Friday, January 30, 2009
These are my peeps. From L to R top: My very wonderful DIL-Tisha aka Tenesha, David Scott, Mr. Wonderful, Me, Dani, Dean, Nana L to R front: Daisie, Boofus, and the Caboose.
*funny story: last night after dinner, I was leaning on the kitchen island, listening to Mr. Wonderful talk about his day. The Boofus comes over and starts poking me with his pencil--without thinking, I did a back-kick in self-defense--not a forceful kick at all, just raised my foot behind me to block his poke--well, immediately he does a half-laugh-half-squeal and drops to the ground! "what happened?" "Aww mom you got me in the balls." "The what?" "The scientific word is nuts." "Where did you hear this language?" Mr. Wonderful and the Boofus both reply: "School." So he lay there writhing and laughing at the same time. I giggled too, I really had not taken aim or used any force, and the fact that he was laughing assured that he was not really injured. What a kid. ugh. Dontcha love school? Should I call his Science Teacher?
"Is this what you're teaching 3rd graders nowadays? What happened to bottle rockets and baking soda?"
These were taken last May at the Boise River shoreline in Eagle, Idaho--which was approx. 2 miles from our home there. I love these kids. David Scott is hands-down the funniest person I have ever met. When he was a rotten teenager (a term of love in our house)--no matter how mad I would be at him, he could say one thing and make me laugh! SO I stood there, pointing at him, and said, "That's funny!-BUT you're still in trouble!"
And this of course, is an outtake from Dani & Mr. Idaho's engagements, taken at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. She makes me laugh too. And Mr. Idaho's "Jim Halpert face" always makes me smile. On Mother's Day when I was alot younger (4 kids at the time), all I wanted for a "gift" was to be able to get myself dressed for church without interruptions. That and to have everyone else dress themselves. Well, ha! that didn't happen: all the kids were fussin' and feudin', some couldn't find their shoes, there was weepin' and wailin' and gnashin' of teeth goin on! I stepped down the hall into the front livingroom, and pointed to all of them:" All I've ever wanted was to be a Wife and Mother!--AND YOU PEOPLE ARE RUINING THIS EXPERIENCE!" lol Of course, I had to laugh as soon as the words came out of my mouth--so ridiculous. Hey, being a Mom is alot of work. But so far, in my life, it's all been worth it.
I have alot to be thankful for...my kids are healthy and happy. Kent has a job in an economy that is struggling. Everyone does their best for the most part. That gives me peace and joy.
I have to remember this b/c tomorrow is Saturday and it gets way crazy around here on Saturdays: breakfast with the elders, piano lessons, messy kitchen, kids running in and out, late nights, and early Sunday mornings.
I am blessed. I am blessed. I am blessed. Ahhhh...okay Saturday, Bring it on!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
The Story of the Widow's Son (1 Kings 17) I have had many moments in my own life, not recently, but still, where I wondered if I have been forgiven of the weak choices I have made--asking the question, Is the Atonement for ME? I can see Christ's Atonement covering everyone else's sins, generally, but MINE...well, I should have known better, I made a selfish choice, I knew better...maybe I don't deserve His forgiveness. At least not right now. Not today. Not until I have suffered enough to deserve it."
The passages that spoke to my heart:
*"We can learn to more grace-fully adapt to life in the schism between our celestial ideals and our earthly limitations." (Thank you...I need to remember that principal and not be unrealistic about my limitations.)
* "As we learn by our own experience that God tells us the truth and that competing versions of reality will fail us in the end, we come to profoundly trust him." (I have had alot of experiences that tell me that He is indeed my Father, and knows what will truly bring me joy.)
* "We accept that regret and sorrow over our sins and errors are part of the price we pay to participate in that plan." ( The law of Free Agency is my gift.)
ALMA THE YOUNGER (Alma 36):
*of note:*"A harrow is a farming instrument for turning over the soil, breaking it up and tearing it open so something new can grow there." ( I never knew that...it sounds hopeful!)
*"What can deliver people from the pain of seeing the harm they have done? Only the hope that it can be repaired. Christ can save not only [Alma] but also all those he has hurt."(that's the kind of sin that burdens us most...when it affects others.)
