Friday, April 18, 2008

A Hate-Love Relationship

Our dear Harris is intense at everything. He intensely loves and hates everything. A few days ago, he walked out into the kitchen in the morning after getting out of bed and saw a bowl of Oatmeal on the counter awaiting him. He jumped excitedly onto his chair and cheered, "Yes! I love Oatmeal!" and ate away.
The very next morning was completely different, except for the Oatmeal, as Harris again entered the kitchen to see his bowl of Oatmeal on the counter and yell, "MOM! I hate oatmeal!"
The truth is I almost started to try and reason with him, but with such counter statements, what's the point, this kid is truly not at a logical stage, well at least at the age of 3! What a joke! I never know what reception Oatmeal will get, but really, who cares, at least they aren't starving, right? I only wish they could understand that!

Courtney Visits!

This last weekend, we were fortunate enough to receive and host Courtney Guffey. My brother Kevin, or Elder Bell, is currently serving in Tennessee on an LDS mission and returns home this September, YEAH!!!! Anyhow, in his last area, Kevin was able to teach Courtney Guffey, and then later baptize. She was reportedly GOLDEN and has remained extremely faithful and true to her testimony since her baptism. During her new member discussions she expressed some concern on finding "good Mormon single boys" and her frustration with being single and feeling old. Kevin felt I might best serve her since I felt the same frustration for many years, years ago and gave her my dad's phone number to find me. She soon thereafter contacted me and throughout our conversation I mentioned how moving to a highly Mormon concentrated area would help her pursuit, if her prayers were also answered accordingly. Anyhow, she took the idea very seriously, as well as her great desire to see the church's headquarters and visitors sights. She arrived on Friday afternoon and was able to spend the entire weekend with us until her departure on Tuesday afternoon.

During her stay we were able to tour BYU, UVSC, The Pioneer Memorial Museum, Conference Center, Temple Square Visitors Center, Temple Square, Joseph Smith Memorial Building, as well as watch the Joseph Smith Movie at the JSMB.

The Pioneer Museum

The Conference Center Rooftop

Temple Square North Visitor Center

Courtney was also able to experience Utah as she attended church with Collin in the singles ward, hung out with Collin & local singles, attended an amazing Real Salt Lake soccer game, enjoyed Hogle Zoo w/ the little ones and I, settled an ongoing family debate between the restaurants Cafe Rio & Bajio (Cafe Rio won!!), and meet our local family members, including our grandparents Harris.

Courtney was a pure delight to have around and such an inspiration as she so greatly desires to be around those who shared her love for the gospel. It was so wonderful to see her quest to buy a matching hymn book to go with her scriptures (that her loving and supportive non-Mormon mother bought her for her baptism) before she went home.

Her conversion was plain and simple, she met the missionaries casually through her friend who was reactivating herself and took the first lesson, hoping not to be snowballed into becoming "churchy and preached to" and then felt and recognized the power of the Holy Ghost as she, even surprising to herself, firmly answered, "Yes!" when the missionaries surprisingly invited her to be baptized during her second teaching; 3rd meeting, with the missionaries; Elder Bell and his companion. Since that moment, she laughingly admits she has become more churchy than she was afraid of becoming and loves to be "preached to" concerning the gospel.

Our favorite part was on Sunday when we were able to enjoy her companion with the family; Dad, Tammy & boys, Corbin & Diane, Brandon & Andrea, Grandma Bell, Megan, Collin, and our cousin Adam who happens to be staying with Gma Bell currently. (Pictures coming soon) Oh, how we miss Kevin, but what a wonderful opportunity to see the fruits of his labors so directly! What a joy to have been able to give Courtney the opportunity to confirm her desires in attending BYU, she is currently in the process of applying, and finding a Mormon social life!

Needless to say after such another eventful weekend, it is only today, Friday; the beginning of another weekend, that I finally feel as if life is normal again, so who knows what this weekend will behold?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My Weekend With Cardin!

I was able to spend this last weekend in Oklahoma with my brother Cardin. He has been living in Oklahoma for a year and a half while working in his residency in eurology as well as spending his very limited time on renovating an older home. I was so excited to go spend some time with him to help him continue to fix up his house and just hang out like the good old days before kids and husband. I arrived at midnight on Friday, and then we spent all Saturday working on the house. Who knew his front yard could be so beautiful after a good mowing and edging and his bathroom could shine like brand new. I was also able to meet his closest friends and other friends in his ward when we congregated for conference at a member's home. Then Monday after working the first half of the day, Cardin took the rest of the day off of work so we could play! We went to see a matinee movie, "21." It was so good and so nice to just relax together that as we walked out of the theatre, both very giddy, we remarked on our excitement followed by Cardin's plea and my quick acceptance to see another one. We then paid for and entered the theatre to see "Leatherheads." Thank heavens the theatre we were at only charged $3.50 per ticket so we didn't break the bank on our movie marathon. Both shows were really good and so good that we figured, "why not watch another one?" This time, however, we rented one and took it with pizza back to his place to enjoy. It was Elizabeth, The Golden Age, another great movie. Just thinking about our movie marathon reminds me of my mother because she was so excellent at "relaxing with a movie." The next morning, Tuesday, came all to early as Cardin had to drop me off at the airport to leave. I loved being with him this last weekend because it reminded me of many years ago when I would just hang out with him and Corbin. Such good memories, and such fun to relive them again! It's just too bad I had to fly on an airplane to get there and back! I hate airplanes! I threw up on 2 of the 4 flights. Which should only go to show how much I love my brother to be able to get on a plane for him!

Here are a few pictures from my trip at Cardin's home. Cardin's home. Isn't it a beautiful little cottage?

Here is a picture of Cardin's living room so you can picture him sitting on these couches when he is watching TV.

Here is a picture of his bathroom that he is very proud of because of all the personal touch fixtures he has chosen. The faucet is his favorite and he hopes to take it with him when he leaves the home someday.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Wasted Money

Earlier today as the kids and I were enjoying a snowy/rainy afternoon at our local McDonald's playground, Halen's was troubled with a bit of jealousy as she coveted the toy her friend had received in her happy meal. She started to beg me for one for her and I, like many times before, said "Halen, we don't have money to spend on a toy today." Recognizing the problem immediately she questioned, "But Mom, why can't we just waste your money and get one?"