Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"We Need A Little Christmas" 2014

Here is our annual family Christmas movie. The kids had a lot of fun doing it. Merry Christmas!

Garth Books Sings "Mom"

I heard Garth Brooks sing this song on Ellen not too long ago. I was moved to tears. Listen to the song and read my thoughts about it here.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

I remember being in one of my college classes discussing new YA books that kids in high schools were reading. Speak came up. I had not read it and so could not contribute to the conversation. However, I do remember it being controversial. Class members took different stands on it and I remained fairly opinionless about the exact book. All I knew was that it involved rape. 

Just recently some friends of mine didn't want their 8th graders to read this book in their class. They felt it was too graphic and felt their children were too young to read it. Without reading the book beforehand, I supported their desire to have another book read. I suggested asking for an alternate book or asking that certain pages be passed over. As a high school English teacher myself, these were both very realistic and easy accommodations for a teacher to make. Is the book too graphic? I couldn't say. But what I did know was that it had been a point of discussions 10 years ago in my college class, and I also knew that these parents were concerned. Whether I agree that the book shouldn't be read or not, I 100% believe that parents should have a say in their children's education and that if they are uncomfortable with something, that a teacher should be able to figure out a way to accommodate them. (This topic of parent rights in a classroom could go on, but for now, I'll leave it there.)

So yes, I supported my friends and gave suggestions of how I felt they could appropriately handle the situation.

And I bought the book and read it.

And I loved it.

1) Subject Matter Speak addresses a very real issue that is a part of our children's lives. Rape isn't only happening to older kids or those running, listening to head phones, on a dark night along an ally. Rape is happening all. the. time. And I believe it's happening at younger ages as well. So, I actually loved how the author approached the topic. I completely related with the character and felt that her thoughts had been mine at one point in my life. It's a topic that needs to be handled with care, and I think the author writes about it in a way that brings reality to the picture...fear, sadness, guilt...these emotions were clear.

2) Writing  Anderson's writing is so good. So good. She's such a talented author. I've only read 2 of her books so far, but I have loved her writing in both. She has a way of really grabbing her reader and I always thoroughly enjoying reading her books...but more than that...I try to find time in my day just to read her writing. She's a very talented author.

3) Age Appropriate  hmm  The topic matter is age appropriate, but should it be taught in an 8th grade class? I taught high school. I could see using this book with my 11th graders. But I don't know if I would with an 8th grade class. It wasn't as graphic as I thought at all. It was tense. For sure. Emotion was strong and I felt afraid for her, but there wasn't anything explicit that I remember reading. I can't remember any details that made me uncomfortable. But I'm 34. I think for an 8th grader to read the book...perhaps it is too intense. Should we not teach the topic? I think if a teacher wants to discuss these social issues, it can be done in so many other ways. But if I had more than 3 parents who were concerned about a book, I would re-examine my strategy, choose other literature, and go from there. There's on shortage of literature in our world. A teacher can find other short stories, essays, books, articles, and songs to discuss any given theme. 

8th grade? This may be too young. Junior or senior in high school? It's probably worth a read if you feel your kids can handle the issue. Or, maybe especially if you think they can't handle the issue...perhaps it's a good book to introduce to them and discuss so they can develop their own opinions and action plans for if something like this were to happen to them or someone they know.

How To Raise Emotionally Healthy Children by Gerald Newmark, PhD

I admit, when I started reading this book, I thought I was reading How to Raise Emotionally Intelligent Children, but it wasn't until I was nearly done that I realized I was reading something else. Nevertheless, I really did like the book and felt like it gave some really good insight. (I still need to read the other one though).

In the very beginning, he states  his thesis:

There are five critical needs each child (and adult) has in order to develop and/or maintain emotional health. Those five needs are to feel respected, important, accepted, included, and secure.

You know what I love about books like this? They tell me stuff that I already know, but in a different way. What Dr. Newmark did for me was tell me what I know, but by classifying it into these 5 needs did something for me as a parent. If you notice, LOVE isn't one of the five needs. He doesn't explain it until later on in the book, but honestly, love didn't need to be there for me to understand that it's not a "need" for a child. Because if a child feels respected, important, accepted, included, and secure, don't they feel loved? Feeling loved is a natural positive consequence from creating an environment where there is security, acceptance, respect, inclusion, and a feeling a importance and value.

