Sunday, November 30, 2008


For our sacrament meeting today, the bishop asked five members of our ward to speak on one of their favorite hymns and why it's their favorite. It was a beautiful meeting and I felt the spirit very strongly. Music is one of the greatest ways to feel the spirit. After each speaker we sang the hymn they had chosen. It was a wonderful meeting and one I could listen to every month. They've done this before in our ward and so I thought about what hymn I would choose and why. I came up with "Lead, Kindly Light" (Hymn 97). I really love the melody and the words.

"Lead, Kindly Light"


1. Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom;
Lead thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead thou me on!
Keep thou my feet;
I do not ask to see
The distant scene—one step enough for me.

2. I was not ever thus, nor pray’d that thou
Shouldst lead me on.
I loved to choose and see my path;
but now,Lead thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,Pride ruled my will.
Remember not past years.

3. So long thy pow’r hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone.
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile!

Text: John Henry Newman, 1801–1890
Music: John B. Dykes, 1823–1876
Psalm 43:3
Psalm 119:133–135

Friday, November 28, 2008

... black friday.

Seriously, I am thankful for black Friday.
I was able to get everything I wanted this morning and for some good savings.

Brooke and I went out on our own this year. Usually we meet up with my sister and sometimes with my sister-in-law and other sister too but this year it was just us. We got to Shopko just before they opened and went in and got one thing and were out in 5 minutes. Then we headed to Walmart and got one thing for my sister and were in and out in 5 minutes again. Our last stop was Target. We actually stood in line outside the store for about 20 minutes waiting for the store to open. Luckily it wasn't raining anymore and it wasn't that cold. We checked through the add again and found a couple more things that would be good to get. I was actually only after one thing there and got it, picked up a few more things and we were headed home and back to bed by 6:30. It was our most successful year ever!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

... my husband!

I'm thankful for many things today and I could write a long list but I'm just going to go with my husband today. For without him, most of the things I'm thankful for I wouldn't have at all. He is my best friend and I'm so grateful for all that he does for me and for our family. He is a dedicated father, priesthood holder, son, and employee. He works hard at his job and provides very well for our family. He sacrifices many personal wants and desires so that our family can have a nice home and "things" that we want and need. He also likes to have fun and I love having fun with him. I love spending time with him and the more time I spend with him, the more time that I want to spend with him. I love his laugh and I am thankful that I hear it a lot. I am thankful for all the times that he has put up with me and I know that he will continue to put up with me.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

... a beautiful new baby.

Katie Emma Byers
7 lb 13 oz
19 inches
Born at 7:52 am
I am so thankful my sister's baby was born healthy and perfect. I've just worried about her the last couple of days and hoped everything would go well with the delivery. even this morning i was really starting to worry because I knew she was supposed to be born around 8:00 am and at 9:30 we hadn't heard anything. I guess mom's just worry. Everything did go well and she's a wonderful little bundle to hold.


by the way, I am feeling much better. I think it was a very good decision to go to the doctor and get started on meds. I think it was a bacterial infection since I am doing so much better this quickly. tHank goodness for the z-pac!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

... Jared and Kamryn!

There is so much I could say about Jared and Kamryn. I love this picture of them on the hill in our backyard. To me it shows how different they can be and how they are each individuals with lots of personality.

Jared and Kamryn are great buddies. They play together non-stop and would keep playing through the night if I let them. They are very much into pretend play right now and are very creative. Just tonight they got all dressed with shoes and jackets and backpacks and proceeded to go to school in the living room. For the most part they get along very well and don't fight very much. When one of them wakes up before the other the one who is up seems a little lost and doesn't know what to do without the other one. Luckily they don't get into too much trouble on their own. On Monday while I was feeling pretty sick they pretty much took care of themselves for most of the day. It was fun listening to them play.

I was trying to get them to smile for a picture so I said "say, Go Utah," and this was the result.

Kamryn is all girl and loves wearing dresses and having bows and ribbons in her hair. She is very ticklish and has the cutest laugh. She is quick to say she's sorry and she loves to give kisses and cuddle. She loves to read stories and especially loves all of the Disney princesses.

Jared is all boy and here he is showing off his muscles. He makes boy noises all the time and loves to dress up as batman, spiderman or a knight, usually one right after the other. He is sensitive and has very nice manners. It's harder for him to say sorry and he's quick to tattle on Kamryn. He loves to play ball with his dad and brother's and tells me all the time that he is on a team. He loves dinosaurs and his "guys" - Taylor's old collection of action figures.
I am very thankful to have Jared and Kamryn be part of our family. Life would be pretty boring without them. It was a long and hard wait to get them here but I'm so thankful that I never gave up.

