Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Marathon

I know it's been a while since any of us have posted on the family site, and that's my fault for shirking in my duties as blog nazi. I guess I didn't like being a pest :) Someone else should take over the title, I really wouldn't oppose.

Anyway, I thought I should write down my experience from my marathon this past weekend while it's still fresh on the mind and sore on the body. This is going to be lengthy, so if your up for a novel, sit back and relax while I tell you a story that was anything but relaxing for me.

While I was training, I ran a lot of long miles on very lonely roads, and I had a lot of time to think, especially on my longer runs. There were times that were really hard, in fact, I didn't even finish my 18 mile run because of the rigorous course I mapped out for myself and not being properly hydrated before I left. My entire body locked up, my knees hurt so bad, and I was glad Adam came and found me a little while later. I just broke down and cried as soon as I saw him. But I didn't give up there. I rested a couple of days, got back into my routine, and ran 20 the very next week. It was hard, but I was more prepared. Finally I got to taper off for a couple of weeks before race day. I was nervous that week, my knees had been hurting on my little 3 mile runs, and I could only imagine the pain I would be in after 26.2... if I got there. I prayed a lot. I had trained for so long, and it was something I HAD to do. I couldn't just not finish the marathon and bag it, I HAD TO RUN 26.2 MILES at some point in my life, so it might as well be now (since I've put in all this training), even if it killed me.

The day before the race came. We drove down to Logan and checked in. I felt like a rock star with all these super-fit, multi-marathoners that were lean, mean, fighting machines. I was so excited when I found out that I could get my knee taped up by the people at the sports therapy booth. Even if it didn't help, it really helped my psyche. That night Adam and Dad gave me a blessing that I would be proud of my efforts during my race. No words that I would finish, or that I would die trying, but just that I would be proud of what I had accomplished. That was good enough for about 2.5 hours of sleep :)

I "woke up" (or rather, got out of bed) at 3:30 in the morning. Mom and Dad were so nice and they both drove me all the way up to Logan, about an hour and 15 min. drive. Mom and Dad talked to me the whole way up, which I was glad for, to keep my mind off the butterflies. As soon as I saw all the traffic in Logan at 5 in the morning though, those butterflies soared. I got out of the car, wearing Brad's Boston marathon jacket, feeling WAY cooler than I really was, and hopped on the bus. I told most of you about the guy I sat next to on the bus... he looked not even 2 years older than me (although he must have been about 10 years older). He was an OB from Kansas City, Missouri who had a goal to run a marathon in all 50 states. He had 10 down so far, but had actually run a marathon in Antarctica (!!!). He said it was 20 below with 30 mph winds the whole way, and some areas were super muddy, others thick with snow. I couldn't believe it! Anyway, his story was amazing, but I'm getting off on a tangent.

We finally arrived to the top of the canyon after what seemed like an hour (even with Tim's amazing Antarctica story). We got off and stood in line forever to use the putrid porta-potties, and then I went over by the starting line to find my pace group. I was hoping to finish in 4:15. It had stopped raining, so I shed the Boston jacket, but then of course like 10 minutes before the race started, it dumped on us. Luckily I had my trash bag, so I put that on and stood as close to the fire as I could.

At last, the guns went off and we were on our way. I felt good, better than I thought I would, and after just a mile or two, the rain stopped. I was getting hot after 3, so I shed the trash bag. Around 4 miles, I was getting so hot that I shed the long-sleeved shirt Brad gave me. At 6 or 7, I shed the gloves and the headband/ear warmer thing :) I really felt good, and I was staying right with my pace group. The canyon was gorgeous. Until it started raining. Then I couldn't tell if anything was gorgeous because I couldn't even see (this was round 9 miles or so). Then it started hailing. Like, big ol' hail. I remember thinking that if they got any bigger, I might have to run for cover. Luckily it only lasted a half mile or so, and the rain stopped after 2 or 3 miles. Between miles 13 and 14, we came out of the canyon. At this point, my pace group was a little bit ahead of me, but only by about 3 minutes or so. I didn't stress about it too much, I felt awesome and I really thought I would catch up with them at some point (ha). It was great to see all the people cheering us on out of the canyon. We wound through neighborhoods and streets, and I just kept chugging. I could feel that my body was slowing down a little at about 15 miles, but I didn't want to push myself too hard (that was when my knees REALLY hurt, when I tried to go faster than I should have). Mom met up with me at about mile 16 and ran a couple hundred yards with me to see how I was doing. What a great mom :) Adam met up with me at 16.5 and we just kept chugging along. The plan was that he would run 4 or so miles with me, and then I would meet him at the end. But I have no ordinary husband. He finished that race with me, and I'm glad he did.
I was feeling good until mile 21. I was slowing down, I knew that, but after mile 20, I really believed I could finish in 4:30. 21 miles though, and my body started shutting down. My already cramped calves just got tighter and tighter. My fingers and lips started to stiffen. I had that happen before, when I've had panic attacks and when I was severely dehydrated. I couldn't be dehydrated though, I thought to myself, I took water (with Brad's electrolyte elixir) at every station. Adam started pumping me full of electrolytes and that helped after a mile or so. The hills though. The hills were DEATH. My body would just scream NO, NO, NO!!! on every hill I came to. I walked the worst ones, with Adam's arms around me, but walking hurt just as bad as running. If I walked, my knees hurt more, I even found it harder to breathe when I walked (it really was similar to the couple of panic attacks I've had, but I've learned how to work through them all right). If I ran, my calves killed and my body screamed. I ended up walking about a half mile overall. My pace slowed to a snail's between miles 21 and 26 though. Finally when we hit 24, I told myself I had to run it all, I was almost there! So I found whatever itty bitty strength was left in me, grabbed a banana for some potassium to help my calves out, and ran the last 2.2. I remembered feeling elated when I had about half a mile left, I knew the finish line was right around the corner, and I was going to make it!!
I saw my family when I rounded the finish corner. Hallie and Ashton (carried by Adam) came and ran the last 300 yards with us. That finish line never looked so beautiful. My finish time was about a half hour later than I wanted it to be, but I FINISHED. I had to tell myself to be proud of that.
Running that marathon really was an amazing experience. I found so many gospel parallels as I trained and ran the marathon. Parallels like not being too worried about how fast I finished the race, but that finishing was the important thing, much like our journey to try to make it to the celestial kingdom. Also, when I hit those miles between 21 and 24 and really thought that my entire body might completely shut down, I thought of the trials we all have to face in life. Some might be small, but others will feel so heavy and debilitating that we'll wonder how we can ever keep going. But after much tribulation comes the blessing (the finish line!), like we're told in the Doctrine and Covenants. Also, while I was training, I was alone. It can be harder when you're alone, I think. Easier to give up. No one's watching, and all you have to do is stop moving your legs when it gets to hard, it's just that easy. Sometimes in life, when things get hard, it's easy to think that all you have to do is just stop trying, just give up, it would be so easy! But somehow, we... and I, kept moving. You pray hard and you just keep moving, and you make it.

