It was 3 years ago on June 18th, that I officially became a US Citizen! I have been thinking a lot lately about genealogy, specifically my ancestors, and I wonder what kind of stories our future generations will tell of us, The Randy Taylor Family...
I was on the phone today with my Mom, and we got on the topic of Genealogy, and we talked about my Grandpa (her dad), Papa Arturo. I thought as she told me about his life right now, how blessed I am to live in this country, and how I wish my Grandpa and his family did too :(
He is now 76 years old, and has to leave for work at 4:30 every morning. He works as a security guard (he has been a police officer, and also a taxi driver), they pay him $8 dollars per day! Not per hour, per DAY! He lives in El Salvador, and is lucky to at least have a job! To put his wages into perspective, he has an old beat up car that he occasionally drives, but if he drove it to work, it would cost him $6 per day in gas! So he takes the bus, then another bus, so he can provide for his family.
My Grandparents on my mother's side have been divorced for quite some time now. My Grandma, Mama Priscila lives in Canada with my parents now. But when she still lived in El Salvador I remember talking to her, and hearing how she would wash the missionaries’ clothes, and then go to take care of a lady, to get a little bit of money. She would save up for months so she could go to the temple in Guatemala once a year!
To me, my grandparents are my heroes! They have lived lives full of opposition, poverty, and trials. Yet, my fondest memories of my childhood are Thanks to them! They would take us to the beach, they would play with us, they would let us have sleep overs with them, they would totally spoil us with Candy and everything else kids love!
I'm eternally grateful for those memories, and the time they took to make us feel special, and loved.
I'm also eternally grateful to my own parents, who decided to move our family (6 kids and all) from El Salvador, to Canada. And to my dad's family, who made it all possible, and helped us so much when we got there. My siblings and I grew up in a world completely different from our parents, and we had the opportunity to progress, not only financially, but spiritually, and to get an education. Being the oldest in my family, I'm not sure if I would have been able to even finish high school if we had stayed in El Salvador...There's a possibility I would have been forced to work (due to circumstances), to help the family. I'm grateful to have been able to learn to Speak, write and read English. I'm grateful I'm still able to speak, write, and read Spanish, and to live in this Country, where I'm free to speak either or both languages if I choose! I hope I'm able to teach my children of their ancestors, and the great sacrifices that were made, so that I could be where I am today!
A lot has changed since then... I turned 32 in March (shhh don't tell anyone)...I had a wonderful day, especially because Randy had the day off work...
And the biggest change for us...We now live in Huntington, UT! We are so grateful for this opportunity, and for the help and support we received from our family and friends while preparing to move, and on moving day (both in Harrisville, and when we arrived here).
The kids and I have been here almost 3 weeks, and Randy almost 4. He is the store director of the Grocery store in town, and that is why we moved here. So far so good. It's quite an adjustment because it's a tiny little town, but we love it, and we hope to make many new friends here. We already miss our friends from Harrisville, but we're excited for this new adventure.
The first week the kids and I were here, we learned that 1. Jacob was going to have the toughest time out of all of us adjusting to the change (He kept asking us why we moved and why we couldn't just stay where we were) 2. We had to re-assess our decision not to enroll him in a preschool for the rest of the school year. Luckily, Randy's business partner's wife told us about a preschool in town and had so many positive things to say...we just had to try. It was a HUGE blessing to hear there was room for him in the preschool...so just a little over a week after moving here, Jacob started preschool again. I think I was more scared than he was! It was all new kids, new teacher (whom I met just minutes before leaving him there for 2.5 hours)...But Jacob was so happy and excited about it, he just loved it! He made a new friend that day :) He now goes to preschool Mon-Thurs for 2.5 hours...and it has been great! We love the teacher, and everything about the preschool.
That second week here was better, and on friday of that week I decided to take the kids to the library for story time. When we arrived there was only one other kid there, and the lady doing story time knew who he was. So she asked my kids their names, and Jacob spoke up first and told her his name. Anna had been a little quiet, but quickly changed that when she said "Anna Banana!" hahahaha she explained it was her nickname...and then J said his was Jake! I'm not sure where all of that came from, but it sure was funny!
Randy has been working long hours as of late, so I have been trying to keep the kids busy so they are tired at the end of the day, and to help me stay somewhat sane! What kind of activities do you guys do with your kids? We play in the back yard after dinner on most days, usually it's me throwing the ball and the kids taking turns batting. It is unbelievable to me how much energy they have! I wish I had that kind of energy! I have gotten back to running on the treadmill (after taking a month and a half off)...yuck! I feel like I can't even breathe after only a half hour on there...but just like before, as long as I'm constant, I'll get better. :)
Here are some recent pics...out of order...but blogger takes years to load so here you go:
Nala decided to sleep in today...we had been up at least an hour and half before she got up!
Netflix is our friend...
Front Room/Entrance shot...love the french doors!
My goal this week to at least clear the garage space for one car = Fail!
