Saturday, December 8, 2007

The end of the Thanksgiving Break Crazies...atleast I think so...

Finally, a picture of Joe Smiling! However, it isn't hard to smile when you have a daughter as adorable as RayRay!
Amber's Angels...doesn't Addi look like a human Minnie Mouse? Macee and Austin look soooo cute!

Ladies and gentlemen, the antics of Uncle Justin! First we see him and his fabulous family! Lanae and Lane are too cute! Then we see him getting up close and personal with Raylee as she and Kiersten strike a pose.









Austin gets strawberry happy!(I wish I could have gotten his strawberry dance on tape...it was priceless... he is so much like his uncle at that age its frightening...)




Ahh the happy couple!




So....I found all my pics of Aaron and Holly's open house wedding reception in Idaho Falls, along with a video that was too fun not to share. Aaron discovered as he mingled with the various people that came to wish him and his new bride well that Addi didn't appreciate a game of follow the leader....however, between you all and me, I think Addi ate it up and actually enjoyed the extra attention from her uncle- especially because it was his big day and very few people were paying attention to her.


More Thanksgiving Break Insanity


video

Here is a video of Addi that was too cute to keep to myself. Addi is dancing at our Karaoke party!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Crazy Thanksgiving!!!!









Well y'all, sorry its been a while since I've blogged. I've been a busy bee! Its all a downhill slope to finals and I have had a lot to do since I'm not only a student, I'm also a teacher! It seems like everyone is wanting a piece of the diva right now...but I'm managing. I just finished writing a book critique and a 15 minute presentation on the said book...yea for voice pedagogy....yea for grad school...yea for music classes nonstop!...

Well, I thought I would tell you all about my Thanksgiving break.
Thanksgiving came and went without a hitch. My boyfriend arrived safely on Wednesdayfrom Houston and we were connected at the hip the whole time he was there...it was lovely!

Thanksgiving day was crazy...dinner was an hour late and would have been later if Seth hadn't pitched in to help...I felt so bad that he was helping, he was supposed to be a guest, but everyone seemed to be doing their own thing and didn't mind that dinner was going to be super late...I've decided that for Christmas dinner I am assigning the sides. I am going to make the Prime Rib and the pies (Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake and Razzleberry) but everything else will be assigned...everyone is married now but me, and I may not always be around to make sure traditions happen. I have complete confidence however that with a little extra tuteladge Amber will be able to take over the madness(just kidding, she could do it now if I let her...) Besides, what good is a top secret turkey and prime rib recipe if you don't share it with atleast one person, right?

On Thursday night Aaron and Holly came to the apartment that Seth and I were staying in (there were 2 bedrooms!) and asked if we wanted to go see a movie...Holly has a family tradition that they see a Christmas movie on Thanksgiving Day and wanted to carry it on. We ran into Amber at the Wal*Mart parking lot when we took Aaron and Holly to get some cash (they just got married and switched to a joint banking account and had yet to get new debit cards...) Amber begged and pleaded her cause for Black Friday help...Seth, a Black Friday Virgin, agreed to go- we planned to meet up at Wally World at 4 AM....! We then went and saw "Fred Claus" which was cute! However, I had a migraine through half the movie and was ready to toss my cookies by the time we left. Seth sensed a disturbance in the force as we drove up through Ammon and into the hills to look at the city lights. He rushed in with his white charger and saved the day! He took me home and put me to bed. He stroked my hair and massaged my head until I fell asleep...awwwww....
We had some extra special fun on Friday. We went Black Friday shopping with Amber and her friend Ashley we got up at 3 AM and debated if we really wanted to go and at 3:45 we both decided that we siad we'd go so we should, so merrily (and slowly) rolled onward and upward for our 4AM meeting time...there was a minor catastrophe and Ashley ended up going to the hospital...no it wasn't from the shopping, and she is fine- no letters of concern, please... We all went to IHOP for breakfast after we conquered Wal* Mart...Amber managed to get most of her shopping done there (yea for price matching) but Seth and I were completely exhausted. We swore to each other that if we get married and have kids we WON'T get into the Black Friday craze...he was a Black Friday virgin and Amber put him in electronics...electronics at Wal*Mart is not exactly an easy feat for a first timer to Black Friday, but Seth managed it masterfully! I posted a few of our IHOP pics...I managed to pick up a digital camera in the midst of the insanity (actually Amber bought it since I didn't bring my purse and she still owed me some money, I wrote her a check for the difference)
On Friday night we went to Amber's house for a sibling date night. After a delicious din din of stroganoff covered baked potatoes we sang Karaoke...I have to say the highlight of the night was Aaron's rendition of "You make me feel like a natural woman" (as you can see from the pic he was totally feeling like a natural woman by the end of the song...) and his ever popular impersonation of the chinese guys from A Christmas Story singing "Deck the Halls" or should I say "Deck the Hawrs.." The kids ate it up! It was awesome to watch them dance around. It was the best, they were so cute...they even sang a rendition of "It isn't any trouble to S-M-I-L-E" super adorable...Austin is such a stage hog! He takes after his auntie

