Saturday, September 21, 2013

Gray Skies in China

There is just so much good out there to read, look at, listen to.  You just have to find it.  Once you do, you will not have enough time to take it all in.

Recently, our bishop gave us a book to read.  It is called, "The Power of Everyday Missionaries" by bestselling author, Clayton M. Christensen.  He is a business professor at the Harvard Business School. Although his bestselling books are not particularly religious, this book is directed at members of our church.  He gives easy, practical ways to tell others about what we believe, and share "the good news" of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.   I learned a lot from it and went away inspired to be a better "everyday" missionary.  So inspiring!  It also takes the "stress" out of it, because there is really no pressure to "convert" or "baptize".  Just to invite others to learn more, or share what we believe openly and not be afraid!  You are just sharing with others something that has brought you great happiness.

Anyway, one of the gems I found in the book, doesn't even have much to do with missionary work.  He talks about a couple, Mara and Danny Kofoed that crated a blog called ablogaboutlove.  They are a couple living in Brooklyn, New York.  When I first visited their blog, I honestly was kind of is another "NYC" couple, that always look chic and fashionable, and live this fabulous lifestyle that I don't really relate to day in and day out.  And PS, they good looking.  If you read a lot of blogs, you know what I am talking about.

However,  I read a lot of their posts and they gave me a lot to think about.  Mara and Danny have not been without their own trials.  (Shocking, I know, EVERYONE has trials, even super stylish people that live in New York.)  This is a second marriage for both Danny and Mara.  Mara struggles with infertility.  Mara just has a REALLY positive, frank attitude about love and marriage and coping with trials.  I think her advice is really great for those married, singled, and divorced, about being happy NOW.  Everything she writes about is all stuff that we all know.  We have learned it over and over our whole life.  It is sometimes nice to just get a coarse refresher from a new perspective.  It is all about taking responsibility for YOUR OWN happiness and not letting your joy be dependent on ANYONE ELSE!  It's good stuff.  So, if you need a new blog to check's a good one!

On another note....we have been having some crazy weather around here.  I swear I look at the sky several times a day, and it is just amazing.  We really do live on such a beautiful planet.  My brother, David, travels all around the world.  He has made several trips to China this year.  A couple weeks ago our sky looked all gray and blah from all the fires we have had in the West this summer.   I was commenting on the yucky, grey, milky color of the sky and David said that the sky in China always looks like that due to the pollution.  He thought that once he got out of the city into the countryside the sky would look different.  It didn't,  it was still the same ashy colorless sky.  How sad it would be to never see the amazing clouds, sunrises, and sunsets that we enjoy almost everyday here.

Last Monday, we had an incredible thunderstorm all night and into the early morning.  It was the most thunder and lightening I have seen since our days living in Kansas.  Whenever I run into a storm like that, I quickly realize how small and powerless I am compared to God and His power.  It is easy to forget how powerful the forces of nature are!  This is what it looked like as the kids left the house for school.  

Due to my lack of camera skills, I was not able to capture the deep colors of pink and and the vibrant blue in the sky as the sun was rising over the valley.  This gives you an idea though...

The sun setting over Redonda Circle. 

I think I have seem more rainbows living here in Idaho, than anywhere else in my life.  Again, I didn't capture that amazing colors....but it was pretty neat.  

This past week the weather has been so up and down, in one direction there are dark storm clouds, and the other side of the valley is blue skies with white fluff clouds. 

My favorite time of day outside. 

The girls enjoying the rainbows.  

Bryant told them that Grandma Bogren has rainbows in her house everyday in Canada.  She has one of those lamps with crystals that shoot little rainbows everywhere.  Annie thinks that idea is pretty fascinating.

Another stormy sunset. 

I took these with my iPhone at the boy's soccer game.    

Every Wednesday, the storm clouds seem to miraculously find their way to our soccer field.   This Wednesday there were blue skies everywhere except right above us. 

I am so grateful for the beautiful sun, the clouds, and the skies above us each day.  Even if I complain about the dark rain clouds, I will take them.  They  make for beautiful views overhead.  I feel so sad for people, especially children, that don't get to see something as simple as the colors of the sky.

(Sky in China-I stole this off the internet.)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Who likes to taking Family Photos?  Just the thought of them a few years ago could give me an anxiety attack.  My kids would NOT usually cooperate, you try and iron their clothes, get their hair all perfect, and cross your fingers that they will smile.  Forget smiling...let's just hope no one gets in a fight and starts crying. Usually we started out with, "Okay, everyone that cooperates, we will go get ice cream later."  By the end we had upped the bribe to..."What, you want a triple scoop?  Okay.  Money?  You got it."  We were desperate!  All good parenting went out the window.  I don't think we are going to do "official" family pictures this year.  I will just have to find a snapshot for our Christmas Card.  The extended family did an impromptu photo shoot at Bear Lake wearing our fancy family reunion shirts.  There was nothing stressful about it!  (There is also nothing professional about it.)  