What I most appreciated in the book was the appendix where there are lists of ideas of activities and games to do as a family. I have felt a little bit in a rut lately, so having pages of ideas was great. It gave me a fresh view on family time.

We really try to do the right thing, to listen to our children and not push them away in annoyance, to explain things instead of just saying "because we're in charge," etc. But it was a good book to validate our actions and encourage us to continue on. It's a really good book.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

ER Visit #2

Tonight Micah took his second trip to the ER. The first time was last April with a dislocated elbow. He and Callie just played too hard.

Tonight, while being chased and probably laughing hysterically, he tripped over a rug at Grammy and Grandpa's and hit the coffee table. He was just playing too hard, yet again.

Both times, I was not present when the incident happened. Lesson: NEVER leave Micah alone under any other supervision.

He was a trooper. When they pulled the bandage off, I was surprised at how deep the gash was. It was deep deep deep. Luckily they were able to wash it out and glue it together. He wasn't happy, but all he did was cry. He didn't try to wiggle away or push them away. Like I said, trooper.

Grandpa kept him distracted with his Kindle and I gave him the comfort he needed when he was sad. It all worked out well and we were in and out probably within and hour. And now he's soundly sleeping off the trauma. He's the cutest little boy. Even in his pain, I mean come on...look at that face. What a cutie. And hopefully, he'll have a very very small, thin scar...if any.

A Night with Santa

We had our annual Christmas Party at church a couple weeks ago. It was a great evening, of course. But by the time we actually got up to Santa, Sammy was tired and hungry (upset), Micah was antsy (upset), and Callie was sick of waiting and wanted to just be with friends (upset). So these are our stellar pictures. We started with one on one. Callie got her time with Santa, and then I jumped in and asked if we could just get a group shot. I think I surprised Santa. I mean, what mom will take the Santa experience away from her children?

This mama, that's who.

We needed to get some dinner, and quite frankly, my kids aren't super excited about Santa Claus anyway. So, there you have it.

 Later that evening, the Primary children were asked to come up and sing. Callie sat next to Sammy on the stage, and it was pretty adorable to see them up there, I have to say.

Each year the Primary kids generally participate in a small nativity. This year, a video was prepared, and it was pretty cute. The kids were able to choose their favorite person in the nativity and why. They dressed up as that person and a picture was taken. All those pictures were then put into a video set to music. It was pretty cute.

Callie chose Mary "because she was righteous."

Sammy chose to be a shepherd "because they were humble."

Micah also chose to be a shepherd, because "I get to hold a stick."
(He really said that.)

Then they finished the night with another song.

It was a really nice evening, and this year, being that our Christmas party was so early in the month, it was really nice. I wasn't yet in the rush of things and we were able to just sit back, relax, have fun, talk to friends, have a great dinner, and hear about the Savior through the innocence of our children.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Keep the Door Open...

This is something I'm increasingly thinking about as Callie gets older. We don't technically have a closed adoption, but we have lost contact with her birth mother. And Callie is talking about her more and more. Just yesterday we were talking about family and she began rattling off names of family members...then she said, "And Latice. She's in our family." Of course she's a part of our family, but we never see her, talk to her, or even know where she is. And it breaks my heart for me, for Callie, for Latice.

So what do I do for Callie? How do I keep that door open when it's been closed...against our own desires? I wrote about some of those thoughts here. 

Sammy's Christmas Party

Micah and I were able to go to Sammy's class and enjoy their holiday party. It was really nice to be there. I feel like this year I've been doing a lot in Callie's classroom, and today, it was all about Sammy. From the moment we walked in, Sammy's excitement was heard! She was screaming so much. It wasn't pleasant to the ears. At all. But it was rather cute. She was happy we were there.

Micah had fun running around the classroom while we sung songs. He wasn't interested in playing along, he wanted to do his own thing. And that was ok. It's a small class -- not too many kids -- and there are plenty of toys! 

When Sammy reached a certain age, I heard a lot of others talk about how I'd need to advocate for Sammy's needs in the classroom and fight for such and such. I'm not sure why, but I haven't had to do any of that yet. For whatever reason, we've always been blessed with incredible schools and teachers and aides who adore her and all the kids in the classroom. When I pop in unexpectedly, they are all happily working with the kids. Everyone is happy. It takes very special people to work with kids who require such intense care, and I am so grateful that those special people are working with my special daughter.

