Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Scenes of Mystic, CT In A Video.

Summer is not summer without venturing out to one of our favorite spots in the world, and with summer quickly winding down decided at the last minute to drive three hours to one of our favorite gems, Mystic. 
The kids are always down for pizza, and even more down when we are near the ocean, and Mystic seaport is always the perfect spot for us to go to where we can walk down the harbor, and down main street to window shop, and buy a little something if needed, and of course to eat at our favorite pizza place, Mystic Pizza! 
And have some yummy dessert at one of our favorite ice cream spots. 
This blog post will be super short because of all the numerous other posts I've written about Mystic which you can read here, here, and here. Also because I want to spend as much time with the kids before school resumes, and don't want to be on the computer too much. Besides...who reads this blog anyway, or reads other blogs during the summer. 
So instead of taking numerous photos I decide to make a little video of our trip instead, and I hope you enjoy it! 

Happy wednesday, and hope y'all enjoy the rest of the summer before it's gone! 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Philadelphia Temple Tour With My Family.

Finally made it to the open house with my entire family, and wish that Sierra could have joined in this wonderful moment with us. Time from work permitted her from visiting us this summer before school started (which is today), but we both already have a temple trip planned together when she visits for the holidays! Can hardly wait!
I could tell how much the kids were looking forward to finally going inside. Noah thought it was especially funny wearing these huge white slippers on his feet! This temple inside is unique in it's own, and absolutely fascinating! Completely different in architecture compared to any other temple I've ever seen. The paintings inside were stunning! I have to say one of my favorites as I stepped foot inside the foyer was the one where Benjamin Franklin is signing the constitution, and of course the huge painting of Jesus Christ. Perfect spot for that photo. It's as if He is welcoming everyone with open arms entering inside the temple. I also love how the windows replicate those inside Independence Hall. Taking pictures inside the temple are prohibited, but if you'd like to see some you can view them here

Our kids stood in awe, and amazement when they walked inside noticing the checkered floors. I was whispering to Noah how exciting this must be for him to be entering the temple for the first time. He whispered back in my ear, and said, "this isn't my first time mom, remember when we went inside the Kirkland temple, that was my first time." I then said to him, "True, but the church doesn't own that temple anymore." He was like, "what do you mean "own." Lol! I wasn't going to go into detail as to why we don't own it. I'll explain that to him when we are at home doing a lesson or something! 
After the tour of the temple we went inside the visitors center where we saw some of our favorite sister missionaries. It was also nice to see so many people coming in to take the time to tour the temple, and to see what we are all about. The visitors center is always open to the public, and if you have any questions there are missionaries from our church willing to answer any questions you may have about the temple, and the religion. 

The temple grounds are beautiful, and you can go up on the balcony to capture a nice view of the temple, and what surrounds it. I am so grateful that our kids were able to attend the open house with us. This is a once in a lifetime experience for some of us especially for non-members. 

Just a reminder that on September 9th it will be dedicated, and closed forever to the public so if you are interested in going on a tour you can reserve tickets here.
Family is everything. I know that my Savior lives, and that He wants us to be with our families for all eternity. That is the beauty, and the purpose of why we have temples built upon this earth. So that we can be with our families forever. Both the living, and the ones who have passed on.
And it also my hope that our children will marry their future sweethearts in the temple.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Beach Trip With New Friends At Bradley Beach.

Words cannot describe how blessed we are to have met some great people. 

Normally when one moves into a new area going to activities whether in our community, or at church may not seem like fun to newcomers, but for us...we were all for it. I have long since realized that in order to get out of my comfort zone, I need to get involved with going to activities in my community, and at church, lose myself in service, and fellowship like no other. 

Yesterday, the kids and I drove to Bradley Beach to meet up with the young women, and a few sisters from our church, including the Bishop's wife for an "almost end of summer fun beach trip." I just love these group of girls, and the sisters in our new congregation are pretty awesome too. These young women took Lexie under their wing, and made her feel welcomed since day one. Although Lexie misses her friends, and leaders back in our old congregation, she is grateful to have made some new ones. 

And so am I. 

We all had so much fun getting to know each other on a temporal level, and just laughed at how our girls were being in the water. It was relaxing, and stress free. There was no drama, or awkwardness. Just pure fun, and joy. We were all genuinely enjoying each others company eating homemade chocolate chip cookies (thanks Sister Neilson), and just soaking up the sun. Truly didn't want it to end.
As you can see I only took one photo, and a selfie of the kids and I upon leaving. I was having too much fun to be on my phone. There are only two snaps on my snapchat from this day (which you can view at r_jorgensen), but other than that my interest was in having fun with my kids, and getting to know my new sisters better. 

This was our first time at Bradley beach, and it is really pretty. Next time we come I'll take more pictures, but because I was among good people didn't worry about picture taking this time. 

