Showing posts with label Brotherly Love. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brotherly Love. Show all posts

Friday, March 28, 2014

Once There Was a Snowman, Snowman, Snowman...

With spring officially here I can finally wave goodbye to winter. Although, I couldn't help but look back at one of our favorite winter traditions that we missed out on. Which of courses is strange and was started quite randomly. Every winter we like to make a unique or themed snowman. It started when my oldest son made his first snowman. He was 2 1/2 and we chose some random things to go on the snowman. He was so excited to show Dad it when he came home. Ever since then we try to make a fun snowman every year.




This year we had an early snow towards the end of October. I was right before my brother left on his mission so we decided to have some fun in the snow before he left. Especially because we knew in Utah the snow would be gone within a day.

We came up with this concoction. Which was just colored water and a plastic knife from the dollar store. We also used wood to make the X eyes.







We made this one the following year in honor of my brother. He was serving his mission in Mexico and missed the snow. Since we missed him in Mexico, and he missed the snow by us, naturally we needed a Mexican snowman.



Last year we made this mailbox snowman. I remember seeing a picture somewhere, so when the snow wasn't sticking too well, the idea of stacking it against the mailbox was a perfect solution.  The kids were making up all kinds of reactions they thought the mailman would have when they came for the mail.




This year the few times we had a good snow we weren't able to play in it. Usually someone was sick or it melted before we had a chance. So this winter we didn't do one :(
So hopefully this fall we can have the most epic snowman of all.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Letter To The Newlyweds

A long time ago I wrote a funny letter that I use to give to newlyweds with there gift. When my brother got married recently I thought I would share it with them. Only I couldn't find it and had to start from scratch. This time it didn't come out as funny, but more serious. I thought I would share it on here for others to enjoy or learn from. Although let me warn you when you get to #8 I open my mouth and my religion pops out. I get very churchy and Christian. Which I won't apologize for but just warn of, just in case. If it offends anyone (Because now days religion tends to be the source of much contention) I will probably say something I say too often, "I'm over it." No really I am. Hopefully someone out there will get some inspiration from a lesson I have learned the hard way.  The fun part about posting it was adding links to some of the past memories. So here it is my letter to the newlyweds...
Dear love birds,
I thought I would share some lessons we have learned along the way, some the hard way others not so much. Enjoy...


1. If you can’t get upset at your spouse when she runs over a 2 ft rock wrecking the driver side of the car or when he gets a huge speeding ticket, then why freak out over the little things.  Too often we overlook the bigger things more than we do little things. Don’t waste precious time fighting over the toothpaste container or toilet paper rolls. A family friend of mine, who is now a widow, once told me she looks back wishing she hadn’t wasted such valuable time fighting over menial things.


2. Pick your battles. Just be happy the other replaced the toilet paper roll at all, instead of getting upset that its going under, not over. Just be happy the dishwasher got filled, not upset how it got filled. There is a positive in almost every situation, find it.


3. Jobs, dishes, and cars come and go, and accidents happen.  Try to be supportive when someone is looking for a job. Garage doors can be fixed, but knowing your spouse wasn’t upset over your car in his brother in laws garage door is so much better. Dishes will break, so either buy plastic or look at the opportunity to buy new! Being quick to forgive can assure that one day the gesture will be returned. Not to mention sometimes I think we are hard enough on ourselves, the added guilt never helps!


4. A home is what you make of it. Whether it’s your car, a tent, a hotel room, condo, apartment or a house, as long as you are together that’s what counts. Pillow fights in hotel rooms, sheets hung to make bedrooms, and cooking all your meals with just a skillet are all memories helping build your love. Make the best of each situation instead of complaining and hoping for a new one, make the most of it.


5. Make your own set of rules, especially when an argument arises. Just knowing that from the beginning you have both agreed upon a set of rules or guidelines can relieve anger or stress. That way you can focus on the heart of an issue and not name calling and degrading each other.


6. Remember you are stuck with your spouse FOREVER! Sometimes you have to put hobbies, jobs, kids and other things on the back burner to a certain extent to keep your flame going. You have a long journey ahead, so do what you have to in order to keep your marriage strong. Take time off work, get a sitter, or learn something new together. Just remember  as time goes on your spouse will always be there for you, if you are always there for them.


