Friday, February 28, 2014

February 2014

February was filled with some amazing times and also some really sad times.  Thank goodness for the gospel of Jesus Christ, I really don't know what I would do without it.
  • My long time friend, Shirley Van Leeuwen, passed away peacefully in her sleep on the morning of February 1, 2014.  I can't thank Heavenly Father enough for letting me & Jared visit her when we were home for Christmas and for feeling prompted to take a picture with her.  Her obituary is here.  Ever since 2007 when I first started cleaning for her in her home, Shirley has taught me how to love others better, love God more, and about my divine worth.  She helped me understand my divine qualities and capabilities and the influence I have as a woman.  I miss her greatly!  I am so excited to see her again one day.
  • My family's sweet dog of 7 years was hit by a car and died on 2/8/14. :( :(   I miss you so much, Theo.  My favorite memory of him is when we were home for Christmas he came running down the snow-packed driveway with his ears flopping.  He always always always made everyone feel loved (although he definitely had his crazy moments) even when we hadn't seen him in months.
I love these sweet pictures of when the fam first picked up little Theo during the summer of 2007.

Love that bottom right pic of him.  He slept in that towel every night ever since we got him.




  • Thank goodness something good finally happened:  Baby Tate was born 2/3/14!  He is so cute!  We can't get over him!  Look at that grin as he wears the alma matter...I'm interested to see how he turns out because our kids will be split blue and red as well...poor children!
  • Going to Disney Quest with the Barwicks was a blast!
  • Loved attending the Relief Society night to welcome new sisters in the ward/recent converts and to teach them about the importance of visiting teaching.  I am such a believer!!  I have had too many special experiences to ever deny the power of visiting teaching.
  • My dad emailed me this from my aunt.  I had seen it before but loved reading it again.  I. Love. This. Church.
In a local newspaper in Provo, Utah, there had been an ongoing series of
articles written by individuals who wanted to persuade LDS Church members
to leave the Church. In response to the highly critical and spirited remarks,
a local LDS member wrote this rebuttal:

Editor:
I have been thinking of quitting the Mormon Church. Yes, if I can, I am
going to get even with that church. As soon as I can find another church
that teaches about the Gathering of the House of Israel; the return of
the Ten Tribes and their mission; the return of the Jews to Palestine
and why, and how they are going to build the temple; the building of
temples and what to do with them; the mission of Elias, the prophet,
as predicted by Malachi; the method for the salvation of the people that
died at the time of Noah in the flood; the origin of the American Indian;
the complete explanation of why Jesus of Nazareth had to have a mortal
mother but not a mortal father; the explanation of the three degrees of glory
(three heavens) as mentioned by Paul; the complete explanation of why
Elias and Moses did not die but had to be translated (since they both
lived before the resurrection was introduced by Christ); the restoration
of the gospel by modern revelation as promised by Peter and Paul and
Jesus himself; the belief in eternal marriage and the family, and the
knowledge and the place to seal for eternity; that teaches abstinence
from all harmful drugs and foods ; and that sells the best fire
insurance policy on earth, for the last days, for only a 10th of
my income.

Yes sir, as soon as I can find another church that teaches all that,
or even half as much, I will say good-bye to this Mormon Church. The
church that I am looking for must also be able to motivate 50,000+ youth,
and adults, for the first, second or third time, to leave their homes for
two years at their own expense and go to far-away places to teach and
preach without salary. It must be able to call, on a frosty day, some 5
or 6 thousand professors, students, lawyers, doctors, judges,
policemen, businessmen, housewives and children to go and pick apples at
6 a.m. It must be able to call meetings and get the attention for two
hours of more than 150,000 men. Yes, it must also teach and show why
salvation is assured for children who die before eight years of age.

