May 31, 2014

I need to start lifting again

Yes, I'm injured again.  My ankles, primarily my left, have been hurting for a while.  It took an attempted 9-miler last week to realize something is really wrong.  Although I was feeling great, right from the start my left ankle was in agonizing pain.  I thought I just needed to warm up, but at only 1.5 miles into the run I had to stop from this sharp pain--which felt like the inside part of my ankle was going to explode out of my leg--and hobble home.  I literally hobbled back to the house.  From there, I promptly called and made an appointment to get it checked out.  I still don't have a clear diagnosis on this injury, but I'm getting an MRI done on Tuesday.  Hopefully by then they'll start me on a treatment or physical therapy.  I'm incredibly thankful that my doctor told me I can still run, I just need to keep the speed down.  I about jumped for joy, as I've successfully completed slow-running with minimal aggravation of whatever it is I'm afflicted with.

In the meantime, I feel I should also get back into strength training.  Strengthening all my running and non-running muscles should lower my risk of further injury.  Additionally, after I'm all healed, it should also make me faster.  I firmly believe my cardiovascular system can handle a faster run, but now my muscles are fatiguing at the quicker paces.  Maybe this injury thing is a sign that I need to take care of the strength-portion of running and not just focus on endurance.

This morning I delved back into my fitness training books and decided today's weight-routine would consist of a total-body 21's workout.  I love 21's due to their effectiveness in targeting different muscle fibers by focusing on different aspects of the range of motion (ROM) with each exercise.  While performing 21's, ensure your form is impeccable and you handle the weighs slowly and controlled.  Each exercise consists of 21 repetitions, hence the name 21's, with the first 7 reps being only the bottom half of the exercise, the second 7 reps being the top half of the exercise, and the final 7 reps being the complete exercise.  Start with lighter weights as these can prove challenging at first.  You can accomplish this workout up to three times a week on non-consecutive days.  Be sure to stretch and hydrate thoroughly afterwards.  Beginners should start with 1-2 sets and increase up to 4 sets as they are ready.  This took me about an hour to finish.

Let me know how you like this workout!

May 30, 2014

The Priesthood (FHE)

This week's family home evening lesson was based on the Gospel Principles manual, chapter 13: The Priesthood.

Song: We sang song #190 from the primary Children's Songbook, Love is Spoken Here.  It goes as follows:
I see my mother kneeling with our family each day.
I hear the words she whispers as she bows her head to pray.
Her plea to the Father quiets all my fears,
And I am thankful love is spoken here.
Mine is a home where ev'ry hour 
is blessed by the strength of priesthood pow'r,
With father and mother leading the way,
Teaching me how to trust and obey;
And the things they teach are crystal clear,
For love is spoken here.
I can often feel the Savior near
When love is spoken here

Lesson: The priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God.  Through the priesthood, God created and governs the heavens and the earth.  Heavenly Father delegates His priesthood power to worthy male members of the Church.  This priesthood power enables them to act in His name for the salvation of the human family.
We must have priesthood authority to act in the name of God when performing the sacred ordinances of the gospel:  baptism, confirmation of the Holy Ghost, administration of the sacrament, baby blessings, administering to the sick, and temple ordinances.  Men need the priesthood to preside in the Church and to direct the work of the Church (D&C 20:38-67).  The prophet, holding all keys of the priesthood on the earth today, uses the priesthood to understand the will of the Lord for everyone on the earth and to carry out His purposes.

A worthy male member of the Church receives the priesthood by the "laying on of hands by those who are in authority to preach the gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof" (Articles of Faith 1:5).  This is the same way men received the priesthood in ancient times (Hebrews 5:4).  Men cannot buy and sell the power and authority of the priesthood (Acts 8:20).

The power of the priesthood cannot be controlled except in righteousness (D&C 121:36).  If a man tries to exercise unrighteous dominion by forcing their families and others to obey them, or to gain wealth or fame or other selfish purpose, "behold the heavens withdraw themselves, the Spirit of the Lord is grieved, and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man" (D&C 121:37).  Everything he has will be taken away and given to one who is righteous and worthy, whether it be in this life or in the next.  And wo be unto that man if he does not repent.

