Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wii Caved


Wii said wii'd never buy a gaming system.

Santa brought a Wii for Christmas this year.

My boys nearly fainted when they unwrapped it.

They have played on it almost non-stop since Christmas day.

I think their brains are turning to mush.

The only thing that is saving them is the trampoline that Santa brought as well.

They play the Wii. They go out and jump. They come in and play the Wii. They go out and jump.

This morning the light was on downstairs at 6 am.

I went down and found my son playing the Wii.

I confiscated the controllers and sent him to bed.

My husband went down at 7 am.

Son was outside jumping on the trampoline!

Friday, December 25, 2009

It's 2 AM

The children are nestled all snug in their beds.


Sugarplums (or Wii's) are dancing in their heads.

Santa is going to bed now.


Merry Christmas my friends!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Awwww....

Today while celebrating my eldest child's 19th birthday we watched some old home videos of her when she was a baby. My, does time fly by!

Anyway, I saw myself in my much younger, much thinner days...sigh...

Later I lamented to my husband on how I wish I looked that good again and he said...

"You may have been thinner then, but I think you're even prettier now."

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Effectively speaking...

I have been studying The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It's affected me greatly. It has also had a significant effect on my family. I have been more kind to my family , and it isn't an affected kindness, truly I am trying to effect change within myself so that I can have more of a positive affect on others. As I have tried to put into effect the principles I have learned and I see how it is positively affecting my family I feel pretty darn good about the effect I am having.

Affectionately yours,

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Poof...it's gone.

Today in the shower I decided that I needed a waterproof recorder so that I could record all the posts that go through my mind whilst cleansing myself.

As the mist from the hot water swirls around in the air, so do thoughts swirl in my mind.

I write the most profound posts as the hot water washes over me, purifying my body and my mind.

Then I turn off the tap.

I open the door.

And as the mist dissipates into the air...so do my thoughts.

Monday, November 02, 2009

I Am A Tree

If there are new posts from me on your Google Reader (or whatever you use), don't get too excited...I just imported the posts from my old blog.

But while I'm here I'll tell you something I learned the other day.

I've been studying Isaiah again. I love that man.

Anyway he refers to the righteous as "trees of righteousness" so I started thinking about that comparison and here are my scribbles.


Trees have strength. A strong core holds them upright in a gale.
Their roots run deep. They seek living water.

They grow upwards toward heaven, always reaching towards the sky.

They are majestic and hardy.

They suffer through heat and cold.

They are glorious and versatile, showing their beauty through all seasons, from the beautiful green in summer, to the glorious foliage of autumn, to the starkness of winter when they are naked, yet unashamed to the world, to the renewal of spring with the bud and the bloom.

They are fruitful, some bearing sweetness, others of a more savory nature.

No two are the same, even those of the same species have their own unique shape.

I wish to be called a "tree of righteousness...a branch of the Lord...beautiful and glorious."*

*2 Nephi 14:2, Isaiah 61:3

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dear Mom,

Happy Birthday.

You have been gone over six years now and I still miss you.

I miss your soft hands.

I miss your hugs.

I miss calling you and hearing you tell me how wonderful you think I am.

When you're house hunting for my mansion, please make sure it has a wraparound porch with a couple of rocking chairs so we can sit and catch up. And you can tell me things like who shot JFK and I'll tell you things like I totally get you now that I'm a mom with teenagers.

I'll tell you about that Relief Society lesson we had a couple of weeks ago on honoring your parents and how I raised my hand and said that the best way I knew of to honor you was to be the kind of woman you wanted me to be. And how it made me think of The Poem, you know, the one your mother gave to you and you gave it to your daughters...

My Daughter

I whispered my prayer to an angel

As it flew toward the gates of pearl,

And lo, on the wings of morning

God sent me a baby girl.


In her eyes still lingered the starlight

On her cheeks the soft tint of a rose;

She was all that I dreamed of and longed for

From her head to her tiny pink toes.


And I prayed as I nourished my treasure

That her body and mind would grow right,

That life would unfold all its richness

In response to a soul clean and bright.


And I pledged all the love of a mother,

All the spirit of childhood reborn,

All the bonds of a friendship through girlhood,

All the trust through to womanhood’s mourn.


Where I hope to see standing a symbol

Of purity, courage, and love,

Ready to face life undaunted,

Through the prayer that was whispered above.

~Author Unknown


I will keep striving to live up to that standard.

Thank you for giving me life.

I love you.

Love,

Thursday, October 08, 2009

This is a random post...

