Saturday, March 30, 2013

seeking a holy place.

What a momentous week this has been. The month of March for me had its ups and downs, but I'm happy to say that it's going to end with a tremendous up! 

I've never been to the temple on Good Friday & having attended during the Easter season was very special. So special that I would like to make it a tradition to go on Good Friday every year from here on out.

Every time I attend the temple I learn something new. I've learned to never go in a casual state of mind, and to try to go with a clear mind that has room for more things to learn and to look at things in a different perspective. 

It's so true what President David O' McKay (1873-1970) once said after his 90th birthday. He said something along the lines of, "even though I go to the temple once a week, I still learn something new." He was a member his whole life, and that is something that I feel is so true. 

Attending the temple during the Easter season was indeed special and the meaning of the work that I did in there gave a whole new meaning as to the reason of my presence in this world. 

It's times like the past week, and month(s) that I've had especially when days were so gloomy that I needed that extra strength to rejuvenate myself, and become me again. 

Sure I have my pen, journal, kids, husband, and books that make my life blissful, but what I realize is that in order to continue to build that happiness my faith needs to be strong. 

The choices I make to have faith in the Lord no matter how hard life can get can be hard at times, but knowing that there is a holy place waiting for my existence to enter to feel peace, helps me realize once again that life makes a whole lot of sense. 

I'm reminded of my Saviors love when I enter the temple, and the feeling I get at the end of the day gives me assurance that I'm never alone. 

Never alone during the days when my three year old son doesn't want to take a bath, and when I'm pulling my hairs out because he still does not want to go potty on the toilet

Never alone when Jon is working late, and I'm having to play both roles of mother & father to two teenage daughters and an eight year old in dealing with questions regarding their homework, trials of their day, & slight drama.

Never alone when I'm literally feeling alone

I know that there is a holy place that I can go to whether alone, or with my husband to feel whole again.

Besides making our home a haven on earth I know that I can always go the House of The Lord for free.  

How grateful I am to be a member of a church where God's existence is felt through the walls of this beautiful building, and to continue to return to a house that is filled with an overwhelming sense of peace, love, and faith.

**Remembering Christ throughout this sacred season is so special. Please watch this to remember Him.

Happy Easter.

xo

Thursday, March 28, 2013

honors band concert


When you have four kids you tend to document almost every detail of their life. Not everything, but almost everything. When it comes to music I definitely have to have record of it. I have three girls that play the piano, and tonight it was Alexandra's turn to perform. 

She tried out for honors band about a month ago, and made it in. She is the keyboard player of her school, and absolutely loves it. 

Tonight three middle schools from the township we live in got their honors bands together to play some awesome music! They even added the honors chorus as a bonus! 
There are so many kids who move towards the woodwind, brass & percussion instruments, and not enough string players. Too bad there is no orchestra on this side of town. Alex would be a part of that in a heartbeat! We hope that the high school she's in a couple of years will have one! She had a blast playing in the All south Jersey Jr. orchestra back in January.

Since I didn't play any instrument in school I didn't encourage my girls to play. And the only reason Jon played the trumpet in middle school for one year was so that he could get out of gym class! Nice huh?

So I have a lot of gratitude for the people who played an important role in my life for encouraging me to encourage our kids in learning an instrument.  

One teacher in particular was Sierra's second grade music teacher who told me to get her into piano lessons because she had an innate talent in playing the guitar (which she hasn't done that in long while), and reading music...at 7 years old! I will always be thankful for Mr. Doran in encouraging both my husband & I to get her into lessons because piano is her forte. Her example has made all of her sisters into big time music geeks. 

Alexandra obviously has followed in her footsteps, but also took a bold move in playing the violin, and she admits that is her favorite!

Mr. Nichols has been a great band teacher to all the students. He has been there for Alex in times of need when it comes to any questions she may have that deals with music. 
For the past two years she has made great friends in middle school.
Alex & Destiny-circa, spring 2012
These two young women literally live a hop, skip, and a jump from us and they have been such great friends to Alex. Those are very hard to come by. 
Mr. Nichols, Alex, Edith, & Destiny-present day
So far we are a string family. All the girls play the piano, and Alex is the only one who plays the violin. Who knows what instrument Noah will play in the near future as he gets older. 

I always share my thoughts and feelings about music whenever I write about it, and every time I hear my girls play, or sing it brings me great joy. I am in awe when I hear them because that's something that I never did, and never thought our children would do. It brings peace in the home whenever someone is having a bad day (including the piano player), and comforts every single one of us. I honestly don't know what we'd do without it. 