Callie used to LOVE going to Sammy's classroom for their parties and activities. Now that she's in first grade, she can't do that anymore since she's in school all day. Looks like it's Micah's turn and he's all in. He loves being there with Sammy, giving her hugs, being in the room and doing all they have planned. I love it too.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Happiness Is...

I love seeing how we've grown...and I'm not just talking about the circumference of my face. I'm talking about these adorable kidlets who make our lives fuller, funnier, and fabulous. One by one they come and one by one they have molded us into better people.

I'm not sure when our next family photo will be...probably not too soon since we just did them in July. But, I can't help but hope that in our next family picture, there'll be one more.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Operation Christmas Child

This year as a family we filled shoe boxes with gifts for Operation Christmas Child
"Operation Christmas Child? What's that?" you say.

The concept is this: Share the love of Christ through these boxes filled with gifts. It sounds kind of simplistic, but guess what? I think the Gospel of Jesus Christ is actually pretty simple in its teachings. And if I can help a child feel that love, even for a moment, a box I will send.

Callie had a ridiculous amount of fun picking out items for the girl box and boy box. She was giddy, but also very careful about her selections. She'd pick something up at the store and then say, "No, that's for a little kid. This girl is six like me." And she'd keep looking. I loved every moment of it. We packed the boxes, wrapped the boxes (which was trickier than I thought it would be), and walked down the street to the local church that was participating in Operation Christmas Child.

I think we have a new tradition.

Santa 2014

By the time we got to Santa, Sammy's smiles were gone, Callie was ulta-antsy wanting to run aroudn with friends, and Micah was...a 2 year old. We skipped the individuals and went with the best all-kid shot we could get. This will do.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Life's Plans

My life has definitely not turned out how I imagined. Life doesn't seem to ever turn out just like we plan it...but, maybe that's a good thing. I have learned so much through Samantha and adoption that has led me to believe my plans are just ideas, but that my life Plan is really up to someone else. And I will put my faith in that. 

Read my article here

Friday, December 5, 2014

Heavy Heart

When was the last time you cried? I mean...cried. When it just poured out from you uncontrollably. I did yesterday morning, and it happens periodically since I got the news.

For the past few weeks my uncle has been in the hospital. He's sick. Very sick. Infection is all throughout his body and he's not getting better. He's been confined to a wheelchair for the past 20-some-odd years. He's had a pretty full life all considering. But it's his time to go, I guess. And this morning they will remove the ventilator and he will hopefully pass on.

I talked to Dad yesterday morning. It was emotional and migraine-inducing. My uncle is a good man. A great man. And as he laid in his hospital bed, my dad, his sister and my cousins went and had lunch in the hospital cafeteria. There they discussed funeral plans.

Dad told me if there was anything I wanted to tell Uncle Roy I could write him a letter and they'd read it. In many ways, it's unfair to have time to sit and write down your thoughts and have someone else read it. There was so much more I was able to say because I wasn't saying it. The truth is, my uncle is an amazing person. I know we all think that about family members. And there's truth in all of us being wonderful. My Uncle Roy is amazing. Amazing. I'll include the letter I wrote because I want to have that forever. It explains a little bit why I think he's so great. But it doesn't explain it all.

I'm tired. I'm so tired. I wish I were there. Last night I was completely emotionally spent. I had such a busy day that got thrown out the window. All of a sudden not much that's sitting there on your calendar matters when you're talking about losing someone. I was supposed to go up to Mountain View to see some friends who I've recently met. I've met them once. I call them my friends. We don't hang out weekly, but I love them. I sent them a message telling them I may not make it and explained what was going on. They didn't say, "Oh I get it. Just stay home and sleep." Instead, they encouraged me to come and said we'd all cry together. They made it clear they wanted me there no matter what condition I was in. Last night I drove up to Mountain View and stayed far too long. I didn't cry. I had a lot of fun. We talked about my uncle. We talked about adoption. We talked about music. It was so refreshing.

When I got home, Micah woke up at 2am. He seemed really upset so I went in and held him, and as I did, I thought of Uncle Roy and a huge peace flooded my body. My heart didn't ache anymore.

I woke up to a text my sister sent telling me she had read my letter...barely making it through...and that it was hard to be in the room there. I'm grateful so many others are there with him. My sister and parents left and now, he's being sedated and his family waits there with him.

