Thursday, March 26, 2009

Michael's Camping Trip with John

Michael's 11 year-old Scout troop took a camping trip February 27-28, and performed a service project at Placerita Canyon Park and Nature Center. His Scout leader was kind enough to email me some photos which I'm sharing with you.

My New Washing Machine is Here!

After living without a functioning washing machine for nearly 2 weeks, I have gained a new appreciate for pioneer women. No wonder people had less clothing, because it must have taken forever to wash everything!

But, as of this morning, I have returned to modern society, because I have a washer again! It arrived bright and early this morning at 7:40 am. I have already washed one load and put in another. I don't remember the last time I was so excited to do laundry!

I must not have a very interesting life, because I think this is the highlight of my week. And to show the full extent of my pathetic-ness (Yes, I know that's not a real word.), I took pictures! My laundry room is really small, so it was difficult to get a good picture, but I'm going to share a few with you anyway.

Oh, one thing to note. Right after we purchased our washing machine, John was offered some freelance work that paid for the washing machine. We recognize Heavenly Father's hand in our lives and are so grateful to Him. We have been richly blessed in so many ways in our lives.

The washer is a bit taller than my dryer, but it fit perfectly and the delivery was a snap.

Here's a snapshot of the super cool digital display. We've always bought the least expensive, but still decent washer. Nothing as high tech as this!

Here's one of the clothes before the washer has started.

And here's one during the pre-wash cycle (I have to try all the cycles to see if really works).

Monday, March 23, 2009

A New Washing Machine!

Our washing machine died a week ago Saturday. I've gone to the laundrymat twice to keep up, but that gets old really fast. Today, we bought a new front loading washing machine which will be delivered on Thursday. Although we weren't planning on replacing our washing machine (before it broke), it should be really good for our family. It can wash larger loads and is supposed to spin them faster so the clothes take less time to dry. We also found it on sale, and that is always good.

Here's a picture:

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Santa Clarita Emergency Expo

Today, Michael's scout troop met at the Santa Clarita Emergency Expo and toured the exhibit. There were many different booths with information about disaster preparedness and accident prevention. Families were encouraged to come, so A.J. and I tagged along.

There were many interesting things to do and see. Here are some photos of the kids enjoying the event.

This photo shows Michael in the earthquake simulator "classroom." He thought it was fun! I hope he feels the same way during our next earthquake.

The boys are posing in front of a car damaged during a car accident. The firefighters were going to demonstrate how they use their equipment to free those trapped in vehicles after an accident.

This booth demostrated the dangers of electricity using models and action figures. The Southern California Edison employee, wearing safety equipment, created electrical arcs showing the danger of touching power lines. (Please do not do this at home!) The boys really enjoyed this one, especially pointing out the scorch marks around the people that had come in contact with electricity. I just hope they also remember that electricity can be dangerous.

Cats, Cats Everywhere!

We have two cats with similar coloring. The kids enjoy having them, especially Michael. Our male cat, Milo, was trying to get my back scratcher (which John was kind enough to buy for me last week). Michael and I snapped some pictures. Note Mia, our female cat, in the background watching Milo try to "catch" the back scratcher.
Here Milo is standing on his rear paws trying to reach the back scratcher!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ward Potluck Dinner

Our ward had a potluck dinner at Fair Oaks Ranch Park on Saturday. Unfortunately, John had to work and could not attend, but the boys had a good time.


My boys have a ton of fast growing hair! It seems that as soon as I give them one haircut, they need another. I finally cut Michael and A.J.'s hair on Saturday, so they are good for a few weeks. Here are some pictures.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A.J.'s Super Heroes

A.J. wanted me to take pictures of his action figures "looking like they're fighting each other." He narrated each scene as I took the pictures. You don't get to enjoy that, but here are the photos.

Basketball Mania

Michael loves basketball. He loves to play with his brothers and plays with his friends at school almost everyday.

For several years, the elementary school district sponsored 5th and 6th grade basketball teams at each school, and bused the teams between schools for games. With the large budget cuts California schools have experienced the past few years, something had to go, and that was the basketball program.

However, our elementary school decided to keep the program on a school level. Instead of having one team for each grade, they have invited all children to participate (boys and girls) and have created several teams for each grade. I think there are 8 teams for the 6th grade. The teams play each other every week and at the end of the "regular season," there will be playoffs and a final game between the top 5th grade team and the top 6th grade team.