I’ve also thought about human nature quite a bit on my runs. We have been sent down on this earth to be tested and tried, to endure what comes to us. We are stretched beyond what we believe to be our limits. When I did my 20 mile run, I listened to the song “child of light” where it says “you were made to shine, you were meant to fly, child of light”. That line has really motivated me… I was made to shine, to fly, to achieve great things. I am a daughter of God. And although a marathon may not seem very “eternal” in nature, I think the lessons and the realization of what I can accomplish if I desire it has had a lot of spiritual implications for me. It has helped me realize that I can do really hard things. Things that I didn’t even think I was capable of doing. Heavenly father made me that way, and I want to live up to my full potential.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tough Love

Today in RS we had a lesson on courageous parenting.  I piped up at the beginning and shared what I thought the phrase meant... things like not being afraid to confront your children on hard issues or things that might be uncomfortable (especially as the world gets more and more wicked).  Then some other ladies shared some good thoughts, all very different from one another.  One comment particularly peaked my interest.  Sister Clark said that as she was raising her kids, she wanted very much to be their friend so that their children would feel comfortable coming to her about anything.  Then she added, but it took a couple of children for me to figure out that what my children really needed was love with boundaries.  That they wanted boundaries, they wanted someone to give them guidelines and set up rules. Now I don't want to say this is was a complete shocker, as I plan on setting up rules and guidelines for my own children, but the fact that she said that her children wanted them (of course, any teenager wouldn't admit this, but deep down I believe it gives them a sense of security and a feeling that they are cared for). 
Anyway, I continued to ponder on this for a while throughout the lesson.  I am terrified for my children to become teenagers, quite honestly.  I want sooooooooooooooo badly for them to want to come to me with any problem, so that they can feel that safety and security in coming to me.  However, I also know that if there aren't boundaries and limits that we set, we ultimately will set ourselves up for failure.  My children need expectations set in place for them.  So how do you achieve the balance of being a "friend" enough for them to want to come to you to talk when they may have a problem and setting high expectations for them, too?  If they feel like they have failed you (not met those expectations), they would naturally shun away from talking to you about what they have done wrong.
I'm not sure I know where the balance is, but I would like to. 
I also wanted to thank dad for what he did for me as a teenager.  I know mom and I would butt heads a lot, and it really wasn't a great relationship for a lot of healthy learning and spiritual growth (sorry for being a pig-head, mom!  thankfully, our relationship is fabulous now :)).  But Dad was somehow always patient with me.  He would try to understand why I did the ridiculous things I did, and when I didn't have a good answer for him, I knew I was wrong.  I would always walk away from our talks knowing that he loved me very much, but that I needed to shape up  (whether or not I did was a different matter... but I think I turned out ok).  That's how Heavenly Father would do it, I think.  Call us to repentance and to straighten up, but to just as quickly pour out His love for us.

Man, parenting is a lot of work.  It gives me a headache :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

THE BIG 12

The first thing I'd like to say that no one has blogged since December. I turned 12 yesterday. It was a great experience. At the beginning of church I went up on the stand. They gave me my certificate of advancement from primary. Then I gave my article of faith. The 11 article of faith. Then I went to normal class. Then I went to deacons quorum. I loved it! My teacher is great. Then after church I went to go get ordained it took about 10 minutes to finally get my mom and dad down to the Bishops office. We went in there and the bishop talked about being a deacon. Then he asked my mom and dad to tell what they liked about me. Mom said how I am a hard worker. How I like everyone and love to be silly and tease. She also said that I have a pure and obedient heart. Dad added a little more. He said that when I play sports I care about my teammates and want them to succeed. My dad also said that I was a great uncle. The bishop told me I had great parents and they had a great kid. The bishop told me to be careful during my teenage years and to be aware that Satan wants to destroy me and to get me to do bad things. My dad ordained me to the Aaronic priesthood. He told me that I was blessed with many talents and abilities from the pre-existence and I was to use them to be a blessing in the lives of others. He told me to prepare to serve an honorable mission and that being obedient and doing my duty in the Aaronic Priesthood would help me to prepare.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

All About Whit

The scriptural phrase, the first shall be last and the last shall be first certainly applies to the order of my wanderings down memory lane. We had been married a little under two years when Whitney made her appearance on earth. From the minute she was born she carried a heart warming smile and happy disposition. She was a beautiful (a bit round) baby.....I remember thinking that she was the prettiest baby I had ever seen.....and to show I wasn't completely biased, we had many other non-invested observers who drew the same conclusion. Her fun personality matched her good looks! With the exception of her screaming period from 9pm until Becky returned home from working at the MTC cafeteria, she was the perfect baby. But for that last hour each night, she really tested her lung capacity and my patience. The rest of the time she was an angel and would entertain us with her cute use of the infant version of the English language. Her favorite saying was daba daba daba, which interpreted means my dad is truly a dapper dad! She was also very photogenic and would pose with a wide open mouth smile whenever the camera came around. She loved coming to my basketball games when I played at BYU. She would sit on Mom's lap and not move a muscle for the entire game, mezmorized by the movement of the players and the squeaking of the shoes on the floor.

We have lots of fun memories of Whitney when she was young. She played a really convincing Goldilocks in the Kindergarten play. When those three bears showed up, there was no doubt that she was really sacred! And then there was the science fair that we worked on together. Whitney's idea was to invent a hairbrush that would eliminate static....the "static-free" hairbrush I think it was called. We were all very excited to learn that her idea won first prize in her grade and that she qualified to move on to the school wide competition. While she didn't win the free trip to Acapulco, we were very proud of her efforts and ingenuity.

Whitney was very smart and particularly good and figuring things out. She was also intrigued by new challenges. In Boise, I was trying to figure out how to assemble a newly purchased barbeque grill, Whitney at age 9, came to my rescue and helped me figure it out. I felt a bit inept, but was impressed with her ingenuity. In Ohio, Becky was really worried when Whitney wanted to jump ahead of most of the kids in her grade and tackle Algebra. We worked together many hours to help her make the cut and while there were a few worrisome hours, she stuck to it despite her mother's desire to throw in the towel and try again the following year. I was also impressed that she became such a talented artist. Becky and I have zero talent in that area so it was amazing to us the things she was able to do artistically and that she continues to be able to do with her artistic talents. Martha Stewart has nothing on her!

One of the scariest moments of our lives was when we were at the Odgen City Mall. Whitney was almost three years old at the time....we had gone into JC Penney and Whitney wanted to go with Becky into the dressing room as she tried on some clothes. I thought Becky knew she was following her but she did not. When Becky returned and Whitney was not with her, we went frantically searching through the entire store. It was closing time and the storefront doors had closed and Whitney was no where to be found in the store. After what seemed like an eternity, we were notified that she had been wandering through the mall and had been found by an elderly couple. She was happily eating ice cream when we finally got to her....at that point we were able to take ourselves off of the respirator. I had never felt feelings of anxiety and desperation like I had in those fifteen minutes.

As the oldest in the family, the many moves that we made as my career unfolded were hardest on her. Mom and I always worried about Whitney making new friends and feeling connected. Over the years she made many good friends (some of which Lindsey tried to steal away). The Boise crew that included Brittney Viehweg and Brittany Mitton were a lot of fun! They would come over and stuff pillows inside their shirts and play like Sumo wrestlers bouncing off each other and being really silly. Whitney always beamed when she had her friends around her....they seemed to add confidence and help her shed some of her natural shy tendencies.

