Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Summer of Trials and Blessings

Hey everyone. Just thought I'd let everyone know what is going on with our family.

As many of you may have heard, Megan and I are separated for the summer. I have an internship with the National Science Foundation this summer as part of my coursework at UNL. Unfortunately, we could not all go together to DC for a number of reasons. But Megan and the kids are with my family in Idaho and they are having a wonderful time playing with grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles and cousins. We have the opportunity to chat via video chat every night (thank you Google!) where we enjoying talking, singing songs together, and praying together. Technology, in this case, has been a tremendous blessing. I did, however, have the opportunity to fly home and visit everyone for Fourth of July weekend.

Liam is four months now. He has already teethed two bottom teeth and is a rock star at rolling over. He currently is working on scooting. He is a genuinely happy baby and enjoys milk and is learning about rice cereal and applesauce. Liam loves chatting with daddy online (as well as chatting in general). He is a little chubbers and daddy can't wait to take him to his first baseball game and get him his own glove. (It may or may not be an excuse to finally get himself one.)

Eliana is two and a half and lets everyone know it. She is extremely independent and loves Barbies, books, and helping to cook. Princess is her theme (go figure) and especially looks up to Rapunzel. Something to do with long hair. She loves to have daddy tell stories about Princess Eliana and he graciously develops fairy tales out of thin air. She also enjoys going to the park and playing in the water and on the slides.

Megan is enjoying the company of family and enjoyed a trip to Provo in June to see the ol' Provo family and had a lovely time. Gardening has been her favorite thing (besides talking with her husband) with strawberry and raspberry picking in full force. Lettuce and tomatoes are on their way. She feels very blessed to be around family for the summer.

I have been working hard on my internship with the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics doing a lot of data detective work trying to work on some analysis. I don't have a lot of extra time on my hands but have gone out twice with a fellow student to see Washington D.C. and some of the sights. I feel very blessed to have an inexpensive place to live with some very nice (and nerdy) members.

We will be getting back together near the middle of August and heading back to Lincoln to start a new school year. Mostly, we are looking forward to being together again. We have appreciated the lessons from this adventure, but our anxious to learn more together.

All the best to y'all. Hope you are enjoying your summer.

Importance of Studying the Atonement

From Richard G. Scott's April 2010 General Conference address:

There is an imperative need for each of us to strengthen our understanding of the significance of the Atonement of Jesus Christ so that it will become an unshakable foundation upon which to build our lives. As the world becomes more devoid of foundational standards and as honor, virtue, and purity are increasingly cast aside in the pursuit of appetite, our understanding of and faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ will provide strength and capacity needed for a successful life. It will also bring confidence in times of trial and peace in moments of turmoil.

I energetically encourage you to establish a personal study plan to better understand and appreciate the incomparable, eternal, infinite consequences of Jesus Christ’s perfect fulfillment of His divinely appointed calling as our Savior and Redeemer. Profound personal pondering of the scriptures accompanied by searching, heartfelt prayer will fortify your understanding of and appreciation for His priceless Atonement. Another powerful way to learn of Jesus Christ and His Atonement is through consistent temple attendance.