This is my new toy...

I saved for almost a year for it.
It is a saweeeet ride.




See where that big stump is on the right side of the picture
(next to the fallen tree)?
That's where my front porch is going to be!

To those who know how long we have been waiting (four years)...
WE FINALLY SOLD THE EXTRA LOT!
We might actually get to build our dream home now!

But I won't hold my breath...




These are my toes in my favorite pair of flip-flops.

I told you this was a random post.



These are three of my goofy kids.

I'm never sure what I'm going to find on my camera
when I download my pictures.



So yes...I'm still alive.
Posts are percolating around in my head,
but have yet to make it out.

That is all.



Sunday, September 13, 2009

He's The Man

who caught my heart...

and made it go pitter-patter...

and helped me make babies...

20 years, 4 weeks, and three days ago.

He's The Man who didn't have any clean shirts because I hadn't done the laundry for two weeks.

He's The Man who, instead of becoming irritated, recognized the deer-in-the-headlights look I always get when life gets the best of me.

He's The Man who said, "why don't you just wash and dry the laundry and then bring me up the baskets and I'll fold and put it all away."

He's The Man who caught my heart again...

And made it go pitter-patter...


Friday, September 11, 2009

911


Today, amidst the chauffeuring and running of errands I listened to the radio. The station I was listening to played some segments of radio and TV broadcasts for this day 8 years ago. I started thinking of where I was.

I was in my house, very pregnant. My mom was visiting. She was there to help with the baby when he came...which would prove to be a very long wait (he was 2 1/2 weeks late). We may or may not have been doing school with the kids. The phone range. My husband ordered me to turn on the TV. I turned it on and saw the devastating site of the towers on fire. While we were talking one of them collapsed.

Today the radio personality talked about how in the months after the attack flags were seen everywhere. Patriotism was running rampant. WE WOULD NOT FORGET.

Then he talked about how over the years the flags have disappeared and people have forgotten. Until they are reminded every year on the anniversary of 911.

But does patriotism have to be a big show? Do you have to have a flag outside your home, or a flag on your car, or in your window to show your patriotism?

Patriotism: pa·tri·ot·ism noun
Date: circa 1726

:love for or devotion to one's country


I think there are a lot of people who quietly love and show devotion to their country. And there are others who aren't so quiet...like the radio personality I listened to. And I am thankful for both.

Last year I studied the Constitution in depth. I studied the Founders in depth. This year I am studying the Civil War in depth. I am grateful that I am not one who was asked to give their life for liberty.

My gratitude for all those who have given theirs runs very deep.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

In Which I Don't Have To Juggle Alone

This morning I had words with my daughter. She was unhappy and that unhappiness was spread around. This was (is) a constantly occurring battle and I felt frustrated, angry, and helpless. I felt like a failure in my motherly duties. I felt the weight of the world was on my shoulders. This was yet another ball that I just could not hold onto.

I didn't want to go to church, but I went. I went with a cold, hard heart. My husband and I were not very respectful. We whispered our frustrations all during the Sacrament. Testimony meeting started and someone said, "I know this church is true." I started thinking about that phrase. What do people mean when they say, "I know this church is true"? As if that says everything! I felt cynical and judgmental. But as more testimonies were born and as people poured out their souls a little spark of an idea began to formulate in my brain and grew and expanded until it found it's way into my heart.

"I know this church is true" means that a loving Heavenly Father looks down and sees a soul that is hurting. And because he loves that person with a love that is beyond comprehension, he puts in the heart of another the truths that person needs to hear. But he doesn't stop with just one person. He keeps inspiring people to talk about the same truths until he penetrates that person's cold, hard heart. Then when the heart is softened enough he begins to whisper inspiring truths into the mind of that person. He tells that person that that person doesn't have to juggle all those balls alone. When that person gets tired of juggling balls, that person can just throw a few of them up to Him and He will hold them for awhile until that person is ready to take them on again. And if that person doesn't think she can take them on again, He says that it's ok.

He will juggle them for her.

"I know this church is true."

Saturday, September 05, 2009

In Which I Can't Juggle

Several days ago I emailed a friend with a question. She never answered me. I ran into her a couple of days later and asked how she was doing. She said she felt like she had too many balls in the air and they had all fallen down. I know how she feels. My balls have all dropped and I feel like I'm trying to navigate my way through them only to find myself slipping and sliding all over the place as I step on them and they roll out from under my feet!

