Thursday, December 18, 2014

Missionary Work

My mom and Mara came to visit over the past weekend, and it was a lot of fun. We went to breakfast with Santa with the kids on Saturday and then a Relief Society brunch. We then went to Walmart to get a few gifts for the kids and ornaments for the tree, which we had finally set up on Friday night. The kids were so excited!

Sunday, we had a big "Christmas" dinner since I won't be making one on Christmas day. We had turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, and apple pie with ice cream. It actually wasn't too back-breaking. I wish fancy dinners never had more than 3 things to put on the plate. It's a lot easier to enjoy the day when I'm not asleep or dealing with a stomachache.

Monday, we went to story time. The kids were a little cranky and didn't want to participate much. Monday night, James and I went to see a move while Mom and Mara watched the kids (and put them to bed!) I liked the move (Mockingjay) even though it was pretty depressing. Darn you, part ones. I would gladly stay 4 hours to see the whole story play out!

They left on Tuesday, so I put the house back in order. Mara officially left for Mexico on Wednesday morning. I can't believe it! I wonder if I would have served a mission if the age were 19 and not 21. It's weird to think she'll be gone for 1 1/2 years, but I don't see some of my family members for that long of a stretch anyway, so it might not seem as long as if I lived at home with her.

I don't feel like I've ever been a good missionary, but I can't measure it just by people I've been responsible for baptizing (0). I always helped my family with the yearly "Christmas Card" night - watching the Nativity movie with the neighbors and having lemonade and cookies. I did talk about the Gospel at school and work, but usually only when I was asked. I took a friend to Church for several months, but nothing ever came of that. One day, I'll know if any of it made a difference.

I love family history. I suppose you could say it's like missionary work for the dead. I found it interesting at age 12 when my grandma died and passed on her work to my dad and me. I soon took over and have since learned a lot about the ins and outs of online research. I'm amazed every day by how much it's changed over the years and how much easier it is than it was 15 years ago. Technology is absolutely amazing. I recently found more people on a line that I've been stuck on for almost 15 years. I've had too many spiritual experiences to count in my research. I don't always know what I'm doing, but more than once I've been able to follow a trail of breadcrumbs to find someone. I know they appreciate it too.

Maybe my missionary work for now isn't so much with the living. That's okay with me. It means I don't have to talk to anyone, right? :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


We had a great Thanksgiving break in Rexburg. Everything went as planned, which almost never happens. Unlike the last trip I had to pack for, this one was simple, and I finished by 10 a.m. the day before we left.

We waited to leave until Wed. to avoid any possibly icy roads. Everything was perfect. The kids slept and/or watched movies, I went to Winco for the first time in 6 months and stocked up on spices/bulk items, and we arrived by 4 p.m. I helped make a few pies - French silk and pumpkin - for the Thanksgiving feast.

Thanksgiving day was very relaxing. My brothers went with us to Grandma and Grandpa's in Victor. The food was all amazing, but I had a terrible stomachache for the rest of the day, even though I didn't eat a ton. Katie was really grumpy because of croup, so we spent a lot of the day holding her.

I went Black Friday shopping the next day. I got a pair of boots for 20 bucks which would normally be 60. They are functional, cute, and warm, which is just what I wanted. It's hard not to own at least 3 pairs of boots in this climate: one for every day, one for deep snow, and one for Church. I still need some for Church since my others are about 3 years old now.

Saturday was okay. James went to a movie with his family, so I just sat around all day and played on my phone will the kids took turns napping. My brothers came over again, so we played some games after dinner. Cranium is definitely a favorite.

Sunday we delayed going home (and to a baby blessing first) because of Katie's croup. She didn't need medicine, but she had a really runny nose (and still does). She's been happy, though, so I can't complain. We had dinner with my brothers and played more games.

We drove home on Monday  (with one stop at Smith and Edwards) and got the house back in order, which included grocery shopping. I was up pretty late going through all the receipts from the trip.

I decorated our house for Christmas yesterday. Walmart didn't have any trees for some reason, so we're just using our small one, the artificial one-foot-tall one. As much as I love real trees, 35 dollars is a lot to pay for one, so we're not going to get one this year. I'm really close to considering a fake tree (bought on sale after Christmas) since we can't really cut our own and I keep talking myself out of real ones. I don't know. Either way, Christmas shopping is all done except for stocking stuffers. I've been listening to my Christmas list on Spotify, which is a pretty awesome mix, if I say so myself. :) I like having a good dose of MoTab along with traditional and pop songs. I can't begin to say how much I love using Spotify. The occasional ad is completely worth it, and it's saved me from buying a lot of songs over the past few years.

Well, that takes care of this week. I am feeling a lot happier about life than I was a week ago. Studying the scriptures for at least 20 minutes a day (which is a challenge) has really helped me focus on God's love for me. It's taken me all year, but I'm in Proverbs. I love the Old Testament, and I recommend it to everyone who has never read it all the way through.

Until next week!

And here are some sleeping beauties.