Sunday, January 2, 2011

Of Things That Matter Most...

A couple months ago I was called to serve as 2nd counselor in Relief Society. This means I teach the lesson every 3 months and today was my day....

I got to choose the topic (which makes it all the harder in many ways) so I picked a conference talk that stood out to me in October by President Uchtdorf, "Of Things That Matter Most."

This is a time of resolutions and fresh starts and deciding what is working or not working in my life. It was such a great lesson for me to evaluate my life and the past year. In some ways, I've allowed myself to get distracted by many things. President Uchtdorf stressed the importance of getting back to the basics in the Gospel. There are 4 key relationships that matter most in our lives: our relationship with God, our families, our fellowman, and ourselves.

I'm so thankful for living prophets to give guidance that is relevant to my life. It helps keep me on track or get back when I wander off a little.

Here is what our family has been up to lately:
Olivia is 12 years old and in 7th grade at Highland Junior High School.
She plays violin in Orchestra and recently made the Cheer Squad that will cheer for girls' basketball in the Spring. She continues to take piano lessons and started a cheer class to learn tumbling and jumps. She is so into make up, hair, clothes, jewelry and is a scary thing! She earns her own money babysitting and is very good at it. She is a loving, kind, talented, beautiful girl and I can't believe she is my daughter!
Ethan is 8 years old and in the second grade at Challenger Basic School. He continues to astonish everyone with his intelligence and quick wit. His teachers have all discovered how helpful he is to other students in need so he continues with the unofficial role of student helper. He plays soccer, rides his bike, plays with friends and recently started rollerblading. He also excels at piano, which he started this past summer. His greatest passion in life is the Wii. He would play it 24 hours a day if we let him.
Ella is 8 and also in the second grade at Challenger Basic School. She keeps Travis and I entertained with the most interesting and hilarious comments about life. She is a prankster and loves to watch for "slug bugs" while driving around. It's a game Travis started with the kids whenever they see a VW Bug they call out "Slug Bug" first and they get to slug someone. If the Bug has a convertible top it's worth 2 slugs. So the other day Ella shouted out "Slug Bug with a hoodie!" So now we call all convertibles "hoodies."

Ella takes tumbling and piano lessons, usually begrudgingly......she is our resident home body and loves to just hang out. She is social, creative, loves to cook and bake, and play with cousins and friends. I just love this girl and find joy in her sweet personality!
Ryan is now 6 and in kindergarten all day at Challenger Basic School. He is our "Little Man." He has looked like one since birth but sure loves his role as the youngest in our family. Everyone who knows Ryan, school and church teachers, other parents, love and appreciate Ryan and his sense of humor. He keeps everyone entertained with his candid comments about EVERYTHING. He wears his feelings on his sleeve and leaves nothing unsaid. We repeatedly have to talk to him about what is appropriate to share. We never know what to expect next. Those big brown eyes and mischievous smile make my heart melt.
I surprised Travis on Thanksgiving Eve with a new truck he was drooling over. I made all the arrangements with Brian Jones Ford Dealership in was the most fun I've had in a while. I had it parked in my sister's garage and made up a story to stop by. I opened the garage and he was completely shocked! He couldn't believe, a. I knew how to contact the dealership, and b. I would by a vehicle without his knowledge.

I loved doing it and think I might win "Wife of the Year" for this stunt.......
Thankgiving Day at my parents:
The Phoenix Zoo with our friends Morgan and Hayden:
Our family at the Mesa Arizona Temple Lights:
My mom with her grandgirls.....she made them cute necklaces:
Our annual cookie decorating party:
Ella and me in our kitchen:
Christmas Eve, Olivia plays for Uncle Morgan:
Grandpa Williams took us all for a hay ride around the neighborhood while we sang Christmas carols:
Travis and the kids with Uncle Morgan and Grandpa:
The kids in their new jammies right before climbing into bed......they were panicked Santa would pass our house if they didn't get to bed quick!
Ryan got his wish and Santa delivered him a fish....oh what fun!
Our family with Grandma and Grandpa Adams:
Ella got a karaoke for Christmas.......she sang non stop ALL day........Taylor Swift, no less.
Olivia got a pair of "Glitter Toms" and was thrilled:
Even Ruby got a couple new toys and treats:
Olivia bought me a darling shirt and necklace with her own money:
Ethan gets suited up to try out his rollerblades:
Olivia got Travis a shirt from American Eagle:
My dad gave my mom a beach cruiser bike......she was so adorable and excited! She rode it up and down the street several times:
Ella got rollerskates and a pillow pet.....she was in heaven:
Travis and me, both sleep-deprived, but happy to see our family have such a joyful experience.
Happy New Year!