Sunday, December 21, 2008

New Blog Address

I am not a big fan of how long it takes me to post with the blogspot stuff because I have a Mac, so I decided to use my Mac website that I've been using for several years. I just didn't know how to make it a blog with that website...But I figured it out, so that is where I'll be posting from now on, so check http://web.me.com/lareeduncan if you want to see what's goin' on with the Duncan family. :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Halloween


I know it's almost Thanksgiving, but I never got a chance to post pictures of my kiddos on Halloween. As you can see, it wasn't Gavin's favorite night. He was mad because I couldn't find him a "Lightning McQueen" costume. He eventually got over it and had a little bit of fun.

Having fun at their Aunt and Uncle's house at our annual Halloween party.

We got smart this year and decided to "decorate" the pumpkins instead of cut them - A lot less mess to clean up...







I know I'm a bit prejudice, but I'm pretty sure she's the happiest, sweetest, cutest baby ever.

Family Pictures

So I have this great house with a bunch of empty walls, so I decided it was time to get some professional pictures of my family taken - not something I have done yet - (yea, I've been married seven years - pretty pathetic, I know). My cousin, Tawnya, agreed to take them, and I was absolutely thrilled with how they turned out. The kids were sooo good. It was really a lot of fun. The only bad part is having to chose which ones I want to hang on my walls.























Thursday, November 13, 2008

Evening In Excellence

Last night, I was blessed enough to have the opportunity to put on my first Young Women "Evening in Excellence" as Young Women's President. I planned and worked on a video for that night for weeks before the actual event, not to mention the hours several others put in to help me out so I wouldn't lose my mind trying to do it all myself. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by, and have the opportunity to serve with such wonderful women.

It was worth every minute of time it took to put the room and the program together as I watched the girls faces as they entered the room. We had music playing in the background to invite the spirit, and the room was set up with their projects in the back displayed on tables, a red carpet running down the aisle between the chairs, a beautiful archway lit up with white lights. There were roses, crowns, a big screen to play a slideshow... I knew I had been guided in putting on this particular program when one of the girl's moms walked in and started crying. She said she had had a dream a few nights ago that she had come into this room, and it was set up exactly as it was now. Her mother, who has passed on, was there with her. She said the only difference was, that I was dressed as a queen. I know that dream was no coincidence. It felt so good to know that I was on the right track, and know that this program was meant to be the exact way I had planned it.

The program turned out beautifully. The theme was "Born to be a Queen." We had all the girls walk down the red carpet while their picture showed up on a screen and their voice played on some speakers talking about what their favorite personal progress project had been this year. When they got up to the front, we put a crown on their head, pinned a sash around them that stated their Young Women value on it, gave them a rose, and read to them a letter we had their mothers write beforehand. It was more moving than I ever imagined it would be. The leaders fought back tears as we read the letters, and the girls fought back tears as they listened.

The spirit was so strong, I could barely breathe. I then played a slideshow I had put together of the girls, followed by another song about the Savior with a slideshow that went along with the words. What a blessing to be there that night, and have the opportunity to look at the beautiful girls of my ward, to feel their spirits, and know that there is a greater plan for each and every one of them.

I wish I could express the love that automatically follows being given a calling such as mine. It is all I can do not to cry everytime I meet together with these precious young women - I feel of their spirits, and of a love that that cannot be put into words. They are truly such amazing girls, with strong testimonies and a desire to do good. I love spending time with them, teaching them - while all the while they are teaching me without even knowing, watching them laugh and interact with one another...What an honor I have of being their leader. It is a task I could never take on alone. A calling, that without my Savior right beside me every moment, I wouldn't last a day.

I have discovered that with great blessings, comes great responsibility. My life has truly been blessed in every aspect of the word, but because of this, much is expected of me. My goal is to rise to the challenge. To serve in a way that pleases my Savior - To serve in a way that when I meet my maker face to face, He will be able to look in my eyes and tell me He is proud of me, thank me for doing everything that was asked of me, and welcome me back into His open arms.

I tried to attach the video I made for the girls, but couldn't get it to upload.:(



Sunday, November 2, 2008

My First Blog Entry...

I never saw the point in having a blog until I recently took the time to get on a few of my friends' blogs and realized that they don't have to just be about a mom bragging about everything she did with her kids this week, all the cute pictures she took, and how she has such a perfect wonderful life. I read of people's struggles and heartaches, as they were brave enough to share with others the feelings deep within their hearts. My heart ached for them as I cried tears that they will never know I cried for them. I was touched and uplifted by their strength and their faith as I read their stories of the trials they are being faced with in their lives. I have gained a respect for them that I could have never had otherwise, because I would have never known... I thank those of you who put more than just the fun day to day wonderful things that happen in your lives. I thank those of you who are willing to share the hard times. I don't think these people realize the impact they are making on the lives of those who read their stories. You have inspired me, strengthened my testimony, and made me feel a deeper gratitude than I have ever felt before for all that I have been given. 

A few days ago, I was having, what I saw, to be hard day. I cried all morning and couldn't seem to pull myself together to face the day. Later that same day, I felt guided to check my email which led me to several blogs that have literally changed my life. Before now, I have always thought of time spent on reading others blogs as being time wasted, so I have never really read anyone's blog. Oh how these few hours I spent reading have changed this opinion. 

I feel I have been so caught up in my own life, and my own problems, my own goals, that I have not even thought about what those around me might be going through. My eyes have been opened, my heart has been touched, and I have a renewed desire to get outside of myself and help ease the burdens of those around me by being a true friend - who is more concerned about what is going on in the lives of those around me, than what is going on in my own. We are here to serve, to learn from our own trials so that we may give of ourselves and what we have been taught when our friends and family need our strength. 

I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people. People who inspire and uplift me and make me realize that we are not here only for ourselves, but for each other - We are here to help and lift one another. We must bear one another's burdens, and comfort those who stand in need of comfort. I do not want to make this blog portray my "perfect" life that it seems everyone wants us believe they have, nor do I want it to be doom and gloom about all my problems. I want people to know that I am no better than anyone else. Life is not a contest of whose kids are better dressed, who has a prettier house, or who drives the nicest car. I don't want anyone to ever read my blog and compare themselves to me - To think what a perfect life I have and wish their life could be as good as mine. I know I have done it - I have compared my life to another around me and thought, "If only my life could be as happy and perfect as theirs." Well, I have come to realize, that no one has that fairy tale perfect life. No matter what it looks like on the surface, you will never know the hurts and struggles that are going on behind the scenes. The key is to be grateful for what we HAVE been given, for all that we DO have. If we focus on that, only more good can come.