My heart is heavy again with sadness. And deep love. Such a difficult and sacred time. My mind is really foggy right now. And I can't help imagining myself being there. Which is making me cry even more. But it's ok. These tears are worth it. I love him. I love my family. And in just a few short minutes...he'll be reunited with so many loved ones and we'll wait for our turn to see him again. It'll all be ok, but it doesn't make it easy.


Uncle Roy,

Where do I begin? Truly, where do I begin? 

I love you. That's a good start. You're my birthday buddy. May 20. I've always thought of it as our day. I have so many good memories of coming over your house, playing with Sadie, having Bonnie apply press-on nails to my little bitty hands! Good times! I remember your warm smile...and that mustache. :)  Classic Uncle Roy.

My family isn't good at keeping in touch. We just aren't. It's a problem, a flaw. But now, it is what it is. So, of course I wish I had flown out to Michigan more, emailed you and Aunt Geri regularly, etc etc. But even though I didn't (and sorry about that), I want you to know that when I think of childhood memories with my extended family, it's you I think about. It's Aunt Geri getting food ready in her kitchen. I remember spending the night a few times when I was really little while my parents went out of town. You;re the uncle I spent the most time with, really. And, I love you. 

For a large part of my life you have been confined to a wheelchair. You, Uncle Roy, have taught me so much about life through your quiet and humble example. About pain and about joy. About perseverance, never giving up, that life is good...finding beauty that surrounds us. Did you always feel happy? No. Who is? But that's how I saw you. And it changed me. The truth is, you were always just my uncle...and you happened to be in a wheelchair. But as I got older, I realized how much that changed your life and what that meant. Without me even knowing it, you taught me. I mean, once a teacher always a teacher right? 

I learned that physical limitations were only that...physical. And that what was limitless was the influence of our spirits and the love we had to share. In a very real way, you prepared me for one of my greatest gifts and blessings...for Samantha. I think her birth and life could have been so much harder if I hadn't seen how "normal" life can be when things don't seem so "normal." How life isn't about what we can't do...but what we can do. And there's so so much we can do. You taught me that and nestled hope in my heart that I didn't even know was there until I needed it. Thank you. 

So, I have a request. I believe with my whole heart that when we leave our bodies behind, we greeted by those we love...people who have loved us and have been watching out for us from the other side. Some are family members, others are those who just feel like family to us. I'd like you on my team to watch over Sammy. And maybe when it's her turn, you'll be there to welcome her home...especially if I'm not there to do it myself. I'd like you there.

I love you. I wish I were there to do it myself, but Aunt Geri is going to give you a big hug and kiss from me now. And if life is eternal, which I believe it is, this here on Earth goes by pretty fast. 

I guess I'll see you soon.

Love you always,

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


This topic has been on my mind a lot lately. Roots. It's who we are.  

Well, as an adoptive mom I believe that nurture plays a large role in who we become. How we are raised. Those daily lessons, interactions, and snuggles are quite important. 
BUT, as an adoptive mom I believe that nature plays a large role in who we become. How we are made. Those spindley things called DNA are quite important.

I don't see how we are whole without either of these...nature, nurture. Let's talk nature. If we ignore our roots, aren't we denying a large part of who we are? And isn't that important? It's something I've struggled with because we know so little about Callie's roots. We know Micah's roots. We see Micah's roots. But for Callie, for the time being, there's so much that is unknown....

The truth is, we can survive without knowing our biological background. It's not essential to life. Nurture is. For children who aren't spoken to, touched, or taken care of...the results are catastrophic. It's visible. For those children and adults who don't know their biological background, they are able to still function in society...so does it make it less important? Quite frankly, there's probably a strong argument that it's NOT has important, and I see those points. But my job as a mother is to nurture and love my child so much that they have no choice but to feel successful in life...true success...I'm not talking about high paying jobs, name and face plastered on billboards and magazine covers. I'm talking about they feel so much love that they are able to successfully accept others, give their hearts to others, and have a relationship with their Father in Heaven. That's success to me. And so as a mom, I find it my job to make sure my children know that I love ALL parts of them...including roots that may not have been formed by me. If I never talk about those, without knowing it, I could be sending a message that I don't accept or love those roots, those parts of my children, as much as those parts that identify with OUR family. 

