Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Birthday to ME!

It's my birthday today and I am not afraid to tell you that today I am closer to 40 than I am to 30.

To commemorate this occasion, here's a selfie.  LOL!

Hopefully, I'll have some pictures tomorrow of the kiddos dressed up in their costumes.

Oh yeah, Happy Halloween to all of you as well!

Monday, October 28, 2013

My Weekend - A Journal Post

A round up of my weekend

Friday, I went to lunch with my parents and this little cutie.

Then I went home to hang out with my kids.

Amelia and her friend decided to rake the leaves and jump in the pile.  I helped them bag up and throw away the leaves when they were done.

Saturday morning, my husband woke me bright and early and asked me if I wanted to go get breakfast with him.... without the children.  We quietly got up, threw on some clothes and hats (no time to fix the hair) and left our sleeping babies to have some time together.

I, of course, documented the occasion with a photo.  Look at Nathan's face, I think that is a smile!!!

Then it was back home to get sleeping children up and ready for the day's activities.  Jared was off to a Deacon's Quorum activity at Olympic Park and Amelia went to Tumbling.

After a while, I went to the hospital to visit my dad who had a heart procedure done earlier that day, and also to keep my mom company.

Around 3:00 pm, Nathan texted me and asked me to speak in church the next day because one of his speakers was ill.  WHAT?!

Went home around 4:30 pm to get kids bathed, fed and to bed.  Then started on my talk for the next day.  I was stressed from the day and the assignment ahead.

I asked Nathan for a priesthood blessing, which he gave me.  Finished writing my talk and went to bed.

Sunday, I spoke in church.  It went pretty well.

After church I had a visit from my visiting teachers and we talked about Jesus Christ's role as Creator.

Then Nathan and I pitched in and made Lion House Chicken Noodle Soup.  It is seriously one of our most favorite recipes.

Then we headed over to my mom's house for our monthly family dinner.  It was nice to spend some time with my siblings and my mom.  She had been at the hospital with my dad all day and was a little stressed out. The procedure they had done on my dad hadn't fixed the problem and so they had scheduled him for another procedure Monday afternoon.

My oldest brother, Shane, and my husband were able to give her a priesthood blessing of comfort and strength before we left.

It was a full weekend.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fun Friday - Andy & Amy's Haunted House Video from the Ellen Show

This video pretty much made the rounds yesterday on Facebook, but it is too hilarious!

Just to warn you, there is bleeped language and fake gore.

A few of my favorite lines said by the guy:
"This it's stupid"
"Stop It, Stop it Now!!!"
"I'm a man and I'm going to hold you."
"I get it, they come out at you!"
"I'm not, I'm protecting you!"
"Why do people pay for that?"

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Priesthood Ordinances (Jared's First Youth Speaker Talk)

Nathan asked Jared to speak in Sacrament Meeting this past Sunday on Priesthood Ordinances.  He wrote the talk mostly by himself and got most of his information from here.  I only switched up the order of some of the paragraphs to help it flow a little better.  He did a great job!

