Thursday, January 19, 2012

"Elfie"= our new BFF

"Elfie"...named by Jaxson, joined our Christmas traditions this year & he is quite the character. The kids would jump out of bed each morning & run to find him! They found him doing things like:
One morning we found he had turned the milk green. Jax thought it was hilarious!
I even found him on our moving truck...I guess he didn't want to be left behind.
He colored ALL our noses green when we were asleep!

Hip Hop King ♔

Spence's first competition of the season....
He had a BLAST!
... & just happened to win 1st place in their division while doing it.

Their Dance Company won 1st Overall! you see him?
Here is the video of them at the Kar competition. He's the tallest blonde in the green on the far left.

Then here is the performance him & his buddy Ezra did right before Christmas. They choreographed it themselves & performed it at the park for a neighborhood/ward Christmas party. He's in the green again.
*I'm so glad Spence has found something that he loves to do so much and that he can stay active, get stronger and gain confidence while doing it!

Saying "Good-Bye"

Finally it was time to say our good byes....
And before the big storm came into Provo, we were....
Love the nostalgic smell of Utah rain. It just is different than Az rain. 

We said goodbye and headed for our 10+ hour drive home. 
It was all worth it...

More Family Trip Fun...

Another fun thing we did was go to a fun place there in Provo/Orem area where the kids could play some carnival type games. Spencer spied this climbing arena & insisted he do it! They got all harnessed up & climbed to their little hearts content. Spence has been a climber since birth & was in heaven.
 Spence had a blast although admitting it was a little scary... Even Aunt Lacey did it to prove her agility & toughness! ;)

While in Salt Lake Tim's brother Brian turned 40! His cute family arranged for everyone in the restaurant to sing to him & then they opened up the roof as he let go of his Birthday wish balloon! I love how he is holding Claire in this picture. {I love to think that if it were Tim doing this, he would have a child in his arms too. They get that from their Dad..making the ch ildren the focus even when the spotlight is on them.~such a Christlike attribute.}
Whatcha think....brothers?
"Hang Loose Dude..."
About time to head home...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Lovin' BYU Classes, Students & Campus

Kaylea & Auntie Sara--who's more like a big sister 
So the funnest part of the trip was visiting our little sisters 
on the BYU campus.While there, I went to a Book of Mormon Class 
& a Child Development Class with Sara.
{Now we can say I went to BYU... ;)
I think I looked like I fit in pretty good with the young'ens although I was tempted so many times to raise my hand and make comments in the child development class because I felt like I could give a lot of insight...haha.
I actually took notes & learned a ton! Was reminded & relearning things such as "out of sight -out of mind" & Animistic Thinking which is where your 2 yr old thinks inanimate objects have lifelike qualities. The most helpful thing I learned WAS: to try what is often taught by the older Japanese generation. When your child won't eat their veggies, tell them "this carrot is SO sad...he wants to go in your mouth too!"
...Works like a charm with Jax -Try it!!
~Love Learning!~

Tim & I both took turns going to Lacey & Ashlyn's Mission Prep Class. This is a class I think is good for ALL to take since we are all to be "Member Missionaries."  The teacher was amazing and gave wonderful stories, insight & explained doctrine at the same time. That I think, is the recipe for a great teacher.
these cute girlies are looking more and more alike as they get older!
Jaxson's 1st Time Bowling
We went bowling & ate on Campus with the Fam & the other Campbells.
{Spence & Kaylea both announced to us that they would like to go to BYU some day.} 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

~General Conference~

Our real purpose in taking this trip was so that Spencer & Kaylea could attend their 1st session of General Conference. This has been Kaylea's dream since she turned 8! We even sacrificed our Summer Vacation to come here instead since we couldn't afford to do both. There were 2 specific miracles that happened to us previously that got us to this destination.  Number One: Tim was allowed after just a few weeks of working his new job to take off for a week & come. This went directly against company policy & we feel it was a miracle. Then the other is what happened on the car ride up. I've come to recognize more often the tender mercies that happen often in all of our lives and realize they are not coincidences but rather little miracles that just show us that God is always with us.

Because we didn't have pre arranged tickets we were going off of faith that we'd get in. So Saturday morning after the first session we walked down a few blocks to Temple Square and started our search. Spence held a sign that said: "Need Tickets-It's My 1st Time.."  
With just minutes before the next session started & with help from other family members we had tickets for us to get in, but they were in different areas. My sis Sara & Tim watched the 3 little ones while Spence, Kaylea & I went into the Saturday Afternoon Session. Spencer's ticket was on the floor & mine and Kaylea's was on one of the higher balconies. 

