Sunday, June 25, 2017

ALL THIS LUNACY

Kotten Kandy went to our stake girls camp this week.  It was supposed to be from Monday to Saturday.  It ended early due to a rabies scare with bats!  (We joke that Kotten Kandy has rabies - although it probably isn't funny.  Rabies is scary.  But I believe she's OK!)  Actually the whole story is quite exciting!  And everyone was in good spirits - even when the health department made them come home early.  I love these young women!  Especially my Kotten Kandy!  She was a beautiful, kind, funny, youth camp leader!  And she tried to be positive and upbeat despite all the exciting adventures they had.
My cute camper!
I LOVE these girls!
Kotten Kandy, Maple, Waffles, and Apple Jacks
Kotten Kandy and Apple Jacks have been friends for 7 years!
They are so silly!
Kotten Kandy with her 3rd years!
And they all fell down....
In other news, my other daughter decided to do an extreme before and after make-over.  I like her new hair cut!
BEFORE
AFTER
Kiara is beautiful with long hair and short hair!
What's more important is that she's beautiful inside and out!
This week, Scott and I enjoyed time out on Scott's new swing.  He got it for Father's Day.  Kotten Kandy joined us when she got home.  We all love it!  And the evening weather has been perfect for rocking and visiting and enjoying....
Thank you, Chris, Hammond and Paige for helping us put this together!
Loving our outdoor time!
Last night was SUPER fun and surprising!  As Scott, Kotten Kandy and I were visiting on the couches, a young woman came up the stairs and sat down to join us.  I recognized her.  But something seemed strange - First, we weren't expecting anyone.  Second, although I recognized her, she was not "supposed" to be in Kentucky.  And Third, was it really my niece from Florida?!  THEN - I saw my nephews and my brother and sister-in-law!  They just showed up without any notice!  It was an AWESOME surprise!  We talked for 3 hours.  Then we all crashed.  We laughed.  We caught up.  We hugged.  I was soooooo glad they came to visit me.  They were on their way to Minnesota and decided to drive and extra couple hours to stay one night with us.  Yes, I was surprised!  And yes, I was over joyed!  I LOVE my family!  And the Zane McCallister family ROCKS!
Yogurt!
She was so cute when she "scared" me!
She has grown soooo much!  What a beautiful young woman!
Kumquat
This kid is amazing!  And according to my brother - he says things like they are!
I love his fun, contagious smile!
Elderberries
He has such a great smile, and attitude!  He is a bit laid back...
But is well rounded!
Chowder
This boy is hilarious!  And is going to have his associates
degree when he graduates from high school...  You go, Chowder!
Yogurt, Elderberries, Kumquat and Chowder in MY living room!
Last but not least a few pictures of one of my favorite little people, Raisin:
I'm practicing for future grand-babies!  I'm in heaven!
Raisin tried on her mom's Mother's Day hat!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