Isabelle, London, Alexis, Emmaline, and Eliza
"The Middle Girls"

The boys...didn't have the timing right yet, but they still look cute.  
Joshua, Holden, Nic, James, and Michael

Our first attempt was really lame, no one is looking, the lighting is bad, and we decided to wait a bit for the sun to go down a little. 

Some family members did not want to wait....I tried to entice them by taking a family shot of them before they left the beach entirely. I think they were having one of those family photo experiences I mentioned above.  They boys just wanted to get in the water and so they could not be coaxed into "waiting for the perfect lighting."  

Luke and Austin

We all waited around checking out the pictures we had gotten.  How did we manage before digital photos? 

Annie looking for rocks.

She wasn't alone....


(Notice how wet Annie and boys are...that water is just irresistible.)


Natalie, Heidi, and Jennifer
Too much to say about this one, but it just cracks me up.  

The "big" girls.
Chloe, Sadie, and Abigail

Ryan and Sophie


I love this one too...
Sadie, Joshua (with no head), Holden, and Abigail

Joshua and Abigail

I am cheering for Ryan?  I am not sure, but I think it is funny.  Ryan should have gotten into dance...look at those leaps, even his toes are pointed. 


Heidi...I think you should just go ahead and use this for your Christmas Card.  

I promised my mom I wouldn't post the "good" group picture we finally got (even though we were missing some people).  She DOES want to use it for a Christmas Card I think.  I really think she should bag it and just send this one out....
Grandma with the boys
 I think it is my favorite picture.  

And this close up of Luke and Michael is pretty funny too.  

Well, there we go.  I have finally documented ONE day from our trip to Bear Lake in TWO posts.  I don't think I am going to get to it all.  

Happy Family Picture Season to all!  May your pictures be full of lots of mismatched clothes, orchards, old cars,  and really light airy lighting.

PS  We ARE missing some members of the family in the big picture.  Grandpa, Michael, Carly, and their three cute kids.  So sad they could not come.  :(  MISS YOU GUYS!!!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sunday at Bear Lake

I can't believe that it has been two months since we were at Bear Lake.  That makes me sad that summer is officially almost over.  Our Sundays at Bear Lake are usually always the same.  This year we had the added bonus that it was Holden's 14th Birthday.  

(He was trying to recreate the Michael Jordan picture from back in the day.)

We seem to take the same pictures every year, usually a picture on the balcony before heading to church. This year we never seemed to gather everyone, so it was just Annie. 

Holden always spends his birthday at Bear Lake.  Here he is opening his gifts.  This one was from us. 

Sister Weatherston (in our ward here in Idaho Falls) made my Mom some of her awesome cupcakes for the trip.  They were so yummy!  

I think I need them right now. 

I am usually the one behind the camera, but on this particular day, Joshua took all these pictures.  Nic is looking at Joshua here like, "What are you doing with that camera?"

We decided to take family photos that day at the last minute.  Chloe was not thrilled with her hair.  I told her I would make her beautiful!  I miss curling long hair.  

Another one of Joshua's shots...everyone in the Adams Family looks tired!

In the afternoon, after church and lunch, we always go on the same little stroll/hike up in the canyon. Here's Michael...

James and Annie reading about the native wildlife. 


I think the boys could have just spent all afternoon playing on the roots of this tree that fell down. 

Nic and James

Heidi and Travis.  Do you like our official/professional shirts Heidi designed and had printed for the reunion?  

Michael always seems to have some sort of sword in hand. 

Chloe looking all Hollywood on the hike.  

Here comes Sadie and Dad....hey, Brett, don't take the hike too seriously.  


Holden and London.  The big kids are always good about helping with the little ones. 

Melissa and David...and Max?

 And here comes Grandma...

Everything is so beautiful in Logan Canyon!  

Our annual cousins picture. 

Grandma is the other photographer in the family. 

 I was trying to get a cute picture of these two and told Luke to cooperate already.  But, when I looked through all the pictures, I ended up choosing the one with the bunny ears...because it is so Luke and Annie, always teasing each other. 

 Note to self...don't take pictures when the sun and shade are not cooperating, they won't work unless you really know what you are doing.  Oh, well. I am including them anyway. 


James has no fear of hanging from high branches and taking risks.  It scares me more now since he has Absent Seizures. 

At Bear Lake we have groups and these three were my group...the Candy Apples.  Maybe not the hardest workers come chore time, but I would take them again!  They are so cute. 

James hiding up in a tree again. 

I don't remember why Jennifer stayed behind with it was Uncle Brett and the girls.  



Luke, Nic, and James near the end of our hike.  So beautiful! 

Here comes Aunt Heidi with Austin and Annie

Nic, Abigail, Joshua, and James at the trailhead. 

Luke, Michael, Lauren, and Alexis

Fun memories!