This weekend was so much fun and went by way too quickly. Friday night for date night, Brian and I stayed in, enjoyed chocolate fondue and strawberries, and dyed eggs. Saturday, we met up with the Jones family (minus Trav and Mayra...sad day) for an Easter picnic in the park and a festive Easter Egg Hunt. The weather was cold and windy, but Brian and I won the hunt and therefore a $15 gift card to my favorite, Jamba Juice! (Thanks Whit for that awesome surprise.) I also got to try out XBOX Kinect for the first time. We had a lot of fun with that...especially the movie and picture clips at the end of each game. Brian and I were on a roll, although boxing kicked my trash (more arms are still sore.) One of my favorite things about my family is our love for playing games. We also played one of my all time favorites, Catch Phrase. I love it because it's intense, fast pace, and just makes me laugh and laugh.
Sunday, our ward put on an absolutely beautiful Easter musical program. It was such an appropriate tribute to our Savior and His magnificent Resurrection. "Oh how sweet the joy this sentence gives, 'I know that my Redeemer lives!'" There is so much peace and comfort and joy in the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love the Easter message that no matter what happens on "Friday," "Sunday" will come. That is the hope of our Savior gives to us.
After church, we spent the rest of our Sunday with our Moote family. We celebrated Justin's 25th birthday, as well as Easter, with a delicious Ham dinner. The food was great, and the company was full of laughs. My mother-in-law is so cute. Because desert was cheesecake and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, she made me my own little goody bag full of treats just because she knows I don't like cream cheese!
What a great, relaxing, fun weekend....and you know what? Monday hasn't been all that bad either.
Sometime before I can even remember, my mom bought this plate because it was entitled
The Hamilton Collection Plate "Ashley" Treasured Days, and it reminded her of me.
While we were taking our engagement pictures, our photographer Stacey, snapped the picture of me below. I was flipping through the pics yesterday this one immediately reminded me of my mom's plate. Ashley...just all grown up.
I think "Treasured Days" sums it up perfectly. I'm a lucky girl.
I hate waiting! I feel like I'm going crazy, and if something doesn't happen soon, I might explode. I was supposed to find out by today what my standing would be for next year at Ecker Hill, and I still have nothing. :( On the positive side, I know that I for sure have my position part-time, but what I'm waiting to find out is whether or not there is enough Reading and ELL students for me to be full-time. Why can't the elementary schools get there numbers in sooner for the upcoming 6th grade class?!?! I really, Really, REALLY want to be full-time at Ecker next year. I'm bummed because not knowing yet means "responsible me" has to have a back up plan...back up plan as in back to the job hunt...as in application after application after application...followed by interview after interview after interview. BLAH! There is a Social Studies position open at Treasure Mountain, the Jr. High here in Park City. Pros: I would finally be teaching history. I know some of the teachers and secretaries already. I would get done with work an hour and a half earlier everyday. Cons: It would be a much longer commute, especially if we end up moving to Salt Lake City. I would have to wake up a lot earlier to get to work by 7:05. I wouldn't be teaching my preferred grade levels. And I would have to leave all my colleagues and students at Ecker. Ugh...why can't things just happen when I want them to happen? I guess I'm off to start working on those applications and to read up on the divine virtue of patience.
This past week I have been able to help 12 and 13 year old kids make a difference, and it has been awesome!
For mutual Tuesday night, our beehives collected new and slightly used ties, letters of encouragement, and goodies for the missionaries and members in Japan who lost everything. We currently have a member of our ward, Elder Holbrook, who is serving in Japan right where it all happened, and we are excited that the package should get to him in time for his birthday. Our girls were amazing and easily collected over 100 ties.
Then my middle school students, who have been reading about influential people throughout world history (MLK Jr., Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, etc.) who have worked hard to make the world a better place, got involved as well by making 168 paper cranes for Japan.
Students Rebuild is an organization dedicated to giving students opportunities to help and serve those in need. For every paper crane that students make, $2.00 will be donated from the Bezos Family Foundation until they have 100,000 origami cranes or $200,000 to help rebuild Japan.
And as I have learned from my good friend Hiro Nakamura,
(Brian and I have become mildly obsessed with Heroes on Netflix)
it is believed in Japan that anyone who folds 1,000 paper cranes will receive 1 wish. 100,000 cranes will equal 100 wishes for Japan.
Today the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is 181 years old. When you take into account the persecution, hardships, relocations, and ridicule of it's 181 year old history, it is truly a miracle and not a coincidence that the church today not only has survived but is growing exponentially. It is today a worldwide church with a constant universal message.
The movie below is entitled Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration and explains how the church was established and the importance of the early years of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints history. Until recently, you could only watch this film on Temple Square in SLC. I'm really excited that it is now available to watch online!
Can I just say that I love General Conference weekend?!? There is something incredibly therapeutic about choosing to forget about all of life's stresses and responsibilities for 2 whole days because you are too busy feasting on uplifting and relevant counsel from inspired men and women of God. It never ceases to amaze me how happy and light and energized I feel after conference. I feel empowered and humbled and rededicated and loved and grateful and blessed.
Cliff Notes: a few (30) of my thoughts and impressions: 1. The greatest joy we receive in this life comes through following the Savior. 2. Children can teach us so much about faith, forgiveness, love, and testimony. 3. Others will know we are followers of Christ because we are a "loving people". 4. You can tell a lot about a girl from her purse. :) 5. LDS women are incredible daughters of God. 6. The Church Welfare Program is truly miraculous. 7. The husband is the head and the wife the heart of the home. 8. I am not fighting life's battles alone. 9. My future is as bright as my faith. 10. We can always ask God for truth. 11. Desires ->Priorities -> Choices -> Actions 12. Actions + Desires = Who I become 13. Charity begins at home with the "Golden Rule" 14. The heavens are open and God speaks to prophets and apostles. 15. I need to be someone the Lord can rely on. God meets His children's needs through us. 16. We can't have growth without challenges. 17. The Church Welfare Program is unique because it teaches personal responsibility, self reliance, and to distinguish between needs and wants. 18. Increasing my own self reliance will allow me to increase my ability to serve and help others. 19. The pure love of Christ is selfless service. 20. The Gospel is simple; don't look beyond the mark ie. over-complicate 21. Temples are full of faith and fasting and are built on testimonies. 22. I can't wait for the Rome temple dedicaiton! 23. Marriage = Happiness 24. Expressions of love and simple heart-felt gifts are always important. 25. Righteous love is the base of an eternal marriage....P.S how cute were Elder Scott's reflections on his beloved wife?!?!? :) 26. Christ can make us holy if we have an attitude to willingly accept and seek correction. 27. You don't need more money to pay tithing...you need more faith. 28. The atonement truly is a miracle that allows us to put mistakes of the past behind us. 29. General Conference is for everybody. 30. Christ lives and He directs His church.