Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Easter 2012...Finally!

I have been a little slow about blogging of late...springtime seems like such a rush!  We have been doing spring football games, Abby's volleyball games, Emie's track meets (crazy girl is doing pole vault), Emie's volleyball games, Orchestra concerts, piano recitals, pinewood derby, plus, trying to make sure the children don't flunk out of school in the last few weeks!  I love watching my kids try new things.  It gives me such a thrill to see them discover their talents and abilities.  I also get frustrated when I can't figure out how to get through to them the fact that they ARE amazing and talented!  Why is it that when we are teenagers, and we ARE amazing and talented, that is precisely the time when we don't realize it?  Now my body is old, and tired.  I wish my kids knew how much they are going to miss their youth!  I'll keep trying to convince them... 

We had a fabulous, fun-filled Easter!  We went to my sister Kimbie's house in Payson, and the children LOVE it there in the mountains.  They don't come in until dark, and even then the older ones sneak out to play a game of hide and seek in the woods when the little ones go to bed.  I can't even believe they like doing that--it creeps me out!  I think of Watcher in the Woods every time they are out there!  Ugh.  Anyway, we really enjoyed being around cousins, and coloring eggs, and having the easter egg hunt in the woods.  It was really amazing how many easter eggs the Easter Bunny brought.  Man, our kids are spoiled.  Their buckets were filled to overflowing, and so was my heart watching them have so much fun!  I just love holidays! The best part was going to sacrament meeting and watching our nephew Cole become the first boy on our side of the family receive the Priesthood.  What an amazing gift to receive on Easter Sunday!  I grew teary when I thought of my boys, and what a gift they will be given in a few years.  Only a little time to prepare them, and they will be ready to receive the Priesthood, and go on missions.  It's overwhelming to think about sometimes, how soon they are gone from you and on their own.  I hope I have prepared them well when the time comes! Here are some pictures of our amazing time!

 Gotta love these TEENAGERS!

Caleb and Jack hanging on the porch with Grandpa.  Both of them were hurt, and Grandpa was taking care of them.  They wanted me to take pictures of their owies!  Caleb hurt his leg climbing a tree, and Jack hurt his foot walking around the forest barefoot despite nearly a million warnings by yours truly to put his dang shoes on!  Grandpa took good care of them--they look dirty, but HAPPY! 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Early Church...Ugh.

I am up WAY too late doing laundry and cleaning since I will be out of town most of next week.  Tomorrow, Todd and I are taking a body up to Las Vegas for a funeral, (one of the few perks of being a funeral director--sometimes your wife gets a fun trip out of it while you are working)--and then I am leaving on Wednesday for Women's Conference with my sisters and mom in Utah!  I was folding one last load of laundry before I go to bed, and thinking about how I have to drag my butt out of bed in 3 hours to get ready for church.  Oh, early church--how I hate early church.  The only thing that gets me out of bed is the thought that in 3 hours, I will be able to crawl back between those wonderful sheets and sleep the afternoon away.  Sometimes a meeting or something screws that up--and those Sundays are the WORST.  Pretty much never-ending.  Anyway, I wrote a post about early church a few years ago, and I thought it was funny to go back and read, since I feel pretty much exactly the same way now--except for now we have the 8:00 schedule, and seriously--8:30 sounds like a DREAM!  What can I say?  I am not a morning person!  I am not even NICE before 10 a.m. (ask my husband and children)!  Plus, it's impossible to look nice at 8:00 a.m., and have the children looking presentable.  I look like I rolled out of bed and got in the car to go to church (which is altogether pretty accurate much of the time, I'm sorry to say)! So here it is, a little blast from the past,and here's to looking ahead to December when I will get that 11:00 schedule back that I LOVE! 8 more months, baby, 8 more months...:
Sunday Aug. 3, 2008
Okay, so the only thing I am looking forward to more than the first day of school is our new 11:00 church schedule time that is coming in a few weeks!! FINALLY! I have endured the 8:30 schedule long enough! Seriously--I am terrible at getting to church early. I know people will say that if you prepare, and have clothes out on Saturday, and wake up a little earlier, and pray really hard, it shouldn't be that hard to get to church on time. Or I love this one: "If you love the Lord enough, you will be able to get here on time." That makes me feel like a million bucks as I walk through the door late and sit in the back of the church. Seriously, it seems like it doesn't matter what I do, I am rushing to church, and walking in during the opening song, 5 little ones trailing behind, disrupting the meeting. I swear the stoplight between me and the church building is controlled by Satan himself, as it seems like we sit there for like 5 minutes every week! Ask my kids, there is no way to get around it--I've tried! My mom would say, "well why don't you leave 5 minutes earlier?". There is always something that keeps us from leaving on time--(again, maybe it's the devil....) Jack will throw up his breakfast, or Ashlie will have the inevitable meltdown while I'm trying to do her hair, or I'll get into the car and drive away only to feel my armpits start to perspire and realize I've forgotten deodorant, and I have to either go back and put it on, or worry about body odor all through church. So I am excited for the 2 extra hours that I will have on Sunday morning to get to church. I can't guarantee that we'll be any earlier--there will probably be the same problems I've mentioned above, plus there will be 3 or 4 stoplights between me and the new church building which will create new problems, but for this mom, 11:00 church will be a breath of fresh air! If nothing else, I might still be late--but I'll be in a better mood, that has to count for something!

