Saturday, February 27, 2016

Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit....

Carol,  here!! This post makes it more often than posting once a year!!  We're moving up!
We are all doing great! Josh is still liking his Job.  The kids are all healthy, beautiful and enjoying Tae Kwon Do( Josh started taking it too!) and school.  More details in a hopefully soon post.

Many of you may not know, but I am continuing my educational journey with the BYU- Idaho Pathway program.  Keeping with BYU tradition, I get to take religion courses!  This semester, is the second half of The Book of Mormon!  Growing up in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I have read and reread The Book of Mormon many times.  But with this religion course, the teacher and the assistance of the student manual,  this sacred scriptures have resonated with me on a whole new level.  This week, I was studying the Beatitudes, specifically "Blessed are the poor in spirit".
In the New Testament, Mark 5:3 it reads, "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  In The Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 12:3 shines more light on Christ's words.  It reads, "Blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
What does it mean to be "poor in spirit"?  Former President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Harold B. Lee, defined poor in spirit: "The Master said, 'Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.'  The poor in spirit, of course, means those who are spiritually needy, who feel so impoverished spiritually that they reach out with great yearning for help.. Every on of us, if we would reach perfection, must one time as ourselves this question, 'What lack I yet?' if we would commence our climb upward on the highway to perfection."  I know for my spirituality,  I go through what seems like waves on the ocean.  Spiritual highs and lows, if you will.  It's on those spiritual highs that I can see the with more clarity the desired destination: perfection.  When in the midst of those spiritual lows, I have felt  'so impoverished spiritually', so distant from the Lord.  
"Blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."  The phrase 'who come unto me' gives hope to those and the times that are 'spiritually needy.'  All that is required is that we come unto Him.  In Him we find comfort.  In Him we find peace. In Him we will be filled with the Holy Ghost, obtain mercy, inherit the earth, or see God.
On this 'ocean of spirituality', may we all continue to strive to come unto Him.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

2 years isn't so bad, right?

Details are below.  But this is Jess, Maren and Emmett taking there belt test for Taekwondo.


Alright.... The last I blogged, I was working for a new company in Orlando (I think).  Well that didn't work out and also I was having heart issues which turned out to be Grave's Disease.  So the day I was diagnosed, I lost my job and long story short, we had a trying 2014, but at the end I landed a new job in Austin, TX!  I now work for a media research company as the resident statistical expert.  I have been here for almost 4 months and it has been amazing so far.  Carol also got a job helping out at an after school care that also teaches Taekwando.  As an added bonus, the kids can all take lessons, and all but Cora opted to do so.  Unfortunately Carol's camera cut out just before Maren broke her board, but she did an amazing job as well.  Emmett was sick for a few days, so he missed his test and consequently got to test solo.  So yeah, now we live in Austin.  At some point I will likely post more details, but for now, life is good, and we are happy and grateful.  


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Better occasionally than never { or annually :( }

So, we aren't doing so well at blogging... in case you didn't notice.  So here is what has been going on since our last post.

We had two more days on our Disney passes, so in April we went back.  Since Emmett didn't really get to much out of his experience in Hollywood Studios we went back there and also hit up the Animal Kingdom.  Obviously that was back in April so I remember we enjoyed it but not much else.   Here are some pictures.

A Bug's Life themed play area.

Eating a little snackage outside New York City set.

Toy Story ride.

Singing in the rain umbrella.

AWESOME Lego store - and yes that is entirely made out of Legos!

Animal Kindgom.  Most of the other pictures are animals or video - sorry.

Once the kids got out of school Carol took them to the pool and to the beach quite a bit and then in June I had an interview in Orlando.  It went well and they made me an offer that I accepted and gave my two weeks notice.  My first day was July 1st for a company called DSCI.  For the first 5 weeks I commuted the 2 hours down and 2 hours back.  We were house hunting and our real estate agent told us about an apartment complex.  We got on the waiting list and moved in on the 5th of August.  The contract is fairly flexible so if we find a house we can move out pretty easily.

The 5th was a Monday so we just loaded up the basics on Saturday and Sunday and drove down, unloaded as much as we could Monday morning and then while I was at work the Elders and some neighbors helped Carol finish up.  The following Saturday we went back and loaded the rest of our stuff with the help of the Elders Quorum and unloaded with the Elders Quorum of our new ward.

