Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pioneer Party--Primary Activity

On July 26th our primary hosted a pioneer day party for the ward. Growing up in Utah, pioneer day had always been a big deal. In Utah people get the day off work, and spend the day celebrating with parades, bbq's, fireworks, music and parties. Since I have moved to Alabama, there has been hardly any mention of pioneers at all around pioneer day. We may have been lucky enough to sing "Come Come Ye Saints" at church, but thats about it. 
Last January as we began planning our quarterly primary activities, I was quick to suggest something with a pioneer theme. And our Pioneer party just grew from that.
The activity was from 10-12 with a ward potluck (boasting pioneer themed foods: stews, cornbreads, cobblers, etc.) at noon. We had several activities for people to participate in at their leisure. These included:

Candle Making

Taffy Pulling

Crafts-yarn dolls and soap whittling

and Butter Churning. 

We also had some physical activities and competitions planned. We had relay races including: three legged, potato sack, and the wheel barrow. Plus we had the traditional stick pulling competition.
(I tried one, and lost. Brett did better winning one match and losing another.) We also had great fiddling music to enhance the mood of the event. We were going to finish up with some square dancing, but everyone was having so much fun with the other activities we never got to the square dancing. I'm thinking we'll just save it for next year. 
I love being part of the planning of activities like this. Its fun to set up and decorate. And it's fun to watch everything come together and be successful. (I also decided to make myself a pioneer dress for the event. That was fun too.) Even though I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off during the party, I could see that everyone was having a great time. It was so fun to take a morning and remember and honor our pioneer heritage. 

Happy Pioneer Day!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


I knew it would happen. I have seen movies and read books. I knew it was inevitable. It was only a matter of time. Well, midway through our trip to Utah. . .perhaps on July 7, it happened.  Emmeline asked the question "Why?"  "Why, mom? Why?"  Over and over. Over and over. I knew it was only a matter of time. Why??

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Utah 2008

We had such a wonderful trip to Utah this year. In fact, I would say that it was one of my favorite vacations back there. For some reason, it didn't seem like such a busy, stressful vacation. . .but more of a relaxing vacation. We were able to visit with a lot of family and friends (unfortunately not everyone we love. . .maybe one day :)) and we just had a great time.

We flew into SLC just before midnight on Thursday July 3rd. Bretts mom, Nana, came and picked us up at the airport. We spent the night at her house and Emmeline was very excited to have a sleepover with her Nana. The next morning we drove down to Provo where we would spend the next couple of days at my brother Andy's house.

We had a really great time in Provo. We slept at Andy's house and  my sister Lydia came over as well as several of my cousins. We had fun hanging out and playing video games, mainly, Smash Brothers and Guitar Hero.
Amie made us some delicious ribs and burgers for t
he 4th. We all lit off our own little fireworks. All the little kids loved them (and so did the big kids. . .well at least I did.) I was also introduced to the t.v. show Firefly, which I love.
To bad it was cancelled after only one season. On July 5th, Lydia, Amie and I all went and got pedicures. That was really fun. The chairs we got to sit in were massage chairs. . so it was double fun. Emmeline had fun playing with her little cousin Kristine. Also, Lydia gave Emmeline her first real haircut. I've cut her bangs before, but I have never taken off any length. Lyds chopped off a
 couple of inches. She also cut my hair and Bretts. We kept her busy. lol. That night we all went and had dinner at Chuck a Rama. It wouldnt be a complete trip to Provo without a visit to the ol' buffet. We had a really great time in Provo.

On Sunday, we got up and drove to American Fork to attend church. 
It worked out perfectly because Bretts cousins were blessing their new little baby girl in church. Because of the blessing, there was a ton of family there which we may not have been able to see otherwise. After church, we all went and had a delicious luncheon with all of the family at Grandpa Wrights house.(He had all of his flags up for the 4th. It is quite a sight to behold. He has full size flags for each of the kids/grandkids missions plus several U.S. flags from different time periods throughout history. It is awesome).
Em and Mabe enjoyed running (and crawling) around the yard. I really enjoyed being outside myself. The weather was perfect. I forgot how nice it can be to eat outside without the humidity clawing away at your comfort. 
After the lunch we drove back to SLC and had a restful af
ternoon at Nanas. That night, a couple of Bretts aunts and uncles and cousins came over for a game night. It was so much fun. We played Idiot, which is a super fun card game. We also laughed and laughed. There was a running joke about moving to china. . .but I guess you had to be there. lol. 

