Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Misadventures in Wonderland

So, I decided that the kids and I needed a Vaca, so we hopped on a plane and flew to the happy, sunny land of Disney World, USA.  There is a reason that it is called the happiest place on earth.  I love the nostalgia of Disney.  I love that the moment you step through those gates you feel ten again.  There is no better place to heal your heart.

This is the second time that the kids and I traveled to Disney World.  The first time was two years ago, and only about 4 or 5 months after John died.  That trip was so good for me.  My sweet cousins, and aunts let me talk and cry and laugh the whole trip.  It was however, physically difficult.  I remember pushing that stroller through the parks and actually crying because I was so exhausted.  All the while I was thinking, If only I can make it two more years.  I thought that whole trip, that when I had two years behind me that I would feel better, and that my life would be back to normal.

So, two years down the road from that trip, and I am in the same odd land of uncomfort.  I realized on this trip that my life was never going back to the normal that it use to be.  That's not a bad thing, I guess, just different.  I didn't realize how much denial I was in until this trip.  Though we had a great time, it was hard for me to face reality.

They say that your fondest memories are family vacations.  I agree fully, but sometimes some of the most difficult memories are brought up on family vacations, especially if part of that family is missing.  You know, that being said, we all felt extra close to John on that trip.  It's truly amazing the tender mercies that are given to us just when we need them.

 Rainy days and Mondays don't get us down.
 The kiddo's in front of the tree of life.  Mom and Aves.  The Bros.
 Ethan and Mom ready to tackle Everest.  Mom and Ave in Asia.  Averie and her new friend.  Another shot of the tree of life.
 My Brother Spencer and his wife and kids came with us, which was a huge help, and so much fun.  We got to go to two different character breakfasts, and they were so much fun.  Averie got Mickey to kiss her and she screamed, in her best Marsh Brady, "He kissed me.  He kissed me.  I can't believe he kissed me.  I'll never wash my forehead again!"
 Ethan infront of the castle.  Averie being distracted.  The kiddos complaining that they wanted to go back to the hotel to swim (not ten minutes inside the gates).  The cute poser in the swiss family Robinson treehouse.
 Ethan and Sophie at the Rock'n Rollercoaster.  The kids at the scify drive inn. (cool eatery where the inside looks like outside and you sit in old cars and watch old movies and they serve you dinner)  Ethan and Averie in New York.
 We drove about an hour and a half to the beach where we froze our little bums right off.  The cold doesn't slow the kids down though.
Mom and Ash in Africa.  The Bros picking their switch.  Sissy sue. Cool dude Ethan.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Little Averie's Primary Talk

My heart always jumps into my throat when the primary starts handing out assignments for next week's opening exercises.  There is so much pressure involved in having a part.  You have to make sure that you are going to be there, and prepared.  When you have three kids with asthma, you never know when a rogue virus will sideline the family.  So when Averie came skipping toward me with that cursed little blue note in her hand after church, I knew we were in for it.  

Helping a five year old give a talk in front of a room full of wiggly little munchkins is not my idea of fun, so true to form, I procrastinated.  Sunday morning came a lot quicker than I expected.  I did spend the week thinking about the talk, but not much else.  While I was showering this morning the tiny spark of an idea caught fire.  I started realizing that I was paying attention to the silly conversations that were taking place from time to time during tea parties.  I could recall some of the stories that Averie was re-telling to her dollys and to friends.  I remembered somber chats that we had while tucking the kids into their beds at night.  So, without further ado, here is Averie's talk:

I Know That The Scriptures Are True
I love to learn from the scriptures.  I have learned a lot of stories both at home and here in primary.  There are so many stories that I love, and that I have learned from.  We like to hear about Jonah and the Whale, and Daniel and the Lion’s Den.  We have learned so much about love and sacrifice from the stories of the birth and death of our Savior.  We learned about faith to be healed when the Savior healed the leapers.  My favorite story though is the story about a group of the most righteous kids I have ever heard of. The Stripling Warriors.  All of their fathers were killed in a big war.  They grew up to be brave and amazing people because they were raised by Mothers, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles who loved the Lord.  They were blessed through their loss just like me and my family has been blessed through our own loss.
I’m grateful for the scriptures and all the things that they teach to me.  I’m grateful to know that my brother Jesus Christ gave his life so that I would be able to be with my daddy again.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.