Friday, September 26, 2008

Marriage Standards

So for the past week or so, it has been made clear to me what an excellent decision I made when I married Keith. A few weeks ago I had to teach a lesson in young women's entitled, Marriage Standards, which basically was on preparing to select a marriage partner. The lesson quoted President Spencer W. Kimball, "Marriage is perhaps the most vital of all the decisions and has the most far-reaching effects, for it has to do not only with immediate happiness, but eternal joys as well".
I married when I was 32 and I don't know if I clearly understand how true that is. When I decided to marry Keith, I knew he was a general good guy. He had no bad habits, and enjoyed doing many of the same things I did. I could tell from his current job that he had good work ethic, and was seeking more education. He has a good family, and good friends. He seems new at, but able to acquire skills with handling small children. His mild, personal and mostly reserved personality seemed to compliment my outgoing, all over the place, and sometimes over the top personality. We enjoyed engaging in conversation about certain topics which helped me quickly realized that I would always respected his opinion and would follow his counsel. I remember that stuck me as a odd but very important aspect of our relationship, because I often didn't feel that the guys I was dating would give me solid advice if I sought it. He was a true lasting friend. And to top everything off, I thought he was HOT. Still do.

Teaching that lesson made me think about a few things. Did I really know enough about this guy to commit to be with him everyday through this life and all eternities? Were me prepared to have children together, which came sooner rather then later? I think about all the deep questions I must have asked myself before committing to this eternal covenant. But all I can remember is being so madly in LOVE with this man that I couldn't stand to be away from him for one day. We would both travel every night between Tucson and Tempe to see each other every day.

I'm grateful for good friends, Marci Kay and good family, my sisters that encouraged me to date Keith. They all would tell me all the great characteristic about Keith that I already knew, but it was reassuring to hear it from others. I guess that would be good advise to anyone dating someone and wondering if they should get serious. Take them around trusted friends and family for the conformation that you are making a good decision.

What a find I have in Keith Jones. Everyday I discover more about him that I love. He is such a kind, involved parent. I don't know who is more excited when Keith comes home from work each day, him or the kids. He's such a devoted servant to the Lord. A supportive and loving spouse. Keith's constant concern is for me. I know that I am his priority. Every aspect of my life has been increased for good since I married Keith. (Unfortunately so has my waist, but that's not his fault.) How blessed I am to have married Keith Jones.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Like all parents of the school age children, one of the first things we do each morning is check the calendar for Garrett's activities. Today Keith pointed out that it was 911. I spent the rest of the morning thinking about the horrific day.
Seven years ago, I was single, living in Temple, AZ in a townhouse, and teaching 5th grade. On September 11th I had gotten up early (6:30ish) to iron and was watching the news. As we all remember no one knew what was going on, so there were many differing reports coming in. I do remember having a sick feeling in my stomach, and being confused, so I call my brother-in-law Bill cause I knew he'd already be up and could speak reason to me.
As we watched the second tower be hit, I wept.
I had just been to New York, seen the towers. Knowing how gigantic they were, I thought about the great fallout this would create.
Even though I was all the way in Arizona, I was scared. Your country was under attack.
I rushed to get to school, knowing that much would need to be done to prepare to calm and secure the kids so that they would not be frightened. It was difficult not to convey my fear and confusion, while talking with the kids.
We, like most schools decided not to let the children watch the news, but every teacher, on every break was in the principals office watching the news when they could.
I will never forget the pain of 911, and the effects that it had on our country. We came together. And we have shown the strength that makes America, great.

