Monday, August 12, 2013

A cool and very worthwhile 5 minute video to share with you

I mentioned in one of my posts a while back about a wonderful book I was reading that truly changed my life for the better. Happiness is a serious problem by Dennis Prager.

Mr. Prager, on top of writing many other books is very involved in many other things. He's a very intelligent, interesting man. He's got a radio show where he mostly talks politics but also every week he's got an hour on the topic of men and women, an hour on happiness and an hour on ultimate issues (i.e. Does God exist, etc?) Relationship experts come on his show as well as a famous LA based psychiatrist. I can't tell you how valuable it all has become in my life. Shane downloads the shows for me and we listen either at home together or separately in our cars to work or together when we drive on vacation. My kids now like and sing the happiness song that comes on when the happiness hours starts. Prager sings along too and if you ever heard his deep voice... It's the best!

On top of his radio show I know he writes for some newspaper and has done TV and many other talks and appearances all over the world. I truly wish I had known about him earlier. He has thought things through very well and also explains them all and very clearly and also is very wise. We don't have the same religion, but so what? Anyone can take so much from him because some truths are just universal.

Anyway, the reason I am saying all this is because I just watched this video below today. I love it so much and want to share with you. We joined Prager University (a website where different people including Prager do short video segments on many different topics)  and have watched many other videos as well. Very well done, short and thought provoking. Let me know what you think.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

20th Mission Reunion-Romania-Moldova Mission

Here I am with almost a little over a week left of my summer vacation. I really feel so lucky to have had this summer time with my kids and family. 

We had a blast this summer and truly took advantage of every day. 

I  have to split the posts since I have so many pictures and fun adventures from this summer. 

For sure I want to document a very important and fun activity we had at the beginning of summer. It was the 20th Celebration Romania-Moldova mission reunion. 

20 + years since we got baptized. Wow! It certainly doesn't feel that long ago but 20 years... Geesh! 

Shane had to work and mom is in Romania now so I took dad and the kids and drove down to UT. 

I was asked prior to the event to speak at the reunion fireside. It gave me quite a bit of stress knowing I would have to speak in front of so many people but at the same time it was such a blessing to prepare for the talk, to remember all the fun and important things that took place in my life all these many years ago. I couldn't wait to see so many friends. We seem so at home when we're all together. I really miss those times! 

It was truly an honor to speak. The event took place at the Assembly Hall in Temple Square that was rented for the reunion. What a beautiful building. All the talks were inspiring, testimony building and full of interesting stories. 

The whole thing was recorded and is on you tube if anyone cares to listen to it. It's kind of long but there it has my conversion story and what the church has meant to us as a family. 

I'm around minute 24. :) 

Also a friend of mine and a returned missionary who served in Romania who works for the church wrote an article in the church news. I can't believe they chose a picture with me in it. My dad is in it too. He looks so cute! 

The morning after the reunion we had a picnic in SLC and here we could bring our kids. I was in heaven seeing Ioana, Irina, Maria, Dahlee, Eniko, Aurelia,  and so many dear missionary friends, mission presidents, etc. It truly felt like the good old times picnicking in RO. The kids had fun playing games and running around. 

My dear friend, Kirsten was awesome to host us at her house. We had a blast seeing her and Martissa Whelchel Spencer, who was her companion and who also stayed with Kirsten. Thank you, dear friend for loving us and being such a nice host. 

My sister in law and her husband who live in UT were so awesome to babysit my kids that Friday when I spoke and no kids were allowed to come. She ended up with them until midnight. There were a series of unfortunate events that happened that night that prevented us from getting there on time but we made it safely after all. Thank you for everything, Ash if you ever read this thing. 

President Morrey group

Ioana, her kids and a missionary friend whom I don't know 
Romanian girlfriends

The Hunsakers, the best missionary couple. They are so awesome!

Lavi got to make her ring at one of the activity tables for kids. It's so cute!

Lovely Cambry Larson Morley and me.

President Morrey is so frail . It was a miracle he actually even came. He's the first mission president call to the Romania Mission. He's awesome. 

President Orton and his wife and Gigi and Jean Alecu

Liz Anderson

Kirsten and Kim, who wrote the article. Love these girls. 

Robyn Patterson, dad, Sister Strong, Shanda Christiansen, me

Jensen, forget his name now, dad, Leavit, Martissa Whelchel, me 
After the picnic we were delighted to go visit Geambasu family in Provo. We had a blast with them and they served us the best food. How I love Romanians! :) 
 After we left the Geambasu house being in Provo we went to show the kids the BYU campus and Provo temple. It is always so fun to go there again. I was totally transported back in time. I miss you Holly, Cristina, Jessica, Ioana, Laura and many others. :)

These were new to me- near the art museum

In front of BYU library

Lavi Bavi-picture taking at the temple right before sunset

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The little things that make life great

I find tremendous happiness in the moments, the little things daily.

Right now I am sitting here on the couch browsing through this cooking blog of this gal, with a belly full of amazingness my husband and I made. Full belly, happy family. New potatoes - roasted, grilled asparagus, grilled chicken. Yum! As a side note, I really doubt our kids have a clue how good they have it with such yummy meals and for the most part home made and healthy. Hahaha. Not bragging or anything.

