Friday, November 25, 2016

First for me

Found my first Gray Hair today. Ada wanted to keep it.... she really is in that collectors age. I'm not sure what I think about it yet. On the one hand, I'm happy where I'm at and what I'm doing in life. On the other hand, it took me by surprise. I hadn't seen even a hint of gray before now.

Saturday, November 19, 2016


No-one showed up to Evelyn's floorball class except Evelyn, so the coach invited Ada, Sam and a few of the basketball players to play a game. To keep Seth busy the coach gave him the goalie mask to play with.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Dear Daughter

I know I ruined your life by declining to bring your retainer to school for you when you forgot it.  I know it seems like a simple thing that you're asking and I ruined your world by not doing it.  For later reference, here is what you're asking of me right this minute:  Your "real quick" errand takes 30 minutes if I already have me, Seth and Evelyn ready to walk out the door.  Right when you called I had just finished getting the baby's diaper changed and was currently getting him some breakfast.  Evelyn was still sound asleep in her bed.  I was also in the middle of cleaning up the cracker crumbs, sliced turkey and cheese that you got out this morning to  make your lunch and never cleaned up.... even after I asked you to (instead you sat on the couch reading your new library book.  I do applaud this, but I would appreciate you cleaning up after yourself first.)  Now it's 9 am, both the little kids have eaten breakfast and I'm typing this out while I eat mine... then I'm off to a 3-4 hour chore of cleaning up the rest of the leaves in our yard before it snows tomorrow.... somewhere in the middle of that, I have to get Evelyn ready and drop her off at school.  That is when I could bring your retainer to  you, but honestly it wouldn't hurt you just to get it when you get home from school.  Just for your information, your Uncle Seth and I have been taking turns in the bathroom and laundry remodel.... he works on it in the morning and I work on it as soon as I get your brother down for his nap.  Then I help you with getting homework, chores, music done before I make, serve and clean up dinner.... then I've been helping bathe kids and get them in bed before I go work on the bathroom until 11-12:30 at night.  This has been my last few days and will be the next few as well until that project is done.  I'm sorry that I can't drudge up the necessary compassion to feel like your need is greater than your need for patience at this time.  I love you, and you life is not over.

Park day with Jack

Last bit of warmth

Ramps for his car

Garbage truck

Watching the garbage truck is a very important part of our morning.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Veteran's Day

I should have taken a picture, but I honestly wanted to kids to know what it felt like to do a service for someone without being in the spotlight.  We have a very kind and wonderful man in our ward that was in the military for years.  He's been dying from cancer very slowly and his wife takes very good care of him.  He was taken to the hospital for an emergency on Friday and on Monday they were moving him to a care center.  Since it was Veteran's Day, I took all the kids and a neighbor over to their house and raked their leaves.  Because the leaves aren't done falling and because it was being done with a bunch of kids instead of adults, it only looked marginally done by the time that she got home from taking care of her husband.  I don't know if she noticed the difference because leaves are the last thing on your mind when your world is being tossed around, but the kids came away saying that they, "Helped a Veteran." We were only seen by two people, and I don't think they're going to tell on us.

Self sabotage

My friend was finishing up her doctoral thesis in Trombone performance.  She loves what she does, but she noticed as she was teaching and playing that many musicians self sabotage.  They convince themselves that they aren't talented enough, haven't practiced enough, that people are going to notice ALL their little mistakes and judge them for it.  As a result, they perform poorly, make more mistakes and are less willing to play for others.

"Most of my wounds are self-inflicted."  - Paul Baum

Last night, my oldest daughter (9 years old), got out of bed crying with anxiety about messing up in the Primary Program.  She felt like she didn't practice enough, didn't know all the words well enough, and that everyone would be looking at just her and judging her for her performance.  It makes me want to yell, "You're not going to be judged!  If anything it will make you more loved!"  How often in our own lives to we think that everyone's attention is always on us and that we're being judged by some standard that we can't see?  Let me tell you something... just like my daughter in a Primary Program, we will not be perform like a professional as a 9 year old.  Not everyone is looking at you, mostly your parents and a few friends/family.  Those friends and family think you're more wonderful than anything and your mistakes just cause them to love you more. (Which, they did great in the program.  Ada knew all the words, Sam sang louder than the whole 60 kids up there, and Evelyn was super proud that she knew her part without help.)

"On occasions, global or personal, we may feel we are distanced from God, shut out from heaven, lost, alone in dark and dreary places. Often enough that distress can be of our own making, but even then the Father of us all is watching and assisting. And always there are those angels who come and go all around us, seen and unseen, known and unknown, mortal and immortal."  -Jeffrey R. Holland ("To My Friends")

Often, we don't try to do something because we: aren't talented that way, don't know the people, are afraid of what they'd think if we failed, don't think that any good would come of it, etc.... Everything from church callings, new things at work, having children, starting college, can cause us anxiety as we adjust, learn and grow.  And in my limited experience, all those things have been very worth while if we stop thinking about them and just start doing them. 

It sounds a little weird, but I think that these feelings are the basis of selfishness - the natural man.  Are we really so self centered that we think that EVERYONE is LOOKING at ME?  Some do, but honestly most of us are too busy not looking at anyone to notice everyone else.  Are we just selfish enough to turn down a calling teaching in the Primary because we just DON'T mesh well with kids.  (We all feel like that at first, trust me.)  Are we just selfish enough not to tend someone's kids when they need it because the kids just don't KNOW me yet.  (Well yeah, taking care of them is how they get to know you.... otherwise they could care less who you are and why you're there.... They are kids after all.) Are we selfish enough to say no to something when there's a need just because we can't do it to OUR satisfaction? There are so many selfish things that we do on a daily basis that we either don't need to worry about, don't matter, or that if we took the effort to do it anyways we'd find that we actually do it better than we thought.

"If the world is to be improved, the process of love must make a change in [our] hearts... It can do so when we look beyond self to give our love to God and others, and do so with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind."  - President Gordon B. Hinckley ("And the Greatest of These is Love")

Monday, November 7, 2016

Picture overload

Every now and then, I download all the pictures from my phone - including the ones that others have sent to me.  To keep for future reference:

A picture Jer snapped while getting our family pictures taken last week.

My wonderful Momma babysat for Jer and I so we could go to the symphony.  She really is marvelous!

These were taken while my parents were packing and getting ready to move out of their house.

These were taken at our Robertson Grandparents.  I asked the kids to help, so they went and swept leaves off the deck.

This kid and his cat.

I got to help with Ada's class trip to the zoo.  These were the 5 I was in charge of.

Playing at the new All Around Playground.

Look at Sam's arm around his sister.... awwwww.

Finished moving Grandma and Grandpa.... now just chilling.

Mario helping with the dishes.

At Target

My brother Seth moved in with us for a few months.  Can you tell that the kids are excited?

My almost daily walk... this kid and his bike.

These pictures were from the Ward Halloween party.

This one was from Jer's work party.  Seth's costume was getting washed, so he was a crayon.

This year's HalloLAN.

Ada's Primary teacher is also a teacher at her school.... Her and her husband just broke Halloween.  I honestly LOVE these costumes!

These are from the kids' school Halloween parade.

Playing Twister - Grandma's version.  (Put your right elbow on yellow and  your left butt cheek on blue.)

The view from our balcony.

Evelyn and her friend, Jeffrey.

My neighbor sent this to me.... I thought it was fun.