Spencer insisted to me that he would be fine on his own and that he really wanted to do this. I trusted that he'd be okay alone & off he went. Afterwards he told us that he ended up like 5-8 rows from the front!!... and could see the expressions on the Prophet & Apostles faces. Come to find out, two older ladies had helped him get to the front which truly made this a memory & experience he will NEVER forget. I know this kid has a special work here on the earth to do & I have a feeling that this is just the beginning of these kind of experiences for  him.

I enjoyed the quiet time I got to have with Kaylea up in the balcony. She laid on my lap, held my hand & journaled right along with me. We sang loudly with conviction the hymns that we had such belief in. We got to stand & sing "Praise To The Man". She happened to know it since it was in the Primary Program this year. It was much so that the lump in my throat didn't allow me to get very many notes out. Some of the words that spoke to me the most were "Traitors & Tyrants now fight him in vain..." 
~Just minutes before we sang this, there was one of those protestors outside the Conference Center, who just happened to be standing literally 4 feet away from me & my innocent daughter. He had a megaphone yelling things like: "You are being lied to, Joseph Smith was a foolish man who made up stories"....& on & on. He was an inch off the Conference Center's property so he was allowed to stay. Kaylea & I talked back & forth about looking in someone's eyes to know if they are good or evil; and this man had angry, disturbing, evil eyes that she I'm sure will always remember. The hundreds of people in line that could hear/see him were calmly ignoring him. He wanted someone to argue back or be affected but we weren't. 

~Our testimonies go much deeper...So much deeper than {these} people will ever realize. And then just minutes later as the MILLIONS of members around the Globe sang "traitors & tyrants now fight him in vain...", it hit me! These protestors, nay-sayers, politicians, etc.. They might hope to persuade one or many but they are doing it in vain, because the course of the Gospel is in stone & will not be affected. (They are definitely fighting in vain!My only hope in all of this was that this little girl (pictured below) would have her blossoming testimony strengthened & I believe it truly was. 
I love just being on any Temple grounds, but especially the grounds of the Salt Lake Temple. My heart is tender as I think about our pioneer ancestors who spent over 40 years building this. Heartache after heartache & many of them never even got to see the final outcome. They definitely knew of it's eternal nature and the role it played.

~During the Priesthood Session that evening, some of us girls sat on the beautiful temple grounds & enjoyed the sunset and conversation. Another group of us went shopping with all the other LDS females in the really that's unwritten Mormon tradition. While the men get spiritually fed, we have female bonding time. I love it! Then they come out all spiritually uplifted & happy. I enjoyed watching the sky change over time with the Temple in the foreground.
This is my Aunt Deeanna with two of her girls. I'm her favorite really I am. She is the Mother of 8 children (5 of whom they fostered and then adopted)...and now they are almost all grown up. I could swear they were just babies. We don't get to see them often being that they live so far away, so it was so nice to see them & spend a little time with them in Provo & Salt Lake. Of the thousands of people there we continued to run into them & we giggled each time we did.
{Joining us in SLC were many Family members including my parents, my sisters Sara, Brittany (& Scott), Tim's parents, his sisters Ashlyn, Lacey (& Jordan) & his brother Brian's family. We got to spend time a little time with all of them.}

For the other sessions of Conference we enjoyed just 
chillin' in our Hotel room all cuddled up....
My 5 boys...
...And us girls taking notes! 
{We were lucky enough to have Aunt Sara stay with us & catch up on lost time.}

There is nothing I love more than feeling the Spirit as I watch & hear the music and words spoken and sung at General Conference. The best part is that we are all together, snuggled up as we contemplate the things that matter most in this life and the eternities.

This General Conference was as enriching as all others. Just so happens to be that this time we got to be right there where it all took place...and we felt very blessed for it.

Watch out for Random Posts coming your way...

Life is FINALLY slowing down enough so that I can catch up on some probably 30 or so posts that I'm behind on. I get so irritated when I'm behind since this is my photo journal to pass on to my kids some day.

For 2012 I will try & just get the posts published soon after they happen even if photos aren't edited & journaling isn't complete. 
...They will come very randomly-- so don't be confused! 

Here goes nothing....