Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My obsession with good quotes!

Okay, so...I guess you could say I am kind of a quote junkie. I absolutely love inspiring quotes, and I spend what could probably be considered an inordinate amount of time searching for them. Most of them are pretty self explanatory, and I won't comment on them, but this first one is fast becoming my new favorite (or one of the top 15 anyway...I know...like I said: I LOVE quotes. So I have a lot of favorites).

“Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true.”
—Robert Brault

"What on earth is so special about that quote?" you might ask. Usually, I am they type of person who will not bend the truth. I have pretty much prided myself in not lying or telling half-truths in order to spare someone's feelings. So this quote hit me pretty hard. And, at first, I sort of laughed at it. I thought "Yeah, that's exactly the kind of quote that someone who gets their feelings hurt at the slightest thing would come up with. Ridiculous!" So it didn't make my top quotes list.

The more I thought about it, the more it haunted me, so to speak. So I didn't think about it. I put it out of my mind, and I didn't even allow it a spot in my "quotes and inspirational stories" folder on my desktop. Or the one in my email, for that matter.

But tonight I was reading a booklet by Sheri Dew proclaiming the virtues of motherhood, and of helping to rear a righteous generation. There was one paragraph in the booklet that brought me right back to this quote as though it were written right there in black and white as well!
"Few of us will reach our potential without the nurturing of both the mother who bore us and the mothers who bear with us. I was thrilled not long ago to see one of my youth leaders for the first time in years. As a teenager who had absolutely no self-confidence, I always sidled up to this woman because she would inevitably put her arm around me and say, "You are just the best girl!" She showed me she loved me, so I was willing to let her lead me."

I realized in that moment that not everyone is born with the innate feelings of self-worth to realize their divine potential without help from others along the way. I certainly wasn't! I have had countless examples throughout in my childhood and adolescence and even into my adult life, of friends who could have spoken the truth, but instead chose words of kindness to buoy me up and give me confidence. For those, I will always be grateful, and I cherish those individuals as some of my dearest friends...in no small part because of their kind words.
Sheri Dew's story led me back the the oft-quoted Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: "Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being."

We are truly sons and daughters of a Heavenly Father who loves us, with divine qualities and a divine nature within us. I have found a new appreciation for those who are able to speak a kind word when the truth would be harsh; to treat people as the gems of tomorrow, instead of the diamonds in the rough of today.

Anyway...so that's my sappy quote story for the day. For all you fellow quote enthusiasts, here are a couple more of my favorites; and I will spare you my comments on these so you can simply enjoy them :)

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” - Elie Wiesel

"The awesomeness of His true perfection lies more in the good He never failed to do rather than the wrongs He never did." - Neal A. Maxwell

"We are not only our brother's keeper; in countless and small ways we are our brother's maker." -Bonaro Overstreet

"I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day." - Abraham Lincoln (I just have to say that I LOvE HiM!! What an incredible man!)

“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”
- John Wesley

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." - Plato

"Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed. The fact is most putts don't drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to be just people, most successful marriages require a high degree of toleration, most jobs are often more dull than otherwise. Life is like an old rail journey...delays, side tracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride." - Gordon B. Hinckley

“Be happy. Talk happiness. Happiness calls out responsive gladness in others. There is enough sadness in the world without yours. Never doubt the excellence and permanence of what is yet to be. Join the great company of those who make the barren places of life fruitful with kindness. Your success and happiness lie in you. The great enduring realities are love and service. Resolve to keep happy and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” -Helen Keller

"People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years creating and building, others could destroy overnight. Create and build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, will often be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough. Give the world the best you have anyway. You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway." - Mother Teresa

“It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.” - John Wooden

“A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.” -Unknown

"There's one sad truth in life I've found
While journeying east and west -
The only folks we really wound
Are those we love the best.
We flatter those we scarcely know,
We please the fleeting guest,
And deal full many a thoughtless blow
To those who love us best."
-Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Monday, August 1, 2011

South Dakota

Our most recent adventure was a trip to South Dakota to see Mt. Rushmore and the other sites. Ralph, Reghan and I went last year, and the other kiddos thought they would like to go too, so we took everyone back again this year. I have to say, I love that place! The kids love all the attractions around the area, but I just love Mt. Rushmore! I guess patriotic stuff like that just gets to me...I'm grateful that we live close enough to get to see it :)
So here we are at the monument...

