Wednesday, August 29, 2012

be grateful for the nice things

When G was little he had Leukemia.  This required weeks in the hospital, and 2 years of constant fear of infection etc...  A nice upshot of this was that we get invited to the Dance Marathon, fundraising party, each year.

Last week while we were in the car M said "I'm so glad G was sick when he was a baby because we get to go to dance marathon."  It took me a while to figure out what to tell her.  I explained that G was really really sick and that his being sick wasn't something to be glad for.  She asked if he almost died.  And I told her that he almost died a lot of times.  That sobered her.

I am in fact grateful for the things we learned during G's sickness.  I'm also very grateful that our marriage survived as well as G. 

A few times, I've met ladies, who chose to have sex and children out of marriage.  Perhaps it is just a colloquialism, but they have said "I wouldn't do anything differently."  It's as if they feel that wishing to have made different choices is the same as wishing for the children to not exist.  Or maybe it's an unwillingness to admit that their choices have resulted in any negative effect on the children.

Sometimes we are given trials, and as we work through and learn from them we gain great things.  Sometimes we do stupid things and somehow despite this find ourselves blessed.  Recognize the stupid, recognize the grace.  Don't mistake one as the source of the other.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


G has "lost" his 2 bottom incisors.  Someday, like hopefully before the adult teeth come in, he will loose his top teeth.  He has such a great smile, so I have dreaded this a bit.  But he's just going to be crazy cute even and especially with no top teeth.  We'll see.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

On My Honor

I just read this book for older children "On My Honor".  It's sort of horrifying but I did learn some things from it. 

Tony is the adventurous/reckless neighbor and one day he asks Joel to ride out to the state park to climb the bluffs.  Joel is afraid to climb the bluffs, so asks his dad for permission to ride out there, assuming that his dad won't let them ride their bikes out that far.  He doesn't tell his dad that Tony plans to climb the bluffs.  The dad says it's ok.

On the way there, Tony gets the idea that they should swim in the river instead.  Joel is a good swimmer so he's happy to do this, even though it is also a forbidden activity.  Tony isn't a good swimmer and ends up drowning. 

Joel is scared so he tries at first to pretend he doesn't know what's happened and goes on with the day for several hours.  After everything has come out, Joel blames his dad for letting them go, but also blames himself.  The dad offers these not comforting words "It's going to be a hard thing to live with, for both of us.  But there is nothing else to be done... we all made choices today, Joel.  You, me, Tony.  Tony's the only one who doesn't have to live with his choice."  And later after the sobbing.  "If there is a heaven, I'm sure Tony's gone there.  I can't imagine a heaven that could be closed to charming reckless boys."

I learn a lot from reading books for children.  As a parent, I see the child asking for permission to do a thing he doesn't want to do, and I hope I'll be able to say "no" when my children need me to.

I've also been reading "Quiet; the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking."  Unfortunately it's a 14 day book from the library and I've only been able to absorb about 30 minutes of material in that time.  Something I was impressed with was the idea that we have moved from a society of Character (who you are privately) to a society of Personality (who others see you as).  It is very disturbing.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Keeping the Sabath

There's this funny song by Brad Paisley "Long Sermon"

They've read the scripture, they've passed the plate
And we're both prayin' he don't preach late
But he's gettin' "Amens," and that's just our luck
Yeah, it's eighty-five degrees outside and he's just gettin' warmed up

Oh you and me, we could be soakin' up that sun
Findin' out just how fast your brother's boat'll run
I tell you there ain't nothin' that'll test your faith
Like a long sermon on a pretty Sunday

Well it's been rainin' all week long
I woke up this mornin', the dark clouds were gone
We've both been raised not to miss church
But on a day like today heaven knows how much it hurts

Oh you and me, we could be soakin' up that sun
Findin' out just how fast your brother's boat'll run
I tell you there ain't nothin' that'll test your faith
Like a long sermon on a pretty Sunday

See that sunlight shinin' through that stained glass
How much longer is this gonna last

Oh you and me, we could be soakin' up that sun
Findin' out just how fast your brother's boat'll run
I tell you there ain't nothin' that'll test your faith
Like a long sermon on a pretty Sunday 

Today I got an email from Dance Marathon, the organization at UF that raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for Children's Miracle Network.  They are going to take us to Legoland!  As I read the email I was having a hard time breathing because I was so excited.  I checked the date and it's...on a Sunday.  Harsh!  So Harsh.

