What happened after it began!

Okay, our last post talked about how Paul and I were starting the Take Shape for Life Plan.  The Result???

Paul lost 5 pounds last week and I am down 4 pounds!!  And this is only on the modified plan.  

The biggest bonus for me was I didn't have to take my 3:00 nap to get me through the day.  My energy has been way up!  I hadn't even thought about that perk until I looked back at how my week went.

One more pound and I'm at the skinniest I've been in my whole marriage (5 pounds below my wedding weight too)except for one time when I was deathly ill for a week.  I am LOVING feeling healthy and energetic.

I will keep updating on our family of course, plus Paul's definite change that will continue to take place!

For now, we wish all of you, our family and friends a Merry Christmas and very Happy New Year!

It Begins!

So Paul has begun the Take Shape for Life Plan as of today and we are going to keep posting his transformation!  Most of my family on my mom's side have lost considerable weight on this healthy, doctor formulated plan so we're excited!  I am a free health coach for them, so anyone that's wanting to lose a lot of weight or even those last 5-10 pounds that you just have never been able to get rid of, you can call me.  It's been really fun to see so many peoples lives change from it!  My parents have lost 80 pounds together in the last 3 months!  My uncle started it 10 days ago and is down 17 pounds!  Yes, it's healthy and there is longevity too so it stays off.  Just watch the blog, we'll be posting his weight loss!!  

November in a Nutshell!

Well, we had a blast in November, Paul and I had a great anniversary at P.F Changs and then we did a little shopping with no kids, it was awesome!  

From Thanksgiving 2008
My sisters Stephanie and April came to visit us with their wonderful husbands and children.  The cousins had the best time playing together, going to a bounce house for some of the cousins birthdays, riding on a cute pony named cinnamon, the Beane museum at BYU (which is amazing by the way), and jumping on the tramp, playing dress up, and just having the funnest sleepover ever!  I love my sisters (we missed our youngest sister Chrissy, she just had her little girl about 2 weeks ago).  It's so fun to be going through all the joys and challenges of motherhood together!  This year was Thanksgiving at the in-laws so we had a yummy dinner at Paul's mom Jo Ann's house with his sister Andrea and her husband Dean.  It was so nice to have a low key Thanksgiving with a ton of good food!  Click on the picture below to see a few pics! 

Thanksgiving 2008

We've been married for 8 years!!

                                  Our oldest child and your best buddy in the whole world!
                                Our sweet baby Pearly Girl, doesn't she make us so happy?!
                              Our gruesome twosome that make us laugh all day everyday!
                                       Paul is very loved by any and all young men he serves.

                    Daddy's pitching to his very girly batter, Dax cheers her on nonetheless.

                                      What in the world would Evie do without her Daddy??! 

                                         Holy cow this is old, our first Christmas together!
Wow, I feel so blessed today!  Well, really everyday because I truly believe I married the best man in the world for me!  Paul, thank you for making me laugh everyday for the past eight years (and even since I was 14 years old)!  Thank you for wrestling with our beautiful children, giving them rides to their beds every night, being faithful and diligent in the gospel and bearing testimony to our kids and I.  Thank you for making me feel so absolutely loved, wanted, and needed as a wife, for being so protective of all in the house.  Thank you for always striving to be a better man, and for being the best teammate I could EVER ask for.  Thank you for jumping on the trampoline, playing football, and going on walks with me.  Thanks for changing diapers, making bottles, loving, kissing, and malling our kids because you are so in love with them.  Thank you for being the best young men leader, an amazing son and brother to your siblings.  Thank you for being a very talented provider, and I could go on and on!!

Really, I'm just trying to say, thank you for being mine.  You truly are the best thing that happened to me.  I feel so confident in our love and faith, and in our eternal marriage we have built so strong with Heavens help!  

Words really cannot express the excitement and happiness I feel when I think of eternity with you and our children.  I love you, I love you, I love you!

Love,  Rach

Good John gets hitched

Well, it was about that time.. I thought all my friends were married, but no, one still remains.  Actually a couple do-- now that I think of it.  Anyway, in short- I got to go and get full off of free food and dessert.  

Although it was brief, Rach and I took the day off, dropped the kids at a professional sitter, and headed off to the Lords house in SLC.  It was a ton of fun.  There is nothing like feeling like kids again, when you can go downtown to a bustling city with your sweetheart, be running late, and have fun doing it.  Parking-- nuff said. Bleh.

Anyway while we made it just in time (about 5 min before JD & his newly wed bride Jen walked in) and it was a great sealing.

