Wednesday, January 20, 2016

2015 Snapshot

This is a little late, but I forgot to record a "snapshot" of 2015 like I have done in the past. I like to have a post where I record the big things that happen in the year, so I can look back and remember which year was which.

January I took a fun impromptu trip to visit my sister Haley in Las Vegas and to see her new baby, Leslie
February We took a fun family trip to Bryce Canyon
April  We spent Easter in Las Vegas with Haley's family
           I finished my first year of my MPA program
May  Joel invited us up to Horseshoe Bend for a fun Memorial Day weekend
July  We visited Heather, Ben's family, and Justin over the 4th of July
         My parents and little sister came home from their missions
         We had a fun Joel Flake Family Reunion in Idaho
August Ben cleaned out the backyard, tore down the old patio roof and built a new one on our Provo duplex
            We moved to Kokomo, Indiana and Ben started a new job that he loves
September The girls both started preschool for the first time
October Ben went on a week long work trip to Germany and I visited my sisters Sarah & Heather
November We spent Thanksgiving in Buckhannon, WV with Sarah, Heather, & Bethany
December We spent Christmas Eve with Ben's family, and had our first Christmas in Kokomo
                  We had a fun New Years weekend with Justin, Sarah, & Heather in Indianapolis

Sometimes all it takes it a little reflecting to realize how richly blessed you are. These lists seem to get longer and longer each year of happy memories we are building as a family.


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Dilsaver Christmas

We got to spend Christmas Eve with Ben's family, which we've never been able to do before. It really means a lot to us that we now live close enough to do stuff like this. Although we only live 3 hours away now, it still is a long way!!
Ben with his brother Sam, sister Dannielle, and his Mom & Dad, at Sam's house

 Michelle (my sis-in-law married to Sam) set up this cute Christmas Eve sleepover with all kinds of crafts and treats. My kids just loved it.
 Ephraim with his cousin Bentley, 5 months apart.

 These two cuties. Dannielle's son Grant and Michelle's son Gage.

Thanks for the great Christmas parties!!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Like a Little Child

Primary is the name for the children's organization in our church. If you are asked to serve in Primary, you are in charge of teaching the children, ages 3-11 in a type of sunday school setting.

I've never had a calling in Primary, and so far I've been relieved by that fact. The most important part of our religion is lived out day-to-day, but I've always enjoyed participating with other adults on Sundays. It strengthens my faith to participate in the adult lessons, I love joining with my sisters in Relief Society, and Ben and I have really enjoyed going to the Gospel Principles class the last couple of years.

To be honest, I was not looking forward to my primary calling. I was worried about keeping kids quiet and making them behave (something I've never been very good at), and I worried about coming up with fun and creative lessons to keep the kids engaged. On top of that, I had always thought that the simplicity of the doctrine taught in primary would make church less spiritually fulfilling for me.

Not long after I got called, I went to a training that totally changed my perspective on Primary, and mothering for that matter. This video made all the difference.

(Also watch here:

All of my fears and concerns started to fade away. I saw Primary for what is really is: the birthplace of a person's testimony. It is now so much more exciting to me. Primary, in my previous opinion, was more babysitting than spiritually uplifting. And unfortunately a lot of people see Primary this way, or boast of preparing a lesson in Sacrament meeting, as if it is no big deal. You know this stuff already, so why do you need much preparation?

But how can we not prepare when we have the chance to give someone a knowledge that will change the whole trajectory of their life?

It's caused me to reflect back on my own Primary experience. I don't remember most of it, but I'll have flashes of bits and pieces. My mom being the music leader, and how much I loved that as a little kid. I'll remember a song that we learned, or snippets of a specific lesson, and how it made my heart burn. I remember how black-and-white everything was, and how less-complicated belief was. I can remember now how easy it was to acknowledge the feelings in my heart. We really don't give children enough credit.

Primary (and young motherhood, for that matter) is so much more than being a piece of someone's memory. Imagine you are a missionary teaching a lesson to an investigator who is totally prepared to hear your message. That's exactly what Primary is. Not only are children curious about what you have to say (for many of them, this is one of the first times they've heard about this topic), but they are little children, the little children that Christ asks us to be like. They are humble and faithful. Innocent, and full of hope. They are honest with the feelings of their heart and can recognize when they hear truth. Aside from the part that they are so easily distracted ;), these are exactly the kind of people you are hoping for and are praying will hear the message of the Gospel.

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. -Matthew 18:3-4

As I prepare once a month to teach the children in Primary, I remind myself of a lesson I've learned before: they are royalty. These children deserve nothing less than the best from myself. But preparation means something different than what I had assumed. The spirit prompts me to spend less time trying to find the most exciting games or really involved handouts or decorations. Simplicity is how the Lord has asked me, specifically, to fulfill this calling. I find that if my ideas get too complicated, the idea too crafty, the analogy too far-fetched, I am cautioned to scale back. But neither am I prodded to simply "wing it" or hope the kids can learn a few facts. Instead he gently prods me: How can you make this is place where they can feel the spirit? What can best teach them about the love of God? What tools can you give them to prepare for the challenges that will inevitably come? Although it can feel challenging at times answering these questions for a bunch of rowdy 3-11-year-olds, I am never without inspiration. That's how I know God loves his children.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Dilsaver Times

For Cheyenne's birthday she requested a birthday party. It was a very low key lunch party with cake, a pinata, and pin the nose on the clown. She was about as happy as a little girl could be!

Ephraim saying "Happy Birthday"
He loves playing with tractors and cars
My friend posted a picture on Facebook of my MPA team from last year. They are finishing up their last year this April, and while I'm a little jealous and miss those guys, I'm glad with the way it has worked out.

Here is another photo from last year, with my friend Brittney at an MPA service project.

 Making some sugar cookies with my little helper Delaney turned out to be quite a messy ordeal!
 The reason I haven't been taking many pictures with my camera at this new house... our house is pretty dark with very little natural light, and everything turns out blurry.
 It makes me sad though to not be able to capture as much of this stage of my kids' lives... phone pictures are not the same.

Delaney, what do you want for Christmas?
 Christmas morning. It's such an exciting, happy, and easy-going morning.

Ben got his sander back and has been working on a special project.
A little table and chairs for the kids. It's still not done yet, but it's been a fun project for him.

One night Ben took the girls to a play and we were texting back and forth what our "dates" looked like:

Here was my cute little date for the evening

 Shopping at Lowe's with Daddy

This girl officially lost her first tooth! Yes, she's only 5!

We got together with my brother Justin's family, Sarah's family, and Heather's family for New Years here in Indiana. We all stayed in a hotel (our small three-bedroom never would have fit Justin & Kelsey +4 kids, Heather & Austin +5 kids, and Sarah & Matt +6 kids), and ended up having a pretty fun party despite it being so cold. Are families the greatest?!

Justin's family came a day early and we went and got donut's at 1am, apparently a Kokomo tradition. There was a line out the door waiting for them to open. It was 22 degrees.

Justin loves this creepy picture of Dad I keep in  my kitchen. I think Dad gave it to me one Christmas as a joke. It always gives me such a good laugh, I like to keep it in a very public place!!

One Saturday I had a lot of stuff going on. I had a stake church training (our stake is an hour away) that took up the whole morning. So Ben loaded up the kids and took them down to a wood mill museum. He came home wanting me to buy him one and telling me he was going to mill his own lumber. Not so sure about that. But cute kids!
Delaney is the cutest new sunbeam at church! She just looks so miniature sitting there in Primary with all the big kids.