Thursday, October 6, 2016

What a fun summer! 2016

I don't think we had a more intense summer as the summer of 2016! It was the summer to see family, and it will be remembered. We started in California to see Smith cousins and extended cousins there and then down to Disneyland (see previous post) and then a month later we were out to Iowa to see our Smith cousins. We had so much fun playing together, swimming together and making memories. After a few days in Iowa we continued on to Illinois to visit the Trost cousins. We played, swam in the pond, ate bunches of fresh blackberries, caught fish, went to Nauvoo and celebrated Ammon's 3rd birthday! It was a blast! Then we went home and started camping. We camped with the Weisenbeck cousins at little Moab and hiked on the rocks and drove on Uncle Dave's four-wheeler. Then it was camping with more Smith/Beach/Beesley cousins at Bear Lake. The Lake was beautiful, the water warm and weather perfect, the nights were cold! The first night was in the 30s and we were cold, but we adjusted for the 2nd night and it was a great experience. We sure loved to see all our cousins inside and outside of Utah. Family is where it all counts! Can't wait to do it again. 

With Iowa cousins: Ammon, Micah, Audra & Eden (above), Alma, Ava, Alyia, Enoch and Jonah  

 With Illinois cousins: Camron, Joey, Alex, Enoch, Eden, Kori, Jesse, Micah

We took a picture here last time we were in Illinois, but now there are 5 kids! It's fun to see how we have grown.  

Making a giant sand castle with grandma Sarah: Luke, Eden, Ethan, Enoch, Aubrey, Madilyn, Grandma

Ammon with his favorite cousin Aubrey, these two were inseparable  

 Micah with his T-ball team, he is the second one on the left

Camping at little Moab: Eden, Lynsie, Enoch, Camille, Micah, Karla, Alma, Trent and Ammon 

Aaron's summer project now done! His giant swing set, this sure has been fun for all of us! 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Team Smith - 10 years strong!

This summer we celebrated our 10 year anniversary! Time sure has gone by fast, and it sure has been fun! We have 5 wonderful children and a lot we have learned. We know the next 10 years will be full of that same growth and learning. For our 10 year anniversary we went to California and visited Nate and Jessica and then headed south to L.A. and went to Disneyland and the beach. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun memories made, how grateful we are for the fun times we had and the more to come.
 Ammon riding the steam train with our cousins

 Karla with Jessica and baby Jordyn

 in our family T-shirts with Minnie

 Eden and Aaron at Eden's favorite ride

 Micah at Jedi training school

 Eden and Enoch at the castle

 The entire clan at Cars Land with Mater 

 At the beach, the tide filled up the pool the boys had dug 

 Visiting Grandpa Louie 

Eden and Karla 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Being Prepared

Yesterday was a good self-check day on personal preparedness. It was a normal Sunday, I put a soup in the crockpot and put together the breadmaker to make an easy dinner for Sunday. Then, just about an hour before our dinner was to be ready we heard a loud BOOM sound! I ran outside to see if Enoch was o.k. He just looked at me and asked "what was that?!" We looked over two houses down and saw on the power pole in their back yard a piece of the generator hanging down! For some odd reason the power generator blew and killed the power at our house! The power company was notified and they began work right away to fix it, but being such a big problem there was no way this was going to be fixed right away. I then thought: "I have bread in the bread machine, that only works with power, how will we cook our bread for dinner?" Enoch reminded me that we have emergency food in our food storage, we can just eat that. I told him we have enough food, we just need a way to cook it without power. Then I remembered, we have a sun oven! I bought it a year ago and have used it a few times to practice cooking in it and now today was the day to put it to the test. I pulled it out and put it in the direction of the sun and let it warm up a little. Then I got the bread out of the bread machine and just placed it in the oven. Because it was so late in the day, the oven only got to about 340 degrees, but after an hour the bread was perfectly cooked and golden brown! It was some of the most amazing bread we have had and there was not a piece left of it by the end of dinner. It wasn't until almost 10pm that the power was restored, over 5 hours later, we were glad that we not only have food prepared for emergencies, but we also have fuel for emergencies as well, fuel from the sun!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

To rid ourselves of worldliness

Recently I began reading a talk that I found on my book shelf from President Bednar when he was president of BYU-Idaho. I was there when the talk was given and vaguely remember the talk. What was interesting was the date the talk was given, on September 11, 2001. Of coarse we all remember the day, but other things of significance happened as well on that day. He spoke of learning line upon line in ancient times as well as in modern times. One quote stuck out to me as I read through his words. He said: "The process of discerning between my will and God's will becomes less and less of a concern as time goes by and as we strive to rid ourselves of worldliness." Recently I have felt I've been lacking something in my life, trying to feel satisfied with what I do day in and day out. Kids can be exhausting and I feel I need a break at times, but my breaks don't renew me and I feel I need more of something. I found myself opening up the news when ever I had moment when the kids weren't needing me. All this 'news' seemed so exciting to me and gave me the outlet I thought I needed. But as I thought of President Bednar's words, I began to think, "do I really need that much 'news'? that much 'worldliness'?" So I made a new goal, I would only look at the news once, only spending 10-15 minutes each day. Now when I have a spare moment I don't jump to the news and more information, I find myself looking at what my kids are doing to find a space to play with them, or reading more of the scriptures or the words of the living prophets. I have felt a difference in my heart, in my desires to feel satisfied. The spirit has filled that gap as I put away more worldliness and filled it with more things of the spirit. I'm still far from perfection, but I feel that I can get closer to him by seeking more often the spiritual in small and simple ways.
 Team Smith
Most recent family picture 

 I thought this picture was classic 

This also describes a day in the life, 
I think our family was a little too big for their picture frame, oh well...

