This Is It

Last night mom and I went out for a girls’ night and saw “Michael Jackson’s This Is It”. If you like documentaries and have even the slightest interest in Michael Jackson you should see this! As I’ve said before I love Michael Jackson, and I have since I was a young child. I was so sad the day that he died! I felt like we had lost something so magnificent from the music world. After seeing this movie I feel so much more profoundly what we lost that day!
If there was ever a doubt the sheer genius that was Michael Jackson, there are no doubts after watching this. He was involved in every aspect of his show from the dancing to the music arrangements to the lighting and costumes. The man knew what his fans wanted from a Michael Jackson concert and he worked so hard to give it to them. As they showed the behind the scenes of what it took to put together a 50 show experience like no other I mourned for all of the people that would never see it. Just from watching this you could tell it was going to be the show to end all shows! You could tell he was holding back to an extent, trying not to wear out his voice or exhaust himself with the grueling dancing. As I watched I could not believe that he was a man of 50! He was so energetic, so full of life! He looked strong, and his voice was strong! At points I had tears in my eyes because this just didn’t look like a man who, only days after some of the footage was shot, would be dying of cardiac arrest! All the reports of what a frail, fragile man he had become, well, they are eating their words after seeing this!
I felt so bad for his dancers, back up singers and musicians. It was clear that these people loved Michael Jackson, and it was clear that he loved them just as much. This was very much a family and I can’t imagine how incredibly lost they felt when they heard that he was gone! But I am glad that the world gets to see how hard he was working and how ready he was for this come back! He was going to take the world by storm once again, and I’m so sad that he didn’t get to do that! But I’m greatful that this footage exists (over 200 hours that were filmed for Jackson’s private library) for his fans, but more importantly for his children. Afterall, they were the reason he was doing this come back, so that they could see him perform at least once in their lives. I know it’s not the same, but I’m glad they have something like this to be able to look at and see why the world loved their father the way we did!
With a very limited running time (only 2 weeks) you don’t have much time to see it! So run, don’t walk, to the theatre to check it out. You won’t be disappointed! I know we didn’t want to leave when it was over!

Fall Fun!

Fall arrived early here, the way it’s seemed to for a few years now! (At least we don’t have snow yet…I am definately counting my blessings there!) But since we had such a wet summer it’s taken the leaves a while to start changing color, so we’re just now reaching peak color here and it’s gorgeous to behold! I don’t think anything beats a Kentucky fall (except for maybe a New England one!)

We’ve had some fun outside, although it’s been pretty cold for October and we’ve all just gotten over colds so we haven’t been able to be outside a lot. But a couple weeks ago for playgroup we went to a petting zoo and got to go on a hayride and pick out a pumpkin. It was a lot of fun!

Last night for Family Night we watched “Spookley the Square Pumpkin”. It’s a cute little movie about a pumpkin who is square instead of round and all the other pumpkins laugh at him and are mean to him because he’s different. But in the end they learn that being square is good and that Spookley was a very special pumpkin. It was really cute and taught a great lesson. For our activity we carved a pumpkin using The Pumpkin Prayer. If you’ve never heard of it you should check it out! Basically you cut the eyes in the shape of hearts to remind us to love all we see, the nose is a cross to reminds us not to turn up our nose at the things we’ve been given, the ears are shaped like Bibles to remind us to open our ears to God’s word, and finally the mouth in the shape of a fish to remind us to tell others of Jesus. It turned out so cute and was a great way to incorporate scripture and prayer into the evening.

We hope that you all are having a great fall! When it stops raining I’m going to get some pictures of our fall landscaping-it turned out so cute this year! We’re loving having a yard to decorate each season! So happy fall, ya’ll! Have a great time!

6 Years Ago

Six years ago, on a gorgeous Fall afternoon (much like today, only A LOT warmer!!!), I put on this dress….
Got together with a few of my girlfriends….

Went to the church and met up with this hottie….
And I promised to spend the rest of my life loving, honoring and cherishing him.

(The loving and cherishing I’ve got down pat…still working on the honoring!!! LOL!)

It was like a fairy tale! And six years later he’s still the only one that I’d want to spend the rest of my life loving. I love you Steven, and I’m gonna love you forever!

(Photos by Dionne Newton. Thanks Di!)
And finally, our song: “I Wanna Love You Forever” by the amazing Jessica Simpson. They just don’t make music like this anymore!

Family Night with Friends

Last night for FHE we invited our neighbors, Nelissa and Orlie, over to talk with us about the Philapines. They moved here 3 years ago and they tell us things about their country sometimes (they’re not US citizens yet) but we thought it would be fun to learn more about their culture. They talked to us about holidays that they celebrate (no Halloween, but All Saints Day on November 1st is a HUGE holiday! They actually party in the cemetary complete with food and games, and some people even spend the night in the cemetaries!!) Holy week leading up to Easter is very big (including reenacting the crucifixtion complete with young men who volunteer to be hung on a cross in the streets!) They talked to us about what schools are like and how much things cost there compared to here. We talked about family sizes and foods. I love Philapino food (she’s actually bringing me over some of my favorite tonight! I don’t remember what it’s called but it has rice noodles and cabbage and it is sooo yummy!!!)

