Saturday, November 28, 2009

My trip to New Zealand

After 30 hours of travel time my sisters, mom and I finally arrived at our final destination----Queens town, New Zealand. My dads working on the South Island of New Zealand for a month so we came down for a visit.We were so happy to finally be there and get off the plane.And this is the beauty we saw! It was gorgeous here. It's kind of a Park City, Utah feel. Tons of great food, a tram to the top of the mountain and streets of shopping. We loved it here.It's hard to believe that this isn't a post card--I took this picture-----I saw this place!!!!!We went to the top of the mountain and looked down on the lake. It was amazing!We rode these sleds down part of the mountain. I laughed so hard--it reminded me of being a kid again--just what I needed.Ginny tried on some New Zealand attire. We were laughing so hard it took me 10 pictures to finally get one of her looking like a lamb.We spent a lot of time driving in the car to see all of the sites. Sometimes we felt like we'd go crazy if we spent 1 more hour in that car but mostly we just laughed and laughed. It was so great spending time with my sisters and mom with no one else to take care of. We went back into our sister roles and my mom went back into her nurturing mom role. It was wonderful--except when we ran out of gas and no gas stations were open and we'd been driving for over 9 hours and me and Ginny were going from bar to bar asking people for gas and a lonely man was telling us we could sleep in his house and my mom was thinking we might just do that and I was freaking out and Megan was telling me to take a Valium---except for that.It can't be too bad if this is what your seeing along the drive.We stopped in a tiny town where Lord of the Rings was filmed and saw the sites. It was so cool! This is the place where they filmed the bogs scene when the dead bodies come up and try to grab the hobits.When we finally got to where my dad was working we were so happy. He took us to see the motorcycle "the Indian" that broke the world record for speed on the Salt Flats in Utah. It was a guy from Invercargill New Zealand that broke it.Then we went to the southern most point of Invercargill where we were the closest to Antarctica. Right over there my friends---right over there! And just in case your curious--No, I'm not pregnant in this picture--the wind was blowing hard and blew me a 5 month pregnant belly!
Wherever we went we had delicious hot chocolate and ice cream. They are the Kings of all things dairy in New Zealand.We also had to sample the fish and chips while we were there. They were of course AMAZING!
Thank you mom and dad for an incredible trip. It was a whirl wind but reminded me to let little things stay little, enjoy life and remember to laugh--a lot! I loved it!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What Have You Done For Someone Today?

This week for Family Home Evening (every Monday evening is spent with the family learning about Christs teachings, singing, praying, playing together and enjoying a treat) we spent time on a lesson given by our Prophet--President Thomas S. Monson entitled "What Have I Done for Someone Today?" He talked about a man named Jack McConnell, MD who was one of seven children in a humble home. His father asked the children each night around the dinner table "And what did you do for someone today?" Each child was determined to do something so that they could share it with their father each evening. As they grew their motivation changed to an inner desire to help others. This man became a doctor and later helped invent the polio vaccine, Tylenol, the MRI, and a volunteer organization for retired physicians. Thomas S. Monson stated "We become so caught up in the busyness of our lives. Were we to step back, however, and take a good look at what we're doing, we may find that we have immersed ourselves in the "thick of thin things.......We are surrounded by those in need of our attention, our encouragement, our support, our comfort, our kindness---be they family members, friends, acquaintances, or strangers. We are the Lord's hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children. He is dependent upon each of us."
Each night around the dinner table we ask our children what were the 3 best things they did that day. During the month of November I always put up this big turkey that I drew and laminated and then at the dinner table we put up feathers of Thanksgiving instead. After reading this talk BJ and I decided to change it this year. Instead of putting up feathers written with words of "Thanksgiving" we are instead asking the children each night what they did for someone that day. We decided that the best way to show God that we are "thankful" for all of our blessings would be to serve Him by serving His children. I'm realizing that it's going to take time to shift our way of thinking. We don't always have a service oriented frame of mind. However, the kids have done some great things. Cardon has found a way to serve someone at school each day and Jace told me last night that he served me by holding really still when he got "shot" (he got the H1N1 vaccination yesterday). Ha! Ha! I'm hoping by the end of the month they will be thinking of ways they can serve each day without a reminder.
On a more decorative note...... I love to decorate for the Holidays. Here are a few shots of my festiveness this season!

Welcome Thanksgiving!

Cardon's Football Banquet

Cardon got to celebrate the football season with his friends this week. This is his 3rd year playing football and so it's been fun seeing the team improve with all the same kids. He's excited that these are the boys he'll be playing with all the way up until High School. It's a great group of kids.
His coach had each boy come up so he could tell something about how they developed their skills this year. The boys loved getting up there to hear about how they contributed to the team personally. It was fun to see that.
Cardon has a great group of friends. I'm so glad that his grade has such good boys---I hope that continues as he gets older.
Cardon is always 31 just like his dad. Way to go Cardo--great season!!!!!