Sunday, January 30, 2011

Faith in God Award

Kelsea was awarded her Faith in God award today, along with her friends, Aubrey, Talia, Kari, and Emma. It was neat to see them all on the stand together. I am so grateful Kelsea has such great friends and I am really thankful that she felt like this award was important enough to work so hard for. She sure has grown up over the years and I can tell that she has a strong testimony of the Gospel. Love you, Kels!

Friday, January 28, 2011


Tonight was Brianna's Piano Recital and she did a beautiful job. She played with expression and her young hands were so strong as she played each note. It was a real treat to watch.

This was the first year that Kelsea did not perform and I must admit it was sad for me! She is such an amazing pianist, but a couple months ago she decided to quit taking lessons. She does not want to be a competitive pianist anymore even though it comes so natural to her. The amount of hours that go into practicing take away from other areas of her life and she does not want that anymore. She went back and forth on her decision for quite awhile, but when it was apparent that the fire was not there anymore, we decided to take her out.

She was SO sad to leave her teacher, Janae Williams!!! She loves Janae and really did not want to let her down. As part our agreement to take her out of lessons, Kelsea committed to still continue practicing the piano every day for at least 20 minutes. The difference is that she can play whatever she wants. As a result of this, we don't argue about piano anymore, she has discovered that she loves playing Jon Schmidt and William Joseph pieces and she loves to write her own music. She seems so much happier now so I feel like it was worth it to let her quit. It was hard to see all those amazing pianists, though, tonight, because I knew Kelsea would be right up there with the best of them, but I really want her to love the piano and if quitting piano lessons is what will do that, then I think we made the right choice.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy Reunion Beyond the Veil

So, Jason and I just watched the Series Finale of Medium and it was totally not what I expected. We had no idea it was the series finale so when Joe (the main character's husband) died, we thought it must just be a dream that she would wake up from again. As it turned out, he really did die and came to her to let her know. It was SO sad and I really fought back the tears as I sat there, cuddled up to Jason. I was thinking of how tragic that would be if it was Jason coming to me and telling me that he had just died and would no longer be with our family in this lifetime. I then started to think about my sweet mother. How did she do it?! How did she manage to cope with my dad's tragic death? I have been married almost as long as my mom was when my dad died and I can only imagine how awful it would be to lose Jason after all this time. My sweet mom! She must miss my dad so terribly!!!

At the end of the show, it forwarded 41 years and showed Allison (the main character) sitting in a rest home listening to a message from her great grand daughter, when all of a sudden she peacefully passed away. Just as she died, it showed her younger self standing there looking at her older self and then she heard her husband call to her from the other side of the room. As she saw him and they ran to embrace each other, I completely lost it. I mean, completely. I just started bawling! I sat there arm in arm with Jason and all I could think about was how magnificent my reunion with my dad is going to be and better yet how amazing it will be when my Dad and my Mom finally embrace again. To have someone you love SO much taken away from you seems so unfair and so unbearable, but to think of such a happy reunion makes it all okay. I cannot wait for that day!!!! I cannot wait for that moment when I pass through the veil and I see my wonderful dad standing there with open arms waiting to embrace me once again. I loved my dad SO much on this Earth and I love him still SO much. I miss him like crazy!! I just want to hug him SO bad! I just want to be with him and tell him all about my life: my wonderful husband, my beautiful children, my happiness. I want him to meet my little family and have the opportunity to build relationships with each of them . . . I just want my daddy!!! (and yes, the tears are streaming.) Thank goodness for a knowledge of the Plan of Salvation for the knowledge that families can be together forever. If I did not have that knowledge I would not make it through this life!

It's Important

It's important to be happy for people even when you may not have all that they have. Be happy for them anyway . . . then take the time to remember ALL that you have been given!

Friday, January 14, 2011

December Fun

We had a great month of December! It was filled with loads of activities and tons of fun!