Just before we moved my heart went back into afib (it happened just before we moved to Florida as well).  Since I had just changed jobs I didn't have insurance so we went to an Urgent Care and I got my medication refilled (I still had some of the blood thinner so the major risk was mediated).  It lasted for a week this time and really sucked.  The second day we had insurance I went to see a cardiologist (this was after we moved).  He ordered a bunch of tests including an echocardiogram (sonogram of my heart) and some blood work.  My theory was that it was due to hyperthyroid.  I went back for the consultation on Thursday and I was right.  In addition to hyperthyroid I also have a heart valve that only has two flaps instead of three, and all of my valves are leaking.  The three that are normal are only leaking a little bit, according to the doctor 1 on scale of 1-5, but the one that is abnormal is leaking more moderately or about a 3.  The cardiologist said it wasn't to much of a concern now but that I need to go back every year for another echo to monitor it.  Essentially my heart decided to go ahead and age 20 years without me. So now we are waiting for an opening with an endocrinologist.  It is kind of good to know since it explains why I was gassed after a one mile run when a year before I ran six and half with no problem and why I can't keep weight on (I have dropped from 190 to 160 and I am sick of eating).

Besides the medical drama everything is going well.  The kids are enjoying their new school and Emmett is going to Pre-K.  It is from 8-2 which is a bit too long and he is struggling with it a little bit but I think he will get used to it and start enjoying it soon.  The only other news is Jessica's birthday is tomorrow and Maren is 11 days later.  We are excited for their birthdays but struggling with them getting older.

I suppose that is all for now,
God bless!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

We haven't disappeared

Okay, so we have been a little negligent in our blogging.  We haven't disappeared, we just have been in a kind of limbo.  I think we are anxiously awaiting the time when we can actually announce that we have finally found a place and since that is where our focus is it doesn't seem like the other events are nearly as significant.

So, since Jess was baptized (6 months ago, HOLY COW) we are still living with Annette and Rollie.  Maren, Cora and Emmett each had a birthday in turn and we went to Dallas for Christmas break.  There are probably a lot of pictures of all of these events, but I don't know if they have all been downloaded so you get what I have.  Also last week I took two days off of work and we went to Epcot and Hollywood Studios.  It was a great trip that was timed and made even better by meeting my brother Travis, his wife B and their son Peyton.  None of the kids new it was coming so the surprise made it even better.  For those of you who don't know Carol watched Peyton almost everyday for a few years when he was little (he is 4 days older than Cora).  I used to take him from Travis at 5 in the morning as he and I were getting ready to start work and put Peyton in bed with Carol to snuggle until the rest of the house started waking up.  As a result Peyton is feels almost like our own son and we love him so much.  Since we hadn't seen most of our Utah family in two years it was an awesome trip to be able to spend time with them.

And here are some pictures.  (Also Emmett got sick the second day and so he and Carol missed out on most of Hollywood Studios, but luckily our passes still have 2 more days on them so we can go back anytime before the end of June for some more playtime!)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Jessica's 8TH Birthday!!!

So, we are here in Florida - and Jessica turned 8 just about 2 weeks after we got here.  We have a great Bishop in our new ward and he let us set up a baptism quickly - and right on Jessica's birthday.  She was super excited about being able to get baptized on her birthday!  She had been asking for weeks and weeks about if we could make it happen on her birthday.  

We forgot about pictures before - because we were scrambling to get things together.  So this picture was taken about 30 seconds before we got in the font.

As soon as we got home we started taking pics.  

Jess and her best friend!

My Mom made Jess the prettiest dress - she looks so beautiful and she absolutely loves the dress.

I love this picture.  Jess has always been a Daddies girl but lately she has been building a much stronger bond with Carol.  I love these two so much!

The Fam!

He is a HAM!

Happy birthday, Cake! (that's for you Michelle)

And here is the first day of school - why does Jess look like the oldest?

She's not.

