Tuesday, October 1, 2013

July 2009- Thoughts on Lasting Change and Feeling the Spirit

I haven't made this blog a priority in the past, nor do I plan to make it one in the future but right now I feel like I should write and update on our happenings. Summer is upon us in full swing now that it is July. There are firefly's outside right now and the air is crisp and cool. I love that. We just got back from my parent in laws lake house this weekend. It is so beautiful up in Northwestern Maryland and I actually feel like I am getting away from the hustle and bustle of life. I've been deep in thought lately about my life and the type of person I am. It saddens me to think about the areas I fall short and how I need to be a better example to those around me, mostly my sons. I've been thinking a lot about the power of change and what motivates a person to change? Change that is lasting and permanent. I don't know what I've figured out quite yet except that people do have innate characteristics, talents, and personality...i.e. their own set of struggles and strengths. Desire is the motivating factor that will determine if we change or not, to become a better person. How does one get a deep desire to change? What if one is complacent in the way they are? What if a person recognizes the need to change an area of their life but doesn't have a strong desire to do so? What if they even know they should change and have a desire to, but don't take the next step? What keeps people from making that next step? How do you overcome that lack of motivation?

Our physical acts affect us mentally and spiritually. The music we choose to listen to, the things we choose to talk about, the movies or programs we watch. All of these physical environmental surroundings will affect our minds and spirits, which influence our desires.

You know the pain scale...rate your pain on a scale of one to ten? If ten people are all poked by a needle, they are each going to rate it based on how they are feeling already that day, how well they tolerate suffering to begin with, and a myriad of other experiences that have shaped their life up to that point. Most may say 2 or 3, some may say 5 or 6, it is all relative to each individual. I strongly believe that feeling the spirit is the same for us and how prepared we are to receive its promptings that day, how well they react to their past spiritual promptings, and the countless other experiences they have dealt with in their lives up to that point. If a one on the pain scale is bumping into a table and ten is as (my brother in law who is a doctor describes it to his patients), being burned alive while being ran over by a steamroller, then one on the spiritual experiences scale is feeling at peace or happy inside, and ten is speaking directly with God and Jesus, makes me wonder how many people may actually be experiencing fives or sixes on the spiritual scale while all I've even known is a 3 and a 3 would be my ten. In other words, what I would call a ten would only be a three to the prophet, or someone who has climbed up higher on the spiritual experiences scale. So I guess what I'm really saying is I think we can stretch ourselves further to have greater spiritual experiences if we prepare to do so and make the necessary changes in our lives.

Where is this World Headed?

Government shutdown, what's next? It's past my bedtime.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Our boys become so much more nurturing when there is a new baby in the home.

Sometimes they learn a little too much from the new baby being in the home.

Thank goodness for blizzards to bring them back to reality.

Now go inside and take a bath...what the!

TMNT! Cowabunga Dude!

"I can't believe I'm 31" I say.

"You're not, you're 32!" my brother laughs as he corrects me.

A mere 32 and already I'm forgetful. Here we are celebrating my birthday. I've gone from a spiderman cake last year to a ninja turtle cake this year. Maybe I'll get an iron man cake next year. I saw that movie a few weeks ago for the first time (I'm so behind on movies) and really liked it. Anything is an upgrade from Jay Jay the Jet plane or Dragontales.

Heck, I'm just grateful I can eat cake still and I don't have to watch my diet yet. Life has truly been busy for us the past few months and we are so grateful for the many blessing we enjoy.

Here's a warning for you young whipper snapper 29 year olds... It gets harder to move when you turn 32.

We also celebrated our little Aubryn's one month birthday. That's right. Three kids later and we still celebrate their one month birthdays. Hey, any excuse for cake right? I'll have Aubryn's piece.

Monday, November 9, 2009

New Season

Life has been very busy around the Darrington household as of late. We settled on a house two weeks ago. Had my parent's and grandma visit from Idaho for a few days. They arrived the same day we settled on our new house. We won't move in until the first weekend of December as we are leasing back to the seller. We put our townhouse up for sale last week and each day has been busy prepping it for sale by either shuttling boxes and bins over to our storage sheds (my gracious in-laws), painting, or just keeping it meticulously clean. We are so excited for our move into a single family home that will be much bigger for us and is a beautiful home. Christy's due date is December 24th. The baby could come anytime in the month of December however since Carter was 3 weeks early and Bryce two weeks late. We have a wedding to attend on December 29th as Christy's brother is getting married that day. Lots to do in the next two months. No time to blog!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Capital Crescent Trail

There have been no signs of snakes since my last post. I still check above my head and at my feet when I enter the laundry room. I need to stop that bad habit.

