Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Project 365

Day 2 of my "Project 365" Cade and Porter with their neighborhood friends...these guys spend hours together.
Day 1 of "Project 365" Quincy and Paige...friends for over eleven years. BFFs for sure!

Just what I need is another project right?!? I am however, excited to add this to my "to do" list. This idea comes from one of my scrapbooking idols...Becky Higgins. She has created a kit which I think will make it super easy to keep up on. The kit comes with pocket pages for photos and journaling for the whole year and a 12x12 scrapbook that says "Project 365" on the front. Cool huh?!? Instructions for the project are to take one photo each day during 2009 and then journal just a little something about the photo. I guess what excites me about the idea is that it will give our family a record of the daily stuff we do. Being a big time scrapbooker, I have always been good about taking pictures of the big stuff, creating a layout and adding my journaling. This idea would allow me to do more recording of everyday things...maybe a picture of gas prices, my daughters messy room, a pile of laundry, the book I'm currently reading, the alarm clock when I get up and of course pictures of my kids doing regular things and special things. I'm sure you could do the same thing without the kit, but the kit would make it so easy. I'm not promoting it or anything, just think it's a cool idea. There's way more info on Becky's website. (beckyhiggins.com)
I think the older I get, the more I long for little bits of information about my everyday life as a child. What a simple and pretty much stress free way to record everyday life. I'm sure my kids will thank me someday!?!
Anyway, I started yesterday and my first is a photo of Quincy and Pagie...friends for eleven plus years...a sleepover MUST include some type of "beauty time". Last night it was manicures!! For day two I took a photo of Cade and Porter with their neighborhood sidekicks on our new trampoline. Tonight I must take a picture of Uncle Mike with all our his fireworks!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Christmas Gifts

I usually don't take too many photos of Christmas morning and the whole gift unwrapping thing. Nothing against that, but I think it's because Christmas means so much more to me than the unwrapping of the gifts I've purchased for the kids.
If I were to have taken the photos this year that would represent things I really love about Christmas, I would have taken photos of the crowd at the annual Ephipany Catholic/LDS church combined Christmas concert. For 15 years our two congregations have combined choirs to present an annual holiday concert. It is a big commitment with practices each Sunday from October through December and a few extra Saturday rehearsals as the concert draws near but SO worth it. I felt such an amazing spirit as we presented our songs. I loved that Brooklynn and Brenna participated in the orchestra this year.
I would have taken photos of the sugar cookie tradition. As a child my mom would make her "famous" sugar cookies, a big batch of frosting and set it out with colored sugars, red hots, and various other cookie toppings. I loved gathering as a family to decorate cookies and of course eating them afterwards! This year we shared this tradition with two amazing families. The Casper family (visiting from Allen, TX) joined us at our house on Sunday night to decorate cookies. Monday night, the Torbit family invited us over for family home evening and cookie decorating at their house. The very best part was when Maria suggested delivering cookies to various families from church. We chose several families and headed out...cookies in hand to carol and deliver cookies. What a blessing it was to experience the joy of Christmas as we shared with others. It was very obvious by the reaction we received that they were touched by the kindness...interestingly enough, I was the one who left feeling like I had been given a gift!! The gift of a smile, a sincere thanks, and even a few tears. I think we will add the caroling and cookie delivery to our sugar cookie tradition from now on.
I would have taken photos of each of my kids sharing their musical talents at school Christmas concerts. I love that they play Christmas music at a school function! Although we were double booked on a couple of nights and making it to two concerts at once was a little stressful, I really was grateful for the chance to be there to support them and to feel the Christmas spirit.
I would have taken photos of my girls giving an afternoon of service to people they may never even have a chance to meet.
I would have taken photos of Scott and me at a very fun Christmas party...what's Christmas without the suspense of a good white elephant gift exchange?!? We look forward to the second annual!!
I would have taken photos of our family gathered around to read the story of the birth of the Savior from the book of Luke much like I did as a child with my siblings when my Dad would read to us that sweet and life changing story each Christmas season.
I am so grateful for the amazing blessings of the season and for a chance to sing, read, and reflect upon the greatest gift ever...the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. I am hoping to do a better job of living a more Christlike life throughout the upcoming year.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Porter's sentiments after 30 minutes worth of second grade homework: "Mom, I can't wait 'til I'm done with college...then I won't have any homework for the rest of my life!!"
(I won't burst his bubble!)