As Whitney moved into her teen years she decided to test our mettle a bit as she became interested in boys and other things. I will never forget the time I gave her four or five chances to tell me where those CDs had come from. She would not cough up the requested information, even though I knew where they came from. New Year's Eve was the night that she proclaimed that "we had ruined her life" because we wouldn't let her go where she wanted to go and with whom she wanted to go with. Despite her minor rebellions, I always knew Whitney was good and true at heart and that she just needed to remember her divine origin and heritage and that she would come through those years despite some of the negative influences of friends (even church friends that were not quite holding on tight to the iron rod) and sure enough she came through with flying colors. Once she was able to get over the homesickness of being off to college, she really embraced the blessing of being at BYU-Idaho and later at BYU and prepared herself to become a wonderful wife, mother and a very talented young lady. She is a great wife and a very patient mother - devoted to loving and teaching her children to choose the right. I love and admire Whitney very much and I am thankful to have her as my daughter!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

mental toughness

I can not believe 2 of my favorite teams lost. The Boise State game was the worst game I have ever seen in my life. 9 out 10 guys on there team could have made a 26 yard field goal. Dad could to. I am still mad about that. There is a kid on our basketball team named Briggs. Heres what happened with the game on the line 1 of our teammates shot a 3 and got fouled. He made the first one then the other team called a timeout to ice him. But that is not what iced him. Our teammate Briggs was the one doing the iceing. So we think he iced the Boise State kicker even though Briggs iced him he still should of made it COME ON MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Same thing with BYU Briggs iced the guy that was suppose to block the guy that blocked the punt COME ON MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Momma Raised Her Babies Right

Since Lindsey decided to one-up all of us kids by writing her "Ode to Father" last week, I decided I would write my own Ode... to my dear mother.

Have you ever played the Worst Case Scenario game?  It's a game that provides you with outrageous situations where you have to decide your best exit for survival.  For example, how would one cross a piranha-infested river without a boat or bridge?  Mom has taught me some excellent tips on surviving even the most extreme conditions in life, so that I feel like a boy scout... well prepared.

To start, Mom taught me that when you're under the gun to impress your new ward members that you can make a perfectly round loaf of bread for the ward casserole potluck, you must always add sugar to your yeast to help it grow.  It never fails.  I always have the most impressive loaf at all the ward functions.

Mom taught me to work hard.  Just last week I was telling Adam that Lindsey and I would mow the lawn every Saturday morning when we lived in Ohio.  It was no small yard and I felt pretty awesome that I was a girl AND I mowed lawns.  Super macho.  I gained some nice biceps in the process of pulling the cord 846 times to start that stinkin' mower, so I'm pretty sure I could handle a piranha-infested lake with my nicely-toned guns .

In the area of tying knots, Mom taught me how to tie a perfectly proportionate bow so that I never have a sloppy looking gift to give or wreath to display.  I'm pretty sure the same bow would be strong enough to hold the rope on a bridge with 3 elephants.

Mom taught me to fight off the bullies.  I was as awesome a kid as there ever was, and some of my classmates were intimidated by my sheer awesome-ness as a kid.  So in defense, some of them would make fun of me so that they could feel better about themselves.  Well, when I told mom that the other kids were making fun of my bug-eyed-stellar glasses, she marched right into that school and talked right to the girl that was making fun of me.  Now I can beat off the verbal abuses of 28 bullies at once with the mere flex of my pinky (skadoosh!!)
*This bullet was inspired by Kung Fu Panda

Mom taught me how to inhale a book.  Mom loves to read, and even though I don't read as much as she does, there's a reason for that.  You see, Mom is a temperate reader, she's learned to control and balance her life around reading.  I haven't mastered this yet.  If I start a book, don't talk to me until I'm done.  I can't even take care of my own children when I'm reading a book.  So I'm grateful to Mom for instilling in me the love of a good book, and cursed for it all at the same time.

Mom taught me how to study.  When I was 14, a freshman in high school, I took a BEAST of a Biology class.  It was HAAAARD.  Especially for a 14 year old.  Mom would sit and study for hours and hours with me though.  She would read the material beforehand and sit with me at the kitchen table for hours learning about the Krebs Cycle and meiosis and the role of the Golgi apparatus within a cell.  All this studying allowed me to take some insane classes at BYU, which made me look like a smarty-pants, which landed me the world's greatest husband.  He was attracted to my knowledge on the subject of Pathophysiology.

Mom taught me what it meant to be patient.  Mom and Dad didn't always live in a nice house... in fact, they lived in apartments until I was like 7.  Mom's always had a love for beautiful things though, and she learned to live within her means.  Mom also had Nathan, who was about 3000 times harder a baby than us angelic sisters, and her experience in learning to be patient with him helped me immensely when Hallie was driving me insane when she was little.  Now I can handle any crazed baby with all sorts of tricks and techniques... although I never ever ever want to... ever again.

Mom taught me how to clean.  This one's been on my mind a lot lately as we've been showing our house to renters.  I have to keep the house clean ALL THE TIME, and it completely stresses me out.  I don't know how mom did it like the 86 times we moved.  That's some serious skill.  Her cleaning skills could compete with Chuck Norris' roundhouse kicking skills.

Mom taught me to care for others.  Mom's always been an amazing friend to others.  I've seen it numerous times with the friends she's made.  Pam, Shauna, Vanessa, and many many others.  Mom has also been there for me when I needed a friend.  When I got rejected by a boy in high school (he obviously couldn't handle my awesome-ness), when I was having a rough semester when I first got to BYU, when I wanted to shoot myself in the foot after I had Hallie.  My heart has repaired from the rejection, I learned to eventually like BYU, and I still have my foot.  All because of Mom.

Most importantly, Mom taught me what it meant to love the Lord.  I've grown up and moved out of the house, and in so doing, I've had to decide if what my parents taught me was something I wanted to live by.  Seeing the great example of Mom in her visiting teaching, in praying and teaching us what it means to have a testimony and how to rely on the Lord and to just have faith has taught me more than any of these other great skills.  And that's what has helped me survive any "worst case scenario" the most.  I'm grateful to mom for instilling a love in me for the gospel and a desire to do what's right.  It's why I have such a great husband, kids, and such a happy and peaceful life.

I love you, Mom!!