7. Recently I received this great advice (Which you could make a rule if you wanted ;) Don’t approach each other with why. “Why did you or didn’t you… “ Try using the word how. “How can I help,” most importantly “How can I help you become the person you want to be.” If we can help the other person we often can get what we need worked out or taken care of along the way. I’m pretty sure that’s what we call service ;)


8.Last but not least is couples time. Some people call it pillow talk, but I think there needs to be more than just that. Starting with prayer. Pray together! One day couples prayer will turn to family prayer, and even after that make sure to continue couples prayer daily. It doesn’t matter how busy you are, you ALWAYS have time for prayer. No matter how late my family is running that extra 2 minutes to say a prayer before we leave the house is worth it EVERY TIME!


Also Couples scripture reading will also help strengthen your marriage. And who doesn’t want that? When Steven and I first were married we did our reading out of “Eternal Marriage Students Handbook,”  we included it in your gift.  We also have done straight scripture reading or the Ensign. Our newest favorite is Preach My Gospel. I love it because A- I didn’t go on a mission so my husband gets to share that with me and B- it's meant for couples. For couples or companions who are teaching the gospel. Which is what we are doing with our children, teaching them the gospel. Wait till your family grows a bit till you bust it out, especially because you are probably are tired of reading it so much from your mission.


Overall no matter how much homework, cleaning, or other duties and callings you have, you will be blessed if you take 10-15 minutes a day to do couples reading together. That is shorter than an episode from Netflix! Taking time for that will help you be blessed at work, school and everywhere else!


I loved Steven so much when we first got married, now 9 years later I look back realizing I had no idea what love was, because I love him so much more than I ever thought possible. I look forward to the bumps in the road in the future so that I can experience even more love for him.


I hope the same for you two!
Love, your sister, Jennifer
 
 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I'm Not Inclined To Resign To Maturity

Since we live so far from reality in Eagle Mountain our options for TV are few and far between. There is pretty much only 2 satellite companies available out here. We also decided since I chose to stop working we had to make budget cuts, and TV was one of them. We did purchase a digital satellite however, which allows us limited basic channels which fulfils my Survivor withdrawals. One thing I miss is channel flipping and believe it or not re-run watching. After the kids go to bed Steven and I usually cuddle and watch something together. I am also very fortunate to be the "remote holder" in the family. I decided last week to watch re-runs of Psych just as if I had cable again and it was the only thing worth watching. Thank goodness for Netflix I was able to do this, although watching this show reminds me of my brother.

My brother Daniel is currently serving a 2 year service mission for my church in El Salvador and Belize. He is and was my partner in crime. We have some of the oddest and most fun random memories together, a lot like Shawn and Gus in Psych.
For instance last year we decided to do a paper route together. It only lasted about 2-3 months. We were always tired and it was very crazy, but looking back we had fun bonding together in those wee hours of the morning. Lots of Krispie Kream donuts, good talks, broken shoes, and learning how particular people are about their newspapers. One morning one of our porch delivery clients had their sprinklers going off so Daniel tossed it up his long stairs and it landed on the top step. The next day we were informed that they complained it wasn't on their porch, they had to take a whole 1 step down to get it.  The next day we decided to rubber band the newspaper to their door knob, hopefully it was close enough for them that time.
We would take turns napping and watching kids during the day

Daniel and I would love to randomly challenge each other to things, where Daniel usually would win. Such as this video clip of who can hurdle the hedge.

Daniel is currently having fun sharing his goofy spirit with the people of El Salvador right now and loving it! He says his Spanish is coming along although it is very different than the Spanish he is familiar with from home. He said in his recent email that he and his companion are still like Shawn and Gus. That they had their shoes and backpacks stolen so they decided to just keep knocking on doors in their socks. It was a good conversation starter apparently. To keep up with Daniel's shenanigans his blog is http://elderdanielmckenna.blogspot.com/



Another person I think of when I think of Pysch is the person who recommended the series to me the first time around, that was Alex. Alex was a dear family friend who left this world far to early. He loved a good joke, the Texas Longhorns and his family. Which is why Daniel and I decided to do this prank on him shortly before he passed away last year. Daniel and I went to Rue 21 on a Tuesday night before Alex's movie night. In the store's clearance section they had an ugly Twilight shirt with Edward and Bella's face on it. For three dollars that shirt was worth hearing Alex's laugh. After the movie we went to thank and talk to Alex. I told him I was disappointed because Daniel had told me we were watching Twilight and I showed him my shirt. Daniel and I even held straight faces. He knew I was kidding but I'm not so sure his other friends in the room knew that, oh well!

My family loved Alex and look forward to the day we get to see him again. Its funny how such a simple thing like a show can bring so many fun memories of some amazing people.