I think this is a much better program: more children are able to participate, the kids get to play more often, and it encourages physical activity in a larger segment of the elementary school population.

Anyway, Michael has been participating in this basketball program, and I took some pictures at the last game. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

General Conference Packet

For those who watch the General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, here is the link to a free packet your children can use during conference. It features activities to help your child retain the things they heard in conference.
What Happens in Mormon Temples?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, more commonly known as the Mormon Church, has produced a short video about the purpose of Temples. Enjoy the video, and share it with others!

Secret vs. Sacred

My brother-in-law, Matt Woodruff, wrote a wonderful note on facebook, and I want to share it.

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Secret versus Sacred

The dicitonary defines secret as "done, made, or conducted without the knowledge of others: secret negotiations" or "kept from the knowledge of any but the initiated or privileged: a secret password."

It defines sacred as "devoted or dedicated to a deity or to some religious purpose; consecrated" or "entitled to veneration or religious respect by association with divinity or divine things; holy." and also "pertaining to or connected with religion (opposed to secular or profane ): sacred music; sacred books" and pay close attention to these next three: "reverently dedicated to some person, purpose, or object: a morning hour sacred to study." "regarded with reverence: the sacred memory of a dead hero.""secured against violation, infringement, etc., as by reverence or sense of right: sacred oaths; sacred rights."

Pay particular attention to the last definition because it in particular pertains to my thoughts tonight. In fact I want to combine a few particular definitions: "reverently dedicated to some person, purpose, or object, regarded with reverence, and secured against violation, infringement, etc., as by reverence or sense of right: sacred oaths; sacred rights."

I am a Latter-Day Saint, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a Mormon. Many, if not all of you know this, it is no secret, nor are any of my beliefs secret, nor are any of the practices, rights, ceremonies, or ordinances of my religion secret. But they are sacred. I hold a few so sacred and holy, that I do not even discuss them with other members of the church outside of the temple where those sacred ordincances are performed. I know it sounds secret, it sounds "kept from the knowledge of any but the initiated or privileged" but that is not how I see it. They are sacred promises that I made to my Heavenly Father, "Reverently dedicated" to Him, that I regard with reverence and keep "Secured against violation."

I share these promises with many of you, and would love to share them with all of you, but in the right time and in the right place.

The LDS Temples are beautiful places, both inside and out. I personally feel the Washington DC is one of the most beautiful, but maybe that is because that is where Becky and I were married and "Sealed for time and eternity." In the Church of Jesus Christ we do not marry for this mortal life only, but we make sacred vows and are bound together forever, to each other and to our children. I love my wife and I love my children, my love for them is beyond words, and coming from me that means a lot. Words are what I do and yet I have no words to adequately describe just how much I love them. I'm sure you feel the same way about your family. Can you begin to understand then how much it means to me that we will be together forever, even should death claim our mortal existance, it cannot break that bond that was sealed in the Temple. It is the other ordinances, the other work we do in the Temple that make it possible for us to realize that great blessing of an Eternal Family. Can you understand why I keep these things so sacred?

Again, those things, those blessings as I view them, are not secret, I just hold them so sacred I do not talk about them outside of the Temple. They are promises if you will, that I have made between God and myself, and that is who they stay between, Him and me. I would love to share these blessings with each of you, you would just need to prepare yourself to enter into the temple to receive them. If you are interested in doing so I can help with that, I know some missionaries who would love to help out. Just let me know and I will send them your way. :-). But that is not why I am on my soap box tonight.

Tonight I am on my soap box because this week a TV show plans to violate what I hold sacred by fictionalizing and trivializing it. I read an article about this today, and how the Church responded to it. I was going to name the show and the cable station that plans to air this show, even though the leaders of our church has asked them not to, but for my own reasons I decided not to. I don't want to guilt you into not watching that show, or anything like that. I will only say this; if you ever see something on TV about my religion that leaves you with questions, if you want to receive true and accurate answers to those questions come to me, or to another member of the church to get answers, not the media or any who would seek to trivialize, violate, or profain what I hold sacred. If you are really curious about what goes on in the Temple, find out from the real source, not some fictionalized account. If you really want to see that TV show, well you can figure out what shw it is for yourself :-). If you want to make sure you don't watch it, well, stick to Network TV this weekend and you'll be fine.

I think I have said all I had to say. I step down off of my soap box.

The Washington DC Temple. One of my favorites.

The Oakland California temple. Another favorite.