Monday, August 24, 2009


The kids with their school "walking" group first day of school.

My heart is breaking. Summer is over!!!! Thankfully, we may have a few more days of warm weather-but school is in! There are a lot of reasons that I could ramble on about why I am so upset that my children started school today, but let's just leave it at sadness and I am missing them dearly already!

In the meantime, I haven't blogged for forever...pretty much all summer long and so I am going to try to summarize our activities this summer in three different parts...June, July, and August.


Most of our June was centered around dad and the last days of his life here on earth. However, amongst the sadness and sacredness of that event, we did seem to be able to have some fun with our family.
Mack played his first year of T-Ball, had a rough start, loved playing catcher and pitcher, was a phenomenal hitter-every time, loved paying with all of his friends.

Mack turned SIX, Celebrated with every family member on the Ostenson side, got a lot of Batman stuff, had a double birthday party with cousin Christopher, & showed us his toothless smile (hopefully the last year!!).

Calli Turned 10! Had a few friends over, made Stromboli's and beaded watches, got peace stuff and a laptop (which she payed for 1/2), played games all night, and played "popular" girls in the morning??


Went on a mini family vacation south, stayed at Circus Circus, swam and rode the rides (we are an amusement park family), saw Ryan and Becca and cousins in Vegas, stayed at Grandma Nelson's Oasis in St. George and relaxed the days away! So nice being together with just our "little" family.
Mack and the clowns at Circus Circus

Still July....Visit from Grandpa Craig and Grandma Sue, taught Grandpa Guitar Hero, day at Riot Zone, Movies, Ice Cream, and Bowling, so much fun to see them and grateful that they are in our lives.
Calli's cousin, Maddie came to visit for a week and Mack and Quentin went to their house for a cousin exchange. Matching pajamas, swimming, walking everyday with mom (aunt) and grandma, rollerblading and scootering, made watches, and shopped until we dropped!!!!!

Girls Camp at Falls Creek, three girls, four leaders and two priesthood, four mile hike, shot my first gun EVER, beautiful creations of our Heavenly Father, floating a very rocky stream, punctured every raft we had, laughed until my belly was sore, Felt like a little girl again!

Love my fearless Presidency!!! These are them!!! Aren't they gorgeous????


Mack finally learned how to ride two wheels! After two fearful years of deciding that falling off wasn't fun...determination got the best of him and he conquered it after the first few minutes!! Bike rides were my favorite summer activity with my kids this year!

Aunt Bethany and kids came to visit, had a sleepover at Grandma's and went to the zoo.

Alex (Jeff's little bro) and his new wife Anna got married on the 15th!! Beautiful couple, beautiful day, beautiful grand kids, beautiful family. Such a special experience to be in the temple with Jeff's family and be able to be reminded of the beautiful blessings and promises of the sealing. A great reminder considering that Jeff and I ourselves had just celebrated our 16th (gasp!) Anniversary. We went to Jackson Hole for a night while Grandma O watched the kids and had a special time there together.

As a last hurrah, we went to Boise to do our back to school clothes shopping. SOOOOO FUN! It is a tradition that we have started and it is always so fun. The Ross family is just like family to us. The kids love each other and I won't go into how attached I am to my friend Val! We love you guys! Thank you for EVERYTHING!!!!
One more thing.... This was a common scene at our house this summer. Quentin and Calli sitting on the stairs reading. I don't think that I could count how many books Quentin read over the summer. Glad that was one of their activities.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Blessing #20...HOPE

I was reading in a past Ensign this morning for part of my study and came across an amazing article that I needed to read today! Loved it!! I woud send a link-but figured that more of you would read it if it was right on my blog. I highlighted some of my favorite parts. We all need Hope and so we all need to read it! Blessing #20...Hope

Larry Hiller, “Hope: The Misunderstood Sister,” Ensign, Jun 2009, 8–9

Hope is anything but wishful. It is expectation based on experience.
I think of them as three famous sisters whose names are frequently linked, always in the same order: Faith, Hope, and Charity. They are mentioned several times in the New Testament and with remarkable frequency in the Book of Mormon.
Of the three, Faith may be the most well known and popular, the one whose companionship is sought most often. She’s active and energetic, definitely the can-do type. Faith can move mountains, if necessary.
I picture Charity as being modest and refined, beautiful and gracious. In her presence you feel genuinely loved and accepted. She’s unfailingly kind and generous, patient, empathetic, aware of every need, and responsive without being asked. How could you not want the companionship of someone like Charity?
Then there’s Hope, who seems to have a problem with the way people perceive her. It may be her name and the way it’s commonly used: “I hope the car passes inspection.” Or, “I hope the weather will be nice for the wedding.” Used this way, the word hope is the verbal equivalent of keeping your fingers crossed. Consequently, many seem to think Hope is unsure, even fickle—she may or may not grace you with her companionship. But surely that’s not the kind of hope our Father in Heaven commands us to have. Nor would it be the kind of hope our Savior offers.
My desire to know Hope better was sparked when a high councilor speaking in our sacrament meeting quoted Romans 5:3–5:
“We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
“And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
“And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
As I read and reread those verses and pondered and prayed about them, the one concept I could not seem to wrap my mind around was how experience fits in the equation. I could understand that tribulation “worketh” (or brings about) patience. Often that’s all we can do in tribulation—have faith and wait patiently upon the Lord. But what is the experience that patience brings about? And how does it result in hope? This seemed to be what I call a puzzle piece.
For me, things I don’t understand about the gospel are like pieces of a larger puzzle I’m working on. If I don’t see where they fit, I put them aside and work on other parts of the picture. From time to time I pick them up and look at them. If I still don’t see how they fit, I put them aside again. I have already received a witness that the whole picture—the restored gospel—is true and complete, so I don’t worry about the pieces that haven’t come together for me yet. They will. And so one day, as I reexamined this particular puzzle piece, I saw a possible connection I hadn’t seen before. When we endure tribulation with faith and patience, what we experience is the Savior’s awareness of us and His love for us. We experience them through the ministrations of the Holy Ghost, the Comforter. We receive this witness after the trial of our faith (see Ether 12:6).
In my own life, when I patiently endure trials, the Savior, who took upon Himself all of our ills and sorrows (see Alma 7:11–12), ministers to me through the Spirit. I experience the Savior’s tender mercies. My trials may continue, but having taken upon me the yoke of Christ, I find Him sharing my yoke, making my burdens bearable, and giving me hope. I then have strength to endure. I have assurance that all will be made right, not just in eternity but also for eternity. Hope is anything but wishful. It is expectation based on experience.
I see Hope more clearly now. She is serene. Her eyes have the deep, knowing look of someone well acquainted with sorrow, the luminosity of recently being wet with tears. Hope has the confidence of one who clearly sees a bright future even when the next hours seem fog shrouded. Hope is steady and strong, a friend I am glad to have beside me during my own trials.

Walking with Two Sisters
By Larry Hiller
Faith walks before me,Holding up her lamp
As I try not to stumble in the ink-dark hours before the dawn.
Her light illuminatesOne step and then another.
Beside me, Hope, arm linked with mine, encourages and steadies.
Sometimes in the tedium,Distracted by the pain,
My mind begins to wander, then my feet.
I hesitate.
Unsure, I look to Hope.Her hand takes mine.
The touch reminds me of another hand held out to me,One pierced and scarred
Yet oh so tender
Lifting me and blessing me when I had fallen and despaired.
Remembering,I move ahead
Buoyed up by Hope, who sees the end with perfect clarity.