Whit

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I think it's about time for one of us to talk about our parents. I will post about Dad this week since he posted about me last week. Here are some fond memories that I remember:

  • On any given road trip (short or long) Dad would always tell us to run into the gas station to grab a treat. This was always a special occasion for us girls!
  • Dad was and is always positive (except after a loss coaching Nathan's team). All jokes aside Dad has always been very calm with each and everyone of us despite how dumb his daughters could be at times!
  • Every Sunday I would make No-Bake cookies and the main reason I would was because I knew Dad loved them! He probably ate 5, 6, maybe 7 cookies at a time! :) I don't know what it was exactly, but just the satisfaction of pleasing Dad meant a lot to me! And Dad if you really didn't love them, then you fooled me!
  • I never worried that Dad would raise his voice or have an argument with Mom. This brought me great comfort knowing that Dad always loved us and Mom so very much!
  • Whenever we would be on the road (driving to our vacation spot) we would always stop at one of Dad's malls so Dad could check it out. I actually loved doing this because I loved to window shop! Good times...Nathan would have hated that!
  • I knew Dad worked hard so that we could have things we needed and even things we wanted as well. He sacrificed so much for me so that I didn't ever have to go without.
  • I remember one occasion when we lived in Copley, OH. Whit and I were in the middle school. She was in 8th grade and I was in 6th grade. We had our new school outfits and much to our chagrin our choice of clothes were very uncool! I mean seriously...plaid vests and over sized Christmas sweaters were pretty lame! Well, mom had just bought us new GAP jeans that were straight legged and unfortunately REALLY dorky! I felt like the biggest loser going into the 6th grade because apparently bell bottoms were back in from years ago. I REALLY wanted flare jeans so I could at least look cool being a new student and all. Whit and I confronted mom on the issue and she told us that she had already bought us new jeans and that we would have to wait to get new jeans. I remember crying in my room because it meant so much to me to not stand out...in a bad way! Whit and I told Dad about it when he got home and he immediately said we would go to the mall that night and we each could pick out the jeans of our choice. Looking back I chose some UGLY jeans but I will never forget going to school EVERYDAY in those jeans feeling a little bit more cool! Thank you Dad for understanding how important that was to me to feel cool! I will never forget that day and how grateful I was to you!
  • Even though I couldn't hit a ball or even throw a softball for that matter, Dad helped me by spending time in VA throwing the ball to me over and over again (even when he knew it was pretty pointless)! Seriously though because I wanted to learn how to play softball he helped me to become a little bit better.
  • Dad understood how important vacations were! When I suggested going to Florida for spring break he took it literally and planned such a memorable trip for our family. After that he took us every year on a fun family vacation....Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, Mackinac Island...and then I graduated sadly! Good times!!
  • I am also grateful to that you have wanted me and my family to stay here in Rexburg Idaho. It definitely makes me feel loved and I appreciate all you have done to help our little family! You are a huge influence in our lives and especially in mine! Thank you for being a wonderful example of how a parent should respond to their child! I could keep going on with fond memories but to wrap this up I want to tell you....I LOVE YOU!!! and THANK YOU!!! For you and Mom are the reasons why I'm where I am today!!!
Lindsey Jo

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Hello Family.
I apologize for the extended delay. As far as updates go, just real quick. I'm really excited for the Morris family to be moving in our realm. It will be joyous to have the family together.
Last Friday, my roommates and I pulled some pranks on some of our ward buddies, hence the picture to the left. We were bandits...but were caught in the act.
This semester has been really great. I've slowly but surely been progressing and growing closer to my Father in Heaven. I've been called as a Sunday School Teacher and have learned a great deal. I taught from the book of Jeremiah concerning our covenants and writing the law upon our hearts. So I'll just share some thoughts about what I learned as I prepared for my lesson:
Having our Father's law written upon our hearts is a process of coming to know our Father--it's a much more personal covenant than the covenant during the times of Moses. We have the blessing of the spirit to receive our own revelation. This process also allows us to access the atonement and to receive the forgiveness He offers.
I know that as we act upon promptings we receive, the process will be edifying and sanctifying as the Holy Spirit attends and we devote our agency further to God.
Anyway, I love you all!
Kelsey

Lindsey Jo

In keeping with my theme of recording memories and thoughts about each of our wonderful children, Lindsey is next on the docket.

Lindsey was born right after Becky's grandfather passed away. Grandpa Parkinson would always give us a $50 bill when we came to visit him and Grandma Parkinson in Idaho Falls. We were almost shocked to find that Grandpa P. hadn't tucked a $50 bill in her hand to bring with her on the day she was born. Not so ironically, a couple of weeks later we were at Becky's Aunt Roma's house and Harvey tucked a $50 bill in Lindsey's diaper, which Becky found when she picked up Lindsey......so maybe there was a roundabout connection to Grandpa after all. We picked the name Jo as Lindsey's middle name in memory of Grandpa Joe Parkinson.

As a toddler, Lindsey's true nature didn't always shine through. She was a bit feisty and strong willed. As she grew past the terrific two's, her loving and kind nature began to shine through. She quickly became a very kind and thoughtful child - often she would be most sensitive to others needs and wanted to help make others feel better. She loved small children and was the first to volunteer to babysit whenever she could. She was also quick to listen and to think deeply about the things she was taught and was willing to act upon them. One time when we were living in Clovis, NM we pulled into Sonic Drive Inn (our favorite place to eat was Poor Boys), but this was a Sonic day. After getting the car hop delivered meal, we were ready to return home but our car would not start. We sat puzzled at what to do after trying several things to get it started. Lindsey, calmly said, I think we should pray. Well, we did and sure enough after the prayer, the car started and we were able to return home. Another time we spoke to Lindsey about her mood swings. She did not dispute our counsel, simply listened and really worked hard to over come it and did. She has always been determined when she sets her mind on achieving something and sticks with it until she conquers or completes what she sets out to do.

Through all of her years of school...grade school through high school....Lindsey made friends very easily. In fact, Whitney would hesitate to bring her friends over to the house for fear that Lindsey would steal them away. She also had a very fun and sometimes silly streak in her, especially when you put her in front of a video camera. The actress in her really came out. I still like the commercials that she, Whitney and Alaina Tegland produced in the family room of our home in Copley.

As a child Lindsey had a great love for animals. She loved to go to Grandma Crandall's house to play with bunnies. She was also heart broken when Kelsey accidently smothered "Hammie" in the blankets. (I think she lost a bit of her love for animals after that traumatic experience). Her cousins always loved it when we would come to Idaho Falls to visit. They would be waiting on the front porch for her and Whitney and played long and hard until the minute we had to return back home. The departures were always sad as the cousins would be standing in tears as we would drive away.

Lindsey had a bit of tomboy side to her, yet she has always been very feminine and lady like. She had interest in softball, so we gave that a whirl but she go never make the over the shoulder catch or could drive the ball much beyond the infield, but she tried hard. In high school, however, she picked up the lacrosse stick and in a short one season of playing became one of the better players on the team. I always felt bad that Revere didn't allow the Copley girls to play after that season. I think Lindsey would have been a really great player had she been able to continue.

After high school, we were pleased with Lindsey's desire to attend BYU-Idaho. Okay, maybe it wasn't a very intense desire as she really preferred to attend the Southern Virginia University, yet we were glad she followed our counsel. After just a few short weeks, we were very pleased when she called to report, with a lilt in her voice, how much she loved BYU-Idaho. Given her self-proclaimed "I am not interested in boys" position, it was quite a shocker to learn that after just a few short months that she was seriously dating Stu (some cowboy guy from Washington). We met Stu for the first time at Smitty's in Idaho Falls, now Stu's favorite restaurant, and loved him from the very beginning. Happily they were soon married and we really enjoyed having them and Stu's family come to Ohio so we could share in their excitement with all of our wonderful Ohio friends. Later, when we decided to move back to Rexburg, the most exciting part for us was to be able to be close to Lindsey and Stu and their wonderful kids. We love that they come and see us everyday. We love the way Lindsey and Stu are teaching and raising them to be great kids. We are very happy and grateful grandparents and very blessed parents to have Lindsey as our daughter. We love her and her family very much!

Love Dad



Sunday, September 26, 2010

turkeyface

HEY!!! TURKEY FACE!!!! you are a big tf

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lindsey's Favorite Hunter!