After Karaoke we played Catch Phrase and the Boys got all huffy cuz they lost both times. The first time we decided to give them a redo because some of the rules weren't clear...but when we rematched we still kicked some butt! It was the best...boys are such sore losers.
Seth and I stayed at Amber's house until 12:30 and she asked him some tough questions...which I'm glad for...really, I am. We had such a great time, I hope we get to have a chance to do it again. I wish Kiersten and Joe could have stayed beyond dinner, it would have been fun to see Joe bust loose on Karaoke..I bet he's a paaaarty animal! And Kiersten and I missed our yearly opportunity to serenade someone with "She's my kind of rain" I think this year it would have been Holly's turn to recieve a special dedication, but no luck since Kiersty poo left!

Seth left on Saturday morning...I started to cry in the morning a little, he wiped my tears and spent extra time with me that he should have spent getting ready. He told me I had 5 minutes to miss him and every time I cried I was eating up the time...When he finally started his car, he opened the door to the backseat. We both got in the back and talked and said goodbye as we waited for the car to warm-up. Once he left, you can bet that I fully used the last of the 5 minutes I had left...I went into my parents apartment and cried my guts out...almost literally, it felt like my guts were going to come out...but I was a good girl, I only cried for 3 minutes and decided to try to buck up... I went to the computer and started a new countdown until I get to see him on facebook and myspace...but it seems like this countdown is taking a lot longer than the other one...oh well...c'est la vie...I will be in Houston on December 26th, it can't come soon enough.

Saturday we went to Leo's Pizza for a Winberg family reunion. We don't get together often with my real dad's family, but when we do it is always a blast (the pictures of Addi with pizza face and my family say it all!) Everyone was asking me about grad school and what I've been up to and they all said how proud they were of me...it helped so much to hear that, it made me feel like my dad would be proud of me too if he were here... that night was Aaron and Holly's open house. I did Holly's hair and her mom said that she liked it better than she had liked it on Holly's wedding day, which made me feel so good- yep, I still got it when it comes to hair and makeup! We got to see family and have a good time chatting before and during the open house..it was a good day! I saw Brother Barnes, one of my old Pocatello Institute teachers and he kept gushing about how fabulous I looked...he said grad school has done me a world of good...I didn't know I looked that bad before...(I joke, I joke!)


Well, its late...those are the major events of the week, it was nice to see everyone and I am looking forward to next week and coming home for a month long break (well a week of that break will be spent in Houston with Seth and his family, which I'm super excited about! Don't worry, I'll take pictures!)

Hugs and Kisses until next time!

Britt

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pleasant Suprises...

