Wednesday, January 30, 2013

They Blossom

I think this is turning out to be the longest month in the history of my life. Is it really still January? We have been plugging along here, doing stuff. My children are just blossoming and I am along for the ride. 

Harry has really become quite the puzzler. I am amazed at how skilled he is at puzzles. He will spend long periods of time putting puzzles together, and he just loves it. He likes for me to watch, but does not need my help.

He also likes to collect things. It is a trait sent to him from heaven. The kid is a hoarder. Lately, he has collected every little toy he can get his hands on and puts it in bags and has to take it everywhere. The best kinds of bags are Julia's purses, so Harry was prepared this last Sunday. He had a fabulous green bag to accessorize his snazzy church outfit, and a stuffed dog. He calls the dog Pepperoni. Pepperoni is the name of Mary's dog. If it works for her dog, I guess it will work for his stuffed animal too.

And in other news, Julia is getting ready to get major dental renovations. Apparently, the kid has about 20 cavities. Yes, go ahead and award me all the Mother of the Year awards I deserve. I am so proud of myself, what can I say?  Tomorrow, one lucky dentist is going to be getting the down payment he needs for his new Mercedes Benz.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Birthday Boys

Guess what? My little boy are now 11.  I just can't believe it. I am very proud of my boys and all of the things that they can do. They are smart and funny and very talented. But above all of that, and most importantly, I have been blessed with two little boys who have the most tender and loving hearts a mom could hope for.

The first subject we always do in our school work is to study the scriptures. Right now, we are reading the New Testament. Yesterday, I had the most amazing and spiritual experience with my boys. We were reading Matthew 27. This is the chapter where Jesus is condemned and beaten and humiliated and then crucified.  I explained all the aspects of the scriptures we were reading and what it all meant.  Then we came to verse 46. It reads...

"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

I explained to my boys that Jesus was all alone, that even his Father had to turn away from him, even the Holy Ghost was not there to comfort him in his hour of greatest need. Jesus had to be all alone. He had to carry the weight of the entire world on himself. 

I looked at my two boys, with their tender hearts, and they were both in tears. And we cried  buckets together, thinking about the most heart-rending, yet necessary moment in the history of the world. They just cried and cried. It was such a genuine and raw moment. It touched me to my very soul. I don't think I will ever forget it, even until the day I die.

And so after a no-school day, lunch with dad at BJ's and an awesome performance by Raef at the Reno Philharmonic with his teacher Dustin, I am just excited.

I am excited to see my boys transition into manhood. They are growing roots of testimony deep. They are starting to see all of the possibilities that are in their grasp. They are blossoming into incredible human beings. They are my sons but I know that they are always going to be my friends.

When I count my blessings, I start with these two.

Monday, January 14, 2013

At Home With Chick-fil-A

For several years, Rinar and I lived in Atlanta, Georgia. It is the home of Chick-fil-A.  I love Chick-fil-A. As a kid, this restaurant was only found in a mall but in Atlanta, there was a drive-thru about one mile from my house.  I would go there at least once a month and that chicken sandwich was heavenly.

Then we moved to Nevada.  No, anywhere.  Seriously, I think the closest one was in Salt Lake City.  After several years, Rinar got a job where he would work half of the week in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The first thing I asked him when he started this new career adventure was if there was a Chick-fil-A in Albuquerque. I mean, the plane ride was only an hour long, so I figured he could bring one home to me every once in a while. And he did.  Plus, he would have done just about anything for me since I was pregnant at the time.

Sadly, Reno does not have one either. And every time we have driven to California, we always make it a point to stop at one of their restaurants in Sacramento. I have always thought that two hours away was not too bad. It is a heck of a lot closer than Salt Lake City.

But now I am free of the Chick-fil-A curse.  Why, you may ask? Is it because they are building one here in Reno?  Well, no.  I don't think so. But it really does not matter, thanks to my new favorite obsession, Pinterest.

A few weeks ago, a recipe popped up that said it was the secret Chick-fil-A concoction.  What!?! No way. I pinned that thing in about 1.3 seconds. And tonight, the recipe made it on to my menu plan.  I made Chick-fil-A chicken bites. And let me tell you...they were delicious.

Mine did not turn out as pretty as this picture, but they sure tasted like Chick-fil-A.

I think that my life is now complete.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Skiing, Snowballs, and Basketball

Saturday wasn't especially busy for me, but it sure was busy for Raef.  He got up early in the morning to hit the slopes with his dad. Zach didn't want to get cold, so he opted to stay home.  On the way up, our neighbors Brennan and Peyton and their grandpa got a ride for a skiing lesson.  Raef and Rinar ate a pancake breakfast and then a whole lot of skiing.  They even did a black diamond level run. Wow! They have come a long way from last year.  I think that Raef is developing a real love for the sport.

In the afternoon, all the boys went outside for a snowball fight. Reno got an unexpected snowstorm on Friday night and the kids just loved playing in all the white stuff. 

Then in the evening, Raef was off to basketball. They had a skill assessment day to figure out how to divide up the teams equitably. Raef did really well. I think basketball is going to be a great fit for him. I can't wait to see the kid play.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Our First Last Cub Scout Meeting

It was a big day for Raef and Zach.  This was their  Cub Scout meeting. They are turning 11 next week and are now officially in the Boy Scouts. And with a last minute push to the finish line, they were able to earn the Arrow of Light award.

And here they are crossing the bridge from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. It was a good moment for both of them.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A New Year

Our family...2013.  This is what we looked like today, right before we left for church. It is nice to have church start at 11am. I was actually able to do something with Miss Julia's hair. You see that cute dress?  Rinar bought that for Julia while we were in Arizona. It was adorable.

I have decided that 2013 is going to be my best year yet. I have a lot of things that I want to accomplish and I feel that I will.  But whatever happens, I look forward to the adventure.

Happy New Year everyone!

Hoover Dam Tradition

On our return trip to Reno, we drove through Las Vegas. I just had to get a picture at the Hoover Dam.  What can I say? It is a tradition.  I can't believe how much my kids have grown.

The next time I get back for a picture, Raef and Zach are probably going to be at the top of the seal. And this time, instead of being intolerably hot, it was quite chilly. I think it was in the 30's.

We then headed up to St. George to stay the night. St. George is not really on the way home, but I had a little chore to do.  I met with Lyf to get the elk meat that was processed from Rinar's successful elk hunt in November. We stayed at my Grandmother's house. It was probably like a whirlwind for her, but she was incredibly kind to put up with the chaos.  We even ate black-eyed peas and rice for the New Year. I was surprised to see that the kids actually really liked it. Harry especially liked the black-eyed peas.

Nordel met us at the park before we left and the kids were able to play for a little while. Nordel is holding his son Boston, in this picture. What a little cutie.

The drive home was very long, but uneventful.  Thank goodness for that.  I was elated to be back on home turf, sleeping in my own bed. Hallelujah!
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