Mr. Editor, could you help me find a church that teaches all that and
more than hundreds of other doctrines and principles, which I have no
room to mention here, and which brings solace and comfort to the soul;
peace, hope, and salvation to mankind, and above all, that answers the
key questions that all the great philosophers have asked; questions and
answers that explain the meaning of life, the purpose of death,
suffering and pain; the absolute need for a Redeemer and the marvelous
plan conceived and executed by Jesus Christ the Savior? Yes, as soon as
I find another church that teaches that, and also that has the
organization and the powers to make that teaching effective, I am going
to quit the Mormon Church. For I should not tolerate that "they" should
change a few words in the Book of Mormon-even if those changes simply
improve the grammar and the syntax of the verses-for, after all, don't
you think the Divine Church should employ angels as bookmakers, and
clerks, to do all the chores on earth? Don't you think, Mr. Editor,
that the Divine Church should also have prophets that don't get sick and
don't get old and die, and certainly, that don't make a goof here and
there. No, sir! A Divine Church should be so divine that only perfect
people should belong to it, and only perfect people should run it. As a
matter of fact, the Church should be so perfect that it should not even
be here on earth!

So, I repeat, if any one of the kind readers of this imperfect letter
knows about another church that teaches and does as much for mankind as
the Mormon Church, please let me know. And please do it soon, because
my turn to go to the cannery is coming up. Also, "they" want my last
son (the fifth one) to go away for two years and again, I have to pay for
all that. And I also know that they expect me to go to the farm to
prune trees, and I have heard that our ward is going to be divided again,
and it is our side that must build the new chapel. And also, someone the
other day had the gall of suggesting that my wife and I get ready to go
on a second mission, and when you come back, they said, you can volunteer
as a temple worker.

Boy, these Mormons don't leave you alone for a minute. And what do I
get for all that, I asked? "Well," they said, "for one, you can look
forward to a funeral service at no charge!"
... Do you think you can help me to find another church?
  • One of my best friends Macy Jepsen entered the MTC February 19th!  Watch out, Cambodia!

San Antonio



Pisa

Cinque Terra

NYE in Germany...such fun times.

We were invited to a Super Bowl Party and thanks to Pinterest look at the 7 layer dip we brought!

I was pretty proud of my non-crafty self.

Funny Valentines gifts



Checked off an item on our Florida Bucket List to attend the Food Truck Bazaar and boy was it yummy!  We had some delcious Asian tacos and ice cream sandwiches.  

Jared and Jonas surprised me and Evelyn with Valentines dates to go....horseback riding!!!

It was so fun!  We had a picnic afterwards and it was so fun to hang with the Franklins.  Thanks J&J!

A family in our ward named the Pokipalas moved down here 20+ years ago and started the first and only Polynesian Entertainment Company.  They have had contracts at local resorts and hotels for years and they invited us to see their show.  It was amazing!!  In the top left pic Brother Pokipala is on the far left and in the pic on the top right that is Sister Pokipala.





The resort was so beautiful and oh the food...so yummy.  And Jared was able to participate on stage :)



We spent our Valentines Day using the hockey tickets I had given Jared for his birthday in January and indulging in our favorite fast food :)


Jared was in heaven!






During half time the cutest little pee wee team came out and played.  They kept falling down and were just adorable :)


Then we crossed off another bucket list item and attended the Silver Spurs Rodeo!  Such good memories of going to rodeos together...

(First Date: Oakley Rodeo July 2010)

(Date #? SLC Rodeo Summer 2010)

(First Married Summer Oakley Rodeo July 2011)

I love him!

We took our dear friend Yvette to the temple to do baptisms for the first time.  What a special experience it was to see her do work for her family.  She was baptized in December and seriously seems like she has been a member her entire life!!!


We continued our love for eating out and ate at Chilis with a free voucher Jared received at a job fair.


On 2/24/14 our dear friend Yamilet Bonilla went through the temple to receive her endowment!!!  She was baptized two months after we moved here and it's been such a beautiful experience to see her grow in the church.  In the pic from L to R is Sister Martinez (friend from church), Sister Schmidt (one of the missionaries who taught her, was able to come to her endowment, and went home to UT the next week!), Yamilet, me, and Sister Baron (RS president).  I love these ladies!!!

Helped my friend Emma pick up a crib in the outskirts of Orlando.  It was quite the epxerience. Picture pulling up to the house in the middle of no where in the dark and seeing pigs out front inside the house and when we got there the family hadn't taken apart the crib and inside I wondered how we would fit it in our four runner but...we did it!

A few days later Emma & her cute son James surprised me at work with this cute gift.  It made my day!!!

February = girl scout cookies = happy

Redeemed Jared's Christmas gift to me of a manicure and tried the gel nails for the first time and loved them!

The end!