Monday, September 28, 2009

Turn your HEART toward the PROPHET

Thomas S. Monson
Prophet of the Lord.
President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Yesterday I taught the Young Women of my church (ages 12 to 18) a combined lesson all about General Conference. As most of you may know, I served my mission for 18 months for my church at Temple Square, in Salt Lake City, Utah... and absolutely LOVED it! It was all the wonderful things a mission is, and then the church history and family history and church leadership on top of it all! I learned to love the leaders of this great church. I learned that they are people and that they have great love and carry great burdens. I loved giving a lesson on the week before the world-wide conference and how we prepare ourselves to hear the counsel and love the Lord has for us at this point in time. Here are some tips of how to prepare for these sessions:

Temporal Preparedness:
clear your schedule - homework done, chores done, get work off, sports, etc.
get rest - so it is easier to stay awake!
make it a priority - record it to watch it later if you have to, but make sure you actually watch it!
talk to your family about it - "We get to hear the prophet this weekend!"
prepare activities for younger kids to be a part of it - there are some great ideas on-line
try not to have them leave the room, if you can have them somehow play quietly
take notes - so you can remember what struck you and to apply it to your life
Food - make fun & festive food a tradition!
Shop - get it all done before Saturday so you have no errands to cram in

Spiritual Preparedness:
Pray - for the Prophet, for those speaking, for you to hear what you ought to, etc.
Fast - ever noticed they have Fast Sunday the week before???
Seek the Spirit - you will know what you hear is true
Repent - we always should do this, but what greater way to prepare than to be whole
Atmosphere - make your home a quiet, clean, comfortable place with no distractions
Questions - write down things you may need at this time in your life to be answered, so you can listen for them specifically while you listen
Turn your Heart towards the PROPHET - think of him and what he is going through this week.

Reconstructed log home at the site of the Peter Whitmer, Sr. home in Fayette, New York.
Here the Book of Mormon translation was completed, the testimony of the three witnesses was assigned.
The Church was organized on April 6, 1830.
We got to go here a few years ago while visiting my sister, Cassie's, family.
Final preperations for the first General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. June 9, 1830, at that meeting there were only 30 members in attendance and others who were anxious to learn. I love this picture because it shows Joseph Smith setting up the chairs for the commencement of this vital and enduring tradition. Just like we still do have our Priesthood Leaders do... set up and take down chairs!
I know that it is easy to take the next weekend as a vacation from church. But, let us all realize that this is our opportunity to bask in the love of the Lord through his called leaders. To know what he wants us to know today, in our time, in our circumstances, and to rejoice in the testimony and knowledge that Jesus Christ is our Savior. He knows us. He loves us. He knows if we are watching and listening... :-)

"May we long remember that which we have heard during this conference. ... I urge you to study the messages and to ponder their teachings and then to apply them in your life."
--- Thomas S. Monson, May 2009 General Conference ---

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ella 's 1st Soccer Season...

***Soccer Hair***
It was the first Saturday of Soccer for our little Ella. It is Micro-Soccer... for the little ones ages 3 to 5. We got all the gear on (which takes long enough to have it's own story) and then SHe was ready. Except for her hair, that is. She generally doesn't like to have me touch her hair because it "hurts." But, when she wants to look nice, she is very specific. I put two pony tails in as I was instructed to do. Then, she requested ribbons. I pulled out a couple of pink ones...
Ella complained about the ribbons,"No, Mom! Those do not match."
"Well, sweetheart, we do not have any that will match, but these will still look cute." I persuaded.
She disappeared and I was off to the next child who needed prepared to leave.
Suddenly Ella popped up right in front of me ecstatic at her discovery...
"Mom! Mom! Mom!" (Why do they always have to say my title a minimum of three times, I do not know!) "I found ones that match!"
She proceeded to tell me of her idea to take the ribbons out of her tap shoes that are black to put in her hair because she was mainly wearing black. This girl will do what it takes and be as creative as she needs to so she can pull of the look. I think watching High School Musical for 6 days straight the first week of school is taking its toll!

One of the best parts was that during one of the games, one of her ribbons had fallen out of her hair. So, she stopped playing and made her coach (male) attempt to tie her ribbon back in her hair as the game proceeded to be played around them! She cracks us all up!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Random Ramblings

I decided I need to write once in a while about the things that randomly are discussed in our home. Things that they say I will forget when my kids are older and really miss. I want to remember some of them and think, why would I miss this! Ha! So, here is my first post of random ramblings in the Morton home...

