Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dad's 60th birthday

My dad's 60th birthday was on February 17th. On Feb. 16th, Presidents' Day, we all gathered for a birthday breakfast at my parents' house. My siblings and I shared our memories of dad which we wrote so they can be put into a book. Here's what I shared:
Most of what I learned from Dad I learned from his example. Actions certainly speak louder than words and Dad has been a good example of learning, of service, and of faith.

Dad has always been a reader. He can often be found with a book in his hand, but I also remember some of the times he read to us. During a time with no TV Dad read some Reader’s Digest Condensed Novels. Our John Willie was one. From that story I learned what a fortnight is because Dad was of the opinion that if you didn’t know what a word meant you should look it up. Also he read Up the Down Staircase which was about a new teacher in a high school. I had the chance to read that book in college and it brought back good memories. Learning is so important to Dad that he would do anything to help us learn . There were many nights that Dad and I were up late while he helped me with my algebra homework, which was a sacrifice since he had to get up early in the morning. Dad is also a good example of learning in his ever-expanding list of hobbies. From photography to wood working to computers to vinyl, Dad is always expanding his talents and knowledge.

Dad has never had to preach one word about being of service to others because he is his own sermon on that subject. He is a faithful home teacher and I have heard people rave about how helpful he was and how he was there when they needed a priesthood holder. He uses his skills to help people with electrical problems, and his Spanish has come in handy on a few occasions. I’ll never forget when he and Mom drove all the way out to Sanders, Arizona to bring me a bed and while there he made a few repairs to my little trailer home (although he couldn’t really do anything about the leaking septic system and thus cut the trip short.) His philosophy is that when you love someone you just want to help them in any way you can.

When it comes to being an example of faith, there could be no better example than our Dad. He has showed us that prayer is important by having nightly family prayer ever since I can remember. But he has also taught us to pray when we have special needs. For instance one time I was going to sing at a baptism and I got really nervous. Before the baptism started Dad said a prayer with me and my nerves were calmed. I also know that he has had special prayers answered on behalf of our family because he has testified of such things. He has taught us from the scriptures and has borne his testimony of those things he knows to be true. For him the Sabbath day is sacred and I think I can count on just one hand the times that he has missed church. Dad has done an excellent job of being the faithful patriarch of our family.

Now that I think about it, there are a few things that Dad has taught me directly. One is how to lead music. I remember one family home evening he showed us how to lead music and that was the first time I realized that there’s more to it than just waving your arm around. I think of that every time I direct the choir. Also, he taught us to save our money from the time we were small. We got banks to put our money in (fuzzy rabbit or squirrel banks) and by second grade we had official bank accounts. Being wise with money has been an invaluable lesson throughout my life.

So Dad, thanks for being a great example. I love you.

Family Filled Sunday

It's not unusual for Sundays to be family days. We often have dinner with the whole family on Sundays. However, Sunday, February 15, was a day filled with a variety of family activities. First, my brother blessed his twin baby girls in church. In the afternoon we had family dinner. After that my niece Ashton was baptized and confirmed. After that my brother Austin had his Eagle Scout Court of Honor. Of all my brothers, that is just the second Court of Honor I have been to, and all seven of my brothers have earned their Eagle Scout. What added to the excitement was that our whole family was there, even my brother Brandon and his wife Cara who live in Idaho, and also Grandma Haynes was able to come down from Utah for the weekend. It was a busy but wonderful weekend.

Annual Valentine Cake Party

For over 20 years our family has decorated Valentine cakes. The party keeps getting bigger and bigger and more and more fun. It's always interesting to see how the cakes turn out. Some are packed with as much candy as possible. Some are cute and well-designed. Some try to make a statement. This year I noticed that more cakes were minimalist due to pre-party munching! Here's a look at Valentine Cakes 2009:

Lacey's 2nd birthday

Lacey turned two on February 12. We had a little birthday party for her at Grandma Sharon's house that evening. The whole day I was trying to teach her to hold up two fingers when I asked her how old she was. She could finally say "Two!" and hold up two hands. Close enough! She also sings happy birthday like this: "Happy Bir-day, Sacey!" She's undeniably cute! She got some new clothes, a cute purse and a stuffed poodle.

To continue the birthday festivities, on Friday, Feb. 13 we went to Grandma Susan's for a cousins' birthday party. Lacey's cousins Scott and Ashton also have February birthdays. She got a new baby doll, My Little Pony, necklace, bling phone, a new book and new clothes.(Thanks everybody!)

How did my baby girl grow up so fast! I just want to squeeze her and make her stay little. Her happy personality brings joy to our home.

Campaign Kick-off

On February 9 I took the kids to a campaign kick-off party for Andy Hafen, my uncle. He's been on the city council for over 20 years and now he is running for mayor. Good Luck!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Hey, What's Happening?

Not much has been going on around here lately, but here are the highlights: I had a chest cold for about two weeks. You know, the kind where you are coughing up chunks. It was uncomfortable but not debilitating. Then Alex got sick, and let me just say that he's a bear when he's sick-grouchy, but pretty much stays in his cave.

Alex and I have managed to go to the temple three times since the beginning of the year. That puts me ahead of my new year's resolution to go the temple once a month this year.

I also have had some interesting experiences substitute teaching. At one school I was in a learning disabled class and we watched the movie Mama Mia all day. At another school I was in an English class. The AP class was reading Heart of Darkness and they were like "Please tell us what this means!" Luckily, I am familiar with that story and it was fun for me to analyze it with them. The English II Honors was reading the Aeneid which I had not read before but I am good at asking questions and checking for understanding. The English III class was to write a page about what president they would like to meet and what they would ask him. One kid said he would like to meet Millard Fillmore. This is the same kid who thinks that the best way to stimulate the economy is to legalize marijuana.

Luke is having a hard time potty training. He is not motivated by potty treats, threats, or even the reward of his own Nintendo DS. Since he is still wearing pull-ups crazy things like this happen:
This is the laundry. The white stuff at the top is not soap bubbles, but that stuff that is on the inside of a diaper or pull-up. That's what happens when you don't check your loads before you put them in the washer.

The most exciting thing that has happened is this weekend I put tile on the kitchen floor. Okay, I helped do it, but my friend Jessica did most of the work.