Porter's sentiments after his first birthday party at our house with friends from church and school: "That was awesome...I want to have a birthday every year!"
(I guess he's in luck!)

I meet Porter and Cade each day after school to walk home. On a particulary hot day Porter said, "Mom, I'm hot...both ways!"
(I can't argue with that...although I've been informed that moms aren't allowed to call their sons "hot"...cute will have to do I guess!)

Tonight when discussing underwear with the girls (I know, I know) Cade and Porter came walking in the room and of course wanted to know what our conversation was about ...Brooklynn says to her brother, "we were talking about a thong, but you wouldn't know what that is." Cade quickly says, "yea I do, it's underwear with really big leg holes!"
Ok, I seriously couldn't stop laughing! Poor boys, thanks to older sisters, they know way too much about "girl stuff".

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Porter's Baptism Day

Porter, Carly and Andrea...the newest members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!

Porter, Andrea, and Carly with their dads before their baptism.

Scott, Porter and me.

Porter was baptized on Saturday afternoon with his cousin Carly and his Primary friend, Andrea. It was a beautiful , sunny Texas November day which made it even better. As I took a picture of the three of them outside the church, all dressed in white, I thought about how pure and innocent they looked, ready to take the next step in following the example of our Savior. I thought about the challenges and blessings that lie ahead for them and said a silent prayer that they will be valiant and strong. I felt a sense of gratitude for those who waited inside to support and witness their commitment to become members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am grateful to those who have supported us as parents in helping them have a desire to make this covenant and I am grateful (in advance) for the numberless others who will teach them, encourage them, love and support them and be an example to them as they grow up in the church.

Later I took a picture of Porter, Carly and Andrea with their Dads...all worthy priesthood holders who would perform the sacred ordinance of baptism and later give them the precious gift of the Holy Ghost. I am in awe of the priesthood...the very same power that the Savior used to perform miracles everyday...given to men on the earth today. So cool!

Carly chose "A Child's Prayer" for the opening song. Good choice Carly! Aunt Julie gave a great talk on baptism using Cheez Whiz and paper towels which represented baptism and another to represent taking the sacrament each week. Rinda Phillips (aka Sister Friendly) gave a talk on the Holy Ghost and compared it to turning on a radio and getting the reception just right. Andrea chose "Keep the Commandments" for the closing song and my prayer for them is that they do just that!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I Get It!

As some of you know, every morning at 6:00 a.m. I have the great opportunity to teach 15 of the most amazing teenagers ever. My Seminary kids! They range in age from 14-17 years old, freshman through seniors, boys, girls, short, tall, quiet, not so quiet, awake, half asleep, musicians, studious ones, gamers, skaters, readers, swimmers, runners, artists, athletes, and honor society members. Our talents and interests are many but our common thread...the gospel of Jesus Christ...is what makes us all feel so connected. I stand in awe of who they really are. I feel humbled by their strength and power. I applaud their desire to be valiant and courageous. I am truly blessed and am so grateful that I have the opportunity to rub shoulders with them and to feel of their spirits each morning. As I prepare my lessons each day I pray that I will be guided by the Spirit to teach the lesson they need and I pray that they will know that each and every message applies to them in a very personal way.

