Friday, December 19, 2008

Issue 30

Christmas Greetings!

Merry Christmas from our home to yours! We wish you the very best for the coming year. Please drop us a line and let us know how you are doing this holiday season.


Here are a few pictures from Whitney’s choir concert last week at Temple Square, that I was too tired to upload last issue. They sang again last night at the school choir concert and they sound great!

The Merit Badge Haul

Merit Badges Steve L. earned this quarter:

Top row: Scholarship, Sculpture, Art

Bottom row: Theater, Personal Management, Personal Fitness

Steve L. just left for a winter scout camp and I forgot to have him tell you about his new merit badges. I am so proud of how hard he worked earning these merit badges. He really owned the process and saw all six of them tenaciously through to the end. I think the Personal Fitness and Personal Management – both required – are two of the hardest merit badges to earn. A big thanks to Grandpa Andy for helping Steve earn his Scholarship merit badge!

Here’s to 16 years!

This week Steve and I celebrated 16 wonderful years of marriage. I’m not sure where the time has gone, but we have 5 beautiful children to show for it. Steve had business trips to Georgia and Minnesota this week and is off to scout camp this weekend, but managed to be in town on our anniversary. (He doesn’t always travel so much, the trips just always seem to come back to back.) We went to Tucano’s Brazilian Grill at the Gateway for dinner (sooo good) and to the movies.

These pictures were taken last week before we went to Steve’s fancy work Christmas Party. I was feeling like I needed a pick me up from a rough week, so I had my hair done up for the first time. It was just the lift I needed.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Anatomy by Janey

I consider the creative projects and artwork my kids come up with, on their own, my salary for this full time mothering job of mine. I have found them to be especially inspired at bedtime and my requests for lights out are often met with begging for just a few more minutes to complete some project or other. Janey came up with this 4 page masterpiece while we were on a date the other night.

Create by Noreen

At the start of the new school year I found myself searching for the next thing to stretch myself and inspire my children. Steve suggested taking up painting (which he knows I have always wanted to do), but I dismissed it saying I needed something more academic right now. Then I attended the Women’s Session of General Conference at the end of September and President Uchtdorf spoke right to me. In his talk he said, "The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before. Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty. Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty. . . "

And so, my ever wise husband knew what I needed all along. By the first week of November I was enrolled in an oil painting class one night a week and it has been a joy to create. In a high school art class I did a black and white oil painting, but this is my first ever color oil. I hope to improve a lot over time, but it has been satisfying to finally start on this life long dream.

New Zealand

While staying at the Bay of Islands we took the kids on a boat tour out to "Hole in the Rock" and a dolphin watching cruise.

A view of The Bay of Islands
Hole in the rock. We saw (and could almost touch) dozens of playful dolphins on our way to the rock. We took lots of video, but didn't get any great dolphin pics.

A natural rock formation that looks just like a woman's profile.

To see a map of the places we traveled so far in this series, click on this link: <,172.875366&spn=8.067848,12.128906&z=6&msid=116765397961150020384.000451b63510a46db34d4>