Saturday, April 30, 2011

How Great Thou Art

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home- what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim, my God, how great thou art!

I have loved Carrie Underwood since her days on Idol. Someone recently shared this video on facebook and it made me feel like worshiping. I can say that only because I have lived in the South. Those Southern folk are good at worshipin and ministerin.

I love my God. He is a mighty God. He is all powerful. As I have focused on my relationship with Christ I have found myself overcoming my fear of death and really looking forward to the day that I will once again meet my Savior Jesus Christ.

This old hymn How Great Thou Art has been a favorite since the days that I was a Mormon missionary. It was a hymn that we sang at a lot of baptismal services because it was usually known by most of our converts from different faiths.

While listening I got thinking about How Great Thou Art. How great is our God. I sometimes think that we don't trust Him enough. Think about it. He is all powerful. He can handle every situation in our lives. Recently while talking to a bunch of people about the third step among the 12, I reflected on my trust in God and how it has changed. I used to think I trusted in God, but I have felt the power of really trusting. Giving it all back to God.

I shared with the ladies that the reason God wants us to trust Him so badly is because He wants us to give our burdens to Him. He wants us to trust Him enough to take care of them, so that we don't have to. I used to think trusting in God was a one time choice, but I have come to learn that it's a process. It's one choice at a time. One problem at a time. One moment at a time. Sometimes I do well and sometimes I don't. I usually know I haven't done too well when I find myself fretting, worrying, feeling depressed or overwhelmed.

God is indeed a wondrous God. He is more than just great. He is perfect. He is powerful. He can handle our problems in a bat of an eyelash. We just have to let Him. And when we do, we can then sing How Great Thou Art in a whole new understanding because we will see that he shared His power with us and made us strong. All because we trusted Him to do so.

And my P.S. is: people if you believe in this mighty God enough to give a standing ovation for one of His hymns....please please please cover up your boobs and thighs. Do you really think He wants you, his daughter, walking around looking like a tramp? Are you giving that ovation to the performance or the God? 

I know someone is not going to resist calling me judgmental so let me clarify. I have no problem with people who do dress this way. I used to dress like that when I was 14 and didn't have any respect for myself. If you show up at my door in a bikini, I will hug  you and tell you I love you, but I will also try my darnedest to keep you out of my husband's peripheral vision. And my daughters'. Because God  is a great God and I truly believe he cares about modesty. And it isn't enough to just proclaim that He is great but we need to show Him in our every day decisions that we really do love and respect Him and his commandments to us.

Friday, April 29, 2011

That Ain't Right

I recently enjoyed a post on one of my new favorite blogs.
It was entitled
I just had to steal the post title 
for this picture that I took a few days ago.

I stealthily snapped the photo 
as LG and I were pulling out of our driveway.
If I took the picture from the front 
the owners would have known what I was up to.
So I did the best I could from behind.
It's a good thing I saved the dog 
and the owner the shame of their faces on my blog.
Anonymity is really the right and kind thing to do.

But do you know what the really right thing to do is?
How about NOT taking your dog for a walk
while he is wearing the cone of shame.
I think it is just cruel.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mommy Giggles

I think I may be the only mom in the universe that allow my older children to take magic markers to the face of my younger one. Caroline doesn't seem to mind. Wasn't she a cute alien last Halloween? This photo makes me laugh.

I was recently contacted by Heather Matthews from Mommy Giggles encouraging me to share a photo for their new blog. I was more than happy to oblige, but was disappointed in myself when I realized that I don't have enough funny photos on my site. Stay tuned for more funny photos. I've got to up my game. I gave Heather several choices to choose from. Go here to see which one was chosen. Of course they had to choose the one that humiliates me instead of the ones that humiliate my kids.

Anyhow, I am going to be one of MommyGiggles most staunch followers because I think their blog has some real potential. Not only for their own monetization but for laughs for you and me. I encourage all of you to go and share your funniest pictures. I also encourage you all to start looking for more funny photo ops. We all know that us mommies can always use as many giggles as we can get.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Popcorn popping

I think every single Mormon child learns the song Popcorn Popping as a child.
It's a social phenomenon.

I looked out the window and what did I see?
Popcorn popping on the apricot tree.
Spring has brought me such a nice surprise,
Popcorn popping right before my eyes.
I can take a handful and make a treat.
A popcorn ball that would smell so sweet.
It wasn't really so,
but it seemed to me.
Popcorn popping on the apricot tree.

Here is a tree a few houses down from us.
I think it was quite possibly the one
that the author of the song was looking at when she penned the lyrics.