I went on a bike ride with my boys yesterday morning. It was a beautiful Saturday morning and we were going to put the bike trailer that Christy bought at a yard sale to good use, since we've had it for over 2 months and hadn't really used it yet. She is such a great bargain hunter and found this bike trailer that I imagine would retail for $150 + for about $30. It's an awesome little trailer and I pulled both boys along a trail called the capital crescent trail. The trail is paved and pretty wide and goes all the way into Washington D.C.'s Georgetown.

We started at mile 3.5 on the trail in Bethesda. There were a lot of people out yesterday running, biking, jogging, rollerblading, or walking along the trail. We rode under a canopy of trees for part of the way, under a tunnel, over various bridges and roads, until we came along side the C&O canal and the Potomac river, which ran on for a few miles near the end of the trail. The map of the trail on the web showed it heading downhill from Bethesda and after traveling for about 20 minutes or so, I was surprised to see a mile marker that was much higher than I though we had traveled. Christy thought our ride would only last for about 1/2 hour before the boys were ready to get out of the trailer. They were troopers and did awesome. We ended up all the way in D.C. in a total of 50 minutes about 7+ miles from where we started.

Carter was excited we made it to D.C. because I was telling him about it the night before and the day of, how we would be able to see a river and lots of buildings if he and Bryce could stand being in the trailer for a longer time. Christy initially thought that the boys would only last half an hour, which I guess if I'd really thought about it, I'd have guessed the same, but the goal in my head was to make it to D.C. so I had to sell my point to my boys. When we reached D.C. we headed underneath a long street that was shaded by the road above us. It was almost like riding under a tunnel and Bryce asked me if I was scared. I told him I wasn't and we kept riding, though I was cautious to make sure I was riding where other people were around.

We were enjoying the scenery, there was a couple of rowing teams practicing out on the Potomac, helicopters flying overhead, boats out on the water, etc... when I realized that I had to be back at the car by 12:30 at the latest to be home by 1:00. We had a baptism to go to and couldn't be late as we each had a part in the program. It was then I got a little panicked because I knew the boys had been in the trailer for about an hour and the ride back would be longer because it was uphill and I was tired from already riding. It was almost 11:30 and I told the boys to get out for a quick little bit and stretch their legs. Then we hurried and took off on our way back. It was more difficult heading uphill but I was pleased with the pace I was keeping as I was very aware of the mile markers on the way back and kept looking at my watch as we passed them. I was maintaining about a 6 or 7 minute mile heading back and had about 7+ miles to go.

I figure all in all I rode about 14+ miles in about 2 hours, pulling two 40lb boys, 4 bags of fruit snacks, three water bottles, some cheese blocks, sheepie, potato chips, and who knows what other snacks the boys brought with them. Part of the excitement for them to go on a bike ride was the opportunity to pack and eat two snacks of their choice. They each chose two fruit snack packets, but when we stopped to pick up the bike and trailer that morning at their grandparent's house, I think they acquired a few more snacks. They must've been tired regardless of not being able to run around because Bryce fell asleep the last mile and slept all the way home. I was so proud of them for basically letting me ride my bike for such a long time that I wanted to show them by getting them a little treat on the way home. I stopped at McDonalds and got them each a sundae off the dollar menu. Christy pointed out to me later that they had nothing but sugar the entire day and here I was giving them more sugar as a treat. I realized that I was oblivious to that fact and didn't really think of it that way. Good thing for a great mother to keep them fed healthy. But in my defense, I wanted to go on a longer ride, not only for myself, but to give Christy a longer break on a Saturday morning that she deserves for really taking a beating during the week.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Don't Tread on Me!

As if coming home to a snake wasn't a bad enough omen, it had to be a black one. I came home Sunday from doing a ward audit and find stretched out in all its glory, a black snake just outside our front door, underneath our front window. Its tail was barely touching our steps and its head was pointed away from them. It was a bigger snake than I had seen in a while, I think that is what shocked me the most, to have that big of a snake near our house.