We entered adoption with Callie as an open adoption. We lost contact with Callie's birthmother soon after. But that doesn't mean we can't still have an open adoption. How? We are open about who she is and where she came from. We are open with our hearts and our love for all who are a part of her life. We celebrate every part of her and hope to one day reconnect with her roots. And she knows it. Open adoption with Callie means we are supportive of her path and are hopeful that it leads back to her birth family one day.  

My article of our how can be supportive of that journey, and why we should be, can be found on Adoption.com here.

I can't believe this was a year ago! Callie will be seven waaaay too soon!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

More To Do

These are the states I've visited. I didn't count the ones that I've only driven through. In my book, that shouldn't count. I needed to have actually done something in these states. Visited. Looks like I have a lot more to put on my to-do list!

Create Your Own Visited States Map

Monday, November 17, 2014

Back then...

We used to be young. 
We were.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Recharging Hope in the Adoption Process

About a month ago an opportunity itself. I was offered a writing position at Adoption.com, one of the largest (if not the largest) adoption websites out there. They are a highly respected website that offers advice and support to birth families, adoptive families, foster families, those who have been adopted...it's an incredible resource and community. And I was offered a position as a Storyteller. I'm beyond excited about the opportunity to write weekly about one of my passions, and today, my first piece was posted.

Frequently when others ask me about adoption, it seems to have a negative tone. Let me rephrase that...not adoption, rather, the adoption process. "Ugh, that must be so hard." I brush it off normally and share the positive parts of it. But you know what? It is hard. It's REALLY hard. So, today my post discusses what I do when Happy Jenny becomes Overwhelmed Jenny. You can click the link to read what we do to Recharge Our Hope. Though I write specifically about adoption, these are things I try to do whenever I start feeling discouraged and hopeless.

Read it. Share if you think it would help others. And enjoy this beautiful November day!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


On Sunday after church, I took this picture. Sammy was walking around and I was trying to capture her cute face. It wasn't working. I figured that none of them would turn out but at least I had tried. When I stopped to look at the hundreds I took in about 20 seconds time, I found this one. At first I thought it was cute and moved on. But all day I kept going back to it. I couldn't stop looking at it. And I still can't. There's something about it that I adore.

Sammy as the focal point makes sense. In many ways our family revolves around this one little girl. Everything we do is done after consideration of Sammy's needs. She's special, and that's ok. It's good. We are learning patience and compassion. Callie and Micah have both taken an especially deeper tenderness towards her lately. I'm not sure what it is, but Callie is always trying to comfort her, calm her down, hug her, play with her hair. She's sweet with Sammy. Micah has been mimicking Callie's ways and it's been beautiful to see this little toddler love his older sister so gently.

I love her hands curled upward. Well, in many ways I despise it, but those hands are precious to me. They are held upward, toward her heart. They are curled into tight fists and curled inward at her wrists. These hands don't serve her as my hands serve me. What she wants done is not accomplished with these balled up hands. They struggle to put food in her mouth properly and cleanly. They do not hold onto objects very well, and once in her hand, they don't release what is being held. For that reason, she has to use the force of her arms to fling it out of her hands. She reminds me how much I take my hands for granted. As I sit and quickly type my thoughts, she struggles to open her hand. For the past week or so, I've been giving Sammy massages before going to bed. I rub out her legs and feet. I finish by rubbing her arms and hands. She becomes so relaxed allowing her hands to unfold and remain free from pulling tight tendons. This has become a special time of day for us both. She falls asleep almost instantly after her massage and I walk away feeling the love you only feel after giving service to those you love.

I love the light that is shining in through the curtain. It creates a soft glow around her and I'm reminded of the light that only the Savior can provide. I see this light in Samantha. I wish I could say that I see it constantly. I don't. My eyes are veiled at times from my own inability to look beyond the moment. Sometimes the teeth grinding or the squeals that are so loud they pierce my ears, or the daily tasks of life get in the way of seeing the light of Christ emanate from her eyes. But occasionally I stop and see it. I stop and absorb it. I have always felt like Sammy is surrounded by angels. I believe that to my core. It's not just a belief, really. I know there is no way she could be where she is today without angels protecting her. She has a reason to be here. She has a mission to accomplish, and I feel really blessed to be a part of that. I do believe that one day, I will see her robed in so much light that I may be blinded by it. That it won't be until I'm sufficiently purified that I will be able to see her fully as who she is. Oh, I truly believe she will be among those who will usher me to my Savior. I love her so much.

