Sunday, March 31, 2013

2007: In My Gethsemane

This is a year I hesitate to share because what marks it is painful and sacred, so I don't discuss it very often; but the feeling I have is that someone somewhere needs this story.

To our joy, early in the year we found I was pregnant. Sadly, I miscarried in March.

I was very, very upset. That night when we got home I laid down in bed, in the dark and in agony. I was hurting both physically and emotionally, and prayed to my Heavenly Father, complaining that the pain and sadness was too much, and asked him to take it away.

Jesus Praying in Gethsemane: from
It didn't happen, but I remembered another prayer the Savior had uttered in the Garden of Gethsemane when he too faced more than He felt He could bear, "Father from me, remove this cup". I remembered that He too suffered physically and emotionally, and He also knew what it was like to lose a child. Jesus truly understood what I was going through.

There was no light for me that night, and all of the pain and burden remained; but I felt the Lord's presence and my strength renewed.

In the days following I wondered if the Lord, who knew infinite sorrow and suffering, had joy and happiness equal to His pain. It seemed only fair to me, but I really didn't know and I wasn't getting a clear answer by prayer and study.

Life went on. I recovered and stayed busy with work and church callings, and in a few months we were happy to find I was pregnant again. It was not an easy pregnancy. I got morning sickness (what a misnomer) rather badly, but it passed and I was able to work through Christmas.

Sometimes that Lord does not take our troubles away. Frequently we need the strengthening exercise  but He is always with us in the journey.

Friday, March 29, 2013

2006. Oh, what a year!

Aaron and I were planning our wedding an reception. I am not a crazy self absorbed bride. As a matter of fact, unlike a number of other girls, I gave no thought to my wedding reception. I was pretty close to not having one at all, but seeing as I have to deal with in-laws now, it would probably not bode well for in the family politics for me to be a hermit.

Aaron's step-mom, Julie, loved to plan parties and had connections. She could be a hard core, strict disciplinarian, and someone not to be trifled with. Be she was artistic and loved a party. I nearly went crazy picking out colors (she only needed two) and an over-all scheme. For someone as vague short of party imagination as I, she did exceptionally well.

My mom wanted to make my wedding gown. At first she had me sit down and look through pictures of wedding dresses online. It was torture, but I got some ideas of what I wanted. Then she made me draw a picture of approximately what I wanted. Over the course of time the dress evolved in concept until Mom decided it was time to start building it. It's a good thing I like Jo-Ann Fabrics because we spent a good amount of time there. Then there was the practical planning, where Mom wrapped me up in bits of muslin, and pinned them together on my body. Having sharp little needles so close to my skin made me nervous (I have a bit of a phobia when it comes to needles and things piercing my skin).

It took a number of fittings and planning and a few idea changes, but Mom showed me her work when it was almost finished. That day I was over tired and overwhelmed and when I first saw her work, I turned pale, swallowed a sob, and asked to take a nap. I thought the gown was hideous in that moment, but I also knew I hadn't slept a night through in a week, so I went upstairs and slept for a while. I don't know how long of a nap I took, but I felt better. When I came downstairs and there it was; the most beautiful, perfect wedding gown I had ever laid eyes on. It took my breath away. I couldn't believe it was the same dress I saw not 2 hours ago. No on had touched it or changed it in any way. The only change was my perception.

There was a bridal shower that Julie and her sisters threw and it was fun. They decorated in sunflowers, my favorite, and we played a few games. There were gifts. It surprised me because I had never seen so many in one place in my life. Mostly it was kitchen gadgets and useful things around the house that I could use.

Come to think about I had subjected myself to two or three gift registries. It was painful and I didn't think anyone would actually look, but there you go. People really do look at things like that. I guess that's how people knew what I wanted.

Aaron and I were married June 16, 2006 at the Detroit temple. It was a small, private ceremony (which suited me) and only a few friends and family members were present. Aaron's brothers of course pranked our car, but nothing damaging or embarrassing. And after some pictures and congratulations, we left for the hotel for the evening! Ha! No way I was going to have the reception right after the ceremony. Aaron was mine for the night. Our highly romantic first meal as husband and wife was Burger King take out. Woohoo!

The next evening was our reception, which was beautiful. We exchanged rings, did some dancing, and Aaron was a gentleman with the cake and kindly refrained from smearing my face with it. My favorite part of the reception came at the end when Tom, our DJ, played "Another One Bites the Dust", by Queen. We went and spent another night in a hotel, went to church with family the next day, then left for our honeymoon at a cottage up north, courtesy of the Barncard family.

