Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Two Towers and the "First Line of Defense"

I know, what am I doing making three posts so close together. Well, I finally had time to find the State Fair pictures and while I was messing around on the computer I downloaded all of the pictures from the camera which led to the arboretum post and this is one that I just felt I should share.
Peter and I have been putting our treadmill to good use the last 6 or 7 weeks. Peter lined our garage with shelves and he put one at the perfect spot in front of the treadmill so that the laptop can be placed on it and you can watch a movie or I actually checked my email during my cool down the other day. Thank you Peter for making the treadmill much more enjoyable!
Peter's preferred viewing is NCIS seasons discs or he got an early birthday present of The Unit- the first 2 seasons. I enjoy full episodes of various shows but lately I have been watching The Lord of the Rings extended edition movies. I am on The Two Towers right now and watched the battle at Helm's Deep on Tuesday. This is such a wonderful part in the film. It seems that all is lost but the elves show up to fight and Aragorn fights so nobly and provides confidence to the old and young. Then there is the humerous interchanges between Gimli and Legalos. Watch it again if you have not seen it recently.
Well this last Sunday I taught the fourth Sunday lesson in Relief Society and it was on Elder Ballard's talk from the April Conference "Mothers and Daughters". So, as I was watching the orcs use a bomb to blow apart the "indestructible" wall of Helm's Deep I thought about this quote from his talk :"As mothers in Israel, you are your daughters’ first line of defense against the wiles of the world." You see, Helm's Deep had but one weak spot- a drainage hole with a grate over it. A man could walk into it but in comparison to the wall it was small. When the explosion occurs there is collateral damage to both forces due to falling debris but then the orcs start swarming in through the hole. Gimli is on the wall still and without hesitation he flings himself down upon the orcs and then stands and attacks the enemy with all his might. Aragorn and Legalos are quick to join the encounter and they do all they can to defend the keep. But there is the battering ram beating at the door which eventually splinters and breaks. There is now another way in. The people of Rohan are eventually pushed into the king's chambers/Keep despite their valiant efforts. They decide to ride into the forces of the enemy and "go down fighting". Well it is the morning of the fifth day and Gandolf is true to his word and arrives with reinforcements. They look to the East and there is the hope that will make their victory possible: new soldiers, Gandolf, and LIGHT.
So back to my comparison, as I watched Gimli so boldly attack the enemy I thought to myself this is what we as mothers need to do. Well, first we should be aware of our weaknesses in the defense of our homes and be vigilant in monitoring those. Then, if there is a breach we should throw ourselves full force at the enemy. We must protect our children and homes! We may feel outnumbered or outskilled but in the end it was the LIGHT and reinforcements that turnd the tide. I find peace in knowing that I am my children's first line of defense and I plan to defend them like Gimli but there is help out there. I have Peter, my other family members, church leaders, primary teachers, prayer, the temple, the priesthood, the Holy Ghost and the Savior-"I am the a light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 8:12). The Savior really is what gives me the strength I need to face the challenges of life and motherhood. And, I will do whatever it takes to get my children to know Him and have a testimony of him for themselves.
So on a final light note: "The Lord is my light, then why should I fear?By day and by night , his presence is near. He is my salvation from sorrow and sin; this blessed assurance the Spirit doth bring. The Lord is my light; he is my joy and my song. By day and by night He leads, he leads me along." (Check out the third verse of this song as well.)


My sister Malisa and her husband Tom were in town for the weekend and Arabella and I took them to the Arboretum. It was our first trip and it was beautiful!
We loved having visitors. They spent the day with us on Sunday and then on Monday we did the Arboretum and lunch. They went to the Cowboys game and flew home on Tuesday. We welcome anyone who would like to come for a visit. They got homemade pie with their Blue Bell, you could have that too! :)
I am a nerd and did not get any pictures of Tom and Malisa with my camera. But Arabella was fun to take pictures of!
They had so many awesome pumpkins and gourds.
This one rattled when you shook it.
The awsome pumpkin display. The houses were made of steel and had this circles all over the outside that the pumpkins and gourds rested in.

She is so cute, I could eat her up!
She did not want to go in the Teepee until I went in and even still she was hesitant.
The wagon was less threatening I guess.
Beautiful butterfly. This is something I have seen much more of here compared to Las Vegas and it is great!
This is the only picture with evidence of Tom and Malisa-their legs! I loved Arabella smelling the flower! I hope to go again, I may consider a pass we will have to see.

State Fair 2010

Big Tex!
"Little Tex" aka Jon
Playing at the kids farm. They have the kids take part in all of the different areas/parts of farming. Then at the end the kids get a pretend dollar for the products they have helped produce/collect/ raise and they get to select a treat from the store.
Feeding the chickens and collecting the eggs.
Driving the tractors with their feed for the pigs to the pigs.
This was their favorite part.
Boris is a gianormous boar. Jon was mezmorized by his large and strange rear end. We did not try to explain what it really was. I would have loved to see him walk but all he did was lay there.
Love the longhorns!
Aren't we the cutest little family! We had just eaten our Fletchers corn dogs- yummy!
The awesome garden train display! We just made it in before they closed it and Joey was in Heaven. We will have to make it there earlier next year so we can enjoy it longer.
Before we left we had a funnel cake-yummy again! We also bought cotton candy which you can see in Arabella's hand. She had fun and was plain tuckered out.
Peter and I loved that as we walked in with our family we had three different older couples give us their leftover tickets for a total of 42- that is $21 worth! Yippee!!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

3 New Looks

We had testing again! To start it off though, we had a visit from a famous person. Yes, that is Noah Ringer also known as The Last Airbender. He came and signed autographs for the Lewisville ATA. The movie is coming out on November 16th and Paramount is throwing a party at the other school in honor of the occasion and we are invited.
Now on to testing. The boys have both been working hard. Joey has spent the last 2 months perfecting his form and Jon has spent 4 months getting ready.
Here is when they were showing the judges their forms and one steps.

