration of the senses to the fullest extent. We should be warning EVERY christian organization about this movie and these books! The worst thing about these books (and movie) are that it professes the lie that God IS NOT the creator, he was only the first to come into existence and he usurped the power by lying to every creature created after him by telling them that he made them! If ever there was a book to censure, THIS IS IT!

I wanted to include it because it does tell the truth. me and Derick read these books about 8 years ago and the first and second are really engaging, then by the third, we were like " did what just happened really just happen???" We just gave the books away and warned people when we could. the trailer looks amazing, the movie is enticing. people are buying these books for their kids (I LOVE when kids read!) But these books bring to the front a very ugly topic to me: Atheism. I may be criticized by some that I love, but this whole theme is TERRIFYING to me. While I am a Christian and have a very defined testimony of how and in whom I believe, the thought of not believing in ANY support from above is empty and horrible.

I am not for banning books, or even telling people what not to read, but I think having the facts, and motive is very important. THings aren't always as innocent as they appear. I guess researching the author is a good idea. Harry Potter is fantastically entertaining- good versus evil with many spiritual ties and when you see the interviews with JK rowling, you can tell how she is motivated by wanting to get children to read and learn and love others. and of course some really conservative websites are slamming families that have allowed them in their homes for years and are now shocked by these Dark Materials books! Argh! YA fiction is my Favorite book genre, and it kills me that there is controversy and this kind of movement !

Anyway, just going through my mind! Up for my Church book group we have the following chosen for the next couple of months- btw I LOVE book lists and feel free to add some suggestions!!

Christmas Stories (an Anthology) Edited by Tesdell, Diana
A beautiful little book ( has a ribbon and cloth binding and is really "cute")
an anthology of some of the world's greatest writers such as Tolstoy, Dickens, Capote, Runyon, Cather, Nabokov and more.

we're going to read Tolstoy, Dickens, Capote, Runyon first so that we can discuss those ,but if we read more, great, and if not- hey, it’s Christmas and we’re busy!

My Grandfather’s Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge and Belonging by Rachel Naomi Remen
From Publishers WeeklyWhen she was four years old, Remen's grandfather brought her an unusual present: a paper cup of dirt, which he instructed her to water daily. She did, with increasing boredom, until she was astonished to find that a plant had sprouted. "My grandfather was a scholar of the Kabbalah, the mystical teachings of Judaism," Remen tells us. Through this exercise and others, he taught her that the "spark of God" exists, even in the most unpromising places. Through a series of unpretentious, affecting vignettes, the author of the bestseller Kitchen Table Wisdom encourages readers to recognize and celebrate the unexpected blessings in their own lives. Many of her recollections are linked to her experiences as a medical student and a physician working with cancer patients, but the most memorable ones relate to Remen's deep engagement with her grandfather, who died when she was seven. She gently illustrates her advice through simple yet powerful stories, such as that of a young woman whose husband helped her discover the real meaning of beauty years after her devastating mastectomy; of a widow who learned to cherish her husband's memory with love instead of with "a monument of pain"; and of a little boy who recognized that it's easier to love just a few toys than it is to love many. "Wisdom," Remen writes in this exceptional book, "lies in engaging the life you have been given as fully and courageously as possible and not letting go until you find the unknown blessing that is in everything."

An Assembly such as This: Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman ( First book of a trilogy) by Pamela Aiken
A fantastic series based on the story of Pride and Predjudice written from the perspective on Darcy. If you are a true Austen fan, these are delightful and well written and as a very good friends says, "like reading chocolate"!

Me, Myself, and Bob: A True Story About God, Dreams, and Talking Vegetables by Phil Vischer
A fantastic book about creativity, chasing a dream, running a business and gaining a testimony. This book can be shared with teens, adults, parents, business owners and so many more. It is moving, funny, heartbreaking and informative all while being incredibly spiritual. Phil Vischer is the creator of the fantastic VeggieTales franchise (that has a movie coming out in January- I have more info on that too if you want it!) and probably the best biography I have ever read (not a big fan of biographies). I also have an extensive collection of VeggieTales movies and cds if you want to become better acquainted!!!

Life of Pi by Yann Martel
A great book about a young man who explores life and religion who is separated from his family while sailing from India to Canada. It is an adventure, a story of survival and creativity and has some interesting questions at the end.