After we got back, we lived a couple months with Aaron's mother, t
hen found our first apartment. And lived quite happily together.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

My daughter is definitely a girl

How I know my daughter is a girl:

-she wears my perfume
-likes frilly dresses
-tries on my jewelry
-gives me fashion advise
-plays with dolls
-likes princesses
-experiments with my make-up
-talks a lot and very articulately
-likes flower coloring pages
-stands with her hands on her hips and her nose in the air when slightly annoyed
-struts with a slight hip sway
-walks on her tippy toes
-has a shrill scream when angry
-gives random hugs and kisses
-has a secretive smile that she shows off frequently
-enjoys tea parties
-she sings several songs a day
-thinks she's 30, acts like she's 13, but daily reminds us she's 3 years old

I hope she never changes...But ha! She's a girl! Of course she'll change.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Year 2005

Important stuff:

In January I started taking college classes. I studied everything that struck my interest: Sociology, American History, Political Science, and taekwondo. I had fun.

In June I moved back the the Living Center Apartments. As I was filling out the paper work there was a question of roommate preference. If you had a friend living there, you could request that friend as a roommate. I couldn't think of anyone I really specifically wanted as a roommate, so I left that part blank. I got assigned as Jen Smith's roommate, who had a friend that always was hanging around. His name was Aaron Hancock and we hadn't spoken in ten years despite the fact we went to the same dances, on the same youth trips, had many mutual friends, and our families knew each other; but we knew each other's siblings and didn't get along. Se la vie. At least I found another job and wouldn't be forced to hang around with Aaron Hancock.

By the end of summer I managed to get fired from that job, but since I had enough money put away for classes and to support myself for
several months on a careful budget, I wasn't too worried about finding a job real fast. However, now that I didn't have anywhere to go after classes, I had to deal with Jen's friend.

In a couple weeks I learned that he wasn't so bad. In fact I learned to like his company.

One Sunday evening Aaron announced that he was going to join the Air Force, and it bothered me. Friends don't let friends join the Air Force (my parents met in the Air Force, therefore membership in such must be a bad omen); but then I wondered why I even cared. He was a Hancock, and they are trouble...

"Oh my gosh", I thought to myself, almost out loud. "I think I like him... Now what?... I must undermine this ridiculous desire to join the Air Force... I must flirt with him"

That night I asked him to join me for a walk. He declined and I thought I did something wrong. On Monday I consulted a book on how to flirt (can you believe people write stuff like that?). On Tuesday I went to work. When walking and on passing Aaron, I gave him the best, sweetest, most inviting "Hi" that I could muster. Once again I thought to effort was clumsy at best, but Aaron tells me it got his attention.

On Wednesday I attended a church history class Aaron happened to be in. I didn't have my scriptures with me, so I sat next to Aaron and shared his. We didn't say a word the whole time, but by the end we were holding hands.

Thursday night Aaron knocked on my front door, which was unusual, as he typically followed Jen through the back. The conversation we had went approximately as follows:

Aaron: Hi.

Myself: Hi.

Aaron: I take it you like me.

("Arrogant Hancock," I thought silently, "I can play at this too")

Myself: I take it you like me

(He shakes his head)

Aaron: Does this mean we should go on dates and walks and stuff?

Myself: That's a good idea, if you are asking.

It was a good idea, and we did go on dates and walks and stuff. In November we decided that marriage was the right direction to go and we got engaged.

As written, this story looks simplistic and short on romance, but courtship doesn't need to be complicated or adventurous. Just honest. Either you do love each other and can agree on the important things, or you don't and you can't respectively. We did and could.

lifted from: this website

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Les Miserables: death by Victor Hugo

I saw Les

Miserarables last night, you know the latest Hollywood atrocity done against a classic... well actually it wasn't that bad, and it was nice to see Hugh Jackman step out of the "Wolverine" paradigm with out it being a cartoon.

I've never read the book, so I don't really know what Victor Hugo actually wrote. I suppose with a name like Les Miserables it would not imply a very happy plot line... but still, wow, could anything have been penned that was more depressing.

At least Jean Valjean dies at peace and the main lovers get a happily-ever-after; but no one else stands a chance.

