Monday, February 22, 2010

Hey Batter, Batter, Batter...

My bro, Rob, called me up Friday night and asked me what I was up to. I told him, nothing and asked him if he needed a baby-sitter - let's face it, my bro's aren't the best at calling me up just to hang - although we've been hanging out a lot more with Rob and Sheri since the move. Anyway, he told me no that he wanted to see if I would be willing to play on his work's softball league for the night. It's a co-ed league and they were short on girls - story of my life! (That's how my college bowling "career" started too, but that's a story for another day.) I was so excited. I've been wanting to get into adult, group sports since, well, I stopped playing school, group sports, and I just haven't taken the initiative.

With only an hour notice, I was scrambling for "equipment". I was so happy that I had a glove from when my eldest, fellow lefty brother was a kid and that I knew where it was. I tried to match my team since Rob wasn't sure if they'd have an extra shirt. I wore black and red, long basketball shorts, a white long sleeve tee with a red short sleeve over it. I thought I looked pretty snazzy considering the team colors are red, white and black. The only sport-like, shoes I had were my running shoes, so those had to do. Dillon warned that I was going to ruin them, but I argued that it's not like I was going to be sliding or anything.

It was on the other side of down-town Phoenix, so we rode together - Sheri and the kids came too. It was so fun. I had my own little cheering section. Every time the kids even saw me for the entire first game, they would call my name. And when I got up to bat for the first time? Forget about it! They were yelling and screaming at me with such excitement. So cute!

As Rob and I were warming up, it became quite clear that I needed a new glove. Anytime the ball would touch any bit of my hand as I caught it, it would sting like crazy. At first I was yelling at my brother to stop throwing it so hard and he assured me he wasn't at all. I should have known that based on the fact that I was catching them all. ;-P

Late in the first game, I was hungry to cross home plate and score. I was coming in to 3rd and the chic on the base was totally covering it and the ball was fast approaching her glove. I didn't even think, I just went and it turned out to be a sort of dive/fall thing onto 3rd. I think I looked like a TOTAL dork because everyone was just astonished that I would do such a thing to get on base. They were like, "Wow, way to sacrifice..." "Way to take one for the team..." and things like that. But I was safe at the expense of my poor knees - at least the skin on them. Pants would have been smart, I realized. It did secure my place permanently on the team if I wanted it though.

(they've had a couple of days to heal and with my X-Men Wolverine-like abilities, they look a lot different than they did, but you get the idea)

I didn't do bad at all considering the last time I played was in elementary school. After sliding around for two games though, I thought shoes might be in order too. Another thought on my mind was that Dillon was not going to like my new hobby - expenses.

He saw my knees right off when I got home and said, "Good thing you didn't slide, huh?" with that 'I told you so' sound to his voice.

"It was more of a fall than a slide," like that made me look better.

Needless to say, it didn't take much convincing to get my sweet hubby to loosen the purse-strings and let me get some essentials. Dillon is one of the best shoppers EVER. He has a way of finding me exactly what I need/want - and I am NOT easy to shop for. Take my glove for example - I am a left hand thrower, with small adult hands, but a big softball to catch, on a tight budget. He found me a 12" youth, lefty glove for $14.99 regularly $50. Oh, did I mention it had PINK on it?! Wow.

He also got me shoes and pants to match.

All these totaled, after shipping and tax, under $100. They are all scheduled to arrive on Friday, and my next two games are Friday night! I sure hope they come in time to use this week. I can't wait!!!

Did I mention also that we are 2-0! We rock!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


This came with my eBay order from China.

Me likey! And yes, I did consider China is far away when rate.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Savior and Redeemer

Dillon and I gave talks in our new ward Sunday. My topic was "Jesus Christ is My Savior and Redeemer." Dillon's was similar and he did such a great job.

I opened with a joke that I thought of on the stand. I can never think while I am up there because I am usually so nervous, so I was so proud of myself, but I don't think many were listening because not very many laughed. And I know it wasn't because it wasn't funny! ;-)

I was supposed to start my talk at 11:55 but the youth speaker when over. It was more like 12:01 or so when it was my turn. I got up and said, "Good morning... I know it's technically not morning anymore, but I didn't have time to rewrite my talk." Ha! I know, right? Anyway, it took a bit and there were only a few small chuckles. I don't think they were listening.

I went on, "Brothers and Sisters "... the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." (Mosiah 3:19)

King Benjamin did not mince words when speaking about us and our state here on Earth. We are enemies to God, always have and always will be... UNLESS... we change through Christ our Lord.

"Wherefore, all mankind were in a lost and in a fallen state, and ever would be save they should rely on this Redeemer." (Nephi 10:6)

Because we are here, we sin, and since no unclean thing can dwell in the presence of God, we need a Savior and Redeemer. Brothers and sisters, we have a Savior and Redeemer. He is our brother, Jesus Christ. He gave His life so that we might have eternal life and happiness.

Two of my favorite words in the English language are charity and grace. I can rarely think of these words without thinking of our Lord and Savior. To me, He also defines these words. Charity being the pure love of Christ and grace being the only way to God through Christ.

