Joy is very infectious; therefore, be always full of joy.

~ Mother Teresa

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Baptisms for the Dead

On thursday evening, we took Emma, Morgan and Britt to the Mt. Timp Temple and they were able to perform baptisms for my friend Nicole's ancestors.
We weren't too excited to learn that they have changed how they do things at the temple in the baptistry, and no longer take appointments. Once we got there, it was a just shy 2 hour wait!!
Sadly, Jestin and I did not get to participate, as we felt the younger kids that were left home could not stay there that long alone. We were glad that Brent and Nicole got to attend with them and that they brought such a great spirit home with them :) It was fantastic!

Crafting Fun!

We had the kitchen table covered more than once deep in crafting items... the kids and the mom's had a blast! :) 

Hair bows :) 
Abstract Art by Jesselynn 
Can you find my Cub in all that crafty stuff? 

More hair bows 
And a Spring wreath for my front door! *grin* 
Morgan made this darling little Mickey out of pom poms and pipe cleaners! So cute!

We crafted in between tending kids with tummy flu. It was slow moving... and we were blessed to have one kid at a time sick! LOL (yea)
We made due as we could... and kept on playing and enjoying each other with lots of hand washing and clorox wiping....

Chalk Art

On the days that it was dry while we had family here... the kids could often be found outside playing! One of the favorites was sidewalk chalk!
(thank you Dollar Tree! LOL)
LOVE the view from my bedroom window! :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Crazy fun fun

It has been a very busy, but very fun week so far... and it will only continue! *grin*
My oldest brother, Brent, his wife Nicole and their 4 kids have come down for a visit and are staying at our house! It has been SUCH a good time! The kids have played and played and played!

I will post more updates about what we have been doing soon... and pics as well... just wanted to shout out that we are here... we are good... and we are lovin' life this week!!

 Thanks B & Nic for coming to see us, for being such great house guests and for loving and supporting us like you do! :) We love you!!!

Emma's Earth Core

Emmalee had a project she had to complete and turn in this week while the cousins were here. She had to make a model of the earth's core and layers. She decided to invest some of her own money and make it out of Starbursts. (yep... starbursts!)

First it was too sticky. Then she froze it and couldn't get it to mold into the shape she wanted.
Unfortunately her mom had NO idea where she was going with it... and could not wrap her mind around what she was trying to do and she could not articulate it really well.
Luckily! Uncle Brent and Daddy really got into it... giving her ideas... and guidance and the tears were held to a minimum. After 3 attempts, some expanding foam, and lots of un-wrapping... TA DA!
This is the core and layers. 
This is the other side (her best attempt at a blue ocean and green earth *wink*)

It was a complete success!! Everyone else in her class used paper and foam balls. Hers was unique and fun!
She was so pleased!!
So much so that she and Britty promptly went outside and did this:

They shattered it across my driveway...

only to find they then had to clean it up!
We are proud of your efforts and success!
You are awesome! :)

Temple Morning/Afternoon

Ok! So this is out of order... but I posted about the scout court of honor before this one...  this happened that morning... but I will add it here anyway! So there you have it! ;)

My friend Nicole and I have been trying to attend the temple together on tuesday mornings to do her family work. It has been a choice experience and has really helped get me through some of the heart wrenching events of our lives of late. SO: When Nicole text me to see if I was planning on it, I asked my SIL Nicole if she would be interested in going with us! She, of course, jumped at the chance! (They live an hour away from a temple in WA) So we said yes! We got up at 4:30 am and were on our way by a little after 5am.

It was a wonderful session! It was neat how it all played out though... friend Nicole forgot her temple reccommend and was about to not go in with us. We encouraged her to come in anyway and see what they would do. There were a few hoops to jump through... but in the end they allowed her to join us and we were able to serve like we had planned. It was perfect!

After our temple trip, we came straight home, dropped off my temple bag, grabbed some drinks, and SIL Nicole and I headed to SLC to attend the Primary Open House. (SIL is in a Primary Pres. and wanted to attend for her presidency... I just was tagging along because I love temple square and hangin' out with my sis!) Brent was working from home, so he kept an ear out, but Emma and Britt were in charge of keeping all the peps attended to while we were gone. They played and played and played!