Hello again all,

Well, Thanksgiving is once again upon us...its amazing to think how fast a year goes by, before we know it, it will be January 1st! Well, I found out this week that I have been offered an audition with the Ohio Light Opera on November 30...wish me luck, I'll need it. My friend Joel, who was offered an audition as well, lovingly mentioned today that the audition is in Salt Lake City on the 30th and that our big Concerto Aria competition (that we are both competing in) is the next day at noon. We have a long weekend of driving ahead. The plan is to leave Thursday afternoon at 2 PM, drive to Idaho Falls, spend the night there with my family then leave in the morning for Salt Lake and play for the day before our audition. Then, we have to turn around after our auditions are over at 5 PM, drive back to IF, spend the night again and then leave early in the morning on Saturday to make it back for the Concerto Aria competition... oh yeah, good times, but a pleasant suprise none the less.

If I wasn't two seconds away from being driven insane I don't think I would know what to do with myself.

Speaking of being 2 seconds from insane, I have three days until D-Day...or should I say S-Day, the day when Seth is finally out of Houston and with me. I am eagerly anticipating this because of what is riding on it...without giving too much away, a lot is riding on this following week going well. I am trying not to think about it too much. I just want to enjoy Thanksgiving, cooking enough to feed a small army, and spending time doting on my loving boyfriend. I guess I'm starting to put a foot off the "go with the flow" wagon, need to make sure that I pick it back up before I go rolling off the wagon completely and eat dust!

I am super excited to see my family. I miss them all so much, but being away has been good for me. I'm not as close so I don't have to be as involved as I used to feel like I had to be, and I worry less about them, although they are always in my thoughts and prayers. It has also been good for me and my older sister Amber, I don't know if it's just me, but I find myself feeling a lot closer to her than I've been in a long time. I feel like we are reforming that a bond that got lost somewhere between junior high and high school... it is so nice to call her and talk every day, I really find myself being so grateful for the little chats that we have. I love listening to her and helping her...I love that she seems to finally acknowledge me as an equal, or atleast a grown up... I love her to pieces and I am super excited to spend time with her where I can spare it this week.

My brother just got married...which means (insert scary realization music here DUH DUH DUH!) I am officially the last single sibling in the Winberg family. All I can say is, I hope that my dad is proud of me where ever he is...I held off...I do seem to recall him telling me when I turned 11 that boys were bad and that I should stay very far away from them, except for my brother...he was good by association to dad...I didn't think he thought I would take it so much to heart for so long (tee hee...) So I am also looking forward to a fun filled weekend with the open house in IF and all of the lovely stares and pitied glances from relatives who feel so sorry for my tragic state of singledom...Truth...I could care less, I love my life. For the first time in a long time I am perfectly content. I have faith and I know that there are bigger and better things out there for me, I know that God will direct me to where he needs me and to who needs me. Maybe the glances won't be so pitying when they hear that I have a beau...that is if he still wants to be my beau after putting up with my family...(LOL [wink wink])

Well, cheers and Happy Turkey Day, I hope you all gorge yourselves on triptophan ( I think that is how you spell it) and pumpkin pie (or in my family's case pumpkin cheesecake, cheesecake with homemade berry sauce, and apple pie...I love cooking for a crowd, its my biggest thrill in life!)

Hugs and Kisses All!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Autumn Randomness...

WOW!!!! So, its Veteran's Day and apparently in Montana not only do the banks, post office, and courthouse close, but so do the schools...so Brittany is enjoying a fabulous day off. Oh wait, but it isn't really REALLY a day off...nope, I get the joy of opera rehearsal, awwwww... why oh why can't people just learn their music, I ask you? Oh well, life goes on and so do the blizzard warnings. That's right folks, we have a blizzard warning up here in Missoula, if the weather continues on like this its going to make that 5 hour trip home to Idaho Falls a 7 hour trip and the Monida pass into bad news bears...I guess everyone can just continue to pray that I make it without a scratch (on me or Sophie- my car..yes, my car's name is Sophie...)