Did you know that I love to hunt? It is one of my favorite things in the world to do. Some of my fondest memories in the world were hunting in the mountains with my dad, Larry B. Draper. Playing catch in the yard was fun. Cutting trees down in our forest and chopping firewood was hard, but I enjoyed that time with my dad as well. Planting the garden. Going snowskiing. Going waterskiing. Mountain climbing. Going on youth temple trips. Youth conferences. Wrestling tournaments. Letters on my mission. He was always there, setting the best example he knew how, and always taking the opportunity to tell me how much he loved me and cared about me.

I remember watching my dad on the stand at church, and hearing him speak, and thinking, "if I can just be half as awesome as he is, I'll be one amazing man!" Just recently I checked and I'm about 1/8th of the man he is. Which is fairly decent in my opinion, but I'm not settling there. Every day I try to be better, and I try to do what the Lord wants me to do, not just the things that I have seen my dad do.

This last week I had the opportunity to go hunting in the South San Juan Wilderness Area in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. We camped at about 11,000 feet and often hunted in elevations over 12,000 feet. Tyler, my younger brother by just 18 months and one of my best friends, and my dad, who is now 56 and still hiking higher and faster than me, tromped around for 40 miles according to the Garmin GPS device that my dad brought along with him, and we didn't shoot a single deer. To give perspective of just how unlucky that is, my grandpa Jones who is now 80, two cousins, and my aunt, all shot their own deer in one day and they didn't hike more than one mile that whole day!

We will have better luck next time...because you can't have much worse luck than that, right?

One principle that my dad taught my brother and I while we were in the mountains was that if we want to show our wives that we love them, we need to take them to the temple. He said, "kissing, buying flowers, doing the dishes, and playing with the kids so your wife can get things done are all great ways to show you care, but true love to your wife is shown when you take her to the temple to show her that you value and care about your eternal relationship with her."

I love Lindsey. I'm going to take her to the temple more.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I Made it to the Top!!!

Ok so here is my latest adventure. Five months ago I received the calling I have always dreaded-Girls Camp Director!!! Wow- I was trying to find a way to move, get really sick, have a baby, go on a 3month vacation, or have a child get married so I could gracefully bow out. Since none of these options materialized I decided I would just have to dig in and learn how to be a camp director. My first decision was to have the girls go on a hike in the Teton Mountains. Now their are little wimpy hikes and their are moderately difficult hikes and their are really hard hikes. I decided that we were going to do the Grand Daddy Hike-Table Rock! No pansy hikes for us! I had always wanted to do this hike and so now I had the opportunity to inflict my goal on others and make them suffer as well. So I started to prepare, I lifted weights and ran stairs and thought I was doing pretty well until we decided to climb the Butte mountain here in Rexburg. I was pathetic! I was huffing and puffing and really out of shape. I thought -Oh great, Table Rock is only 20 times longer and a lot steeper- no problem for this iron woman. It became necassary to increase my efforts to get in shape and that I did. I ran and ran some more and did 12 sets of running stairs instead of 6. The day of girls camp finally came and I have to admit I was scared. What if I didnt make it to the top. What if I made a fool of myself. What if I died on the trail. Well the first 4 miles were beautiful and not to hard. Wild flowers and waterfalls everywhere! Crossing streams and almost ending my hike because one of my shoes started floating away and a quick young woman grabbed it before it was hopelessly lost in the current. The last 2 miles of the hike were very steep and rocky. The best strategy for me was to just put my head down and keep moving. The goal seemed so far away and impossible but I just thought baby steps, just keep moving. The last few yards were pretty straight up and you used your hands to keep going up. A few of the young women were on top and they kept yelling encouragement to those of us below. It was very inspiring. Well I finally pulled myself on top and it was BEAUTIFUL! You could see forever- the Tetons were so close it felt like you could reach out and touch them. Wow! It truly was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. We had 22 girls make it to the top along with 25 adults from the ward. It was a great bonding experience.
I learned that as we persevere in doing hard things that great blessings will follow. If something is hard, dig in keep trying, pray for help, and the joy and blessings will come. I believe this is a true principle of life and part of our Heavenly Father's plan.
I love you all and I'm so proud of you all and the good lives you lead. I'm so glad I get to be with you all forever.
Love The Mom or Honey (Tate's new name for me!)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Don't get Spued!

So, I sat for a couple of hours thinking of what I should spend me time writing about.  And lest the wrath of the blog-nazi fell upon me for not posting in time, I decided to post about the very same. =D

It was not very many years ago that Whitney and I were married and we began something wonderful.  I always knew that Whitney had some spunk, and good bit of drive, but I didn't realize how wonderfully driven she really was until the past couple years.

I'd say the first few years of our marriage, especially with school, Whit was pretty timid in many ways, and even shy, almost to the point where it would hold her back.  Mostly, she didn't want to offend anyone or hurt feelings...let's just say there were some inconvenient situations she found herself in, just to avoid potentially inconveniencing others...yeah, it killed me! =D  But, I love her for it.

These past couple years though, amidst all of the crazy moving, school, and tests, more children, Whitney has been nothing short of inspirational.  The sheer amount of things she has done (not to be eclipsed by the amazingness),  is pretty cool to think about.  It is so much fun to see her take the creativity that has been sleeping for so long, and watching it transform food & frosting into something amazing.  Or to see her dream up a new design and having to McGyver some mirrors here, and some 2x4's there.  Sometimes I envy her drive, because most of what she does not come out of necessity, but from her intrinsic desire to always be about doing and doing good, and her propensity to create beautiful things from seemingly nothing.

I always knew I wanted a woman who knew what she wanted in life.  And i can tell you that those prayers were answered.  Whitney's passions enrich our marriage and our family more than I ever could have imagined. 

The scripture in Revelations comes to mind, "I would thou wert cold or hot.  So because thou art lukewarm...I will spue thee out of my mouth." (um yes, Whitney is HOT!).  What the Savior is teaching in this passage is that he wants us to choose, and not sit on the fence, and to make those decisions on our own, for "it is not meet that i should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant."

So aside from not wanting to be a sloth, I do want to be a wise servant.  And so it is important that I find a way to have drive in my own life and do thinga not because I have to, but because I truly feel that they are important, and good, and what the Lord wants me to be doing.

I'm a lucky man!  You all are great!  Whitney and I thank our Heavenly Father nightly for the wonderful families that we are a part of. 

I hope all is well wherever you are, and whatever you may be doing.

-ADAM-

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Jesus we need to know

I listened to a talk by Brother Wilcox this week and this is what I learned:
The Lord loves to fix the broken heart. We must offer what we have in order for us to be mended and He will bless us ten-fold.
We are to love openly and freely. Do not be defensive. Change is wrought through love. Love is at the center of God. Reach for that center and it too can become our center.

I start school in a week and a half. All of my classes are pre-requisites for the social work program. It should be intense but rather grand. I am also going to be on a student council committee this year. I'm very excited to be getting more involved.
So! that's about all. Love you all fam.
Kels.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Nathan's Highlights of the Summer!!!