Jesus loves so perfectly and purely that he was willing to give his life for us. There was no fame to be had, no glory to be gained, no ulterior motives, just love.

"But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me—Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever." (Moses 4:2)

In Doctrine and Covenants the Savior speaks of His suffering for us and our sins (section 19 verses 18-19):
"Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink— Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men."

Before, during, and after the greatest suffering this Earth has and will every know, He gave the glory to our Father not Himself. That is charity.

He volunteered to walk among us, to do nothing but good and preach The Gospel to us, to be hated, mocked, and crucified by us, and by doing so save us. That is charity.

President Boyd K Packer said: "He by choice accepted the penalty in behalf of all mankind for the sum total of all wickedness and depravity; for brutality, immorality, perversion, and corruption; for addiction; for the killings and torture and terror—for all of it that ever had been or all that ever would be enacted upon this earth. In so choosing He faced the awesome power of the evil one, who was not confined to flesh nor subject to mortal pain. That was Gethsemane!"

Without God's saving grace, we could never know true happiness. Our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ is God's saving grace. He is grace. Even after all that we can do, without Jesus, it isn't enough and never would be. Without Him, we would not be able to return to Heavenly Father and thus, not ever realize true and everlasting happiness.

He is our advocate, our mediator, our savior, our redeemer, our brother and our friend.

Christ tells us in Doctrine and Covenants 110:4 "I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father."

Christ becoming our Savior and Redeemer did not start at the Last Supper, it did not start at Gethsemane, nor did it start on the cross. It started before we can remember. When He accepted the call from The Father.

As I read earlier from Moses 4:2 " Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning." It was our Brother's "calling" .... What if he hadn't accepted? ... I shutter to think...

Christ continued his role as Savior and Redeemer in his life here on Earth. He walked with the most lowly and meager of circumstance. He healed the sick. He reached out to those banished from society. He fed the hungry. He taught truths and lessons of The Gospel. He turned the other cheek. He was our ultimate example.

He asked us in 3 Nephi 27:27 "... Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am."

President Ezra Taft Benson counseled in 1975 "That man is greatest and most blessed and joyful whose life most closely fits the pattern of the Christ. This has nothing to do with earthly wealth, power, or prestige. The only true test of greatness, blessedness, and joyfulness is how close a life can come to being like that of the Master, Jesus Christ. He is the right way, the full truth, and the abundant life. The constant and most recurring question in our minds, touching every thought and deed of our lives, should be, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6.)

Christ then suffered and died for us. A suffering we cannot comprehend, yet we taste of it in sin. When we sin, The Holy Spirit, God's Spirit cannot be with us. By not repenting, this becomes a willing separation on our part that brings nothing but hurt and suffering.

Elder Jeffery R Holland offered some wonderful insight for me on Christ's suffering in last spring's General Conference.

"Now I speak very carefully, even reverently, of what may have been the most difficult moment in all of this solitary journey to Atonement. I speak of those final moments for which Jesus must have been prepared intellectually and physically but which He may not have fully anticipated emotionally and spiritually—that concluding descent into the paralyzing despair of divine withdrawal when He cries in ultimate loneliness, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

The loss of mortal support He had anticipated, but apparently He had not comprehended this. Had He not said to His disciples, “Behold, the hour … is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me” and “The Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him”?

With all the conviction of my soul I testify that He did please His Father perfectly and that a perfect Father did not forsake His Son in that hour. Indeed, it is my personal belief that in all of Christ’s mortal ministry the Father may never have been closer to His Son than in these agonizing final moments of suffering. Nevertheless, that the supreme sacrifice of His Son might be as complete as it was voluntary and solitary, the Father briefly withdrew from Jesus the comfort of His Spirit, the support of His personal presence. It was required, indeed it was central to the significance of the Atonement, that this perfect Son who had never spoken ill nor done wrong nor touched an unclean thing had to know how the rest of humankind—us, all of us—would feel when we did commit such sins. For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal, He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone."

Elder Holland's words struck me and I believe them to be true. Through and only through our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, can we regain the Spirit of our Father after we have sinned."

I improvised a bit here and told them that I often feel such a debt to The Lord. I said that the scriptures tell us a way that we can serve Him. I read Mathew 25:34-40 to them before I closed.

"Even after Christ's ultimate sacrifice, atonement and death, he has never stopped acting as our Savior and Redeemer. The 3 days that His body rested in a tomb here on Earth, He was organizing the Spirit World for the continuing salvation of souls. After his body and spirit were reunited he appeared to the people of this continent and taught them, healed them, and blessed them. He appeared to our Prophet Joseph Smith on several occasions and continues to come to our prophets and leaders to guide and lead his church on the Earth. He lived, he died, and he lives to save and redeem God's children. I know that he lives and is our savior and redeemer."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Our Pal Max

Dillon's mom got Max and his sister, Mavis, November of 2003. They were too little to even eat right, but the farmer that owned their mother wanted her to get back to work and ditch the puppies. I think it was a rescue endeavor on Kathleen's part like so many of her animal "acquisitions" are.