An Ordinance is a sacred, formal act performed by the authority of the priesthood. 
In D&C 84:19-21 it says,
 19 And this greater Priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.
 20 Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.
 21 And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;
Some ordinances we must do are called saving ordinances.  Saving ordinances include baptism, confirmation, ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood (for men), temple endowment, and marriage sealing (in the temple).  When we perform these saving ordinances, we enter into solemn covenants with our Heavenly Father. 
In Mosiah 3:17, we read
 17 And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.
This means that we can only be saved and have eternal life by relying on Jesus Christ.  As we partake of the sacrament, which represents Christ, we renew our covenants we made when we performed our saving ordinances.
There are other ordinances that are not required for our salvation, but they are still helpful to us.  These ordinances include: naming and blessing children, consecrating oil, patriarchal blessings, and administering to the sick and afflicted.  These ordinances provide guidance, strengthen us, and increase our faith.  They also strengthen the person giving the blessing because they have a greater love and understanding of the person they are giving the blessing to.
These ordinances are not required for our salvation, but they will help us to keep us on the path back to God.  The ordinances also help us feel comforted and remind us of our duty to God.  The Lord has given us these ordinances to help us return to him and receive eternal life and exaltation.  When we honor these ordinances, God will bless us.  
Doing a saving ordinance requires permission from a priesthood leader who holds the correct keys to do so.  This permission is also required to bless a child, prepare, bless and administer the sacrament, as well as some other ordinances.
As a Melchizedek priesthood holder, my dad and other men in the congregation can consecrate oil, administer a blessing to the sick and afflicted, and give father’s blessings.
Ordinances are an important part of salvation.  Articles of Faith 3-5 talk about ordinances.
3.       We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
This means that we are saved when we are obedient and perform our required ordinances.
4.      We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
This Article of Faith tells us which ordinances needs to be done first to get us on the gospel path.
5.      We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
This teaches us that in order to perform an ordinance, a man must have priesthood authority to do that ordinance.
When we receive opportunities to participate in priesthood ordinances, do all you can do to prepare for receiving the ordinance.  You can prepare to receive an ordinance by praying, fasting, talking with priesthood leaders, and reading and studying the scriptures. 
If you are a priesthood holder, you should also prepare spiritually to perform the ordinance by living a clean, worthy life and strive to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.
Bear Testimony

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

School Pictures 2013-2014

Jared - 6th grade - 12 years old

Isaac - 5th grade - 10 years old

Amelia - 2nd grade - almost 8 years old

Clara - 3 years old

If you are interested in comparing them to last year, click here.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sadness & Comfort from Heavenly Father

I was released from my calling in the Young Women's organization yesterday.  I had known for a few of weeks that it was coming.  As the time for being released was getting closer, I would experience times of great sadness.  This might not make sense to a lot of people, I mean it's just a calling.  But this was a calling that I loved.

For 5 years, I have loved these girls.   I loved serving with these beautiful young women in my ward.  I've watched them struggle, I've watched them grow and I have forged friendships with them based on gospel teachings and the influence of the Holy Ghost. I love the girls that I got to work with.  They helped me to be a better person.

Yes, some of the girls came and went.  But is was very rewarding to watch them grow, make good decisions, make temple covenants, go on missions, and start families.  Some of them made choices I would not choose for them, but I still love them and want them to be happy.

A weeks or so ago, I was having a pretty rough night.  It was during one of these times when I was grieving the loss of this life experience that I prayed, again.  I prayed to Heavenly Father and asked him to please comfort me.  I went to bed broken-hearted.

Shortly after I had turned off the light, my phone received a text from my friend Malia.  I hadn't heard from here for a few weeks because she had been busy with family stuff.  Our conversation started off normal enough, and she sent me a funny picture of her baby.  It made me laugh and forget about my sorrows for a few minutes.

It was then that I realized that she had been inspired to text me.  Malia doesn't normally text me at night, her texts usually come in the middle of the day.  I had asked for comfort and I was receiving it through my friend. Upon recognizing this, I sent her a text that said "Thanks for texting me tonight.  I was feeling super sad and you made me happy."  Then we were able to talk about how I was feeling and I felt understood and supported by my friend.

This past Thursday, I also received another message from my friend Jessica (who is currently the YW President in her ward in Texas).  Normal conversation at first, but then, we talked about my calling.  I was also able to receive comfort from her.

Friday started out fine but by the afternoon, I was feeling sad again.  Sometimes people make comments that they mean to be helpful or funny, but when you are hurting they don't translate well.  Also, I knew my husband would be "stopping by" to officially release me.

When he left our house in white shirt and tie to release some of the other leaders, I said a prayer again.  I was specific.  I told my Heavenly Father that I was hurting, I told him that I needed comfort, I told him that I needed a blessing from my husband, I told him I didn't want to be an emotional mess at church, and then I needed to go on a date.  The last one may seem weird, but I needed to get it off my mind and I needed to feel close to my husband.

