Monday, November 3, 2008

October Snapshots

The Queen Bee with her baby!


Since it's been awhile, I thought I'd post some of the exciting things our family is doing. October was really busy for our family. The kids had a break from school for 2 1/2 weeks, so we started out with a trip to Disneyland (leaving Talmage with Aunt Jenny). Just a few days after we got back, Savannah, Talmage and I went to Richmond for a few days to visit Aunt Missy. While we were there, we hung out with the Bybee family, saw the James River, the Richmond Folk Festival, the Zoo, and (one of my favorites) a store called "For The Love of Chocolate"! Savannah and I also took off for one day to go to Busch Gardens, Williamsburg. Finally, last week we celebrated Talmage's first birthday, the boys' seventh birthday and Halloween! Whew! I'm glad it's over! I need a vacation from all this partying!
As I look back at the past month, I'm reminded of a conversation I had with my mom about four or five years ago when I told her we were not going to take a family vacation that year because we felt the boys were just too difficult to transport long distances! In a very nice, but urgent, tone she encouraged me to make memories with my children. I'll never forget the way she said it. It was one of those conversations that I don't remember the exact words she used, just her motherly intuition and her great sense of concern. While we did not make a trip that year, Cody took some time off of work and we tried to do some fun things around town. I'm grateful for a Mom that showed her children that life is fun, no matter how much money you spend or how imperfect the circumstances are!
At times I have doubts that I'm doing enough to foster the emotional and spiritual growth of these little ones. I'm aware of how much time it takes to raise a child. Times it by four and it's enough to run me ragged. Fortunately, It's getting easier to see the fruits of my labors as my children get older. I rejoice in the little things they do that show me I might be doing an okay job as a mom.
Two recent experiences come to mind. First, there was a program at church that all of the children participated in on a Sunday this past month. Cody and I could hear a very loud child singing (louder than the rest of the children). Every song was sung with almost perfect accuracy in lyrics and pitch. This particular child , bless his/her heart, stood out so much that I was quite surprised at how he/she belted out the songs and thought, perhaps, that the integrity of the music did not call for such strong singing. I looked all around and could not determine who it was. When the program was finished, I asked my daughter who it was and she said it was her!!! I really was shocked. She doesn't normally sing in such a way. Apparently, the leaders said it was important for the kids to sing out because they couldn't hear them very well during the program rehearsals. So, my daughter took it upon herself to be responsible for making sure everyone heard the many songs that they had been working on all year! I'm sure the Heavens are smiling down on that girl!
The second experience was yesterday, when I stayed home from church with all of my boys because Talmage was sick with a fever. Because it was an unusually long meeting (a conference) we kept the older boys home as well. They had dutifully gotten dressed, however, in their button down shirts and slacks. When I asked Grant if he wanted to change he said, "No, Mom, because I want to show respect to Jesus."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Most recent major events...

In August, we attended a family reunion (my side) in Hesperus, CO. We had a great time participating in our "Family Olympics" with all 7 of my siblings and their families (Scroll down to see picture). I think the final tally was 29 adults and 28 children, with only one nephew missing--he is serving a mission in Las Vegas, NV. While there, we also were able to hold a small ceremony to dedicate the remains of my mom, Carolyn Young Larsen, who passed away in January. We were also happy to welcome my dad's new companion Norma, to the family! 

I look back on the experience of coming together with my family with many strong emotions. I am very grateful for the men and women that my siblings have become. Looking at them, it is easy to see that my mother's legacy lives on in each of her children. What a powerful force for good she left behind! I am confident that her influence will continue for generations. I have personally resolved to emulate her optimistic nature, her love for others, and her joy of living. 

As I was about to leave my boys' room tonight, the thought occurred to me that I should stick around and create one of those lasting moments--just like the ones that are etched in my mind of my own mother wrapping her arms around me and listening to my worries and fears. I hate to admit it, but sometimes I ignore that thought because of the many tasks that await me around the house. The question comes to mind, however, "How many times did my mother hold me before the experience became a permanent part of my memory that almost seems tangible?" When it comes to my children, I'll try to err on the side of more frequent occurences. I want them to never doubt the love that I have for them. Just as I never doubted the love my mother had for me.

I love the recent article in the August Ensign by President Thomas S. Monson. One of my favorite quotes states: 

How fragile life, how certain death. We do not know when we will be required to leave this mortal existence. And so I ask, "What are we doing with today?" If we live only for tomorrow, we'll eventually have a lot of empty yesterdays. Have we been guilty of declaring, "I've been thinking about making some course corrections in my life. I plan to take the first step--tomorrow"? With such thinking, tomorrow is forever. Such tomorrows rarely come unless we do something about them today.

For the full article:

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Update on the Morgans!

The Morgans are jumping on the blogging bandwagon! And it's not even that hard! Alicia is very excited to have a way of telling the world about the wonderful things our family is doing and the small lessons that we are learning through trial and observation. We invite you to take part in our journey as our little family strives to grow and enjoy our time together. Life with four children is NEVER dull. 

For those who haven't seen us in awhile, let me catch you up to speed. Cody is doing really well in his photography business. Check out his website He is the Sunday School President for our local church organization.

Alicia continues to teach voice privately. She has private as well as group classes in session. She is also continuously working on writing and arranging her own music...So much to do, so little time to do it! She is the Young Women's Secretary in the local LDS church congregation. (Can you believe it? There's actually no music involved!). Check out some of her projects with Jeanni Gould--a favorite is "Only This Morning"from the CD "A Woman's Heart," but she is involved in most of Jeanni's other projects, as well.  Jeanni Gould - Award Winning LDS Songwriter and Author

Savannah is still passionate about horses and other animals. She is taking horseback riding lessons and piano. Most of the time, however, she can be found with her nose stuck in a book--she is averaging one chapter book a day!

Grant is enjoying first grade and just started tennis lessons. He also enjoys playing the wii--he is so good that he's already surpassed the skills of his father!

Hunter is also in first grade, taking tennis lessons, and getting really good on the wii! He will be playing "Christopher Columbus" in his class play. 

Talmage "the tank engine" is already walking (since the day he turned 10 months). He is he happiest baby in the world. We love his rolls of fat! His only flaw is that he loves mom a little too much. She can't go anywhere without him freaking out unless Dad is there to take her place!