So we're not going.  I'm so grateful for P.  He's so committed to our family.  Over the past 12 years I've come to see how he never puts getting a deal, above teaching our children what is important.  Every year when we go to the Dance Marathon Event we just go on Saturday.  Even though there are more fun, free food and bounce house turns to be had on Sunday, we just go on Saturday.  It's enough to have all the great fun we have 6 days a week.  We set Sunday aside, because if we didn't, we'd never take the time to slow down and reflect on our blessings.

"They say nothing in life is free."  Amen.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

blessings of the morning

This week I was up super early, an unheard of 7 AM to watch kids for friends who were back to work.  We'd hang out and read/sleep/watch a movie, until my kids woke up during the 9 o'clock hour.  That was just Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.  Though I was tired, I started to remember times in my life that I willingly woke up that early to exercise, and unwillingly woke up earlier to go to work.

So Thursday I woke up at a leisurely 7:45 and took a walk around the neighborhood.  I'm getting in touch with my inner morning person.  This is the life.  Waking up early for some moments of solitude instead of trying to outlast everyone at night.  Blech!

I live in a gorgeous neighborhood and walking is beautiful, safe, and I don't feel watched.  This is important.  One more wonderful thing about this house.  Love it.

Friday, August 17, 2012

good times

I came across this picture and was so overwhelmed at the coolness of this day and my friends who made marching band costumes.  How did we ever have the time?  Great times.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Masters of the Universe

 I love these kids. 
lP has a chronic case of closed eyes in pictures.

Monday, August 13, 2012

the year of the doughnut

 This year we have gotten doughnuts and unprecedented 3 times.  Some friends gave us a dunkin' doughnuts card and we thought it would be nice to treat the contractors one day when they were giving us the amazing shower.  But for some reason they didn't come that day so we had to eat all the doughnuts ourselves.  So sad.  I tried to make up for it by making them dinner on other nights.
 Then my friend gave us a coupon book with BOGO coupons for a 1/2 dozen doughnuts (no I can't just say 6) so we got another dozen as a reward for G when his teeth were pulled.  Again from Dunkin' Doughnuts, using the gift card.
 Last weekend we were in Gainesville and realized it was Grandma's birthday on Sunday.  We were leaving Saturday night, but not without taking a chance to celebrate in best form.  Luckily I had brought with us the Krispy Kreme coupon from the 2005 phonebook.  How awesome that they took it.  So in this unprecedented year, we have enjoyed 4 dozen doughnuts and only paid for 1 of them.  Yikes!  And as if it was ever in question, Krispy Kreme is the best.  Soooo goood.

"You have the spirit in you"

Tonight for FHE I took leave of our usual lesson material and read this article from the friend.  "Elevator Prayers"

I was getting a little emotional as the story talked about a child needing weekly blood tests.  And a little more emotional when G said "Just like me!"

So we kept going with tears going down my face.  When we got to the point where the little boy gets stuck in the elevator alone (one of my personal fears) I paused and G said "You have the spirit in you."

I couldn't tell if P was as moved as I was, but I'm pretty sure he was.  G is an amazing little boy. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Good old L

My sister visited in April around the time of General Conference.  It was so fun.  I was super sick and we didn't have as much fun as I had hoped, but still it was so fun.  Thanks L for coming all the way out here and giving us some awesome memories.