I love her little smile and long face. Quite frankly, she is one of the most beautiful children I know. Hey, I get it. People stare of her sometimes. They are surprised by her unusual looks. But she is stunning to me. I think it goes back to that light that shines from her pores. Her soft skin, her rosy lips, her honey streaked hair. She's so beautiful to me. I love all her imperfections because it's who she is.

I love Micah in the back. In his church clothes still, walking with his little Micah swagger, I love his blurred image behind her. It completes the picture for me. He's the visual reminder that in our family, we've all got each other's backs. We're there for one another. We will protect and love no matter what. We won't step out on each other. We will be there. There's a lot that could happen in this lifetime, but we'll be there for each other.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It Never Ends

Packing lunches.

It never ends. When children live in your home, this whole cleaning business never ends. You try to teach. Ohhhh you try to teach them to pick up after themselves, to make their beds, to put their dishes away. Miraculously some of these life lessons actually stick. But a vast majority of the time, Mom is cleaning up all. day. long.

Or not. And on those days/weeks, the house is a mess until Mom (me) lets out a huge exasperated sigh and decides enough is enough...and she gets to work to clean it up all.

Last week we were visited by angels. They appeared to be your average young teenaged girls. But lo, they were great with spirit and zest for life! They showed up at the door ready to work. As a part of a service challenge they were doing at church, they came to the door and were asked to be put to work! (Did I already mention they were angels?) They did the vacuuming, cleaned my windows and sliding glass door, dusted, organized the dvds and filled the empty cases with the correct video (Whaaaaat?), and picked up the toys off of Micah's floor. It was incredible. And I love them for it.

Kirsten and Eliza

Their fearless leader, Lisa
 When I went to put Micah to bed that night, what did I find? A family of stuffed animals reading together. Nice touch. It was pretty darn cute.

But remember what I said about the cleaning never ending? Well, the very next day, this is what happened.
"Me? Are you looking at me?" says the sweet little boy.
And Sammy thinks, "Don't you dare pin this on me kid!" 

Callie, the ever-willing helper, cleaned it up with me and vacuumed the room. Oh those angels were kind and thorough, but they are no match for my children!

Monday, November 10, 2014


Recently Micah's best friend, Grandpa, gave him a BYU hat. It was a nice gesture. He didn't think about it too much until, boom! One day. That hat became the most important thing in this boy's existence! We can't leave the house without his hat. He has to wear it around the house, while he plays, while he eats, while he plays hoops. The boy maaay be obsessed.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Primary Program 2014

What is my favorite Sunday of the year? It's the Primary Program. If you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you'd probably say the same thing. Every Sunday we are edified by speakers in our congregation and hear great messages. We feel the Spirit and it's great. But on this Sunday, the Primary Program Sunday, the children are in charge of the day. They share the messages. They give the talks. They provide the music. They often usually also provide the comic relief.

For the third year, I've been responsible for the "script" of the program. It has become increasingly important that this is their program, not a program that we create for them. And so, this  year I asked them questions, and they answered. I recorded what they said, and boom, the script was made. What resulted with a program full of sweetness, honesty, and testimony. I sat up at the podium with the children and enjoyed every moment of it. They were all so well-prepared and excited to do the program. I know Callie had invited many friends to attend. The songs were so beautiful. They sung like angels. At the end, I couldn't even sing the closing song, Families Can Be Together Forever, because I was choking on my own emotions, tears spilling over onto my cheeks.

What was the overall message this year? Families are Eternal. They are permanent. There is no end to our family bounds after death. We can be together forever. By following the plan of our Heavenly Father, we can return and live with Him again, be wrapped in the arms of our Savior, and be sealed to our families for time and all eternity. For me, I'm not sure there is a greater message that the Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches. These children get it. Their purity is beautiful and their message simple and true. 

I'm grateful for my eternal family. I will do all in my power to make sure that we will be together forever. No momentary pleasure is worth sacrificing my eternity with them, because without them, my eternity would be feel empty. 

After church we tried to get some pictures of our two sweethearts who participated in the program. Let's just say, pictures haven't been the easiest lately, but we'll never stop trying to get a good one! 


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