How I wish I could let you each watch Caroline do the actions to the song.

These youtube videos will have to do. I am pretty sure that these girls are just as cute.

But what I really want to know is why do they have to grow up?
They just lose cuteness, if you ask me.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Animal Lovers

Sometimes a move across country brings animals closer together.
Even if it only lasted for two minutes.

I wish that they would consider sleeping together.
As I want them to be as warm as possible in the garage.
Kitty Bear prefers a cabinet
and Olive prefers her blanket lined kennel.

You know, sometimes I choose to sleep on the couch.
Or LG is banned to the couch.
And I realize that I should be as smart as an animal.
Even if only for two minutes.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Book Review - Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie SocietyGuernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What do you get when you add together a deep and searching writer with a bunch of quirky lovers of literature confined to an island? A wonderful love story. Not just a love story between two people, but between many many people. Not in a creepy polygamous kind of way, but in a love conquers all riveting story.

I LOVED this book. I listened to it while traveling across the country with three children a cat and a dog. (I almost accidently wrote a cat and a god. I always mix up my g and d fingers) But find it a funny slip because I think God was with me testifying of the truthfulness of the principle of love throughout the book. I think I would have loved the book more if I could have actually read it from paper, as the story was told by many letters written and received among lots of lovely characters. But, just so you know how fun and interesting these letters were, know that I wore a pair of headphones in my car so that I could drown out the children and pets and give complete focus.

I am so glad I persevered. Before the Guernsey island characters were introduced the book was a bore. Really, is there any way to lose for an author who places her story in the aftermath of World War II? Who doesn't love reading about this fascinating time frame? I had personally never thought about how the war effected a little English Isle. To be honest, even though I will look totally ignorant, I didn't even know the island existed before reading this fiction. I am just assuming the island is really there. Correct me if I am wrong.

The characters were to die for. An orphaned girl whose mother was sent to be imprisoned for helping out a suffering soldier. A boy who was sent off to the mainland to survive the war. Both children were raised by a literary society. A very loving literary society. I couldn't help but think of my book club girls. The beauty of this literary society was the variety of personalities. There was one woman who was a witch and had a pet parrot. A man who was a simple farmer. A typical motherly loving sort. Then there was the love interest. He's dreamy.

Add into the story a homosexual man. A survivor of the concentration camps. A rich American. A best friend (who happens to be the sister of the homosexual.) An arrogant and snotty and holier than thou (who is bound to make anyone religious person second think they're close mindedness). And wha-la. It's a story you won't want to put down. Fascinating and personally rewarding. Entertaining. And most of all beautiful. It will make you want to be a hero or a heroine. It will make the most miserable of people want to be a Saint. More than anything, this great work of fiction is a testament to the power of people when they open their minds and love one another.

View all my reviews

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Greetings

I know my Savior.
He lives by my side.
Even though he is the Beloved Son of God,
he thinks that I am just as important as Him.

I know my Savior.
He succors me.
He takes every single one of my pains from me
and sometimes I hate to let Him.

I know my Savior.
He strengthens me.
He holds all power and light.
And he shares generously.

I know my Savior.
He knows me too, by name.
He thought of me
While in the Garden and on the cross.

I know my Savior.
He is my best friend.
He is the way, the truth, the life.
He makes all things possible.

I know my Savior.
He saves all mankind.
But somehow He makes me feel.
Like I am the most important save.

I know my Savior.
He is perfect, love, kindness.
So how could I ever think I am the most important?
Because He loves all.

I know my Savior.
Someday I will see Him in the flesh.
And I will have eternal life.
Only because of Him.

I know my Savior.
His name is Jesus Christ.
He is everything.
I am nothing,
but somehow,
through Him,
I can be everything..
Because to Him,
I mean everything.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

We love hiking.

Abigail asked me if we could go hiking today.
I hope we can.
Between the Easter Egg hunts.

Friday, April 22, 2011

My Chicken Salad

One time I was at a baby shower and I stuck my foot in my mouth.
O.k. this has probably happened more than once.
In all honesty, it probably has happened at every baby shower I have ever attended.
I really need to learn to think things through before I say them.
But, I am only gonna share about one time today.

Me to the cook of the chicken salad:
"Wow, your chicken salad is great."
Cook:  Thanks.
Me: "I like mine better but this is a close second."

Sometimes I just need to slap myself to save other people the trouble.
I have been told by one not to be named Bishop that my chicken salad is his favorite ever.
He could have just been vying for some chicken salad and homemade rolls. 
I think my rolls might have been his favorite too.