Today we studied Luke 7 where the woman comes in while Jesus is enjoying a meal with Simon the Pharisee and begins to wash the Savior's feet with her tears, wipe them with her hair, kiss them and anoint them with ointment. I have always thought the story to be a little odd and maybe a little uncomfortable for those present, but today I got it! I really felt and understood this woman's inability to control her tears and her overwhelming desire to express gratitude for the gift of repentance. I too have felt the indescribable joy that comes through the power of repentance, the relief of a burden lifted and the desire to praise and honor my Savior for making that great gift available to me. Heaven knows I've made my share of mistakes and unfortunately will continue to do so...it's the nature of being human. But, I feel incredible love and hope, knowing that if I really am doing my very best, that the Savior will make up the difference when I fall short. I hope that that's the same message my kids got from our lesson today...a message of love and hope. Every day as I express my testimony of the Savior's love for each one of them individually, it is my hope that they will feel that love and that that same love will give them incredible strength when they feel alone, are faced with tough choices or when they need to repent and make changes in their lives.

I feel so blessed to be teaching Seminary. I am grateful for the gospel truths I learn on a daily basis as I prepare to teach. I am grateful for my association with 15 incredibly strong latter-day youth each morning. Their examples give me strength. I pray for their success every day.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Eight Years Old!

Yesterday, in the midst of our crazy Saturday we were able to celebrate Porter's 8th birthday! Porter carefully kept track of each time I would say, "Happy Birthday Porter"...it's a tradition that I say it once for each year you are old...he would remind me, "Mom, that's five" or "Mom, only two more!" He was content to spend a good part of the day playing with neighborhood friends until it was time for the celebration to begin. This year for his birthday dinner Porter chose to go with dad to Sonic. He ordered a giant size popcorn chicken, fries, soda and a Butterfinger shake for dessert. He was as happy as could be and has enjoyed the "left overs" several times throughout the day today! After dinner with dad, we celebrated with gifts and cake and ice cream with the family.
I am so grateful for the brown-eyed baby of our family! He adds character to our family in a big way. There is a lot to love about Porter and in honor of his 8th birthday...here are 8 things I love about Porter:

1. I love reading with him each afternoon.

2. I love his sense of adventure.

3. I love his "holey" smile.

4. I love his grown up comments.

5. I love his quick "I love you Mom" at random times during the day.

6. I love his never ending energy.

7. I love the thought that goes in to his prayers.

8. I love his chocolate brown eyes. (still don't know how he got those!!)

Next Saturday, Porter will be baptized! I am so proud of his desire to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! I'm so grateful to be Porter's mom. I'm grateful that Heavenly Father trusted me enough to allow me to teach and guide him while we journey together on this earth.

Sixteen and a half hours!

Brooklynn on the podium directing the band.

Brooklynn in the ready stance as the band is announced.

Brooklynn with one of the other drum majors, Dominic after a performance.

A beautiful smile in the crowd!

Let the show begin, the drum major is ready!

Brooklynn is a girl on the go! Her life right now is all about marching band. A couple weekends ago it was sixteen and a half hours of marching band! Due to Hurricane Ike and the need to reschedule football games and competitions, the MRHS marching band ended up with a performance at 9:30a.m. in Katy, a competiton in Conroe (about 60 miles from Katy) at 1:30p.m. and a football game back in Katy at 7:00p.m. Brooklynn was gone all day! Last weekend it was the region marching competition from 7:00a.m. until 9:00 p.m. and yesterday it was the homecoming game with band committments from 9:00a.m. until 4:00p.m. You get the idea!!

It has been amazing to watch Brooklynn's dedication to marching band. Marching band in Texas is serious stuff! Brooklynn begins practice early in August and practices some days during the summer for as much as 12 hours. I don't know how they survive the brutal Texas sun, but they do and slowly an amazing marching show begins to take shape. Because she plays the oboe and english horn, neither of which are played in the marching band, Brooklynn has had the opportunity to give different parts of the marching band a try. Her freshman year Brooklynn played the vibraphone in the pit. Their show that year was the music of "Firebird" and by the end of the season, I was hearing it in my sleep! During her sophomore year Brooklynn approached her band director about forming a cymbal line (something the band had never had due to lower numbers). Brooklynn became the cymbal line captain and spent hours studying video clips on the internet in order to develop a creative routine for the cymbal line. She did a fabulous job! The cymbal line added a great visual element to their show called "Minimally Speaking" that year.
Last spring Brooklynn decided to try out for the position of drum major for the 2008-2009 school year. She was very excited and honored to be chosen as head drum major! Brooklynn has learned so much about leadership through this position...the good and the bad! Under her direction, over 100 band members perform their 10 minute show called "Twisted" each week which is a medley of music from movies written by Alfred Hitchcock. This year was a state competition year and after a "1" rating at area, they were able to move on to the region competiton. They did not advance to the state competition but they did place higher than they have in past years. We are so proud of their efforts!