Fantine: diseased

Gorvache: shot
Don't stop singing, Eponine! You'll die if you stop!

Friends of Marius: shot, bayoneted, and cannon blasted

Eponine: shot(?). Actually I think she suffered death by unrequited love. She took a bullet, but lived long enough to sing a lengthy duet with Marius who seemed ignorant of her affection until she was dying (singing?) in his arms.

Javert: suicide

Javert's suicide especially disturbed me, but I guess killing oneself is the standard way to die in French classic literature if a character is suffering from a moral conflict.

I didn't like Les Miserables, but when I think about it, I would've like it far less if Disney came along and cleaned it up for family viewing.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sleep Deprivation Lab

Something about writing and operating a business is exciting to me. It makes me stay up late wondering what I'll write about or promote the next day. Naturally, I'm a little tired as a result.

Then life happens and Colin takes sick, so I'm up even later. I get him settled down and back to bed and go to bed myself hoping that's it, but sooner or later (I don't know which) Gideon needs nursing and changing, so I'm right back up, and after a half hour or so I'm back down.

Before I know it, it's five a.m. and Karyn wants a drink of water. She can get it herself and she knows it, but for some reason she thinks she needs to announce it while weeping outside my door. I take care of her and fall back in bed asleep.

Seven a.m. comes around, but I don't know that yet. I roll over to give my husband a rub, but instead of him, it's Karyn... and I'm too tired to wonder where Aaron is, send Karyn to her own bed, or even think about how she got there.

Around eight there's activity downstairs, so I get up and see what it is. It's Colin who growls at me because he's still not feeling well. Then Gideon wakes up hungry and starts to cry. After that Karyn, in bright spirits, comes down the stairs asking for breakfast. After I get Colin settled down and make sure it's only a common flu, I help Karyn pick her favorite cereal and talk with her for a few minutes. Then I change and nurse Gideon.

Now it's nine o'clock and of course Colin and Karyn want to watch a movie. Normally I would say no because it's too early in the day and I like the relative quiet; but what the hey. I'm too tired to argue, Gideon is asleep, and it's the new movie they want so I know they'll be relatively quiet for it. I get that put on and I think it's a good opportunity to take a nap... if only I hadn't locked the keys in the bedroom. Sometimes life feels like a cruel experience, but I know tomorrow will be a better day.

This image was lifted from Royalty Free Stock Photos

Friday, March 22, 2013

2003 - 2004

The day I entered the MTC, what was called "the raising of the bar" program took effect. They stopped teaching missionaries to memorize the discussions word for word, but instead know the doctrine really well and have an outline prepared. That was ok by me. I don't memorize the written word as easily as I can write it.

After a week at the MTC I re-discovered how little I like sitting still at a desk. Ever since returning home I got used to biking fourteen miles a day to and from work. I was scratching the walls and ready to lose my mind.

After two weeks I got used to the routine.

After three weeks they had us get on a bus, ride to the airport, and board a plane bound for Pocatello, ID. It was a little sardine can with wings, and a few of us with airplane problems were uncomfortable, but I was fine.

In Pocatello we met the mission presidency and their wives and spent the night at the mission home. The next morning we received our assignments and were driven to our first areas. I didn't have far to go, just down hill and in the very stake the mission home was located in, the Highland Stake.

My fist companion, Sister Porter introduced herself and claimed she was in therapy, then held up an injured finger.

The first six weeks in the field were the hardest for me. I couldn't quite get the hang of teaching a discussion without an outline in front of me. Then there was the fact that I wasn't that mature of a person and socially a little awkward.

At the end of the first six weeks I was almost ready to call the mission president and ask to go home. I just wasn't cut out for this. for about ten minutes I thought that way, then had a good cry. After that I remembered this was the commitment I had made. I was going to see it through.

That night I was told to pack my bags, I was being transferred. Of course they didn't tell me were I was going, just to be waiting at the Stake Center.

I they took me to Rexburg and my next companion, Sister Cole. She helped me finish certifying, taught me how to hold a half decent conversation, and introduced me to ketchup flavored Pringles and fruit leather. We had a lot of fun and took tons of pictures.

picture by Travis Lovell
I felt sad when I was transferred to Ririe, but before long I fell in love with the Ririe Stake. I had a good companion, Sister Starritt and we did a fair amount of teaching, and had a number of baptisms (including one that seemed to surprise everyone in the town of Ririe itself). Eventually Sister Starritt was transferred and Sister Romrell took her place. We explored as much of the area as our car would go and found homes and roads not even on the map yet.

