Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kids say the darndest things

Its been a while since I posted anything funny that Gabe has said so here are a few recent nuggets. As he has mastered the English language his funny ways of turning a phrase have become (sadly) less and less frequent. While David Hyrum is beginning to have some words, most of his cuteness is still in the things he does instead of the things he says. He also still uses a few baby signs for the words that are hard to say, like "thank you".

As we were going into the street Gabe reached up his hand and asked, "mom, will you guide me?"

At preschool the other day Gabe abducted a toy from a fellow play mate. The little girl told Ms. Jan the teacher and Ms. Jan went to talk to Gabe- "Natalie said that you took her medical bag from her, is that true?" (Gabe)"Oh no, Natalie is just confused." (Poor thing)

In his prayers he has taken to putting the word "Beautiful" before every request and every expression of gratitude. "Thank you for the beautiful day, the beautiful house, help us have beautiful strength, help us to be beautiful happy and beautiful healthy..." I'm thinking he doesn't exactly understand the word beautiful yet but it sure is cute.

After much personal pondering, out of the blue from the back seat of the car Gabe announces, "So much people came to my birthday party; not very many people came to daddy's." (This is quite true, I'm sure there were 25 people that came to Gabe's party and my sister's family couldn't even make it to Zach's. It was a very small affair.Gabe's birthday party was months ago in May and Zach's was in August, he said this early September.)

When David Hyrum folds his arms for prayer he will often say, "more, more" after his "amen" indicating that he wants us to pray again. I whispered some words to David that he could not repeat and Gabe let me know that "David is praying in his heart."

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Fellowship of His sufferings

This entry is dedicated to those in Zach's family who are suffering right now from their many physical afflictions, and to anyone else who is suffering on the inside.

I started a book called A Disciple's Life written by Bruce C. Hafen. It is the biography of a Neal A. Maxwell, a former member of the quorum of the 12 disciples. It talks about his battle with what would eventually become terminal cancer (leukemia). There are some beautiful things expressed about what this experience teaches him. Elder Maxwell had written and spoken often enough about this "special suffering". Twenty years before in a book he wrote called All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience he says that afflictions come to us because an omniscient Lord deliberately chooses to school us.The very act of choosing to be a disciple... can bring to us a certain special suffering..."
Hafen includes a quote by Anne Marrow Lindbergh which reads, "I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and a willingness to remain vulnerable." It is not simply in suffering that we become Christlike, it is what we choose to do and learn with our trials that refines the soul. Elder Maxwell lets his suffering give him a "feel" for what other people taste in their sorrow and deepens his understanding of the atonement of Christ. "The more I learn and experience," he said, "the more unselfish, stunning, and encompassing His Atonement becomes! When we take Jesus' yoke upon us, this admits us eventually to what Paul called 'the fellowship of [Christ's] sufferings." (Philippians 3:10) Then if we are meek enough, our suffering "will sink into the very marrow of the soul." May we all strive to have this attitude in times of trial.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Whats in a Name?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

Zachary a derivative of Zachariah from the Hebrew name זְכַרְיָה (Zekharyah) meaning "YAHWEH remembers", or God has remembered. (This was the name that Zach's parents chose after 10 years of trying to have another baby.)

Gabriel is from the Hebrew name גַבְרִיאֵל (Gavri'el) meaning "strong man of God," or simply "man of God". Gabriel was one of the seven archangels in Hebrew tradition. He appears in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, where he serves as the announcer of the births of John to Zechariah and Jesus to Mary. According to Islamic tradition he was the angel who dictated the Qur'an to Muhammad.

David from the Hebrew name דָּוִד (Dawid), which was probably derived from Hebrew Hebrew דוד (dwd) meaning "beloved". David was the second and greatest of the kings of Israel, ruling in the 10th century BC. Several stories about him are told in the Old Testament, including his defeat of Goliath, a giant Philistine. Jesus was also descended from him.

Lately we've been thinking about the name for our third boy. We have two that have made it to the short list now: Raymond Frank and Kenneth MacLeod. They are both family names.
(Raymond was my uncle who died trying to save a drowning child and Frank who was my paternal great grandfather who immigrated from Poland to America. Kenneth is Zach's father's name and MacLeod is Zach's middle name which is also found in his family history. We would probably call the first one Ray and the second one Mac so as not to be confused with his grandfather.)

Zach prefers to see what the child looks like before we make our final decision- so sorry mom H., can't help you out with the sweater name tag just yet. Since neither name is set in stone yet I'm just curious about feed back and if there is a really great name out there that we have overlooked.