Monday, November 24, 2008

... doctors and medicine.

Today I'm thankful for modern medicine. I went to the doctor because after more than a week I'm not getting better and am actually getting worse. My head cold has moved south into my lungs and it feels like I've got the start of bronchitis. Luckily she took pitty on me and prescribed the wonderful Z-pac so hopefully I'll be better tomorrow!

... lil' friends.

I'm thankful for all the cute friends that Jared and Kamryn play with (and for those friends' moms!). It's fun watching them play together and be crazy together. This is just some of those friends eating lunch together when we had a play date at our house.

(This was supposed to be posted yesterday but I forgot to do it).

Saturday, November 22, 2008

... a BIG WIN!!!

I really am thankful that Utah won the big game today. We had a great group of friends together to watch the game at my parents! It was a lot of fun to cheer the Utes on together. Just in case you somehow missed the game or the final score, check out this article.

Friday, November 21, 2008

... the temple.

San Diego Temple

It's nice to take a night out and go to the temple and enjoy the peace and quiet. It was our ward temple night tonight and I was supposed to meet Paul there for a session. He just barely missed getting on the session and I went ahead without him. It was kind of weird being there without him. It was nice to see him waiting for me when we were done though and I was touched that he waited. He could have gone home since he knew I had a ride home with my friend and her husband - still it was sweet to see him there waiting and to ride home together.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

... book club.

I'm so thankful to belong to an awesome book club. My friend Melinda got it started 15 years ago this month and we've been going strong ever since. We had our anniversary dinner tonight at Melinda's house and it was so nice. She made the whole delicious dinner and yummy dessert. It was wonderful to sit and visit with these great ladies.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

... braces.

Here's Taylor with his brand new braces that he got today.
He's got white and red elastics showing his allegiance.
Now when I say I'm thankful for braces I really mean I'm thankful we can afford to pay for our kids to have braces. I never did have braces and sometimes wish that I had. I never could do it at this point (I have too many issues with mouth pain) but I'm thankful my kids will have nice straight teeth. I'm also thankful that Taylor's teeth are going to need very minor work and he should be done in about six months and it's not going to cost me what it did with Justin and Brooke.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

... a driver's license

I'm thankful that Justin passed his driving test and was able to get his license -- and just in time too. He got his license on Wednesday and we left on Thursday for our trip to San Diego and while we were gone he was able to take Taylor to scouts and then he took Jared and Kamryn to a church near our house to cheer Brooke's team on in Region Volleyball.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm Thankful for ...

I'm going to copy of couple of friends who are listing things they are thankful for as we get ready for Thanksgiving. I'd like to do the "12 days of Thanksgiving" but I would have had to start yesterday for that so I'll just try to do 11.

I'm thankful for my health. Especially today as I've come down with a head cold. I think the extreme temperature changes over the weekend did that to me.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

San Diego Trip

Yesterday Paul and I were able to go to the San Diego Temple for a session. That temple is so AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL inside and out.

Today we drove up the coast on the Pacific Coast Highway. We couldn't decide which beach to stop at and just kept driving and ended up driving up to Carlsbad. Our family went on vacation there a few years ago and we ended up spending a couple of hours at that very same beach. It was such a beautiful day - unseasonably warm for November. Paul even rented a boogie board and played in the surf for over an hour. I stayed on the beach and watched him and enjoyed the sun.

This is Paul and I just before the start of the Utah vs SDSU football game. This was the whole reason we decided to come down to San Diego - to go to the game. It was a great game -
the Utes won 63-14!
It was fun to be there with so many Utah fans - it seemed like there were more Utah fans there than San Diego State fans.

It's been such a great weekend and I've really enjoyed spending some good quality time with Paul. I've loved being back in San Diego and the weather has been fabulous. Thank goodness for grandparents and kids that watch the little ones so we can get away for a weekend date.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Funny Night in San Diego

Paul and I in front of the Ocean Beach Pier Cafe.