We arrived in SLC (I had to take a cat nap on the way *blush*), paid for parking and headed to the Assembly Hall. We quickly learned that the Young Women's open house was scheduled for this day... not the Primary one! *oops* We laughed about it... and then wondered what to do! We had already paid for parking! We considered wandering the mall etc, but my energy levels would not have held out very long, and, being that we both love doing it, we decided to see if the Salt Lake Temple would allow me to attend without my reccomend in hand (I had left it in my temple bag, at home, so Nicole had hers, but I did not :P ).

We entered and asked if we could go. They had a temple Pres. member come down to talk to me. He teased us when he realized we had been at Provo just that morning! He wanted to know if we were headed to Logan next! Bwahahaha!! He called my Bishop to confirm my standing in the church. It was humbling and sacred to hear him ask "can you vouge for Sister Heather Dorius' worthiness?" and to be able to hear the bishop on the other end answer, "Absolutely." I don't know why that struck me so much... but it brought tears to my eyes. It was tender!

Because we had to call and get verification, we missed the 10 o'clock session. The Pres. member asked if we would consider doing sealings before the next session an hour later, to which we agreed. We rented our clothing, and dressed and were lead up to the sealing office. As we turned the corner and entered the office, there was a very tall older gentleman. Immediately I realized there was *something* about this man, but it took a few seconds to register. He said, " Good morning Sisters! What are you doing here today?" As soon as he spoke I realized who it was! My cute Sis-in-law did not yet, and quickly replied in a slightly snarky way, "We are here to serve!" LOL! He laughed and shook our hands....

Elder L. Tom Perry was amazing to meet! He talked to us briefly and then told us to have a wonderful day and then headed to go perform a live wedding. I turned and looked at Nicole and she was grinning from ear to ear! She had realized who he was and quickly asked if she had been too sarcastic to an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ! LOL
It was AWESOME!!!!!!
The sealings we did were nice, and the session was grand, as always, but it all seemed dimmed a bit for the swell in my heart and soul!
I had always figured I would never get the chance to meet an Apostle because I live in Utah and all the meetings I ever attend are attended by thousands! But what better way to meet an Apostle of Jesus Christ than fully dressed in my temple clothes... in the temple of God?!?!?!
Just talking about it makes me glow inside! What a gift!
It really was a WONDERFUL day!! :)

Cody's 1st Court of Honor

(Tuesday Night, March 29th)
While having Brent and Nicole here, Cody had his first court of honor for Boy Scouts! It was fun to have them attend as well!
Cody was embarrassed because he had 4 rank advancements and 2 merit badges... so he kept going up over and over... he detests the spotlight! LOL
His new 11yr. old leader, Bro. Day
This is his good friend Josh and him. They went to a Pow wow together and worked on 5 merit badges. He earned all but 1, but Cody's scatter brained mom did not get the cards turned in a week before the court of honor, so they are making him wait for the other 2 until next court of honor in 6 months. :( (darn memory of mine!)
Mother's pins
He and his other friend Trey getting another advancement.
And now another advancement...
Can you tell he just wants to disappear into the floor? LOL
Another pin
Now that not everyone is staring at him! *grin*
Mom's 4 pins...
I need a lanyard!
We are proud of you Cody!! Keep up the good work! :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday & Family Home Evening

Monday my kids all went to school, well except Cameron - he didn't want to miss any time with his cousins! LOL
The Stoddard kids all worked on their school work in the morning. I really enjoyed having them home learning at my kitchen table etc... it made me MISS homeschooling something fierce!
We took the kids to the Dollar store, and we gathered some crafting stuff and a few birthday items for later in the week. Then we picked my kids up from school. It was still drizzling on and off rain most of the day.

Brent spent the week working in my office, sattelite, for his job. He has such a great job! Once he was done for the day and Jes got home, we loaded up and headed to the Carl Bloch exhibit at BYU for Family Home Evening. 
Photo Credit
It was a very special visit. 
Photo credit
 The kids each paired up with a buddy and looked at the marvelous paintings at their own pace. The little ones stayed with mom's while dad's rented the Ipads offered and shared on and off with the other kids. It was fun to explain the stories of Jesus one on one with little Caleb. I have never enjoyed a museum more... and Nicole mentioned similar feelings with Kate. The thought process that they were too little to enjoy it was way far off. NowI think if we each had 3 little ones at once? yea... that would not have been fun! LOL But one on one with our "babies"? Wow! Tugged at our heart strings. They WANT to know about Jesus... and they ask the most profound questions. Awesome!
Photo credit
This is my most favorite painting. I just stand there and let the tears flow as the significance of this painting fills my soul. You will have to go see the painting yourself, as it is only half of the painting shown above, and you dont want to miss it! It is of Jarius' daughter and his wife. Off where you can't see Him, the Savior is entering the home, but He stops and comforts another in His path. It speaks to me on so many levels... mostly that everything in this life is on His time table, and also that no matter what happens, He can heal anything in this life, even death if it is part of His plan. I also realize from the mother's face I feel that sometimes we are left in our grief for a little while before the miracles come.

