Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween Costumes 2014

Tonight, our ward had their annual "Trunk-or-Treat" around the basketball court of a local park.  Here are a few pictures to remember the evening and our Halloween costumes from this year!

Lincoln has been asking to be a snake for Halloween since the day after Halloween last year. We decided to make him a mouse being eaten by a snake, because I was drawing a blank on how to make a decent-looking snake costume without making him look like a lizard. Atley is a flower sprouting out of a Terra Cotta pot (credit for that idea goes to my mom - THANK YOU, MOM!!), and I am a gumball machine.

I love these sweet kiddos of mine.

Lincoln in his award-winning costume. He won the award for "Most Original" this year. (Last year he got the award for "Best Homemade" costume.) Here he is from the front:

And the back. That rattle on the snake actually makes a rattling sound, thanks to a small plastic spice jar half-filled with lentils. :)

And here is Atley - in all her sprouty terra cotta glory. I made the hat to be a thing to go around her face, but she refused to wear it that way. I think it still worked great horizontal on her head. I can't believe it has taken me almost two years, but I finally painted my little girls' toes last night. Bubble gum pink. I think doing that made her feel special. Gotta remember that.

I'm glad I got a photo of me in my costume before I gave birth. I'm 3 days shy of 39 weeks right now, and my belly made for a nice, round gumball machine. :) I actually wanted to be a gumball machine when I was pregnant with Atley, but I was too tired and pressed for time finishing Lincoln's Halloween costume that year that it didn't happen. Glad I got to put my red Savers sweat pants to good use!

Here is a picture that I never posted on the blog from that year I was pregnant with Atley that I'm going to slip in real quick because I love it. Lincoln was a cow, and Squire a cowboy. (Halloween 2012 - Lincoln was so little!!)


Back to the present! Squire wasn't able to make it to the trunk-or-treat tonight, but he has a costume and a nice little trick ready for the trick-or-treaters who come to our house on Halloween night. He is a hunchback:

 Here is his special trick. Some kids never grow up. ;)


Lincoln's costume was by far the most daunting for me to make. I have a whole new level of respect for people who design and/or make stuffed animals. That is a whole new dimension of sewing right there. I held off finishing the head and rattle on Lincoln's snake for a month because I was too intimidated to put it together. With some prayer, and procrastination to the day of the trunk-or-treat to push me on, I finally finished the job today. Lincoln loves his snake and named her "Mousel." I'm very pleased I was able to finish his costume before I had the baby, too. I really wanted to get this done for him in time.

A closer pic of Mousel's head.

I really thought I was having our baby last Tuesday. I did not - obviously. But baby really could come any day now. Squire and I did a deep-clean on our house, and I have gotten all the freezer meals I wanted to prepare done, so now I can rest easy. For the time-being, we are just enjoying the clean and each other until we get to welcome a new little one to our clan. Life is good. :)

Happy Halloween 2014!

Monday, October 20, 2014

37 Weeks and Coming to a Close: Final Pregnancy Update

Today I am 37 weeks and 4 days along in this pregnancy. I can't believe how fast things have flown by. I have hardly had time to sit and think about what it really means that I will be having this baby - any day now! I've been so busy with my two busy-body toddlers, and preparing every needful thing for the arrival of this little one, and for Christmas. I want as much done as possible beforehand so I have time to just chill with my babe and not have to worry about food, or holiday planning, etc. Seriously though - when did I become a mother to such a brood? It seems like yesterday I was starting my first day at BYU.

And now?

I have a husband half-way through his last year of medical school and in the midst of interviewing for residency programs. *Brag moment aside: Squire got interview offers from every school he applied to!* :)
A spunky little girl (2 in December) who is certainly not a baby any more.
A goofy little boy (who will be 4 in February!) who makes me laugh (and sometimes cry) every day. 
And soon - a brand new baby to shake up our routine and lives, in a really good and crazy sort of way!

I wanted to take some time to write a bit about this pregnancy before it is over, because if these last 6 years have flown by this fast, I'm pretty sure the next few weeks are going to pass before I can even think to blink.

Lots of people keep asking about names for the baby (we didn't find out the gender this time), but they are still pretty up in the air. We have one girl name we particularly like, but several others that could be chosen if that one doesn't match baby. And we have a pile of boy names and none of them have stuck with us both yet. We just have to know #1 Baby's gender. #2 Baby's look, personality and spirit. So no name for babe. I am getting excited to meet baby and know for sure whether baby is a boy or girl, though. I'm excited for that magical first moment of meeting. I know this little baby is strong and healthy and responsive to our voices and interactions with him or her. It will be great to see how this little one fits in with the dynamics of our family, and baby's gender will definitely play a role there, I'm sure. Squire and I are still thinking this one is a boy. Lincoln has decided now that he wants a brother and that baby IS a brother. Atley thinks baby will be a girl. What do YOU think? (Let me know in the comments section!)

