Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thank you, Sister...

I would be a horrible person, or should I say an even MORE horrible person, if I did not thank the heaven sent ladies who took care of my emotional and physical needs over the last couple of days. I do not doubt for one moment that they were inspired by the spirit to give me exactly what I needed. When I came home from school and swimming lessons on Monday I found a beautiful bouquet of a dozen peach colored roses waiting for me. When I pulled myself together, I called to thank her for the generous gift only to find that she was having a bad day herself. That, my friends, is the power of service.
After I cleaned myself up, another equally inspired lady invited me and the boys over to spend the afternoon with her and her family. She even offered to tuck me in for a nap! We laughed, I griped and later we all shared a pot of delicious barley soup. What a beautiful day. I don't know what I would do without the kindness, patience and understanding of my "girls." They really take care of me.
Our Relief Society president told me one evening that when we go visiting teaching we should always look at the sister and, in our heads, say, "This woman has problems." I never forgot that. No matter how a sister may seem when you look at her, every one has their own issues; their own "bag of rocks" you might say, that they are toting around with them. None of us are exempt. Ultimately it is how we find true happiness.
So, thank you to all of you who help me shoulder my bag of boulders. Please let me know if you need help carrying yours...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Two steps back...

OK. It is almost one a.m. I can't sleep because I just had a blow up with Damon's mom. I was so angry, I had to put my hands on my legs to hold them still because I was shaking so bad. I could sit here and tell you all of the awful things she said, and all the things I said back to her, which were all true and in strictly self-defense. However, all I can think of, is that I failed. I've been doing so great these last three months, and I blew it. I couldn't take one more accusation, one more negative comment and one more excuse for her own failures. So, I told her exactly what I thought and I upset myself and I know I upset my Heavenly Father.
Although I stand by what I said, I regret the way I said it. And you know what? I really thought I would feel better, but I don't. I feel like I left the high road for the brush in the ditch. I hate that ditch...
So, what do I do? She can't keep treating me the way that she does, and I am quickly running out of cheeks to turn.
It's been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day... Maybe I'll go to Australia...

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Much Needed Break

Our family has been very fortunate to make and keep great friendships. Those who we count among our closest always seem to know when we need a call, a girl's night away or simply a break from the day to day. Last month some of these rescuers invited us to their family cabin in Cascade. We needed a little family get away desperately and jumped on the opportunity. So, to these friends, a huge thank you. You don't know how much we needed this weekend!
Apparently Jonah was having way too much fun... Cole was just excited to play in the snow and watch Star Wars. Aah, the simple things in life...

With Cole, even the pouty face is a photo op.

Jonah is always mommy's little shutter bug. He knows just what to do when I pull out my camera. Lots of practice, huh Jonah?

Monday, January 19, 2009

All is calm, all is bright, Part Two...

When my brother and I were kids, we used to go sledding on the hill across the street from my Grandparent's house. It is actually a slope, not a hill, that comes down from the irrigation canal that runs through Southeast Boise. With the blessing of snow for the holiday, I wanted to relive the memory of sledding from 15 years ago and take my children to our special slope. As my brother David and I climbed to the top with Jonah and Cole I murmured to him, "Hmm, this hill seemed a whole lot bigger 15 years ago." However, that did not stop us in the least. Damon, David, the kids and I and even my Mom took turns "careening" down our slope. A perfect day for our special holiday break.

If you can believe it, Cole is actually asleep in this position. I was making dinner in the kitchen while the kids watched a show and noticed that he had been in this position for a very long time. I ran for my camera and captured this classic child moment.
Jonah's brain never ceases to amaze me. Here, he has used his Kinex and marshmallows to create an automatic marshmallow roaster. This was his own idea and his own design. Move over Steve Jobs!
Never before has evil been so cute. Here Cole wears another costume from Christmas. He wears this Darth Vader outfit around the house almost daily and walks through the halls humming the Dark Side theme song with his hands behind his back. I love the little piggy toes peeking out from under the suit.

Well, there you have it - a brief synopsis of our Christmas break. We pray that you and yours enjoyed the merriest of Christmases and hope that God blesses all of us in this new and exciting year. Have a beautiful day!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

All is calm, all is bright..., Part One

I love checking all of my friends wonderful blogs and finding that most of them are doing the same kinds of posts that I am - "Holiday Catch-Up." Over the last month we have had many fun and memorable events and, gratefully, I have had my camera for most of them. Don't leave home without it, I always say. Enjoy the pictures and notes. I hope that your holiday was as magical as ours. God bless you all!

One absolutely beautiful afternoon we decided to make cookies. The boys love getting little helping jobs from me and the had the most important job of all on this day - unwrap all of the chocolate kisses and smush them into the peanut butter cookies. They did a great job, even if there were more kisses in their tummies than on the cookies.
Sunday would not be Sunday without a nap. I just don't think this is what Damon had in mind. All three of them fell asleep on the couch in a wonderful pile of boys. Can you believe they stayed like this for over an hour?
For the first time in I don't know how long, we had a white Christmas. I felt like I received my Christmas gift early as we spent much of the month of December under a thick blanket of white. Once I got used to driving in the snow in the early hours to take Jonah to and from school, it became a wonderful treat.
Our big kindergartner, Jonah, was in his first school program for Christmas. He did an awesome job. The kids learned all kinds of new holiday songs, including a few Hanuka songs. I loved it when Jonah ran around the house singing about the "festival of lights" and the draedel.

