Monday, November 30, 2009


Last semester, Terry learned how to use photoshop. This is where he met Walt. This man is amazing! He is super talented, has had numerous years of graphic design experience, and has countless connections in the professional biz. He has mutiple academic degrees and could be doing ANYTHING with his life. Yet he chooses to teach at our little state college and help his best students become marketable and find a job. He is Terry's mentor. And the part that I love? Walt is a Mac fan! Anyone who uses photoshop, or illustrator, or any other software used in graphic design should know that Apple makes the BEST computers for the job. And in this family, we believe that anyone who believes that a PC can get the job done just as well or better, is just plain wrong. In case you haven't figured it out, we love Apple computers. :)

Anyway, the assignments in that class consisted of making posters. Posters that represented future performances at the Sunrise Theater. There were posters for Kool and The Gang, ABBA, a ballet company, a Russian circus, and a few plays. Terry did a poster for a play called "I Love A Piano." And guess what?! HIS poster was chosen to be used as the actual poster that would advertise for the event! How cool is that?! We are so proud of him! Once again, it proves that he has found his niche. He loves doing graphic design. He is so creative and is doing so well in his classes.

A few days ago, we all went together to see his poster at the theater. Here he is, happy.

Friday, November 27, 2009

giving thanks.

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. I've been glum, and while I kept trying to come up with things to be thankful for, I just couldn't. It's been a rough year, especially the past few weeks. Moving really took it out of me, and I still have to unpack. Natalie has been sick, and now I am sick. Again. Maybe I've got some depression trying to settle in. I've definitely been slacking in the prayer department, which never leads to any good. And while I know they're not, things just seem so hopeless right now. Terry has been sleeping for days. He is always so tired. It makes me feel sad and lonely. Still, I tried to make yesterday memorable with my girls.

While Terry stayed home and slept, the girls and I went to my parents' house for breakfast. They started putting up their Christmas tree, so my girls got to decorate it. I also brought some crafts to their house so that we would have something to do: we made two wreaths and started making little angels out of clay pots and wood. That really was fun. The weather was perfect-cool and breezy-and we had all the windows open. The parade was also on TV, and it felt a little like my childhood. (We always watched the parade when I was little.)

Here is Trinity, decorating herself instead of the tree!

Later that day, Terry finally got up just in time for us to head out to Aunt Sharon and Uncle Sean's house for a turkey dinner. We always have fun there. We got to mingle with family and their friends, and the feast was amazing! They had ham and turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, collard greens (a Sexton tradition), sweet potato casserole (made by me), and fabulous desserts that included a cream cheese pumpkin log and the traditional pumpkin pie.

While at the ranch, the girls got to help feed an orphaned calf. We traveled deep into the pasture, and found the adorable little one mingling with some other cows. It didn't have a name, so Trinity named it "Lola." Truthfully, we didn't know if it was a boy or a girl (and I forgot to ask Sean), but Lola it became!

By the end of the night I did feel better, probably because I had had so much fun just talking to everyone. Our bellies were full, and we were all ready for bed. The only downfall was that I was coughing up a storm! I guess nothing can be perfect.

I AM grateful for my family. I am grateful that we had someplace to go on Thanksgiving day. I'm grateful for my girls and the joy that they bring me. And I am grateful for the things that we DO have. I know it could be worse. Here's to hoping next year will be even better.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Yeah, this is late. But I wanted to document it. This year, Halloween was a blast! We had DAYS of fun and festivities. It started with a school field trip to visit the old folks. The kids got to wear their costumes and parade around, then they performed some Halloween poems and songs, followed by passing out treat bags to the adorable elderly, who loved every minute of it, by the way. The home that we visited gave the kids cookies and juice after, and I had the best time just driving the kids to and from the scene!

Our next event consisted of going to the pumpkin patch. It was another field trip, so again I got to drive a group of kids and we had so much fun. At the pumpkin patch, we got to make a craft, listen to songs and stories about Halloween, and then the best part of all...we got to pick out a pumpkin! Last year they had a hayride too, but this year the tractor was broken. Still, we had a great time.