When Nathan knocked on the front door - he really did, I momentarily thought about not opening it.  But I decided to let him in.  He sat down very officially and trying to lighten the mood and comfort myself, I went and sat on his lap and gave him a kiss.

Nathan:  "Do you always sit on Bishopric Members laps when they come over?"
Wendy: "Do you always kiss people you go to see?"
Nathan:  "Well, I do when they sit on my lap."

It was the perfect funny exchange to make the mood a little lighter.

Then he got down to "the business".  It was hard and I cried on his shoulder.  He told me he was sorry and offered other words of comfort.

When that part was all over, I said, "I need a blessing, and then I need you to take me out."

For a second he acted confused and then he said, "For a second I thought you wanted me to give you a blessing and then put you out of your misery."

My husband then was able to give me a blessing.  It was a blessing of comfort and strength.  Exactly what I was needing without telling him specifically.  I could feel the love of my Heavenly Father for me.

And a little later we went out on our date.

Saturday, my sister-in-law dropped by with some candy bars and simply said that she had heard that tomorrow might be hard for me, so here's some chocolate.

And yesterday when the change was officially made, I was ok.  It was hard and I avoided talking about it with a lot of people, but I didn't have the meltdown I thought I would.  I chalked it up to the strength that I had received from Nathan's blessing.

By the way.... the ladies who where called to serve after us are fantastic.  I have worked with most of them and I know the girls are in great hands.  But man alive, I am sure going to miss hanging with those girls twice a week!

So, why did I use that quote at the top and why am I putting all of this up on my blog?

The quote:
"The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes" —Jeffrey R. Holland

It reminds me that I need to move on now.  Yes, I can take the wonderful things I have learned and the experiences that I shared with the girls and apply them for my future, but I can't keep wishing that I was still in my old calling.

And I am putting all of this on my blog so that I have a record of it.  In the future I can look back at this experience and remind myself that when I pray and ask my Heavenly Father for comfort, he provides it.  He doesn't always take away the thing that is hard and causing pain, but he will give me strength and he will provide the means for comfort.

(For my other post about "What I Learned While Serving in the Young Women's Organizaiton, go here.)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Conference Quotes

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from General Conference a few weeks ago.

PS - I took these directly from the church's Google+ account.  It was so handy to just +1  them and share to keep track of what I liked.  If you haven't tried Google+, you should check it out.  And while you are at it, add me to your circle (+Wendy Harwood).

"True change—permanent change—can come only through … the Atonement of Jesus Christ.” #ElderNelson #ldsconf
The whole "change of heart" thing has had me intrigued for a while now, so I loved hearing this.

"We believe that the ultimate treasures on earth and in heaven are our children and our posterity." #ElderOaks #ldsconf

"Let us reach out to those for whom we are responsible."#PresMonson #ldsconf

“Success in His service always produces miracles beyond our own powers.” #PresEyring #ldsconf 

“The miracle of becoming one [in unity] requires the help of heaven, and it takes time.” #PresEyring #ldsconf
Patience, man I have a hard time with that one.

“Fatigue is the common enemy of us all–-so slow down, rest up, replenish, and refill.” #ElderHolland #ldsconf
This brings to mind a couple times I have needed to remind myself of this.  I posted about a couple of them here and here.

“What is said is not as important as what I hear and what I feel.”#ElderHales #ldsconf

“We must never allow doubt to hold us prisoner." #PresUchtdorf #ldsconf

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Nathan, Here is My Birthday List

My birthday is just over 2 weeks away.  This list is a not-so-subtle hint for my husband (+Nathan Harwood).

I would like the trim in my kitchen and hallway to be completed and painted.

I would like three sets of these United Curtain Co. Mansfield Valance in Plum for my kitchen.  They are on sale right now too!  Bonus!!

I would like the desk in the kitchen to look something like this, except for a 2 drawer filing cabinet on the bottom-left side instead of shelves and no shelves on the bottom-right.  One of the up-top shelves needs to be big enough for our printer.
Computer and Study Area
and a mixture of this.  I like how the desk comes out one side - in our house, have it come out not quite to the window.  (Note the 2 drawer filing cabinet in the correct place in this picture.)

