Friday, April 22, 2016

Genealogy at Temple Square

It's spring so this means that Temple Square is filled with flowers! So many flowers that my girls run to each patch to smell them all. But it also means more trips to SLC. 

Since Mike and I share a car once a week I will use the car to do the errands I need. So I wake up everyone really early so we can jam out those errands ASAP and get to SLC. 
Everyone enjoys Temple Square so there's no complaints waking up early. 

Everyone loves looks through all the clean windows and seeing all the beautiful sights. 

Everyone joking that they are touching Dad's windows. 

Besides the beautiful gardens we've been visiting the Family Search Center when we go. It's really amazing! 

(Hailey seeing how tombstones hold information we living family can use)

As a family we're really into genealogy. Hailey and Mason enjoy indexing (Plus it help with the skill of reading cursive writing) . Mike and I go on or to search the records so we can connect those names to our family trees. Lily and Cati.... they leave us alone so we can work. This is as much help as they want to give right now. But we'll take it! 

At the Family Search Center in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building there are tons of computers for people to start their search. And if you don't know how to start your search there are missionaries everyone willing to help you. 
Plus there's so much fun kid activities to do that logging onto a computer is much easier since my littles are preoccupied themselves. 

And the activities are all based on family history. Like fun ways finding clues from photos on what era a photo is taken. Finding information on a tombstone. Family crest. (<--- Mike has several since he line goes back to European royalty) And the best part no one cares about kids playing around. These places are so kid friendly.

Anyways the newest addition to Family Search is Family Discovery. There's a room adjacent that makes me more excited to do family history. 

While the kids play with these discovery toys and find clues all around the room Mike and I can play around with our family tree. 
After logging into our familysearch accounts on an ipad theres several docking stations in the room,

This station shows all your recorded ancestors and their migrations. On each circle face is the person's information we've collected. Like name, birthdates, birth place, etc. On Mike's (pictured above) some circle faces have stories along with it. Like his ancestor Bennett was a cousin of George Washington (meaning Mike is related to George himself) who was also Washington's personal body guard. How awesome! 

Another docking station is taking a photo in your native cultures clothing. So Mike is 50% American which is awesome. He bleeds Red, White, and Blue. Then he's Scandinavian, English, Irish, and a few smaller percentages. 


 This photo above is all about Mike. It's so amazing to see his nationalizes. For me here is what I found out.

 54% Mexican. Then 17% Polish, 17% Austrian, and 13% German. I had no idea. Family communication isn't the best so I'm learning more about myself through my ancestors.

Speaking of the importance of family communication. My father's side is a really tough group to gather any sort of information from. So much that I can't find anything past my father's generation. So when asked about dates, places, etc there's nothing coming back to me. So while at the Family Search center there's a website where you see who you're related too. Like any famous historical people. When Mike looked he had pages of people from Salem Witch Trials, Revolutionary War, LDS history, Mayflower, and Presidents of the USA (Obama too). But direct descendant from European Royalty.
As for me the website kept buffering trying to find something.... No luck!

Having this sense of not belonging anywhere I sent a very angry message to my father's family telling them to give a girl a break and give me the info. Whatever right! The info I do have has helped me find out this much at least.

Anyways back to lighter news before we left we had to take a photo of what settlers would have looked like exiting off their ship. Of course they had sunglasses and flip flops back in the day.

All in all this was an amazing day. I'm so thankful for resources like this where we can come, learn, and appreciate our family history. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Hailey's Testimony

Every Sunday is Fasting Testimony meeting at church. A day I really don't look forward too in all honestly. People saying the same thing over and over again.
Joseph Smith is true.
Book of Mormon is true.
There's a living prophet on the earth.
And sometimes a different person will change things up.

But today's meeting Hailey stood up and shared her testimony with everyone.

At the very end of the meeting she wanted to go up the the pulpit but wanted either Mike or I to go with her. I didn't want to go. Too many eyes looking at me that I would blush without saying a word. So Mike went with her. He sat next to her while she spoke her words
" I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know Jesus Christ is real. I know there is a prophet. I know we can live in heaven again."
When she sat down I asked her why she wanted to go up there. She said she felt she had too. 

Everyone is our ward thanked her for sharing. She was shy and a little embarrassed since she didn't know that people would come up to her afterwards. 

I was so happy that she got up. She's building her faith which means she's building her own testimony about this church. For years now she's had people telling her a whole bundle of junk that this faith is garbage. Which only fueled her desire to learn more and want to know why people hate Mormons so much. In her words, "We can all honor God in our own way. So don't hate me when I don't hate you."

Wise words from my 10 year old. 
So due to her and Mason's exposure to the opposite LDS life Mike and I do our best to show and display Christian traits. And I'm so thankful that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have helped us fill in those gaps and holes where we've messed up. Because of their help our children have built their own stead fast testimonies and are walking the harder road. 