"Without music life would be a mistake."~Friedrich Neitzsche 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

on the fifth day of spring.

It never fails that every time Jon has a day off it snows. To tell you the truth i am glad he was here with me, because if he wasn't I might have just lost it.

The day started out with Noah coming to our bed to let us know that "is snowing owside" I knew we were expecting it, but I didn't think it would go on all day for what it seemed like eternity. I had to snap out of my melancholiness, and what helps me snap out of that mood...taking pictures. 

I got dressed, put makeup on, dropped Chelsea off at school, and began snapping pictures of my cute husband, and son.
even though Noah doesn't attend school yet, he has to have his backpack every time we take his sister to school. 
Luckily we are the type of people who don't really like to stay cooped up in the house when it snows, but because Jon worked late the other night he went back to sleep for awhile. 

While Noah was multitasking by watching a bit of television & playing with his train set I ventured outside, and went for a quick walk down the bike trail.

And it was a beautiful sight.
Not a soul in sight. Just me walking along snapping pictures.
In the middle of my walk I was beginning to not mind the snow falling on my face. Maybe it's because I was dressed properly or because i know this weather isn't going to last long. Yeah...I think that was it. 

On my way home from my walk I almost missed these evergreen looking trees. 
Actually yellowish looking trees. Odd color, but I thought they looked cool enough to take a picture. Made me think about Christmas, and how it's going to be here in nine months! 

Our snowy day wasn't too bad. We ran a few errands, ate a speedy lunch at Don Pablos, and made tacos for dinner, and spending it with these boys is always a blast. Never a dull moment with the Jorgensens especially when my youngest daughter always asks if she can take pictures of us. 

I obliged. 
Overall I had a pretty good day. I think I've been away from Utah too long where I didn't mind having snow in the spring. I remember one year it snowed in April!! As much as I love the snow it just came too late for us here in Jersey. 

Why didn't you come last Christmas, or in early January when the kids still had time off from school? 

Huh?

Oh, Marchy, marchy, marchy, I at least thank you for bringing sunshine for the rest of the week.

Monday, March 25, 2013

busy as a bee.

The last half of the school year has been mega busy, and it will be until graduation. 

My two oldest daughters have been absent every night for the past two weeks, and now that their drama productions are over, I hope it'll slow down a bit.

Umm, I don't think so. 

We have spring concerts, and numerous jazz band festivals lined up until May.

How do I deal? Honestly, I just do it. I try my hardest not to complain because this is what the girls love to do. I wonder if it's because I didn't have the opportunities that these girls have growing up with being involved in extracurricular activities. 

When they ask that they'd like to do this, and join that, well, after a long discussion and some counsel we as parents will oblige. 

Alexandra is starting out a young age, but man is this girl focused. She truly is mature for a 13 year old. Sometimes I forget how old she is, and I start talking to her like an adult! 

This past weekend she played Jill in her middle schools drama production of A Walk in the Woods.

She portrayed the role perfectly, and althought she didn't have many lines she will be remembered for her poise, great diction, and uniqueness in acting. 
All these kids put on a great show, and worked well together. It was a cute production, and perfect for small children. 
********

While Alex was performing on Saturday night Sierra was at another jazz competition. I'll tell you these kids have an innate talent when it comes to music. Especially Sierra. This is her second win as best piano soloist, and the whole band won for best rhythm section. I couldn't be more pleased.
When these kids come together as one and play with one sound...they are awesome, and the end result...they are all winners! 

********
As our children get older their life becomes more busy, more overwhelming, more exhausting. And while they're slowly transitioning into an adult, and their lives are changing momentously, they'll all need a place to rejuvenate themselves so that they can leave the commotion of the world behind.

Perhaps a place where they can think, and ponder. To receive answers to their prayers, and just become sane again. A place where one can go to escape the busyness of the world. A place where every youth 12 and older can attend. 

That special place is the temple.
pictures via Megan Wynne with a little help from the VSCO app.
It is amazing to see these kids making the right choice by attending the temple instead of having your 'normal teen recreational outing' on a Saturday. 

They all came together in unity to bond, to be strengthened, to bless those who have passed on, and to surround themselves with the spirit of The Lord.
When I attend the temple it absolutely fulfills my inner being. I come out knowing that I can be better, do more, love more, forgive more, and strive more towards my goal of living a Christ like life no matter what adversity comes my way.  If I could go every day I would! It is my hope that my children, and all the youth of the church will strive to attend the temple as they mature in the gospel, and in the world. 