Ok, so hear is my rant, soapbox, or whatever you want to call it --  While we were going into, and out of the temple, there were two... for the lack of a better term, "panhandlers" asking for "spare change?" or, in a quivering almost to the brink of tears voice "please, anything you can spare... PLEASE..."

I caught myself brushing them both off, in my normal manner when I remembered where I was going.  Yeeeah, like a ton of bricks people.  Then the thought came, WWJD?  Also remember, the only cash I had on me was a $10 and a $20.  As I turned around, Rachel had already stopped and was opening her purse (of course).

Heres the thing... I knew it was a total scam, to play a manipulative trick on faithful saints as they are going to serve in the Lords house.  I mean, what better place to better you chance of getting some free loot!  RIGHT?!

So here's my question:  What would YOU have done?  

I felt bad brushing them off, but after we (Rach) gave BOTH of them a little change, I felt so much better.  Not because I knew that they would use the spare change to pay for anything useful, but almost like a "washing of my (Rachel's) hands" of the situation... erring on the right side instead of the left.  Of course, it's probably going to still count against me in heaven since I was kind of reluctant in helping them out.  Plus not to mention that I have just publicized the "good deed" so now there is certainly no reward!  Arrgh!  I can't win for losing!

HOWEVER:  On the way out of the underground parking garage, we had forgotten to get our parking validated, and thus needed a token or $10 to get out.  We were already so far from the temple, and really needed to get back to our kids.  As I tried to swipe the ticket to see what the damage was, a kind older woman in the car behind us rolled down her window and asked: "Do you need a token?" -- wow.

I think the savior saw this one coming.

"But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you."  Matt.5:44

Halloween Partay Oh Eight

Well, since we didn't attend the Annual Clark Halloween party in Lincoln Cali this year (sniff) we decided to create our own. Rachel sat down with a couple of our neighbors (who are just as crazy as we are, we're very blessed to have good friends, seriously) and planned a party for our ward and neighborhood. Rach and I didn't know what to go as, since we don't have an arsonnal of costumes floating around the house, so I went to Walmart about 3 hours before the party, to grab-and-smash my way to a good idea. 2 words - Tatoo sleeves.

When I got home and showed Rach, she was like: "What are we supposed to be? Punk rockers?"

"No honey... we're.. um... Of the World". A costume non the less that would only work in a mormon community. So we basically dressed up how we would have as if I was in a rock band, and Rachel was an alcoholic. (That's Hot)
As for the party, to be honest it was badly needed. I could tell these people haven't "gotten down" since their wedding! GOD BLESS EM'! I of course was in charge of music of course (wika, wika, oie, oie) and Jennifer & Ryan Hull hosted at their casa.

It took a little more soda and sugary h'orderves to loosen people up, but once it got going it was CraGGa LakiN Yall!
Needless to say, people are already talking about how next year's going to blow this year's away... can't wait.

Check out the complete album below.

Halloween Party 2008

Scout Campout!

So a couple of weeks ago I went out with "my boys" and my boy for an overnighter in Diamond Fork canyon. I had never been there before, but it was pretty cool. The leafs were starting to turn their bright orange, and the weather was perfect.

The campground area was pretty large, large enough for us to have an air-soft war anyway. I brought a couple of guns, slapped a mask on Dax, and let him shoot anything that moved.

From Scout Campout - Diamond Fork

From Scout Campout - Diamond Fork
You Talkin' to me?

From Scout Campout - Diamond Fork

I must say that the highlight of the whole trip was not really the air-soft war, but the Snipe Hunt the night before. It was great to go out with great hopes of finding a "Snipe" Dax was very excited and at least 2 or 3 times saw, or heard one. A great moment as a father. hehe.

From Scout Campout - Diamond Fork

From Scout Campout - Diamond Fork

Random Pictures!

Princess London!  Believe it or not I did not teach her how to pose like this, she's a natural prissy girl!  I cracked up when she did it though!  We love our Lou Lou!! 

Paul and baby Pearl.  When went out to Fairview (Grandma has property) and we had a great time.  It's amazing how vivid the stars are when the air is so clear, it was awesome!
Daddy and Dax are buddies.  They hang together in this female dominant family!
Paul walked with Dax to his first day at school and stayed for reading time, what a sweet dad!
London, cousin Jaci, and Evelyn all having a fun Princess time while Dax was at school.  Girls are so fun!

Our Pearl is 6 months old

Well, our baby is growing sooo fast! We just can't get enough of her. She's loved and malled constantly! We have found many interesting nicknames for her like: Cougar (she sounds exactly like one when she cries), Coog, googalicious, yumster, Pearly Girl, Pearly Amazing, Amazing Gull, Pearly Pearly Pearly (3 times fast and loud is how the kids say it), and many more. As a family we feel so entirely blessed to have our little sweetheart!