  1. Magic Mountain!
  2. Byu Basketball Camp!
  3. Disneyland!
  4. San Diego!
  5. 1st Place in Pocetello Tournament!
  6. Playing Golf this Summer!
  7. Boise Basketball Camp!
  8. Playing in the Tournament of Champions!
  9. Playing With Friends!
  10. Playing Basketball at the Church!!!! Thanks Dad!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Draper Summer Fun in Idaho

The Drapers have had a great summer so far! We have been swimming, going to the sand dunes, floating (see picture), Jackson Hole, Bar J Wranglers, camping, running a 10K, boating, fishing, golfing, Bear Worldx20, the Zoo, Rigby Lake, campfires in the backyard, Jones Reunion, WASA, fireworks, parades, BBQs, and sadly we have to work sometime in the middle of all this fun! It's been a great summer...you really have to take advantage of it when you only get 2 nice months out of the year to enjoy good weather!

Stu has been working really hard to grow Get Found First and a lot of changes have occurred just in the last few weeks. New employees hired on, new ideas, and all great things! Linds just goes crazy with a daughter that can not figure out to pull her chubby legs up and move! She would be a lot more content if she could move. Tate is fun and of course every day asks me where are we going mommy as soon as he wakes up. Never happy to just be at home...hence the bear world times 20 add in...I'm not kidding! I'm also running twice a day which gets a little old but my race is coming up soon! I'm cleaning the houses during the 7 week break students are out of school. Rexburg seriously is a different town during these short weeks...I pretty much love it!

Here are 3 short clips to summarize Stu's day to day and Lindsey's day to day:


We love you all!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Little Sweet Voice Kelsey

As a reminder, I have chosen to write memories about each of our wonderful children in ascending order. Nathan was the first since I needed to submit something for his class, so this week I am priviledged to write about sweet Kelsey. Kelsey came into the world upside down, but has been right side up ever since. The doctor was so upset with the attending nurse because she had not detected the fact that she was breach. Fortunately, she was quite small (just over 5 lbs), so he was able to deliver her without great complication. Since Kelsey was a little girl, she's had such a good sense for right and wrong accompanied by a strong desire to please Heavenly Father. Her early years were frought with sickness as she was pretty tiny and seemed so fragile. Her voice carried a squeeky high pitch and while it could be a bit annoying at times, it was also very cute and endearing. When we lived in Pocatello we dressed Kelsey up in a fancy Christmas dress and she played a starring role in all of the holiday advertising that we did for Pine Ridge Mall. The "camera lady" did everything in her power to get Kelsey to smile, but she was having one of those no smile days! We finally had to go with the solemn look. She was accompanied by an elderly lady in one photo and the caption read, "for kids from 1 to 92". I remember when quite a few tears were shed while living in Boise when Kelsey tucked Hammie into a tight area wrapped snuggling in one her toys for a long nap....it turned out to be a longer nap that she had expected. In Virginia, she and her sugar baby friend got into the food storage and her friend thought it might be fun to toss sugar on each other and everything else in the basement. To this day, she claims it was all Cassie's idea. We still believe you Kelsey! Kelsey started developing her talents more fully when we moved to Ohio. She began singing with Summit Chorale, began playing the piano, and joined the Middle School Band. We loved going to her concerts, recitals and tolerated the band concerts the best we could. In time, she and her "bandaleros" became quite talented. She took up precussions because she wanted to be like her friend Sarah Davis. While Sarah was a good girl and role model, we are glad Kelsey became Kelsey rather than a Sarah clone. Before we moved to Rexburg, Kelsey and two of her her band mates performed a rousing number on the zylophone that brought the house down. I remember feeling so very proud of her and how great she had performed. I felt similar feelings when we attended her Summit Chorale concerts, especially at the Christmas concert held in the cathedral in downtown Akron. I am glad that she and mom were able to make the trip to Germany/Austria the summer before we moved so she could have one last memorable experience before leaving her good friends in Ohio. I was so impressed with Kelsey when we decided to make the move to Idaho. In fact, she had her answer that we were to go before we did. And while those first few months as a junior in high school, in a brand new school, without friends, was not always easy for her; yet she never complained or murmured about the difficulty. In fact, she got involved in a number of ways from music to student government. Her senior year was filled with one activity after another; mostly due to her involvment on student council, and she had more friends than two hands can count. In fact, there was often a trail of kids coming and going from our house on most weekends. While we didn't get a lot of sleep those nights we were happy that she was so happy. Mom and I are very proud of Kelsey. We trust her to make good choices and to follow the Spirit. She is very spiritually mature for her young age and has a great love for Heavenly Father. We are excited to see her continue to grow and watch her make good choices that will bless her and our family throughout her life. We love you, Kelsey!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Finding Sanity in an INSANE World

This week has been absolutely INSANE at the Morris household.  My friend and I started a Dessert Table/creative blog and we've already partnered up with a wedding and reception center here in town as their exclusive dessert buffet vendor.  We are putting together a birthday party this weekend, I'm also helping with a baby shower the same day, doing a cake the next weekend, and then putting together an AMAZING dessert buffet for this huge bridal fair here in town... which has to be done the weekend after that, right before we leave for vacation again (and hope that Adam isn't fired by the time he gets back, since he's taking so much vacation this summer).  It's a little overwhelming, but it's very very exciting for me.  This is what I love to do, and it brings me such great joy to see other people's reaction to these tables.  I feel like I've found the perfect medium to express my artistic (not crafty) self.

Adam was also gone this week for High Adventure camp.  I realized while he was gone, that Adam is definitely my better half.  I was doing pretty good, keeping my cool and even keeping the house clean, but by Saturday, I was bitter and angry with the whole world.  I had my little breakdown when I first heard Adam's voice for the first time in 6 days, but after being with him for just a couple of hours and letting out all my frustrations,  I felt like a new person.  I could cope again, and I didn't want to eat my children for dinner anymore.  I'm so grateful for such a wonderful husband who keeps me grounded.  Without him, I'd be in the loony bin, no doubt. 

There are times when this life is hard, when we just don't want to be patient anymore, but, we are here on this earth to finish the race.  In today's sacrament talk, the speaker told the story of John Stephen Ahkwari, who ran in the 1968 Olympic marathon.  Ahkwari had been badly injured during the race, and finished, with a mangled and bloody leg, over an hour after the winner.  When the interviewer asked him why he had finished the race (as he knew he had no chance of winning), Ahkwari looked at him and said, "You don’t understand. My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start a race, they sent me to finish it.”  We are not here to just start the race, or to even win it, but just to finish it.  For a short video on Ahkwari's race, click here.

Anyway, sorry for the disjointedness of this post,
I love you all!
Whitney

P.S. here's my pictures from our trip up to Idaho, we'll never forget it!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Galatians 2:20

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me".
Galatians 2:20
I came across this scripture this week and absolutely love it. Paul is speaking and I admire his relationship with the Savior and also hope to come to come to know the Savior to that degree one day.

