Jan 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad!

Happy Birthday Dad! Today is my Dad's Birthday and I just can't help but be a lemming and write a little about why I love my Dad so much and wish him a Happy Birthday.

Actually, I have been thinking a lot about the things that my Dad has taught me and the ways that he has influenced me. He has always been such a force for good in my life, I thought that I might list a few of these things.
One of the largest ways my Dad has influenced me is that I am a dyed in the wool BYU fan. I can remember as a child spending days just going down to campus. Just to spend the day there. We used to sing the 'Cougar Fight Song' on road trips. I also have attended BYU football games with my Dad since I was too young to even need a ticket of my own. Through the years I am sure I often took these opportunities to spend so much time alone with my Dad for granted, but even as I sit here and write about it I am brought to tears thinking of all the fun times I had with him going to the games. Along with going to the games, he gave me a love for football that most women are never able to attain. I can honestly say I enjoy a good football game considerably more than my husband. It is a strange twist.

My Dad is the most fair man I have ever known. He always gives people the benefit of the doubt. This is something that I admire, but have not perfected. This did give me a good start in life dealing with other people though because I didn't have any experience with being judgementmental or prejudiced.
My Dad was always a wonderful spiritual leader in our home. He taught me to make a decision about the important things in life once and then be a good enough person to stick with the decision. He made the decision he would go to Church on Sunday, so there is no question on Sunday morning, he already made the decision a while back. It makes for an easy Sunday morning. I don't know if I have explained this quality very well, but I think that it has been of great benefit in my life. I don't have a lot of times where I have to figure out what I am going to do, I have already made the decision. I fulfill callings, because that was a decision I made when I received the calling. That is what my Dad taught me through his example.

One thing that I didn't realize until recently is that my Dad, along with my Mom, provided a safe, happy environment for me. He protected me from so much of the rotten things that he saw at work, and never brought it home. I am so grateful that I grew up feeling safe and happy and always knew my home was a haven from the world. I often, in talking with my friends, say I grew up in a "happy little bubble", and frankly, I am grateful for that bubble that was provided. I may be a bit naive, but I don't know it.

One of the things I am most grateful for is that my Dad taught me to have a good sense of humor and some moderation in my life. Life should be fun, and my Dad taught me that I should be able to take time and enjoy the things I like to do. He has always been a hard worker, but he also showed me it is okay to go to a movie instead of spend the entire day Saturday working. You can do some of each, fun and work.
My Dad has a great sense of humor and some of the greatest movies are movies that I first watched with my Dad. Indiana Jones, Die Hard, and Romancing the Stone are all movies that I remember watching with Dad.
One of my greatest memories that my Dad probably doesn't even remember is the first night of bombing during Desert Storm. My Dad let me stay up late (I was in 9th grade) and watch the news with him. I am so much like my Dad in my love of politics, current events, and history. I didn't know it then, but that interest in what was going on and watching that together was something that was so neat to me to be able to share with him.
There are so many things about my Dad that are so extraordinary. I am so grateful that I was able to be raised by such a caring, loving, strong, spiritual man. I can't express in words how much I really love him, but I hope he knows. Dad, Happy Birthday!

Mom and Dad for Christmas. Awhh.

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Jan 20, 2009

8 Is Great Part 2

On January 10 Jake was baptized. It was a great day for our family. As we talked before he was baptized I was amazed at his level of understanding of the gospel and the ordinance that he was participating in. I don't think I knew that much at his age, and I don't think I taught him all he knows. Regardless, he knows and it makes me happy.
We had so much family travel and send their love and support I was so grateful for the efforts that were made.
The baptism program was short, but went very well. Jake actually sang a song all by himself. I was so proud of him. There have been many people who attended his baptism who have commented to me about how sweet and wonderful his song was. It was good for him to learn the words to the song too because they talked of the covenant he was taking.
I am so proud of my Jakers. It is times like this that make me so grateful to be a mother and to have these sweet (most of the time) kids in my home. I sure love my Jake. I am one happy Mom.
Oh, plus we didn't get any great pictures. Seriously, these are the best of them. Bummer.

Here is Jake in his new suit that he got for his baptism. He is just being goofy. We get goofy or eyes closed. Take your pick.

Here are the guys ready for the baptism. Those are pretty stylin' outfits.

Jan 5, 2009

8 Is Great!

My Jakers is 8!! It is absolutely nuts. I can't believe he is getting so big. He has been such a wonderful little guy to have in our family. We went to dinner at a Chinese restaurant once and I saved his fortune from his fortune cookie because I thought it was completely meant for Jake. The fortune reads "Your smile brings happiness to others." I think this perfectly describes his affect on others.
The thing that continues to amaze me is what a happy, optimistic, sweet personality he has after everything he has gone through. This sweet boy has overcome many things already in his life, and always is surprising me with his cheerful attitude. Most of the time I don't think he even knows he was dealing with more than most kids do. He brings me so much happiness (most of the time, he is an 8 year old boy) and he keeps me on my toes. I know there is no way for me to let him know how much I love him, but every day I will keep trying.