Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Spooks!

Okay...Halloween is so much fun.

Justin wanted to play a trick on the trick-or-treaters when they came to our door, so...
we made a robot costume. Justin was the engineer and decorator of course and came up with this AWESOME outfit. It worked like a charm. He stood still as tree until the trick-or-treaters got to the door, then he pulled out the treats (Halloween stickers and puzzles) and said--robot like, "Happy Halloween!" A few of the children thought he was fake, and were surprised when he moved and spoke to them. It was pretty cute. A successful Halloween venture. We're already planning for next year!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Round Robin Training at Deseret Industries

I was just called to be the Humanitarian Specialist in our Relief Society (I am VERY EXCITED for this calling!) Tonight I went to an 8-stake Round Robin Training at Deseret Industries. I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming feeling of awe at what the church offers to its members and to EVERYONE around the world. It's exhilarating to be apart of such an enormous and exceptional system that so successfully helps people who are in need.

We were instructed in the 5 divisions of Deseret Industries. We began at the Bishop's Storehouse.
I've been at the church cannery enough times to recognize the labels on many of the food items. It was so satisfying to walk the "store" isles and see the end result. Actually, this is not the end result...this process finds it's end in the homes of people who aren't able to supply their food needs.

I've been in some of those homes, and have talked to some of the grateful beneficiaries. It's an amazing blessing to so many people! I love how the Church's welfare system works--their main goal is to help people become self reliant. Often times the church will provide work opportunities in exchange for the food. People maintain their dignity and self respect and are given the tools to get back on their feet and self reliant again.

We then went to the Humanitarian Center. If you want to do something to help people and don't know what to do, this is the place to go! They are always working on several projects for people all around the world.
They make quilts by the millions, school kits, hygiene kits, newborn kits, toys, dolls, hats, slippers, scarfs, wall's endless, and it's so AMAZING.
You can check supplies out, and take them home, complete the project and return it to the center, or you can actually volunteer your time at the center. There are always many people there working like an industrious beehive. The good they do is unbelievable!

Our next stop was the LDS Family Services. They provide Adoption services, drug and pornography addiction counseling, marriage and parenting counseling, and family support services. Their goal is to strengthen families, and they provide some very critical and necessary services to many who wouldn't otherwise be able to get them.

We were then instructed on LDS Employment Resource Services. I was again amazed at the many services that are provided for those who are seeking employment or job upgrades. They focus on developing a plan, developing critical skills, and networking. They have seen an incredible increase of employment needs since the market has tanked. They work with and help many people! It's a very helpful service.

Our last stop was with the Manager of Deseret Industries. He informed us of the many opportunities actually through DI. They have on-site work adjustment skills training, internship training, business partnerships, and of course many opportunities for giving and service. I had no idea!

I left with so much more knowledge and understanding of the resources and many opportunities for service and development. I also left with a very thankful heart. How blessed I feel to be a member of this church, and especially to now be more deeply involved with the humanitarian efforts. I will love this!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

To St. Lukes Hospital

After Stand N Deliver we drove to St. Luke's Hospital in Boise to deliver our Halloween box to the Pediatric unit. Max fell asleep during the drive, so when we arrived at the hospital, Justin and I had quite the task of getting the box up to the 4th floor without dropping the box (or more importantly Max!!).
Once again, Justin came through shining like a gem, and was able to mostly carry the goods for us. It was SO FUN taking our box to the ladies at the reception desk. (They don't allow you to deliver to the children personally). They were so cute with the boys and so grateful for our little donation.
The best part was filling out the donation information sheet...and being able to offer our box of treats in memory of Jacob and Oakley. It's just a small way to celebrate their lives and it makes us feel so good to do it.

Justin skipped out to the car, and exclaimed, "That was so fun Mom!" And it really was so much fun!

Stand and Deliver

This morning we went to Daisie McCauley's home for Stand N Deliver. I love our group of home schoolers! We are growing very quickly!