My next transfer took me to the Blackfoot West Stake and my new companion, Sister Fredline. We knew each other from before the mission, being from the same stake and attending the same student ward. We surprised our mission president at not needing to introduce us. Maybe it's because we were from the same stake, or maybe it was her humor, or perhaps it was the fact that she was the only companion I ever expected to punch me in the kidneys, but Sister Fredline was my favorite companion. Sadly she was eventually transferred and Sister Webster came in. I think she was the most serious and focused companion I ever had and I wished we could have had more lessons and baptisms for her sake.

My final area was Idaho Falls, right in the same neighborhood as the temple. Initially my first companion in that are was Sister Song. There wasn't a whole lot of work to do in the way of proselyting, but the records were a mess and badly needed updating. We spent a lot of time tracking and finding places not listed on the record. The last six weeks, two new sisters, Sister Kohl and Sister Royston were brought in fresh from the MTC to work at the Temple Visitor's Center and to proselyte part of the time.

I wonder if Sister Song would have hated me if I told her the truth, and that I had indeed, when the mission president asked, told him that I thought it was time for her to train a new missionary. I'm sure she would have forgiven me.

In August 2004, my time in the field was over and it was time to go home.

I had a little bit rough start starting over at home. Jobs were scarce and dates were no where to be found, but eventually I found a holiday job as a contract seasonal letter carrier and saved enough money for college classes in the spring.

It was a couple of good years. My apologies to those I didn't mention. If enough people view this blog or ask about it, I'll write something more detailed.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Years 2001 and 2002

Spring and early summer of the year 2001 were not the most eventful of my memory. I'm not even sure I took the opportunity to leave state or go camping for a few days, which I had been in the habit of doing since I was fourteen.

In August I was talking to my mom on the phone and she asked me if I was thinking of serving a mission and invited me to come home while I saved up if I decided so. To tell the truth, I had given the matter of serving a mission no serious thought in my entire life. I told her that I would consider it hoping to end the conversation quickly.

Mom had always wanted me to serve a mission. Ever since I was a little girl she had encouraged it, but being the slightly rebellious spirit that I am, I never would do anything on my mom's advise alone. However, some working of the Spirit infected me with a desire actually think about it for once.

I thought about it and wrote out a list of pros and cons to serving a mission (it was a short list on both sides). The pros won, but by a depressingly narrow margin. I took the matter to the LORD in prayer and I got no firm yes or no as so many members claim. The was the answer that came to my mind was this, "You'll have no regrets about serving a mission".

Why? I wondered. Why would the LORD leave such an important matter in my clumsy, rebellious, unconventional hands? I still don't know.

I ran the numbers and found that if stayed in my apartment, budgeted carefully (very, very carefully, no fun, no new books), never get sick or take injury, or incur any unexpected costs, don't lose my job, the stars and planets fall into proper alignment, and everything works out perfectly, then by the time I turned twenty-one next summer I would have exactly enough to fully pay for my own mission.

HA! I knew better, so I called home and made arrangements to live with my family while I saved up. Wouldn't you know, the stars and planets fell in to proper alignment and everything worked out perfectly. By the next summer I had exactly enough money in the bank to pay for the mission in full.

It took a couple months to track down my medical records and get the shots and dental requirements taken care of. My paperwork was submitted in October and just in time for Christmas I received the call to the Idaho Pocatello mission. I was to report to the MTC in January.

Lifted from World Sites Atlas
When I opened and read the letter I was with my family and I did my best to appear enthusiastic, but inwardly I was disappointed  What kind of a boring place had the LORD called me too? All bragging rights shot down before my mission had begun.

It took me a few days to warm up to the idea of serving a state-side mission in a member dominated area. Actually, I didn't get to liking Idaho that much until I'd been there six weeks.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Year 2000

There are a lot people I've been out of close contact with for over a decade. A friend of mine put it in my head to write things down and tell where I've been and what I've been doing:

Before 2000, ever so briefly:
Born in California; 1981. It's beautiful, but dangerous there (earthquakes and all), I loved the beach; thought Mexicans were from outer space, and that Hell must be a place much like day care.