********

While my two oldest were at the temple, I had the privilege of hanging out with these two.  
Having these two on a Saturday all day by myself was bliss, but (yes there is always a but), they can be a little too much. 

Luckily we have a Sonic close by...
and that I didn't put the Easter decorations up yet. 
They had so much fine putting them out! Noah liked all the decorations, and defined them as "cute" on this vine video.

Motherhood is a full time job, and the life of a mother is hard. It can be overwhelming, and the weight can be too much sometimes.

There are days when I'm not at my best, but when everyone in my family comes together as one, and friends inside and outside of the church work as one... life can be pretty inspirational.

Such as the cast in Alex's drama production at her school, the jazz band at Sierra's high school, the youth of the church attending the temple, and my two youngest children getting along. They all worked together as a beehive.

Whether it's my own children, the kids at school, or the youth of the church-there is hope for us all. 

There is hope for all generations to have great expectations in staying focused when it comes to how they live their lives. 

I hope that no matter how busy our lives get that as a family we can always become one, and strive our best to always be happy, but most of all...to make the right choices.

"Imagine what the millions of Latter-day Saints could accomplish in the world if we functioned like a beehive in our focused, concentrated commitment to the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.” —Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Friday, March 22, 2013

a day with leo.

A week ago I received this little guy by mail from a friend whose nephew has asked to take him to see interesting places in our part of the country. 

Leo the lion is small & precious. He has got to be one of the luckiest lions in the world because he gets to hang out with the Jorgensens! 

Since we like to drive everywhere we decided to take him to a few places nearby! He is so lucky to have been sent to us. 

Luckily Jon was off today, and we decided to take Leo to Philly, and to the beach! We pulled out our hats and scarfs again, and ventured out to start our day. 

I didn't eat nothing, but a cutie for breakfast, and we were starving! Guess where we went for lunch again...Chipotle. I swear I'm going to have to seriously watch our budget when it comes to this place. This was Jon's first time eating here, and he loved it just as much as I did. 
Noah loves this place. He instantly knows what he wants the minute we pull in the parking lot...brown rice & tortillas. Boy can he shove those in his mouth quick! 
I've been spoiling him a lot lately, and although we try to drink soda pop in moderation when we go out to eat it's almost impossible for us not to have any. I usually drink a coke or Mr. Pibb when i eat mexican food. Luckily we don't eat out too much otherwise that carbonated soda will have us looking like huge balloons. Noah is skinny enough that it doesn't hurt if he has a soda every once in while. Hey...you only live once. 

I think he drank a little too much though, and as soon as we got in the car he started talking up a storm. I wish I would have vined our conversation. After a while I noticed a different look on his face. Apparently he was coming down on his sugar high. Poor thing...after a while he gave up and just feel asleep. 
While Noah was sound asleep we ventured out to Philly, and the first place we went to was the  Philadelphia museum of Art, and had Leo sit on the steps where Rocky ran. I wanted to run up the steps with him, but it was too cold. Been there done that
 Here he is posing like Rocky.
There are so many places we wanted Leo to see in Philly, but we didn't have enough time. Besides, I really wanted to take him to one of my favorite places...the beach. 
As we were driving into Atlantic City it was snowing! How crazy is that! All we saw were trees, and branches covered with light snow. Quite a sight to see on the second day of spring. I have to admit...it was beautiful. 
We went to our favorite spot in Margate city, and took Leo to see an old, old friend of ours. 

Noah and I managed to get a picture with Lucy too!


It gets really cold when your near the ocean, but that didn't stop us from taking more photos! I love the beach in the winter time just as much as I do in the summer time. 

As we were walking along the beach we found an area in Margate where there is still some damage from hurricane Sandy. 

Here Leo is sitting on some boards that are laid out for people to walk on so that they don't step in the piles of sand underneath.
I am standing on them as well. It's still hard to believe that they are still cleaning up some of the damage that Sandy caused. The beaches in Atlantic city didn't get hit as bad as the beaches up north. Spring lake got it worse! It sure has taken a lot of time to rebuild, and I don't think they are quite finished yet. 
The snow subsided after awhile, and we really enjoyed this time spent on the beach. I have grown quite attached to this little guy. I'm not sure how much longer he'll stay with us. He has to be home before the end of April, and soon he'll be back home in Idaho with his family. 
This entire day was spent outdoors, and we loved it! 

I feel so privileged to live in an area where there is so much to see, and do. Taking our kids out to see the world is something that is an important part of our lives. We are surrounded by so much history, mountains, beaches, art, museums, and good food. 

There is no way I'm going to deprive our children of that, and take these amazing creations for granted. 