In other news ... it rains here everyday and we have been to the beach about every Saturday (where it never seems to rain??).  Cora and Jess were struggling the most, but Cora has made a friend which we are very hopeful about.  It has improved her outlook a lot.  Jess is not a very needy person - so as long as she has her Cora Liz she seems to be fine.  Maren hasn't skipped a beat and Emmett is only struggling with Ammon wanting to love on him a little bit to much.  We are still looking for a place to live - but we are very grateful for Annette and Rollie putting up with us while we look.  Carol and I have good days and bad.  We have been adjusting, but the first Sunday we went to church was really difficult for me.  The ward has been really nice thus far, but that first Sunday I really wanted to be back in Texas.  Other than that - things are going fairly well.  Once more - thanks everybody for your help getting us out here and continuing to pray for us.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The close of another chapter

It is crazy to think that five years ago, we were moving to Texas. Now we are moving away yet again, but this time to the Sunshine state. I have such mixed emotions about it. On one hand, I am so excited to be so close to one of my sisters and the kids get to know some other cousins and go to the beach. On the other hand, I feel like I am being uprooted again just like our move to Texas. Not only do I absolutely love the state of Texas, but its the people I will miss the most. I have become very close to some wonderful people whose friendship I love and am so grateful for. I think that we will be coming back, if not to live, then to visit. I would like to write more, but after a full day of packing, moving and saying goodbye, I am exhausted physically and emotionally (not to mention that it is 1:30 am) and am having a hard time producing coherent sentences.....did that make any sense?? Anyway, with this next chapter of our lives, our Florida chapter, I will try and be more diligent in blogging and following others so I can keep up with the happenings of ya'lls lives. -Carol

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A little delayed

Some friends from the ward invited us to go camping over easter weekend. It was a lot of fun and the kids had a blast. The spot was 2 hours away on some family land. We got a little confused on the actual location, did a small bit of trespassing, and I was sternly talked to for it, but we made eventually made it. On Saturday we had an easter egg hunt for the kids, but mostly we just hung out and played. I got up early Saturday morning and went out on a stand hoping to see a big old piggy, but the only thing I saw was a doe and a faun. They were so small and far enough away, I had to look through my scope to make sure I wasn't looking at a coyote and a pup. Other than that it was an uneventful trip, but it was good to go camping again. We haven't been since we moved to Texas. On a slight aside, E and I went on a fathers and sons campout last weekend. It was not nearly as fun. It was pretty much a sustained 30 MPH wind all evening, night and the next morning. At about midnight, one of my tent poles decided it had enough and the carbon fiber splintered and busted all up, so I had to get up and go stake the tent down again on that wing to keep it from flopping all over us. Not the best nights sleep ever. Oh well, enjoy the pics!!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012


At some point in the recent past, Carol and I decided that it was time to go on a trip somewhere beside Utah (nothing against Utah, but it was time for a change). Fortunately, Annette (Carol's sister) lives in Florida and we hardly ever get to see her and her sweet family. So we planned it all out, loaded up the car and went to St. Augustine for a week. Pretty sure we either forgot the camera or didn't pull it out for the first few days, so pictures from that portion are limited to what is on our phones, and I haven't downloaded those yet.
We left last Friday after I got off of work, and as is our habit, just drove through the night. Rollie, (Annette's husband) is doing some military training near Pensecola, so around 6:00 a.m. we picked him up and he drove us the rest of the way in on Saturday morning. After a power nap and a shower, we went to the church and were blessed to be able to witness Ammon get baptized. It was an awesome ordinance, and Rollie did an amazing job.
Sunday we went to church with Annette and it was great to actually just go to meetings and have a little break (at least for me; Carol spent the whole time in Primary so I don't know how much of a change it was for her). On the way home Emmett asked me if I was going to stay to count and was quite pleasantly surprised when I said no. The rest of the day we just hung out and relaxed.

Monday we went into St. Augustine and went to an Alligator Farm. The kids loved it. Cora and Jess were both freaked out by the hairy catipallars that seemed to be everywhere and a bird pooped in Jess's hair, but after a few tears and a trip to the bathroom to clean it up she was okay. After that we ate at a great fish house, and then we wandered through the city a bit. It is kind of a tourist trap, but that is what we were so it was fun. On Tuesday we went back into the city and did more of the sites. It is the oldest continually inhabited European city in the U.S. but since it was founded by those silly Spaniards, the history books don't talk about it. We rode a trolly through the city and had a tour, and then visited a pirate museum and walked through the shopping district.