I am soooo excited for Thanksgiving its disgusting. I have to call mom and make sure that she has done atleast the shopping for the turkey, it will need to be defrosted before I get home as I can't get home until Tuesday, and a completely frozen turkey usually has to sit in a cold water bath for 3 days (there you all learned something new...) I've spent all morning looking up recipes! This year will be especially big because I have a man coming...that's right and not just any man, MY MAN! Seth is coming from Houston, and I can hardly wait. He wants to help me cook, but knowing what a kitchen commando I am it will be interesting to see if I can resist the urge to scoot him out. I did promise, however, that I would be nice to him and let him help me- he is stoked to cook with me (between you and me, I think he is more stoked to learn my top secret turkey recipe...my turkey is LEGENDARY!) I am super excited because I found a recipe for pumpkin cheesecake...which means I have one less pie to make if I can combine the recipes...cheesecake in my house is a holiday tradition, I don't think anyone would forgive me if some form of cheesecake wasn't on the table.

Well...speaking of holiday traditions, I am super stoked to go christmas shopping! It is totally going to rock! I love shopping, especially for other people, and I am one of those freaks who genuinely enjoys giving more than getting presents (granted I won't whine and complain if I do recieve...) My favorite is watching my nieces and nephew with their Christmas presents, its so funny to watch them open them. I remember last year getting the pleasure of watching them open presents from Santa and Austin got super psyched over a pair of socks...SOCKS! I remember being a kid and wincing if I got clothes, bring on the good stuff! But Amber and Kelly have done such a wonderful job making sure that their kids are super greatful for anything and super excited for just about any big party type situation. I only hope and pray that I can have that same kind of effect on my kids someday.

Well, now that you've all heard me ramble I have to go. I have to finish getting ready to leave for opera rehearsal! Yahoo for Gianni Schicci.

Hugs and Kisses!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Still Kvelling!

Okay...so my yiddish isn't as great as I had hoped it would be by this time in my life...but that doesn't mean I can't a kvelling (kuh-vell-ing for those of you who don't know) or fashuganah...but I'm mostly kvelling. I won the District Metropolitan Opera Auditions here in Montana, next step Regionals in Seattle...and then, dare I say it Nationals in New York City onstage at the Met working with their coaches and piano players....I really don't know what to say or think. I am just counting my blessings and I am so grateful for the chance to show my stuff. I've tried now 3 times at the Met audition, the first two times with little or no success and now the third time is a charm!

It meant so much to me to have all my friends cheering me on. For the first time in my life I celebrated something...I mean REALLY celebrated, I went to the fanciest restaurant in town with my friends and spent $40 on dinner...no I didn't buy for everyone- that was just for me! That's right, your Brittany Ann decided to go uptown (or atleast as uptown as you can get in Missoula, MT)

Of course the first person I called was my boyfriend...I've really come to rely on him...its scary and sad to think about the possiblity that someday he may be there, he is the first person I want to share good news with and the first person I want to run to when I am having a bad day...I've never experienced that...I usually just want to tell family when good things are going on and I usually keep my stresses to myself- but he has changed all that. Perhaps I won't have my semesterly nervous breakdown, I won't have it because I get to complain all I want to my Sethie and listen to him complain too...its a beautiful thing we've got going.

So, the countdown to the Met is on! I already have to think about changing my program, which means I will be learning a new aria...AGAIN...but an even better countdown is going on- 20 days people...20 days and I get to be in my Sethie's arms! I am completely Kvelling now! 20 days and I get to kiss him and be all ooglie eyed...

Moving right along...the semester is half over here at UM...WOOHOOO... I Just hope I can get my stuff in order, especially since I have a recital to learn music for. Heres hoping!

Monday, October 15, 2007

AHHHHHH the power of...not being sick!


Ahhh the power of.... not being sick! Hello all you bloggeriffic peoples! Well, let me start this blog by telling you all that for the last 2 weeks I have been sick as a dog. I actually stayed home from school- this is huge considering that as a music major you learn early on to believe that it is the end of the world and that everyone will die if you don't come to school...but I decided that prevention in this case would be key. I have the Metropolitan Opera Auditions on the 28th of October and I can't afford to be ill. I want to succeed this year rather than just suck...not that I do, but for some reason in my last 2 attempts at the Met, I've found reasons that I completely suck...but moving right along...So now I am no longer ill- go me! I had a somewhat disappointing voice lesson today, I don't know what it is, I just felt off...but then I went to opera rehearsal and rocked everyone's world- oh well, you win some, you lose some.