Randy keeping it real after I wrote him a message on our message board! Love him!
Front room/Entrance shot again with a little dining room
$1.50 rug I found at a local garage sale which was perfect for the mud room!
Poor Nala has to hang out in her new home/mud room for part of the day
First day of preschool #2...Happy Campers!
Randy's business partner's family got an easter egg hunt organized for the kids!...so grateful!
The kids think this girl is the coolest girl ever! (so do we)
After filling his basket for the first time!
Wild Life near our house
It was a windy, cold day...but they love the park!
Last night I went to a Women's Conference for our Stake, and the theme was "Something Extraordinary" It was all about the book "Daughters in my Kingdom" which you can read here if you're interested.
The speakers were 'surprise' speakers...so nobody knew who they were until we got there. They had asked one woman from each of the wards in our stake, to speak on what chapter they would add to the book, if they could.
It started at 7pm...so at first I wasn't sure if I wanted to go, because the kids go to bed between 7:30 and 8, and I enjoy putting them to bed at nights, and being the first person they see in the morning as well.
I'm so glad one of my friends invited me to go with her, because I had a wonderfully uplifting evening!
They had a special Stake choir who sang "Walk tall you're a Daughter of God" ...and it brought me to tears :) Amazing! Here's a link to that song (you can download it for free if you want to hear it on repeat all day long as I have today) :)
They also sang "Miracles" which I had never heard before, and which I loved!
Each speaker was inspiring, and unique in what they thought they could add to the book. I took some notes, and wanted to share them...
I didn't write down who said what...so it'll just be a collection of quotes, thoughts and experiences.
Bishop Arrington quoted a talk given by President Thomas S. Monson, which I loved...he said:
"Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life. May we recognize that each one is doing her best to deal with the challenges which come her way, and may we strive to do our best to help out." -General Relief Society Meeting 2010.
He also talked about how important it is for us to use our strenghts to help us improve ourselves, instead of focusing on our weaknesses.
He talked about our 'inclinations to do good' and how we should follow those promptings.
Another of the sisters quoted Proverbs 31:10-31 I hadn't read that in a long time...and I'm glad I did!
A lot of the speakers talked about our attitudes. Specifically during hard times...
One of the sisters who stood out to me, was a sister who lost her 21 year old daughter after battling with cancer for 3 years...She spoke about learning to have a happy attitude, and the difference it made in her life. She also quoted Alma 36:3. What a great example she is!
And one of my favorite quotes of the night was given by another sister who spoke about how we are all needed in the Kingdom of God, regardless of where we are in our life, regardless of status, race, sphere of influence etc...
"If you judge people, you have no time to love them" -Mother Teresa
And of course, our Stake President spoke, and reminded us of the importance to go to the temple. He said "Your children will never be safer, than when you and your husband are at the temple"
When I got home from the meeting, the house was clean, and everyone was asleep! Do I have the best husband or what?
This morning the kids told me all about the fun night they had with dad...Their favorite? The pillow fight! :) It has become a nightly thing...and I need to take a picture of it, because they have so much fun.
What else can be said? I hope I can use these wise words to better myself, and to remember how truly blessed I am.
If you know me, you know I'm pretty much the Latina Martha Stewart...Right!...Only in my dreams!
So in a effort to steer my children away from my perils because of my lack of domestic skills...We have been teaching them how to do a few things around the house...It's never to early to start they say...It's never too early.
We started teaching them right as they were out of the womb (pretty much)...these are just some of the more recent pictures :)
She put all the cupcake liners in there ALL by herself...That's more than I could do when I was 18!
'Washing dishes' is always fun!
She even dressed up for the occassion...
That's my boy!
It's late, and I can't sleep...so I'm blogging...
Thanks for reading!
I really think I should be able to get the Mother of the Year award...Here are 3 reasons why:
1. We were about to have dinner a few nights ago...and I had to put myself in time-out before I could go on with the day. The kids and Hubby stayed at the table and ate their dinner, while I ate my dinner alone, in the front room. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself, when out of the corner of my eye I see a little note being handed to me by my 4 year-old boy:
He said he drew our whole family...including me...but happy!
2. We went to the Grocery Store today, and since the kids were getting restless while waiting in line...I told them they could help me put the food we bought on the counter when our turn came...While I turned to put something on the counter...my 2 year old decided it was a perfectly good time to grab the 18-ct egg carton (One-handed none the less!)...and as you can imagine...more than half of the eggs were broken! I tried not to make a big deal of it, because she was just helping...And boy was there a nice mess! The store was nice enough to not only clean the mess...but bring me out a new carton of eggs, so I wouldn't have to go and get one :)
3. Jacob has preschool on Tuesdays and Fridays...We had a crazy week last week (That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!)...so by the time Friday came around...I thought it was actually Saturday! Yep! So he didn't go to preschool that day...why? Because in my mind, it was Saturday!! Who does that?