***What do you do?***
So, I got the best question ever from my son today: "Mom. What do you do all day when we are at school?" Well, I proceeded to rattle off all of the tasks of motherhood and Noah interrupted, "Okay, I get it! You do all the dumb stuff that I hate doing. I am so glad I get to go to school instead of do chores all day." Kiah: "Well, you will have to do them when you are older done with school, though." Noah: "No, I won't! 'Cuz I'm gonna be a Dad and you have to be a Mom. So, I get to go play at work all day and come home and play with my kids while you make dinner and stuff." Okay, sometimes they really do know how to hit me where it hurts.

***The System Worked***
Today after school Kiah and Noah both had soccer practice. When we arrived there, right on time, I noticed Kiah's teammate in her uniform shirt... oh, great! Picture day! Dang it! Then, I freaked out thinking, "There is no way I can get home and back fast enough!" One of those "I failed as a mother today" moments. Then, Kiah yelled out, "Mom! My shirt and shorts and even my socks are all in my bag!" Yes, that is attributed to my system of washing them and putting them in the soccer bag so there is no hunting for anything on game days. This turned in to one of those "I rock at being a mom" moments, which does not happen very often, so I will take it!

***Sleepy Stairs***
Tonight Asa fell asleep on the top step to the bonus room. That is where he wandered to when all the house was asleep and Mom was still working at her computer. Then, of course, I heard a clunking noise, only to see him rolling in slow motion down from step to step. i ran up there so fast. Snatched the kid up only to find him still sound asleep. Kids can sleep through anything, unless you want or need them too!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

X-RAY Vision...

Here is the X-ray of Asa's front teeth. Notice how the #E (front left) is impacted back into the gum tissue. You can even see the permanent teeth way up top and luckily the roots of his baby tooth went in front of the permanent one so there was no damage to it! It will probably spontaneously re-erupt within the next 3 months about... then it will be discolored. Well, let us all hope it is not terribly dark. Dr. Dance said it is usually only a couple shades darker than normal. Overall, we feel like out of all the possible outcomes, this was pretty good. Not even any stitches. Let us keep our fingers crossed on that happening anytime in the near future. This boy is such a daredevil, and always up to something he knows is not good. I know because if I catch him in the act, he runs! Boys will be boys!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Disappearing Tooth!!

Asa got all of his baby teeth by the time he was 1 year old. (Except for his two year molars, of course). We think he has the most perfect smile for an 18 month old! Here is a great picture of his handsome smile and all of his teeth:

Tragedy Strikes... on his FRONT TOOTH!
Yes... here is his smile now:

Is this not the saddest thing you have ever seen????
That is chocolate all over his face. I fed him chocolate chips and chocolate milk. That was all he would eat. I felt so bad for him, I let him have as many as he wanted... comfort food, I guess!

Here is the story, for those of you who want the details:
Asa and Ella were climbing furniture in the family room. They know they are not supposed to climb on the stone hearth of the fireplace. Why? Because it is dangerous, of course. Now you all know the rest of the story. Asa was climbing up, Ella pulled on one of his legs and got him down. In the process, he hit is face on the corner. Ella brought him to me because he was sad. I consoled him and looked at the scrape on his chin and the split lip. Not bad. He was not crying very much, and I knew he was tired... so I put him down for his nap. He graciously took it. Tyler was at an Elder's Quorum Meeting at the time. He came home and just then Asa emerged from his 2 1/2 hour nap.
Tyler yelled: "Where's his tooth?!?!?"
Mikin: "What are you talking about?"
Tyler yelled: "Where's his tooth?!?!?"
Mikin: "What do you mean?"
Tyler yelled: "Where is his tooth?!?!? What the heck happened to his tooth"
Mikin: "You are joking, right?"
Tyler: "No! I am not joking! Look at him!"
Mikin: "Oh, no! I do not know... wait, he did hit his chin. He must have done that at the same time, but he wasn't crying that bad. Great!!! Now he is going to have an ugly missing or black tooth until he is about 6 years old!"

All of his siblings were so sad about it and made him several pieces of artwork to help him feel better. Noah even made a 3D snowman to cheer him up. It is so cute how they want to love him and help him any way they can...