We went to Park City for my mom's birthday

Kelsea performed in her Spanish Christmas Program

Landon was helping me make brownies and was so thrilled to be the only child around so that he could lick the spatula all by himself.

Is she just so stinkin' cute, or what? (This was at my Grandma Hall's house on Christmas Eve)

Jason had to leave the party early because of a 'surprise' he was doing for me for Christmas - I had NO idea what it would be (I thought it was that he bought me a road bike, since I surprised him with one for his birthday, but I was shocked when we got home and walked in the door and he surprised me with new couches!!! I have never had new couches in 15 years of marriage - it was beyond exciting!! If I had made a list of 50 things I thought the surprise would be, couches would not have made that list.)

After he met his parents and moved the new couches into our house and took out the old couches, we met him at our next Christmas Eve party at his Aunt and Uncle Reeder's.

We woke up Christmas morning and read the Christmas Story together for about 20-30 minutes. When we were done, we went out to see if Santa had come and the children came out one by one (youngest to oldest, except Keira; she was still in bed). The kids were so excited with everything they received . . . and I was even more excited watching them!!

We went to Jason's parent's for Christmas Brunch, then to my family's for dinner. We were able to see everyone and it was a really fun, pleasant day :)

Jason's mom made all of us daughter's-in-law special blankets. She wrote us beautiful letters to go along with them and it was really neat. She is always SO thoughtful!! The blankets are the most cozy blankets you EVER felt!! I must admit I am being a little selfish with mine - I have not let my kids use it yet. We have dozens of other blankets and I plan to keep this one nice :)

Keira got this dress from Grandma Barker and I just had to take pictures of her in it - the picture down below sums up how she felt about all my pictures ;

Brianna recieved a Girl Gourmet Cupcake Maker and she made this cupcake all by herself . . . I mean, literally all by herself, she read all the directions on her own and did everything it said. I helped her get the frosting into the decorating tube, but she did the actually frosting design and took a picture (I wish she had taken more of a close up, oh well.)

We went to our Annual Larson Christmas Party 3 days after Christmas and this is the only picture I got. :( I was so busy videoing everything that I forgot to take still shots - oh, well. We had a blast and played Minute to Win It - so funny!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

One Year!!

One year ago, today, I stopped eating treats and candy. I did it because I needed to lose weight and now I can't bring myself to start eating them again. I have kept off the weight (plus or minus a few pounds) and I don't want to risk gaining anything back. I know it is okay to have treats/candy, but only in moderation . . . I am NOT good at moderation ;) Today was supposed to be the day that I have my first treat and I had decided on going out for shakes (I dearly miss eating ice cream) . . . hmmmm, I'm not sure if I can do it.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Simple Prayer

It's interesting to me how the Lord answers our prayers in such simple ways sometimes. Last night I asked if the Lord would give me an opportunity to serve someone else, this week, and before I knew it, my prayer had been answered.

On my way to pick up carpool, this morning, I saw a young teenage girl, on my street, trying to push her car out of the bottom of her driveway. The car was clearly stuck and she couldn't get it out. When I saw her, I wanted to stop and help her so bad, but I needed to pick up all the carpool girls, too, so that they would not be late to school. I knew I needed to help this girl, so I told Kelsea that we were going to hurry and pick up carpool then hurry and swing back and get her unstuck before we drove to the school. As we came back to where she was, she seemed very relieved when we pulled up. I asked her if she had tried to gun it back up the driveway and then back out again and she hadn't. I told her I would be happy to do it for her and she was concerned because it was a stick shift. I LOVE stick shift. I got in and gunned it up the hill, then back down, then back up, then back down, and finally on the third try I got it all the way out and into the road. Yeah!! I could tell she was so grateful and so relieved and it really was no big deal to do at all. When I got back in the car all of the carpool girls were really pleased that we had served someone as well.

I am truly grateful for this small answer to a prayer, because it really brightened up may day and let that young girl know that I cared.