The kids kind of ran around crazy with their son Carlo, and didn’t really sit down and listen much but Steven and I learned a lot! If you have neighbors or friends who are from another country (and if your kids are a little older!) invite them over to talk with your family about their native country. Maybe ask them to bring a favorite food or dessert to share. Have them teach you some words or phrases in their native tongue (Nelissa and Orlie’s native dialect is really hard!!!) and maybe play a native game. You’ll be amazed how much you will learn about our differences, but most importantly how we are all similar, no matter where we are from. It’s a great reminder and a wonderful lesson for our children, especially as the face of this country continues to change! (Which is not a bad thing!!!)

What Matters Most

This seems to be the theme to the last few posts that I’ve made, and it’s because it’s something that has been weighing on my heart lately. My friend, Leila James had this posted on her Facebook so I took a stroll over to watch it. It’s a video that was made using Pres. Thomas S. Monson talk in 2008. For those of you who don’t know who Pres. Monson is, he is the current President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (otherwise known as Mormons.) This message is short, but no matter what your religious beliefs, we can all agree with this!

Camp "In"

Family Home Evening is something I believe is really important. Having said that, it is also one of the areas where Satan works on me the most. Anything that is going to strengthen our families is something that Satan will want to attack, and he works hard on this with me. We go through periods where we do pretty good, and then we slack off, and then one of us will look at each other and say “You know, we should do Family Home Evening again” and we’ll start again. It’s a process. But I sat down this week and made out a schedule for the rest of the year so that we would have NO excusses when it came to Family Night.
We choose do ours on Thursday nights because those are typically slow nights for us. This week though my whole plan fell apart when Thursday afternoon the movie I had reserved at the library for a really cute autumn themed night wasn’t ready to be picked up. So I was scrambling trying to find a last minute thing. Then I thought, well, we can wait and do it Friday. Well, along came Friday and the movie still wasn’t ready. So then I was scrambling trying to find a last minute activity, again, because I had promised Bri that we’d do family night and I didn’t want to disappoint her just because my plan wasn’t panning out!
So we thought we’d to the typical last minute Family Night idea…game night! The kids LOVE Disney Scene It! And then Steven came up with the brilliant idea of having a camp out…in the living room! So we all got on jammies, we blew up the air mattress, brought down the toddler bed mattresses and lots of pillows and blankets. We piled on the air mattress to play Scene It! boys vs girls.
The girls…of course…won! “I am woman hear me roar…..”
Then we watched “Little Mermaid Beginnings” and ate popcorn. Then we turned the lights out and the TV off and went to sleep, all of us on the living room floor (except for Micah who slept in his pack-n-play in the corner.)

It was really fun! The kids loved camping “in”! We got up the next morning and Steven made camper’s eggs and bacon (yummy!) and then life got back to normal.

But we had a great time and made some great memories, which is what Family Night is about after all. It’s not always about the perfectly put together lesson (although those types of Family Home Evenings are important too!) It’s about being with your family, enjoying the time with them, learning to love each other, and realizing that in the end, it doesn’t get much better than this!

One more picture to share: Micah has started smiling… A LOT! His smiles are precious! You just can’t help but to smile back! I LOVE this age!

Coupons for Troops program

Some of you know that I have been bitten by the coupon bug! I have discovered the joy of going to the store and paying cents for something others pay dollars for! For example, Friday to Monday of this past week the Bigg’s stores here ran a triple/double coupon special. Coupons up to 50 cents were tripled, and coupons 55 cents to $1 were doubled (so a $1 coupon became $2!!!) Well, I walked out of there saving $120 on my bill! I was ecstatic, and was able to get quite a few things that were put into our food storage, things for 72 hour kits, simple lunches Steven could keep in his desk at work, and just other stuff we needed. I was thrilled!

The one thing about couponing that makes me crazy is a coupon expiring before I use it! I feel like I’m throwing away money! But today I found out about a wonderful program called Coupons for Troops. Toni at The Happy Housewife conducts a program called Coupons for Troops. At military commissaries families pay more money than we do at a store here. However, they can use coupons that are up to 6 months expired. They can only use grocery coupons (so no store specific coupons like Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid, etc.) but they can use all manufacturers coupons, as well as internet printable coupons. She is looking for more military families who could use coupons, but she’s also taking requests from couponers who would like to adopt a family to send their expired coupons to. If you coupon, and hate throwing away those expired coupons as much as I do, go here to find out how you can support our troops and their families in this super simple way!

Keep on saving! ;p

Kids say the darndest things

On Sunday, Jonah had to go to the bathroom during church, so Steven took him to the back to go potty. There is an intercom in there where you can hear the priest, or whatever might be happening during mass at that time.

So Jonah’s sitting there and all the sudden he looks up at the ceiling and says

“God? God is that you?”

Steven says, “No, Jonah, that’s Father.”

And Jonah says, “Nope! That’s God. I hear you God!”

Hehehehe! Kids are so cute!