Balls in the air:

Prepare for and teach Civil War class
Prepare for and teach Finance class
Prepare for and teach various other school subjects to children
Must find tutor
Fill out charter school paperwork
Fill out private school paperwork
Change mind on charter school
Fill out new charter school paperwork
Prepare for and teach Webelos scouts
Chauffer kids to various places
Make sure college tuition is paid
Make sure books are bought
Money is flying out of my pocket like a rocket ship
Work up chore schedule
Work up school schedule
Shop for new bike
Keep up with scripture reading
Try to keep FHE interesting
Try to organize house
Fail
Try again
Be happy that the silverware drawer is in order
Fix computer
Keep kids off computer
Keep self off computer
Laundry
Laundry
Laundry

Sometimes I wish I were a pioneer and all I had to do was walk.
Except, I know...they really didn't have it easy.

OK then, I wish I were a character in a Jane Austen novel.
I'd be a gentleman's daughter with a rich dowry and a dashing husband.
That's really my favorite era...I love the dresses and fancy balls and beautiful houses.

Sometimes I wish I were a bird and could just soar above all my bouncing balls.

Sometimes I wish my kids would come home on time so I didn't have to stay up so late thinking of all the balls that are dropping.

Oh! Wish granted!

Goodnight!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

I HAVE GREAT NEWS!!!

But I can't tell you what it is yet as I have been sworn to secrecy...but I'm so excited I'm bursting!

And here is my afternoon schedule:

2-pick up J1,C from college
3-pick up S from work
3:30-take S to volleyball
4-leave for Reno to eat ribs!!!!

Wait...while I'm eating ribs, who's going to do all this?:

5-pick up J3 from friends house
5-pick up C from college
5:30-pick up S from volleyball
5:45-take S & E to drama
6:15-pick up C
6:45-pick up S & E from drama
7-take C to drama
9-pick up C from drama


I need a chauffeur.


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

I love ribs.


Which is why I am so excited about tomorrow.

Tomorrow I will be here.

Life is good.

Too bad you moved away Mike.

I'm just sayin...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

In Which I Fulfill My Destiny...

We knew it was coming when we saw the little red splotches on the highway. And when we saw the trucks, filled to the brim, we reckoned it wouldn't be too much longer. So when the clipboard came around, we knew our number was up and we resignedly signed our names.

Yes, it was Tomato Time at the Sacramento Cannery!





Oh the joys of serving. It's a labor of love for the less fortunate. If you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you know the drill. Some people get to pick grapes. Some pick apples. Some get to harvest nuts. (Some go nuts.) We here in Sacramento get to can tomatoes.

It's quite an interesting process really...really. Fascinating process watching those tomatoes being offloaded from the trucks, picked over, washed, dunked in hot water and then picked over again and then making their way to the canning jars to be canned whole or made into tomato sauce. Fascinating.



Especially if you happen to be put at the conveyor belt where they are coming out of the hot water bath. Especially if you happen to be put in the front of the line, where they are sliding down the ramp and land with a little "sploosh" and splatter little red juice all over your little white plastic apron (and your arms, and your face), which is supposed to protect your from the splatters, but never quite seems to stay in place so you are constantly pulling it back into place with your tomatoey fingers and in the process getting more of the juice all over yourself. And then you get an itch on your nose and since there is juice all over your little blue gloves, you try to find some dry spot on your shirt on which to itch, but the only dry place is where you can't reach, which is your back.

So I stood at the conveyor belt for 3 hours and 23 minutes, watching tomatoes go by and picking out the ones with skin still left on them and putting them in another part of the conveyor belt. And at first it was kind of fun. I had earplugs in and so did everyone else, so since no one could hear me I belted out a few Veggie Tales songs as I was sorting the Bob's. Sometimes as I would pick up a half-peeled orb, the skin would slip the rest of the way off and I would think "that little tomato didn't want to end up as sauce. It wanted to fulfill it's destiny as being a whole peeled tomato." (Those thoughts started coming after about the first 30 minutes.) Then after awhile I started thinking about how monotonous it was getting to be (after about the first 31 minutes). Then I started thinking, "what if I had to do this all day, every day, for 8 hours straight?" What if I had been born before labor laws and had to do this for 14 hours straight? What if I had been born in the Deep South before the Civil War? What if I had been born with black skin in the Deep South before the Civil War? What if I had been born in Africa and had been taken captive and had been shipped to America on a slave ship to the Deep South before the Civil War?