I love watching Brooklynn in her element! She is very focused when it's time to perform on the field and she has so much fun when it is time to perform in the stands. She is a great asset to the MRHS band and is learning many life lessons along the way!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Peaches and Memories for Lunch

Isn't it weird how an everyday object can illicit a sweet memory of something seemingly unrelated?! That's what happened to me when I chose to eat a peach for lunch today. As I washed and peeled my peach I immediately thought of Grandpa Adelman who in his lifetime had lovingly cared for, picked and peeled thousands of peaches from the huge peach trees growing in his backyard in Sunnyvale, CA.
That peach took me back to the first time I met Grandpa and Grandma Adelman when Scott and I were newly married. From the minute I walked into their home I felt so welcomed and so loved! I'm sure they must have had the San Francisco Giants game on tv; if the Giants were playing, they were watching! I loved listening as Scott and his grandparents would talk about the Giants and their current record or what kind of a season this player or that was having. I can still picture grandpa sitting in his easy chair next to the corner windows of the family room; remote control and the daily newspaper sitting on the tv tray nearby.
That peach took me back to the times Scott would quietly walk through their house each time we visited, soaking up thirty or forty years worth of memories. I loved listening when he would say, "I remember when....". Having grown up in the same home for twenty years, I could relate in my own way to the connection one feels to a home.
That peach took me back to grandma's pink and grey bathroom! Totally the lastest colors back in the 1950's when their home was built. I loved that bathroom because it reminded me of my Grandma Foltz's bathroom back in Iowa. Same colors and same sweet grandma smells! I hope Grandma Adelman doesn't mind if I admit to opening her linen closet just to take in that sweet smell of grandmas!
And, of course, that peach reminded me of Grandpa's delicious peaches! Peaches lovingly prepared each morning for breakfast and each evening as a topping for vanilla ice cream. I never noticed him preparing those peaches for us but they were always on the counter, sweet and juicy just waiting to be eaten by those he loved. And, I think that's what made those peaches sweeter than any I've had since...it was the love he sprinkled on top!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Growing Up

First day of school 2008-2009

I had a little reality check this week when Brooklynn told me that it was college night on Thursday. She was hoping to go to gather information about potential college choices. Could it be that we really have a child old enough to be researching colleges?!? I remember just a few years ago when my days were filled with play groups, peanut butter and jelly, story time, preschool, and pbskids. It was in the midst of those preschool years, that a good friend of mine, Cynthia told me to enjoy every single day because sooner than I thought, I would be sending my babies off to school. Honestly, I couldn't even imagine! Well...here I am with not one, but two high school age daughters (both of whom, are taller than me!) one daughter in junior high and two sons in elementary school and I'm seriously wondering where the years went.

Now our days are filled with marching practice and football games, oboe lessons, orchestra and band rehearsals and concerts, swim practice and swim meets, ballet rehearsals, piano lessons and practice, elementary percussion rehearsals, cub scouts, and young women activities. Soon we will add basketball coaching, practice and games to the list.

I still keep in mind the wise words from my friend Cynthia. I continue to find joy along the way and make the most of every single day, because it's true, they really do grow up way too fast.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Chance to Serve in Galveston

My brother Mark went with us to help. He was the expert at measuring where to cut the sheet rock. It was fun having him work with us for the day.
As we drove in to Galveston, it was really weird to see boats laying on their sides along the main roads of the city.