Life is going wonderfully. I will be starting a class called Global Climate Change next week. Should be interesting. Ha and I will also be starting a craft camp here in a few weeks. Whitney helped me plan it and gave me lots of ideas. Shaving snow cones just isn't quite enough of a job so having little girls come to my house should help me reach my savings goal for the summer. I will keep you further updated on how it goes!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why did you have to leave Whitney!!!! I am very mad!!!!!!!! You should live here so you can come when ever you what toooooooo!!!!!! Come on Whit!!!!! It seems when you get here you leave the next day!!!!!! I guess you don't like me do you ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nathan

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Colors

Dad asked me to post this about 3 years ago (ok maybe just like 3 weeks, regardless, a WHILE ago).  Also, I'd like to take this moment to thank Lindsey that I asked her to post... and she did it!  No nagging required.  Let me just say, that this is going much better than I thought (with the exception of Kelsey, ahem).  Thanks to everyone for being so AWESOME.  Now enjoy the video!

http://www.greatdanepro.com/Colors/index.htm

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!

Happy Birthday to the BEST Mother! Thank you for raising me the way our Savior would want you to! I appreciate ALL you do for me and my little family! Sydney for sure has her number 1 favorite and I'm happy to say it's you! She couldn't have a better example and hero to follow! I LOVE YOU!!!

YES IT'S LINDSEY'S TURN...PLEASE APPLAUD I DID IT!

Tate's Birthday Party was last Friday and he had a blast! We had Mom, Dad, Kels, Nate, Deb, Larry, Kim, Cassidy, Courtney, Carter, Tyler, Sara, Landon, Cohen, Travis, Monica, Grandma/Grandpa Jones, Rod, Amy, Kaden, Jaren, Tyson, Talon, Diane, Jimmy, and Bentley. Yes, quite a party! We had grilled chicken, watermelon, plenty of sides, and of course cake and ice cream! I made a bean bag toss, a cake walk, and had chalk for coloring in the driveway! When it was time to open presents...let's just say that Tate should just get one present because that's all he has attention for! He was so excited to open it and wanted to play with it right away that when I forced another present on him to open he got REALLY frustrated! Well, note to self: open one present a day next year :)

As you can tell Stu's family was starting to get into town and they all finally got in by that Sunday. We all went to St. Anthony and stayed at a cabin there. Good memories were made but I learned a few lessons on the way....

We all get frustrated with each other and that will just happen but the way we handle it is vital! We can not let frustrations brew inside. We must communicate with each other and discuss our feelings so that we can forgive and forget. We must remember how Christ would want us to act and react in any situation we find ourselves in.

It's good to give ourselves a time out and think what we might say before we say something that we might regret later. It might even be beneficial to have an emergency response answer when we are feeling angry or irrational. EX: Can we talk about this later after I think things through more clearly? Then you most likely won't be kicking yourself for words you may say that you did not truly mean.

Talking behind other people's backs in a negative way is not Christlike. If we have an issue with a specific person please go to that person. It's not beneficial to talk to everyone else instead of directly speaking to the person that you have an issue with. This causes feelings to be hurt and a barrier will be made that will take time to break down. Stu is a great example of not doing this! Whenever a sibling of his talks to me about another sibling I of course want to tell Stu what I heard. He will cut me off and tell me he would rather not know the gossip that is being spread around. We must stand up and not take part of this hurtful process. No good comes out of it! Stay close to the Lord and he will direct thy path.

I love you all and I truly want us to be strong as a family! Don't let Satan in! He will find his way through any crack and get in and destroy! We must make sure we are protected at all times!

-Linds


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Finally Summmmmer!!!

I'm happy to say that tomorrow is the first day of summer and Rexburg took a while to get there but I think we are there yea!!! Whitney I took Lindsey's spot because I don't think she will get to it. ha Linz! take that! I'm reponsible! what now! take that! Here in Rexburg it has been very cold. I have hated it. I am very happy that Whit is coming out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry my post is short sorry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nathan

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Hello Family!

Dad and I are going to alternate blogging assignments so you have to deal with me this week. Dad is going to talk about each child during his turn (Nathan was his first victum so the rest of you will soon follow) so I will turn elsewhere for enlightning topics and insights.
I want to share with ya'll (a little Texan flair!) my experience with family history. Ok you can all stop yawning and pay attention. I have never had much interest in doing family history work, that is for old people, no comments allowed! Before we left Ohio I had a strong feeling I was to get involved in finding ancestors to do work for. I thought Yeah Right! I will never be able to find anyone, my mom had done all she could and was at a dead end. Richie gave me a blessing when we arrived in Rexburg and I was told I was to do something with Family History every week. I excercised a little faith and enrolled in a Family History Class at BYU-Idaho. Great Class but I didn't reallly learn anything about how to research and find lost family. I then volunteered at the Family History Library and I went there once a week to be trained. What a disaster! I was a total dunce! I really was amazed at how dense I was. None of it made any sense. It was a mass of confusion! I'm sure they still tell Becky stories down there to this day. To say the least I was discouraged. I decided to do indexing and I worked on some of Brad Unsicker's names but I still felt like I had failed. Well along came New Family Search and I took a class on that and when it became available in our area I cautiously tried my hand at it. I played around with it and talked to this one lady in our ward who gave me some good advice and then I played around a little bit more and then I found a name with a blinking green temple sign( this means temple work needs to be done) I was so excited! I called up the lady in our ward and she walked me through the steps on how to print out their name to take to the temple. It was one of the happiest days of my life. Sundee then showed me a couple of tricks and I have now found a couple of hundred names. I have also been able to help others find family names. What a Joy! The experience in the temple with some of these family names has been very sacred. I have a strong testimony that we are acting as Savior's on Mount Zion when we seek out our kindred dead. How grateful they are! How blessed we are to be able to perform this work for them. So my experience retaught me that when the Lord commands just go and do it and even when it looks impossible keep pushing forward and the way will be opened for miracles to occur. Truly this was a miracle for me. I adore you all and Iam so grateful that I get to be with you all forever. You are my favorite people. Thanks for your light and inspiration.

Love Mom

19 more days!

Hallie and I made the countdown-to-Idaho-paper chain this morning!


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Well, two tests down and two to go.  Audit is next, something miraculous needs to happen so I don't die studying it...seriously, Whit thought I went into a comatose seizure because drool started streaming from my mouth.  Joking aside, it should be a fun summer for us, not the least of which because we get to head up north for a week or so!

The bishop had a fireside for the youth this evening, and though I wasn't too excited to leave my family to attend, I definitely was blessed for doing so.  The bishop talked to the youth tonight about having the Holy Spirit in our lives.  It was interesting as I sat there, on several occasions I had flashbacks to my mission where I had to put forth considerable effort to ensure that I had the Spirit in my companionship.  It was a great reminder that we have complete control over the inclusion of the Spirit in our lives.  Our bishop remarked that there are several things that we can do to immediately bring the Spirit.  And this is where some of my mission experiences came to mind, haha, in fact, they all involved the same companion, bless his Canadian heart =]  Singing hymns, saying prayers, giving service, and performing priesthood ordinances are all ways that will bring the Spirit immediately to you.  And how important is that?  I was also thinking a couple times today about teaching and learning, particularly by the Spirit.  I'm sure we've all felt at times during a lesson or whilst studying, the 'understanding' that comes when the Spirit is teaching you.  It's almost surreal, as truth and doctrine is made perfectly clear to you, not only to your mind, but to your spirit also.  And when you subsequently try to go and teach that to someone with the same clarity, and intellectual description just can't do it justice, because that type of truth depends little on the spoken word.

Tonight was an excellent reminder to me, to actively seek to have the Spirit with me.  Hey, if I'm lucky, maybe the Spirit is an expert on the Audit CPA exam...wouldn't that be fantastically superb?

