Saturday, October 14, 2017

REASONS TO CELEBRATE

My baby is 19!  And she is happy, and doing well!  What more could a mother hope for?!  Well... I do wish she could live a little closer... but I'm excited about all the new adventures she is having and all the great things she is learning.  I couldn't be more proud of this cheerful, energetic, kind and spiritual young woman!  We love her sooooo much!
Her birthday was kinda fun... thanks to family, roommates and new friends!  Mariah, Gary and Shanae all took Kiara out for shakes.  Grandma and Grandpa took her out for dinner.  Her roommates and Family Home Evening family celebrated with cake and friendship.  And she got to go out with a new friend to play games and visit.  This Kentucky mom is sure grateful for all the good people in the west!
Cousins
Celebrating Kiara's Birthday
Shanae and Kiara at the temple....
On top of spending time celebrating the big 19... Kiara has also been sharing lots of stories of how wonderful her roommates are!  She loves all of them!  She and Amber have been attending Mary's intramural soccer games every week and enjoying them.  They love watching movies together, listening to music, visiting and eating Sunday dinners together.  She was blessed with the roommate lottery!  :-)
Mary - Kiara - Amber
Kiara and Amber
Other happenings:  I am no longer the Sunday School gospel doctrine teacher.  I actually was sad when they released me.  I was starting to get the hang of it.  I am now the 2nd counselor in the Relief Society.  I'm excited and nervous about my new calling.  I'm excited to work with such wonderful ladies.  I'm nervous because I'm not sure what I'm doing.  I guess I'll figure it out.
I just finished reading an interesting book.  I actually enjoyed it and learned a lot... but I have to warn possible readers that there is a LOT of terrible language throughout the story.  The book is Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance.  It's "a personal and passionate analysis of a culture in crisis - that of poor, white Americans."  It was troubling, but also inspiring.  I wasn't as offended by the language as I have been in other books, because the language here was used because they didn't know better and it is a way of life.  When bad language is used to be "edgy" I seem to be more offended.  Anyways... I love how J.D. continued to grow and progress throughout his life.  I also loved that he could have used a "victim mentality," but he didn't.  He took responsibility.  He still carries around the demons of his past, but he's moved forward with hope and faith.  I liked the book a lot.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

SOUPS AND SWEATERS AND FAMILY HISTORY

I love Fall!  And so does my family!  It means cooler weather and fun times!  So this week we decided to celebrate!
But before our party, the YW decided to have an autumn activity: pumpkin carving on Wednesday night.  Kotten Kandy did such a great job on her pumpkin....
Isn't she talented?!
Then Friday came...  And we had so much fun with some of our great friends!  We enjoyed ALL the soups!  And I'm wanting recipes!  We loved visiting and spending time with those we love celebrating the change of seasons!
Working on my selfie "game" before the party....
Scott and Kotten Kandy indulged my selfie-taking mood.
This family is AMAZING!  We really love the Youngs!
And these girls are so adorable!
They remind me of my own daughters!
Amy and Mark!
Jill with two adorable boys!
Raisin was fascinated by the wood.
Teenagers enjoying homemade rolls and homemade soups!
Tony and Teresa Pina!
Kotten Kandy LOVES the Coolbears!
Scott and I do too!
Spaghetios and Watermelon are two of Kotten Kandy's favorite kids!
They are amazing!  And we all love them!
These two crazy kids were not cooperating at this moment with my selfie-practice....
I still like them!
It got dark fast... and I didn't get pictures of everyone.... 
And FYI...  Kotten Kandy LOVES hamburgers!
Today was the Family History Conference.  Kotten Kandy and I went to support our ward members and friends!  It was actually really cool.  And my BFF, Amy, did a FABULOUS job with her presentation about research!  (I'm not just saying that because I love her, she really did an amazing job!)  And my other dear friend, Mary, did a fantastic job of putting the whole thing together!  
I love Mary!  She is talented!  She is amazing!
And I'm proud to call her my friend!
Sharon and Nat Leezer are also some of my favorite people!
They are loving, kind and fun!
And Nat reminds me of my Grandad!
Amy rocked it!
Finally...  I don't have pictures, but Kiara is LOVING BYUI!  She's happy!  She loves her room mates!  She loves her classes!  And she's loving the college life!  I'm super happy for her!  And super proud of her!  She's doing great things!

Monday, October 2, 2017

"WHETHER BY MY OWN VOICE OR BY THE VOICE OF MY SERVANTS, IT IS THE SAME"

We LOVE the bi-annual opportunity we have to listen to our prophets and leaders in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  General Conference is truly the most wonderful time of the year!  And the traditions we share with our Bettenhausen and Thornton families have made this special weekend even better!  We eat delicious foods and take lots of notes.  We play games between sessions, go for walks, and discuss our favorite talks.
Taffy and Kotten Kandy
Scott
Me
Amy and Mark
Jelly Bean even payed attention.... sometimes!
And so did Raisin?!  (for about 1 minute!)
Apple Pie took notes and...
watched as a turtle!
Nuts
Marmalade
ONE of my favorite talks was Elder Ellis in the afternoon Sunday session.  He said, "hard is good."  He explained that we learn a lot from our trials and tribulations.  I tell my daughters, often, that "We can do hard things!"  And I loved how Elder Ellis reinforced that we can learn from the hard things we do.  There were many other talks that I dearly loved.  And I'm so excited to re-read each of the talks and study them.
Rough Housing between sessions
Love these two crazy kids!
Taffy fights me for Raisin and Jelly Beans affections!
We loved playing Shadows Over Camelot!
I played too!
Love it when these two are playing so well together!
Key Lime Pie also celebrated listening to our prophets, seers and apostles with good friends and good food!  She made homemade cinnamon rolls and taco soup.  YUMMMM!  I love knowing that she also partook of the Spirit of the Lord by listening and sharing traditions with her roommates. 
Kiara and Mariah
I love these two!
I'm related to them - and couldn't be more proud to be!
Roommates crocheting!
These four amazing girls loved Kiara's rolls!
Kiara crochets too!
I sure miss my eldest daughter!  But I'm super proud of her!
General Conference was wonderful!  We are so glad for knowledge that Heavenly Father still "speaks" with us today!  We will miss Elder Hales.  But we are glad we understand and know of the plan of salvation!