Winter 1988 - 1989 I moved to Michigan with my family and learned that Hell is a nice town that people like to visit for Halloween and on April 15 (tax day). First we lived in Hamburg, then in Howell. On my list of findings in life I learned school is not fun, neither is riding the bus, and being a newcomer with other kids is a lot being a small crab trying to escape a bucket of bigger crabs, everyone pulling you down. It was a tough year.

1989 - 1992 The tough years continue: We moved to Lansing where I discovered that school yard bullies can be violent and scary; and that some things, no matter how hard anyone tries, just don't work out. After giving it one last shot, my parents separated for the third and final time. My heart was broken, but to be honest, I slept better at night. Sometimes I wished they could have worked it out, but now that they were apart I never wished that they would get back together. I was innocent, but not naive.

1992 - 2000 Still more tough times. I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder, but I learned not to roll over and take a beating, not to listen to gossip or insults, and that any Christian testimony worth having must endure questioning and trial. I also came to the conclusion that stress induced migraine headaches are misery, and well worth the effort to avoid.

In the year 2000 I worked Saturdays at the mall. This provided several perks; namely $70 dollars every other week, and a bank account with an ATM card. I learned easily that money buys freedom and advantage (sorry folks, freedom ain't free, never was). I was able to pay for clothes , snacks, bus fare, and field trips... including a trip that changed my life.

The summer after high school graduation I went wilderness camping. Quetico Provincial Park was amazing. For the first time I smelled clean air, drank clean water, and heard natural silence.

Quetico PP : Photo lifted from Northwestern Flying Club
It's amazing how clear your thoughts can become when you are away from the city's noise and fumes. For a few moments a had a sad thought for what I'd lost when my family divorced, and pain for the troubles that that brought on. I asked myself two questions, with obvious answers, that I'd turned over and over in my mind, like two stones in a river.

Was it my fault my parents divorced?


Was there anything I could have done to stop it?


After asking myself those two questions a new question came to mind.

Do I need to worry about my parents' divorce any more?

It was something I never supposed before. This took some thinking, but after a minute I decided that the answer was no.

Life got better after that.

I got a job at Meijer (a store that Wal-mart resembles), started taking college classes, and with my mom and step-father's help, I moved into an apartment with roommates.

It was an adventurous year. I had my first dates, my first love, and my first break up (romantic break ups are bad, but slightly over rated). There were arguments and fun with roommates, my first gold fish to truly call my own, and for the first time since childhood, I had friends I felt comfortable inviting to my home (no offense, high school friends, you were cool to hang out with at lunch and all, but I had enough troubles at home without involving anyone from the outside).

Now for two more experiences that maybe weren't life changers, but I believe are important to tell:

Occasionally I would treat myself to an extra fifty bucks to spend however I wanted. One night I was with friends helping a man and his mother prepare to move out of state. He was a Vietnam War veteran, and I have a very high level of respect for those who fought in that conflict. He wore a courageous face, but I heard him say he didn't know how he was going to eat on this trip. As a very strict rule, I do not give away money to individuals; but I felt in my heart to help this man. While I was looking for a place where he could easily find the gift, he handed me his copy of the Bible (which he said he read from every day) and asked me to put it in the front seat of the moving truck. I slipped a $50 note in between the Old and New Testaments and helped finish packing the truck for the night.

On another night close to Christmas I had $56 dollars in my pocket. Enough for some Christmas gifts, a quick meal, and bus fare home. A woman with a baby caught me off guard asking for a few dollars for groceries. I handed her the five dollar bill to make her go away. Then the voice of the Holy Spirit spoke to me saying, "Those you are buying Christmas gifts for don't need them". Taking the hint, I found the lady, gave her the fifty dollar bill, and went home.

I don't remember if I actually felt good about giving money away to these strangers. Perhaps my heart was not quite in the right place, but the Lord has blessed me for it ten times over (if my math is right) and I believe still blesses me to this day.

So there it is. First year of my adulthood. Graduation, self discovery, work, love, and a little extra means for fun and generosity. It was a big year.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Kids Say the Worst Things Sometimes

My kids say a lot of awkward things. Movie lines, phrases they hear from friends and family members, but sometimes thing come out that confuse me and I don't know who said it or where it was heard.