They also had to do some sparring.

Nice action shot!
And yes, Jon did it! We are so proud of him. So here is new look number 1- Jon as a green belt.
Joey also achieved his new purple belt. New look number 2.

Arabella had a long time at testing. It was long and she had a hard time being quiet. We went outside and watched through the windows.

And finally, here is Joey with his new everyday look. He has glasses and is getting used to them. He passed his eye exam at school but then a few weeks later did not pass at his well check. I took him to the eye doctor and sure enough he did not pass again. We are hoping this will help him at the end of the day when his eyes are tired, that is what the eye doctor said is that his eyes were working harder at the end of the day. Joey was upset at first but seems to be doing much better now. I promised him that when he is 13 he can get contacts if he wants them.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fun at the Dallas Zoo

The boys did not have school today in honor of Colombus day and so we decided to head to to zoo. Jon had thrown up 3 times during the night but he was able to eat some breakfast so we stuck with our plans.
Close encounters of the gorilla kind- that is Joey and Jon by the window.
Then we rode the monorail and I was busy trying to get Arabella to sit on my lap, so no pictures.
After the monorail, we headed to the Giants of the Savana exhibit. Arabella did not want to share her elephant statue and would not smile. The boys were being total goofs.

They preferred being on this big elephant (and notice a content Arabella on her own elephant in the back). Joey is getting really big and heavy so he better learn to scale that elephant without help soon!
If I ever find a garden spider this big in my garden it had better be bullying all of the bad bugs out of my garden. That is Jon's hand.
These pictures of the cheetah were taken by Joey and Jon-good work boys!

Arabella took a few pictures too but this one she took is evidence that i was there and tha ther nose is booger free! :)

Joey was really brave and tolerated the reptile house. I think these white crocodiles are so interesting. But the disturbing part of the reptile house for me was that in a few of the "habitats" that they have the snakes and lizards in they had built to look like houses of various cultures and the snake was slithering around in there. It made it seem a little too threatening for me.
What a good looking boy!

Look mom, I can fly!

She loved all of the animals but it was really fun to feed and pet the goats.

Arabella says neigh for horse and usually this involves her spreading her feet apart and pointing with her hand between her legs- we own two stick horses and Peter gives her piggy/horsy back rides to her room. True joy on that girls face.

And finally the slide. I wouldn't let the kids play in the little water stream like thing and they were a bit sad but they had been exceptionally good and stayed by me the whole time so they were rewarded with ice cream from the "Zoo McDonald's". It is actually right next door to the zoo but that is what Jon calls it. It was a great day with my 3 amazing kids!
I had intended to post about our trip to the State Fair last week but Peter is extra effiecient and has taken those pictures off of the photocard already. Something for y'all to look forward to!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Two "Temple" Videos and Musings

*Last Thursday I watched a great movie that I had heard about on TV. It was a made for TV movie by HBO called "Temple Grandin". I completely recommend it. It is based on a true story about a real person.

*Then on Friday, Peter and I went to the temple. That too, is a great "video" and if you have not seen it in awhile I recommend you go soon. If I were nearby I would even offer to watch your kids so that you could go.

*I love conference! It is like a Semi-Annual Spiritual Boot Camp. I love that I listen and by the end of the two days (plus this time there was the RS Meeting- fabulous!), I have had my spirit lifted and my desire to try harder and be better strengthened. There is also tha answer of questions that may be on your mind or troubling your spirit. Sweet is the peace the gospel brings!

*Peter is the best! I had a doctor's appointment this morning and when I came home Peter was cleaning up a mess. Arabella last Friday discovered how to take off her pants and diaper- she did this 3 times. Well, apparently the fear of the possibilities of this new found talent came to fruition. Arabella apparently pooped just after waking up and decided to rid herself of the mushy discomfort. He had cleaned her up and stripped off her bedding and was scrubbing it out when I got home. Yes, I do believe that qualifies him for husband of the year.

*Peter was mistaken for a missionary when he was out doing splits with them and this morning Jon's preschool teacher thought Peter was his older brother. Kudos, for Peter for looking some boyish- which he really is a little boy at heart with a little teen mischieviousness mixed in. But, what does that say for me?!

*I caught Jon trying to hide a popcorn kernel in his belly button during conference. He was obviously so engrossed by the messages. :)

*Finally, I said I would post about Joey's lastest tournament and have not so here is a video of him doing his weapons routine for which he took first place! I was up in the stands because parents were not allowed down the on the mats so it is not the best video but I think Joey is the best!