So, today he goes to the pediatric dentist for an exam and X-ray. If it is fractured, they will sedate him and pull it. If not, it may re-erupt and die from the trauma and turn dark. Or, it may fall out on its own. Any way you look at it, I am not happy! All I can think about is him starting school and getting teased by the other kids. Or, probably more likely, lovingly teased by all of his family until he is 6 years old. I am going to love the nickname that will emerge from all of this, I am sure! Gosh... always something! Luckily he has the most adorable dimples. Maybe that will make up for it! Ha! He is still in pretty good spirits. But, that is probably the Motrin talking!

Elk Hunt 09

This last week Tyler got to hit the mountain with his Father-in-law, Steve Gatten, and brother-in-law, Jon Erickson. We all wished they each got their elk on this 9 day adventure... but in the end the most experienced of them all was successful... VERY successful. Here is the photo of this big bull elk. It has a big story to go along with its big antlers. You will have to ask one of them for the details. I am sure I would not get it all right. Tyler loves this sport and the thrill of being a part of getting the BIG ONE!
Congrats Papa! You are still THE MAN!
(...the only sad part of this story is Tyler will still be hunting trying to get his elk...he was missed so much...)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

1st Day of School - Hooray!

Fernan Elementary School
Kiah : 3rd Grade : Mrs. Canale
Noah : 1st Grade : Ms. Hannon
Last night Mikin cut all the kids' hair, and Tyler gave them Father's blessings to start the new school year. The words were amazing and so inspired. How grateful we are to have a priesthood holder to lead our family. ;-)
Tyler woke the kids with chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. Mikin got their lunches and back packs ready and they headed out to the car. We took the short ride to the bus stop and they were off at 7:50 AM
Then at 3:45 PM I met them at the bus stop to hear their love of their teachers, classmates, lunches, recesses, and all! Music to a mother's ears!

Asa and Ella are having a blast making mischief together... this is what they were doing on the back deck while I was posting this... playing with the watering hose after watering the pots VERY WELL. I have a feeling they will become great partners in crime...

Tri... again!

Titanium Man Triathlon
Wenatchee, Washington : Olympic Distance
September 5, 2009
1.5 K swim : 40 K bike : 10 K run

Racing Siblings!
Brett Gatten, Brynne Erickson, Mikin Morton
Our group:
Mike Staub, Dana Davis, Brynne Erickson, Brett Gatten, Nicole Morton, Ken Staub, Mikin Morton
The night before I drove over with a girl group consisting of myself, Nicole Morton, Brynne Erickson, and Dana Davis. We stayed at the Hilton, met up with Brett, Mikin, & Ken fr dinner at the Olive Garden, and hit the sack. That morning we set up all the transition stations for the race, and had a great start. I ended up getting a wack in the back of the head by the kayak paddle to stop me from continuing across the Columbia River.... when I should have been going along the shore with the rest of the athletes! I was so mad, but poured it on and swam hard to the bike transition. Here is a shot of a kayaker while we were swimming... I do not know if it was the one who helped me, but it could have been. ;-)
I felt sick and about a half mile into the bike I vomited multiple times... everything. I think I just swallowed too much water and worked too hard to finish the swim. I felt off the rest of the time, but pulled off a great bike time for me, but by the time I was on the run, I had cramping and just no energy. But, I never stopped! I knew if I did I would never go again! I finished and the cool part about coming in after my friends and family is there were people to cheer for me at the finish. Overall, it was a great race, a great time, and with great people. Good memories. I think I may do this one again next year!???

My Time: 3:22
swim : 31 minutes
bike : 1 hour 29 minutes
run : 1 hour 15 minutes

Times of everyone I knew:
Ken Staub : 2:26
Mike Staub : 2:41
Brynne Erickson : 2:53
Brett Gatten : 2:54
Dana Davis : 2:58
Nicole Morton : 3:16

Farm Girls

For mutual I took my beehives to a little farm and we rode horses. We We took them around with a lead rope, as most had never been on a horse before. They loved it. I loved getting on a horse again... it has been a long time; since our honeymoon! After we collected the eggs from the chickens and took them home to eat. Fresh farm eggs... yeah!

Mikin leading one of the girls around the corral.
My Beehives... love them!
Saddling up in the sunset.
Mikin getting ready to ride...

Oh, BOY!

In the midst of the Elephant Ear Booth, we planned a celebration of Mikin's brother, Dusty, and his wife, Angie, and their baby boy... coming in about 5 weeks to our family!
Here is most of the group at the shower... some had to leave early so missed the photo.