Even though Leo is just a small stuffed animal, I'm so glad he experienced a part of what we love.

Hope your weekend is just as happy as this day was for us! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

an ideal day with my boy.

So far this week is being pretty friendly to me. I can't complain because I get to stay home with this little guy. It seems that every time we go out to the park he always wants to wear his converse with the shoe wings. He pretends he's a superhero whenever he wears them. 

He wanted to wear them to church this past Sunday, but I didn't think that his nice St. Patty's day outfit (sorry no pics) would go well with those. Luckily Noah didn't throw too big of a tantrum, and so he wore his blue converse instead. I think it's okay to wear converse to church as long as they are clean, and go with the right outfit. You can really dress up those suckers. 

If your area has blockbuster stores I suggest you go and see if they are closing their doors because they are selling all their inventory. I found this really cute movie, and even though I've never seen it I bought it anyway! 


And you know what? It is the cutest movie in the world. We all loved it because it's filmed in NYC, and I loved the scenes that were filmed in Riverside park. Everything about this movie was so sweet, and it reminded me of how I will see Noah in about eight years. Yikes! 

I know that these years are going to fly by, and I want to continue to build memories with this little guy. 
So being that I'm pretty much alone with this little guy all day we waited for the rain to stop, and when we went outside boy were the skies blue again. 

We went to the park again, and even though everything was wet Noah didn't care. He was running around just having a good time, and I let him. You can see that he is having a blast here.
We worked up quite an appetite, and went to Chipotle afterwards for lunch. For you Chipotle fans can you believe that this is the first time ever going to this place! Um, where have I been? The burrito bowls are awesome, and the brown rice is a gem. I even made a 6 second video with the vine app. I really enjoyed speaking in spanish too! 
Everything was so good, and Noah's favorite...the tortilla! He also kept sneaking my drink, and I finally gave up and just let him have my Mr. Pibb. 
I have been going to Don Pablos way too much, but now that I've discovered Chipotle...look out! I think I'm going to need some therapy so that I don't go everyday! Especially since it is only five minutes away from me!  

What a beautiful day it turned out to be. I wouldn't trade the work of the world for this little guy at all! At least not now anyway. I'm where I want to be right now, and when I wake up each morning to greet the day with a thankful heart, besides wishing my girls y Jon a good day, this is what I look forward to...an ideal day with my boy!

After all...he's only three once. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Aida

As much as I love blogging, it sure was nice to relax, and be absent for a few days from this little blog to give full attention to my family.

And I did just that.  

This past weekend was the high school's musical production of AidaWe all love the theatrics, and being that this is Sierra's senior year we wanted to show our support by attending all three nights. This was the first time in four years where I've seen a high school musical for three nights in a row, and I'm so glad I did! 

On opening night one of my best friends came with me for support, my husband and I went on Friday night, and on closing night I had a mother/daughter date with Alexandra.


Aida has got to be my favorite high school musical thus far. Maybe it's because I love a good love story, and it also reminded of the broadway musical Ghost

Although Into the Woods, and Rent were performed very well in the previous years Aida in my opinion was the best.  

We had front row seats, and it was a perfect view to not only be in view of the violinists (which Alex was thrilled to be close to), but to see Sierra as well. 
This year instead of acting, or being a part of the stage crew Sierra played with 10 adults in the orchestra. She looked like a professional in being a part of the orchestra, and played exceptionally well on the keyboard. 

Who knows...this could have been practice for when she plays in an orchestra for a broadway show in the future. 

Another dream thought i suppose!
As always when the show is over I take pictures of Sierra with her acting buddies. 
picture via T.J.
This show was phenomenal, and what an amazing talent these kids have! They all did very well, but I have to give a huge BRAVO to the three key players that had lead roles. 
Lindsay as the fashionable Amneris
Desiree as Aida, princess of Nubia
the one and only t.j. as Radames
They all have acting potential, and are all majoring in musical theatre in the fall. 

Now I normally don't take pictures with any of Sierra's friends, but I just had to take one with T.J. who played Radames. He was amazing, and I truly felt as if I was watching an actual broadway show. 

My daughter teases me and says that I have a crush on him because every time I see him I give him a big ol' hug. 

I may not have a crush on him, but I do love the way he sings, and acts on stage. He is the nicest kid anyone would want to hang around with and is truly humble. I am glad they are friends, and that in their senior year they ended with this show.  

This young man definitely has the potential to star on broadway. 
Okay...besides my husband I do love this kid. He's quite tall too...just like Jon! 

Amazing, amazing, amazing performances from everyone!!