The next morning, Brett and I went to his Dads dental office to get our teeth cleaned and checked. Brett was fine, I had one cavity in my back wisdom tooth. I was able to get it filled on the spot. It is really awesome not to have to make followup appointments!! Nana babysat the girls while we were getting checked and we met up with them after we were done to have lunch. After lunch we said goodbye to Nana again and drove to Bretts dads (Grandpa Pickett) house. 

That evening when Grandpa Pickett and Donna got home from work, we hopped into the boat and went for a drive to echo lake. This was really fun for our family.
Brett practically grew up on the water and he loves to waterski.

Because we live in Birmingham, he hasn't been able to go skiing for a couple of years. I know it was nice for him to get out in the lake again. The girls also enjoyed the water. Emmeline was able to drive the boat all by herself, which she thought was awesome!!

Tuesday was another fun and busy day. We spent the entire day visiting with people. We went to the zoo with a couple of my best friends (Michelle Grange and Jen Butler) and their little babies. They each had a baby within three months of when I had Mabel. They were all really cute together. It was great to catch up with my friends and it was really fun to be able to talk "baby talk" with them. We also had lunch together at Cafe Rio--DELICIOUS!!

Tuesday we also visited with my Grandparents Jorgensen at their beautiful condo in Salt Lake. Apparently it was Senator Bennett's old condo, a fact of which my grandparents are very proud of. We had a wonderful visit with them. We also went and spent some time with Bretts Grandparents Pickett in their nice townhouse right next to the Jordan River temple. The girls enjoyed playing with puzzles and toys that Brett remembers playing with when he was little. 
                          Great Grandma and Grandpa Jorgensen

                         Great Grandma and Grandpa Pickett

On Wednesday we went back to Nana's condo. We were planning on hanging out with Nana all day, unfortunately she had to go into work last minute. Instead we did some sightseeing with

just the 4 of us. We grabbed some lunch at Groves Market, a must for us when we are in Utah, and had a picnic at City Creek Park. There were some new little baby ducks swimming in the water. Emmeline loved trying to throw them bread to get them to come over close to us. After lunch we walked into temple square and enjoyed the view of the Salt Lake Temple. We also went into the visitors center and walked up to the large statue of Christ up there.

We left first thing Thursday morning. We really had a wonderful visit. 

Saturday, July 12, 2008

God Bless the U.S.A.

I love Holidays. I have many, many favorites. Celebrating the United States of America on the 4th of July is one of my favorites. I love everything about the celebrations on the 4th. I love the swimming, watermelon, carnivals, bbq's, flags waving, music and of course the fireworks-big and small. I love taking a few minutes to remember and be thankful that I was born here, a place set apart by God as a "choice" land.

On the sunday immediately following the 4th (July 6th), the congregation of the ward I was visiting sang The Star-Spangled Banner, our National anthem, written by Francis Scott Key. I was overcome with emotion as we all stood to honor our country in song. The first verse is very familiar, but on that day I was touched by the final verse of of the song:

"O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must when our cause it is just
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!"

When we as a people, forget to "Praise the Power that made and preserved us a nation" or in other words when we forget God, our Heavenly Father, only then will we fail, only then will we be destroyed. When people want to forget about God and His role in our nation, when they want to strike out "One Nation under God" and "In God we Trust" from our National emblems. . when we forget from whence we came. . then we will begin to falter. This is the only war I am scared of losing.

"For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth posses it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off.

Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written."

Ether 2:10, 12 (From the Book of Mormon)

It is so wonderful to live in a land protected by such a promise. It is wonderful to live in a land where we can continually strive to live up to the ideals upon which this nation was founded: freedom, equality and the pursuit of happiness.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Movin' on Up

Well little Mabel is starting to get into everything and doing anything. She is a very determined young lady. The other day I found her climbing the stairs, so I put up the child gate. I even tied the gate up onto the stairs with yarn. So this afternoon, I wasn't worried while she was crawling on her own around the house. But then I decided it had been a little to quiet for a little to long and I went to check and see what she was doing. I walked through the kitchen and living room--no Mabel. So I went to the stairs. Somehow, I have no idea how, she had pulled the gate down, the yarn was lying near by on the floor, and she had gotten half way up the stairs. She looked at me with the expression of "It wasn't me mom" then gave me a big smile and started crawling up to the next step. eeeeee, I think I'm in trouble. :) (I know this isn't a picture of Mabe climbing the stairs, but its a cute one of her climbing up on her stroller.)