I find it funny that in the land of the South where chicken salad was invented, my award winning recipe had been obtained and tweaked in Utah. Now that I am back in Utah, my chicken salad is no longer special.

2 cups cubed chicken (I boil and cool mine and then cut with chicken shears)
1.5 cup green grapes (cut in half)
1.5 cup red grapes (cut in half)
1 can of pineapple tidbits (drained)
16 oz. slivered or sliced almonds
1.5 cups Best Food Mayo (add a little soy sauce for flavor)

This lasts for several days in the fridge. In fact, it only seems to get better with time. I think it tastes best with crackers or on crescent rolls. 

Oh, and this post is reminding myself of something. Last week I took my kids to the mall to play on the fake tree. I sat next to a mom who was feeding her kids grapes. When they ran off to play she busted out the tupperware with a chicken salad crescent roll and a can of diet soda. She most vigilantly hid them when the kids came running back. Poor kids.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Popsicle inspired Make-over

Hailey was the first friend the girls made in Tennessee.
She lived next door at her grandmothers for about 4 years.

We enjoyed some time with her right before we left.
We were happily surprised when her recently applied eye shadow 
matched her Popsicle perfectly.
It started all kinds of fun.

Here is the other neighbor Leslie, featuring Tennessee orange.
Go Vols.

Bella was the envy of Sophia.
Purple belongs to Sophia.
No one else is allowed to have purple.
It's Sophia's favorite.

Somebody went a little crazy while applying Sophia's blue.
I think that would have been Abigail.
Blue is Abigail's favorite.

And last but not least.
Abigail doing the best she can with what was left.
I guess even red looks orange in Tennessee.

I will forever cherish the memories of our kids playing with the neighbors.
Luckily, they aren't too old for that.
We now have new neighbors to play with.
We might have to pull out the eye shadow and popsicles one day.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Our Man

One last Tennessee wink.
Or was that the flash in his eye?
Either way, what's not to love?

Book Review: Have A Little Faith

Have a Little Faith: The Story of a Last RequestHave a Little Faith: The Story of a Last Request by Mitch Albom

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have always loved the Jews. Anna Elovitz is one of the most wonderful people I know and she has been a wonderful friend since I was just a baby in High School. Her brother Adam took me on my first date. I was wearing the most ridiculous dress. Sorry Adam. I had no taste. What can I say? He was most gracious though. I am so relieved that those photos are all in someone's attic about now. I am not even going to entertain the thought of sharing it. The Elovitz family is one of the best families I know.

Another book that I absolutely love was written by a Jew: Man's Search for Meaning. Viktor Frankl was a very wise man. There is also another book about a Jew that I love. The Holy Bible: The New Testament.

Sorry, I wanted to give you some background of my knowledge of the Jewish faith. It's limited. Very limited. I went to a Passover Feast once. I have seen menorahs in windows and I remember Anna having to do something on Friday nights sometimes because her Sabbath was from when the sun went down on Friday until the sun went down on Saturday.

This book, Have A Little Faith, was written by a Jew. It serves two purposes. It is first a wonderful testament to the power of faith. Secondly, it is a remarkable tribute and comparison between a beloved Jewish rabbi and a non Orthodox Christian pastor. Each have great faith. Each were completely inspiring.

I highly recommend this book to people of all faiths everywhere. I especially recommend this book to people without faith. I dog-eared half of the book, but let me give you just a few of my favorite parts:

The Talmudic translation of the account of the parting of the red sea. Mitch Albom remembered a religious school lesson fondly. God said to the angels who were celebrating the destruction of the Egyptians: "Stop celebrating. For these were my children, too." Wow. God does love all his children, doesn't He?

Rabbi Albert Lewis recounted the experience he had of trying to comfort a faithless physician who could not make his only belief in science save his sick brother. He had no one to blame but himself when people of faith can always blame God. Albert Lewis: "It is far more comforting to think God listened and said no than to think nobody's out there."

A conversation between a rabbi and his parishioner:
"So have we solved the secret of happiness?
I believe so.
Are you going to tell me?
Yes, Ready?
Be satisfied.
That's it?
Be grateful.
That's it?
For what you have. For the love you receive. And what God has given you.
That's it?
That's it."

I could go on and on, but I don't want to ruin all the stories. They are each so inspiring. Collectively they are a bit overwhelming. In a good way. In a God way.

This is a quick read. I started one night at 11 p.m. and stayed up until 3 a.m. reading. I am slow reader. I never stay up that late. I couldn't put the book down. It had the perfect mixture of laughing and crying and chillbumps.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Public Library

One of our first stops here in our new home was the Public Library.
for new library cards.
Of course.