So I guess she Hailey said she had to get up perhaps parts of that yearning was because I needed to repent of my bad attitude, love each person's testimony, be gentle with myself, be reassured that we all (Mike, me, and God) are making sure kids are on the right path, and to share my testimony with people more. For sometimes it's not for me but them. 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Mike's Team BBQ

The are so many reasons why I was thankful for this BBQ.
 Mike's workers were able to meet his family and WE got to meet the team he talks so much about.

So for the entire week we cleaned and prepared our yard. I'll post what we did later since we really transformed our yard.

Anyways the day of our BBQ I was so excited I hardly slept.
Guest arrived at varied times. So while everyone was getting here Mike and Connor (one of this team mates) played on the trampoline.

Civilize jumping turned into a trick show off. This was entertaining to watch. 

Now Mike's turn. Haha! This guy has so many tramp tricks that Connor stood and watched for a few minutes.

Mike made his Salmon Ladder. So everyone gave it a try. For being their first try everyone did great but no one made it to the top.
Once everyone got here we said the meal prayer and feasted on burgers, hot dogs, and potluck sides.

 Mike and Amber.
 Jasen and Danielle sitting on my brand new painted bench.
Somehow arm wrestling was instigated. Mike (red) won Mike (white) 

 So Mike (red) played Mike (yellow) which only added another victory for him.
Yes my Mike works with several other Mike's so he just calls each one by their last name so this is what I did too. But I don't want to write down their last names on here so everyone is going to be called Mike instead.

During the BBQ we played a couple of "Get-To-Know-You" games. This helped me get to know everyone better and helped those who were not on Mike's team also learn about the work crew. It was just fun! Everyone had to write down something no one knows about them and we had to guess who that belonged too.
Then we played a game where everyone had to switch sides of our clothesline if the statement applied to them like..... they play an instrument or went on a mission. I had a list of like 25 questions ; all those questions I would ask Mike but he had no idea- I finally put them all down and asked everyone.

But toward the end of the BBQ Mike presented everyone with awards. Working for the church there is something called The Leadership Pattern.

Every worker, manager, employee, or supervisor tries to work with these patterns in mind. So Mike and I thought it would be great to acknowledge each person for their hard work and contribution to their team. Mike really wanted this to be special so we ordered some plastic trophies from Amazon and labeled each one with a quality from the leadership pattern. Sure this might have been betrayed as funny but once Mike started his speech everyone got quiet and were happy to be recognized in front of their family and friends for their hard work. 

Jasen was awarded "The Spirit Award" - Following the direction of The Spirit. 

Connor was awarded "Direction" Award- Define Direction.

Mike L. was awarded "Organize" Award- Organizing the work. 

Each worker came up with such pride that finally someone is noticing their hard work.
Mike was awarded "Render" Award- Render An Account

Matt was awarded "Counsel" Award- Counsel Together

Mike T was awarded "Build" Award- Building Capability. 

After speaking a few words about each person and giving them their ward my Mike thought his presentation was over BUT it wasn't.

I sneaked another trophy inside his bag the night before with his notes that was labeled "Example" so he can put it on the table as a decoration. But actually it was for him. I stood up and talked to everyone how much Mike really cares for each person. I talked about how Mike wanted to be different than other leads so he made that change. He understands that he's not just given stewardship over his team for their work goals but also their spiritual, temporal, emotional, and live goals. I teared up thinking all those phone calls in the middle of the night. The temple dates with everyone. The long talks after their shifts are over. The weekend car repairs he does. I explained that even though he clocks out Mike doesn't stop thinking about everyone. He wants each person to become a lead themselves and that I hoped they would follow Mike's example of showing love to each one of their future teammates.
I really don't remember what I said. I was in the moment and guided by the spirit on what to say. But I gave Mike the "EXAMPLE" Award and everyone clapped for him.

(Sure some of his team were not able to make it he gave out those award at work on Monday. And those people felt so happy to be given an award and cheered for. The photo above is with those workers who did attend. One day I will get an entire team photo.)

Miss Lily wanted an award too for being awesome. Connor let her play with his but then it was time to give it back. Small and simple things can make a big deal to someone. 

While the adults did their thing and watched a movie since it started to rain the kids played some more.
It was such an amazing experience that we are planning another one for the summer months. Perhaps with Mike's entire group instead of just his team. 
I'm thankful for this opportunity to make new friends, to see my husband open up to his team and allow them to see him in a more personal setting. I'm thankful for everyone coming even though we live in the middle of nowhere. I'm thankful for the amazing leader my husband is. I'm thankful that he works on such a wonderful team where each person takes care of one another. I'm thankful for this amazing day. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Mother's Day Activity

Activity Day's for Hailey was all about "Loving Yourself"/ Mother's Day. The girls' leaders had each mother record how/why their daughters are beautiful. I talked about how amazingly loyal Hailey is. Time or Distance can never take away her loyalty to you. This is something I absolutely admire about her. And I spoke about her strong testimony in Heavenly Father. There are times where Mike and I have prayed for guidance on behalf of her, like homeschooling her, and she didn't get an answer in her prayers. But she trust God to lead Mike and I that she went along with it. This amazes me since I'm one that needs personal validation on life changes. She trust me and Mike to know what to do for her. 