The priesthood should be used to bless the lives of those on the earth.  Priesthood holders should preside in love and kindness, "by persuasion, by long suffering, by gentleness and meekness, by love unfeigned" (D&C 121:37).  Using the priesthood, a man can do many wonderful things for his family and for others like blessing the sick, give priesthood blessings of protection and guidance, and participate in the ordinances of the gospel.  Every man who uses the priesthood in righteousness "will find his life sweetened, his discernment sharpened to decide quickly between right and wrong, his feelings tender and compassionate, yet his spirit strong and valiant in defense of right; he will find the priesthood a never failing source of happiness--a well of living water springing up into eternal life" (David O. McKay).

Activity: I found this great Priesthood Keys game from LDS Family Fun.  To make it more toddler-friendly, I glued pictures that summed up each "key" to their backs.  Then, I read the questions off the card and helped June to answer them.  Once we went through each question, she got to put the corresponding key on her keyring.  After she collected all the keys, she placed them by a picture of Christ since all priesthood keys are His.

May 22, 2014

Atonement (FHE)

This week's lesson was based on the Gospel Principles manual, Chapter 12, The Atonement.  The Atonement is the most important doctrine of any Christian belief.  It is the foundation of the Gospel.  Everything that is taught in the Church is an appendage of this critical doctrine.

Song: We sang song #65 from the Primary Children's Songbook, He Died That We Might Live Again.  It goes as follows:

He died that we might live again,
Lord Jesus, our Redeemer true.
He died on Calv'ry's lonely hill.
His life he gave for me and you.
He rose from the grave on Easter morn,
Our Savior and our King.
He showed his love for all mankind.
For his great love, give thanks and sing.
Rejoice! Rejoice! and sing, sing, sing.

Lesson:  The Atonement is necessary for our salvation.  Jesus Christ "came into the be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness; that through Him all might be saved" (D&C 76:41-42).  The great sacrifice He made to pay for our sins and overcome death is called the Atonement.  It is the most important event that has ever occurred in the history of mankind (Alma 34:9).  Since the Fall of Adam and Eve brought two kinds of death, physical death (separation of body and spirit) and spiritual death (separation from God), a Savior was need to overcome these so that we all can return to our Heavenly Father (2 Nephi 9:7-9).  Jesus Christ was the only one who could Atone for our sins.  He was chosen by the Father for this calling, He was the Only Begotten Son of the Father giving Him power over death, He is the only person who lived on the earth who has never sinned (John 10:17-18).

Christ suffered and died to Atone for our sins.  The Savior's Atonement included suffering in Gethsemane and giving His life on the cross.  We can never understand the magnitude of His suffering.  How Jesus loves us, to suffer such spiritual and physical agony for our sake!  How Heavenly Father loves us to send His Son to do so (John 3:16).

The Atonement and Resurrection bring Resurrection to all.  Christ took up His body and was the first to be Resurrected and thus He overcame physical death (Matthew 28:6).  Because of His Atonement, everyone born on this earth will be resurrected thus overcoming physical death (1 Corinthians 15:21-22).

The Atonement makes it possible for those who have faith in Christ to be saved from their sins, thus making it possible for us to overcome spiritual death.  Although all people will be resurrected, only those who accept the Atonement will be saved spiritually (Articles of Faith 1:3).  We accept Chris's Atonement by:

1) Placing our faith in Him
2) Repenting of our sins
3) Being baptized
4) Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost
5) Obeying His commandments

This helps us to become faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.  Christ did His part to atone for our sins (D&C 19:16-17).  To make His Atonement fully effective in our lives we must strive to obey Him and repent of our sins.

