Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Time The Lord Sold Our House

I miss our house.
We all loved our happy little house in Missouri and often said we wished we could just pick up with the yard and move it wherever we went.
When we found out we were moving to Las Vegas, we had about three weeks to execute another cross-country move (typical). But this time, we needed to sell a house. It was a pretty stressful time. But we met with a realtor, worked our guts out to get it ready to go on the market, priced it low to sell fast, and applied our faith. I was really scared, honestly. But showings kept rolling in, and sure enough, after only about a week on the market, we got a good offer and accepted it. I know the Lord did that for us. We didn't make much -- just enough to pay for our move. But we were so thankful to have divine intervention! I learned so many lessons in Missouri, but this seemed like the cherry on top of reminders, really. To trust in the Lord with all my heart. When I called my Mom to tell her the offer had gone through, I told her I just wasn't sure how I could possibly thank Him enough for helping us so much. She said "The way you thank Him will be with the way you live your life."
They are so wise.
We are renting in Vegas and honestly probably will for a long time, because you just never know with this life we've chosen when your next three weeks notice to move across the country is. And that is what it is. But I miss our beautiful house, the beautiful yard, the beautiful woods I watched change each season while I worked in the kitchen. I miss my thinking spot in the front room, where I could sit and stare up the street or watch the sky and enjoy the quiet. I miss our close proximity to the Tates! I miss our house.
But I will remember forever how the Lord helped us sale it. Yet another reminder of His kind and watchful care.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Widows Mite

KJ has his first big Scout Camp in June. It is in California and even after fundraising each family will pay $300. Which is, you know, a lot of money for Scout Camp. Better get saving! 
The Double B and I decided it would be a good thing to ask KJ to help pay a portion of it with his weekly commission from chores. We talked to him about it tonight and he was very overwhelmed -- by the distance, the length of time he'll be away, and the small amount he can realistically contribute. We tried reassuring him, but he was just feeling stress all around. 
As we talked, Olivia quietly walked into the room with her hand full of cash and waited patiently at the side of the couch for a chance to talk. 
"Yes, Olivia?"
"I want to give my savings to KJ for Scout Camp."
She has been saving diligently and even taking extra jobs so that she could purchase the $30 Birthday Barbie. 
Her eyes were teary but resolute. 
It was totally still for a moment.
"Are you sure, Olivia?" I asked. I didn't want to take her money when of course we can pay for it, but I felt her sacrifice and knew how big this was and that I needed to accept her offering. 
KJ was upset. "No, Olivia, no! I can't take your money!"
She put her hand straight out and firmly insisted "you can't say no! You can't say no! It's my decision. I'm giving it!" I took her $13 and wrapped her in my arms and whispered my thanks and my praise. Then Daddy did, too. 
She and KJ both sniffled through family prayer. 
We now have a "Scout Camp" envelope with its first $13, given as a true gift of sisterly love. I couldn't have been more touched. 
I think Birthday Barbie might just show up one day, anyway. But how I cherish the profound goodness of that selfless decision.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Second Easter

We went up again the week after Spring Break to have the B Family Easter shindig and to watch General Conference. We don't get together that often, but it's fun when we do. 
Benson was the star of the show, as the youngest member of the family. He enjoyed his fame immensely. 
I love this picture of the oldest cousin and the youngest cousin. Steven just opened his mission call and will leave for Brazil in August. He has always been special to us and we are excited for him. 
General Conference was wonderful, like always. I especially liked the talks by President Monson, Elder Christofferson, and Elder Duncan. 
Lately I've listened to a talk from October 2014 by Elder Carlos A. Godoy called "The Lord Has A Plan For Us!" quite a bit. It was very meaningful for me at the time, but I seem to come back to it in my life. I'm so thankful to be a member of the church and for the opportunity to learn at the feet of inspired leaders!

Spring Break

We spent Spring Break in Southern Utah this year. It was super fun. We had lots of time to cuddle Baby Will!
Lots of time for adventures! Daddy finally took us to see his old fishing hole Browse for my 33rd birthday, and it was worth the wait. 
Hiking and other adventures (Katelyn and I are excited because we are rebels -- we crossed the fence into winter territory!).
Seriously, lots of hiking. It's funnier if Uncle Matt is there. 
Lots of great visiting with the grandparents, and ending on Easter. Such a blast! And I took 3rd place in the adult race -- respectable. 
We love to be home and always will. 

Star Wars!

We were so excited that it was time for 'The Force Awakens' to come out on DVD! We didn't mention it to the kids, just surprised them with it when they got home from school and then settled down for movie night! 
Olivia drew this fabulous picture of Finn, Rey, and BB-8 while we watched. 
I really love this movie. It might actually be my favorite movie ever, because I don't know when I have ever been so entertained. Glad to have it in our arsenal. 

First Of Many

KJ was able to attend his very first Priesthood Session. 
He has been waiting for this day for so, so long! 
He got to go with his grandpas, cousins and uncles, then he and Dad and Grandpa A went to Wendy's. He loved it. 
They all said it was a super awesome meeting. 
I love these men and I love this boy with my whole heart. 

Dad-Daughter Trip

My Dad and I went on our first ever Dad-Daughter Trip. It was so stinking fun. 
We drove down to Phoenix for an awesome conference with our health company. Our team leaders won a training worth $500 a person and shared it with us for free! It was very inspiring. 
The trainer was a guy named Rod Hairston that taught us new ways to work on our thinking and our approach on life. It was so much good information, and I am really using it to change my focus and be more positive. I loved it, and REALLY loved doing it with my super awesome Dad. 
We got to stay with the wonderful Broschinsky family. My best friend in high school, Brad, comes from such a great family and his mom and I are still close. It was so great to see them again! His Dad cracks me up so much. 
Also -- ladies and gentleman, I broke a board. WITH MY HAND. So I guess I'm basically a ninja! 
The purpose was to break through something holding us back -- I wrote "frozen" because I let my self-doubt and fear literally freeze me sometimes -- and to come out to what we wrote on the other side. For me, that is purpose, movement, and passion. 
Dad and I had a blast. 
We talked and talked and laughed a lot, because that guy is funny, and he thinks I'm funny, too. Can't wait to do it again! 
Benson enjoyed a short visit with his BFF. I made them both shakes and my Dad tried to do "cheers." Benson just took that as an opportunity to drink Papa's shake. He knew Papa wouldn't mind!