I have to say that I am so grateful for friends. While I was sick it seemed like they weren't in short supply, this is something I'm not used to, but it is something that I loved. My friend Aneta (and my office mate, we share!) brought me some lovely, delicious Polish Chicken soup (she is from Poland, so it was authentic.) and my friends Joel, Luke, and Reinet called me to check in and make sure I wasn't dead...and my "husband" (well, he isn't yet, but if I get my way...and I always do...) Seth called me everyday and demanded that I stay in bed. He forbade me to cook- which is huge considering that more often than not you'll find me in a kitchen if I'm not locked away in a practice room somewhere. It was such a blessing.

I am trying really hard to notice the little things that enrich my life and make it so great. In fact, why don't I go ahead and share with you all my first happy thought of the day- the first blessing that I recognized...this morning as I walked up Poplar street towards Van Buren street on my way to school, I noticed how many autumn leaves were everywhere...I had to chuckle to myself, they were so deep that you couldn't see my feet and my mind wandered back to days gone by, days when my dad and mom would be trying to rake the leaves up in our front yard on Coachman Drive and the exhilaration as my brother, two sisters, and I conspired to jump in the piles at the most opportune moment...all of a sudden I wanted to find a rake and make a huge pile, I wanted to dive into the brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows and make leaf angels (so much better than snow angels because you don't get cold and wet...)

And that is when it hit me...Thank God for my wonderful family and the years I got to spend making fantastic vivid memories like that, thank God that I am not sick anymore and can feel the crunch of these leaves under my feet, thank God I'm ALIVE... that I can still make wonderful memories and experience this beautiful Autumn time.

Autumn has always been my favorite season, maybe it is because my birthday is in the Autumn and I just like the fact that I can be selfish and focus on me me me , but I think the real reason is that Fall is the time that I have the most happy childhood memories, most of the memories of my dad are in the Autumn...I miss him so much around this time that it hurts. I wish he could be here to experience this beautiful time with me, that he could find that rake for me and rake all the leaves up and pretend to be upset when I ruin his perfect pile. I know that he is all around me, that he watches me and is proud of me, but I wish I could hear him, see him, and feel him. I wish he could be here to make new memories and help me to remember old ones.

I am so lucky to be alive, I am so lucky to be able to feel...even if it is a bittersweet kind of pain that it is that I'm feeling, it is in realizing your feelings, in accepting and acknowledging how God blesses you every day that you know how truly alive you are. I've never used drugs but I would imagine that there is no greater high than the high you get when you see just how much help you get from all around you every day.

I am so lucky to be able to make new memories, to be able to meet new people, make new friends and forge ahead through life- ready to tackle everything.

So, do me a favor bloggers, take a minute to acknowledge and see the little blessings in your life, even if it is something as small as being grateful for the crunch of Autumn leaves under your feet...it always leads to the recognition of blessings in your life that are bigger and greater. After you've taken note of this little blessing take a deep breath, and thank the Lord for that little blessing and acknowledge how lucky you are to be alive to experience it.

We are SOOOO lucky, we get to live...we get to grow and become better...we get the opportunity to be more than we are. OWN THAT! Accept it, embrace it and move forward!
Onward and upward.

Hugs and kisses until next time, I'll be rooting for you all.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Thoughts on Conference

Yes, that's right- this Diva is a Mormon, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and she's proud of it! The last 2 days have been incredible, I always love conference weekend because it is an opportunity for me to gain more knowledge and be spiritually edified by the words of people called and set apart by authority to hold higher offices in the church. It seemed like a lot of this conference focused on initiating understanding between us as members of the LDS church and our friends of other faiths. The spirit knows what everyone needs to hear, and given the recent headlines that the church has made as one of our members is running for president of these United States, I can definitely see why. Its given me a lot to self evaluate about...how much do I really know about the church and church history, do I know how to answer tough questions- in my line of work I make many friends of other faiths, and I have dealt with questions; however, they were not as easy to answer as I would have liked.