Max showed the group that he knows his shapes. He loved being on stage, and wanted the spotlight for the remaining time! different from Justin!

Justin played Little Playmates on the Piano. (A Fabulous performance!) We'll post in on video tomorrow.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween Shirts completed

Late into the night, we finally finished our Halloween shirts...the shirts that began as tie dye and ended up being marker decorated. I always love watching Justin "create." Such fun ideas come out of that little head of his!
Geoff decorated Max's shirt...which is why it turned out so well!

We love our shirts!

Family Night Fun

One of the things I love about Family Night is PRE Family Night. Geoff is so good to take Max (the boys) and play with them. I love being able to prepare our Monday Night pizza without the disasters that inevitably come with helping hands, and I love watching Geoff with our boys. It's just such a GOOD moment in the day!
Tonight was fun. We've been gathering little Halloween crafts, nic-nacs, and toys to put together to give to the children at the St. Lukes Hospital. We gathered all our treats which included...rubber skeleton's (Justin's favorite), pumpkin bubbles, beads to make halloween bracelets, flashlights, spider rings, pirate eye patches, stickers, craft packages to make pumpkins, flying witches, etc, spider webs....some really fun things.

After gathering all our little goodies, we decorated the box, and put together little coloring books and activity books.

It was fun to get it all put together, and we are so excited to deliver it tomorrow!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Herbal Smoothie Anyone?

I put Max on the counter and was busily making a salad for a ward activity. Max was so content, that I paid little attention to him. When I DID look over his way, I saw that a good majority of my herbs had been poured into our Vita Mix. Max has always had a way of spicing things up a bit! Herbal smoothie anyone?

He is such a busy little Beaver! Always exploring and involved in one way or another! It's such a fun time of life for us and for him.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A NEWER New Era.

My 'new era' has become a NEWER New Era. In the middle of the week, I miscarried our little baby. It was hard to have Geoff gone for these days, but I gratefully received some devoted and sensitive care from Justin. He knows way too much about this topic for a 7 year old boy...but he saved me, and continues to be my tangible gift from heaven. When I need him, Justin turns into a little man and runs the household. He takes care of Max from changing diapers and getting dressed to reading stories and playing games. I totally trust him, and there is NO WAY I would have made it through this without his love & strength and willingness to help out. I love him dearly!

Getting pregnant and letting go of a pregnancy both take a lot of emotional work/strength and faith. These experiences are so much more intent now considering our circumstance. With that said, I have been once again blessed with an overwhelming spirit of peace. It's in the Lord's hands and I have such a testimony of His goodness and the importance of His timing. I know things happen as they should. Our family has been so blessed!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Family Night Tie Dye

We love our previous Tie Dying activity so much, that we decided to make some Tie Dye Halloween shirts (Our idea came from the cover of Family Fun cute).Since Geoff flew to Denver CO for the week, it was just the boys and I, and Justin and I decided to attempt the project AFTER Max went to bed. So it was a very fun evening for Justin and I.

The shirts turned out ADORABLE! But then I washed them, a little too soon maybe, and all the Dye blended together. So now we have some nice solid orange shirts...we will decorate them with markers later this week!

Gas Station Supreme

I loved going to our gas station today. I drove to Geoff's Partner's home (just a few miles from our house), pulled into his garage, and said, "Fill 'er up, please!" I filled my 42 Gallon tank and drove away. At a typical gas station, that would cost me around $150. But today, I didn't pay a cent! Of course, Geoff and his partner have worked very hard to get it all up and running, and continue to do so. But we are now starting to see the benefits and l little return as well.

Just one more way Geoff has succeeded in blessing our family and our beautiful earth. I love that it's important to him. I especially love the amazing service I get at our gas station!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A New Era

We are entering a New Era of life!