The Ladies #1 Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
From an Amazon reviewer
5 Stars is not enough!, May 2, 2003 By
Lisa Bahrami (orlando, fl USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from:
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (Book 1) (Paperback)
I absolutely loved, loved, loved this book. It's technically classified as a mystery because the heroine, 30ish Precious Ramotswe, operates Botswana's first female-owned detective agency, The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency.But to pigeonhole this sublime,wonderful book as just a mystery is to unjustly limit its appeal. Mma Ramotswe does solve a few cases, a lot of them involving matters of the heart, during the course of the book. She does so with integrity, a gentle sense of humor , compassion and just plain common sense. The mysteries are fun but what makes this book so special is the author's ability to weave together the themes of African tradition, nationhood, pride, simplicity and independence without being the least bit preachy . The writing is just so simple and beautiful and I found myself thinking about this book long after I finished it. It just stays with you. I've already read the second installment in this series, Tears of the Giraffe, and there is no doubt in my mind now that these books are destined to become classics. Anyone who likes mysteries, or anyone who enjoys just plain good writing will fall in love with Mma. Ramotswe. A superb book.

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Godwin
A long, but fantastic biography (my other favorite one) about one of the greatest leaders our country has ever had. His kindness, intelligence and ability to see the talents in others are truly moving and inspirational. I thought this would be great for he summer because of its length and an appropriate way to herald Independence Day and Memorial Day.

Possible changes:
My friend and former ward member, Jessica Day George, wrote a wonderfully charming and entertaining fantasy novel called Dragonslippers and she may come to our area next time.

So keep reading and tell me what you think, books suggestions etc.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Life is Good

So I got about three phone calls from people who read my blog (but HELLO you guys didn't leave any comments!) and were worried I was "close to the edge". SO I am sorry I sounded so pittiful in my last post. Really, life is good, I have so many blessings to be thankful for, I just get mopey and scattered and down sometimes- I guess everybody does, and the change in weather can't be helping. Also that day, Delaney was in such a foul mood, and she is usually such a sweetie - I guess I kinda reflected her mood since she is my little sidekick.

Today, Derick is under the weather, but I was able to get some stuff done after I put the kiddos down for a nap. We got to play at the church at a fun activity, then I got to go to lunch with some great friends for a friend's 50th birthday party!! and then got to catch up with some people on the phone- always good.

On the excercise front, I am still a slacker, but my girl Ali ran 13 miles today because she is already in training for her NEXT half Marathon! What a champ and inspiration!!!

so- the long and short is- Malissa is ok, just a whiner, but I confessed that from the begining. Everyone now needs to scroll down and see my adorable daughter sing to the bird for 40 seconds!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

For the Birds.

So we are all guilty of doing it I guess. I have the blues- that is why I am posting so late. Just don't want to sleep, just kinda wanna be a lump.

Saw the FUNNIEST t-shirt on the AWESOME website that says
"More people have read this t-shirt THAN YOUR BLOG"
Love it, and just about everything else on that site, now that I think ON it. Read "Wishes" my new personal favorite demotivator! And the Classic Potential!

We "sat" for a bird while friends were away and 'Lane fell in love. she would sing and coo to it and even learned to say "boi-urd" like a true Jersey Girl! The bird's name is Twinkles and she has been singing "twinkle twinkle little star" for about two weeks now and loved singing it to the bird!
Sorry about all the chatter at first, it is a little grainy too, but you can see the overall cuteness.
I just need to watch this more to cheer up- maybe pray a little more too. Please think good thoughts (prayer works) for my friends Ed and Arlene and for Maria and Beth.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Sabatical and Catch up.

I just had Friends (I would consider them almost Family) here for about five days- they have kids stepping in between mine and I love them to death and was HAPPY they were here- THat said, I never recovered from the Half- MArathon Hoopla- and then the Hawaii hoopla- and now Taber family fun- SO needless to say I am so behind that I can't get my head out of it! (sorry that sounds crass, but I am TOTALLY feeling that way). I miss writing on the ol' blog- it is very theraputic, and I promise more pics from Hawaii although I am sure people are sick of them.

I am taking a BIG sabatical from my chosen lifestyle- ie healthy eating and excercise and I am feeling it BIG time. luckily only 2 lbs went on during Hawaii. And yes folks, I am officially down 50 pounds! that is a little over a year, but I am proud regardless- only 50 more to go! I must get rid of the Halloween candy in other ways that shoving it down my OWN crawl! Also I found this EV-EEEEL flourless torte that is so decadent one shutters with each bite.

Regular sleep schedule would help too! My kids are beautiful and funny, the church is still true and I LOVE my friends (esp those for 20+ years *wink, nudge*) and my husband can be really amazing. (how many times can you watch Transformers in a week?)

A brief capsule of Catch Up
Laney LOVED the whole getting candy thing and scooped it up with Relish! Gibson, yet again had an identity crisis as soon as his buddy arrived and ditched my perfectly cute, begged for, homemade, glow in the dark costume for Spiderman to match Joshua!