Filthy language problem? Not in my home! (stock photo)
This morning, out of no where, and for no apparent reason, Colin told Karyn to get lost and that he wanted her to die. It was pretty clear he simply meant to be offensive, as little boys sometimes do, but I don't think he meant to be extremely offensive and threatening. He's only four after all. I didn't get mad, I just gave him the mild soap treatment (which if you want to know, it's kind of hard to get sick, injured, or traumatized with Johnson and Johnson's). Then I told him never to speak that way again, and sent him to his room.

I'm trying to decide where he could have learned to say such things. He may have learned "get lost" from me. I haven't used that phrase in a very long time, but I'll be the first to admit it; I have a loose tongue from time to time. I'm wondering, though, where had Colin learned to be so blunt about death?

I have a tough time imaging that that kind of language is allowed in Primary Sunday School, Colin is not in day care or pre-school, and most of his neighborhood friends stay inside during winter.

Upon inquiry, Colin thinks he learned to wish death on others while watching a movie. He said it was the "Moses" movie, which means "The Ten Commandments". However I haven't put that movie on in over a month, and I don't recall anyone being quite that direct over the theme of death. The three movies Colin has seen most recently is "The Muppets", "Monsters Inc.", and "Wreck-it Ralph". It wouldn't surprise me if "Get lost" is scripted in at least one, and there is a certain amount of peril depicted in each, but where has anyone made such a clear verbal threat toward any other characters. I'll have to pay a little more attention and see if I can find out and know if any of them need eliminating from the kids movie collection.

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Righteous King : The Book of Mormon

In my personal study of the scriptures I've been re-reading the Book of Mormon. I've gotten to the Book of Mosiah and I've noticed some unusual things about the Kings Benjamin and his son and heir, King Mosiah. They earned their own living (farming), they did not tax their people, they lead their people in battle, were prophets and spiritual leaders, and willingly gave up the crown before they died (as did a number of other righteous kings if memory serves me.

I've decided to compile a list of what a defines a righteous king and how that applies to family life (perhaps I'll come back to this blog with updates as more ideas come:

A righteous king...

King Benjamin teaching his people * 
- does not burden his people with taxes, but earns his own living
- receives revelation for his people and leads them spiritually as well as temporally
- (unless death takes him suddenly) does not take the crown to the grave, but confers the kingdom on a willing and righteous heir well in advance of death
- in the event that no righteous heir can or will take the throne, he returns sovereignty to his people
- teaches his children and people obedience to the LORD and humility
- leads his people in the defense of his nation

In the family the husband is king and therefore a righteous husband...

- earns an honest living
- has the right and responsibility to receive revelation for his family and is to take the lead spiritually and temporally
- while alive, if possible, will confer his legacy and an inheritance on his children, but only if they are worthy and actually want it (it should be taken into consideration that several kings in the Book of Mormon had either righteous sons that declined to take the throne, or evil sons who should never have inherited a kingdom)
- if there are no worthy or willing heirs, gives the legacy to a worthy cause
- teaches his children obedience to the LORD and humility
- is to be the first and most determined line of defense for his family

What does this mean to me? I am the wife of a righteous husband, who fully agrees with what I've discovered. It is my responsibility to be the first support in his calling as the head of our family; however, scripture seems to be less specific about the lives of womankind. For the most part I will need to come up with my own definitions of what it means to be a righteous wife.

Conclusions for myself: A righteous wife of a righteous husband will...
- try not to grouch at him when he gets home from work, but ask about his day and be interested in what he has to say
- believe him when he makes a decision about the family's best interest (if in disagreement, be diplomatic about it), and support family home evenings, scripture study, and prayer
- be wise with the family budget and encourage education and righteous behavior in our children
- be associated with worthy causes
- show the children by example what it means to obey the LORD and to be humble
- be wise, fearless, and prepared against emergencies

* image lifted from Where she got it, I don't know.

Friday, March 15, 2013

I don't want to write today. I've basically had enough and I'm too frustrated with my kids to think of anything worth saying. Here's what I'd rather do:

-Take a walk down by the Au Sable river.
-Go fishing
-Watch a movie that is not a cartoon
-Take a nap
-Go shopping and get something nice for myself
-Have a good piece of chocolate
-Listen to music (what a good idea... hold on a minute... Yes! Back in Black!... Wow. Gideon stopped crying for a moment. I guess AC/DC can be a bit of a shock to little ears. I should change the channel.
-Let's see... visit friends down state
-Oh... (Ack! Spare me Julie Andrews' singing!... That's a little better... Great {sarcasm}. Now Karyn is crying)... how I would like to get away with wearing ear plugs
-Clean house and have it stay clean for a day, or an hour, or even ten minutes.
-Go dancing
-Go skiing
-Make a blanket for myself
-C is for cookie, that's good enough for me!
-C is for cookie, that's good enough for me!
-C is for cookie, that's good enough for me!
-Oh cookie cookie cookie starts with C!
-Have two or more thoughts string together coherantly
-Must smack!
-No, I must not.