One of the General Authorities noted that it is difficult to answer questions about the church because often times the doctrine goes much deeper than people are prepared to hear... But boldly, and much better prepared after hearing the messages of the servants of the Lord I am now going to share my testimony with you.

I know that Jesus is the Christ, I know that his love for all of us is so deep and pure that he was prepared to give his life and suffer for us so that we may live eternally and be freed from the binding chains of sin. I know that in accepting him as my Savior I'm making a covenant to live as he would have me live, to follow the commandments, read and study my scriptures to learn more about his will, and follow the guidance of the prophets in these the latter days.

I know God lives, an embodied being with infinite power and love. I know that God knows each of us individually and has since before we were born. I know that I am here on this earth to be tested and at the end of this testing period, if I live the way He would have me live, I can return to him and stand at his right hand.

I know that Joseph Smith was a ture prophet and that he saw God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ in the sacred grove. I know that the church he formed is the true restored gospel of Jesus Christ...how can it not be? The restored church answers so many of life's troubling questions: Who am I? I am a daughter of a heavenly father and mother who loved us enough that they wanted us to progress further than our spiritual state that we were all in before our existence here on this earth. I am Brittany Ann Winberg, a daughter of goodly earthy parents who taught me in the ways of righteousness and blessed me with the knowledge of the fully restored gospel in my life... Why am I here? I am here to be tested, I am here to learn and grown and gain a physical body. I am here to work out my salvation and become more like my heavenly parents. I know that at the close of my testing period here on this earth I will be blessed with the opportunity to be ressurected- pure and whole- and recieve a chance, according to my works and my ability to keep the commandments- to become like God. I know that his birthright is infinite and that I am an heir, an heir that like all my other brothers and sisters (which is basically everyone) I will recieve all that God has in the same abundance that he has it now, it will not be divided or less- but will grow- like His infinite love grows for all of His children...

There are many more questions answered the deeper you delve into the Gospel principles and the more you learn. The Gospel is a message of peace, a message of purpose, it is a knowledge that we are not alone and NEVER will be... it is a knowledge that we will live again.

I know that the Gospel message is found in the Bible, as far as it is translated correctly, and in the Book of Mormon, another Testament of Jesus Christ. It is stated in the bible that all truth must be declared by the mouth of two or three witnesses, the Book of Mormon is truly as the title states Another Testament of Jesus Christ. I know that Christ and his message are apparent and obvious in the Book of Mormon, and that if any man follow the promptings of the book to read and pray about what you have read, that they can not deny the truths held inside it, but that goes back to prayer- and asking with pure intent to know the truth- by the power of the Holy Ghost, by the light of Christ, you WILL know the truth of all things. I know that all sacred scripture holds records and messages that can be used in our daily lives to help us to more fully understand the will of the Lord. I hope to teach my future children to Love the Lord their God and to want to know more about him through daily scripture study and prayerful examination of the passages that they read.

I know that famlies can be together forever because the prophet Elijah returned to the earth inside the temple to Joseph Smith and restored the Cealing power. I know that if I remain worthy and keep my gospel standards firm, someday I will be able to enter into the temple with someone who has kept themselves just as worthy, and that we will be married not only for time, but for Eternity. I know that the covenants I will make someday in the temple will not only bind my husband to me forever, but my children, and their children and so forth.

I know that Gordon B. Hinckley is God's prophet today. I ask you all, if God is a loving God, would he ask us to continue through life without added direction, direction for our day? The answer is no, it is a resounding no! GOd loves us, he would not leave us to figure this thing called life out all alone, that is why the latter day gospel is so important...we know that god can and does speak to us today through his servants the prophets.