Then came the Halloween party at school. I volunteered to run one of the games, "The Spider Toss." There were about 5 different games for the kids, each run by a different parent. We then "paraded" around the school, going room to room for "trick-or-treating." All the bigger kids loved looking at the little kids' costumes! We then stuffed our faces with candy, cupcakes, chips, grapes, popcorn, and juice, and that was the whole day of school!!!

The night before Halloween, we attended the ward chili cook-off and trunk-or-treat. There was a contest to see who made the best chili--and it was all soooooooo delicious! And there was TONS of candy! I have never seen so many "trunks" participate in the ward trunk-or-treat, and some trunks were really decked out!

Finally Halloween came, and by this time I was getting tired! We went to the mall, which had really good candy this year. And honestly, we could have stopped there. But girls' Pre-K teacher lived just down the street from us, and they really wanted to stop by her house. So we did almost two blocks of our street. The night turned out to be such a success! In fact, the whole week did! The only thing that I felt was missing was the snow-I know, weird. But back in Utah it would snow EVERY single year on Halloween, and I missed it this year. It was so HOT! Maybe in the future we will have chilly Halloweens once again...

Oh- and what did we dress up as? I was a "mad" scientist, with germs pinned to my scrubs, and Terry was my assistant/subject. Trinity was a "pumpkin spice girl," which she picked out all on her own, and then got embarrassed at school because everyone laughed at her because they all thought she was so cute. The teachers showed her off to all the other teachers, and the kids were all excited about her wig, because no one else had one. Natalie was a combination of costumes. I originally bought her a big blue princess dress that she picked out, but then she lost it, so she dressed as Snow White one day, Tinkerbell another day, and then on Halloween night she peed in her dress so I put her in a black velvet church dress, with Halloween tights, and black shoes. We then raced to Target and bought her a witches hat. So it was all good.

Friday, November 20, 2009

a new era.

Some truly AMAZING things have happened here in our little one-horse town this year. I didn't even think it was possible, but once again, God has prevailed! Several months ago, it was announced to our ward that we would be getting a new building! Everyone was so excited. But there was a catch; we HAD to have AT LEAST 200+ people in attendance for Sacrament meeting for a couple months solid. Everyone was ready to try. An attendance chart was made so we could all see how we were doing. Each week, we anxiously checked the board, looking to see if we were going to get that new building. And for several Sundays, we did have 200 or more people there. But there were also several Sundays where we didn't. The Sister Missionaries were working hard and baptizing like crazy, but it still wasn't enough. Then, just when we thought it might not happen, it did. We were going to get a new building!!!!

One of the COOLEST things about this new building was that it was being built RIGHT NEXT DOOR to the old one. You could literally watch the progress every Sunday, Wednesday, and any other day that you happened to be at church. It was awesome. Now that it has been built, the old church building has been torn down, and in its place there will be a parking lot.

The old building was built in the early 1980's. I couldn't get an exact date out of anyone, but it was around 1982 or 1983, which was right before my mother joined the church. I grew up in that building. I was baptized there when I was 8 years old. I grew a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel in that building, with the help of my church "family." I had many good times there, and I had heartache there as well. It was that building that I came home to when I got engaged to be married in the Temple. And I spent countless early mornings there learning about the gospel in Seminary. My husband Terry has a history with that building, too. It was there that he learned about the gospel of Jesus Christ, there where he was also baptized, and there where he became a part of the church "family" too. We were sad to see it go, but excited for the future that the new building would bring.

Our new building is beautiful. Magnificent. The Spirit of reverence abounds. The Open House is going to be on December 12th. I can't wait. I have so many people that I am going to invite.

