March 30, 2009

My Family is Forever

My family has died and we want to go to heaven. We've been taught about the true gospel of Jesus Christ and now we understand that our family can be seal together forever. This is the greatest desire of our hearts. We've come today to see if our work has been done and if we can progress as an eternal family.

This was the idea behind our presentation at church on Sunday. We were asked to represent a family that had passed away before learning about the restored gospel. We shared a modified version of my grandparents lives and deaths. At the end of our presentation we asked if anyone "had our names" indicating the completion of the temple work on our behalf. Eliza (Michelle) had her work completed and was able to progress with the three youngest boys. Matthew (David) was 8 1/2 when he died and no one had his name or mine (William). David and I were not allowed to progress. The point was that families want to be together but that is not possible until all their work is completed, for everyone in the family. And it was a heart-wrenching experience to watch our family be separated and there was nothing we could do about it.

We felt the spirit very strongly in our meeting and it helped to reinforce the importance of being married to the right person, in the right place, by the right authority. I'll have to admit that I didn't make it through the whole presentation without a few tears. In fact, I couldn't sing the intermediate or closing hymns all the way through. I feel so fortunate to have such a wonderful family and it brings me great comfort to know that we are sealed together forever.

March 28, 2009

Soccer: Game 3

This Saturday morning was cool and crisp. When the sun was shining it was a nice and beautiful day. When the clouds moved in it became cold and windy. What a perfect day for soccer! In spite of feeling a bit under the weather, our boys could not be detoured from playing today. And with the rain-out on Thursday they were geared up and ready to go.

Donovan had the early 9:00 game and was the first one from his team to arrive. I got to spend a few minutes working on a few kicks and passes with Donovan while we had the field to ourselves. Soon the coach and the other kids showed up and they began doing their soccer drills.

Donovan is still trying to get the hang of it but he is starting to recognize the object of the score a goal.

Today, Donovan (#7) score his first goal! This is the scrum just before the triumphant moment!

David (#10) had to sit, waiting with eager anticipation, for his opportunity to play. He was suffering from an intermittent cough but would let that stop him from playing with his friends. In spite of being slightly sick he was still out there playing hard.

David also scored a goal this morning. This is the kick that sent the ball to the back of the goal.

Michael and Aleky were not very happy about having to sit outside in the cold weather. Aleky was especially vocal about his displeasure. He came home and went right back to bed.

March 21, 2009

Let's Go Fly A Kite

Earlier today David was out playing in the back yard and he notice some young adults out flying a kite. It has been something we've thought about doing for quite a while. In fact, we had 3 kites hanging in the closet, still in the original store packages. Well, David decided that he wanted to fly a kite and wouldn't stop talking about it. (Sometimes it takes a little extra motivation to overcome the inertia of inactivity.) So Michelle agree to fly kites after Michael's birthday party.

After the party Michelle took a short little nap but that didn't dim the memory of an excited 6 year old boy! So when Michelle woke up she let me know about her deal with David. So out came the kites and off to the park we went (I love that the park is just on the other side of our fence!). Since we haven't flown kites during our entire married lives it took a few tries to get the kites up in the sky. After several attempt we discovered that some wind (or at least a gentle breeze) aids in kite flying. If there isn't any wind a run around the park can simulate a breeze.

We did manage to get the kites flying and Donovan and David were tickled to be able to fly the kites all by themselves. The only sad part was that the breeze was so mild that the kite flight was only a few minutes. But now that we've been successful we can do it again. Hopefully Michael is feeling better the next time we fly kites so he can enjoy the experience too.

Michael's Birthday Party

This was Michael's 3 year old birthday party.  We had our good neighbors the Simmons and the Johnsons over to celebrate.  Also in attendance was Uncle Kyle, Grandma Jones, and Aunts Trista & Larisa.

Michael ask for a special birthday cake and wanted Lady Bugs!  So Michelle created the Lady Bug cake.  It turned out very well.

He was very pleased with his cake and was excited for all of the attention. (This is still one of Michelle's favorite birthday cake creations.)

Michael got some fun presents and little help from his brothers to open them.

(finally posted 8/3/14)

Soccer: Game 2

Saturday morning: Game Day! Today is game 2 for both Donovan and David. Donovan hasn't showed quite the same enthusiasm and natural prowess for the game as David but he still loves to be out there with the other kids. With a few helpful hints Donovan is off...

And how does he play soccer, just go where the other kids are going. They must know something important.Well, he's still getting the nack of it. Maybe we'll have to practice a little more.

Aleky is still excited about the game. He's there cheering on his big brothers.

David's team was a little slow showing up for the pre-game practice so David got a little one-on-one coaching. A litte dribbling practice and goal shooting accuracy practice. Of course we're just here to watch the games!

David's team this year is quite an athletic group. Last year he stood out at the active athlete. So far, he's just one of the crowd. But this is a great break away moment in the game.