I believe in the power of prayer. I know that anything is possible- you need only ask, and according to His will, God will answer your prayers. I believe in the power of personal revelation, I have seen it and felt it work in my own life. I believe that if I approach God with an open mind and heart he will give me the answers that I seek directly. I belive in the power of the Holy Ghost, I know that he is my constant companion- always directing me to the truth, always protecting me and keeping me away from those who wish to harm me and out of harmful situations.

I believe in the power of good families, I know that the family is the most basic unit of society and much of the future depends on people keeping their families strong and together. I know that this is the most sure way to change the path that the world is on right now. The world would have us believe that marriage is just a piece of paper, that sex is a recreational activity and that it is okay to participate in the act as long as you "really like eachother". The world teaches that money is all important, and that children shouldn't be brought into the world because of the great expense that they can bring into a household. I resoundingly and boldly say-

WORLD YOU ARE WRONG! Marriage is NOT just a piece of paper, it is a divine covenant between you, your spouse, and GOD...that as long as you remember that God is part of the relationship you can weather any storm because you have his mighty power to watch over you. Marriage is the ULTIMATE display of love in its purest form, it is a contract entered into when each person knows that the other shares similar goals and hopes for the future, and that together they ask God to bless their future to be as prosperous as they have faith for it to be.

Sex is part of a Godly power, the Godly power that WOMEN have to house children in their womb and the Godly power that man and woman have together to create life. This act should not be entered into lightly and should most definitely not be used before the covenant of marriage is in place. It is an expression of love that goes deeper than " I think I'll still be able to stand you in the morning..." it goes deep enough to say "I know that I can trust you, I want to create life with you, I know that you will be there forever." It is the misuse of this sacred act and the acceptance of society that this is okay or the "norm" that is causing a quick downward spiral to the family. Children are born to households where they don't have the love of 2 parents with the same goal in mind to raise them...parents are forced to work outside the home because, being single, they must to make ends meat...as a result, we are raising a generation of children being raised by Mister Rogers, Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer, and Daycare. Young women, unprepared for motherhood, leave the most precious gift that god could give them in plastic bags and garbage cans...violence raises in the world as children have fewer and fewer solid role models to teach them how to be upstanding members of society.

Children are the most precious of God's gifts. Husband and wife should look forward to the day that they can have children and not put it off because "we don't have the money" or "I want to focus on my career right now." I say to you that if you are living within your means you WILL be able to find the money to take care of your children, yes it means that you may have to make some sacrifices...so you can't eat out every other day of the week, or you can't buy that new handbag that you don't really need, but really just want...but isn't the sacrifice worth it? Isn't it worth it to be entrusted by God to raise and rear one of his spirit children as your own? Isn't it worth it to have Halloween, Christmas morning, and birthday parties...I am not a mother, but I look forward with eager anticipation to the time that I will get to spend in one of the greatest callings I will ever be blessed to have- mother... as far as career is concerned, the sacrifice that you will make, the sacrifice to be a parent is worth more and will probably have many more happy moments than a big promotion at work, or being able to get a huge house on country club land...The joy you experience while caring for children is eternal joy, it is not fleeting- because every day, even after they are grown, you get to watch them learn and grow and make decisions for themselves, knowing all the while that you started that process...what could be more rewarding than that?

I know that God loves all of us. He wants us to seek for eternal truths, he wants us to be happy, he wants us to grow and become all that we promised Him we would become. I know that my path may not always seem clear, but I know that if I look in the realm of the bigger picture... if I look to eternity, I can see how my decisions may effect the final outcome of my life here on this earth. I know where I'm headed...for eternity...and I know that when I get to the end of this journey, there is an even bigger and better one ahead of me, one filled with joy- if I choose to live my life according to the principles which I've been blessed to be taught.

Take comfort, know that the Lord is with you, and it is my humble prayer that you seek to find the truth in your own life, that you can feel the love of God as completely as I have been blessed to feel it. Be still...God will take you into his arms and bless you with knowledge that you never knew could exist. I say this in the name of my Brother, Saviour, and Redeemer Jesus Christ, Amen.