FATHER'S DAY

Scott
My Dad
I got to give a talk today.  And my topic was one of my favorites: The importance of fathers!  I have wonderful men in my life!  Especially these two!
When I was young, my main ambition was to be a wife and mother.  I longed to create, nurture and raise a family.  With that in mind, I was looking for a husband who would be dependable, intelligent, ambitious, fun, respectful, committed and devoted.  And the desire to be a father was at the top of that list!  (I also wanted a husband who was really good-looking….)  I hit the jackpot with Scott!
Fathers are amazing!  And I have been blessed to be associated with lots of different fathers – Scott and my own dad at the top of the list….
Fathers and especially families are essential in the Lord’s plan for us!  Unfortunately, Satan is working overtime to destroy families.  One of his plans is to diminish the role of fathers.  Increased youth violence, youth crime, greater poverty and economic insecurity offer clear evidence of lack of positive influence of fathers in the homes.  A family needs a father to anchor it.
I love how President Ezra Taft Benson explained the importance of fathers: “Yours is an eternal calling from which you are never released… a father’s calling is eternal, and its importance transcends time.”
So what is the role of a father?!  Well… The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained the roles of fathers and families in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”:
“…By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families…. Fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners….”
Sooooooo… Fathers are supposed to provide for the material needs of their families.  I love how the Apostle Paul says it so succinctly: “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1 Tim. 5:8)
My dad was a college professor for 40 years.  Not only did he teach full time, but he also held down at least two or three jobs at the same time, including heading up the Colorado Mosquito Control.  And in order to live off a teacher salary, he often walked or rode his bike to and from work.  I am so grateful for his service so that we could eat and have a home.  At the time, I didn’t realize how much my father worked for our family.  I appreciate it MUCH more now. 
I also love how the Proclamation expects fathers to provide spiritual leadership for their families.  In a pamphlet published some years ago by the Council of the Twelve, it says: “Fatherhood is leadership, the most important kind of leadership.  It has always been so; it always will be so.  Father, with the assistance and counsel and encouragement of your eternal companion, you preside in the home.”
How can fathers give spiritual leadership to their families?  May I suggest 8 specific ways?
1.    Give father’s blessings to your children. 
I grew up receiving father’s blessings.  I got them at the beginning of every school year.  I got them when I was sick.  I got them when I needed comfort.  It was wonderful to me that my dad was worthy to give me a blessing whenever I asked.  One of the most important blessings I received from my father was the day before my wedding.  I was a nervous, young bride.  I asked my dad for a blessing – and I’ll never forget the feeling of peace I received as he gave me inspiration from my Heavenly Father that my marriage to Scott was right and good and necessary for exaltation.
Not only am I grateful for my father’s blessings, but I’m truly grateful that my own husband has followed suit and provided the same service for our daughters!  I truly love the legacy that father’s blessings bring!
2.   Direct family prayers, and daily scripture reading.
Scott is wonderful at making sure we say family prayers and read our scriptures daily… or at least as often as we can!  Those moments of morning prayers (even though I am often half asleep) have truly blessed my days.  And my evening insomnia is better when we’ve prayed as a family!  I especially love it when Kiara face-times in for those prayers and Scott calls on her to say the prayers!
3.   Hold weekly family home evenings.
Both of my parents are educators.  So FHE was a no brainer at our house growing up!  I could give a whole talk about the importance of FHE and never run out of material!  I remember the time my father told us he had a dream that we had to leave for the wilderness and we packed up – drove to the middle of nowhere – and read about Lehi and his family having to leave.  Another memorable FHE was when a pirate gave dad a treasure map on his way home from work – he had hid the treasure in our back yard.  We knew it was authentic because it was burned and dirty.  And when we dug up the treasure?!  We got the Book of Mormon and fudge!
Since my childhood was filled with amazing FHEs I was hoping my future husband would also catch the vision of this wonderful opportunity to teach our children.  He did.  And our own daughters beg for FHE….  Our favorite activity is the candy bar game.  (It’s just an excuse to eat candy bars after the lesson!)
4.   Attend Church meetings together.
I love going to church.  I especially love going with our family.  I love that Scott has always made attending church together an essential part of being a “DeGooyer!”
5.   Build traditions with your families, including family vacations and family outings.
Speaking of being a “DeGooyer” one of our favorite family traditions is DeGooyer Day.  It has made our family closer and it came about because of Scott!  DeGooyer Day is our family’s annual holiday.  We wear matching shirts and play ALL day long.  No work is allowed.  (And the holiday is always in the middle of the work week to make sure it’s “for real!”)  It’s our family’s favorite! 
My parents often joke that we have too many traditions.  Scott and I love them!  But we feel that our traditions and time together has strengthened our family and helped us grow spiritually and together!   
6.   Go on daddy-daughter dates and father-and-sons’ outings with your children.
My first date at 16 years old was with my dad!  He came to the front door with a rose and took me to dinner and for a drive over the Colorado National Monument.  I had my first prime rib.  It was delicious!  And I felt like a princess.  Another memorable date was when my dad took me (at age 21) to see the new Disney animated movie, “Beauty and the Beast!”  I loved it!  And was so glad my dad took me to see it!  I learned how to be treated like a lady by the dates I had with my dad!  Those outings fathers go on with their children are precious memories!  I highly encourage them!
7.   Teach your children to work.  Show them the value of working toward a worthy goal.
Katia recently went to work for her dad.  She learned the value of hard work from him.  And is loving the physical labor and challenging herself to keep up with the other employees to prove herself.  She learned that from her dad also.  And we know, from the scriptures, that being industrious is something to strive for.  I’m so glad Scott loves hard work and loves working with and for his family!
8.   Have your children see your joy and satisfaction in service to the Church.  This can become contagious to them, so they, too, will want to serve in the Church and will love it!
Both my husband and my father have helped me realize how wonderful it is to serve in the Church.  It truly brings me joy to watch them serve and to emulate their selfless service.
Sooooo… you, as fathers, can do so much for the salvation and exaltation of your families!  Your responsibilities are so important!  Remember your sacred calling as a father is the most important calling you’ll ever have!  I’m grateful for the dads in my life.  And I am especially grateful for my Heavenly Father.  I cannot wait to be in His presence again someday.  And to thank Him for His love….