We love you all!

P.S.  I'll fix the picture up north sometime soon...maybe =]  It may be a great vehicle to motivate you to post on time.  Perhaps we can call it the wall of shame.  I can erase your picture if you don't post, and you can't reappear until the next time when you get a chance to post in a timely manner

X^D

So I'm not dismissed from the family...

I was told last night by my dear sister Whitney that if I didn't post by the time she got on the blog tonight, I would be dismissed from the family. So...here I am. Thanks Whit. You're great.

The latest update: I work at Snow Shack. I don't know who would want snow cones in this freezing weather but if you do, then I'm your woman! I must say I've become rather skilled in the art of snow cone making. No, it is not a craft. I tried a new flavor this week-banana, cotton candy. It was delicious.

I've been spending time with Tate and Sydney almost every morning. I'm so grateful to live close to the Drapers. Without them I would have no motivation to get out of bed in the morning. Tate comes in yelling, "HEY UNCLE KELSEY!" It's the best alarm clock I've ever had. After I crawl out of bed, Tate and I hide from the monsters as Sydney purses her lips and flaps her wings. They truly do bring joy to me every day....so Linz, stop apologizing for dumping your kids off at our house. I love it.

I've been studying faith in the scriptures and have learned a great deal. The more I learn it feels like the less I know. Maybe that's a good sign. I plan on writing a paper about faith and I may just have to share it with the family when I am through.

Well....love you all!

Kelsey

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pictures are worth a 1000 words anyway!

I just realized that you can't simply copy and paste into this stupid thing! So what I wrote will have to come in my next post.
























UPDATE:

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Nathan is Student of the Week
We were asked to write up few things about Nathan to be presented to his class this week as they honor him as student of the week. So Mom and I thought it would be a good idea to post this entry on the blog and then to write our memories of each of our wonderful children. So, we will work from last to first over the next few weeks recalling things we love about each of you. It should be a fun walk down memory lane for us. We love all of you very much!
First, let me say that we love having Nathan in our home!! We love going places together and doing things together as a family. He often has interesting thoughts or ideas that he likes to share with us – often making us smile or chuckle. He is like having a best friend and a son all wrapped into one.
When he was little, he could never sit still. He had to be held, or walked around, wiggled or jiggled or he would cry his eyes out. We spent much of the first year of his life trying to keep him from crying. As he grew a little older, he was not quite as “fidgety” but still liked to be on the move and doing something all the time. He definitely won’t ever be a couch potato! One of our favorite things that we started doing when he was about two years old was going to watch Cleveland Indians baseball games. He would sit intently in his seat and cheer when the fans cheered. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought he was born an Indians fan. I also took him to watch the Kent State vs. Bowling Green basketball game when he was five years old. The hometown team, Kent State, led the entire game until about two minutes to go when Bowling Green finally took the lead. Nathan started to cry uncontrollably. I expect people thought I had hurt him somehow. I tried and tried to get him to stop crying and finally gave up and left the game before it was over.
Nathan has loved to play sports ever since he was a little boy. We would play basketball games down stairs – it was imperative that he win or he was an unhappy camper. We often played baseball outside with his neighbor friend David, but when the weather was bad we would play in the family room, often the ball hit things that were not meant to he hit. I was amazed at how well he could hit my fastest wiffle ball pitches at such a young age. He is now quite good at basketball, baseball, football and even golf. We love to watch him play and love to play with him when we get a chance. Nathan loves games of all types and is a good sportsman. He always wants to win, but is also concerned about playing fair and being respectful of the other team.
When Nathan was about three years old he wanted to help me do yard work. Because he was so small there was not a lot that he could do, so while I mowed the lawn he would get his toy lawn mower and follow me around the lawn while I cut the grass. I am quite sure he thought he was the one actually doing the cutting. I never told him otherwise.
My scariest moment with Nathan was at a Salt Lake Bees baseball game when he was seven years old. After the game ended, the announcer invited all of the kids to run the bases. Nathan went down on the third base side where we were standing and after rounding the bases, he was directed up into the stands on the first base side. By the time I worked my way over to the first base side he had gone up the stairs and I could not find him anywhere. We spent fifteen of the longest minutes of my life frantically looking for him. By then most everyone had cleared out of the stadium and I was certain someone had abducted him and he was long gone. After checking with security, asking people if they had seen a boy wandering around, and praying as hard as I knew how, I then went back down to the field and climbed up on top of the dugout and began to yell, please help me find my seven year old son!! There were not many people hanging around at that point, but in my desperation, it was all that I could think of to do. Finally, a security officer approached me and informed me that they had found a lost boy. I rushed up to the concession area to find him sitting with another security officer eating popcorn - without a care in the world. I cannot, even to this day, express the gratitude and relief that I felt in that moment. I suppose it may be a little bit like what our Heavenly Father feels when one His children choses to return to Him. I can't image and don't want to image what life would have been like if Nathan had not been found!!
Nathan has always been a kind and obedient son. He loves his older sisters, Whitney, Lindsey and Kelsey. He is a great uncle to his two nephews and two nieces. He loves to play with them and makes them feel very important. He always is of good cheer and has a way of making others around him feel happy.
He is everything we could have hoped for in a son! We love you, Nathan!!
Dad and Mom

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Kick off

Ok family,

It's time to kick off our family blog again! So here's how it goes. We will take turns blogging each week. I'll start, since I'm already here, and then Mom and Dad will have next week. Lindsey and Stu will take the 23rd, and Kelsey the 30th. Nathan, you can post if you want to, but we won't make you until you have the priesthood :) So enjoy the next 9 months. Now, I WILL hound you. I'll call you on Sunday to remind you. If I don't see a post by 10 pm MST, I'll call you AGAIN. If I don't see one Monday morning, I'll call you every half hour until I see one. So you better just get 'er done quick.

Today we went to see Adam's cousin's farewell. I was a little grumpy about it at first, I wanted to sleep in on Mother's Day, and I didn't want to haul across town. I like my ward, and I wanted to go there. I even told Adam to take the kids, and I would go to our ward later. Haha, BAD ATTITUDE. I got over my grumpiness though, and we went to the farewell. It was lovely, but truth be told, I had a better experience just sitting there with my little Hallie. She didn't want anyone but me all Sacrament, and we sat there and sang songs quietly in our pew, played a few little games, and just did what we do during Sacrament meeting. Hallie was SO good though, and so cute. It gave me a lot of time to really reflect on motherhood and the trials and rewards that come along with it. I thought about myself as a mother and to resolve to do better in certain areas. I love Mother's Day for that reason. I often think about the kind of Mother Mom was, and the kind that I am. I try to put myself in my kids shoes and think of what kind of mother I would really like to have as a 3 year old or a one year old. And mostly, I'm just grateful to be a mom. I get jealous from time to time of those people who are married without children, and think of all the freedoms they enjoy (they are DEFINITELY ignorant to a degree of this magnitude of freedom). But then I think about the joys that I have in motherhood as I watch the women go to school or work, and I don't envy that part of their life. I love being at home with my kids. It is the most rewarding job ever it brings me great joy and happiness, and I know it's exactly what I am supposed to be doing with my life.

Happy Mother's Day