Monday, August 6, 2012

a good day

 We've been blessed to acquire some awesome toys lately.  We got this huge box of race track components from a family whose boys had never really played with them.  G's been having a lot of fun setting up different tracks and launching the cars.  He even made this cute little banner that says "Darda (the name of the company) racing day coming soon".  Then we asked him when that day was and he said "mmmm I don't know."  I suggested he could have it on Monday when he got the cars back, which had been taken because he wouldn't get dressed for church.  So he crossed out the "coming soon and wrote "(tomorrow)" above the crossed out part.  Love this boy.
 At 4 PM I was wondering what to make for dinner and decided to make up some lasagna.  Wahoo!  I have a new favorite way to make a ton of food.
1 box of lasagna noodles
2 jars of spaghetti sauce
1 lb sausage
8 cloves of garlic
12 oz ricotta cheese
6 eggs
1 box of frozen spinach
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of Mozzerella cheese

I Cut each noodle into 3 pieces and laid it across the pan.  So each layer is really just one noodle.  
 I was able to do 4 layers, so I guess that means there were 16 noodles in the pack.

The beach at the pier is having a major make over with dredging.  They've put 10 feet of sand onto the beach all the way out to the end of the pier.  It's mind boggling to think how much sand that is, or how much it must cost.  G is standing here trying to scale the 6 foot drop to get back up on top of the dredged sand.2

Thursday, August 2, 2012


This is the banner I made for Pioneer Day on the cheapest muslin I could find.  A student from Kearns taught me how to do the lettering so it comes out with crisp edges; for each line you paint it one way, but then use fresh paint and start from the other end.  M and G painted the little pioneer scenes at the bottom and I stitched them on.  The date is just safety pined on.  Rather than make a casing to hang it up I just sewed a button to each corner.  Then I strung it up between the crape myrtle trees.  I was particularly happy with how just using the button at each corner meant that it stayed taut.

In my childhood there was a neighborhood parade with banners.  They were large cloth things that had been painted and repainted for years.  I was usually riding a bike or in later years playing an instrument, but I had a special place in my heart for those banners.

I am sometimes anxious.  Specifically I'm anxious that someone will call child services and they'll try to take away my kids.  P has tried to help me understand that this is an unreasonable fear.  Sheesh, I'm prideful enough to think I'm one of the best moms I know!  But still the fear that someone will, for spite, call child services on me.  I recently found out that the source of this fear is possibly when I was 4 a neighbor did just that to our family.

I was 4, and mom had left us in the care of my brother R who was 12 to run an errand.  My sister M got her eye cut on the pole of a volleyball set.  So I ran over to the house of a neighbor from church.  This neighbor, rather than come and help, called child services on us.  Nice.

I'm sure at the time I got some heat for being the one who let that neighbor know we had a situation.  I know that throughout my life, whenever that story is told, my role has been brought up.  I didn't know she was toxic.  My mom paints a picture of a disabled woman who smoked and sort of came to church, who sometimes would call the school if she thought our family had kids walking to school, but whose own children were often driven to school by my mom.

I do have a fond memory of being taken to her house and apparently cared for.  Specifically I remember how she watched General Hospital and that during the opening credits everyone got to/had to hug one another. 

So the lasting effect is my general fear of having child services called, and my resolve to never leave my children in the care of anyone who might call them.  For that matter, I tend to view my friendships with that lens also. 

While my mom was here M and lP got up on the car and the pediatrician neighbor saw them as she was driving into her driveway.  So I was fearful. 

And that leads me to a current decision I'm trying to make.  Should I move my kids to her practice so she can regularly have data to show that my children are happy and healthy?  We have insurance now that allows us to go to any practice in town and I would sort of like to get a family practice doctor so when we all get sick we can all go to the same place.  That is my choice of convenience.  But shouldn't I let my fears dictate my actions?

Also, I need to figure out how to raise my children to not live in fear.   Phrases like "if you do that someone might call the cops and mom will have to go to jail" are obviously going to make the kids anxious.   Yet that is what I'm thinking.

And by the way for public information I did just make M get a marble out of the toilet.  She'd dropped it in the toilet yesterday because she didn't want to leave it behind.  We got her a rubber glove and told her that she had to get the marble.  Yesterday she was to scared, so we sent her back to the corner.  P couldn't see the marble so we chalked it up to something that might cause permanent damage to the septic tank.  This morning G spotted it and M happily used the rubber glove to retrieve it.  Thank goodness for disinfectants.  Can you imagine all the things that probably got lost in out houses over the years.  The perfect place to hide anything...

We give our kids baggage.  How to turn it to their strength is the mystery and the goal.