Activity: I got the idea for this activity from Family Home Evenings.  I had June put on an empty backpack.  Then I asked her to name off different things that she or others could to that makes others or Heavenly Father sad.  With each thing she named, I placed a book in her backpack.  Here are the acts she listed:
- Push someone
- Say something mean
- Talk back to Mommy
- Refuse to do chores
- Say bad words
- Be mean to Penny

As I added books to her backpack, she said, "Mommy, I don't like it!  It's too heavy! I want to take it off!"  I told her that this is the way sin burdens us.  It wears us down and is extremely heavy to carry.  It's uncomfortable and is damaging to our spirits.  I told her that because we aren't perfect, Heavenly Father sent Jesus Christ to atone for all our sins.  He took upon the burden of our sins so we would be free from the bondage of sin.  I told her that all we had to do to have our burden lightened was to feel sorry for our sins and repent.  So, I went back through the list, but this time I asked her "Do you feel sorry when you..." and repeated each item of her list.  As she responded yes to the questions, I took a book out until she had no more weight in her backpack.  I told her that as we repent, we accept the Atonement into our lives which lightens our burden and makes us clean.

This activity was very effective in teaching June about sin and repentance.  She really did not like the books in her backpack at all, even though it really wasn't that heavy.  I feel her responses complimented the intent of the lesson.

On a side note, the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the most important event that has ever happened in the history of mankind.  Because of the Atonement, we can all have the opportunity to reach exhalation and live with our Father in Heaven again.  Because of the Atonement, we can have the opportunity to be a forever family in the eternities.  The Atonement is absolutely essential to our happiness, eternally and temporally.  Because of the magnitude and eternal reaching blessings of Christ's Atonement, I believe it would behoove all of us to truly study and learn as much as we can about it through scripture study, searching the words of the living prophets, reading truthful material, and mostly heartfelt prayer.  We can never fully comprehend the Atonement, but with our salvation depending on this great and wonderful gift, we should learn as much as we can about it, for the more we understand about the Atonement, the better we can apply it in our own lives and bless the lives of others.

In my own personal study of the Atonement, I utilize scripture study alongside books and talks about this sacred topic.  The first book I read was Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage.  This is an in depth study of the life of Christ from His premortal life (what we know about) up to present day.  It is a long book, but a thoughtful read will surely strengthen your testimony of the life and mission of our Savior.  The book I'm currently reading is The Infinite Atonement by Tad R.Callister.  This book is an in-depth study of the Atonement, its importance, and how we can continue to learn to apply it ourselves.  I recommend letting the Spirit guide you as you study the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  The Holy Ghost is the best teacher, especially of this incredible gift from our Savior.  He will testify to you of all truth, and of the truth of the Atonement.  This I know.

May 19, 2014

The Life of Christ (FHE)

Since we were on vacation, we got to do family home evening on the road.  Last week's lesson was based on the Gospel Principles manual chapter 11:  The Life of Christ.

Song:  We sang song #57 from the primary Children's Songbook, Tell me the Stories of Jesus. It goes as follows:

Tell me the stories of Jesus I love to hear,
Things I would ask him to tell me if he were here.
Scenes by the wayside, tales of the sea,
Stories of Jesus, tell them to me.
Oh,  let me hear how the children stood round his knee.
I shall imagine his blessings resting on me;
Words full of kindness, deeds full of grace,
All in the love-light of Jesus' face.
Tell me, in accents of wonder, how rolled the sea,
Tossing the boat in a tempest on Galilee!
And how the Master, ready and kind,
Chided the billows and hushed the wind.

Lesson:  The life of Christ was predicted long before His birth by all ancient prophets.  Everyone who comes to earth depends on Jesus Christ to fulfill the promise He made in Heaven to be our Savior.  Because His mission was necessary, every prophet from Adam to Christ testified He would come and every prophet since has testified He did come.

Christ was the Only Begotten of Heavenly Father.  From the New Testament books Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John we learn that Jesus was born of a virgin named Mary.  God the Father was the literal Father of Jesus Christ (Luke 1:34-35).  He is the only person on earth to be born of a mortal mother and an immortal Father, which is why He is called the Only Begotten Son.  He inherited divine powers from His Father and from His mother He inherited mortality thus being subject to hunger, thirst, fatigue, pain, and death.  No one could take the Savior's life from Him unless He willed it for He had power to lay down His life and to take up His body again after dying (John 10:17-18).

Christ led a perfect life.  Jesus obeyed all that was required of Him by our Heavenly Father.  He loved and obeyed the truth.  When He was 12 years old, He understood He had been sent to do the will of His Father.  He went with His parents to Jerusalem, but when His parents were returning home they discovered He wasn't with their group.  They went back and found Him in the temple teaching doctors who were asking Him questions and were astonished at His understanding and answers (Luke 2:46-47).