Other things about this pregnancy:

Homebirth midwifery for prenatal care has been the best. thing. ever. I think I feel a lot more balanced this birth because the support from my midwife in my care has been so excellent. I truly feel we are friends. And it is so nice that she comes to my home for appointments. No wrangling kids to get to an office across town, or in that office across town. I love it. 

I've also learned several things about general (and pregnancy/birth related) health that I have incorporated into my and my family's daily routine, about which I feel great. Culturing my own Kefir grains being just one of them. Green kefir smoothies, every day. Delicious!

I started this pregnancy at a lower weight than my other two pregnancies, and I exercised more consistently and longer than my other two. At this point, I just do some floor exercises and walking a couple of times a week. By about 30 weeks, my regular more intense exercise teetered off into the once a week range. Now, my exercise is just keeping my house tidy and chasing my kids around. I wanted to do more, more consistently, but this pregnancy - from about 20 weeks on or so - I have had a LOT of Braxton Hicks. They come often when I exercise, and when they get too strong or consistent, I know that is my cue to tone it down. So, I did. I am looking forward to regaining my pre-pregnancy body strength and form so that I can really move and breathe again. 

My healthier eating and exercising habits this pregnancy have really paid off. My energy levels have been pretty great. I have slept very comfortably throughout this pregnancy. (Maybe I just have my pillow nest mastered after so much experience?) :) I have only had one or two days with a little sciatica which were alleviated with some exercises that my midwife shared with me.  The few occasions of bad heart burn were alleviated by eating smaller meals. That said, things are starting to get a little awkward up in here. I really only like sitting in my rocking chair. Everything else makes me feel like I can't breathe, have a kink in my side, or pains my poor rear-end. But I really, really can't complain. This pregnancy has been truly beautiful and as easy on me as a pregnancy could be, I think. Definitely my most comfortable yet.  

We can fit all three of our car seats in our jeep. (What a relief!) I'm glad we have been able to get the full use of our Chicco infant seat by getting three babies through it before its expiration date. And I'm glad we don't have to worry about getting another vehicle for at least 6 months or so. 

Baby is currently posterior - just like little Atley was. But, I feel confident baby will turn. I'm doing my part (see if you want to learn more about turning babies - and if you want to learn more about using hypnosis to help turn babies) to help that along, and I have a lot of peace about it. 

At the 20 week ultrasound, the doctor saw that my placenta was close to my cervical opening. So, I wondered if partial/marginal Placenta Previa would dash my dreams of a home birth. But, we did another ultrasound just a few weeks ago and my placenta has shifted up with baby's growth (as it does 95% of the time.) My midwife wasn't concerned with the original finding. She said that is totally normal so early and that most of the time the placenta moves with the stretching uterus as baby grows larger. I felt pretty confident the placenta would move far enough away (or at least peaceful that what was right for our circumstances would happen), but still felt that release and relief when I found out with the confirmation ultrasound. 

I think baby is a bit smaller than my other two were at this point. I think it may be my smallest yet - though, we'll see. My babies have been nothing to sneeze at (8lb. 13oz. and 9lb. 3oz.) Here's what baby looks like from the outside. Me at 37 weeks, 3 days:

Hypnobabies practice has been going wonderfully. I seriously have the best naps and sleep of my life listening to those tracks. You should see the drool on my pillow after each session. Kinda gross and TMI I'm sure. Sorry! Haha! I'm just a few days away from getting into my maintenance for the program. My hopes and dreams for this birth are set for a totally pain-free birth. I know it can happen. I'm excited to see how the environment at home compares, even to the birth center. I think it's going to be awesome.

Last Thursday, on my 37 week mark I started having some intense Braxton-Hicks. Some held tight for up to 7 minutes. They kept on rolling for about two hours. My body is really getting ready to have this baby, and SOON! I've been having a lot yesterday and today, too. I'm really hoping that this baby won't come until my mom and sisters get here on November 3rd. (Mind you, my guess date is November 6th.) I really want them to be here for the birth. If not, it will be ok - but a little disappointing, you know? So, unlike some (probably most!) who pray for their babies to come out early, I'm praying mine stays in. Please, pretty please, baby?!