MAX has really entered a new phase this week and it's been wonderful! His vocabulary and ability to vocalize his words has totally exploded. He talks and says things all the time now that I never knew he had learned. He is such a smart cookie. We are entering the era of verbal communication...and I love it!
He eats at the dinner table in a booster chair next to Justin and eats his own plate of food (instead of eating on my lap and off my plate). Dinner time is so much more enjoyable for me not to mention a whole lot cleaner! AND he actually plays by himself or with Justin, not requiring my constant attention. Although it's nice to have the freedom to do other things, Justin and I always seem to find our selves where Max is...he is the life and spirit of our home. He is PURE JOY!

JUSTIN is simply amazing! He is really excelling in school, and together we have so much fun learning. I have been amazed at his ability to retain information and learn new concepts. He is SUCH a fun student! Justin now literally reads faster than I do! Justin is also getting ready to be baptised and has really grown up in the gospel. He has an incredible desire to choose the right. He has a kind heart and is such a good son, so helpful to me and absolutely amazing with Max. I can't imagine life without Justin, he is a gem, an inspiration and such a great example! He is getting SO BIG!
GEOFF is the busiest person I know. I honestly don't know how he does it. He has been doing a lot of consulting, which has meant a lot of time away from home-- and we all go crazy without him, but manage... barely. Between consulting for Standard Pacific, and managing his businesses..Firefly (advertising), Ridgeline (Design & construction), Treasure Valley Recyling (Bio Diesel), and Energy Savers (Green homebuilding supplies); performing his church duties (Scouts, organ & hometeaching) to the MANY things he does for us and with us as a family...I MARVEL!!!! He is diligent in all the important basics (prayer, scriptures, FHE, etc) and then makes time for fun. How does he do it????? We hope this new era for him slows down a bit or rather is simplified.
and ME..., well this truley is a new era for me...

Here we go! Child #5. We're all very excited and very hopeful to have a healthy MCAD free child--God willing. Either way, we know this child is waiting to come to our home, and we pray for him/her (and us!) every day. We are expecting this gift sometime around June 2nd to help celebrate Nanna's birthday!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Wild N Crazy Surviver Date Night

Geoff and I were invited to a group date night hosted by Micheal and Sicily Clark from our ward. There were over 50 couples who participated (most of our ward and several others). Earlier in the week, the Clark's divided everyone into teams of six and assigned team captains. Each team came up with a name and uniform to wear. We were the GLOW FLOWS and wore black with glow accessories.When we arrived we were given a clue we had to decipher in order to rescue our team captain who was chained to the high school fence. The night went on with several different challenges and games that we played in competition with the many other teams.
Here we had to create the biggest mound of shaving cream possible so as to catch all the cereal we threw from behind a line. Geoff is such a good sport! Other than a broken nose and a sprained ankle, all the couples had a great time. We all enjoyed a great dinner at our clubhouse after the race was completed. A FUN night--and very cute idea for date night.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Geoff on the News

Geoff was interviewed today by our local news station for a company he represents...Energy Savers. We proudly watched him on the evening news. He actually made about 10 seconds of air time. What a guy!

Beans, Beans, Beans!!!

Tonight I taught a class in Enrichment on "The JOY of beans!" It was such a fun class. After covering the basic "how to's", the benefits, and getting over the issue of gas, I gave them some bean samples... Cookies made with beans instead of margarine, a smoothie with beans as a main ingredient, sprouted lentils, and two salads with beans. Everyone was SHOCKED to taste how good everything was. I really enjoy doing things like this--I love trying ignite a little enthusiasm into things that are basic and important and generally avoided.

Monday, October 13, 2008

FHE Apple Picking

Tonight for FHE, we went to Laura Thompson's farm (A lady from our previous ward) and picked apples from her orchard. She has all that she can use and has pleaded for help to pick and distribute the rest. Our home schooling group all went to help out. We were all blessed with many apples to take home, and took the rest to The Boise Food Bank who gratefully recieved them.