Any wonder it is one of my most favorites?

The spirit is so strong at that museum exhibit!

After we were through, the kids didn't want to leave the museum yet and wanted to see more. We wandered downstairs to see their American War History exhibit. It was an amazing life lesson for the kids: as they walked through this exhibit, after spending over an hour in the one with the Savior as the centerpiece, they quickly all decided they wanted to leave. They didn't like how they felt in this other exhibit. It took the light they had felt full of just moments before away... and they all expressed it. It was interesting... and almost sacred.
Better than ANY lesson we could have tried to come up with on our own!

If you haven't been down to see it... GO!! You sign up for tickets so they don't have too many people in there at once, but it's completly free to the public to wander the exhibit! You would not be sorry! 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Update

Sunday morning, the 6 of us and the 6 of them attended church at our home ward together.
We were so thankful to have our new meetinghouse! We all fit on one bench together! :]
Poor little Katie... during the passing of the sacrament bread, the coughed and threw up. All over herself and her mommy. :P
We just thought she had choked, but Nicole took her (and Caleb) back to our house since the two of them were no longer presentable nor did they smell so good! LOL (and Caleb could play with Kate)

Jes got another new calling on Sunday. He is now on the Scout Committee, as well as a teacher in Elder's Quorum. He is looking forward to being involved with Cody in scouts.

Emmalee received her first church calling on Sunday! She has been called as 2nd counselor of the Beehive class. She was very surprised by it. The timing was perfect... her uncle Brent got to stand in the circle with the bishopbric and her Daddy to set her apart. It was really special!

I went with Jes to support him when he received his calling, and as kind of an after thought, they called me to something new as well. I have been asked to be the new Ward Photographer. I am to take photos of each individual family to put on the ward website. I hope my camera does ok photos for such things... I sold my nice Cannon Rebel XT at Christmas time to afford to buy presents! *gulp* Maybe they will need a "ward camera" Bwahahahahaha... we shall see!

After church, and being set apart, we headed up to Ma's for dinner. She made a ham, potatoes and salad.
It was fun to watch all the cousins play - Sean had all his kids there after 8 pm - so we had 12 kids running around outside in the light drizzle of rain playing our classic childhood favorite "Sardines".
This littlest one wasn't terribly interested in getting wet... so she watched them out the window.
Once it got dark, the little ones found distraction with Aunt Nicole's I-Touch. 
Kate Jo & Bethani

We visited and laughed and had a good time!
Sean's family needed to get kids to bed and since they live with Ma we had to leave...
we headed back to our house and played cards and talked somemore.
It was a wonderful sabbath!

Visitors for a week!! :)

Our family had special visitors this week.
My brother Brent, sister-in-law Nicole and their 4 kids came and stayed 9 days with us! It was WONDERFUL!!
The kids played and played and played! 
There was lots of visiting and game playing... 
We watched movies, and tons of yummy food!

They arrived late on friday night. We visited until none of us could keep our eyes open another minute! The girls choose to take over the camper, Brent and Nicole and their littlest took Emma's room and Morgan joined the boys in their room.

Saturday they all headed up to see our parents for the afternoon.
That evening Nicole and I took Emmalee and Britt to Young Women's General Conference, broadcast here at our new Stake Center. They had a wonderful dinner before the meeting.
(We left the Dad's home to make Wiener Boats for the kids *grin*)
Then we went grocery shopping as adults and planned all the yummy meals we wanted to have.
My poor brother has just worked for 6 long months to loose 65 pounds...
'm affraid that he made have gained a few back while in my care! Bwahahaha!
Sorry B!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Bunch of Cousins

Dorius', Stoddard's and McOmber's
Amanda, Emma & Britt
Jesselynn, Kate Jo & Morgan
Jake & Cameron
(missing Caleb, Cody, Latisha and Kayelani)
MARCH 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Family Celebration & Allergic