At our second stop we helped four different families. At the first house we moved all their appliances out to the street. I have a great stinky fridge story to tell! At two other houses we cut sheet rock above the water line. Scott did a great job on the baseboards and I helped pull away sheet rock.

Sacrament meeting was held outside of the Galveston building at 8:30 before we received our work assignments for the day. It was quite an inspiring sight...all of us in yellow helping hands shirts. There had been another group of the same size that had sacrament meeting at 7:30!

The first house we went to was near a bayou and had had five feet of water in the house. We basically just shoveled the contents of the house into wheelbarrows and trash cans and dumped it out on the front yard for collection by trash crews.
This post is not organized how I had hoped, but I am learning! Brooklynn was willing to teach me how to add photos to my blog tonight. Next tutorial will be how to get the photos in the order I would like. I would have liked the boat photo first, sacrament meeting second, trash in street third and photos of me, Scott and Mark last...in order of how our day took place...oh well.
What an amazing, exhausting and very smelly day! I can't stop thinking about what the people in Galveston are waking up to each day...it was overwhelming to see the amount of work needed to restore the island. We were able to help some really amazing people. They even called us angels! I know our stake is already organizing work crews to go to Port Arthur, TX for work assignments on both Saturday and Sunday this week. There is much to be done.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Preparing for Ike

Are you allowed to blog twice in one day?!? So, Porter just asked if he could go play the Wii at a friends house down the street. I hesitated just a little and in order to cinch to the deal he says, "Please Mom, this might be the last day we live!" Yes, it is Friday and no, there is no school today! We are preparing for Hurricane Ike which is headed our way within hours. It was weird to wake up this morning to a clear blue sky knowing that within the next 24 hours we are in for a major storm. I did learn a few things from previous storms and have not felt the panic of getting gas or groceries...I took care of that on Wednesday when the lines were not too bad. I have spent time this morning gathering all of our scrapbooks, journals, geneaology, and important documents and putting them in rubbermaid containers. We have our 72 hour kits and tent close at hand. The patio furniture and other backyard "stuff" is inside the house. I have searched and retrieved several working flashlights, a battery powered radio, and have plenty of batteries. We have plenty of drinking water, four 55 gallon barrels full of water and will fill the bathtubs with water soon. I need to send Quincy in to clean the downstairs bathroom (it's her job) on the off chance that all seven of us have to cram in that bathroom in case of tornados. We have not boarded up windows (we don't have the sheets of plywood) and I wish I couldn't hear some of our neighbors boarding theirs up because then it makes me a little nervous. We are worried about being without power and with winds predicted at over 70mph in our area losing eletricity is a very real possibility but there isn't much we can do to prevent that. I am hoping to that will be well here at the Adelman home...we'll keep you posted.


So...about this blog thing! I created this blog a month or two ago but have felt very intimidated by the whole thing. I love keeping up with friends near and far through their blogs although I rarely comment. I've since been told that there is a name for doing that...it's called blurking I guess. The name makes it sound like a bad thing but I guess a lot of people do it. My hesitation with blogging is mostly that I sometimes wonder if what I do each day or have to say is really all that interesting. Then there is the thing about who you are really blogging for. For me personally, I guess I want a way to keep in touch with our extended family and friends all over the country and also as a way to journal the everyday events in our lives. I was such a faithful jounal keeper up until I had little ones and I am sad to think of all the memories lost because I didn't make time for journaling as a mother of little ones. I do have quite an impressive amount of scrapbooks starting with the time I met Scott up until the present...they are journaled...so I will give myself a little credit. What I hope a blog will be for me is a journalish type thing that allows me to remember the everyday things in addition to the scrapbook type stuff. Does that make sense?!? So...here goes! Wish me luck! And until I can get a little tutorial from my computer savvy kids, you won't be hearing any music or seeing any video clips on this blog!