Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I know for New Years everybody has resolutions that they'd like to accomplish for the following year, ie. losing weight, finishing school, new career, having kids, etc. I don't know why but I've never been too much a fan of resolutions, probably because I never reach them or care after the first few weeks.
I do however, like goals. I think they're more reachable (if that's even a word), they have more meaning, and they're more personal. Every Sunday I tell myself I'm really going to do better at my personal scripture study and then find myself the following Sunday promising the same thing. This year I have decided to be different. I've never studied along with the Sunday School lesson, ever in my entire life (no, not even when Lance was teaching in Charleston, I'll admit), but this year I'm going to. I believe the new book to study is Doctrine and Covenants (someone correct me if I'm wrong) and to ensure that I'm focused and getting something out of every weekly lesson, I'll read everyday right along with the manual like I'm supposed to. That's going to be one of my goals, because ever since I've been married I just lean on Lance's reading. Right, like I'm going to get something out of verses I haven't read! When I was single I read and read, and couldn't read enough, I just starved for it. For whatever reason, being married makes me lazy and I lean on Lance too much. So I'm going to set my goal and actually achieve it this time.
The second goal I have is to read more. I've recently finished a series by Anita Stansfield and I could not set the books down, they were fantastic and engrossed every part of me. I am now reading a book called The Peacegiver by James Ferrell and so far, it's excellent. I look at our stacks of books and compare them to our stacks of DVDs and came up with this conclusion: I have seen almost every single DVD we own, but I've not read more than one shelf of books on our five-shelved bookcase. That's pretty sad and pathetic! We have wonderful books, most of them very educational and spiritual in nature, being written by prophets. Why have I not picked one up to even glance at the title? I am losing so much knowledge in letting my brain being sucked into TV and DVDs. I honestly don't watch that much TV (besides The Office, I try not to miss an episode) but I don't do that much reading either. How foolish of me! That's goal number two, to read more.
Another goal I want to set is to get my jewelry making going into an actual business. I love to design and make jewelry, thanks to Amelia who taught me in Charleston. It's a stress reliever, it's creative and time consuming. Seriously, I don't know if I've ever sat at a table for 9 hours straight and not complained about it, than when I'm beading. I have a few ideas of where to start so I'll keep you all updated as I progress in that direction.
Believe it or not I used to play the piano really well. I absolutely loved it, my whole being was consumed in the piano. I started taking lessons when I was 13 and continued for 4 years until my first year of college. My teacher was awesome, I loved the songs he picked for me to practice, I loved the way I felt when I played and heard piano music, it was my passion and I practiced for 3-4 hours every day. But then I focused on college and boys and didn't practice a whole lot, matter of fact I lost a lot of what I had known. Therefore I am now a piano loser which brings me to goal number four: to keep up my practicing so that I can play more than the hymns and Mary had a Little Lamb.
I think four goals will more than keep me busy and bustling. I love this quote by Elder M. Russell Ballard, "I believe you can train yourself to become a positive thinker, but you must cultivate a desire to develop the skill of setting personal worthy and realistic goals. I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don’t set goals in our life and learn how to master the technique of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When you learn to master the principle of setting a goal, you will then be able to make a great difference in the results you attain in this life."
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Before I got hit with a serious wave of nausea, Lance and I took a little drive to the South Hills to see "The Lights." There's a house in the South Hills owned by the Wojciks that decorate like mad with Christmas lights. Every tree, shrub, telephone pole, square inch of grass, etc. is lined and covered with millions of Christmas lights. The road is up on a little hill with a circular driveway around the property so you can brave the weather and walk around or stay in the warmth of the car and drive the circle. It's so beautiful! They have every character light you can imagine from M&M's to Winnie the Pooh to exotic flowers to martini glasses. This year one portion of the yard was orchestrated with classical music - so cool! They transformed their garage into a display for a mini village that's all laid out so professionally, its way awesome! They also have a pet camel that you can feed carrots to. Anyway, its a very magical, cold, freezing, did I mention cold? but a magical place to see. And all for free!
I'm starting to get a little frustrated with blogger because this is the third time I've tried to update our blog but for some reason it won't let me download pictures. So until I can figure out what the problem is, the pictures will have to wait.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Everybody patiently waiting at the airport for his arrival. The whole Cox family was there except for two that belong to Allison. (My flash wouldn't work in the airport so this didn't turn out too well, sorry).
(regarding missionaries) "For the most part they are young—handsome young men and beautiful young women. They are vital and alive and enthusiastic in their work. They are not easily daunted or discouraged, although they know discouragement from time to time and in a very real way. They are dedicated and committed to the work to which they have been called. They are led and directed and inspired by a great group of mission presidents whom they come to love almost as they love their own fathers. They fortify one another, and develop wonderful associations—friendships which continue throughout their lives. They have been called by the spirit of prophecy and revelation, and their devoted efforts bring a constant infusion of new blood and new life into the Church."
"Furthermore, young men and women who serve missions are never the same. They return home with qualities and strengths that seem to come from no other experience. They know, as they never knew before, that this work is true and that it is the most important work on the face of the earth. They return home with a desire to continue to serve. They have established a foundation on which to grow in future responsibility."
"We need more missionaries. We could use another ten thousand now. Anyone who feels we have enough knows not whereof he speaks. I remember listening to reports from the Area Presidencies of the various international areas of the world. Those reports indicated the magnitude of the work we must do. For instance, in one area we have only 270,000 members out of a total population of 640,000,000. “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few.” (Matt. 9:37). Now, brethren and sisters, what can we do? The mandate of the Lord is upon us. It is our responsibility to carry the gospel to the people of the earth. Marvelous things are happening. Yet more wonderful things can be brought to pass. May we be faithful in building the kingdom we love and in doing the will of Him who is our Savior and who commanded us to teach the gospel."
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
For Thanksgiving we ate dinner with Lance's family and had dessert with my family. There weren't too many people left at my parent's house by the time we got there so Lance and I played a few games of ping pong, air hockey, and foosball.
Towards the end of November our niece Sage turned 4 years old and had a birthday party. We went bowling (I'm pretty sure Sage beat my score), had pizza, and this delicious pretty princess cake Stephanie made. Isn't she talented?
This is a hair bow/clip holder I made for Lance's sister Allison. She's finally having a girl after three boys and I wasn't able to make it to the shower. Thanks to my Charleston ward for giving me the idea and also the simplicity of the project. I think I redid it about three different times until I liked it.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Alright, I wanted to do more than a shout out to them, I wanted to brag about them. There's one thing in particular that I'm so blessed to be able to enjoy around them and that is music. Every single one of them are musically inclined, I've seriously never met a better pianist than my Mama Donna, and never a better singer than Lance's sister Jerusha. And when Lance and Kempton sing together, it makes you all warm inside because their voices blend so well. Most families will stay up late at night playing video games or watching movies, but the Cox's stay up until 2am and sing together while Mama plays. I love it! I feel the spirit so strongly whenever they're singing, whether its Phantom of the Opera or Come Thou Fount. I could sit and listen for hours and hours to them and never tire.
One Christmas tradition they have is called the Christmas Sing where everyone gets together and sings the entire book of The Reader's Digest: Merry Christmas Songbook. If there's a particular song that happens to be some one's favorite, then we sing all the verses. Between the good company, fantastic music, great holiday treats, and the occasional solo, this is one of my favorite days of the year. I'm particularly looking forward to the Christmas Sing this year because all of Lance's siblings will be home for the first time in a few years. Believe me, I'm no singer but I love this tradition! If there's a way I can post a video of it (or of Jerusha) then I'll do that as well.