In order to fulfill His mission, Jesus was to do the will of His Father (John 8:28-29).  When Jesus was 30 years old, He came to John the Baptist to be baptized in the Jordan River (Matthew 3:13-17).  Soon after He was baptized, He fasted for 40 days and 40 nights to be with God.  Afterwards, Satan came to tempt Him, but Jesus firmly resisted all of Satan's temptations and commanded Satan to leave (Matthew 4:1-11).

Christ taught us how to love and serve one another.  He began His public ministry after His encounter with Satan.  Part of His mission on this earth was to teach us how to live.  He taught there are two great commandments: to first love God with all our heart, mind and strength; and secondly to love others as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:36-39).  His whole life is an example of how we should obey these two commandments.  Christ spent His life serving and teaching others.  He performed many miracles such as healing the sick, raising the dead, making the blind see and the deaf hear, controlling the weather, and feeding multitudes.  He taught us that when we serve others, we are serving the Lord (Matthew 25:35-46).  Jesus loved everyone.  He loved little children, the elderly, the humble, and He loved those who had sinned--even if they sinned against Him.  He wants what is best for each of us.  He taught, "This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you" (John 15:12).

Jesus Christ organized the only true church.  He wanted His gospel taught to people all over the world, so He chose 12 apostles to testify of Him.  They received authority to act in His name and do the works they had seen Him do.

He redeemed us from our sins and saved us from death.  Near the end of His ministry He prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for all the sins of mankind.  The night before His Crucifixion, Jesus went to a garden called Gethsemane.  There, He suffered for all of our sins.  His suffering was so great it caused Him to tremble and bleed from every pore, and He suffered in body and spirit (D&C19:18).  No one else could atoned for our sins, only Christ.

The following day, He was beaten, humiliated, and spit upon.  He was crucified and suffered on the cross.  When the Savior knew His sacrifice had been accepted by the Father, He exclaimed loudly, "It is finished" (John 19:30).  "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23:46).  He voluntarily gave up His spirit.  His friends laid His body in a tomb where it was sealed up for three days.  During this time, His spirit went and organized the missionary work to other spirits who needed to receive His gospel (1 Peter 3:18-20, D&C 138).  On the third day, He returned to His body and took it up again.  He was the first to overcome death and because He did so, we can all be resurrected (John 20:9).

His sacrifice showed His love for His Father and for us.  Jesus willingly and humbly went through the sorrow in Gethsemane and the suffering on the cross so we could receive all the blessing of the plan of salvation.  To receive these blessings, we must come unto Him, repent of our sins, and love Him with all our hearts.  He said, "And this gospel which I have given unto you--that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.  And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me...that they may be judged according to their works...for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do...therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be?  Verily I say unto you, even as I am" (3 Nephi 27:13-15, 21, 27).

 Activity:  I chose a more simple activity since we were on the road for this family home evening.  I found this great game in the April 2014 Friend magazine, Seven Days til Easter.  I read each description and scripture designated, then June had to match the picture to the description.  She enjoyed the puzzle-matching quite a bit.

May 18, 2014

Mother's Day Vegas Racecation Travelogue

There's no better way to feel rested and rejuvenated than taking a vacation. I love exploring new cities and states, especially if I can sneak a race in there somewhere--which I did!

We stayed at Mandalay Bay for three reasons:
1) the "beach" and the pools
2) the Shark Reef aquarium
3) the seafood restaurant RM

Each of these attractions lived up to all the hype and anticipation we attributed to them.

The day we got there, first thing we did was hit the pools. Mandalay Bay offered 6 pools to course from: two party pools, a lagoon (standard pool), a kiddie pool, a wave pool, and a lazy river. The kiddie pool and wave pool were surrounded by a sandy beach. I loved the beach! It was like escaping to a tropical paradise and reminded me of the California beaches I grew up with. June had a blast swimming with her daddy and walking in the sand.