We enjoyed watching the sunset and the surfers at Ocean Beach.
Paul and I flew to San Diego today for a little weekend getaway. We had two free tickets we needed to use on Southwest before they expired and Paul had the excellent idea to come down to San Diego for some fun and also to see the UTES play SDSU.
The first thing we did was go to Old Town so I could go back to the Mormon Battilion Visitors Center where I served my mission. When we drove up to the building there was yellow caution tape across the entrances and the parking lot. On the front door was a sign saying it was closed for remodeling and set to open again sometime in 2009. That was sad for me.
We decided we wanted to be on the beach at sunset so we drove to Ocean Beach and walked out on the pier and watched the sunset and all the surfers. There were a lot of them out there even after dark.
For dinner we decided to eat a small cafe right there out on the pier. We were the only couple there eating. We had a cute young woman for our server. We were chatting with her after dinner and asked her what she would recommend doing that evening. She said she didn't know of much since she'd only lived here for a few months. I asked her where she moved from and she said SALT LAKE CITY. We couldn't believe it. What a small world. She grew up in Cedar Hills and is just working done here trying out somewhere other than Utah.
As we were walking back to our car from the pier an older gentleman made a comment to us about fishing and we stopped and talked to him. He asked us where we were from and Paul said, Salt Lake City, and the man said "Oh, you're Mormon." Then he thanked us for our help with Proposition 8. He went on to preach a little to us and then asked us for some tithing for his preaching. It was a funny evening.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Justin's late 16th birthday post

Justin is 16 NOW!

I wish I could say this picture was taken on his birthday but it wasn't. It was taken exactly a week later but he is wearing the Utah shirt we gave him for his birthday.

Justin's birthday was pretty lame, although we did things the whole week of his birthday that we counted as part of celebrating his birthday. I kept asking him what he wanted to do, if he wanted to have a party - no. He finally came up with a couple of things (unfortunately there are NO pictures of any of these events, I must have totally shut my brain down last week due to being in denial of him turning 16):
*On Monday, the 3rd, the day before his actual birthday, we had a nice dinner as a family at home and then watched SNL's "Presidential Bash." That is what he wanted to do so we did it. He also opened the lame presents that we got him - the Utah shirt and a Utah hat, a $15 iTunes giftcard, new earphones for his iPod, 3 boxes of his favorite sugar cereals. I keep telling him his car insurance is a HUGE present.
*On Tuesday, his actual birthday, we had what he requested for dinner "chicken con queso", a good frozen dinner from Sam's Club. Both of his grandparents came over to visit him and gave him nice cards with money inside.
*On Thursday night I put on a nice spread of football food at my parents' home while we watched the Utah-TSU game. Justin said the ending to that game was a great present.
*On Friday, the main celebration, we went to see the new Madagascar movie and had dinner at Bajio. This was all Justin's idea. Now seeing the movie was special because we rarely go to movies at a first run theater and NEVER on opening day.
*On Saturday I took him to lunch at Subway and dessert at McDonalds. And I still owe him a winter clothes shopping trip. So all in all, hopefully not bad of a birthday but still kind of lame.

Justin is a great young man and I love him very much. He's great to have around and I really enjoy his sense of humor. I love watching him with Jared and Kamryn - he's a great big brother to them. I love the friendship he has with Brooke. ( We keep telling him to be nicer to Taylor). I am grateful that Justin makes good decisions (most of the time) and the he is doing well his first (real) year of high school.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Awesome Night

What an awesome night for the Utes!!
Justin, Paul and BROOKE and I all watched the game with my dad tonight. It was a lot of fun to all watch it together. I made a good dinner to have with my parents before the game. Jared and Kamryn had fun playing with my mom during the game. It was great to have Brooke watch the game with us - she's not usually too into football but she really got into this game. We made a lot of noise and really enjoyed the outcome.

A Brand New Year

I attended the taping of A Brand New Year last night with Justin, Brooke and 3 other young women from our ward. We got there early enough that we had good seats on the floor section. There were a ton of people there so we didn't try to meet up with the rest of our ward. I guess that was a good thing because I heard they didn't even get in and ended up going home.
I thought the program was very good and I especially enjoyed Elder Holland's talk at the beginning. The music was a little cheesy during the rest of the program but I liked it. Unfortunately our jaded youth didn't really get into it and called it "Mormon Musical." Deep down I think they really liked it, it was just too long.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Twins' Conversation

First of all, let me set up the scene.
Jared and Kamryn are in the living room playing, both wearing their Halloween costumes. I had quickly put out a couple of Thanksgiving decorations this morning, one of them being a stuffed turkey. Jared, as Batman, was shooting things with Taylor's gun. I hear Kamryn getting upset.

Kamryn: "Stop shooting!"
Jared: "I have to shoot it. I am Batman."
Kamryn: "Don't shoot the turkey! I love it!! I love animals."

That is how our morning began.