Tuesday, December 25, 2007

ho ho ho, merry Christmas!

here are a few pics of the fam with our matching pjs. don't worry, it's a surprise every year when we open our 24th of december gifts....matching pj's!! we take out annual family picture and then bundle up to tour our little town of alpine (in the car) and look at the luminaries neighbors have set up around their homes. love it!

this is an example of luminaries lining the streets :)

oh, and i got to make the rolls again for Christmas dinner. just call me betty crocker :)

this is me being a serious baker...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

this nativity scene was done by antoine pesne and is hanging in st. petersburg's hermitage. today's Christmas centered lessons and music and thoughts have been fulfilling. last week, in my single's ward, i was invited to speak on Christ being the King. i was the last speaker and the choir sang a song before and after me: It Came Upon A Midnight Clear, and Jesus Once Of Humble Birth.
as i thought about kings, i thought about 3 ways one can become a king: born into it, defeat another ruler, be appointed or asked to rule by the people. i thought of earthly kings as i thought of these, but as i applied them to the Savior, i realized how Jesus Christ is truly the King of Kings as He is the Son of the King of the Universe, He has defeated the tyrant ruler of the earth - Satan. the third way, however, is a deeply personal decision. the Savior will not force Himself upon us. He will wait for us to ask Him to be our King, the Govenor of our souls. this is our personal choice. In the Christmas hymn, It Came Upon A Midnight Clear, the last verse says something about the earth sing back the song the angels sing. the angels sang the praises to the Newborn King. the angels knew who He is and what He will do and what He will be. I have the opportunity to choose Him as my King and then I too will be able to sing the song the angels sing.
why do we want a king? what does a king do? here is my list of characteristics of great earthly kings:
  • He is in control. He doesn't let his emotions, frustration, and desires control his actions, he controls them.
  • He makes decisions for his people that are the best. He doesn't make decisions for the here and now or the quick and easy, he decides upon things for the greatest effect.
  • He is always striving to improve the lives of his people. He is not content with "fine", he wants the best for them - best foods, best supplies, best opportunities, best relationships, best education, best knowledge. He is okay with the work involved because he understands the power of the outcomes.
  • He knows the his people. He recognizes that a true leader spends his time with his people. He knows their thoughts, their dreams, their desires, their joys, their sorrows, their heartaches, their hurts.
  • He doesn't take any of these things away because he wants a strong people. He knows that as they overcome hard things, they become stronger.
  • He goes to battle for the safety of his people. He strives to build and increase his kingdom to save others from the tyrant rulers. He wants all to enjoy the peace of his kingdom.
These characteristics of earthly kings are then magnified and exemplified in the King of Kings.

He, as stated in the hymn, Jesus Once of Humble Birth, was rejected by His own, forsaken and left alone. 3 Nephi 27:27 says, "what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily, verily be ye even as I am." We are asked by the King of Kings, the Savior of all mankind, to be like Him. It stands to reason then that we will have experiences that will leave us rejected by our own, forsaken and left alone to see and prove Who we follow and in Whom we allow to govern us.

what an honor and a privilege that we get to choose Him to be the King of our lives. He, who is the Good Shepherd, the Rock, and the Lamb of God can be the Ruler of our lives, the Governor of our souls. we get to choose to give Him the gift of our broken heart and covenant to do His will and be molded by His hands.

Wow. how blessed are we?

this is becc and i at halloween...yep, a little late. she is a sophmore at byu and we both came home for the traditional halloween meal - homemade soup in bread bowls that are shaped like pumpkins and applesauce donuts =) YUM!!

becca wore her snow-white costume all day on campus and was frustrated that people gave her funny looks. she wanted to holler, "it's HALLOWEEN!!" but she contained herself and just let us enjoy her stories later that evening.

we tried to take lizzy and her friends around trick or treating, but alas, liz is getting too old and we only stayed with her for a while.

fun times and memories nonetheless.

oh, ps, i was wore a black skirt and black blouse with an orange ribbon around my waist ;)

Monday, December 3, 2007

so i changed the template of this blog for the THIRD time i think! it just wasn't me. i think the saying is true, "third time's a charm!"

it is officially the Christmas season! let me tell you incredible it is to work on temple square right now! the lights go on every evening at 5:30 pm sharp. my office window overlooks the entrance of the salt lake temple, so as i turn around in my chair i can see a large tree made of lights and a number of trees lined with lights on the little bridge that connects the temple to the relief society building. i know that i have already put pictures of temple square on here...but here is one of my favorite!!

work has been fun -ish! there have been 3 secretaries for the relief society. one had her own office connected to sister beck's, and the other 2 of us shared an office. she -the one that i shared with - recently got married and she and her husband live in provo. the commute was getting too long as they realized how little time they have together in the evenings. so, i am doing both the jobs for now. we'll see if i am up to the task. :)

OH and the most exciting of late...shopping at Ann Taylor Loft in park city!! how i love the get -away of park city. it is great because now it is about 25 minutes from work, and about 18 from my house :) they are getting to know me there - good for me, bad when my mom finds out!!

i guess i better get working on the institute lesson for tomorrow. tuesdays sure come fast. and the teacher that i have taught with for the last 5 years is coming! i better make sure it is decent :0