It looked like a bigger version of the snake that Christy had fall on her when we first moved to the area and were moving our stuff into her parents basement. Who'd have thought that a real snake would fall on you from the ceiling inside of a home?! It was in her parents backroom and they didn't have sheetrock on the ceiling, so the snake must've been on top of a pipe or something that was along the floor studs. She screamed when it fell on her...then thinking it couldn't be real and must've been rubber she calmed down slightly, until it slithered away. Her dad and I then tried to capture it, then when that failed, we killed it.

So back to our snake. I thought that I'd have at least a minute to come inside and put my scriptures and papers down that were in my hands. As I hurried back outside, thinking at best it might have moved a foot or so, or not at all, I was somewhat alarmed when I couldn't find it anywhere! My mind raced as to where could a snake that big go to in such a short amount of time? Then I thought of the spaces in the concrete of our stairs outside that would allow a gopher, mouse, or rabbit to burrow under our stairs...and how I'd never seen any gophers, mice, nor rabbits going in and out of those spaces.

This isn't good, I thought. That's the last thing I want is to have a snake in our house. After looking in the bushes and around our house for a few minutes, I hurried inside to do my googling about black snakes in Maryland. Black rat snake, non-poisonous, good climbers, sometimes can find their skin in trees, eats birds, small animals, can burrow in wood piles, mulch, sometimes (rarely) found in peoples ATTICS OR BASEMENTS!!!!

I wouldn't say I'm terrified of snakes. I mean I was ready to get a long stick and somehow maneuver this thing on it and throw it deep in the woods behind our house. However the thought of this thing being in our basement or living under our stairs outside creeps me out. I find myself going into our laundry room which the outside steps connect to, and looking up at our unfinished cieling for a snake that is waiting to drop on me. I keep thinking of what a pansy I have become...or have I always been a pansy? Either way it frustrates me.

So my solution was to go get some dirt and cover up all of the open holes that surround our concrete steps outside and check around it everyday for signs of movement or burrowing. My only hesitation in doing that was that I might trap the snake under the steps and it would find an escape to our laundry room. But the thought of never knowing if anything lived under our steps drove me to my solution. We did have a mouse in our mousetrap downstairs in the laundry room a few weeks ago, that is a good sign. If there's mice in our basement, probably no snakes. Of course I think if there are mice, a snake would have a reason to come inside... I can justify either situation.

Well in looking up black snakes in Maryland on google, somehow it led me to this video which I had seen before, but it was such a relief from the worry of snake hunting that I kept laughing and laughing...


which led me to one other video that had me going...


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Light your Face up!

I enjoy learning. I'm not the best student/learner out there, but I do enjoy learning new things and piecing the world together one new thought at a time. So I was reading tonight how we may be too hard on our kindergardeners and pushing too much information on them before they are able to process it. Our oldest starts kindergarden in two more weeks. I can't believe that he will be in school all day, nine to three, five days a week. I want him to be better prepared than I felt I was when I entered school. I remember learning my letters and learning to read in 1st and 2nd grades. It was tough for me and I remember there being different learning groups depending on our reading skills. I wasn't in the top level so I felt like I was behind. Then in 3rd grade I was placed in an "advanced" math class where we were able to advance through the book at our own pace and go ahead of the regular class teachings, so while the teacher was teaching the other students the math lesson, we would just simply have to go to the next lessons and do the problems. This only lasted for a few weeks for me before I was in tears and frustrated because the teacher saw I was falling behind. I felt like a failure.

So tonight after our oldest was done with his bath I decided I'd better introduce him to addition. He's never seen this before and I thought this would be fun to teach him something new, and the surpising thing was, it was fun for both of us! His little face lit up as he saw he could do basic addition on his fingers. He was so excited that he didn't want to read two books for bedtime, he wanted to do math. Of course the thought crossed my mind that I've created a monster...and by monster I mean nerd, but being a nerd is cool these days in this high tech world we live in. When I put him to bed tonight I told him that tomorrow night we could do something called subtraction. He might be too excited to sleep. Seriously.

But I can tell from his response to it that he loves learning new things too. That will be a desire that will serve him well in life. The desire to learn. I'm secretly excited that he is in school because I am selfishly excited to teach him and share in those "light your face" up moments when he learns something new.