I need a hole drilled through some of the shelves to run wires for printer, router, etc...  Also one hole from the bottom all the way to the top so I can hang a light.

Also, after playing with one of these at a YW activity this past week, I would like to add this to my list
A Cricut Expression Machine.
Cricut Expression® Machine

That is all!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Hunting in Wyoming

Last weekend, Nathan, the boys and I went to Wyoming to hunt deer.  The girls stayed with grandma and grandpa.

We went up through Provo Canyon and made the obligatory stop at Dairy Keen for a Train Burger and a shake for dinner.  YUMMY!
Then we were off to Kemmerer to spend the night.  My blurry picture of the sign leading us to our stop.

We stayed at the Best Western in Kemmerer.  It is a new hotel and was really nice.  They served breakfast that was reminiscent of our stay in St George.  Tons of good stuff.  Nathan was happy because they had biscuits and gravy.  They boys even went down to the indoor pool for an hour or so that night before heading to bed.

After eating breakfast we headed off to do some hunting.  It was cold and rainy.

Nathan giving me his ever-present onery photo look.

Even though we only saw antelope, Jared and Isaac had a great time!

In travelling down unfamiliar dirt roads, we came across this deserted place called Warfield Springs.  We spent a few minutes looking around at the rundown place.  It was a little creepy and I refused to get out of the truck.  In the movies when people come across an old deserted place like that, there is always a crazy person who kills them.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I'm Not Lost

I've been a little MIA the past week.  Not to worry though, I'm just trying to get caught up on things.

Last week I was called in for jury duty and was chosen to sit on the jury in a civil lawsuit auto-injury case.  It was 3 long days of listening and note taking followed by 4.5 hours of deliberations.  It was an exhausting and somewhat traumatizing experience.

So that has put me a little behind with the rest of my life.

The day before I started jury duty, I was able to hit Glade's with my love and have some lunch.  The food wasn't as good as I remember it being.  The shake was good - it is hard to mess up ice cream.

The first day of jury duty I went to lunch with some of the other jurors.  I found a friend in my french fries.

The boys also finished flag football.  Here they are with most of their team and their coach.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

General Relief Society Meeting Broadcast

This past Saturday I went to my Mom's stake center to watch the General Relief Society Meeting broadcast. My mother is the Stake Relief Society President for her stake and they always serve dinner to the women and then watch the broadcast.

I met up with one of my oldest and dear friends, Cristy.

After the broadast, I asked my mom to snap a picture of the two of us.

And because my mother is not so familiar with technology, she ended up taking about 10 pictures in rapid succession.  Here's the proof!

Then Cristy snapped one of me and my mom, where I suddenly looked stoned for no apparent reason.

The talks were amazing and I really felt the spirit.  If you want to go back and listen to some or all of the broadcast, click here.  You can watch, listen, download or print the messages.

One of the messages that really stuck with me was a quote from President Thomas S. Monson:

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Another Football Game - This Time With the Family

Last weekend we went to another BYU Football game.  This time we took all of the children and the outcome of the game was much more desirable.

A blurry picture of Nathan, his dad and Clara walking over to the stadium.  It's hard to take a picture, walk backwards and focus at the same time!

And of course, me being me, I had to document the outing with some pictures.

Nathan and I - is it me or does he look annoyed with me in this picture?

Jared and Isaac

Clara, Pa and Amelia - it was a little chilly that night.

I can get a little bored and distracted during the breaks at the end of the first and third quarter, so I took more pictures.   First, a selfie of Isaac and I.

Then we took some silly pictures.

They do this cool banner thing during the end of 3rd quarter break.  They turn it each time and it says different things on each side.

and because my attention knows no bounds, I took a panoramic shot.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Lunch Date With Malia and Baby Lew

Last week I went to lunch with my friend Malia, who declined to be photographed...

 and baby Lewis.  Isn't he a sweetie!

I love our texts to each other.  Here are a couple snapshots of our conversation about meeting for lunch.

Friends are the BEST!!!


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