FALL! we made apple sauce with the Rizo-Patrons and it was SOOO yummy(and Fun)

Delaney's first day in Nursery at Church! She is SO big- an offical 18 month old and she could CARE LESS that I was gone! Little miss social just like MAMA. (shocker)

NYC with the Tabers! A trip for the kids with only the moms and kids- hit Toys R Us, Build a Bear and American Girl -WHEEW were we tired afterwards- but this is us on the way and on the ferris wheel INSIDE the TRU- I was such a freakin' kid in there!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Hawaii 5-0

I am saying that because that is the minimum of Hawaii pictures I am probably going to put up and ya'll are going to HATE me and Hawaii by the end of them I am sure! Oh and BTW I just taught myself how to use Photobucket (thanks BETH) so I know there is ALOT of action- I didn't mean to and I don't know how to fix it, so please bear with me! With no further ado- The Arnold's Greatest Hits of HAwaii (BY ISLAND):

Oahu- We stayed in North Shore where it is not as crazy as Honolulu and Waikiki, we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center and the Temple.

Near Honolulu we went to Pearl Harbor.

Diamond Head

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sea and Sky of Hawaii!

We have had the most amazing experiences these last two days. We kicked off the big island by going on a nightimte snorkel with Manta rays. They are lovely and huge and breath taking- we bought the dvd so I will put some footage on when I get home. THey were within two inches of us twirling and looping and just being amazing. then yesterday it was off to the skies on an unforgettable tour of Mauna Kea the largest mountain in the world where the foremost telescopes point to the skies. we got to see sunset from this vantage point, look through a "regular" telescope and ask tons of questions and learn about hawaii's heritage, history, mysteries and so much more. our tour guide was a planetary geologist so Derick and I were in GEEK heaven just talking about everything that came to mind.

Today we are off to more earth wonders- the volcanoes and we are stopping at a green and black sand beach while we are at it! these islands are truly here to remind us how much God loves us and wants us to be happy in the things He has made for us! Natural Hawaii has truly taken my breath away several times (but of course I am still talking!)

We will be in late Sunday night. We really miss everybody!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Kauaii and Aloha bags

So today we took a helicopter ride!! We have never done it before and jumped at the chance when our travel agent (AKA BFF JILL) suggested it! From about 15 seconds after take off, I knew we were in trouble because derick turned a lovely shade of seafoam.

When we had our pre-flight briefing they held up the barf bag and said that it was an "Aloha" bag and please keep your Aloha to yourself! Derick didn't need it for its full use, but was very thankful to have it there for comfort, but did keep as still as possible during the flight! The scenery was absolutely stunning!! there are tons of waterfalls and lush green and interesting cliffs, formations and beaches here that were just amazing to see from that vantage point! I took over 60 pictures and still have yet to find a decent way to upload!!

We have til Tuesday afternoon here and then off to Big Island (Hawaii). I think we are doing some waterfall and hike tours tomorrow!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Oahu a.

Well, it is our last day in Oahu and I loved nearly every minute! YEsterday was probably our best day here- relaxing and exciting! After a luxiourious breakfast (I just GORGE myself on those tropical fruits!), we hit the beach to take advantage of our hour free snorkel. The beach is entirely covered in live coral reef- so we got to see some coral critters- the occasional fish, a couple spiny urchins and anemones, but when we got out, we saw some people looking as somthing from the rocks. WE went over to investigate and guess what??

SEA TURTLES!!! we saw about FIVE of them ranging from about a foot and a half to over three feet! I of course took THOUSANDS of pictures but still can't get them onto the computer! I was so excited when we saw them I immediately got on the phone and called Gibson. He was as impressed as I thought and we gushed about them for a while.

From there we went to the temple. We were the only ones in our session and it was really amazing. THe Lai'ie temple has alot of unique Marble carvings around the top of murals of each book of scripture. There is also a big fountain flowing from it down to the visitor's center (about 100 Yards ) away. The entire thing is lined by palm trees. It is absolutely stunning and I was so wonderful to get a chance to go to the temple with Derick!

We topped it off by having an amazing dinner with absolutely sinful desserts! WE packed up and got ready to leave, and we just chilling for the morning and then we are off to Kauai.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Running around the globe

SO for those just tuning in, the last week has been FULL of excitement. Ali came in last Wednesday and that was great,but TSA sure did a number on her! Friday we left for the race and, well, after the Expo (which had some great vendors) everything went pretty bad including me being stuff on a two way road in the wrong lane with a HUGE semi coming at me from the front and a Public transportation train coming at my rear. It was great to see my parents and have them here for support, although the more people you add to the equation, the more people you need to please!