The library is a poor man's friend. It is the smart man's friend and it's my sanity.

I love public libraries.

And I love our new library.
It's humongous! 
There is a whole basement of movies, books on tape and music.
There is also a whole wing of children's book with a whole upstairs of more advanced readers for middle school age.

Just thought you might like some of the photos of the view from the front of the library.

This is where you go if you don't turn your books back in time.
He he

And look, we have blossoms here almost as pretty as in Tennessee.
We live in a wonderful place where we not only have beautiful mountains but also a lot of people who think literacy is important.

We are really looking forward to the world-famous Timpanogas StoryTelling Festival.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ramen Noodles

My new across the street neighbor is great. She made us a homemade meal on our first night here. And it was delicious. I loved her homemade wheat bread. It was the perfect breakfast the next morning, toasted with jam. As soon as I get her recipe, I will be sharing.

For now, I am sharing with you a GREAT tip she gave me for a healthier lunch option.

After you cook Top Ramen, throw in a handful of frozen peas. It cools down the ramen and it adds some veggies to the usual carbohydrate overload with no nutritional value.

The bad news is that you will more than likely have a lot of leftover ramen when usually your kids scarf down every last drop.

The good news...more leftovers for mom!

Who knew that a random photo shoot could turn out such cute photos?

Caroline really is our doll baby. I gladly share her with her sisters and dad. None of us can get enough of her.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Here is the long awaited post.
I have had so many people ask me about the house that I posting before I even attempt to return e-mails.

Our new house is a lucky number. I am not saying it on here, but everyone got a good laugh at church on Sunday when I told them our new address and the we are The Gold's and we live in a gold house.

We try to make ourselves easy to find.

They thought it even funnier when I told them that we have a thing for picking great houses.
I am not sure if they believed me when I explained that we used to be The Gold and the end of  The Rainbow, but most of you know that to be true.

Caroline loves our front window.
She smiles and blows kisses to everyone who passes.

Obviously my mom doesn't read the blog.
This is what she brought me for the porch.
I've only lived in Utah for two weeks and I'm already a hypocrite.

Our front room.
I can't believe that I live in a house that I love.
Thanks so much to my mom for her generosity in the decorating and furnishing department.
She thought it was about time that I love my space.
And she was right.

I absolutely went gaga over this portrait of the Salt Lake Temple.
This photo does not do it justice.

It looks like the girls have made themselves at home.
We already have Uno cards all over the downstairs family room floor.

Do you see those couches? They have your kids names on them.

And this is Abigail's room adjacent to the family room.
It's pretty much a Five Star hotel.
It doubles as the guest room.
Come visit soon, ya hear?
You can't see the beautiful photo of the dogwoods.
You will have to see for yourself if it does Tennessee justice.
I think it can only do so much when it's just in black and white.
Abigail and I fraught over who got this portrait for a whole 24 hours.
Her decor won out. Boo hoo.

Our office is in a little alcove off the family room.
It's perfect. We were able to put in a table next to the desk for homework/laptop space.

The table is to the right.
You can't see it but straight ahead is the downstairs bathroom.
We put in one of those extra roomy shower curtains just for you.

Here is half the backyard.
I can't wait to plant some stuff in the flower bed.
LG loves the shed. It's an extra bonus. And doubles as the kids clubhouse.
I think today he is really happy that it only takes him a half hour to mow.
We are gonna save ourselves some serious yard-work time.

The other half. The girls love the swing.
LG and I have been too busy to take advantage so far.
The photo is taken from the garage door entrance. You have to go through the garage to get to backyard.
Olive and KittyBear use the doggy door.

Back inside.
Going down the hall.

Our room.

Our half bath.
I told the owner of the house that having our own sink and toilet is an upgrade for us.

We still have to share the shower in the bathroom down the hall with the kids.
LG wanted to keep the extra powerful showerhead,
but I told him it would have to be toned down so that I could actually stand to shower.
LG loves the shampoo dispenser.
I love the glass doors that keep the kids from splashing water all over the place.

Sophia and Bella are so proud of their new room.
They even make their beds every other day.

Thanks to my mom and dad for the new bedding and dressers.
It is awesome having their own special space for all their things.
They even shut their dresser drawers every other day.

Last but certainly not least, Caroline's room.
I picked out the shabby chic cherry blossom bedspread.
The green leaves match the antique dresser  perfectly.

The old vanity/desk is painted white and ready to be moved in also, but I haven't done it yet.
One thing at a time.
Next project is painting all my old frames brown to make a collage downstairs.
I'll keep you posted.
You know I will.