Last night as a family we did something we haven't done in forever!!
A local resturant offered "kids eat free" coupons, so we decided to go celebrate Jestin's new job as a family by going out to dinner together! :)
We called ahead and they told us 20 minutes wait time.
We drove over and "checked in".
They said it would be just a few more minutes, 20 tops!
(we were in large family/"deal" addict land after all LOL)
We waited over 40 minutes more.
Finally Jes went and asked.
Yep. They totally skipped us.
We finally got seated and it took 15 minutes to get our orders taken, and another 30 minutes to get our food!
(and really...there were empty tables! They just didn't have enough help for such a promotion!)
It took us almost 3 hours to go out to eat! Sheesh!
And then, everyone of our meals had something missing that they had to be reminded about. *sigh*
We won't be doing that again ANY TIME SOON!!
I could have cooked, served, cleaned up AND watched half a movie with my family for that amount of time and with better food! LOL
(see how I am?)
My little Caleb insisted he wanted the side of fresh pineapple with his dinner.
We didn't think anything of it.
He took one bite and said that he couldn't swallow it, it hurt his throat.
He tried to eat some of his other food after spitting out the pineapple, but within 10 minutes time he was crying that his mouth and throat hurt and he felt like he was going to puke.
Jes took him to the bathroom, where he did throw up the small amount of food he had eaten.
His tounge looked a little swollen, but it was mostly his throat.
We gathered up our dinner and headed out.
What a fun time! ha ha

No more fresh pineapple for Caleb!
(my poor baby!)

On a cute side note, before he got sick, I offered him a fried mozarella stick. He looked doubting so I told him it was just a melted cheese stick (one of his favs). His reply?
"No tanks... I don't like mine wif upgrades"


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Life's about change, nothing ever stays the same...

Not sure if it is my stroke brain or what... but I am feeling a strange whirlwind of emotions, thoughts and chaos.

So much in our lives has changed so much the last few months! SO MUCH! I have not even posted half of all the different details on this blog, and yet they have all been so refiningly difficult on each their own levels it has been insane and so very complicated! I am not even sure Jes and I are the same people we were before... things have changed so much. Our thought processes have changed so much! I almost feel like we have been pressed through a juicer in a way!

Today, day two of Jestin's job, I got up early and went to the temple with my friend Nicole. It was a wonderful quiet time... and I felt such peace and such joy. But... I struggled a little. During my prayers I wondered: How do I adequately express my gratitude for Jes' new job because it is BEYOND huge for us! How do I express enough gratitude for his eyes being healed? It really is a miracle in our lives how it all played out and it only could have happened with God's hands in it! How do I express my gratitude for my relatively quick recovery from a stroke at age 34! (and all the miracles that came along with that!) And how will I EVER be able to express my gratitude for all the prayers/fasting/love/encouragement/support our little family has been bestowed by so many through this entire process? There is no way to ever compensate for the gifts we have been given!

I feel all these emotions bubbling up inside of me... along with a little bit of disbelief that it is really over... and a little bit of caution about getting too excited... and a LOT of relief! Which one do I feel?

I find myself walking along the edge of our chaos, looking back, wondering what the heck happened??

We have a lot of change still going on. The dust is still settling.

And it's becoming more and more apparent just how close to Heavenly Father has really been... and how un-alone we really were... even when those around us weren't around. Does that make any sense? It will be hard to give that up I think... now that we are so aware of the influence for good we have enjoyed... It will be difficult to let that constant uplift go! It must be similar to how a baby bird must feel when they leave the nest... it is scary! it is exciting! it is what we have wanted more than anything! But do we really have to move forward?? it is hard! LOL See how crazy my thought processes can be! :P

I am slowly learning that this life is definitely a PROCESS... with lots of different levels of experience along the way.
here we go...
letting go of old...
looking forward to new.
Nothing ever stays the same!

Trip to Idaho

We drove to Pocatello this weekend to celebrate
Grandpa Stoddard's 90th Birthday
It was a hard trip to take with all our circumstances, but I am so glad we went!
Me and my grandpa

The Archie Stoddard Family 2011
(missing Brent, Nicole, Morgan, Britt, Jesselyn and Kate)

We pulled our camp trailer and parked on his street by his house. Saturday they did a big party for him. It was fun to see all the people come and share in his special day. We were so glad we were able to go!