The first day of many for Garrett

This summer as we have been psyching Garrett up for "Panda School", Signal Hill Elementary, I stopped to think that if Garrett goes to as much school as his parents, he will be going to school for the next 20 to 25 years. Talk about a long rode ahead of him. I hope he is able to acquire as much school as Keith and I. I hope he enjoys the school environment, and finds great satisfaction from learning. I hope he gets involved in many activities and is willing to take a few chances. I know he will not always successed, but I pray that he will learn from each experience to be a wiser and better person. I pray he makes good friends, and makes great memories. I hope he learns to be obedient to his leaders so that he can build his confidence and make the most of this aspect of his life.
I know it's just Kindergarten and I'm thinking all the way to the end.
But I realize I will never get back my carefree days of snuggles and silly games with my little man.
He's growing up. It's a good thing.
Our first day of school didn't go as smooth as I would have hoped but the good thing was that Garrett had no clue that there was a bit of chaos. There was little confusion about whether or not the front office was going to accept my physical because it was almost a year old, (3 weeks shy of a year). And we can't get another physical until it's been a year from last years physical. Confusing, but thanks to Dr. Warner's advanced medical skills, everything worked out.
Like all things, Kendall did not want to be left out of the excitement. And now we are going into the third week and Kendall still walks down to the bus stop everyday with Garrett.

Here's a few shots of Garrett and his buddies from the neighborhood hoping on the bus. Crazy that three kid going to the Kindergarten get on the bus at the same bus stop. We love Julia, she's quite the model, and Andrew the new boy seems to be a bunch of fun.
I was so busy chasing the girls that I didn't get a picture of Garrett getting on the bus, so the second day of school we celebrated again, just like the first.

We LOVE Ms. Janett the bus driver. Garrett is practicing his social skill on Ms Janett. Everyday he tries to say, "Good morning, Ms Janett! How are you today?" Ms Janett giggle every morning and thinks of a creative remark for Garrett.

A photographers nightmare!

Once again this year I TRIED to take pictures of my kids, but nothing about that experience went well. However, I did get some good shots of the Walkers kids. Don't ya just want to eat Dalin up?

I love this little wooden walk-way to the beach. Made for really cute pictures of the Walkers kids.

Here's a glimpse of the lack of cooperation I received from my children.
Taryn enjoyed eating the sand and rubbing it into her eyes and hair, so that it would cause her to cry and turn red faced. Nice!

Kendall spent the day making faces like this. Once again, NICE!

Garrett decided not to hold still, but to play hide and seek in the tall grass. Grrrr!

More of Tar-tarz eating sand. Yum!

So then we decided to try me with the girls. Maybe they would pay more attention, smile, hold still, or in anyway acknowledge the camera, and the wind picked up. Great! Can you feel my pain? Oh, and to make things even worse. My camera keep fogging up with mist due to that humidity. And now I need my camera cleaned due to the sand. Serenity now!!!

So we decided to make good use of the wind by flying a kite.
Oh, what a lovely day at the beach!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Yo-ho, yo-ho, a pirates life for me.

This is our 2nd Annual trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This year the Walkers joined us for the fun. We like to stay on Hatteras Island at the Seagull Hotel. It's a hike down there, but well worth it for the privacy.

Once we let Joe know that these are the islands that Blackbeard, aka Teach, usta hide away on, he wanted to see a pirate. I could give no pirate guarantee, but the beaches are AMAZING!

Due to the threat of rain, we decided to take the ferry to go sight seeing on Ocracoke island. Because the weather was great on that island we decided to stake a claim on a piece of beach and enjoy the day there. Beautiful!

The girls like to stay protected from the sun under the umbrellas

My pretty beach bunnies!

While JJ was splashing around in the surf, Garrett and Becky experimented with sand castle the waves.

Finally they enlisted Joe's wisdom and know-how to erect a masterpiece.

The placing of seashell was a rather trick procedure when you have Emmie and Kendall trying to place the shells firmly on the castle.

Then off to the surf for some boogie boarding. Garrett had no fear this year of the waves and surf.

After enjoying a day on the beaches of Ocracoke, we rode the ferry, Cape Point back to Hatteras Island.

If Becky, the model. Every picture I took of this girls was perfect.

Dalin, the handsome man! Look at the hands on that kid! He's another Garrett in the making.

The kids decided to increase the excitement by not only riding the ferry, but riding the Walkers van at the same time.

After enjoying a great day at the beach, we decided to experience the local seafood at Dirt Dicks Crab Shack. We chose Dirt Dicks a little because the locals recommended it but mostly for a particular person in our group, who shall remain nameless (Joe). I'm still waiting to see that T-shirt at the next ward party?

Our kids were like zombie with the DVD player at the table.

The kids posed to the local pirate.