Mutton Bustin'

This last Friday, we took off to enjoy all of the events and activities that "Lindon Days" had to offer. We attended the rodeo, and thought to ourselves... "Let's put our kids on an angry, stinking sheep, and see how long they can stay on".
Hilarity ensued.

Daxton's Ride

London's Ride

Random kid get's rocked!

Yeehaw! The Castle Valley Pageant

This last weekend we took up our crew, and a few others, and went to the Castle Valley Pageant in Castle Dale Utah. Among the caravan was Alma & Mackenzie Tuck,(close friends of ours) Truman(Rachel's bro), & Matt & Amy Beatty (Rachel's Cousin). It was about a 2.5 hour drive, but well worth it. Castle Dale is very near and dear to our hearts, since it is the town that was founded by most of Rachel's ancestors, and it's about 10 min from the Joe's Valley Olsen Ranch.

One of the high-points in the trip was stopping at "Big Momma's" for a quick greasy bite. You all know what I'm talking about when I say that there is nothing better than a good old grease burger at an old hamburger shack in a small town. To sum it up in 4 words or less...

delicious in my belly.
Matt & Amy, being the traveling family that they are went up ahead of us to go and veiw some indian petroglyphs and missed all the greasy action.

We later met up with them once at the Pioneer village before the pageant began, and took the kids around to do and see all the various pioneer stuff.

The Pageant itself had some really cool parts, I won't ruin it for anyone, but by the end, the spirit was felt, my eye's were moist, and my throat with a lump. It an experience I would highly recommend to anyone.

Pageant Advice: The pageant itself wasn't very small children friendly. So if you plan on going in 2010- which is when the next one will be held, bring lots of snacks!

The pageant started at about 9pm and went until around 10:30pm, so that put us in around 1-1:30am. (with a quick late night stop at Wendy's)

I must say, I can't remember the last time we threw a little responsability to the wind, and just had fun regardless of the time. There's nothing like
driving home to 80's classics bobbing your head to "Drives Me Crazy" by Fine Young Cannibles, with the kids asleep, and holding your sweethearts hand, and knowing that you truly live a blessed life.

For full photographic goodness, visit our online album HERE

Uncle Truman enlisted in the Army, he will be missed!!

Well my 22 year old brother (aka..very loved and adored uncle) will be leaving for basic training in as soon as 2 weeks.  We don't have the exact dates yet, but we are very proud as a family to now have an immediate family member serving our amazing country we live in!  Truman is perfect for this, he's a conservative and a true patriot and fighter for freedom.  He's very excited!  We are grateful for all those who are serving Gods Country, the awesome USA!  God bless this land and those who fight for it!

Olsen Reunion 2008

Well, it's been 2 years and you know what that mean
s right?  Have you heard, have you heard, have you heard of the Olsen Ranch? (beginning lyrics to the reunion theme song)  That's right, we packed up our stuff and headed out to a little place called Joes Valley just south west of Castle Dale Utah.  It was a lot of fun... a lot harder with kids, but really fun.

Most of Rachel's family made it out, and we loved being able to just sit back and
 talk with each of them.  Since we moved to Utah, our exposure to California family is minimal, so it was nice to see familiar faces, as well as all of the little cousins that Dax, London, and Evelyn were able to play with.

It really was an eye opener for me on the first night when our comfy air mattress blew a hole due to a rose bush I had set the tent on, I had to improvise with a water proof band-aid to seal the deal of a descent nights rest but to no avail.  

I don't know how the pioneers did it
!  I mean, I'm sure that they NEVER felt really clean.  And let me tell you, just 3 days away from a shower, first of all, I REAKED, I mean this was epic, and that was even after I jumped in the river twice.  And second of all, when I got home... you better believe I soaked my body for a good hour.  

Maybe I'm a wuss or just a city boy at heart, but man, there ain't nothing like sand and dirt in your buttcrack that only a high pressure shower nozzle can remove. (I'm sure Rachel is going to love that I said that..)

Anyway, aside from the adventures from camping, there was an instance when we were all sitting around talking, when I hear Tiffany's (my older niece) daughter Jacey crying coming down the hill behind our campsite.  At first I wasn't sure how bad it was, but then I noticed that Daxton and Mason were escorting her down the hill.  Now if there is one thing that I've learned as a parent it's that if a hurt child is flying solo after a fall, chances are, they're ok, but when you've got friends taking time to help the hurt one back to mom... buckle up, cause something is wrong... and something was.