The building itself is huge. It has room for 3 wards! THREE! We have three Bishop's offices, a large Primary room, a large Relief Society room, a mother's room (which we never had before), a very large kitchen, a large Family History Center, AND a 3/4 length basketball court! Our so-called "basketball" area in the last building was really just the overflow section of the chapel, with a single basketball hoop attached! I know that Heavenly Father must know that His church is growing, and that it is only going to continue to grow. The building has been built to be "green." The lights go on and off automatically when you enter or leave a room, and the air conditioner is set on a timer so that it does not run constantly. We also have electric organs and pianos, so that if we don't have someone to play, we can still sing a song with music! In fact, the organ we have is a new design and is the first of its kind in the state of Florida!

I have since been called to be a Ward Missionary, and I love it. The Sisters have worked so hard and have planted so many seeds. There are many new members in the ward. And I get to be a part of it. I love sharing my love for the gospel. I love teaching people about my faith. I am so grateful for this new building. We have been so blessed as a ward, and I believe that we have grown stronger because of it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

ten years: a marriage evolved.

You may wonder who it was that said the above quote-I have no idea! But I like it, and it goes well with my post for today. On November 5th, Terry and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary! And by "celebrate," I mean that we were packing, loading, and unloading boxes. Yes, for such a milestone, we did nothing but move ten years worth of junk from one home to another. And we have yet to go out on the town, but hey, we've got eternity to do something! I have been thinking about what to post, and came up with a list of things that we have accomplished in the last ten years together.

In the last ten years, we have:

moved 8 times,

attended 3 colleges/universities,

had 2 children,

earned 1 bachelor's degree,

worked at ten different jobs,

lived in 2 states,

had numerous arguments,

had numerous good times,

become food junkies,

grown spiritually (and around the waistline!),

been devastated by 2 diseases (PCOS and MS),

learned to deal with above diseases,

and we still continue to DREAM BIG!

With all that we have been through together, we still have high hopes. We are enduring, we are dancing, we are smiling, we are living. Together, with God, we are sealed as an eternal family. We have plans for the future, near and far. And while I still don't consider myself an "expert," I think that I'm pretty darn close. ;)

Friday, November 13, 2009

we've moved. again.

Last week, we went from a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house with a one-car garage, and moved into a two-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bathroom apartment with a one-car parking space. Why? Because we are broke. We thought being in a house would be no problem, but apparently we didn't think things through because for the last year we have struggled to pay our bills. Sure, we are both in school, which does account for a lot of our expenditures, but we thought the VA benefits would be enough to cover any excess costs. Well, it turns out that the VA can be a little screwy when it comes to paying for school (Who am I kidding, the VA is screwy any way you look at it!). So, in order to try and cut costs, we have moved for the third time in the past two years. It sucks. The girls aren't happy about it and I'm not happy about it, but it had to be done. Let's just hope that we actually DO cut costs and that the move wasn't done in vain. It looks good on paper, but so did moving into that house last year. I guess we'll see.

All in all the move itself went pretty well. We had help packing most of our things (Thanks, Rachel!) and then got most of our stuff out on Thursday, with the remainder out on Saturday. Pretty quick, right?! We still have a couple things left in the garage and we have to clean this week, but other than that we are done. Now I just have to muddle through all of the boxes that were stuffed into our tiny apartment. We owe a big hearty thanks to the men who helped us with the heavy labor: my fabulous brother Brian, and some great elders from the ward, Brother West, Brother Bray, Brother Olcott, Brother Kubesh, and Brother Volsky. THANK YOU!!! :)

it's snowing!

Ok, not really, but yesterday morning when I was leaving to take the girls to school, I noticed a faint drizzle coming down that looked just like snow falling! It was cold outside too, so I decided to pretend that it really was snow, and that it just wasn't sticking. I never thought I would say this, but I really miss the snow. It is always so hot in Florida. Don't get me wrong-when we were in Utah I was constantly missing the warm feeling that you get when the sun shines on your skin, but I miss the changing seasons that we had in Utah, and the awesome feeling of wearing shorts in 60 degree weather. I hope that we can someday get back to a place where the seasons change, where it isn't hot all year long.