Sunday, November 9, 2008

Princess panties

Now that Amelia is 3, she has decided to potty train. And I am pleased to announce that she is... trained. This has been my easiest potty trainer to date. (I'm sure it has nothing to do with the bunny stickers, candy, and princess & Hello Kitty panties.)

Amelia had a diamond in her hand and decided to put it in her belly button. It's was priceless.

Halloween 2008

I've been on a picture taking hiatus, which to the photography world could be considered going AWOL.
My reason is sad, but true. For my birthday, I was given some extra money, Hans & I did some research and decided to make the jump to buy a sweet Nikon D80. I won a bid Ebay from a reputable seller and alas, to this day it never came. My guess is that it's at AREA 51, in a warehouse some where next to the Arch of the Covenant and a crystal alien skull. Don't worry, I am Paypal insured and have already filed a dispute, so I should be getting a full refund in the next couple of weeks and again I will attempt to buy a Nikon D80, probably not from Ebay, (you know how it goes, "Once bitten twice shy.")
So for Halloween I documented it with these 2 pictures.

Conrad the Mad Scientist, Riley, I mean Luke Skywalker (I made the cloak), & Amelia a bunny fufu (I made the tail out of a feather boa.) Hans & I wondered if her costume could be considered a little scandalous, but I think her little toddler tummy keeps it G rated.

So I need to buy a camera, where should I go, other than Ebay? I want a good deal and online is probably prefurable.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

“For a Pleasant Journey, Pack Light”

When writing my newsletter, I always have Hans edit it. In the past, after he had finished editing, I wondered if my name should still be on the article. I have matured and so has my writing and I'm noticing more and more of my words are still in the finished product. Thank you Hans for helping me and reminding me that "Brevity is the soul of wit."

“For a Pleasant Journey, Pack Light”

Monica Rawhouser

As always, this past General Conference was wonderful. I come away from the end of each session, renewed and rededicated to living the pure gospel of Jesus Christ. But more importantly, I feel a greater sense of hope that I can make it back to live with my Father in Heaven. I wanted to share with you some of the messages that I enjoyed.

In “Come what may & love it,” Elder Wirthlin suggested that “Adversity, if handled correctly, can be a blessing in our lives. We can learn to love it. And as we look for humor, seek for the eternal perspective, understand the principle of compensation, and draw near to our Heavenly Father, we can endure hardship and trial.”

In, “Finding Joy in the Journey” President Monson counseled us: may “we be found among those

who give our thanks to our Heavenly Father.” and “despite the changes which come into our lives and with gratitude in our hearts, may we fill our days—as much as we can—with those things which matter most. May we cherish those we hold dear and express our love to them in word and in deed.”

In “Let Him do it with Simplicity,” Elder Perry discussed the life of Thoreau and how he discovered that by simplifying life, a person needed 4 basic things to survive: food, clothing, shelter & fuel. He noted that by following the Word of Wisdom, found in D&C 89, our body & soul will be more receptive to the spirit. Regarding clothing he noted, “A simplified life that brings spiritual blessings requires the wearing of simple and modest clothing. Our dress and grooming send a message to others about who we are, and they also affect the way we act around others. When we are modestly dressed, we also invite the Spirit of the Lord to be a shield and a protection to us.” Regarding shelter, Elder Perry reminded, “Newspapers are filled with reports of the current housing crisis. We have been encouraged at almost every general conference of the Church not to live beyond our means. Our income should determine the kind of housing we can afford, not the neighbor’s big home across the street.” Finally when discussing fuel, he was most concerned about spiritually replenishing our souls. “We must acquire knowledge of God’s eternal plan and our role in it, and then by living righteously, surrendering our will to the will of the Lord, we receive the promised blessings.”

I think that these principles are well-illustrated in my experience traveling. A lot of times when we travel, we are in such a hurry to get to our destinations, but when we look back, we realize that it was experiencing the journey, with all of the surprises and difficulties, rather than actually arriving that was most memorable. The well-traveled take joy in the journey. The well-traveled also prepare well, but pack light so that they are not burdened by extra weight and can adjust to the unexpected. So it can be with our lives’ journeys.

Our achievement-oriented society would have us lose sight of a simplified life in which we find joy in the journey and love whatever comes by focusing on achievement (i.e. degrees, money, “that” job). Let us not wait until we “arrive” to live. If we do, we will find that when we do arrive at our destination, it will be sorely anticlimactic. More importantly, we will miss seeing the people who are traveling at our side. In truth the view on top of a mountain is so beautiful partly because of the difficulty of the journey and the people who shared our path.