The coach is working on some of the more advanced aspect of the game. This game's emphasis: passing the ball to a team mate.

And just what are kids supposed to do when it isn't their turn to play. Keep an eye on the ball and discover the other team's weaknesses so that you can exploit them and score lots of goals!

We're pretty fortunate this season to have both boys games at the same soccer field and generally the same times. But we're a little concerned about any subsequent seasons and practice/game scheduling.

Ladybug Cake

Michelle was having a difficult time trying to decide what kind of cake to make for Michael's birthday. I'm not sure what happened to the old fashion rectangle with frosting and candles but apparently that tradition has been forgotten. So Michelle was looking through her idea book and decided to ask Michael what kind of cake he wanted. She showed him big truck cakes, action figure cakes, etc., and the last cake in that section happened to be a lady bug cake. The decision was made...Lady Bug cake.

I have no idea where that idea came from. Michelle had me look through the pictures to try and guess which cake Michael had chosen and I wasn't even close. I thought the bulldozer cake with an Oreo dirt pile looked pretty tempting. About the only thing we can figure is that the lady bugs were red which is Michael's color (for personal identification of his household items).

In any case, Michelle went to work. I'm no cake expert but I think she created another masterpiece.

Michelle working tirelessly to create the masterpiece.
Reverse angle (notice the attention to detail (caterpillar eyes, grass blades, pebbles, etc.)
The evaluation standard that Michelle uses for her projects is the reaction of the people involved. Michael woke up this morning, took one look at his cake and was so excited that he first covered his mouth in awe (no picture but it would have been priceless), second told Michelle how wonderful his cake was and third, he hugged his cake. Michelle was more excited than Michael the rest of the day!

March 20, 2009

Garden Preparation: Tilling the Garden

Michelle has gotten serious about getting her garden prepared so that she can get her plants in the ground. She hasn't worked out all the details for the watering system but she know where everything will be planted to maximize the garden space and minimize the watering needed.

Our boys have decided that they are best qualified to help with such an endeavor. Under the careful supervision of Uncle Kyle, the work of turning the soil has commenced. Even our neighbor Sara has decided that the scope and size of this project required addition (wo)man hours. And let me tell you what...this is the perfect work for young boys (playing in the dirt). Donovan and Michael actually got their little trowels and started turning the dirt, just like Uncle Kyle.

(Typical supervisor...)Now what were the odds that he'd ever have permission to be in the garden? Aleky is going to take full advantage of any such opportunity.

March 19, 2009

Soccer Season is Under Way

David and Donovan have officially started their spring soccer season. David is so excited about playing that he wants to wear his shirt every day. David managed to be placed on a team with his friend Kate (in the ward). They get to team up for another fun season.

Today's match-up went well. David's team won 6-0. Based on this games performance we should have an exciting season.

Donovan got to have his first experience playing an organized game of soccer. In warm ups he appeared to be a competitive soccer genius. However, once play began he just was on of the crowd.

But soccer at this age is about the treats (during and) after the game. That's what makes is all worthwhile. Donovan's game ended in a tie 2-2.

March 17, 2009

St Patrick's Day mean Green Breakfast

I'm sure there is a lot of significance to St. Patrick's day. However, for us it means that you overload with green so you don't get a pinch. Michelle got excited about green this morning and prepared a green breakfast of pancakes and eggs. Our boys are not accustom to such an colorful entree but managed to eat everything just fine.Don't know what happened to Donovan's picture. I hope this gives us the luck of the Irish all day.

March 13, 2009

Nap Time

We made a deal with Michael that he could stop taking a nap when he was 3 years old and when he started going to the potty on his own. Well, he's started going to the potty and he is 3 years old. But maybe he hasn't quite reached the point that he's beyond naps (I sure haven't).

March 12, 2009

Enrichment Activity: A Shoe About You

Michelle was in charge of coordinating the quarterly enrichment activity for our ward. This activity was the annual Relief Society birthday party. The theme of the activity was "A Shoe About You". The idea, as it was explained to me, was to have a dinner with the sisters. While the sisters ate dinner each sister was given a few moments to share a shoe that represented themselves and to tell why that shoe represented them.

The report and comments made it sound very successful. The sisters enjoyed the opportunity to share something about themselves. They were able to learn a little bit more about each other and strengthen the bonds of friendship and sisterhood. They enjoyed a wonderful dinner. And it sounded like it turned out to be a very spiritual and touching evening as well.

I'm always excited to see Michelle put so much effort into a project or program. She has some amazing insights and amazing attention to details. I know that she will stress for weeks before the event, trying to coordinate every last detail. But in the end things go so well and everyone generally has a good time.

While Michelle put together such a wonderfully uplifting evening I was home with the boys. We had a good time as well, although it wasn't quite a spiritually uplifting it certainly was entertaining. David showed me how poorly I play the Wii (Mario Kart). We had bathes and everyone was in bed, just a little late.