We had it at a park and I decorated simple with a clothes line of baby boy attire.
We had cookies, fruit kabobs, veggies, meat and cheese stacks, and ice water.
It was wonderful to celebrate this little miracle coming into the family!
Many beautiful gifts were given to the baby, and Ella loved bring the next gift to open and watched intently with each one. Can you tell she is VERY excited to have another cousin?!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Hilarious Piggy Pigs Piggy Out!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

North Idaho Fair

This year I actually had some time to take the kids around the fair, and see the animals, play in the kids playland, and enjoy the artwork. Aunt Bryyne took them around a bit as well. Thanks to all who helped us out with our kids during this crazy fair week...
Here was one of the favorites:
The Momma Pig with all her Piglets!
Kiah and Noah hung out with my friend, Dana Davis, and her boys.They went on rides, and had blue snow you can see evidence of below!
Mason Davis, Kaden Davis, and Noah

Kiah Loved the Bunnies...
Angie and Mikin... all smiles after a big burger, brick fries, and an elephant ear to top it all off...
We had a little "date night" with some of the girls after the baby shower.
Angie Gatten, Brynne Erickson, and Momma Lewis
Artwork at the kids playland.
Kiah & Ella
Asa was all about the balls... he could not get ahold of enough of them!

Noah barrel racing on the tricycle.... hilarious!
Kiah & Noah
Produce art sculptures... Noah's favorite.
Kiah intrigued by the honey making.
Ella loving her muffin, in front of the HUGE pumpkins!

Elephant Ears! Get your Elephant Ears!!!

The Infamous Booth:
North Idaho Fair : August 26-30, 2009
In this small of a town, you can be semi-famous for something like this....

My family owns
at the North Idaho Fair.

Yes, my grandfather co-founded it and built it, my mother and her 3 siblings run it and all of us grandkids and great-grandkids work it.
Everyone does what they can and fills all the shifts and duties associated with it.
It is a huge task even though it only lasts for a week.

This year I spent most of the time working shifts, baby-sitting for others while they worked shifts, and counting money after midnight.

All of the money we make as a family goes into a missionary fund for all of the posterity.
I got money to pay part of my mission when I was 21.
My kids will probably get it all paid for, as well as when Ty and I go when we are older.
It is an awesome time to see family and work for a good cause.
Not to mention, they are delicious! I still love them after all these years!

Here is roughly how an ELEPHANT EAR is born:

Mix the ingredients in this huge mixer to make the dough.
I cannot tell you the secret ingredients or I will have to kill you... or I will probably get killed!
We put it in huge plastic tubs to raise.

Then we cut the dough in big balls and put them on cookie trays to raise in the "poofer."
...Jeff Davis, cousin...

Her is where they get rolled out the old fashioned way, with pure man power.
Rolling, rolling, rolling...
...Brent Davis, cousin, and Dusty Gatten, brother...

Here is the vat.
Very Hot Oil! This is where they are dropped to be cooked until golden brown.
Cooking in the extreme heat!
...Brett Gatten, borther...

After they rest for a second, we pull them off the rack, cover them in cinnamon and sugar, and stack them between paper towels to be handed out the window.
...Cherea' Steele, cousin...Benji Lee, cousin...


One thing, we know how to attract quite the long line, but if you have ever had one, you know it is worth the wait. Come and see us next year at the Fair, you know we will be there!

Flower Girls

Okay, so at the Art on the Green, they had flower clips for your hair...
They cost between 9 and 13 dollars, so I got creative for an hour and busted out some on my own. I bought some bunches at the Dollar Tree, and then alligator clips at Sally's Beauty Supply, and some ribbon I already had to line the clips... less than 5 dollars later...
24 Flower Clips
Okay, so I went a little nuts. But it was just so easy!

Art on the Green

In our city they have a huge outdoor art sale with artisans from all over the world (mainly from the US and several local artists as well.) They pop up their little tents and sell their work. They also have lots of yummy food and music and kids activities. Each year since I could drive I have never missed it except when I was on my mission. I obviously love the "feel" of it. There is always a "sandcastle guy" who brings in a load of sand and dumps it on the sidewalk and builds a huge, intricate castle throughout the weekend of the street fair. Here is a photo of it one more day until completion. He is amazing. I do not know how he wrecks it at the end of it all...
Noah, Ella, Kiah, Preston Frank, and Allie Frank in the stoller, while Asa tries to escape