*"There is a time for harrowing, but that time is before, not after the tender seeds of faith and repentance have begun to sprout. We need not continue to harrow ourselves after we have changed our mind, heart, and behaviour and glimpsed God's grace." (Thank you.)
*"Sometimes we also long for that chosen status out of fear that we cannot really be loved by God unless we too are flawless." [like Jesus Christ] In contrast, the Savior humbly offers to share with us all that He has. He acknowledges that we too have a difficult path to walk in mortality. He did His job so we could do ours."(Learning and doing my part.)
*"Self-forgiveness requires a mature understanding of the purpose of life, which is not to get back to God in the same state of innocence and purity we were in when we left Him. Rather our charge here is to learn the compassion, humility, discipline, and understanding of good and evil that come only with experience and risk, failure and resilience. Our charge is to get back to God much, much wiser and better than when we left Him, something we can accomplish only through travelling the bruising, bloodying roads of mortal temptaion, affliction, and periodic failure as well as the roads of triumph, satisfaction and ultimate joy."(This helps me to not only see my role differently as a daughter, but also as a wife and mother.)
*"We are not here to be quiet, but to learn to make the beautiful music of endless creativity and life."( I LOVE this...it speaks to my soul and gives me permission to live life outloud!)
*"Christ is the Great Redeemer --not the Great Preventor." (Again, I can trust in the Atonement.)
IN this first Chapter, our basic beliefs are sorted out...fact and fiction...and the peeling away of fictitious thoughts/beliefs was freeing for me. For my heart. And by doing so, helps me to see others in a different light as well.
SO my Book Club sisters, PLEASE share all of your thoughts and the passages that touched your heart! And if there's another way to do this better, speak up!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
If you've got your book, let's start the 1st Chapter! You will love this book, I promise.
Did you read about the Father of FIVE who killed his children, his wife and then himself in California? He & his wife had both been laid-off and TOGETHER they decided that since they cannot care for their chidlren, this was the solution to their sorrow.
I sat and read the story as sorrow filled my own heart. I kept thinking, where are their friends? Family? Neighbors? How did it get so bad that these two parents, once-upon-a-time-sweethearts lost all hope and saw death as their only option?
I know times are hard. Believe me, I do. After going thru a year--that is one solid year-- of gainful unemployment for my husband--I get it. But we were not alone in that year. We had friends who rallied around, we had home teachers and visiting teachers, 2 good Bishops, and an awesome Relief Society President--they checked up on us, walked with us thru the hard days and carried us along. That was one very long year.
We ate thru our food storage. We blew thru our savings after 6 months. And then, we leaned into our faith and each other. We found part-time jobs, I did my doula thing & home staging that helped; we did all we could to take care of our family, and then we prayed.
HOPE was one thing that kept us going. HOPE lifted my spirits on the really tough days.
How did this family in California have absolutely no hope? Where was everyone they knew?
I feel a stirring within, that is going to make me walk down the street today and talk to a neighbor I have suspected for a while now is having a hard time. I think she needs a friend. I'm good at that. I can be her friend, if she will let me.
Listen, we have to take care of each other. We have to do our Part where we live. Look beyond the end of our own noses and care for someone else.
So I gotta go bake something. What? I dunno. But I'll find something, make it and take something warm to my neighbor. Today, I will make a difference however I can.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
I thought we'd go Chapter by Chapter together and discuss it, real friendly-like (My only Mayberry RFD reference) and see if I can get this message to stick to my brain cells when it seems most everything else is slipping out.
The Author, Wendy Ulrich, is on the Speaking tour of TIME OUT FOR WOMEN...she is that AWESOME. She was also my son's Mission President's Wife...the Mission Mom. I love her book so much because it changes me when I read it. Did ya hear? It changes me. That's big.
SO go get it and let me know if you're gonna get it. Because for the next week or so, that's what I am blogging about.
C'mon...You know you want to!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
*** Joseph waits until he is sure I will hear his still-little-boy-voice: "Hey, Mom?"...he says almost pleading, "There's more than just girls in here, k?"
*do you see him tucked in this pic?
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Most of my wishes
have never come true.
I've tried sittin' & wishin',
they just never do.
But LOTS of my Dreams
have found a way
to come into my life
and worked and stayed.
I dreamt of a family
of my very own
Lovely and kind
and sweet in my home.