Anyways on the day of her activity Mike and Mason were working late so I took along Lily and Cati. One of her leaders didn't like this but of course Hailey reminded me that this is a mother/daughter activity so it was perfectly ok to have all my daughters with us. See! She's such a gem!

The decorations were pretty, pink, floral, and chabby chic. All things Pinterest would have loved. 

Me with my sweet Hailey. I'm so happy she looks just like me. 

Lily reminding herself that behaving properly means donuts afterwards. 

My shy Cati. 

There was a table behind us where each girl showcased a few of their talents/hobbies/interest/skills. My Hailey showcased her love of cooking with a cookbook, sports with her soccer ball, reading with a book,  and art/crafts with a craft she made during activity days. 
But it was really cute how the leaders took the words their mothers said and made this Name-Art photos. 
 (this was not the frame the leaders put her name art into. But Lily and Cati accidentally broke it while Hailey was at her dad's house so they fixed it buy putting the name into a different frame)

Video recording was shown to all the daughters. Hailey and I held hands while we watched the video. She liked it a lot. 

And there was a craft that the mothers and daughter made. 

 Actually I didn't touch this craft. I'm all about support and having my kids figure things out themselves. After the leaders explained how to make these magnet boards, Hailey, grabbed all the things she needed and went to work. I sat beside her giving her words of encouragement and praise. She did a great job!

Afterwards there was cake and drinks for everyone! Yummy!

Here are my girls when I said to smile. Silly Lily never lets me down.

Now when I remind them I would like a nice photo. 

 The evening was amazing. And it had nothing to do with the activity. Yet again Hailey taught me something that only she could teach me.

While making the craft one of her leaders walked around making sure everything was perfect. Yes she's a perfectionist. And that's OK but then she rips Hailey's paper off her board and tells her to do it "like this". 
My jaw dropped! 
Hailey takes my hand, smiles, and tells me it's ok. I was going to go ape on this lady! How dare you tell my daughter to love yourself the way she is; then to do this because the paper isn't perfect. But being her kind self Hailey allowed the leader to "do it" her way. 
After the event Hailey tells me that this leader is always like this. That everything has to BE perfect. But how she's thankful that Mike and I have taught her to love everyone the way they are. And instead of getting annoyed with her leader she shows her extra love. ♥
Hailey tells me that she loves herself just the way she is because she knows God made her this way. And God does not make mistakes. So she IS perfect. 

I fought back my tears and sent up a prayer of thanks.

Being a mother is hard. There's so much to do, teach, watch, experience, hold, listen, scrub, remember, etc that I get burnt out. There's time I need time outs. Haha- last week I was so burnt out that I got into our car (even though we had friend over), picked up a smoothie, and just drove around listening to music. It's so nice to listen to entire song without hearing "Mom" coming from the backseat.
But being a mom in my opinion is doing my best every day. It's constantly informing my kids that I have no idea what to do in certain situations so I need their help making a plan. It's praying to God for my kids every day that he will fill in all those holes I made or left throughout the day. And moments like this, with Hailey, showing me that God really is helping Mike and I out. That this parenting is truly a 3 way partnership.

Man, I love Hailey! And it's amazing to know that she loves me too.

Temple Square with Lily and Ducati

Today was so busy. The day before Mike's Team BBQ. And the only day of the week I get the car. So I was running errands all day long. Picking up my store orders, going to the store for ice then forgetting it since I got side tracked with a different deal, going to the post office, blah, blah, blah. I was stressed. But then again I was too busy to be stressed so I grabbed an energy drink and completed what I could. 

After dropping off Mason and Hailey I had 90 minutes before I needed to pick up Mike from work. So instead of heading to Smith's I felt I needed to to go Temple Square and take in all those spring colors. Lily and Ducati were so happy to take a break from the running around. 

They were so happy to see all the flowers in bloom. 

It was a constant, "Mom take a picture of me with this flower." 

The temple square gardens are a place I take my girls to all the time and this was the first time this year we've been. Shame on me! 

A trip to temple square isn't complete without seeing the BIG JESUS (Christus statue) then running down the ramp like a roadrunner. 

After a quick potty break we came out and see this picture without a plaque. But that didn't stop Lily. She told Cati and I the whole story of Jesus' resurrection. But no bible story is complete without a few thy, thee, and thou's being inserted in random places. 
I was so (and still am) to know that every though she looks like she's not listening during scripture study she really is listening. Victory!

We only had a few more minutes before we had to meet Mike and continue our crazy errands. Ducati wanted to see the videos about the warriors who burned their weapons during the time of war. She loves that story and the story about the son had faith because their mother's taught them. 

But soon our visit had to end. Of course not without begging and bugging me to bring them back. I couldn't just say, Yes we'll come back. I had to give them a date on which day. So we agreed the following week after our field trip we'll come back and see the gardens again. 

I'm thankful that they love Temple Square as much as I do.