And riding on the alpine slide in Keystone:

Carlie and I found a new favorite place to ride! And I'm sure everyone in the pickup was a little more comfortable with the extra room :)

The kids loved Reptile Gardens! I am not really a reptile fan, so I wasn't all that excited about going, but I have to admit it was pretty cool. They got to pet snakes, alligators, and giant tortoises, and had a great time. Reghan's favorite was the giant tortoise "Crush," (she thinks it's the sea turtle from Finding Nemo), and the sand box. Aghh...we could've stayed home and played in the sandbox :)

Adventures at the Cosmos...

We have four fish for kids (which is fine with me, but I don't understand how such a thing could happen to Ralph! He doesn't even like water). Anyway, thanks to our little fishies, we had to pay a visit to Watiki Waterpark. It's the largest indoor waterpark in somewhere...probably in South Dakota, but maybe in the region, I don't know. Anyway, lots for kids to do...everyone slept soundly that night! Reghan got brave and went down the kids slides by herself. Then she got really brave and went down the tube slide with Nate. He had strict instructions to keep her above water at all times...and he did a pretty good job of it :) She LOVED it! She screamed for about half of the ride, then would jump out and say "come on Bubba!" on her way back up the stairs. Ryann, Carlie, Ralph and Nate spent most of their time on the tube slides or playing basketball, and I pretty much just chased Reghan and floated my way around the lazy river getting sprayed and cooled down :) Fun times.

And...this is the only proof I have that I actually went on the trip, so just thought I'd throw that out there. Reghan had no intention of leaving Robin Hood and Prince John at Storybook Island, so we had to have a little race back to the truck. I love her competitive nature...and that it works for everything from leaving places to cleaning up toys. If I mention a race, she is determined to win :)

Home Projects

Yes, sometimes we get the urge to fix up some part of our home during the summer. Actually, that urge happens a lot more often than you might think...it's just that it doesn't always come with a lot of motivation. But Ralph did decide that he'd had enough of our deck being painted this ugly brown color (with about 3/4 of it chipped off), so he and Nate took it apart, planed it all off, and to our pleasant surprise, it was redwood underneath. So he put it back together and put a clear stain over it - it looks so good! I'm so glad he knows so much about home repairs and remodeling. He's definitely handy to have around! :D

Notice the large gap on the end...yeah, the boards had shrunk a bit since the deck was built 10 years ago. When they got it all put back together, oops. We had a 4 inch gap with no board to fill it. Nothing that a quick trip to Home Depot won't fix. With redwood at $17 a board, I'm glad it was only a 4" gap we needed to fill :)
Thanks boys, you do good work!

Park Time!!

So, Reghan and I get so incredibly bored at home all day. She LOVES, LOVES the park, and we try to frequent as many parks in Casper as we can find. Her favorite is the "pink one" in these pictures.

It's so blasted hot right now that we can only bear to go in the morning or evening, and she's usually sleeping during those times (I can't believe she's probably growing again!! At 2 yrs old, she already wears a size 4...). So we have been trying to fill the midday hours with some other way to get out of the house. Ryann and Carlie have never been ice skating in their sheltered lives, so that was a recent adventure ;). All three girls had a lot of fun, so we'll have to make that one a hot summer day tradition. The ice rink feels SO GOOD!

Another fun choice for cooling off in the middle of the hot day is heading to the lake! We haven't done nearly enough of this for my liking - we've spent so much time traveling this summer that there hasn't been time. But we have been out a few times, and the kiddos had some fun tube rides. Ryann got up on her first wakeboarding try...and Nate found that much to his dismay, his feet don't really fit in the wakeboard anymore. Ahh, the joys of growing ;)
Carlie and Nate found some short cliffs to jump off, so if I find those pictures, I will post them later. Nate and Ralph also found some not so short cliffs to jump off at Flaming Gorge. I think they measured them at about 65 feet - they are brave boys, that's for sure! And they were hurting boys, for a while after those jumps. But, good times, and the video is priceless! I'll see if I can edit it down and get some of that on here as well.