September 29, 2008

September Sealings

"...for the temple is a holy place where we are sealed together. As a child of God I've learned this truth. A Family is forever." -I Love to See the Temple

Jason and I had the privilege to witness three very special occasions from within the temple this past month. His youngest sister, Noell, was endowed prior to her sealing to Jason Helean. A few weeks later, Jason's brother and his wife, Greg and Chantilly, were able to have their son, Coulter, sealed to them. While the ceremonies were brief, their impact is of eternal effect. How fortunate we are to have been blessed with relationships that extend beyond the boundaries of time and mortality! I have always found great peace and comfort in that fact.

And is what it looks like to have pictures taken with a functioning camera (one, of which, is professional):

Jason and Noell Photographs by Pete Stott

Coulter, Greg, Collin, Tilly and Rachael

Cousins Garrett and Coulter

This post authored by Amber

A Final Farewell to Summer

and to our "dying" camera. A new one has been ordered. Hooray!

Nothing helps to usher in the season of fall better than a drive through Provo Canyon to view the changing leaves. Not even the unseasonably high temperatures of the day can hide the fact that cooler temperatures are on their way. It only takes one glance at the mountain peaks at the vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds to get your seasonal bearings. Here are some fuzzy photos taken from our family's favorite, traditional leaf look-out point (just above Sundance ski resort and right before you have to pay to get onto the Alpine Loop):

This post authored by Amber

A "Big" Problem

The basic premise of one of my favorite childhood movies is based upon the timeless and familiar human struggle: It really stinks to be too short to go on a certain, desired amusement park ride!

Spencer knows this feeling of disappointment all too well! We recently went to Lagoon for Jason's work party, and here is a photographic "taste" of how everything played out for the evening.

This is Spencer, not long after he learned that he was not quite tall enough to go on the Wild Mouse. As pathetic as it was, it really got tiring to witness over and over again (Spider, Wicked, Colossus, the Bumper Cars, etc.). It didn't help that his thrill-seeking brother, Brevin, was beaming every time he exited said rides. He wanted to hop right back on them and leave Mom or Dad to wait back and deal with the emotional fallout of Spencer's height deficit.

"Let's see. How can we remedy this problem? Look! Garrett can't ride anything, and he's still happy."
"Here, why don't you wait in line for thirty minutes to ride this little tug-boat dinghy that goes around in circles? You can ring the bell. Woo-hoo!"

"Not good enough, you say? Well we could ride the train and look at all the empty cages of animals that have gone to bed already. At the very least you could rest your tired and achy legs."

"You are big enough to ride the newest ride in the park, the OdySea, and that's pretty exciting. Not to mention, you could get the ride's catchy tune stuck in your head for the remainder of the evening."

Thank goodness for the Bat! It had just the right blend of speed and action that would amuse Spencer, and he rode that thing over and over. Good thing there were no lines to wait in. "See! It wasn't such a bad evening after all!"

This post authored by Amber

September 14, 2008

Four Months Already?

It's always amazing to me how much a baby can develop in only a short period of time. Garrett has become so social, and it doesn't take much coaxing to get a smile out of him. The boys prefer the method of shouting to him, "Oh, it's windy!" to get him excited. This stems from watching Garrett's reaction to Dad saying the same thing when we were outside on a blustery day. Garrett cracks up every time...that is unless I'm saying it to him. I guess I'm not as entertaining.

While Jason believes he has cut his nighttime wakings down to one, I assure him that Garrett likes to throw in a second feeding from time to time. I think he goes through little growth spurts that necessitate the additional feedings. But I am thrilled to say that his sleep (night and day) has become very organized, and thus quite predictable. He is also such an easy-going, mellow baby, so no complaints here.

What big eyes you have, my dear!

This post authored by Amber

Something About Spencer

Several Sundays ago, I went to pick Spencer up from his Sunbeam class. His teachers were giggling and said, "You have to hear what Spencer said today! We were talking about how we can feel Heavenly Father's love for us. Spencer responded enthusiastically, 'Heavenly Father loves me so much that He gave me the restaurant of McDonald's!'"

What can I say? The kid loves Happy Meals!

While Brevin has been going to school, I have been holding preschool at my home for Spencer and Audrey (from our ward) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. The pictures in this post are from Spencer's first day. During our "I am Special" unit, I was interviewing the children about some of their favorite things. When I asked Spencer what his favorite place was, I anticipated a comment similar to the one about McDonald's. Instead he said, "Sam's Club-where you get the hot dogs."

Hmm...perhaps we need to cut back on the fast foods!

This post authored by Amber

September 11, 2008


What is the most important word in the dictionary? President Spencer W. Kimball's insight to this question was this: "When you look in the dictionary for the most important word, do you know what it is? It could be 'remember.' Because all of you have made covenants, you know what to do and you know how to do it. Our greatest need is to remember. That is why everyone goes to sacrament meeting every Sabbath day-to take the sacrament and listen to the priests pray 'that they may always remember Him and keep His commandments which He has given them.'...'Remember' is the word. 'Remember' is the program" (Circles of Exaltation, Address to Seminary and Institute Personnel, BYU, June 28, 1968).

Not only is it our greatest need to remember things of a spiritual nature, I think it is equally important to remember events of historical significance. Today is certainly no exception! I have felt to pause (if only very briefly) and remember what it was like to get into my car to drive to work, only to turn on the radio and hear frantic radio commentary concerning a second airplane that had struck the Twin Towers. I remember watching the TV in a school faculty workroom, completely dumbfounded, as the first tower fell...and then the second. It was all so bizarre, wasn't it?

But I also remember how, all of a sudden, it was okay to call for prayers in civic and governmental locations. And it was okay to proudly display the American flag every day; there was no need to wait for Veterans Day. And I remember thinking, "Now, more than ever, it is a time for strong, righteous women to bring children into the world to teach them to stand up against this tide of evil." I hoped I'd shared that message of empowerment to the young women I served with at the time.

Even today, it is not a time to fear but a time to remember--and it is a time to move forward with the same resolve we had seven years ago!

This post authored by Amber

September 1, 2008

First Day of Kindergarten

Brevin started kindergarten on August 27th. Being that he is the first child of ours to attend public school, we decided to make the occasion a family affair. We all escorted him through the halls of Art City Elementary (home of the Eagles) to his room where a darling Mrs. Sabey awaited his arrival and, with great enthusiasm, welcomed him by name. We had to call Brevin back to give us hugs, snap some photos, and say our goodbyes. There was literally no turning back for him--as we left, I took this picture of him focused and ready to embark on his lifelong learning adventure! And no...I did not cry (as you might have expected). Instead, I felt a rush of excitement that was reminiscent of the feelings of my own childhood anticipation for each first day of school. The joy in having children comes from experiencing and revisiting those same if for the first time. Well Brevin, to quote Dead Poet's Society: "Carpe Diem! Seize the day, [boy]! Make your [life] extraordinary!"

This post authored by Amber