I loved looking at our Christmas tree at night when it glowed so perfectly. I took this picture as Damon and I were going to bed on Christmas Eve. I made a promise to myself that this year I was not going to be running around frantically the night before Christmas, cooking, wrapping, etc. So, I didn't. We spent the day together with our family and stayed up watching movies and having snacks (wink to my cousins...). It was a perfect day, just the way I wanted it to be.
For Christmas, Santa filled a large Rubbermaid tub with costumes for Jonah and Cole. I just have to say, Santa is a genius for hitting the after Halloween sale at Target...
We've discovered that it is the quality, not the quantity that counts in our kids gifts. Once Santa finds and delivers that one hugely desired item, the rest of the gifts don't even matter. For Cole this year it was a Jabba the Hut toy. For Jonah, Japanese Pokemon toys. Believe me, Santa had to get very creative to find these.
Speaking of creative, I feel fully within my rights as a daughter-in-law to post this picture on my blog. Mostly because I know that Damon's mom, Cindy, never reads it. And who, you may ask, gave her this lovely little item? Well that would be Damon's dad, her ex-husband. Wink, Wink...

Well, stay tuned everyone. This is only the beginning of our holiday memories. However, my kids are reminding me that I have been on the computer for quite a while. Time to take a break. Tune in next time when our heroine will be posting more holiday fun in a single bound!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thanks for Giving...

We had an awesome Thanksgiving this year hosted by my very brave, very patient cousins, Billy and Rhonda. They recently bought a new home in Lehi, Utah which was remarkably big enough to house 25 people, if my count is right.
We all had so much fun together at Rebekah's wedding in July, we just had to get together again. Those of you who have followed my blog may remember the last time all of us got together. Does "Norovirus" ring a bell? It does with our family. Nearly everyone who attended the wedding lunch at PF Changs came down with this horribly violent "curse." Nearly everyone, that is except me. I'm not sure how that happened. I remember saying my prayers when everyone was getting sick and begging the Lord, "Please don't let me get sick. I have to much to do..." Have you mom's ever said prayers like that? I'm confident you have.
Well, this gathering was no exception. When our family arrived at Billy's on Wednesday night, we immediately got the kids ready for bed. I noticed the toilet in "our" bathroom was a little sluggish, but didn't think anything of it. The next morning, it was a bit worse and when I sought out a plunger, the "mess" seemed to increase in severity, if you know what I mean. I notified the homeowner, but we were all having so much fun, we just closed the door to the bathroom and told everyone not to use it until we could fix it. Later that evening, disaster struck...
One of the children in the course of the day had either forgotten, or did not get the memo, that the bathroom was off limits and had gone ahead and used it. No one knew until there was two inches of raw sewage in the bathroom. Not only that, it was pouring down through the vent into the unfinished basement. I was so proud of all of the cousins that rolled up pant legs and waded through the mess to help clean up. More over, I was in awe at Billy and Rhonda who shrugged their shoulders and said, "Don't worry. These things happen." They even kept a smile on their faces when we woke up in the morning to see that the beautiful walnut floor outside of the bathroom had buckled. They set a new standard of patience for me.
We went on to have great fun shopping at IKEA and Tai-Pan (whoo-hoo for me!) and spent the evening at Temple Square taking in the gorgeous lights. My brother's new apartment is right behind the temple. You literally walk out his front door and the temple is right in front of you. What a blessing for him. My parents we able to join us for the weekend as well. My mom had the blessing of taking a whole 4 days all for herself and didn't have to take care of anybody but her.
So, here is to another adventure-filled holiday with the cousins. I can't wait to see what happens next time!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

When ye are in the service of your fellow beings...

As I get older, I love attending church on Sunday more and more. This may be because my children are getting older as well and I can actually sit through sacrament meeting with fairly little interruption. This week I had the opportunity to discuss some upcoming service that I was participating in. I was surprised at the reaction. I was told that I was actually enabling the person that I was serving. That by doing the service I was not encouraging the person to help themselves. It actually made a little bit of sense and even though I was determined to follow through on my promise, I started to feel a little bit bitter. This was going to take time away from my family and from all of the things I needed to get done for the holidays...

As I sat in sacrament meeting this morning, a sister spoke about compassion and I suddenly was brought back to the Spirit. I was gently, but strongly, reminded that the services I was needed for were not for those I was serving. Those acts of service were to benefit me and my family. I needed to be of service so that I would be humbled, so that I would be grateful for my blessings. The help that I was providing was meant to be a lesson for me and those around me.

"Oh, I get it!!" I said in my head. I was cheered to be reassured, but disappointed in myself for not thinking of it sooner. Disappointed for letting someone else try to discourage me from doing the Lord's work. I also wish I would have thought of it while the original disparaging conversation was taking place. I'm sure it will come up again. That is the beauty of Relief Society, right?

So, in this season of giving, I share with you this lesson that I learned this week. I hope it helps you in your efforts this season and in those to come.