But the race was exhilorating! I finished slightly after my mental goal of 2 and a half hours at 2:34:45. ALi and Wendy did great too- ALi at 2:45:43 and Wendy at 2:10:58. It was BEDLAM at the finish line, but after an hour we found out where Ali was, loaded up the junk and headed home.

At home, Derick and I tried to get ready for our next adventure- Hawaii!!! We flew out SUnday morning and landed in Oahu at 3pm local time- which is 9pm Philly time! We were soooooo Spoiled by our 1st class flight from Minneapolis to Honalulu! wow! We unpacked, ate and crashed by 8pm local time.

Monday we explored the beach around our hotel (the Turtle bay resort on the North SHore_ AWESOME!) Then hit the polynesian culture center for the res tof the day.

Today was Pearl Harbor ALL DAY. It was truly amazing, solemn and sobering. Of course I think the most impact of the day came from seeeing the oil bubbling from the sunkent hull of the Arizona. We took a scenic drive home and ate a fabulous dinner (ok, ever had vanilla macadamia nut ice cream???) and took a walk along the beach in the dark with the MOST amazing Stars with NO light pollution. and here I am. Trying to catch everyone up so you won't think I have fallen off the planet- just halfway around the other side of it! Pictures as soon as I figure out the hotel computer's ability!!!

Monday, October 8, 2007


While frantically cleaning up (didn't pull it off now, did I Taji?) for the Bagley's, I had to take a minute to capture these cuties! Delaney and GIbson were both taking turns riding on Daddy's back when Gibson determined that he was big enough to be the horse- Delaney's laugh is so infectious! they are so cute- when they get along!!! (see if you can hear the moment where I trip going backwards!!!)

Sunday, October 7, 2007


So we had a pretty nice weekend. We started by going to the little pumpkin thing and playing in the park with the Bagley's and then watched COnference- now for those who don't know- We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (they call us Mormons most of the time) and every six months we have General COnference where our Prophet and his counselors can speak to us about things we need to know to be better Christians and better members of the Church.

This particular conference was kind of special because one of the counselors had died. He was an amazing man and it is obvious that he is missed. When one dies, another must be appointed in his place, and leadership gets shuffled around. As part of that, there was a press conference in between sessions of conference with all major press out lets- it was kind of interesting becasue our faith is always being put to the limelight and negative criticism justcomes out of nowhere. Just in the last three months, there was a slanderous movie released, Mitt Romney was Newsweek's poster child for his Mormonism (my personal favorite was the criticism that he is using evangelical phrases like "Jesus Christ as a personal Savior" Had these people ever MET a Mormon before? PLEASE!!)( and Warren Jeffs- who was NEVER a member of our church-was linked to us several times! With everyone's preconceived bilk with us, we often just leave it alone- but here was the new General Authorities holding a press conference!

The themes of General Conference were also amazing. Some of the ones that stuck out were ones that dealt with how to answer questions people do have about us- and I was most impressed with the answer of "by their fruits, you shall know them" and really, isn't that what being a Christian is all about? I was also comforted by a talk by Julie Beck about WOmen and Motherhood and how it is STILL not out of style, nor unimportant. I need reaffirmation of that sometimes.

Here's a link to that talk and some of the others if you are interested-,5239,23-1-775,00.html

On the homefront, we got a new camcorder to get ready for HAWAII!! this week is HUGE for US- 10th anniversary and ALi coming home on Wednesday, my Parents, and LAM coming in on Friday, THE RACE on Saturday- if you want updates sent to your phone on my race progress go here- and then fly to the islands on SUNDAY!!! I can't beleive it! I have so much to do! any advice here would be helpful!

Bagley "kids" in the hammock
TOday was fantastic because the Bagley's came over (they live close, our kids have a ball together and I promised they could watch conference on our big tv!) and Taji DID IT- she brought biscuits and sausage gravy!!! In many ways I am SUPPOSED to be southern and I deny it as MUCH as I can (although I am total Jersey girl-we don't pump our own gas) but when it comes to the food, I am southern as they come! and it was fantastic!! we had fruit salad, blueberry muffins and MONKEY BREAD (Myrt Fortner you are still in my heart! She was the mom/cook/whistler that I will never be!) and we literally were lolling on the floor, watching conference with over full bellies while the kids ran amuck in the background! Life was pretty good- then a nap after everybody left to top it all off!

SOOO- on some weird and scary pre-race news- a person died at the Chicago marathon today and 200 people were taken to the hospital because of record heat! PLEASE, OH PLEASE don't let next weekend be like that!!!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Hey, punk-kin!

We went to a pumpkin festival at a local nursery for a little while this morning with some good friends of ours. there was face painting, tatoos and apparently an array of spray hair colors too! My children are top left (in red shirt) and bottom right (white shirt).