Nesting progress and work yet to be done:

I've been nesting and I'm not done yet, which is another reason I want baby to stay inside a while longer! We had this really fun thing happen about a month ago. Our washing machine broke, and it was down for about 3 weeks before we got it repaired. Long story. In the process though, we learned how to wash our clothes by hand! (Yay for acquiring new prepper skills!) AND, how to produce less laundry by just wearing the same clothes every day for a week . . . or two. Haha! (I'm not kidding, though.) Needless to say, I've been doing laundry like a madwoman to get everything prepped for baby. 

My house is generally pretty tidy these days, but it is also really dirty right now, too. So, Squire and I need to tackle that project together to get it in tip-top shape before baby comes. Side note: I finally found the secrets that help me keep my house tidy, at least. #1 ALWAYS getting at least a full load of dishes into the dishwasher and started before hitting the hay at night. And usually washing any big dishes by hand at night, too. And #2 Working with my kids every day to maintain their toys in their rooms (after going through and getting rid of lots of stuff, too.) **If you could school me on how to keep a house actually CLEAN and tidy - I'd love the tips!** At least tidy, I can maintain my mommy cool.  

Plus, I'm trying to stock my freezer with meals to the max. I really don't want to have to cook. . . for like, 3 months or so. I got 4 loaves of sandwich bread, and a 6X batch of our favorite whole wheat banana muffins in the freezer on Saturday, a couple bags of split pea soup yesterday (thanks to Squire for cooking!), and hopefully 7+ quart size bags of sweet potato burrito filling after tonight. (Check our Hepworth Preparedness cookbook for recipes for all of these if you are interested.) AND - more to come this week. I've gotten some major shopping done for non-perishables done. I'm just hoping to get one more trip in to stock up our fresh fruits, veggies and dairy and eggs before baby comes.

My little old school Bernina has been working round the clock to help me get Halloween costumes, birthday and Christmas gifts done, and several other projects - and the end isn't yet in sight. A few more checks on my to-sew list would be ideal before baby comes, too.

What will be, will be.

But, in the end - with as much speculation and preparation as I put in - this birth will be what it will be and all will go as it should, and in God's timing, too. Oh baby. You're coming so fast. We're so excited. And anxious to have everything ready. And excited. Mostly just excited - to meet you! Lincoln and Atley talk about you and kiss you through my belly every day, you know that? They are looking forward to your arrival, too. You're really coming! You're almost here! Where did the time go?!

Thanks for taking the time to read my random rambling pregnancy post if you made it this far. 

Please, take a guess at baby's gender in the comments section. You don't have much time to speculate before the truth is revealed to us all! This baby is coming - SOON!!! :)

Monday, September 29, 2014

2 Great Granny's House We Go: A Hepworth Family Trip Memoir

Squire had his big Step II CS (clinical skills) exam to take up in L.A. this past week. We decided to make it a family trip so we could all spend a little time visiting with my Granny Shanks. The only problem was, our Jeep has been kind of having a lot of problems lately. The air conditioning? Yeah, it hasn't worked since I got back from visiting my family at the beginning of July.

*Speaking of which: Did I ever tell you all about that time I drove to Phoenix and back with two kids, by myself, huge, pregnant - in a Jeep with no air-conditioning in 110* degree weather? To buy a nice bunk bed for a great price? And how I (with help from the gal at the consignment store) took apart the bunk bed and tied it on top of the Jeep with my big pregnant belly and two children, ages 3 and 1? And all my granny knots kept the bunk bed attached to the top of the Jeep the whole time? And how I got us all home alive - with crazy 70mph wind-blown hair, but alive and happy nonetheless? We made sure to visit to the Mesa Temple Visitor center to cool off, enjoy a break, and to feel some peace on those sacred grounds before we made our way back to Tucson. I'm sure that contributed to the success of the day. But, I kind of consider that day one of my major life accomplishments at this point. It prepared me for what we did this last week . . .*

Yeah, we drove, to California - without air-conditioning. About an 8-9 hour drive with kidlets. With no air-conditioning.

Here is Squire preparing for that trip, the kids helping him fill the tires for the long drive . . .  

This time however, we were not unprepared! Haha! ;)

Like the routered edge on that high-class solid wood fan stand? :)
And these little ice pack pillow beauties I whipped up for the kids, to help them keep cool?
Now, not only were we prepared to face the lack-of air-conditioning. We were also able to get there and back without the car overheating, which it had done a couple of times recently. Long story short, the fan wasn't cooling the radiator. Squire did lots of stuff to fix the problem. Perhaps there is a problem with the computer in the car, or the temperature sensor, but the fan wasn't turning on on its own when the car was idling and due to time constraints, we couldn't fix the problem completely in time. So, Squire came up with this genius little fix - a manual switch inside the car to turn the fan on and off. The red-neck creativity of this switch and the fan stand, perhaps rival the "fix" of our hand-held immersion blender . . . but, it's a close call. You'll have to decide for yourself:

A red-neck solution it was, but work - it did! We got all the way to California and back with no car trouble.

But, let's get back to the beginning of our trip - and our absolutely adorable children:

Ready to embark with her ice pack:

Ready to go, too. Although, not really wanting me to be taking a picture of him:

The kids helped to wash our whole car with the window wipers at a gas station called, "Zip" on the way. Little did we know how appropriate the name of the establishment was. As we loaded our kids into the Jeep, we battled about 200 flies that were zipping all over the inside of our cozy space. I am not exaggerating about there being 200+ flies, either. We fought and flailed and shooed those little buggers out the windows for at least an hour. Note to self: Don't go to gas stations that are located right next to large cattle outfits. Oh, and don't leave your windows open at gas stations, either. :) Lesson painfully learned.

Lincoln, showing his little sister the ropes of car care:

At another gas station stop - Lincoln still smiling. He wanted me to take a picture of him:

And one with me, too - in all my sweaty glory. Love that boy's cheesy little face.

Lincoln and Atley did great on this leg of the trip. They especially loved the rolling roads leading into Palmdale, where my Granny lives.

Crazy, sweaty hair on a happy little girl!

We had a fantastic visit with Granny Shanks. My kids haven't seen their Great Granny Shanks since my sister's wedding last May - over a year ago! Atley is a bit stand-offish with people she doesn't know very well. She certainly gives no affection to us or anyone else who she doesn't want to. Which is alright with me! Though, it is a bit sad when we visit family members she doesn't know well, and she doesn't warm up with them in time to have (m)any nice close lovey moments. But, with Granny, she was different. She held Granny's hand to walk into her house from the moment she got out of the car, and was happy to be held, cuddled, tickled, and kissed the rest of the time, too! Gran called Atley her little pal. And she was! Lincoln loved seeing his Great Granny, too. They really enjoyed visiting with and being close to her.

Lincoln and Atley loved seeing Granny's Desert tortoises. They helped to feed them:

They watched them:

They blew bubbles near/on/all over them:

And so, they got to wash their shells:

Those tortoises, Max and Maxine, they were well-tortured loved during our visit. The two mornings we were there, they were up before six, staring into their little tortoise house, to see if they were awake. I'm pretty sure Lincoln also pulled up half of Granny's back lawn to feed them. Oh, kids.

While Squire was away taking his test, we went to a great little park near Granny's, to help Lincoln and Atley get their energy out. They had a great morning:

Gran even rode the slide with them:

They were very tired after their time at the park and lunch - they slept for 3 hours! Which was great. Gran had a HUGE tote full of family history documents: piles of amazing old photos, (auto)biographies of several ancestors, and a whole lot more. I was able to go through the box with her and get a messenger bag full of precious family documents that I am going to scan, transcribe, and make available to my family through email and I felt like I was going through buried treasure, finding all of that stuff. Happy day! :) The project was so much work it gave Gran a headache, but I am grateful she stuck it out with me - I needed her help to identify many of the people in the photos, and we got a lot of work done together. Plus it was nice to be able to get some time with Gran all to myself while the kids were down.

When Squire got back from his 8 hour test (for which he left at 4:55am to beat L.A. traffic), Granny treated us to dinner at the Hometown Buffet. It was delicious. The kids enjoyed dinner, and playing Pat-a-Cake and Itsy Bitsy Spider with Granny before they went down to bed for the night.

The next day we had a lazy morning with Gran, and packed up all our things. Gran treated us to Shakey's pizza and Mojos, because Squire had never had Shakey's before. Quite the shame - now finally put to rest. ;)

We got pictures with Gran on her famous porch swing before we left to go back to Tucson:

Squire wanted a picture with Granny - Twilight Zone style:

And true-to-life style:

I love my Gran. Isn't she just beautiful? She is one of my most favorite people in this world. She always makes me feel so loved and more centered on the things that matter most in life. I love spending time with her. I was so sad to go.

Squire took a shot of my pregnant belly - 34 weeks, 1 day in this photo. Baby is a comin' soon!

And Gran got a shot of our family: A little crazy - because that's just how things go with photo shoots with kids this age. They were done. :)

And they were done about three or four hours before our trip back to Tucson was complete. But we made it home safe and sound - with fewer flies (and a few more cries) than the leg up to California. All-in-all though, it was a wonderful visit. The only thing that could have made it better, would be for it to have been longer.

We love you, Granny! Thank you for the wonderful time!! We hope we can see you again soon!!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Strengthening Family Ties in Safford, Arizona

This year, one of my maternal ancestors has been on my mind, BIG time! I mentioned her in this post a while back. Her name is Lena Hinde-Lide Libe Blumenthal - my great, great grandmother through my maternal line. Here is a photo of her (sorry, I can't make it any larger):

I've done some light searching for family members through the past couple of years. (Just so you know - you can research your own family tree for free at that link. It's pretty awesome!) But, I've had very little success in finding new ancestors to add to my tree - or in finding ancestors who needed their temple work done.** (See note below for further explanation if you're scratching your head at my lingo, here.)

But on Sunday, I finally had a breakthrough. But I'll get to that in a minute while I fill you in with this little semi-related tangent. On August 22, Squire and I celebrated our 6th Anniversary - by staying home together. Squire doted on me all day because I was sick and feeling pretty crummy. My friend who was going to babysit for us was also sick with the same crummy thing, so our careful planning which would have allowed us to be able to get out for a few hours alone, fell through. Squire and I talked about it, and decided we should plan a temple/family trip and use the anniversary money we had set aside for the trip instead. Squire had a big test to take (his Step II CK Exam), so we planned to go the day after his test was done.

Anyways, back to Sunday and my breakthrough. The Sunday before we were supposed to leave for our temple trip, I got the strong impression that I should try again to find some of my ancestors so that I would be able to bring their names to the temple and do their work for them. We were leaving Wednesday. It seemed a long shot - but hey - I just do what I'm told.

So I got on Family Search and started searching all around the ancestors who were related to Lena Blumenthal - the ancestor who has been on my mind all year. I was drawn to look at the children of her grandpa Aron Blumenthal and grandmother, Chaya. I saw her aunt - Roche, had a daughter, named, Ida Rivka Kanzor. Ida - my great, great grandmother's cousin! Ida needed ALL of her ordinances done! Talk about an exciting find! Shortly after I found Ida, I felt prompted to type her name into google. I did, and my search brought me to this site where I found out that Ida had a husband who wasn't listed - as well as 8 children. Many of those children, had spouses, and children - and parents-in-law. NONE of whom were listed in Family Search. ALL of them, needed temple work done! These records were complete with many photos of gravestones, links to census/social security index death records, newspaper articles, and even some photos of individuals. A genealogical gold mine! (or black hole as Squire calls it.) ;)  A black hole, because once you start plugging in names where there are open holes of research, you really can go on forever. So, I put Ida, her husband, children, and a handful of others in to the system and reserved their names for the temple work we would perform for them, before we left for our trip. I had to stop my entering my findings due to time constraints, but I was ECSTATIC! This was the first time I would ever be able to bring my ancestors names, who I researched and found on my own (well, with the help of the Spirit - let's give credit where credit is really due!), to the temple, in order to perform their ordinances for them!! Let's add a few more exclamation points in here!!!! I was really this excited!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

We stayed with the family Squire stayed with in Safford when he did his away rotation for rural family medicine this Summer - the Marble family. They are the parents of one of the other LDS med students at the U of A. They were so gracious in sharing their space - and offering their time to watch our kidlets so that we could go get some temple work done together, instead of in shifts.

On Wednesday afternoon, we went and got all the name cards printed up, and Squire and I went to the baptismal font to do baptisms for all my ancestors who needed baptisms and confirmations. Finding a jumpsuit to fit my 7 month pregnant belly was a bit of a task, but we we found one large enough. :) The spirit in the room was so strong. I felt overwhelming joy. Squire performed the baptisms and confirmations with me as proxy for 7 female ancestors of mine. And then Squire was then baptized and confirmed in behalf of 12 male ancestors of mine. The confirmations - usually performed in a separate room - were performed sitting in a chair, font-side, dripping wet. I loved that experience. I loved that my ancestors didn't have to wait even 20 more minutes to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost! We were the only ones in the font room and we didn't have too many names, so they did it that way for us.  The man who performed the confirmations for Squire, got emotional and began to cry with the last man he confirmed - Homer Cox was his name. He said, "Brother Cox is here with us today. We've done work for some of our bretheren in Israel today." I smiled and felt the spirit confirm that what he said was true for the bretheren - as well as the sisters. Squire and I changed our clothes and decided to get all the initiatories for these same individuals done before we headed back to the Marble home. The spirit was thick and palpable in the air as I went through the ordinances for my sister ancestors. I couldn't keep the tears from flowing during most of the work. It was a beautiful, uplifting experience.     