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Sacrifice for love

I'm doing my best to have patience and love for my small children, especially the little boys. Last week I was at the edge of my patience with them and found me putting one in time out and letting the other cry while I took a break in my room to regroup. I fell to my knees and prayed for help. I didn't want to yell or get upset with the situation at hand, but my patience was getting thin. I then got the thought, or impression, that I should cut my hair. Not the answer I was expecting to get, but it was an answer. You see, my boys, when they get sad and clingy, they love to hold my hair for comfort. But recently it's not just holding my hair, it's pulling my hair and I feel I don't have control or freedom in any situation when they have me gripped by my hair. I don't like short hair, it's been 9 years since I cut my hair shorter than my shoulders. I thought about the idea and the thought of a conference talk came to my mind that was given just last October by Elder Lawrence called What lack I yet? He spoke about being humble and teachable in following the promptings of the Holy Ghost. I thought, I need to follow this impression if I want the Holy Ghost to keep guiding me, so I did it! I picked up Eden from school later that day and her and I went to go cut my hair. The little boys have been surprised that they can't grab my hair anymore, but I feel I have more love and patience and I'm not being controlled by them anymore, I can be controlled by my love for them now. I decided that I love my boys more than my hair, and my hair will grow back, and by then, they hopefully won't have a tendency to grab and pull it as they used to.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Learning through a friend

There is a sister that I used to visit teach until she was married a year ago and moved into the neighboring ward with her new husband. I was assigned to be her visiting teacher because not all people can put up with her and she doesn't put up with a lot of people. She is a sweet sister but has been challenged in this life with mental disabilities. She can't read past a third grade level and her thinking is a lot like a child. Once she was married and I did not visit teach her anymore I thought she wouldn't call me anymore. I was wrong. She still calls me to talk and ask me for a ride here or there since her and her husband don't have a car. Sometimes her requests are bizarre and the timing isn't the best. I've learned to be honest and tell her 'no' when I honestly can't help her and know she doesn't take offense. The other day the realization came to me about my friend: She doesn't need me as much as I need her! I thought, 'when this life is over and she is not burdened by these handicaps brought on by mortality, what will she tell Jesus about me?' My heart began to change, instead of looking at her phone calls as a burden I began to see them as an opportunity to serve God and His children. Didn't Jesus say 'I was an hungered and you took me in, naked and ye clothed me, a stranger and ye took me in...' Yes, I need her more than she needs me. I can help her with a ride to the store, the doctor's office, or the laundry mat, but I need to learn to love ALL of God's children and to serve them as I would my own children. Thank you God for sending me this friend to teach me not to be so self-centered, to look out instead of in, to love instead of spite. Yesterday was her anniversary, I was so grateful for my friend that I baked her a cake for the occasion. Thank you Amanda!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Strengthening the weakness

I love reading the Book of Mormon, it is by far my favorite book. I'm so glad we are learning the Book of Mormon in primary, I love to teach it to my primary class. Right now I'm reading in Alma with captain Moroni (I know this was Mormon's favorite Nephite leader, why else would he have named his son Moroni?). In the chapters I just read, Amalikiah has taken over the Lamanites and is preparing them for war to take over the Nephites, he is very clever to take over the Lamanites and blind them to go to war. Captain Moroni on the other hand was preparing the Nephites for a war that is imminent. He prepares their minds in the ways of the Lord and in the fear of the Lord, he creates small forts of refuge for them and he fortifies the weakest parts of the land. As I thought of this it made me think of the war that we are in, we might not be fighting the battle now, but war with satan is imminent, he is preparing his armies to fight against us and we on the other hand can't sit back and just watch them prepare for war, we need to follow captain Moroni's example and do what we can to prepare to defend ourselves, our God and our families. I think of what the prophets have taught us in the last few years. #1: Keep the Sabbath day holy follows the idea that Moroni helped prepare the minds of the people in the ways and fear of the Lord. #2: Small forts, this is definitely the Temple of God, a place we can go to as a place of refuge from the war around us. We must find ourselves here often. #3: Fortifying the weakest part. Now this made me think...what are my weakest parts that need strengthening? This is different for each of us, for me it is being patient with my family. Showing an increase love at home with my children and with my husband. Satan is working hard to find our weakest areas and to destroy each of us and our faith by working on our weakness. I pray the Lord can help me see my weakness (I know I have many) and help me see how to strengthen them. As I continued in my study today, that is exactly where the Lamanites attacked, the weakest parts, but they had NO success, because they were prepared. The Nephites did still have to fight, and some had wounds, but no one died. Oh how I pray the Lord will help me strengthen my weakness!