July 24, 2016

The beach! CA! The Money's! July 4th!

I am way behind on this post because I kept wanting to post ALL of my hundreds of pictures of the trip and kept not finding the time....but I decided to instead print them out and make a real life scrapbook. So for my blogging purposes I will pick my 7(ish) favorite pictures and post those here. 

We had such a great time meeting my family out in California for July 4th! We had been aching to go to the beach and play in the sand, watch the waves, soak up the sun, feel the humidity, eat fish tacos, smell the salt, swim in the deep, for some time now. And we got to do it all. We hit the road, stopped in Las Vegas, stayed at a friends house overnight, made it to Malibu, where we stayed in an awesome beach house with my mom and dad, Joseph, and AJ. (Unfortunately, David and Amelia couldn't make it.) My dad and AJ met Ella for the first time and it was wonderful to spend time altogether. We pretty much just went to the beach every day after that! So much fun finding crabs in rock caves and pools. Dying trying to swim on a rocky beach with AJ, buying delicious fruit on the side of the road, watching the kids run in and out of the waves. At nights we did puzzles, ate, listened to the waves from our bedroom at night. It was pretty much a dream.  Then on Monday the 4th we stopped Joseph and his friends off at EFY in Santa Barbara, then went to the pier and ate some yummy seafood. The money's left and we smiths stayed one more night in Ventura.  We ate In N Out, watched fireworks on the beach and snuggled together, we 5, under a dark sky filled with stars and rockets, thinking about freedom and blessings. 
The next day Collin and Frederick and Harriet dropped Ella and me off at LAX where we flew home to Provo, and hung out with Dave and Mia till Collin and the kids, who had driven home all day, picked us up and we all drive to salt lake together and ran inside to see Dot, our beloved kitty. YAY. 

July 19, 2016

I love you, Harriet

I love you, beautiful Harriet. Your wild golden hair. Your wit and brain. Your thoughtful brow. Your fingers and feet, ever moving, running, touching, climbing; even when I ask you not to. Your curiosity and cleverness. Your words, sometimes screaming and sometimes softly asking. You are all woman and all strength. You know just what you want and just what to do. You need me always and I need you always. My darling, you keep me safe. My darling, you make me laugh! You tell me to smile, "be happy, mama," you say while we are riding in the car. You're fearless. You jump right off the bed onto the floor. You tell me you're going to ride roller coasters when you're big and you're big right now; you're going to ride a purple roller coaster that's sparkly! 
I can't wait, my baby. 

July 17, 2016

Pioneers in Africa

Set up time for the temple this week. 
Commit to read the scriptures with Collin every day. 
Commit to family scripture study every day. 
Do not criticize. 

These are my goals this week. A man in church gave a talk today about his trip to the Congo as a representative of the church. He was there to meet with church and government leaders about ways to digitize family records there so that people could do their family history work and prepare names for the temple. The church is growing at 10% there. (Grows at 1% in America.) He spoke to one bishop who told him they baptize about 3 people a week in their ward by that they could do better. (!!!) 
From one end of the Ward to the other is about 3 hours. No one has cars. People have to walk or pay for transportation. Not everyone can afford to go to church every week. One man walks 3.5 hours each way to church every week. Another family has to pay for transportation which is about $1 (average wages are $3/week there.) When you get there there are no cars in the parking lot but inside the building is overflowing and bustling with excitement and love and joy.
They cannot easily enter names into the computer because internet is not easily accessed and is not strong. So they work hard at filling out their family history booklets. The stake presidency then travels from house to house collecting the books and drops them off at the family history center where the family history president and staff enter in the names on family search for them. It takes about 2+ minutes to load just one page. Can you imagine?? If it takes more than 2 seconds to load a page on my handheld PHONE I practically can't stand it. 
I don't want to complain ever. I can not only walk to church, but I can walk 7 minutes to the Salt Lake City temple. Everything is at my fingertips. I am abundantly blessed. These people are also very blessed--not necessarily materially but spiritually and with the Gospel. I have recommitted myself to God, to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to my family and neighbors. 

3 Nephi 6:14 And thus there became a great inequality in all the land, insomuch that the church began to be broken up; yea, insomuch that in the thirtieth year the church was broken up in all the land save it were among a few of the Lamanites who were converted unto the true faith; and they would not depart from it, for they were firm, and steadfast, and immovable, willing with all diligence to keep the commandments of the Lord.

^^Collin at the church's booth for Indexing at Draper Days. Sorry your eyes were closed. 
Trying to stay in the shade. It has been SO HOT. 

Goodbye party for David and Amelia. I am seriously so sad. Im going to miss them so much. SO MUCH MORE excited for them though. David is going to medical school!!!!!!

Mckay and Ella
Hat and Zola Wallace had the best time playing together. It was awesome!
And Freddie, Eli and Liam were the 3 amigos. 
Ella and Aimee. I love Mia's sisters and brother and family so much. Love them. Love talking to them and listening to them talk to each other. 

Playing on the Capitol lawn. Movie night!

Can you spot Hattie? Her favorite Hong-being outside and playing in the dirt. 

Observing all the different types of grass around us. Day-riverside branch library Eco garden. That day listened to a song, "laying under a shady tree, you and me," and we memorized it. We love it. Ella loves looking up at the trees too. 
My fam. We are so close. 

Seeing Shakespear's As You Like It. It was so good and fun and Freddie LOVED it. 

^^"I can hear the ocean."
Observing the bees on the roof of the Salt Lake City Main library, followed by playing in the fountain and a little Pokemon Go. 

Walking to church today. 

Hattie got her own shoes on...below. Hehe. Honestly I was just so happy she listens and gets her shoes on when I ask. What a good girl!!

Mothers lounge! We both are sleepin in here. 

July 10, 2016

Ella so totally blessed

Beautiful happy special day!!! The blessing day!! We had beloved friends and family with us for the blessing and at the after party. Delicious spread of food and drinks. Collin. I love planning parties with you. Thanks for being the best dad to my kids ever. I love you and I'm so grateful you hold the priesthood and that we all have the power of the priesthood. It blesses our family so much. 
Ella was a little angel. Cried a tiny bit during the blessing and then fell asleep and there she stayed, in Aunt Mia's arms for the next hour. 

Left to right: Jayden Derek Kaelir Kedson, Kamree Cone, Jayna Matt Shaylin Emmalin Bronson Coleton Hedges, Mia and David Money, Ete (Sarah was in the car) and Jonah Ahping, Kelly Hazard, us (kids were in primary already), Morgan Tom Oliver Paisley Skeen!!! 

Tradition for my babe to be an angel and then cry in the photos.

I have the best friends in the world. ☝🏻️👇🏻
 Cute girls. Love them so much. 

Gah! Love them!!!! They leave for North Carolina and Wake Forest Medical School in less than 2 weeks!!!!!


Fooooood. Best ever. 

Ella and her buddy, Donny, just 3 weeks apart!
My family!!!!!

Family nap turned wrestling contest in the grass.