Monday, March 17, 2014

Only once this winter?

Although we will continue to get snow off and on until May, the big snow has melted off for the year and the bikes are out.

We're crossing our fingers that the mud won't be too bad, but April is usually full of snow and rain. March is such a tease in Wyoming! With the weather slowly changing, I figured I better post these sledding pictures from Valentine's Day before I look up and it's summer.

It seems deplorable that we only took the kids sledding once this winter. We live in Wyoming, for crying out loud! Most of it had to do with the back problems that Dan and I both have. But the kids did play in the snow a lot at home, so I don't feel too guilty.

Lily was at ski school for the morning so we took Mack and Amelia up to Test Hill to sled for a bit. Silver was pretty excited to be out and running free!

She would follow someone up the hill,

then come sprinting down at top speed.

Dan took a couple runs, then took Silver for a walk along the river.

While walking along the river, Silver went out on the ice to sniff around. She got out where it was thin and CRACK, down she went. Dan had to get down on his belly and crawl like a polar bear to help her out of the water. Man, I wish I had a picture of that! She came back soaking wet but all smiles.

Amelia had a great time sledding and made it through this outing without much whining and no huge meltdown. That's a first!

Mack insisted on climbing to the very top of the hill. It was much too high for him but he would not be dissuaded. Over and over he came crashing down and got bucked off his sled halfway down.

I kept telling him to just get back on his sled and go down from the middle of the hill. "No! I took a long time to get up here and I'm not giving up!" Back up the hill he went with Amelia, who was lagging 10 yards behind and declaring, "I give up!" Those two are polar opposites!

He finally made it most of the way down the hill, but caught some serious air.

He came down pretty hard and I think it knocked the wind out of him. He decided sledding wasn't fun anymore, so he went and sat with Silver.

I love, love this picture! The quintessential Boy and his Dog picture. It would be more accurate, though, to have Lily sitting with Silver because Lily is her favorite. Mack likes Silver well enough, except when she slobbers on his stuffed animals. Usually he's either trying to climb on her or ignoring her.

Dan picked Lily up from ski school and brought her over to the sledding hill. She still had a little snow fun left in her after 3 hours on the ski hill.

Then the real fun began.

Dan started throwing snowballs and I took one right in the eye seconds after I took this picture. Some of it got on my camera lens and I was totally unamused.

This dude is serious about his snowballs.

Then it was all-out war.

 Snow down the neck, baby!

Mack stole Daddy's hat and started chucking snow at him.

Looking a little disheveled in the aftermath.

For only one sledding day during the season, we didn't do too bad!

And just so you know what I mean by the off and on snow, here's our yard only 3 hours after I took the picture at the beginning of this post.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Faith, Trust

Faith has become increasingly important to me lately. I have always believed in God and had faith that Jesus Christ is His Son. I have had faith that keeping God's commandments is the surest path to peace in this life. I have had faith that I can be forgiven of my sins. These feelings have always been the guiding truths in my life.

Recently, I have reflected on how significant it is that faith is the first principle of the gospel (Article of Faith #4). What is ringing true to me right now is that faith is the ability to trust God. To trust that He will take care of me. To trust that if He asks me to do something, He will open a way for it to happen. To trust that if I always talk to Him and ask for His help, He will make me able to do all things.

Without this trust, can we do anything God asks of us? Can we even believe in God? There is evidence of God's existence all around us.

But without faith, one might say of this orchid, "That's just biology. It has nothing to do with God." The orchid is spectacular, but your view of it depends on where you place your faith, your trust. The LDS Church's website defines faith as confidence in something or someone. As most often used in the scriptures, faith is confidence and trust in Jesus Christ that lead a person to obey him.

Sometimes doing what God asks of us is just HARD. Being patient is hard. Not doubting yourself is hard. Working to preserve relationships is hard. Physical pain is hard. Commitment is hard. Careful parenting is hard. Living to a higher standard than most of the world is hard. Discerning God's will for you is hard.

But like this delicate orchid, with all it's fine intricacies, God created us and cares for us.

And if we put our trust in Him, He will make us beautiful. He will make us spectacular, too.