I dreamt of a husband
who calls me "sweetheart"
who brings me a smile
and remembers his part.
I dreamt of the woman
I wanted to be
Then I got down to work
and molded that "me".
My wishes are all
too small for my heart
I am what I am
from the Dreams that I start.
Cheesy. I know. I'm all about Cheese though. Want crackers with this cheese?
Dontcha love his long white socks? I did my motherly duty, and mentioned he might want to put on different socks, you know, the "footie" kind...he said what he's been sayin' alot lately:
"Mom, who cares?" Did I mention he's 9 years old? Oh, and he's missing FIVE teeth. lol.
If he loses anymore, we'll have to feed him thru a straw. For now, he just cuts up his food really tiny and chews on one side. The side with the most teeth.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
Second, Open your heart. Get involved. An Open Heart is welcoming, not judgemental, not arrogant, but loving, humble, appreciative of the talents and inherent value of everyone around you. It means to bear one another's burdens and their joys.
Third, Open up the front door and invite people inside. When was the last time you invited someone you don't know into your home? It can be your kids' friends, husband's co-workers, your neighbor down the street. Opening our home--whether the beds are made or the dishes are done--does not matter, it's how others feel once their inside. I have found most people are genuinely good-natured and appreciate friendship.
And that's how I share what I know about the Gospel. It comes as a natural consequence of my friendships...as easy as sharing a good recipe or a great movie. Once you open your heart the possibilities can be eternal.
Let's see, Friday night the missionaries came over again, to teach about the Law of Fasting. Which isn't a criminal-type law, but a covenant law. When we fast, we are committing our focus to a purpose and become more of a partner with our Father in Heaven, seeking His blessings and will. Simply Put: It is more purposeful prayer.
So at the end, one of the missionaries, E. Nuttall asked if Taylow would fast on Sunday in preparation for her confirmation. Just then, E. Gulbrandsen stopped him, and instead, gave a promise that if Taylow and our family would begin our fast that night after dinner, that her father would request a meeting with the missionaries. That took us aback, but feeling the spirit in his words, we agreed. Well, that cut out my Saturday morning breakfast that we make for the family and missionaries--no sausage gravy and biscuits for any of us. (I was kinda glad to not have to get up early tho, so that was okay.)
Saturday morning was spent getting ready for the baptism. Nana and Taylow made a ton of brownies and PB&J sandwiches for the refreshments afterward--cuz when we asked Taylow what her fav treat was, she said PB&J sandwiches! Somewhere, I even got a nap in...yea!
The baptism was at 3pm. It was one of the sweetest experiences I've had in a long long time.
The Program was lovely. The room was packed with friends, missionaries, ward members and family. Taylow's Mom, Brother, and yes, her Father were there too. (In his shoes!) Her Mom brought a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
Mr. Wonderful performed the baptism. She had to be "dunked" twice lol, cuz her foot popped up. That was kinda funny. When he told her, we could hear her say, "Are you serious?" lol So yup, he was, and she was baptized again!
The rest of the program was carried out by our YW's president who spoke on the Holy Ghost, and Mr. Idaho, along with 2 other young men we've known a long time shared their testimonies. One of them, Matt, also allowed us to share our faith with him a few years ago, and was baptized and now serves in his YSA ward and in the Denver Temple. The story there is that he asked Dani out in college, and on their first date, she gave him a Book of Mormon. It took him 2 years, but he jumped in and hasn't looked back. The other, Eric, is also a convert we've known since Dani was in HS.
That's another story. Anyway, those 3 shared their testimonies. Perfect.
The girls and I were supposed to sing "I know that my Redeemer lives"--but they forgot to put it in the program, so we didn't. Actually, we were relieved! lol We sing acapella and enjoy it, but we were glad to be able to just sit this one out.
It is hard to describe how strong the Spirit was there...we all felt the Holy Ghost there so intensely. Taylow just beamed...from head to toe. She is still beaming. Her father stayed until the end of the program, then told her he loves her and left. He was humbled. He'll be back.
She was confirmed in Church yesterday by Mr. Idaho and what a great blessing. Her "journey" to that moment was mentioned, and how our Father in Heaven has been with her every step of the way. I was emotional. Imagine that. Taylow's so so happy. She glows from the inside out.
After church, our Ward Mission leader, Bro. B asked if Mr. Wonderful and I would participate in a combined RS & Preisthood meeting in 2 weeks. The theme, I believe is about becoming or being a "Gospel sharing" family. Mr Wonderful asked if that request would cancel out our speaking assignment for next week. Um no.
I've been thinking about Bro B's request since then. And all of the things that have transpired over the last couple of weeks with Taylow and her father and the missionaries and my own baptism. It's alot, and I won't go into it all here.
But I chose that picture by Liz Lemon Swindle on this post for a reason. I love this picture. I bought it and Liz signed it many years ago for one of my daughters who was having a hard time.
Sometimes we are like Mary at the tomb. She is looking for Jesus Christ--it had been a long week for her, and I imagine she had not slept in days , especially over the weekend, because of all the horror of the Crucifixion. Can you even imagine? She probably hadn't eaten anything either, so heavy was her heart. And recall also, that the earth had been in a tumult of shaking and darkness. She probably left as soon at the first light of dawn to go to Him. And then, getting to the tomb and finding it empty, you can feel the anguish on her face. Her heart is surely broken.
Yet, there He is right behind her. Within a moment of her discovery of an empty tomb, He will show her the Power of God...a resurrected Being. HIS resurrected body.
It reminds me that when I am troubled and feel despair, my Savior is truly right behind me. Near to me. And I too can be shown His love and His power.
I've seen that so brilliantly this past week in Taylow's life. She did wade out into her own "Red Sea", even up to her neck. And she did not drown. We walked with her, but more important, her Father in Heaven led the way, opening the sea waters as it were. Her anguish is gone. Her joy is full. She is Clean. She has taken her place.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Stuffed Pork Chops:
Boneless pork chops
Stove top stuffing mix for pork
sweet basil or tarragon
SO this is super easy. Slice the pork chops in the center, to cut a little pocket.
Saute the celery and onion in the olive oil, and add the herb of your choice to the Stove Top stuffing mix and make according to the box directions.
Stuff the porkchops.
Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Place in baking pan/dish. Cover with tinfoil. Bake on 375o until chops are thoroughly cooked, about an hour. Take off the foil for the last 10 minutes to brown meat and cook-off fluid.
Serve with a salad, mashed potatoes or whatever your family will eat!
Friday, January 16, 2009
Taylow has been preparing for her baptism and it has been a faith-testing and faith-rewarding week.
She has rec'd all of the missionary discussions. She has prayed and received answers to her prayers. We've fasted and prayed for her and with her. Last week, our E. Gulbrandsen gave her a solemn promise that her father would indeed be in attendance at her baptism, if she remained true and faithful. That's a big promise. As the days went by, and her father became more and more irate with her, she expressed doubt about that promise. Yesterday, she came over to the house, with her sadness, and said she didn't think she could be baptized without her father's support. So we told her that is not our decision to make, but is between her and Heavenly Father, and we'd support her in whatever she chose. I did tell her this:
"The Adversary is well aware of what is about to happen. You are about to take your Divine Place in the Kingdom of your Heavenly Father. Noone else can take that place for you. It is only yours to claim. So don't think that Satan is not aware of what you're about to do--or that he isn't interested in causing you the most grief in the place where it matters most to you. He has been "The Devil" long before you or I were born--he's been at this stuff for centuries.
Your faith is being tested. Think of Moses and the Red Sea. Alot of people think that Moses just walked up to the shoreline of the Red Sea, and God in his Might, parted it before Moses even put his toes in the water. I don't think that God did that. I think Moses had to not only get his feet wet, but may have even walked into the Red Sea until it was up to his neck. THEN, the Sea waters parted and the hebrews walked through it. Taylow, right now, you have your feet wet. So you keep walking, and we'll walk with you. We will not let you drown. Your Heavenly Father will not let you drown. Just keep praying and walking in Faith. Everything will work out."
Well, she went down to Nana's room and within thirty minutes she came up, beaming like a ray of sun had planted on her heart. The missionaries again came to the house--this time to interveiw her for baptism. As they finished up, the topic came up about her father attending the baptism. Taylow smiled and said, "Well, I don't think he'll be there in person, but I think he will in his heart." I smiled and said, "Hmm Well I think he'll be there in his shoes."
Flash forward to this afternoon:
Her dad called and asked her to come over to the house after school. (She is living here as of yesterday...I didn't write that yet, I don't think.) Anyway, she went over, and came back so absolutely thrilled. He asked her if it's still okay to come to her baptism tomorrow. (In his shoes.)
After much celebrating...which for a bunch of girls in our house translates into jumping up and down and squealing, I said, "what would have happened if you'd just let go yesterday?"
We miss out on so many blessings when we lose sight of who we really are...daughters of God.
We are entitled to all that He has...but we must do our part, even if it's just holding on for dear life or walking until we are in water up to our necks. The Seas do part and we do behold the majesty of God. It's true.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Chicken Linguine Alfredo Florentine
Linguine noodles ( or your favorite noodle)
2.5 lbs. Chicken breasts ( I use the flash-frozen from Walmart)
2 TB Minced Garlic
2 TB Olive Oil
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Alfredo Sauce (Easy & Quick--use the bottled kind or make your own)
Spinach (frozen or fresh) about 1 cup
Mushrooms, sliced about 2 cups (I used fresh last night, but canned is good too--but not 2 cups if canned!)
In LARGE pan, saute garlic in olive oil. Add chicken. Brown, then cut into cubes. Add some pepper.
Now, get your water boiling for the noodles. I add salt & olive oil to the water.
To the Chicken, add your mushrooms. (drain the water, if canned). Add the spinach. Add the nutmeg.
Cover with the Alfredo sauce. Simmer until warmed through.
Serve over cooked noodles.
That's when the older girls (aged 16-18) welcome the younger girls (12 year olds) into the Young Women's program and explain what it's all about. The YW Leaders are extraordinary women themselves. I've been in presidencies over the years and I'm still in awe of the other women who are called to serve in this capacity. They love these girls. My girls. And I love them for it.
There's a new "Value" this year: " Virtue". I love that they added this.
Taylow went with us. Our YW President just wrapped her arms around her like they'd known each other forever. And Taylow met with our good Bishop for a few minutes. It's all set: the baptism is Sat. at 3pm. It is indeed a New Beginning for Taylow. I love this girl.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
1 lb. hamburger, browned, season to taste ( I'm using gr. turkey)
1 can kidney beans
1 can tomato sauce 15oz.
1 can pinto beans
1 can tomatoes with green chilis
1 can black beans, optional
Simmer all day or make just before serving (the longer it cooks the better). Put Fritos in a bowl and top with soup, cheese and sour cream.
*Note: I did make this, but I substituted corn for black beans. I added some fresh cilantro, minced onions, garlic and taco seasoning to the meat. And I didn't put the chips in the bowl, but served them on the side along with some tortilla chips and popcorn. I know, popcorn sounds weird, but I have little kids, and they thought it was great!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I was utterly disgusted about it. Really, I was. Then, and this is embarassing, I admit--while the missionaries were teaching Taylow tonight about eternal families...somehow we got the giggles--I think it started because someone made a crack about wanting eternal families, but not so much when our sweet children become teenagers! And before I knew it, I shared the headline about the dad selling his teenager for a case of beer. Okay yeah, it was repugnant, preposterous, and a disgusting reality...but in my head, at that moment, I laughed and said "My kids are WORTH so much more than a case of beer! I'd want at least a new car for Nana!"
Then, I was reading a Book Review for " No Kids: 40 Reasons for Not Having Children" by french author Corrinne Maier. The author, a mother herself, sited some of her reasons for not having children: Some include: "childbirth is torture, children will destroy your time and your freedom, and you will inevitably be disappointed by your child."
Then the reveiwer shared her reasons for having her own children:
"What makes people interesting is what they endure. Pain. Fear. Sadness. Disappointment. Loss. All these things parents will endure in varying degrees throughout their lifetime and that of their child.Does parenting bring great joy? It certainly can. But there is never a guarantee that the joy will outweigh the pain. To be a parent is to introduce an excruciating element of risk into your life. It is to create something that can either elevate you or completely destroy you.
And she ended with this:
"It has to do with a Chinese proverb that my father often quotes: Don’t pray for a happy life, pray for an interesting one.And so in answer to Ms Maier’s book of witty and spot-on reasons why you shouldn’t have children, I will offer just one reason why you should have children.Because it will make your life more interesting."
So all of this got me to thinking. What would I say are the Pros and Cons of being a Mother?
So here's a short list of Cons:
*I haven't slept in since 1983.
*My waistline disappeared after baby #6 and hasn't been seen since. My waist used to be shaped like an hour-glass but now resembles a goldfish bowl.
*I've spent more money on toys than I have on anything I ever wanted. Collectively, that is, only to be told by my subordinates that "there's nothing to do."
*My heart walks outside of my body at all times. And sometimes, it gets in cars with other teenagers who don't buckle up or drive the speed limit. And other times, it doesn't look when crossing the street. And there's nothing I can do about it.
*I'm "on alert" 24/7...ready with a bandaid, a hug, a lap, a teary eye, whatever.
*My cellphone is nothing more than a ball on an invisible chain. I cannot leave the house more than 10 minutes without it ringing:''Hello?" "Mom?" "Yeah?" "Where are you?" "I'm at Albertsons/WalMart/Costco/Target--didn't you ask [someone at home] where I was?" "When are you coming back?" "Well, let's see, it's um 4 o'clock Tuesday right now...yeah, I'm lookin' at Thursday of next week. Be good, don't play with scissors or knives, change your underwear, brush your teeth, and stay out of the fridge until I get back, ok?"
*Oh, and I never get the last glass of juice. Or the last cookie. Last anything. But there's always a single drop of juice left in the container, in the fridge. And for reasons only aliens understand, a half of a cookie is left in the package on the pantry shelf.
*When I go to the above Stores...I have to ask Myself, OUTLOUD: "What day is it" What's my name?" when filling out a check.
Those are just a few of my CONS.
Now onto the PROS of Motherhood:
*Having 7 children, six of whom are expected to grow into mature, responsible (there's still some mystery about a few) adults, I figure I have a one-in-six chance of not being put in an Old Folks' home.
*My bread never turns moldy, nor does the milk go sour. It doesn't last that long.
*I don't have to EVER ask for extra cash at the check-out. My kids smell cash on me like a bear after hibernation smells--smells--well, smells anything edible.
*I get to drive a big honkin' '02 Suburban with 9 passenger seating and yell at other drivers in the guise of protecting my "life's treasures" (aka kiddos)...and feel totally justified. Whereas, if I drove a sporty lil coupe, I would feel guilty and have to repent.
*I'm never alone. Ever. "cept in the bathroom. (wait, is this on the right list?)
*My teenage daughters tell me if I'm dressing like a "granny" or if I'm lookin' "super frumpy" to the point that they send me back to my room to change clothing, so I don't embarass myself. Or is it so I don't embarass them?
*Ok ok, I got a few more good ones: I'm more patient. Less selfish. I can cook enough food for a small country. I know all the words to the book, "Love You Forever" by heart. I can sing "eensy weensy spider" when I am dead-tired, on my feet, rocking back and forth in the middle of the night. I can find tiny little people shoes so fast I should be listed in the Guiness World Record book. In fact, my uterus is a tracking device, just as that kinda yucky comedienne, Rosanne, says it is. I know all the Episodes of He-Man, Carebears, Sailor Moon, Sesame Street from 1983-2003, Barney songs, Bear in the Big Blue House, Blues Clues, She-Ra, and all the Spice Girls songs. Plus, as the TV says, MUCH MUCH MORE!
* I can take a shower, wash and dry my hair and get fully dressed in a half hour. Sometimes, it must be noted, I may have forgotten to put on my bra before my shirt, or my slip or walked out the door in my houseslippers or even forgotten to put mascara on BOTH eyes before I leave--but hey- I'm out the door, and that's all I'm saying.
* I can change diapers with my eyes closed.
* I can say "NO" in different languages.
* I can cook dinner, listen to a child practice piano, while another child reads to me outloud, take a phone call about Scouts, unload the dishwasher, and toss in a load of laundry simultaneously. Booyah!
* I can text b/c I have teenagers.
* I can see blood, urine, vomit, spit-up (baby vomit), and poop and not actually gag.
* My child can say "MOM" 50 different ways and I can tell what they're feelin' or what they're after.
So there you have it. A short view into my otherwise un-INTERESTING LIFE. My kids do make me more interesting. They are the legacy I will leave behind. My life's work. And whatever it costs to make their lives worthwhile is worth the cost. They have taught me more about my strengths and weaknesses than a new car ever could.
Don't tell my kids how good I've got it, k?
What about you? Is your kid worth a Ford or a years' supply of diet Pepsi? Share your thoughts!
I have reached the time in my life where I have, dare I even say it?--free time! That's right! I have time to do whatever I want and it is utterly amazing. Oh, and please please PUH LEEZE don't tell me to do Geneaology. That's work. I may change my mind at some point in time, but for right now that's just. more. work.
So I've been thinking I need to broaden my horizons. I'd been reading Nicholas Sparks books, and they were charming up until this last book where, by the end of the book, I could've cared less if the two main characters had pulled guns and shot each other. So, here it is. I'm puttin' it out there...give me a really good suggestion for a really good read.
Don't leave me hanging. If I don't get my hands on a great book soon, I may have to resort to coupon clipping or
Put your suggestions in the comment below!!!!
You've earned this ribbon girlfriend. Heavens, you've earned enough to wallpaper your house! For what?? Oh don't be COY!
You know what?! Walking around a mall for 2 hours with your soon-to-be-Bride looking for bridesmaid dresses in yet-to-be-decided colors, with the patience of a Saint!
Can I just say this: I feel your pain.
So on this not-so-auspicious occasion, let me announce to my blogging world that my friend Nan has earned this blue ribbon.
We left the Mall and she was still on good terms with her daughter and fiance, and last I saw, a smile still on her face!
Monday, January 12, 2009
So, after piano lessons, I found a quiet corner and started reading this book. I usually like N. Sparks books. I was excited to begin reading this one. And even though the first few chapters were "ugh" I kept reading...just waiting for it to get better. For a surprise twist or something. That never happened. It was predictable. Every stinkin' bit of it. Don't get me wrong, I love happy endings! But, oh this was so dissappointing. I finished it by the evening and felt like I wasted my time.
Sunday was Church of course. We were running late and didn't get to Church until 5 mins. till it started. That feels late to me. I hate being late. We like to get there about 25-15 minutes earlier than the meeting. That gives us a chance to get to our seats, say our "hellos", get stuff from the library if need be, and then just enjoy the prelude music and focus on why we are there. So, b/c we were late, we missed our favorite seats: the Second row. We've been sitting in the second row for a long long time. With a big family, we take up most of a row...and that also means I can't sit next to every child. So I need help. That help comes from the pulpit. Sitting where the kids can see the speaker clearly, see their emotions as they speak, helps them to feel the spirit.
My philosophy on this is simple: When our family decides to go to say, a movie or a sporting event, we leave to get there early ON PURPOSE so we can get good seats, go buy snacks, meet up with friends, watch the previews, etc., etc.,...Church meetings are more important than that.
And our conscious effort to make it mean more is reflected in our efforts to get there early and prepared.
As a result, we know we have to get up early enough, be prepared the night before (especially since our meetings are at 9am this year!), and leave in plenty of time. So we do. Only yesterday, my 13 yo lost track of time, and we left about 10 minutes later than usual. So we sat in the front row. Yeah, there's no going backwards for me, if I can help it. Front row is fine when Second row is taken.
A painful experience came when I was sitting with my class in Primary, and was handed the latest edition of our Ward's cookbook! At first I checked to see if my submissions were included and correct--then I perused through it and my mouth started watering and I became keenly aware that I had not eaten breakfast! What an awful thing!
Diana wasn't with us because she went to church with Taylow, at our suggestion. She said it was highly entertaining...there was alot of music with a 5 minute sermon and they were done!
Taylow is still planning on her baptism this Saturday, barring any contention with her dad.
Her Dad is coming around too. The missionaries taught her Saturday, at our home, and they promised her that her father will be at her baptism on Saturday. (that's called revelation, right there.) Then last night, Nana, Taylow and I went to witness a baptism. A young man from El Salvador was getting baptized and it was a sweet experience.
We also got Dani & Brad's proofs online and looked at all 400 of them. Twice. Picking out our favorites and laughing at the goofs. I'll post some when I am allowed to, as per the copyright of the photographer.
OH! And we got a call from the Executive Secretary last night. Yup, our family has been asked to speak on "Having Family Home Evening" in 2 weeks. We all laughed, and one of the kids said, "We better make sure we have it over the next two weeks!" smart aleck.
SO, WHAT DID YOU DO OVER THE WEEKEND???
Saturday, January 10, 2009
We feed the missionaries on Saturday mornings.
When we get a new one in, I ask him what his favorite thing for breakfast is, and try to make it for him.
Our last new guy was from Samoa...he requested SPAM and EGGS. Which meant I had to go buy SPAM on purpose. He loved it.
Our new guy is here from Idaho--he actually went to the same high school my Nana went to before we moved here, tho they didn't knwo each other.
He requested Waffles & Ice Cream.
He happens to be training a sweet new Elder from Texas...we're having my famous Granny Buttermilk Biscuits and sausage gravy next week.
We've been feedin' the missionaries breakfast for years now...I no longer have to chase the dinner calendar at church, and it just works out better for our family's schedules if we do it this way.
Granny’s Buttermilk Biscuits
Preheat Oven 450o
IN your deep biscuit bowl add 4 cups of Flour. Make a large hole in the center slightly packing sides with back of hand. IN the hole place:
1 ½ TB Baking Powder
1 TB Sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
Mix dry ingreds w/ fingers stirring in small amounts of flour. MELT ¾ cup CRISCO in small pot. Set aside.
Add 2 1/2 cups BUTTERMILK to hole and stir being sure you miss in all dry ingreds. Add melted Crisco. Mix thoroughly. Stir round & round.
When dough is heavy enough scrape from hands and fingers with back of knife.
Wash & dry hands.
Now sprinkle DRY FLOUR over dough, start kneading. Working from sides folding inwards all the time. Don’t over knead. Make sure your dough has dry flour sprinkled over top.
With floured hands, PINCH off a BIG hand full and ROLL around in your hands until it forms a large biscuit.
PLACE biscuits in LARGE baking pan greased with CRISCO.
Now give a slight push on top with your knuckles.
PLACE biscuits just touching each other.
Brush tops with melted BUTTER..
PLACE in Preheated Oven: 450o. until golden brown.
If you need the Sausage & gravy recipe, let me know!
Friday, January 9, 2009
See those girls in the audience about to spontaneously combust in their seats? I'd have given anything to be one of them! Wasn't he just dreamy? And wow, the way he danced was just so so Groovy. (Some of my BFF's back then thought he was "cheesy"--but hey, I love Cheese!)Alas, we only met in my dreams. But, I do have a personally autographed picture of him to Moi.
So this is my Donny Osmond "story": Of course I idolized him...what's not to love, right? I had all of his albums (that's right, youngun's I had albums, not cd's!), his posters plastered my walls, and deep purple WAS the color of the shag carpet in my bedroom! (My mom was very patient with my obsession.) And I always got the latest copy of "Tiger Beat" magazines to keep up with his TRUE life moments. (Don't go tellin' me those articles weren't true. Don't be a hater.)
Anywho, I recall reading that he was a "Mormon"...and in my little Baptist mind, I thought that was like being "Italian." Really. Hey, he looked Italian, didn't he? Dreamy.
And when I had the chance to get his autograph, even tho' I was in my mid-20's and a mom of three, I couldn't pass it up! And yes, I even framed it!
So Happy Birthday Donny, I'm just a month late (his real bday is Dec 9th, oops!) but that's okay, right?
From the love of your life.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
I'm also teaching my kiddos to share. They all have their "own" things that they are encouraged to share at their own discretion, but for the most part, everything is counted as "community property" in our home. We rarely sit down to dinner with just our family.
There's usually someone else or a few someone else's to share our meals with--and that's fine with me. The kids will "ask" if their friends can join us to make sure--some nights I may not have made enough to share--but more often than not, there is plenty to go around. It's what we do. As the Caboose said months ago, "We are the Andersons and we are Powerful!"
I still love that she thinks that way. It'll probably change once she is 14, but I'll take it for now.
Along with our food, folks and fun (*wasn't that from a Mickey D's commercial?), we also share our hearts. We mourn with those that mourn, and try to share our joy with others' joy too. We're not perfect at this, but we do love our friends. We live so far away from extended family that our friends ARE our Family.