I insisted on the scary shark picture.
 June has had a strange fear-fascination with sharks for a while now.  She maintained a safe distance from each of the aquarium windows, but with each sub-sequential exhibit, she moved closer and closer until she had her face up to the glass.  Although she seemed very wary of the shark reef at first, by the end she proudly declared, "Mommy, I'm not scared of the sharks anymore!"  This was a fantastic shark exhibit!  Not only sharks were featured either; there were also crocodiles, snakes, piranha, eels, all manner of fish, jelly fish, octopus, stingrays (that you could pet), name it!  The displays were obviously well cared for and were aesthetically appealing.  June demanded she receive a pet pink shark upon the end of our visit, which we gladly obliged.  By the way, she named her shark Flower Girl.

We ate so much delectably delicious dishes during our stay! The seafood at the RM was incredible--by far the best seafood I've ever had. Travis insisted we eat there so he could enjoy the best oysters imaginable. We had the Mother's Day 4-course special at Nine Fine Irishmen consisting of a bacon-potato soup, wedge salad, prime rib with roasted root vegetables, and I had a gluten-free strawberry shortcake. Phenomenal. No food excursion would be complete without a trip to Chipotle, Travis' all-time favorite restaurant.

One of the most beautiful races I've run
I dragged myself out of bed early early Saturday morning to run the Moms Rock 10K. The race was held at the gorgeous Tule Springs state park. Ponds, green grass, and trees were everywhere. The race itself took us through the park and around it's desert trails. I felt like I was running in two distinct locations due to the extreme change landscape. Aside from the unexpected 25-30mph wind sustained from mile 4 to the finish line, the weather was great. That wind and the trail course (I didn't read the race description through and assumed this was a roadrace) led to a slower finishing time for me, but I'm still happy with my time of 1:08:16 especially since I placed 4th in the 20-29 age group. Upon finishing, I received a beautiful medal and a red carnation. All in all it was a well done race.
Sporting my newest race medal!

  That Sunday was Mother's Day.  First thing June and I did was go to church.  Since I wanted to see the Las Vegas temple, we found a ward that met right next to the temple site!  We arrived an hour early so we could walk the temple grounds, take in the peaceful spirit synonymous with the temple, and take plenty of June pictures in the picturesque landscape.  June really wanted to touch the temple, so I got a picture of her doing just that.  The ward was so inviting to us!  June loved her nursery class and made some new friends.  I also had the opportunity to meet some personable members.  The Bishopric was incredible and passed out Mothers Day chocolate bars to each of the Relief Society sisters and all women in the ward.  I can never turn down chocolate.

When I got back to the hotel room, I was met with an intoxicating fragrance and the most beautiful bouquet of white and pink roses I've ever beheld.  Travis not only got me these gorgeous flowers, but he also scheduled me a Mother's Day massage.  I was so surprised and taken aback by these thoughtful gifts.  The culmination of the excitement of Vegas, family activities, a thoughtful husband and snuggly toddler, delicious cuisine, light of the temple, and race day adrenaline all equated to be the best Mother's Day I've ever experienced.

My beautiful bouquet

May 7, 2014

Camp Director Task #3: Belay Certification

One awesome thing about camp this year will be the brand new rock wall!  I absolutely love rock climbing (on walls...the great outdoors climbing still intimidates me).  The young women are all excited about the opportunity to climb while at camp, so this will help make camp this year great.

Myself and a couple leaders went and got belay certified over the weekend.  I forgot the thrill of climbing; it has been too long!  I also realized the importance of having a current belay certification.  The last time I was belay certified was back in college and I had no recollection of how to tie the knots.

We took a class at Patriot Outdoors.  Our instructor was wonderful.  She walked us through everything step-by-step and made sure we all understood each part of belaying.  We went over harnesses, daisy-chains, hooks, ropes, knots, and belay calls.  After a few rounds of practice, all three of us were confidently belaying each other.  And we all had ample opportunity to climb the wall.

I brought June with me.  When she saw all the fun we were having, she wanted to climb too.  In fact, we almost got the toddler harness all the way on her before she decided she hated the harness.  So instead, I helped her with baby bouldering.  She loves loves loves to climb.  I'm fairly certain that it won't be long until she'll put up with the harness to climb to the top.