So thankful for these wonderful ladies, and for the girls for making us all feel as if we are part of their church family. 

As it should be. 

And if it wasn't, well...I would still be who I am loving, and being accepting of others no matter what. And that's the beauty of the gospel is accepting people for who, and how they are. 

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, and enjoying this low key, somewhat kind of less humid heat! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

How We Treat Others.

Regardless of how Christ was ridiculed, beaten, whipped, and stoned he loved everyone unconditionally. He still loved us. He loved us so much that He laid His own life down for us.

And we should all do the same. 

Not sacrificing our life as Christ did, but loving others unconditionally. 

Especially when it comes to humanity. 

But most of all family. 

Granted I am not a perfect person, but I know that if we really have the desire to change our naughty ways it can be done. For some it may take years, or even a lifetime of change, but it can be done. 

I know I'm guilty of hurting, and talking about people, but as I, and my children grow older, especially having an adult daughter, one thing for sure is that I would never want to talk ill of anyone in front of them. Whether it's a family member, a neighbor, or someone in our congregation. I would feel really bad if someone came up to me, and told me certain things that I said that was mean about someone, and how that made them feel, I would want to change my ways. Change for the better, and it's a shame that some of us are past feeling. Going through the motions, not seeing how it can affect someone when someone we really care about is hurt because of something we said, and vice versa. It's hurtful, but at the same time makes me love that person even more. Because I've changed, and learned to bite my tongue, and love no matter what.

That's the beauty of the gospel.

The gospel really helps change people. It's a work in progress, and if we really have the desire to want to change our bad habits, and how we treat people we can change. Regardless of what people may think, I know that I have changed.

I look back at the time when I joined the church and how hard it was for my mother to accept the fact that this was serious for me. That I really took to heart the love I had for Christ and this new religion that I converted to. It took her a while to 'catch on' that I was really striving to change. She had a hard time believing that I had a strong love for God, and that I was willing to change my ugly attitude, and bad habits. I think of the scripture "by the fruits ye shall know them." And after 23 years of striving to live a christ like life, my mother, including a few of my friends who knew how I used to be have seen the change, and not acting like the "old rose."

And they are happy for me!

Part of the gospel is change. Evolving. Growing. 

But most of all enduring.

Throughout all my years of being a member I have learned that in order to become like Christ is to act like Him, and it has taken me years to change things that I didn't like about myself. And in return rather than sulking, and dwelling in the past, I have learned to celebrate that change, and to have joy in any given situation. The good, the bad, and the ugly. 

Some people have a hard time letting things go, but I'll tell you this, if you seriously plead to Heavenly Father while kneeling in prayer that all the drama that life, the world, and family can bring will be easier to let go. That forgiveness will come easier. That judging people will be a thing of the past. That you will actually begin to feel. I have experienced this so much in my life to the point where I just don't have time for it. Of course I have time to pray for all the chaos that life, the world, and family can bring, but don't have time or the energy to talk about others. 

Because I don't focus on that. I'm too busy finding joy among the chaos that this world can bring.
Attending the temple often really helps me to forget about all the negativity that has gone on in my life. Especially all that I have been through in the past, but mostly the present. It strengthens me to become a better person, and rejuvenates my soul. The love I have for my family, and friends grows even stronger. That's the beauty of what the temple does to one's heart. 

I know that when I treat others with respect, and love them for who they are that they in return may want to change, and become better. And when we support our loved ones with all the choices they make, they become a happier, and peaceful person. We are constantly moving along this path called life, and it is up to us to choose one that brings happiness, and joy. And when someone we love chooses a path that we wouldn't have chosen, but it is still good because they are a loving, kind, and joyful person, it's important to express support, and love them regardless. 
Because that's what Christ did, and still does. 

He is the perfect judge, and only He can determine our destiny. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

On Always Being There For Our Children.

With the way life has been for our family with relocating to a whole new town, starting new schools in Central Jersey, and the way the world is getting in terms of telling us what's good which is really wrong as well as all the travesties that have been happening in the world (such as Europe, Texas, and Florida), I am extremely grateful for the continued strength that I have in raising the kids I have left at home with true, and honest principles. Having a temple so close to us now where we can attend weekly will give us that extra strength, and help us draw nearer to God as we attend more often. I see in each of our kids a unique light that shines so bright in which i hope others will see. I often remind them that anytime they feel that light going dim to fill it with doing something good. It's so nice to see them contributing small acts of service to one another as well as others. They may not notice it, but I do. I know that their generations can do better than we are today. They all have the potential to move mountains, and to pass on their smile, and love. Having our children growing older is okay with me...sometimes! 

Even though Sierra is on her own we keep in constant contact with each other. We pray for her 24.7. She may be 21, but I am so grateful for the phone calls i continue to get from her. Whether it's about a boy, her job, her education, or texting me a photo of her latest T.J. Maxx find, or calling me from REI asking me which color rainbow sandals she should get this time brings a whole bunch of happy to my days. 