In case you were wondering why my thoughts went thus, we are studying the Civil War this year and I had just read an account of a slave woman who served as the head cook in the house where she was in servitude. She rose at 4am and worked until 11pm. She slept in a stable on hay on the floor, with men and women all in there together. When she put the food on her master's table she trembled in fear because if he didn't like what she made, he either whipped her, or made her eat every bite while he was standing there. And then there were other matters not to be discussed in civil company...except that many of the little negro children looked an awful lot like the master.

Sometimes I complain because my husband doesn't like what I make for dinner...that is, if I make dinner, which I haven't done much of lately. Actually because my husband has been making dinner lately. And sometimes I complain because I have to get up at six to get my kids up for seminary...only to go back to sleep once they are out the door.

I have such a hard life.

Lucky me. I was not born in the Deep South before the Civil War. Or in Africa. Lucky me. I was born in America. In the latter days. After liberty was won. After the gospel was restored. After labor laws were put in place. I was born a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

So I could fulfill my destiny of canning tomatoes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Today...

Is the first day of the rest of my life.

I keep telling myself that, but I am wondering when I am actually going to start.

It is 12:49 pm and I have done next to nothing.......

And I've been up since 6!


Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Pattern of Salvation

I had an epiphany today. Actually it’s been percolating in my mind over the past two weeks but today the idea finally manifested itself in a satisfying way. I’ve had the same Sunday School lesson twice over the last couple of weeks, once in Beautiful British Columbia (oh how I miss you) and again today. The subject was how our dead cannot be saved without us and neither can we be saved without our dead.

I get how we save our dead. We do the temple ordinances they can’t physically do themselves. But how we can’t be saved without them has somewhat eluded me. I’m sure I have had it explained to me before, probably countless times, but you know how sometimes the planets align just so and the light bulb flashes on in your brain?


PER'FECT, a. [L. perfectus, perficio, to complete; per and facio, to do or make through, to carry to the end.]

1. Finished; complete; consummate; not defective; having all that is requisite to its nature and kind; as a perfect statue; a perfect likeness; a perfect work; a perfect system.

When something is perfect, it is whole, complete. An analogy was given as to us being linked to our ancestors, like links on a chain. The sealing power of the covenant links us together and we, on the mortal end of the chain cannot be complete without a link to the chain on the immortal end. They are imperfect without us. We are imperfect without them. Our temple service links us to them and them to us, therefore making us complete. Whole. Perfect.

That part of the epiphany came during the first lesson. This part came today:

Really, it’s not a single, long strand that we are working on. Actually it’s more like...

Chainmail

Through our temple ordinances we are sealed as families and our links go up and down, side to side and even diagonally as we are connected as husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. Just like the links in chainmail.

I didn’t realize there were so many different patterns that could be made from chainmail. They are each so unique and beautiful. Just like each family is unique and beautiful. And that was part of my epiphany, that the links forged go beyond the ordinances performed in our holy temples. Links are formed and patterns are made as we are entwined through our mortal experiences; and as we learn about our ancestors, and their traditions and stories are infused in our lives.

Traditions create patterns. One of my favorite traditions handed down to me by my mother was the reading of “The Littlest Angel” on Christmas Eve. When I have done that with my children I feel a closeness to my mother who is on the other side of the veil. It is a link to her, part of a beautiful pattern forged by her and carried on by me and hopefully my children will carry it on as well. It is also carried on by some of my brothers and sisters and perhaps their children will carry it on, linking them sideways and diagonally with my family, thus creating an even more intricate, beautiful pattern.

Stories also create patterns. Recently my aunt sent me a packet of stories about my ancestors that I had never heard. I had ancestors who crossed paths with Joseph Smith. Ancestors who suffered persecutions in Nauvoo. Ancestors who endured the long march across the plains to the Salt Lake Valley. And did you know that Sacajawea is my ancestor? Her story is also one of great strength and endurance. (Once my niece portrayed her in a school project and another boy who was a descendent of Lewis, (or Clark, can’t remember which) portrayed him! How uncanny is that!) When I tell these stories of faith and perseverance to my children I am forging more links, creating yet another pattern.

And now, my dearly beloved brethren and sisters, let me assure you that these are principles in relation to the dead and the living that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation. For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as Paul says concerning the fathers—that they without us cannot be made perfect—neither can we without our dead be made perfect. ~Doctrine & Covenants 128:15


As we forge these links with our ancestors our chainmail becomes stronger and is a force and a protection against the adversary. We virtually cloak ourselves with the strength of our ancestors. The chainmail becomes whole. It becomes perfect. It is the pattern of salvation both for the living and the dead.