Getting this certification has just added to my excitement level in anticipation of Girls Camp.  I know this will be a phenomenal year where the girls can enjoy nature and the great outdoors, grow closer to each other as sisters, and strengthen their testimonies.

Scriptures (FHE)

We enjoyed an extra-special Family Home Evening this Monday because June's grandpa and uncles joined us!  The lesson was based on the Gospel Principles manual chapter 10, Scriptures.

Song:  We all sang from the primary Children's Songbook, song #109:  Search, Ponder, and Pray. It goes as follows:

1. I love to read the holy scriptures,
And, ev'ry time I do,
I feel the Spirit start to grow within my heart-
A testimony that they're true.
2. So, prayerfully I'll read the scriptures
Each day my whole life through.
I'll come to understand.
I'll heed the Lord's command
And live as he would have me do.
Chorus: Search, ponder, and pray
Are the things that I must do.
The Spirit will guide, and, deep inside,
I'll know the scriptures are true.
Lesson:   The scriptures are available to us today.  When the Lord's servants speak or write under the influence of the Holy Ghost, their words become scripture (D&C 68:4).  The Lord has always commanded His prophets to keep a record of His revelations and His dealings with His children so we can all benefit and learn from them (2 Nephi 29:11).  There have been scriptures even in Adam's time.

The Bible is a collection of sacred writings that cover many centuries, from the time of Adam through the time when the Apostles of Jesus Christ lived.  The Bible contains the records of prophets and apostles in the eastern hemisphere.  It contains the Old Testament, which is writings before Christ's birth and contains many revelations about the coming of our Savior.  The New Testament tells of the life of that Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Book of Mormon is a sacred record of some of the people who lived on the American continents between about 2000BC and 400AD.  It contains the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ (D&C 20:9).  The Book of Mormon also tells of the visit Jesus Christ made to the people in the Americas after His Resurrection.  Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon into English through the gift and power of God.  The Book of Mormon is the keystone to our religion in three ways:  it is the keystone in our witness of Christ, it is the keystone of our doctrine, and it is the keystone of testimony.  The Book of Mormon teaches truth and bears testimony of Christ.

The Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of modern revelation.  It contains the revelations regarding the Church of Jesus Christ as it has been restored in these latter-days.  Several sections explain the organization of the Church and define the functions and offices of the Priesthood.  Some sections contain glorious truths that were lost to the world for hundreds of years (D&C 76, D&C 88).  Some sections contain prophecies of what is to come (D&C 133).

The Pearl of Great Price contains the book of Moses, the book of Abraham, and some inspired writings of Joseph Smith.  It clarifies doctrines and teachings that were lost from the Bible and gives added information concerning the Creation, the gospel, the nature of God, and the Priesthood.

In addition to these four books of scripture, the inspired words of our living prophets become scripture to us.  These come from conferences and are published in the Liahona and the Ensign magazines.  "We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and all we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God" (Articles of Faith 1:9).

We should study the scriptures every day and share these truths with our family.  We must feed our minds with the truth and righteousness found in the scriptures to avoid the evils of the world.  As we read, ponder, and pray about the scriptures seeking for understanding, the Holy Ghost will bear witness to us of the truth of these things.

Side 1

Side 2

Something is missing...
Activity: I made a 6-piece puzzle.  One one side was a picture of the Savior.  On the other side, I put a picture of each book of Scripture in each piece:  Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, Doctrine and Covenants, and the General Conference Ensign.  I then hid each piece in their respective actual book of scripture and marked a passage (I just have each person pick their favorite from that particular book of scripture).  I game each book of scripture to family members.  June had to search the scriptures and have the designated passage read in order to obtain the puzzle piece.  She found that the picture of Christ became more complete as she searched more books of scripture.  The picture wasn't complete, however, without the modern day revelation we receive from the living prophets, which was represented by the Ensign.  Once she searched all 6 books and received all 6 pieces did she have a complete picture of Christ.
Reading the Book of Mormon with Aunt Linzy to get her puzzle piece.

She put the whole puzzle together after searching all the scriptures.

June loves puzzles, and she loves playing with her uncles and grandpa, so this activity went well.  She really enjoyed having to search the scriptures to find the pieces.  She already loves reading the scripture so this activity was perfect for her.

