Sunday, 23 December 2007

A New Kind of Nativity Pageant

Jill and Elisabeth decided to dress up and do their own nativity pageant. I'm not sure Chico quite realized the important role he was playing - the baby Jesus. I think this may become my favorite nativity picture :0)

Mafia to Mormon

Maria to Mormon: My Conversion Story by Mario Facione
This a great story! The back of the book says:

I learned early that if you don't want to go to schoolf or a career...then this was the life. But there were rules. You better not drink, you better not be a big shot, and you better always stay low and keep your mouth shut. If you're going to play the game, you've got to play smart. Thus began Mario Facione's show descent into the Mafia world....
It's a great story. It's simply amazing to me how the truth can touch anyone and can change anyone's life - even if it seems impossible. I loved this read.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Family Christmas Party

Tonight was our Hyde family Christmas party. It was a GREAT time. Here is the whole gang.

Gaylene and the great hostess: Aunt Colleen!

Aunt Shirley came even though she had been busy getting Ardell moved that day.

I really should have zoomed in on Garrett since I couldn't get the others to pay attention! LOL

Sorry for surprising you Aunt Marvelle :0)

Brad, Uncle Clifford, and Dustyn, the new car owner! :0)

Kara, Devon and Beth

Gaylene brought a HUGE box of candy and played Boolah Boolah with

the kids...they all STILL like her best :0)

Ashley, Paula, Shirley, Garry and Christopher

Ah yes...the lovely hour of group photos....we all love that. :0)

Heidi and Kara

Dad, pontificating on the all important something or other... :)

The Anderson/Boyer clan getting ready for a group shot

Two of my favorite girls! Taylor and Jill

Good thing Aunt Colleen has a big house! We can sure fill it!

Syd and PJ

Taylor and Dillon....Taylor is a GREAT babysitter!

Jordan and Tanner....waiting waiting waiting for their turn at the Wii

Say cheese Helen!!

Oooh! La! La! Who is that handsome guy??!!

My favorite boy. Peirce! :0)

Ha! I got one of Alissa smiling!! That is not an easy

feat...she loves to play the 'cheat the camera' game

[sigh] and by the end of the night we all end up laughing our head's

off at the antics of Duane.....oh my weak bladder!

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Ward Christmas Party

We had our ward Christmas party this past weekend. It was the first time in years that I wasn't in charge of this great event....and it was so wonderful! I thoroughly enjoyed being a participant. :0)

What ward party is complete without the primary singing a song or two?! They were as cute as one would expect they'd be. Earlier that day Peirce and I went shopping and he found the headband he is wearing. It says "Happy New Year" on it. He said that they were reindeer antlers though. All night Allen was irritated that Peirce was wearing a "tiara". LOL

Before the primary sang there was quite a wait before they got going. While we were all waiting suddenly one voice rang out over the others, "Let's just get this over with!" ....spoken in true Peirce-like fashion. LOL

Tanner maintained a poker face the entire time. I'm not sure performing is really his favorite activity.

This is one of Heidi's little boy's she takes care of. He's a real cutie!

It was hard to keep track of Jill most of the night. She has a busy social life when it comes to parties and hanging out with her friends!

If only Peirce knew who was posing as Santa. This is a man in the ward that Peirce really doesn't like. He is a real joker and Peirce doesn't think his jokes are all that funny. LOL

You're never too old to sit on Santa's knee!

After the dinner they had a dance. Jill was eager to dance with Allen and could drag him out to the dance floor. However, when he'd get dancing she'd say, "Are you purposely trying to embarrass me?!"

I really didn't think that would start so soon in our parenting career. LOL

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Swim Meet Night

Tonight was Jill's swim meet. I'm amazed at how much she has improved over last year at this time. She had goals for the times she wanted to get for each of her races - and she did it! It was a lot of fun to watch.

Peirce had a great time too. They have a play place there and he had a terrific time playing.

Then he threw we went home.

Look At What Your Mama Has Done!!

Why oh why have I posted a picture of my toilet??!!

BECAUSE!! You see that yellow flush valve thingy in there?? I just changed that.

The old one wasn't working.

Yesterday I had a plumber come over to fix it. He said, "That'll cost you $300 ma'am."

I told him to go to hell (well, that wasn't exactly what I said)

I figured I'm at least as smart as that guy and that I'd do it myself. It wasn't easy...and it didn't all go smoothly...but I finally did it!! Heck, I might even replace those other brownish colored plastic parts in there! (They're sure ugly, aren't they?!)

If you'll excuse me now I think I'll go flush...just because I can.

Monday, 10 December 2007

They're just so darn cute....

This is mostly all we've seen of Jill the last couple of days

Then there's my cute spiderman boy....even spiderman likes to fall asleep in front of the TV after a hard day of fighting evil in the kindergarten world....

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Nathan's on TV

Allen's brother, Nathan was on the news last night. Check it out!

He's at the 2 minute mark

Friday, 7 December 2007

Flush by Carl Hiaasen

Just finished Flush last night. We're reading this book for the parent/child book club at the library this month.

I've noticed some real trends in the books Jill and I have read lately. There's a real predominance of kids that save the world and solve their problems on their own. When I read this book I had to wonder if reading books helps kids develop more self-esteem and to develop their problem solving skills. The characters in these books are sure confident and resourceful! It's interesting to read these adventures as an adult. It's even more interesting to discuss them with kids. I have no regrets joining the parent/child book club!