It's a wonderful, sunny and a little breezy today. It's Saturday and that helps too. :)

As I'm sitting here Lavinia is singing to her "My little pony" show she watches. It's what prompted me to write a little. It's so cute to hear her sweet voice. She's been sick and her liveliness gone but thankfully she seems on the mend now, hence the singing. She's dressed in her bathing suit and is wearing ballet shoes and has some clip on hoop earrings and her face is so dirty. It's quite the funny sight. She's got these long, skinny, beautiful little legs that do look like ballerina legs. She badly wants to go to dance or ballet class.

Earlier while Shane was grilling the kids set up camp outside and played so nicely together. I love seeing and listening in to their conversations. It reminds me of my play dates with my own brother. Oh, what fun we've always had as kids. I brought some balloons from work that they had for an event and no one still wanted. They brought all the play food, plates, blanket and had a 'birthday party' outside. I can be happy and so can they even without some big yard. It's always amazing to me how my kids seem happy no matter what they have. I guess it's all part of their sweet innocent age. I'm gonna soak it up while I can...

In the morning the kids let us sleep in. We heard their little chirping on the hallway by our bedroom. The hallway was lined with cute lego people. The light up there is beautiful., our only northern window besides some smaller ones that line our stairs going downstairs.

Today I was looking through pictures that I had taken a while back and some from yesterday, a picnic recently. Life is going fast but it's good. I am not good about updating this blog but I am kind with myself and don't put any kind of unrealistic expectations on myself. I'd rather enjoy the moments than even write them to remember them. Except for right now. Ha! It hit me that my life is oh so sweet and that the little sweet moments are what it's all about. There are plenty of bad moments too but I will focus on the good ones or at least try to see the good in each kid, in my husband, in people in general, in every day.

Dacian is finishing up first grade. His teacher loves him and said the nicest things about him. I might have to put that here some day. We love her right back. Truly she's a special person and I'm so sad Dacian only had one year with her.

He's a very creative child. It's so interesting the way he thinks and the things he says. He's smart but also a very kind kid. I just love my big boy now. He's also very sensitive kid.

Lavinia is very sporty, she is super strong, and has recently mastered riding her bike. She's a little daredevil who scares the heck out of me. She rides way too fast. She does the monkey bars like nobody's business. She's also a fast little runner and loves to dance and sing. She's hilarious most of the time and we get along better and better. There was a time when she drove me nuts with all the clothes changing she did and how stubborn she was about everything but that seems to have passed.

The two of them make a good pair and love each other so. I don't do many play dates because I work and I think out of necessity they found each other to be good playmates.

Right now I'm don't want to remember the bickering, the sick, the little annoying things that of course do happen. Life is hard, good, bad, full of unexpected things but I learned that gratitude is where it's all at.

 Gratitude towards my good husband, all his efforts to become a better person and spouse, my kids, my good parents, my friends, work buddies that make me laugh every day sure make me realize how happy I am.

And just as I'm about to finish this post and to end with a little reality , Lavinia just went upstairs bawling. I wonder what's going on. To think that the good moments, are just that, moments. I'm so grateful for my life, for God and for the chance I get to experience it all.

Pictures in random order, found on the said card today.
Dacian at his first choir performance. He's not my musical kid but they have a reeealy good teacher and he learned all the songs so well. It was so fun!

He even had a part by himself saying a little joke. He cracked himself up and the audience alike. 

Playdate with cousins, L and Z, making an angry bird pizza. Yummy! It was so fun and now they moved so far away. We are already missing them. 

Biking kids

She learned so fast and couldn't wait to take those pesky training wheels off so she can be like her brother. 

Trying panning. Ugh, not so easy. 

Stuffed portobello mushrooms. They were divine, too bad I only made four. My kids scarfed them down. The roasted tomatoes with the warm goat cheese, yum. Thanks pintrest. 

Mother's Day. 

After church
Love this freckled face and his new teeth coming in. The old ones were grounded to pieces. 
I can't believe I actually could do this to her hair. It's usually so slippery. 

This is what Dacian made me instead of a card. I love it! He came up with this on his own. I thought for sure they did that at school. 
Eating watermelon at our picnic. First of the year. Cherries too. I love spring/summer.
Playing bocce ball with Kim and my parents. We had such a fun picnic just last Saturday.
I cannot believe there were kids swimming in the lake. My dad tried to catch fish but there were none in the lake this time. :)


 Going on a field trip just the other day. It was cute to see Mr. D so popular with so many little friends.
This little boy adores Dacian. They are in the same class but the boy is younger by half a year.
 I chaperoned these two. The little girl was adorable. She kind of looked like D, only a little taller. I caught them holding hands.

 So I forget what this is called but I guess that is 18 million eggs of some fish that lays them in this jelly mixed with sand so no one would eat it. So interesting.
Thank goodness for rubber boots. Sure wish I had some so I could explore more.
 Love their tye dye shirts.
Totally overexposed but kind of cool still.
 Our asparagus today. It was grilled to perfection.
 Pintrest potatoes. I love this recipe. It has ground mustard all over them before they bake.
Shane grilled the chicken with bacon. It was so good. 

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