On Wednesday we drove down to Orlando and went to Disney World. We weren't planning on going but Alan and Bonnie sent us a surprise gift of funds (thank you!) and so we decided we would let the kids experience the Magical Kingdom. We actually broke out the camera at that point so there are a few pictures below of our visit. It was spring break for the locals so the place was PACKED! But we were still able to cover most of the park and the ride all the classic rides (Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan, Haunted Mansion, etc...) I lucked out and took Cora and Jess on Splash Mountain while Carol took Emmett and Maren on It's a Small World. Then we switched, Carol went on Splash Mountain and I took Emmett and Maren to Mickey's Phylharmagic. We spent pretty much the rest of the day together and didn't get back up to St. Augustine until about midnight. It was a super long day, but the kids had a blast and were troopers. They didn't whine or complain almost the whole time. There were a few short lived moments but over all they were great!

On Thursday we went to the beach. The kids had so much fun! Cora and Jess were having a blast body boarding, and Maren and Emmett built sand castles and played in the shallows. Annette brought a little Hibachi so I grilled some hot dogs and sausages and we just played all day. We figured out we are a little out of practice with sun block, so there are a few patches of red skin here and there but I think if we lived next to a beach the kids would want to spend all summer and every Saturday playing in the water (and I have to admit, other than the sand it is a bit tempting). Friday we packed up, cleaned up, and tried to get Annette's house back into some what of the condition it was in before we arrived. With Rollie gone on training we increased the size of her house 200% from what it usually is. Then we had dinner and headed back home. We got back in yesterday morning and slowly unpacked and tried to get ready to head back to the routine. Carol and I were both glad it was conference weekend and we didn't have to jump back into that part of the craziness that fills our daily lives just yet. Now here we are Sunday night and ready to get back to it in the morning. Below are some of the pictures we took. I uploaded just about all of the pictures to Facebook so you can see the rest of the trip there.

On the train headed to Frontier Land about to start our day in the Magic Kingdom.

Maren and Emmett on It's a Small World.

We ate "lunch" on the people mover. I say "lunch", because the sandwiches got left in the car so we pretty much just ate the snacks that we had packed. There was plenty of food, but we had to refill our water bottles at the drinking fountains, and well they tasted like swamp water. Even not getting a real meal the kids were great.

Maren did have a good time, but she was upset because she thought someone was laughing at her. There are pictures of her smiling.

The whole family in front of Cinderella's Castle.

Maren working on her sand castle.

Jess was a little afraid of body boarding at first since she really didn't like the taste of the ocean, but once she really caught her first wave we had to practically drag her out of the water.

Cora bought a cheap body board at one of the shops on Tuesday. For $6 and change it was probably the best thing she could have gotten. She didn't want to leave the water for anything!

Emmett loved building sand castles and smashing them as well as looking for seashells. There were moments where it looked like those little blond locks belonged at the beach.

I am so grateful to have had so much wonderful time with my family. It really was a great vacation and it was so nice to not have to worry about homework, grading papers, research and all the other things that have constantly plagued me on any of our past trips. More than one prayer of gratitude was offered for such a stress free time with my beautiful bride and wonderful kiddos. Now we need to plan one with just Carol and me!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Christmas and a visit from my folks

I really am sorry for the loooooooond delay in between posts. Josh has been working mandatory overtime and I have been pretty busy myself between kids, TPA board, primary president and oh ya, I am enrolled at BYU-Idaho(online of course)! I am taking a institute course as well. So blogging just hasn't been a priority.
Anyway, here is two pics of Christmas. It was a simple but wonderful!

I think that it is safe to say that I am completely smitten with this boy!!
I love this picture of my boys!! We have been in this house for over three years now and we have only just started using the fireplace this year. Duh. I wish we had done it much sooner. I had forgotten how beautiful and mesmerizing a fire can be. Emmett worries me though. He REALLY likes fire. Whether in the fire place or the grill, he has to watch.
We had the opportunity to have my parents come visit us a couple weeks ago. My dad dropped off my mom and came back for her 10 days or so later. It was so nice to spend time with "grandma rabbit" and papa.
ok, well that should suffice for blogging for a month or so right?????