This is what my brain feels like. Parenthood is making me take leave of my senses today.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Kourageous Karyn

Karyn is three years old and afraid of virtually nothing but deep water and thin ice. I guess both are understandable.

Karyn gained her fear of water, I think, last summer while wading in Lake Huron. I stepped away for a moment to address some issue Colin was having when a sudden wave overtook Karyn and knocked her over. I turned around in time to see her go under and rushed over and pulled her out. She was spluttering and crying, but unharmed. She hasn't been the same about water since.

Thin ice was discovery of yesterday. We took a walk across the field next to out house. A pattern of repeated, freezing and raining, and freezing again has made the field turn into a shallow lake with a thin sheet of ice. The water is all of six inches at the deepest point, so there's no danger of drowning in any place we could break through, but Karyn was so unnerved by the sound of ice cracking with the sight of water bubbling to the surface that she broke into tears. She asked to be carried and I told her no, it would be very bad if I slipped and fell while carrying her. Her response made me proud. She still cried bitterly in fear, but instead of freezing on the spot and refusing to move (like I would expect from a three year old girl), she held my hand and walked next to me across the length of that field.

Courage to keep moving even when she is scared is a trait I highly value in my daughter and I know she will go far in life for it.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Things Colin is Grateful For

Some mornings I wake up to a disaster, but then there are those rare mornings when I wake up to a gem. When I came down the stairs this morning, there was Colin, my four year old son, with pen and paper "writing" a list of things he is grateful for and it went as follows (I dictated on the computer):

"I am grateful for steaks, and vegetables, and carrots, lettuce (This is food, this is the stuff), milk, oranges, shoes to wear on my feet, my pen to write with, Mom, Karyn and Gideon, Papa, blankets to snuggle, TV's to watch movies on, water, celery, bread, and marshmallows for roasting on fires"

Colin can be trying at times, but he gives the warm fuzzies often enough to make me happy and grateful that he is part of my family.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Goals and Stuff

I'm in a complaining mood. Maybe I shouldn't be. Of the twelve or so goals I set for myself today I managed to get at least eight of them done.

Teach Colin about the letters P and Q: non cooperative (besides he already knows about them)

Spend 10 minutes cuddling with each child: check

Read one or two chapters in the Book of Mormon in English and Spanish: half check (I got absorbed with the Book of Jarom and the Book of Omni, then couldn't help but keep reading through the Words of Mormon)

De-clutter and sweep living room floor: ... good enough for me (I'm not expecting guests in the morning). Check.

Excersize with my yoga DVD: no check, ran out of time

Take a half hour walk with Karyn: double check (Took a second half hour walk, in the rain, with both Colin and Karyn)

Find a health related group on Facebook to subscribe too: no check, but not for lack of trying

Link Facebook, Twitter account, and blog: check

Send out 20 friend requests: no check (maybe I'll do that after I post this blog)

Send three Tweets: check

Study book on business for 15 minutes: check

Listen to business conference talk on CD: check

Write on blog: of course check

I didn't do as bad as I thought. I guess I can just not complain about the day I erroneously thought was unproductive and go to bed happy for what I got done.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

We Don't Agree

A few examples of things we don't agree on.

We should have a big black dog and name it Baskerville: I say “yes”, he says “no”.

Opinions Zynga’s Farmville: He says, “It’s fun”; I say, “It makes me ill”.

Political Science: I say, “Fanscinating”, he says, “Bite me”.

Halo: He says, “It’s a fun game”, I say, “I Won’t touch it save with a ten foot taser”.
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”: He says, “I liked it”, I say, “Never again”

Spam (in a can): He says, "I love it", I say, "It can stay in the can".

I have to say that we agree almost perfectly about the important points in life, but I'm also very blessed that we are not 100% the same. It keeps the relationship interesting and new.

P.S. The kitties are not ours. I wish they were, but no; I lifted the image from a Bing image search.