See, thing is I didn't really do anything like this with my mom. I didn't call to lament to her enough about life, how fast my kids are growing, or any of the bad things that were happening at that time of my life, or anything that I needed advice on. Even though I feel as if I don't need my mom now at my age, I really do! And I'm so grateful for the talks we have over the phone, and for the sweet texts that she'll send from time to time (she prefers phone calls!)

One thing I know is that i hope those phone calls from Sierra keep coming. I want her to know that she can call upon me for anything, anytime. I want her to call me when she has an issue with her future kids, and lament to me on how fast they're growing up, and current events that will happen in her lifetime.  I want her to know that even though she's 2100 miles away I will sacrifice my time just to pick up the phone to talk to her.
It's bittersweet that at 21 she is continuing to find her own way, and learning from all the experiences she has faced in the past. And as for the rest of our kids, I want them to know that they can all rely on me, and their pa for anything when their time comes to permanently leave the nest. With school starting soon it's so interesting to see them growing up, and to notice their voices changing, standing up for what they believe in, and watching their personalities becoming fearless and bold. Love that my girls feel like they can talk to me, and ask for advice, and it is my hope that they will also have that special relationship with their future posterity. 

I have faith that they will, and that they can all do better than i did when I was their ages!  


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

We Heart Tennis.

For the past few weeks since summer began the kids and I have tried our best to go to the courts to practice on whatever they need to work on. Each of them, including myself needs to practice more on something different. Even though Lexie tells me I have good form, I know I can rock at tennis if I only took lessons. Lessons are expensive, and when you have three kids who want private lessons, well...they can add up and sometimes you need to make those sacrifices for them. Luckily Lexie is a rockstar at playing tennis, and with her knowledge will teach Chelsea a bit so that helps me save some money over the summer. I will throw balls at Noah in hopes that he will hit them, and also work on his form. He's getting pretty good, but having a playground right next to the courts doesn't help his concentration. I swear every court we have found in our area has a playground, and he always wants to play in it. I figure let him be a kid, and it's okay if we don't get our full 30 minutes of hitting balls, and working on his swing. I want him to love the sport, not hate it! So we always have an agreement that when we come play tennis that we can play one game, hit a few balls for ten minutes, and then he can play at the park. So far that agreement has been working since he started taking lessons last spring

The kids all play pretty well together, and when I see that they have a passion for playing tennis it makes me super happy. Chelsea will help Lexie at her game by hitting the ball at her so Lexie can work on her serves. I think Lexie rocks at tennis, but she is her own worst critic though, and feels as if she can do better. Yes, she can always do better. We all can! That's why we practice, and because of the move, and all haven't frequented the courts too much this summer. Luckily with the few practices that we put in our schedule so far have helped Lexie. She is going on her third year of tennis, and hope that she will shine in her new school, and that she will have a great tennis partner this year. 

When we went the other day to play tennis that's exactly what we did. Play. Not take pictures. Sure I added a little snap on my snapchat (which my username is r_jorgensen), but for the most part we were all playing. There was no one on the courts to take pics while we were all in a game with each other, and I only managed to capture a few when the kids were done. 
Including a very sweaty Noah. 
I'm so glad to see that the girls play well together, and when Sierra comes and visits they all want to play a match with her. We love tennis, and hope that they will continue to have a love for the game as they continue to grow older. 
Especially Noah since he would like to play on the BYU tennis team! We have many years to go for him to be prepared so good thing we started him young! That's if he'll still want to play that sport when he's older. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Finding Joy In All Things.

Our desire to attend the temple is quite frequent, and even though the Philadelphia temple is complete, and ready for the open house, I can't wait another month for it to be dedicated so we can go inside and do some work. So this past weekend we all literally jumped in the car, and headed to D.C. to attend the temple. 

This move has been pretty rough for me, but I manage to adjust, and find joy in all things. The house, the area, and our new congregation. Attending the temple often is what keeps me going, and sane when things become to hard to manage. It truly is a wonderful place that brings me peace, and joy. It helps me to forget about all the negativity that's going on in the world, and helps me to find joy in every tough situation.
My family is my rock, and the resilient spirits that the kids bring to my heart helps me to adjust even better. What an amazing place to go to prepare ourselves more spiritually so that each day can be lived fully with the surety that I can leave telling myself, "I'm stronger, but know that I can always work on my weaknesses, because I have the Lord on my side at all times, and in all places!" To always "have joy in mothering" regardless of the drama they may bring. I can't even imagine my life had I not had them, and attending the temple is one way of expressing my gratitude and love to our Heavenly Father for giving me such a life. 

Especially a life that I can handle. 

And re-reading this post I wrote three years ago is a reminder to help me handle it even more!