Sunday, August 12, 2012

Of Cheese Graters and Choices

"While we are free to use our agency to make our own choices, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions."

Of Sunday Snack Bags

I am constantly trying to come up with fun ideas to make our family just a little better, have a little more fun, and be a little more effective. My latest attempt at family betterment has been to make Sundays just a bit more spiritual and special for the kids.

I bought a bunch of fun little snacks that we don't normally have, and bagged them in "snack kits." We get home from church around noon, so everyone gets a snack kit and heads to their room for an hour, where they are supposed to quietly eat their snacks and read their scriptures. I am not sure how much scripture reading goes on, because I hear a lot of giggling and talking coming from their room, but at least they are contained long enough for the adults to catch a quick snooze. After the hour is up, everyone is allowed out of their rooms, and I have various stations set up around the living room; a Sunday book/magazine reading station, a letter writing station, a journaling station, etc. Eventually I will add a goal setting station, but baby steps, baby steps.

We are still refining this system, but it has great potential, and I like it! One thing we added today, was that Curtis and Arden cooked dinner. While I do love to cook, it was nice to have a little break from it! I spent the time helping the girls paint their nails. It was fun to just chill with them. (-:

Here's to fabulous Sundays, that start the week off right, and are spiritually uplifting for kids and adults alike!
Posted by Picasa

Forgive S'more

As the young women's president in our ward, I have the privilage of being in with the Laurels (16-17 year olds) most Sundays. I am always so impressed by the wonderful lessons given by the advisors, and the darling handouts they come up with. The one pictured below was actually from a combined lesson taught by our Mia Maids (14-15 year olds) advisor. She was kind enough to give me some of the extra handouts so that I could use them for a family home evening lesson. My kids were delighted!
Posted by Picasa

Of Toilet Plungers and Torches

I think I managed to capture about five photos of our Nielsen family reunion. What can I say? It was so darn fun that I just plumb forgot to take photos!

One of the highlights of the week was the day we spent down at the lake. Shawn and Heather rented a motorboat that we all took turns riding around in. It was highly entertaining watching the uncles do water acrobatics on the innertube behind the boat!

Here are some of the cousins playing around.

Also pictured here is part one of our family olympics, hosted by Devin and Laura. Yes, for those of you who are wondering, the "torch" is indeed a waterballoon in a toilet plunger. No worries, it was well sanitized! Points to Laura for her creativity there!


We are so blessed to have such wonderful extended families.
Posted by Picasa

Of Seven Peaks

Sadly, I have been awful at taking pictures this summer, and I feel bad that I have missed documenting some pretty significant events (reunions and such). I think it is because half the time I didn't know where the heck my camera was (thanks to the kids taking up amatuer photography), and the other half of the time I discovered that either my battery was dead or my memory card was full (also courtesy of the kids. I love having kids, by the way. I can blame everything on them!). I did, however, happen to capture a few darling photos at Seven Peaks in Utah this summer. Thanks to Grandma Hardin, the kids were able to participate in the Peaks Reader program, where after accomplishing a particular reading goal they received free passes to Seven Peaks. Luckily, we just so happened to have a trip planned to Utah this summer so they could use them!

Did I mention I have the most awesome brother ever? All my siblings are pretty great, when it comes right down to it!
Posted by Picasa

Of Tikis and Palms

I figure before it gets too late in the year I'd better document my anniversary with Curtis! Since this was our 10 year anniversary, we actually have been celebrating all year, beginning with a Valentine's Cruise to Mexico, but we did not want to let our actual special day pass without some fun!

Despite a small incident involving our tiki lanterns bursting into roaring flames, we had a delightful dinner in a pavilion by the beach, surrounded by beautiful rose bushes. Then it was off to a play in nearby Oceanside.

Ever since we moved here two years ago, I have wanted to meander around down town and check out some of the cute shops and whatnot, so that is what we did!

I was curious what they sold in a bark shop...various kinds of bark? Maple, or ash, perhaps, anyone?

This was typical of the hours kept at many of the downtown shops. It made me smile! I love how chill Carlsbad seems to be!

In times past, I have harbored this strange fascination with palm trees. Perhaps it is because I grew up in the midwest, where palm trees were nowhere within hundreds of miles of us. Curtis still teases me about an incident that occurred on our honeymoon, as we were overlooking a beautiful, lush valley. In my awe, I remarked on how all the palm trees looked just like fros on sticks!
Anyhow, when we moved here to Carlsbad, I was determined that I would climb to the top of a palm tree, and accordingly added it to my bucket list. I am happy to report that I have now accomplished that goal.

O.K., so maybe it wasn't a very big palm tree...

We had a fabulous breakfast at a delightful little outdoor waffle place downtown.
Many thanks to B and K for taking our little kiddoes for the night, so we could enjoy a delightful and relaxing time!

Here's to another 10 years as amazingly wonderful and full of love as the first! I love you, my darling Curtis!
Posted by Picasa