In the beginning Max would lay on Dillon's belly to get his little belly rubbed to calm him down or ease an upset tummy. Dillon's mom tells me that was the only way to settle him down if he was upset - to be on Dillon's belly.

I was in Utah babysitting Bill's kids while Bill and Julie went to Australia, so I didn't get to meet them until December, and since I was the resident photographer, no pics of them got taken before then. I was told they grew quite a bit from the time she got them till I got there.

They were so cute!

We lived with Max just over two years, and in that time, he won my heart forever. Even after we left Weiser, I called him "my dog". I have never loved a dog so much.

Kathleen knew this and wanted to give Max to Dillon and I. She says he really likes us and knows how much we like him. Ever since I found out she wanted to give him to us, I have been anxiously awaiting the time we had a back yard for a dog. Our new house has provided just that.

Max flew down from Boise on Tuesday. He had such a long day. I felt bad for him. Thankfully it didn't take him long to get over that. We are still trying to get over some other "special" things though. We've already started checking those things off too.

This was Max and Cevi the first night he was here. Let's just say I was amazed! Cevi is not a nice cat and she HATES dogs.

They've had a couple of "arguments" since (all vocal) but nothing too bad at all.

Max has become an old(ish) man that was so set in his ways. Weiser was the ONLY place he's ever known. He has also become a bit of a social retard. He gets so freaked out by things (LOTS of things) and just shuts everything out. I find myself coaching him in those situations "stay with me, buddy, stay with me..." like he's going into cardiac arrest or bleeding out or something. He also has fear aggression; that concerns me probably the most.

The problem I am running into is that I need to work him out hard before I think we will make some real progress towards those things but I'll be damned if I can. I can't run fast enough nor long enough for him to even get above a fast walk/trot. I can't get him to leave my side and run on his own either - he won't fetch (he has no interest - I've tried to teach him), he doesn't chase anything but me and I can only go so fast and so long, he won't just wander off or run away. I tried rollerblading with him today. I can get him more tired, but I still can't get him into a real run and he won't pull me... yet. We'll get there.

Shortly after they came in, Max lost one of his adult teeth. For a while I thought it was just one of his baby teeth and one would fill its place. Needless to say it never did. I just love it now. It's so cute to me.

Max seems to love to make me laugh. His face and body are soooo expressive. When he does something that is funny to me, he gets all excited and does it even more and with more energy until he can't stand it anymore and has to touch me.

Both Max and his sister have always slept with their tongue out. I think it's the cutest thing! I was afraid they would grow out of it, but never did.

He keeps it out for a minute after he wakes up too. He looks so doofy walking around with his tongue out. It makes me happy inside.

I am so grateful to Kathleen for giving us our pal. We love him so much. I mean, how could you not love a dog that God put a heart on top of. ;-)

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Pink Eye

Tuesday morning, Dillon had decided to take the day off when we got up that day. A little while later, I got a call from my brother and sister-in-law (Rob and Sheri). They were in a bit of a jam. Aubrey came down with pink eye and couldn't go to school or daycare. She was already being medicated but it hadn't been long enough that either place would accept her. Both Rob and Sheri were already at work - Aubrey was with Sheri at her school.

I went over to Sheri's school and got Aubrey. Just as we were leaving the school was going in to lock-down because some dude was on the loose over with weapons. Needless to say, we locked the car doors and got out of there, FAST.

The thing about pink-eye is that you feel totally fine, you just can't go to school. I was a little worried that Aubrey would be bored out of her mind while she watched me work.

We grabbed some lunch and came back to the house. We ate and then I went back to work. Dillon was amazing. He spent the whole day with her and kept her entertained. They looked things up on Google Earth, played video games, made videos, went to the park - I took at break from work to go with them to the park.

Aubrey and I made a sand manor. It was pretty nice - complete with a mansion, farm, barn and landscaped pool.

Then "Monster Aubrey" smashed the mansion.

Aubrey asked me if I wanted her to show me how to draw a dog. I told her yes and this is what she made - from memory - awesome!

I didn't ask or expect Dillon to entertain our niece all day, but he was glad to do it and I think she had a fun time. He's going to be a GREAT dad!

And speaking of Aubrey:

Seems like only yesterday...

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Videos of My Little Friends

I once told a fellow blogger that I like it better when she catches up on blogging to still have separate posts like she would if she blogged about them as she went instead of just one, massive post. I told her it was like Christmas - the more packages, the better... so, Merry Christmas to you!

These are videos of some of my little friends. Enjoy.

My New Digs

I love my new appliances.

This is my fridge.

We sprung for the smooth black finish. I am so glad we did. It goes so well with my other black appliances and ceramic stove top.

Also, I realized a few days after I got it that this is my first very, own fridge. I have never before owned one. I think it's a great first fridge.

Here are my washer and dryer.

They play me a tune when they are done.

And when I turn them on and off.

(I sooooo almost photobombed myself in these videos - but I didn't so quit looking, perv!)

They also do a really good job of getting our clothes oh so clean and soft.

I really like them and we got them all for a great price. Yay!