Max was amazingly helpful. As long as he is included in the process, he is happy and even helpful.
Of course, (unlike what you see in this very innocent looking picture) he preferred throwing the apples into the box rather than laying them softly inside, so we may end up with a lot of applesauce!

Justin loved getting high into the trees on the ladder. He does everything just as he should, and is sure to correct us if we stray in the slightest from the strait and Narrow....for example...

Here we see Geoff, dangerously balancing on one foot on the top wrung of the ladder. Justin saw him, and immediately recited word for word the warnings labels he had previously read on the ladder.

Geoff smiled, and quickly stepped down a step. How do you argue with such a spirit of reason and obedience?Geoff believes he could do this sort of thing everyday. We both dream of being able to be self sufficient and produce our own food with extra to give away. Her farm is beautiful and has such an inviting and homy feeling. Maybe someday, we'll be able to produce the same.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Geoff!

We have so much fun preparing for birthdays! Justin especially LOVES celebrating birthdays and doesn't forget anything! Happy Birthday banners, balloons, streamers, special meals, cake, cards, special treatment...the whole works--he makes sure it all happens and with style! He is so fun and creative!
And of course Max follows Justin in EVERYTHING he does. Max does NOT miss anything. This is a picture of Justin blowing up a balloon, and Max blowing up his already blown up balloon. He is apart of everything, and such a comedian. Together, they put on quite a show!

This was my favorite decoration--the centerpiece--very clever I thought.

After a wonderful Stake Conference (Geoff being the didn't take long for them to discover him in this ward and Stake. He really is a naturally talented organist. Everyone loves when Geoff plays!), the boys and I made one of our favorite meals...salmon, mashed potatoes, and brussel sprouts. Then Justin orchestrated another delicious cake. A fun day!

Here you have him, the birthday boy...just as good looking as the day I met him! I LOVE Geoff! I admire Geoff, I may even go as far as to say I adore Geoff. The more time we are together, the more I want to be with him forever. What I love about Geoff, especially at this stage of life...

He is wise. I love that Geoff is able to approach life's difficulties and hardships with a clarity that is so refreshing. He is not rash, and strives to do good in every way. His intents are pure, so he is able to lead our family wisely and carefully as the spirit directs.

I love that Geoff loves to be prepared. He is the emergency preparedness and food storage KING! He an incredible storage in his brain for a little bit of everything--if he doesn't know... he will learn it. He is practical and thrifty. He cares for our family in an amazing way.

I love that he honors his priesthood and magnifies his callings. He is always ever striving to do as he is admonished by his leaders. He listens to, remembers and honors the words of our prophets and the scriptures. He is good through and through.

He is such a great husband. He is first humble and so willing to do whatever is necessary to bring happiness into our relationship. He is kind. He mops the floors and cleans the shower because he knows it is my least favorite thing to do. Geoff is FUN and likes to laugh. I love that.

Geoff is such a great dad...his boys LOVE HIM!

I took these pictures today. But I could pull my camera out at any point when Geoff is home and you would find a picture something like this. He is so good with the boys. I am so grateful he is an involved, loving and supportive father. With Geoff, every event if fun and good. He is such a good example to these boys who WATCH EVERY move he makes!

I love this picture! It expresses every word above!

And here is Max, taking pictures of the action. (He is just so cute!) How can you NOT celebrate such an occasion and such a man!

HaPPY BIRTHDAY GEOFF! We all love you very much!

Ogden Train Museum

All of these boys LOVE trains! It was especially fun to come here with Grandpa Neyman who may have started all the train mania. George collects trains, and in England where he lives drives the Thomas train. He has a passion and love for trains.

We have come here often, and never tire of exploring the station and grounds. There is something about trains for these boys!

We said good bye to Grandpa Neyman and Grandma Margaret and our Neyman cousins and headed to Lani & Joe's house for the evening before our journey home.

It's always so sad to leave family. We were so grateful to be able to spend some time with and get to know Grandpa and Margaret a little better. We hope we don't have to wait another 10 years to see them again!!!!