Saturday, June 17, 2017

ANOTHER WEEK.... OF CRAZY DeGOOYERS

We celebrated June birthdays this week: Kotten Kandy, Scott, Mark and Amy!  I even made two cakes: Better Than S_X Cake and Mississippi Mud Cake.  YUM!  And we exchanged gifts!  I love all four of these awesome people!
Kiara got to go to the temple last week too:
And while Taffy was at Scout camp, so were these two awesome boys of mine:
Nuts
Almond Joy
Nuts
We love our Sister missionaries!  They are some of the best!  We took them to Claudia Sanders for dinner... and then to take a picture of the statue outside of the hospital... (Yes, it's Colonel Sanders!)
And then yesterday, Key Lime Pie got to spend the day with her grandparents and cousins.  She took a few selfies, but said the others didn't want to be in the pictures.  They went to John Denver's memorial and also to Glenwood Springs.  She had a fun day!
Yes... she got sunburned.
This is how I spent a couple of days at my husband's work... waiting for Kotten Kandy to take her to her other job.  These chairs are not comfortable....

Friday, June 9, 2017

SCOUT CAMP - GOODBYE - AND BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

Yes, I'm aware I don't actually have a son in scout camp... but I have a friend who shares her son with me...  And I claim him!  I love him like my own.  I pretend he's mine.  And this week has been super fun for me - because they even sent me pictures so I could keep up with "my son's" adventures at scout camp!  Taffy looked like he had a blast!  We missed him!  And can't wait to see him again!  Check it out:
Early morning scripture study - Taffy is the one in the green uniform.
Taffy made stuffed peppers in the dutch oven.
Yup, he's super talented!
He must "take after me!"  JK
I love that Taffy is always happy!
Service with smiles!
Shooting with his buddy (and "my other boy") Asparagus...
Taffy with his dad and his last name's namesake?!
Then... on Wednesday we said goodbye to Fig Newton.  She went home to Bangkok.  We'll miss her.
Goodbye!
Foreign Sisters!
And we celebrated Scott turning 44 with Wonder Woman, a temple trip and Qdoba.  It was a fun day!
Scott said we were his wonder women!
(And the only one missing was Kiara!)
We love the temple!
And Qdoba is our fave too!
And Kotten Kandy started her new job at CPS with her father this week.  She's a super hard worker!
She worked from 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. two days in a row!
I'm exhausted for her!
And Kotten Kandy spent some quality time with Marmalade this week....  Of course I spoiled them with DQ blizzards!
I love these two girls of mine!
And look how gorgeous Kentucky is!  I took these pictures on our walk at Beckley Park this week: