2: Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories. | Starting the Journal May 6, 2011 Life is kind of crazy at times. It is full of neat experiences, hard challenges, and lots of trails. I can’t believe how fast time is going by. I am already 26 years old, and been married for almost five years. Because life is flying by, I need to put a system in place where I write down my thoughts and experiences. I have tried time and time again to keep a journal, but every time it last for a few weeks, maybe a few months and then is over. Well I am trying again. This time I am going to try and have a little fun writing my journal, I am going to make an online book. People say it is neat to keep a hand written journal so that you can see your handwriting, but when I try to do a handwritten journal, it never lasts. So with this one being online, I will be able to always access it and hopefully that will help me keep writing. We will see how it goes. When I look back at what has happened to my life over the past year or so, I can't believe the changes. I have now been working at AtTask Inc. for almost three years as a financial analyst. AtTask is a great place to work, and I am very blessed to have a good job. There are challenges that come with it. I don't get paid as much as I wish I did, but the great benefits make up for it. Also, I really like what I do, and the people I work with, which not everyone can say that. Because of that, I fight this internal battle every day if I should look for another job that pay a little more, or if I should stay at a job I enjoy. Above all, I just need to be more thankful for what I do have. This world is a scary place right now, when it comes to finances. There are more people out of work right now than any other time in my life. I am extremely blessed to have a job, especially one I like. Larissa and I have been living in Pleasant Grove for two years now; we are blessed to have such a beautiful home, and a wonderful neighborhood. We life in the Rockwell community and love it. The ward has been huge, over 600 people for a long time, and we keep wondering when they were going to split it. In March it happened, and the result of that gave me a new calling, and a new life. I am not 1st councilor in the bishopric.
3: The call came March 13th while I was in Ward Council as the Elders Quorum President. The stake clerk knocked on the door, and pulled me out. He said, “The stake presidency needs to meet with you are your wife right away.” I knew it was something big, and had a feeling I was being called into a new Bishopric, but was not sure. I ran home pulled Larissa out of bed, said, “We need to be at the Church in 10 min” Once we were there, President Ables, meet with us. He asked me if I was worthy, and asked Larissa if I was telling the truth. He then extended the call to be the first councilor to Bishop Dan Peterson, with Jared Haleck as the 2nd councilor. He let us know it was going to be time consuming but a wonderful experience. As a bishopric we started working right away. Because the stake created a new ward, we started from nothing. There was not a single person called. We started with all the presidents first. We knelt and prayed together and felt the spirit of the lord come into our meeting and direct this work. It is amazing how the lord knows each one of us, and leads this church in every way.
4: March 20th was the big day. The calling was announced, and the members sustained us. After the meeting my father ordained me to the office of High Priest and President law sent me apart. It was a great experience, full of spiritual experiences. My Dad, father-in-law and grandfather were all there to participate in the ordination and the setting apart. I am blessed to have such a supportive family. One of the neatest experiences is when President Ables, 2nd counselor in the Stake Presidency set apart Nick Komen as our executive secretary. Nick is the only member in his family, and his family all live back in New York. During the blessing President Ables pronounced a blessing on Nick that he would take part in this family accepting the gospel and getting baptized in this life. It was incredible. The spirit filed the room; there was not a dry eye there. I am happy for Nick and thankful I got to be part of a very spiritual experience. With a lot of hard work, prayers, and time the ward is coming together and it has been a great experience to watch it all happen. With the responsibility and added trust the lord has in me, I have gone out of my way to be more diligent in my scripture study. I am now waking up early every morning and studying the gospel for 90 minutes. It has been absolutely wonderful. It starts my day off right, and hopefully helps me become the man God needs me to become. If life is not crazy enough, we have found out that Larissa is pregnant. We have been flirting with the idea of having a child for some time now, had had a plan to start trying in May 2011. In November of last year I had a strong impression that we needed to stat trying in January. I did not understand why I felt that way, and still don’t know why, but I followed that impression. What is even better is Larissa had the same impression and she came to me asking me about it. God sure cares about us, and has a plan for us, I am just glad I am learning to listen to Him when he speaks to me
5: Four Months Pregnant | We changed our plan, and decided to try and have a kid in January. We knew the lord wanted us to start trying, but both felt like it was going to take some time to get pregnant because of different health problems Larissa had. Doctors have always told us it was going to be hard. But God is in charge, and there is a reason this child needs to be born when it is going to be born. First time trying to get pregnant it works. We were shocked. I am still in shock. Today Larissa is 19 weeks along. We are counting down until week 20 when we get to find out what it is. I can't wait to know the gender. At first, I really wanted a girl, then I really wanted a boy, and now I don't care. It is kind of funny how my options keep changing. Pregnancy has not been easy for her. She has been sick, throwing up, not sleeping and in pain. I feel bad, and wish there was more I can do. Luckily, the sickness has gotten a lot better in the last few weeks, but soon comes the uncomfortable part. It is so crazy how the human body works. I still can't believe there is a living person inside my wife's stomach. I pray things continue to go well.
6: We Welcome Holland William Hommes Into This World. | I am a Dad! September 28, 2011 I am a dad! I can’t believe it. Holland William Hommes was born September 21, 2011. He was 7 lbs. 8 oz. and 20 in long. A beautiful healthy boy; it is so amazing. It all started September 13th when Larissa went to her doctor’s appointment. She found out she was dilated to a 3 and 80% effaced. The doctor said, “Set next weeks appointment, but my guess is you will not make it until than.” We were so excited. We left the appointment believing it was going to happen any day. Tuesday went by, than Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The days seamed so long, because I just keep waiting for it to happen. We started to go on walks every night. They started off small, just a few times around the community, but as the week went on, we got more and more eager and the walks turned into many mile hikes. After every walk contractions would happen but they would never last. Before we knew it a whole week had gone by and no baby. So Tuesday the 20th Larissa went back to the doctors. This time she was dilated to a 3.5 and 90% effaced. Dr. Watabe said the same thing, “Set next weeks appointment, but I really don’t think you will make it.” He than said, “I am unavailable tomorrow, so have your baby any day this week but tomorrow.” Right when he said that we knew it was going to happen the next day. And we were right. September 21st 3:00am – Larissa woke up with some strong contractions. They were the strongest contractions she ever had. She started to time them and found them to be about five min. apart.
7: 3:30am – Larissa woke me up. On her first contraction after waking me up, I knew this was different. I could tell that the contractions were a lot more painful then any other contraction. I woke right up, and started to get excited. I tried to hold my excitement back, because I did not want to get let down if the contractions stopped, but | I was really hopeful that this was it. We keep track of the contractions for about an hour and found them to be every three to five min and lasting about 50-60 seconds. 5:00am - We called Larissa’s mom and took off to the hospital. I will never forget how Larissa, even in lots of pain, had to make the bed before we went. She is so crazy. 5:10am – We arrived at the hospital and found that Larissa was dilated to a six. They assured us we were staying. They put us in a birthing room and hooked Larissa up to the monitors. They asked her if she was ready for the epidural, which she said no, and that she was not going to get one. I think they were a bit surprised. I was really proud of her, and told myself that I would support her as best as I could with that decision. 6:00am – Larissa was so amazing. I could tell she was in a lot of pain, but when she got to about 8 centimeters the pain was really bad. I did what I could, held her, talked to her, helped her focus on her breathing, but most of all just prayed for her. They broke her water to speed up the process, which helped I think. Going from an 8 to a 10 was really hard. Larissa was hurting a great deal, but she did amazing. They found that Holland had a bowl movement before he came out which is very scary. They had to call in emergency people, and let us know that if he does not cry when he comes out they have to take him away, but if he cries everything is okay. I was a little scared but was glad the hospital was ready for everything.
8: 7:00am – Larissa got to 10 centimeters and was now able to push. It was so unreal. Larissa did amazing. It looked painful, but was neat to see. I tried to help where I could, by holding Larissa and praying for her. 7:15am – Holland came out. First his head, and then his whole body. He started crying immediately which was wonderful to hear because that meant everything was okay. Once he was out they placed him on Larissa’s chest. It was amazing. I can’t even express the amount of love I felt for him. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. I got to cut the cord, which was really cool. It is a complete miracle to think how that all works. You simply cut the cord and they just start living like a normal human. The first time I got to hold Holland was one of the greatest moments in my life. I just couldn’t believe he was here. I loved him so much, and instantly could not imagine life without him. It made me think about the love our Heavenly Father has for us. If we being imperfect can have so much love for our children, how much more love must God have, being perfect, for us His children. No matter what wrong Holland does, or will do, I will always love him and will always want him in my life. So it is with our Heavenly Father. No matter what we do, He will always love us. He will always be there for us. He will always want us in His life. I know that to be true. His love will never leave.
9: Before long I found myself in the nursery helping the nurses with Holland’s first bath. Everyone likes a clean kid. From then on until today has been little sleep for Larissa and I, trying to learn this whole breastfeeding thing, and just holding and loving our boy. I was blessed to be able to take a week off of work to stay home with my family and help out Larissa. I just came back to work today, and miss them like crazy. For so many years I have been scared to become a parent. There were even times when I wondered if it was even for me, but now that I have become a dad I can say it is the greatest thing I have ever done. It is still very new, I am still trying to learn all of this, and it as not been easy at all, but it has been wonderful. I look forward to the challenges. We have been greatly blessed to the point where Larissa was able to quit her job and say home. She is really happy to be done with work, and I am really happy for her. Her last day was September 9th. I think she is going to love being home full time, but I am sure she will miss work a little. For the past three years she has been working as an executive assistant for Prosper Inc. They have worked her like crazy, but she had exceled at her job. I am proud of how hard she worked for so long. She had been the reason I was able to go to school, we were able to get a home, and able to pay off all debts except for our home. She is a hard worker. I am very grateful to her and our Heavenly Father for making it possible that Holland has a mom at home with him.
10: Today was Holland’s baby blessing and it was a wonderful and very special day. We were originally going to have it the fast Sunday of November, Nov 6th, but that was Chell’s due date, so we pushed it up earlier so she could be there. Sadly, she went into labor in the middle of the night, only hours before the blessing was to happen, so she was not able to make it. Blessing my boy was an incredible experience. It helped me gain a stronger respect for the priesthood of God. I am so thankful to hold the priesthood and have the ability to bless my baby. In attendance today were my parents, Norbert and Kathy, Jake and Jen, Kailey and Danny (the boyfriend), Grandma and Grandpa Marshall, Larissa’s parents, Lyndon and Michelle, Gordy and Destiny and their kids, and Todd and his boys. I was glad and very honored everyone was able to make it. It meant a great deal that Todd was willing to leave Chell who had a baby only hours before, to support me and Holland. I am thankful to have so many great men in my life who hold the priesthood. In the circle with me was, Bishop Peterson, Jared Haleck (2nd Councilor in Bishopric), Norbert, Grandpa Marshall, Lyndon, Gordy, Todd, Jake, and Danny. | Holland's Baby Blessing October 23, 2011
11: Holland, we bless you will all the blessing you need to magnify your calling here on earth. We bless you with the gift of strength. Physical strength, that you will continue to grow healthy and strong. Intellectual strength, that you will gain knowledge and wisdom; that you will have a desire for learning and a love of books. Spiritual strength that you will know good from evil and desire to choose good. We bless you with the gift of a testimony. We bless you, that through your faithfulness of reading your scriptures and saying your prayers you will come to know that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, that Joseph Smith is a prophet, and that The Book of Mormon is true. We bless you with the gift of inspiration, that when you are baptized and receive the Holy Ghost you will be blessed to understand the whispering of the still small voice. That it will be a blessing to you. We bless you to use those whispering to understand God’s will for you. Holland you are named after a prophet, we bless you with a love for all the prophets, and with a desire to serve them, sustain them, and follow them. We bless you with the gift of respect, that you will respect others, especially the women in your life. That you will respect your mom, the women you will date, and the woman you will untimely marry. We bless you to see women as daughters of a Heavenly King. These blessing and all other blessings you need we give you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. | The Blessing
12: The spirit was strong, and I was really happy with the blessing. Another thing to make the blessing day really special was I had the opportunity to also give a talk. I was excited about that opportunity because I knew I was going to have family there to hear me speak. I talked about diligence in the Lord’s work, and about the importance of sacrificing all we have for the gospel. I was really happy with it and received many complements on it. I hope it inspired someone to be more diligent. After church we went to the clubhouse and eat lunch together as a family. It all made for a wonderful blessing day.
13: Talk Given Nov 23, 2011 - Grove 9th Ward Sacrament Meeting Elder Eyring once said, "Once, as a bishop of a ward, I worked with a young man... [who] made great mistakes and had been moved by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to make long and painful repentance. We were down to the weeks before he was to be married in the temple. I had long before forgiven him in the name of the Church and had given him his temple recommend. Yet he remembered that I had said, "The Lord will forgive you in his own time and in his own way." But now he was deeply concerned. He came to my office and he said: "You told me that the Lord would someday let me know that I was forgiven I am going to the temple to marry a wonderful girl. I want to be the best I can be for her. I need to know that I am forgiven. And I need to know now. Tell me how to find out." I said I would try." He gave me a deadline. My memory is that it was...less than two weeks...During that period of time I went to Salt Lake City, and there I found myself seeing Elder Spencer W. Kimball... at a social function. It was crowded, and yet he somehow found me. He walked up to me in that crowd and said, "Hal, I understand that you are now a bishop. Do you have anything you would like to ask me?" I said that I did, but I didn't think that was the place to talk about it. He thought it was... I outlined the concerns and the question of this young man in my ward. Then I asked Elder Kimball, "How can he get that revelation? How can he know whether his sins are remitted?" I thought Elder Kimball would talk to me about fasting or prayer or listening [to] the still small voice. But he surprised me. Instead he said, "Tell me something about the young man." I said, "What would you like to know?" And then he began a series of the most simple questions. Some of the ones I remember were: "Does he come to his priesthood meetings?" I said, after a moment of thought, "Yes." "Does he come early?" "Yes." "DoeI thought for a moment and then realized, to my amazement, that he did. "Does he home teach?" "Yes." "Does he go early in the month?" "Yes, he does." "Does he go more than once?" "Yes." I can't remember the other questions. But they were all like that--little things, simple acts of obedience, of submission. And for each question I was surprised that my answer was always yes and after I had said yes to each of his questions, Elder Kimball looked at me, paused, and then very quietly said, "There is your revelation."” (Eyring, “Come Unto Me” ’89)
14: Brothers and Sisters, this is a gospel principle that is not understood as well as it should be. Repentance requires a change of heart, it r equires us to be sufficiently humble, stripped of pride and of envy. (see Alma 5:26-29) By living the gospel fully, by doing the small and simple things our hearts can change, we can be clean. But we must do them the rest of our lives. Repentance never ends. Repentance requires sacrifice until the day we die. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “Let us here observe that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things, never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation” (Lectures on Faith, 68–70) Today I desire to speak to you about being diligent in the Lord's service and being willing to sacrifice all things. I testify that God has a plan for each one of us, and a large part of that plan is us being diligent in fulfilling our responsibilities in this church. In this gospel, there is a great work to do, a work that requires more of our attention, more of our effort, and more of our time then we are now giving. We must be more diligent than ever before, because the importance of doing so is greater than ever before. I have been a wittiness to wonderful examples of diligent service in this ward. I have seen men wake up early, week after week to set up chairs for church, not because they had to but because they knew they should. I have seen men and women fulfill their Home Teaching and Visiting Teaching assignments month after month, not because they had to but because they knew they should. There are members all around us, who magnify their callings, by diligently giving of their time, talents, and abilities. And members who serve diligently, love deeply, and honor their membership in this church manifestly. To these diligent Disciples of Christ, I say thank you. Thank you for being you, thank you for your service, your love, your hard work and your testimony. You are an example in my life. Brothers and Sisters, we need more! We need more diligent members serving in God's kingdom. We need more callings to be magnified. We need more hands to be raised when volunteers are needed. We need more Home and Visiting Teaching to be fulfilled. We need more love, more service, more dedication. The early saints in this dispensation understood the meaning of sacrificing all things. On the 28th of July 1847, just four days after his arrival to Salt Lake City, Brigham Young stood on the ground where the Salt Lake Temple now sits and exclaimed: "Here [we will build] the Temple of our God!" (Holland, "However Long and Hard the Road") This magnificent structure, who's grounds would cover an eighth of a square mile, and who's strength would need to stand through eternity, was now the main priority of the Saints of God. They did not have money, they did not have stone, or wood, or glass, or the gold necessary. They did not have farms planted, or homes build. But they were given an assignment by a prophet, and they were not about to turn away from that assignment. (See Holland, "However Long and Hard the Road") Ground was broken and the project began on the "most massive, permanent, inspiring edifice they could conceive." The saints would then spend the next forty years of their lives completing this assignment. (See Holland, "However Long and Hard the Road") It did not take long for the members to realize this was going to be hard. The basement required "trenches twenty feet wide and sixteen feed deep, much of it through solid gravel. Just digging for the foundation alone required nine thousand man days of labor." They continued on faithful and determined. (See Holland, "However Long and Hard the Road") When the foundation was finished, word came that Albert Sidney Johnston and his United State Army were on their way to Salt Lake to wage war with "the Mormons." With it's "eight foot by sixteen foot foundational walls in place, they did the only thing they could do, they filled it" back up again. Every shovel worth of dirt, and soil, and gravel that had been removed was filled back in until it looked like nothing more than a unplanted field. (See Holland, "However Long and Hard the Road") Once the threat of war ended, they grabbed their shovels and started again, just as determined as the first time. What came nex t was the true test of perseverance. Massive granite boulders were carved away from Little Cottonwood Canyon, some twenty miles away all shaped to the precise design and dimension needed. With thousands of stones needed this process was incredibly slow. Just to lay one layer of stone took nearly three years. (See Holland, "However Long and Hard the Road")
15: Day after day, month after month, year after year faithful Latter-day Saints worked on the temple, knowing full well they might not live long enough to even see it finished. President Brigham Young was part of that group, He died in 1877, with the temple only being twenty feet above the ground. Ten years later, President John Taylor died as well. (See Holland, "However Long and Hard the Road") On the important date of April 6, 1892, after spending 40 years of their lives building a temple, it was finally complete. Forty thousand people jammed into the temple grounds. After President Wilford Woodruff laid the capstone in place, those 40,000 Latter-day Saints gave the Hosanna shout. Each with a white handkerchief in their hand, and tears in their eyes. One said, "A grander OR more imposing spectacle than this ceremony...is not recorded in history" (See Holland, "However Long and Hard the Road") Those members are an example to me. They had a work to do, and they did it. We have not been asked to build a temple, but our prophet has asked many things from us. May we be more like those early saints, doing all we can to follow the prophet. Whether or not you magnify your responsibilities in this gospel is untimely your decision. You choose how serious you will live the gospel, and how much time you will devote to it. It is up to you to determine your commitment, your energy, and the dedication level you want to give, but remember, that decision is an important one. Henry Eyring, the father of President Eyring is an amazing example of dedication to the gospel. As most of you know, Henry was a world-renowned chemist. His work is regarded as some of the noblest work from any chemist in history. He authored more than 600 scientific articles, ten scientific books not to mention books on the subject of science and religion. He received many high honors and rewards including the Wolf prize in chemistry, the National Medal of Science, Priestly Medal and many, many others. It was said by several that the only reason he did not receive the Nobel Prize was because he was a member of this church. Although he was famous scientist, receiving worldly praise and recognition most of his life, Henry Eyring knew what was really important, his commitment and dedication to the gospel. He understood on a profound level what it meant to magnify your calling. To appreciate this story, you have to realize that it occurred when he was nearly eighty years old and that he had server bone cancer. In fact, his bone cancer was so bad in his hips that he could hardly move. The pain was almost unbearable. (See Henry B. Eyring, “Waiting Upon the Lord”) An assignment was issued in Henry’s stake to serve at the church farm, and to pull weeds in a field of onions. He volunteered for the assignment knowing full well his social status, and his physical limitations. This did not surprise anyone, Henry volunteered for every assignment. (See Henry B. Eyring, “Waiting Upon the Lord”) Henry showed up early and eager to get to work. He never complained about the task, or the pain he was experiencing, but to those around him it was apparent. A fellow member who was serving next to Henry said it was very clear he was in a lot of pain. He couldn't kneel. The pain was too great for him to kneel, so he laid on his stomach, pulling himself from weed to weed by his elbows. (See Henry B. Eyring, “Waiting Upon the Lord”) Henry picked every weed he was asked to pick, but even more remarkable was his attitude. Those who served with him that day said, he smiled, laughed and talked happily with them all day long as they worked in the field of onions. (See Henry B. Eyring, “Waiting Upon the Lord”) Henry was later asked, why did you do it? Why did you suffer such great pain just for some silly onion weeds? His answer, although simple, can change our lives if we let it, he replied, “I wasn't there for the weeds.” He wasn't there for the weeds, he was there to magnify his priesthood, he was there to fulfill his responsibility, he was there for the Lord. (See Henry B. Eyring, “Waiting Upon the Lord”)
16: Throughout your life you will be given opportunities to serve in ways that may seem small and insignificant. You will find at times that magnifying your membership in this church will be hard and sometimes overwhelming. There will be times when you will ask yourself, what is the point of all this? Why should I waste my time on such silly things? But remember this; you don’t serve for the weeds. You serve for the Savior.” He has given us a work to do, and for no other reason but to honor him, we must magnify that work. At times, living the gospel fully is very over welling. There is so much to do. Read your scriptures, say your prayers, visit the temple, magnify your calling, Home Teaching, Visiting Teaching, Service assignments, Family Home Evening and on and on and on. Anyone who tries every single day to keep 100% of the commandments 100% of the time, who is working, praying, and desiring to become more like the Savior, will on occasion ask. Why is this so hard? Why is becoming like the Savior so difficult? Why am I not seeing the spiritual results I desire, as quickly as I desire them? I have had these same questions, and have thought a great deal about them. I believe the answer was taught by Elder Holland when he said: "is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation was never easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, He is our Great Eternal Head. Why would we believe, why would we think that it would be easy for us when it was never ever easy for him...I believe it is supposed to require something of our soul. If Jesus could plead in the night, falling on His face, bleeding from every pour and crying Abba, Father remove this cup from me well little wonder that salvation is not an ... easy thing for [us]. This is the living son of the living God saying isn't there some other way... If you wonder if there isn't an easier way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that. Someone a lot greater and a lot better asked...a long time ago...if there wasn't an easier way. For him there wasn't so perhaps for us...there won't be an easier way" (Holland, "Missionary Work and the Atonement") I know that dedicating your life to the gospel is not easy. But I testify it is worth it. There are great blessings to receive if we but commit ourselves to this work. God Lives! I know that! Jesus is the living Son of the living God! This is His Church! To be a member of His church is one of the greatest privileges and blessings we have in this live. Treat your membership like such. I pray that as we continue on diligently giving all we have to this work, we will come to that knowledge, knowing we will enter into eternal rest, and be partakers of the glory of God. That reward, that knowledge is available to all of us in this life, I so testify, In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
17: Halloween October 31, 2011 I have never really been that into Halloween until I started to work for AtTask. Every year AtTask puts on a big Halloween party and encourages everyone to dress up and decorate their office space. The company then invites the employees’ families to come trick-or-treating around the office. It is always very enjoyable. As a finance department we try to get into the spirit of Halloween and do something fun. This year we dressed up like “Angry Birds” the game. We all had bird heads or pig heads on. We also set up a game for the kids to play. We created a slingshot and shot stuffed animal birds from it at pigs. It was a big success. This year was extra fun because we got to dress Holland up for Halloween. We dressed him as a skeleton. He was super cute and it was a lot of fun. After the work party we surprised my mom by showing up to there home all dressed up. She was happy to see us.
18: Thanksgiving November 30, 2011 Thanksgiving was a lot of fun this year. We eat so much food. Thursday we were at the LeSueur’s home for Thanksgiving. The food was great. Larissa’s mom did a great job. After we eat we just hung out. There home is always crazy with all the kids running around but we were still able to enjoy ourselves. Larissa’s grandma came to Utah for Thanksgiving so it was nice to see her, and give her the opportunity to meet Holland. Friday we had our 2nd Thanksgiving at my Grandmas home. She is an amazing cook. There were so many people there. It was good to see so many family members that I don't get to see all the time. Saturday we had our 3rd Thanksgiving dinner at my mom's home. It is tradition for her to cook a big traditional German meal. Every year she cooks rouladen. It was so good. I love that meal. Even though the food is great and being with family is wonderful the best part of Thanksgiving is to take a moment and think about all the blessings in your life. I have so many things to be thankful for. First off I have been blessed with an incredible wife and beautiful baby boy. They both bring so much joy to my life. I could not imagine life without them. I have also been blessed to grow up in a wonderful family who are always there for me and always love me.
19: I am blessed with the gift of good health for me and my family. Something I might not show as much gratitude for as I should. I am blessed with a good job that I enjoy and with the ability to provide a good life for my family. I am blessed with a beautiful home, and nice car and all the things that I need in life. I have so much to be thankful for. Above all, I am blessed to know God lives and to know Jesus is the Christ. I am blessed to belong to the true church, to hold the priesthood of God, and to be sealed in the holy temple for time and all eternity. Those blessings will bless my life for the rest of eternity.
20: Christmas 2011 December 27, 2011 I just experienced my first Christmas as a father and it was wonderful. Even though Holland is too young to know what is going on, it was still fun to get him gifts and be with him on Christmas. I look forward to the day when he will be old enough to understand what is going on and to be excited about Christmas. This year Christmas was on a Sunday, which I thought was great. I heard a lot of people complaining about that, but I wish Christmas were on Sunday every year. It really added to the experience and allowed me to better focus on the true meaning of Christmas. We started the holiday by throwing our annual “Hommes Soup Party” at our house. This is the second year throwing this party and it has been a great success. We order soup and bread for dinner, and then we have lots of fancy deserts like carnal apples, chocolate covered strawberries, fudge, etc. After we eat dinner we play games as a family and eat sweets all night. Everyone was able to come this year including Kailey's
21: boyfriend Danny. It was a lot of fun, and I feel very blessed to have a wonderful family and the means to put on such a party. The next day we had the “Marshall Family Christmas Party”. Every year we hold this calibration at the Pecks home and it is a lot of fun. We eat soup, sing songs, have white elephant gifts, and of course have a chocolate fountain going. This year was no different. We had a great time. Christmas Eve is spent with Chris and Delva Hommes every year. I really enjoy being with them. They are great people. We eat a good meal, play a few games, and even receive some gifts from them. It made for a wonderful evening. Christmas day was superb. Larissa and I got up before Holland and opened our gifts in the morning. I got her a nice big monitor for our computer because our computer screen before was really small. I was not sure how much she was going to like the gift, but it turned out to be a success. We enjoyed being together and opening gifts. I was given clothing, a watch, and a movie about the Book of Mormon. I truly feel blessed to be able to have so much. Once we were done I made us a big breakfast and we got ready for the day. By the time we were ready, Holland was up and we took him downstairs to open his gifts with him. He wasn't really interested in the gifts, but we still had fun and took lots of pictures. We then went to church for a special sacrament meeting. I was really excited about this sacrament meeting because I had the privilege of organizing it. I decided to do music only. It was wonderful. We had three choir numbers, four congressional hymns, two solos, a quartet, and a violin solo. It made for a very spiritual Christmas morning. Sadly, there were not as many people there as should have been. They sure missed out. Best of all we got to take the sacrament, which is the best way to remember the savior, on the day dedicated to remember him. I found it to be very special.
22: Merry Christmas | After sacrament meeting we went to my grandmas and grandpas house. They had lots of good food for us, as well as some wonderful gifts. We ended the day being with my family at my mom and dad's home. They always get us way to many gifts. It was a lot of fun being together. I have a wonderful family, and consider it one of the greatest blessings in my life. All in all it was a wonderful Christmas. I am thankful for the opportunity to celebrate my Saviors birth. I know he came to earth in the most humble of ways. He is the redeemer of the world and I am extremely blessed to know that.
24: Mother | Grandmother | Grandfather | Great Grandfather | Great Grandfather | Great Grandmother | Great Grandmother
25: Father | Grandfather | Great Grandfather | Great Grandfather | Grandmother | Great Grandmother | Great Grandmother
27: Great Grandparents | Parents | Grandparents
28: Parents | Grandparents | Great Grandparents