P.S. If you want to look up your own name go to: http://www.behindthename.com/name/david

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Super Cool

Gabe's retro metal superman lunchbox- cool

Zach re-dying his hair back to its natural color less cool

White eye liner and those bangs- definitely not cool (scary! Alana 16 years old)

Gabe- Super cool!
Gabe is starting his first day of preschool today and I don't know who is more excited, him or me. I know he's going to love it over at Ms. Jan's and I'll be glad to have some one on one time with David Hyrum which he doesn't get nearly as much of as Gabe did. Good Luck Gabe!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


This past week our family got to go to North Carolina Beach for a little R&R under the sun (well clouds mostly) and enjoy time with my sister's family and my folks. We only stayed a few days but that's enough to need a vacation from your vacation when you have small children to watch out for. One of the high lights of our trip however, was getting to watch a sea turtle hatching Friday night during the full moon at high tide. (The picture I've posted is a little deceiving since the hatchings don't usually happen during the day.)I suppose the theory is that between the moon light and the gravitational pull the little sea bound turtles just instinctively know where to go once they break out of their shells on the beach. No one knows exactly when the hatching will take place, roughly 58-59 days after they are laid, but avid nature lovers sit around the nest during the full moon, protecting it from ignorant pedestrians and waiting for the big event. We, on the other hand, had my dad call when the sand started to sink in so we could walk down. (You are supposed to be very still and quiet during this whole process and David Hyrum couldn't quite make the cut so Zach had to take him back early.) Gabe however wanted to stay and so we sat for an hour waiting for the sinking sand to become emerging baby turtles. As requested, he was very quiet and respectful during the hatching despite the multitude of sea fleas that were out for the kill. This is the second time I've been able to watch a hatching and you can't help but feel like its a little miracle that you are watching, much like when someone gives birth.
This got me thinking about creating. Watching some of Heavenly Father's creations in progress has a neat way of leading us to reflect on that aspect of His eternal nature. I was reading a talk by Elder Oaks that lent itself to my musings:

Brigham Young gave us some practical advice on how to do this. “The
difference between God and the Devil,” he said, “is that God creates and
organizes, while the whole study of the Devil is to destroy” (Discourses of
Brigham Young, p. 69).Remember, our Savior, Jesus Christ, always builds us up
and never tears us down. We should apply the power of that example in the ways
we use our time, including our recreation and diversions... During my lifetime
I have seen a strong trend to displace what builds up and dignifies the
children of God with portrayals and performances that are depressing,
demeaning, and destructive.

The powerful idea in this example is that whatever builds people up serves the
cause of the Master, and whatever tears people down serves the cause of the
Dallin H. Oaks, “Powerful Ideas,” Ensign, Nov 1995, 25

Some other choice gems I've come across:

Heavenly Father... is a God of creation and compassion. Creating and being compassionate are two objectives that contribute to our Heavenly Father’s perfect happiness. Creating and being compassionate are two activities that we as His spirit children can and should emulate.

The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.

Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty.

Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty—and I am not talking about the process of cleaning the rooms of your teenage children.

You might say, “I’m not the creative type. When I sing, I’m always half a tone above or below the note. I cannot draw a line without a ruler. And the only practical use for my homemade bread is as a paperweight or as a doorstop.”

If that is how you feel, think again, and remember that you are spirit daughters of the most creative Being in the universe. Isn’t it remarkable to think that your very spirits are fashioned by an endlessly creative and eternally compassionate God? Think about it—your spirit body is a masterpiece, created with a beauty, function, and capacity beyond imagination. But to what end were we created? We were created with the express purpose and potential of experiencing a fullness of joy.4 Our birthright—and the purpose of our great voyage on this earth—is to seek and experience eternal happiness. One of the ways we find this is by creating things.

If you are a mother, you participate with God in His work of creation—not only by providing physical bodies for your children but also by teaching and nurturing them. If you are not a mother now, the creative talents you develop will prepare you for that day, in this life or the next.

You may think you don’t have talents, but that is a false assumption, for we all have talents and gifts, every one of us. The bounds of creativity extend far beyond the limits of a canvas or a sheet of paper and do not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano. Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before—colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter.

What you create doesn’t have to be perfect. So what if the eggs are greasy or the toast is burned? Don’t let fear of failure discourage you. Don’t let the voice of critics paralyze you—whether that voice comes from the outside or the inside.

If you still feel incapable of creating, start small. Try to see how many smiles you can create, write a letter of appreciation, learn a new skill, identify a space and beautify it.

The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit, the greater your capacity to create.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Happiness, Your Heritage,” Liahona, Nov 2008, 117–20

So what are we waiting for?