After we got back to the Marble's home, we went out for a late dinner with our kids to Casa Mañana - a great little Mexican restaurant in town. We topped off our dinner with fried ice cream.

The next morning, we did a babysitting swap with one of the Marble's daughters and son-in-law who were there visiting with their two girls so they could go to the temple and do some work together, and we could, too. The picture below is of me, holding Ida's name card. I performed her Endowment ordinance that morning (a much lengthier process than the other ordinances.) Squire performed the Endowment ordinance for an ancestor through his Grandpa Hepworth's line - Clarence O. Pyles. We spent some time enjoying the peace and spirit of the Celestial room together.
Me (32 weeks pregnant) holding the temple ordinance card for my ancestor, Ida Rivka Kanzor.
The whole experience at the temple was just perfect. Now, a very special memory for Squire and me.
The temple - the best place to celebrate an anniversary. :) 6 years now, baby! Woohoo!
 This is the Gila Valley Temple (near Safford) in Central, Arizona where we performed all the temple work.
The Gila Valley Temple - in Central, Arizona.
That afternoon, after we had some lunch we decided to go swimming at a pond nearby - Cluff Pond #3. Apparently, somebody died there about a week before we went there!!!!! Squire conveniently decided to tell me that today, two days after our trip. He didn't want that little detail to dissuade me from swimming there. . . I'm glad he didn't. We ended up having a very nice afternoon swimming together as a family. Having that information would have creeped me out.
At Cluff Pond #3 with the fam - ready to go swimming on a nice warm day! Atley is making a stink face - a pretty cute one at that.
The water was perfect, the sun pleasantly warm with light cloud cover, the scenery picturesque. And we had the pond all to ourselves the whole time . . . (I wonder why!)  ;)
A beautiful view of the cattails, other plant life, and mountains. A perfect day for a swim.
 Heading back to the Marble home - being silly in the car:
Being a goon. Atley, after our swim, holding her Dinosaur "Eggggssss!" (Rocks.) She learned that one from her Big Brother, who insists on carrying a large collection of "eggs" around the house and in his pockets at all times.
Lincoln, trying to mess up all the pictures we were taking of him - got a cute one despite your efforts buddy!
One more picture of Squire and Me - together. Just how I like us to be.
We picked up a Little Caesar's pizza for dinner, and visited with the Marble's for a bit before heading back to Tucson.

This was truly an inspired trip - one that brought Squire and I closer to each other, to our children, and to our ancestors!  We most definitely will return again. Hopefully at least one more time before baby comes. :)

**For those not familiar with LDS terminology/doctrine, when I say I talk about my ancestor(s) needing their temple work done, I am referring to specific religious ordinances that we perform by proxy (or in behalf of) the dead, inside the temple. These include: baptism, confirmation, initiatory and endowment ordinances, as well as sealings to spouses and children. We believe that when Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (John 3:5) that He meant it! We perform these ordinances for our family members in the temple, and we believe that once they are performed, our ancestors can choose whether they will accept or reject the work that was performed in their behalf, and thereby continue their spiritual progression, which is halted in the spirit world if they have not had their work performed for them. They may also reject the ordinances performed in their behalf. It's all up to them. But by doing this work, we in our estimation, are extending a loving opportunity for our ancestors to follow Christ. It is a very special and sacred experience for us members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to be able to participate in this work. We believe that when the scriptures talk about Elijah the Prophet coming and turning "the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers . . ." and if He did not, "the whole Earth would be utterly wasted at (Christ's) coming." That this is a reference to genealogy work which enables us to perform sealing ordinances in behalf of our family members who have passed on. The Spirit of Elijah is catching not only amongst members of our faith, but people around the globe. I heard from our ward's (congregation's) Family History Consultant, that after pornography - family history research is the #2 researched thing on the web. I don't know how to confirm that, but if it's true - it's pretty awesome! (And would be more awesome if it bumped porn down from it's #1 spot. On a semi-related note - this is an awesome video of a man who was able to overcome his addiction to pornography, due to his getting in to family history work.) Today's technology is giving us the ability to do work for our families like never before. Today is an exciting time to live.


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