Here's the summary from the author's website:

You know it's going to be a rough summer when you spend Father's Day visiting your dad in the local lockup. Noah's dad is sure that the owner of the Coral Queen casino boat is flushing raw sewage into the harbor-which has made taking a dip at the local beach like swimming in a toilet. He can't prove it though, and so he decides that sinking the boat will make an effective statement. Right. The boat is pumped out and back in business within days and Noah's dad is stuck in the clink. Now Noah is determined to succeed where his dad failed. He will prove that the Coral Queen is dumping illegally . . . somehow. His allies may not add up to much-his sister Abbey, an unreformed childhood biter; Lice Peeking, a greedy sot with poor hygiene; Shelly, a bartender and a woman scorned; and a mysterious pirate-but Noah's got a plan to flush this crook out into the open. A plan that should sink the crooked little casino, once and for all.

Turns out he's another author who has a book that was made into a movie. He's also friends with Dave Barry and with Jimmy Buffet. He also has a column that he write for the Miami Herald
Sounds like an interesting guy!

Most interesting of all to me, though, is that last month he wrote a column saying that the issues brought up in Flush actually are happening in Florida!

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

If God Loves Me, Why This?

I just finished reading 'If God Loves Me, Why This? Finding Peace in God's Plan for Us'. It's a short book and an easy read - and has a great message. I bought it for someone else and wanted to scan through a bit of it first - but I found myself compelled to read the whole thing. I loved the analogies the author uses. One example can be found on the Time Out For Women website. It's a great book. I totally recommend it!

I also loved his analogy about why the "Sunday School" answers are so important (you know...the easy answer to almost every Sunday School question: pray, read your scriptures and go to church....only he calls them seminary answers). He compares it to a couple of sports analogies. When I read that it made me think of the experience we've had losing our baby, Destiny. In the midst of it I knew I was just walking robotically...and I didn't feel hugely bouyed up or comforted by any of the pat phrases people would say, even though I did agree with them (thank goodness for the gospel, aren't you glad you know that you will raise her after the resurrection and that she'll always be yours, etc.) In those moments though if I didn't have those things deep in my heart it would have been impossible to find any comfort because there was just too much hurt. In the middle of the crisis is no time to be finding the answers to those hard questions. Those things need to be deeply embedded prior to the critical moments...which is why the daily scripture study, prayer and attending meetings/involvement in church is so is what prepares you to handle things when life throws you a real curve ball.

Kim Nelson (the author) says:

A couple of sports analogies help explain why it is so important for us to study the scriptures, say our prayers and attend our church meetings. In bot the football huddle and the basketball time-out, we discover the importance of preparing in advance. Let's look at each.

First, the football huddle. Long before the season begins, football teams practice. They get in shape, learn their playbook, and memorize their assignments from the playbook. They see that everybody has an orchestrated opportunity to contribute in some way to make each play work. The book teaches them specific principles for specific situations.

In a game, there isn't time to sit down with each individual person and tell him what he is going to do on the next play. But if a player has prepared, he can step into the huddle between plays and, in less than twenty seconds, get an assignment and know what he is supposed to do.

A similar kind of preparation is available to us spiritually. For example, our spiritual playbook says, "As [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7). So, in the heat of the game of life, if I find myself thinking something I don't want to think, I can that thought because I understand the principle. The time to prepare is long before I find myself out on the field in a difficult situation.

Constant prayer is the moment-to-moment huddle with the Spirit to check the play and our assignment. He reminds us of the basic game plan of our lives - the big celestial kingdom. I will keep my temple covenants. I will go; I will do. All those principles are part of our playbook, and the more familiar we become with that book, the easier it is for us to remember what our assignments are in different situations when the game is on the line.

Now let's discuss the example of a basketball time-out. Those who have played know how common it is, especially towards the end of a hotly contested game, to hear the coach say something like this, "All right, we're going to run play number 1." Or he may motion from the sidelines, holding up a certain number of fingers to designate a specific play. Because of the team practices, all the players know what they're going to do. They don't have to draw it up or ask who stands where; they've practiced it a hundred times. Preparation is what gives us the confidence to win.

At the end of a rugged day, I always run my old standby reliable play: prayer. I've done it a thousand times and more. I know it works. I have that dependable play to fall back on at any given time. I practice and practice and practice, and it prepares me. It gives me confidence. With that confidence comes peace in the pressure of the game, peace that I'll know exactly what to do. I'll know who's standing where, I'll know who I can count on, and I'll know to whom I can look for advice and counsel.

Saying our prayers, reading our scriptures, and participating in all our meetings and callings - all those activities prepare us to respond in those times of great stress and pressure in our lives. When seconds count, or when we are tired or drifting and life call on us to come up with an answer, I would suggest the seminary answer: say your prayers, read your scriptures, and participate in all your meetings. Chances are, those are the things that will work.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Christmas Party

On Saturday we went to our Primerica office party. It was a lot of fun. We have some great people there that we call friends.

Here's a picture Idrees snapped of Allen and I. It's one to take note of. We never take pictures of the two of us it seems! This was at the end of a night of we look a little worn out (okay...maybe I just look worn out). We ain't as young as we used to be I guess!