May 4, 2014

June's First 5K


My 3-year old daughter June completed her first 5K race on Saturday, the Hula Hustle!  She's hiked the distance before with me, but this was her first official 5K race.  At the Hula Hustle, you get "lei'd every K".  Our team was the Orange Iguanas, based on the 90's Nick game show Legends of the Hidden Temple.  I miss that show.  My friend Keri and her husband joined us for this race.  They both finished in the top 25!  I'm so proud of them!

Team Orange Iguanas

She was so excited all week.  She kept talking about how we needed to "run the race" so we could "win the trophy!"  Then she would ask to try on her race shirt.   However, when race day arrived, she was cranky and fussy.  And this continued through most of the race.

She started off running as fast as she could.  It was so cute, watching her little strides as she'd yell to me, "Faster Mommy, we have to win the troohy!"  She continued for about half a mile that way, then she got tired and I carried her a little ways until we saw the first lei station.  She insisted she run to get her lei, and she picked the pink one.  After a little ways, I carried her again and we high-fived runners coming back.  At the half-point lei station, she picked a purple lei.

The problem arose when we turned around and the wind picked up.  June hated the wind!  She started fussing and began to throw a tantrum, so I had to carry a crying toddler about a mile.  Wow, were my arms burning.  But, once we hit the next lei stations she composed herself and picked out a green lei.  She wanted me to pick her up again, so I carried her until we had only 1/4 mile left.  Once she saw the finish line, she wanted to run across it, so she grabbed my hand and took off.  She was holding a fairly decent pace and we crossed the finish line at 57:13--what a fast baby girl.  The race volunteers thought she was so cute and she received two very nice leis: a blue flower one and a pink flower one.

Although she got fairly cranky, it was still a good experience.  For the rest of the weekend she would stop and tell anyone who would listen about how she "won the race."  Absolutely adorable.  I'm glad she had fun overall.  I want to instill the joy of fitness into her at this young age so she will always have good feelings about staying fit and being healthy.  It's also a great joy for me to be able to share one of my great passions with my favorite person.  I hope this continues for years to come as I would love to have my daughter run many future races with me to the point where she smokes me every time.

Camp Director Task #2: Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser

The young women decided to do a spaghetti dinner and dessert auction for their annual camp fundraiser.  After months of planning and preparation, we held our dinner and dessert fundraiser Friday night.  And it was a complete success!

Amy, the Young Women president, was an integral part of ensuring the success of this event.  She cooked and crafted and organized this event with the help of the Young Women leaders: Cambria, Klissa, Melissa, and our Dianes.  The young women themselves were also eager to offer their input and assistance in planning and coordinating this fundraiser.  Our whole ward family stood ready in participation, dessert donations, monetary donations, and clean-up help.  Everyone who attended and who was associated with this event was incredibly supportive with their time, effort, ideas, and encouragement.  It's one of the things I absolutely love about the Church.

We started advertising about a month with posters, emails, Facebook posts, and announcements.  Many delicious homemade desserts and gorgeous crafts were donated for our auction.  So many in fact that we had to bring out two additional tables to hold them all!  The spaghetti, sauces, salads, and bread were prepared a couple hour prior to the event.  We had a steamer table with the noodles an four different types of sauce options: plain marinara sauce, ground beef sauce, sausage sauce, and Alfredo sauce.  As participants paid, they were able to serve themselves and we planned enough food for everyone.  We even offered gluten-free dairy-free options for those in our Church who have food allergies.

Once everyone had a chance to fill their plates, our auctioneer Jesse started the auction.  Cakes, cookies, brownies, cinnamon rolls, pies, and desserts of every kind were auctioned off.  Many of the desserts went for over $50.  I love how supportive and generous the attendees were with their auction donations.  When all was said and done, we had raised enough money to send all our girls to camp!  I'd say that was the ultimate goal, and we reached it!

Though this was a lot of work, it was a wonderful event.  I'm thankful for those who planned, organized, and worked at this dinner.  I'm thankful for those who volunteered preparing, coordinating, and helping at the event.  And I'm thankful for all who attended, donated, and ensured everything ran as smoothly as possible.