I could see the blood on her face, but it seemed to really
 start to gush as I approached her, I could tell it was just above her eye, and I remember thinking, "thank goodness it wasn't ON her eye."

As Tiffany and I helped Jacey into the camper trailer, we took a closer look, and could notice that the white part of her eye was red.   I asked Dax what happened and he said he was wacking the weeds on the hill with an old arrow that he'd found, and although he didn't mean to, hit Jacey as they crossed paths on the hill.

After view her eye more closely, (and it did not look good, it was not dilating, and the colored part of the eye was full of blood)  I could tell that we needed some professional help, and a second opinion to see if this was a serious as it looked.  Blake and Tiffany were worried.

There is a doc in the fam, so we brought him up, and I will not forget the feeling I got after he had looked at her eye.  "You need to get her to the ER ASAP.  She has severed multiple muscles behind the iris, and the pupil has turned oval, and moved to the left of the eye."  My heart sank, the thought kept running through my mind, "my son has just caused this little girl to go blind in one eye... what do I do?."  The first thing out of my mouth was "I'm so sorry" but Blake (Tiffany's husband) was quick to correct me in saying, "It's NOT your fault Paul, don't you think that for a moment."

After the doctor left, a thought came to my mind to suggest to Blake that we give Jacey a blessing before they head down the canyon to the ER.  Oddly enough I had packed my oil for the blessing of the sick, which I normally never do, and so we got most of the family that held the priesthood into that trailer, and gave Jacey a blessing.  Blake administered to his injured daughter.  It was beautiful.  Words of comfort were spoken.  And then they were off.

Before Blake even began giving the blessing he prayed that the Lord be with Rachel and I, and that we would know that Blake and Tiffany loved us, and that we should feel no guilt in this matter, and that it was in Fathers hands now.  I'll never forget that.

After we left, there were a lot of tears, nobody wants to se
e a vacation ruined by an injury that could leave such a devastating result, especially in a child that has only had 3 years to see out of those eye's.  I remember going into my tent and pleading with the Lord to please help me to have the faith to quantify that priesthood blessing, I have always heard that faith proceeds the miracle... now it was the time to prove that faith.  We all did our best, within minutes we had other family members, and family groups stopping by our camp site to pray with us, and to offer to fast for little Jacey.

Later on that night was the talent show, and as we watched the various acts, someone tapped me on the shoulder... it was Blake.  I turned around and stood up to find him, Tiffany, and Jacey standing at the back of the pavilion.  I was very astonished to see them ALL THREE together.  I asked why they were back, and what the dr's could have possible said, but deep down inside, I already knew the answer.  "Nothings wrong" said Blake,  "We took her down to the ER, and they were wondering what the big deal was... her eye was completely healed, and they could find nothing wrong with it.

At this point I lost it a little, Blake lost it a little, and we all embraced one another for a time, and gave praise to God and his goodness, and his Priestho
od that had healed Jacey's eye.

Call me doubting Thomas if you want, but I wanted to make sure.  I went and grabbed the Dr. that had looked at her before... he didn't believe me, so I told him to grab his flashlight.  One quick look, and his exact words were "I don't...believe it."

It's funny how the Lord will throw these stressful and sometimes scary situations your way in order to grow your faith, and expand your testimony.  

Jacey's eye was almost completely healed by the time we took off on Sunday to head home.

All in all, we took a lot more away from this reunion then we had expected, but it was a great experience, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.  Rachel and I are so glad that we have a loving Heavenly Father who is aware of our needs, and answers our prayers.

Anyway, we've got some fun pics from this whole thing, be sure to check them out!

To view pictures from the Ranch: Click Here

Pearl's Big Blessing Day

It would seem appropriate that after the 4th time, it would get somewhat old... but it never does. On Sunday May 4th we were able to bless our little Pearl. It seems amazing and somewhat strange that such a miracle of life can come from the result of a union of love from a man and a woman. I mean think about it... at first there were no people.. and now there are 4 new people!! Wow.

We had a GREAT turn out of family and friends, some who traveled all the way from Sacramento, and others who traveled from down the street, either way as a family... we felt very blessed with the astonishing support we received. As I recall in my testimony earlier that day in sacrament meeting, being surrounded by soo many loved ones, ward members, best friends, and close family, you can't help but feel, soo deeply blessed. Even in this CrAzY world, Heavenly Father saw fit that we were to be surrounded, and encircled in love with people.... just as crazy as we are. lol. And even further we know that there were even more family members and friends, who could simple just not make it... but it didn't make a difference, we felt their love as well. :)

Lot's of food, lots of people ( I think we set the new Adams home record with maximum capacity) lots of fun.