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 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'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"'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 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!