Friday, April 20, 2012

My DIRTY Little Secret...

I was sitting on the couch this morning folding laundry (*surprise!), when I heard a knock at the door.  I always panic when someone stops by unexpectedly. Aaaah!  I took a look around, moved some obvious clutter out of view of the doorway, and opened it to my sweet neighbor.  I was careful to not let her all the way in, lest she find out my DIRTY little secret...I am NOT a domestic Goddess. (If you know me well, this is not a shocker!)  The fact is, I'd rather be doing just about anything than doing housework!  We had a nice conversation there at the door, but when she left, I found myself feeling guilty, once again, for being impolite and not inviting her in.  But alas, most of the week, (who am I kidding, most of EVERY week), this house has looked like a bomb went off in it!  Since we moved from the big house into this one, and went back to a single story house (hate it), the clutter is even worse!  I have found myself up to my ears in housework and clutter, with no end in sight. Add to that the fact that my kids rooms are all in sight now, and I walk by them on a regular basis, and have to close the door to the horror within. Am I the only woman who dreads getting out of bed to face the mess that inevidably awaits me each morning, only to go to bed (too late) each night with the same problem? It gives me anxiety just thinking about it!
Lest you think that I am a hoarder, let's get a few things straight.  I am NOT a hoarder. My kids? Well, that's another story, but we'll get to that later. My house is constantly cluttered, but it is not filthy.   I like to have things clean, which is why it bothers me so much.  We are not living in a germ infested house here.  My problem is, this house is a working house--meaning people are always here, and always messing things up. It's a viscious cycle--I clean, they mess it up.  Sometimes I envy working moms just because they don't have kids at home all day to destroy another room, even as you're cleaning one. If everyone were gone for the day--the house would stay clean for more than like 7 minutes, right?  For instance, yesterday I spent 3 hours cleaning, dusting, and mopping my bedroom, bathroom, and closet.  It seems like my room is the last one on the list most of the time--so it really needed it.  But while I was cleaning my room, Jack was out in the family room, eating chips, and cereal on the couch, and building towers with the canned goods from the pantry.  Another mess to clean up!  It never ends. 
A few weeks ago, I was lamenting this fact to my kids, basically BEGGING them to help me out around here.  After all, this is a one woman show, especially with Todd gone more than ever now. I was so overwhelmed trying to just get the house semi-clean, and just for a weekend, so we could leave town.  I get so tired of nagging my kids to help--I feel like it's all I ever do!  I'm sure they feel it too.  My sweet Erin came up with these words of wisdom, which she had learned in church the week before, and said "Listen, mom, this is what the Prophet says about housework":

"If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will—to your surprise—miss them profoundly." President Thomas S. Monson

I'm not sure she was ready for my response, when I said, "It's not true.  None of it."  She says, "Are you calling the PROPHET a liar?"  And I said, "No, I'm just saying that the prophet is a man. I'm saying that I think Mrs. Monson, bless her heart, might not miss those piles of laundry, the toys, the smudges and fingerprints quite as much as President Monson, because knowing how busy he was as a church leader all his life--it was HER that had to deal with them!"  I'm also saying that once you're old, and you're looking back on your life, it's easy to say, "Oh, I miss that."  When really, if you really thought it through--you wouldn't go back to those days in a million years!  I'm determined that when my kids get as old as me, and they're complaining about how HARD being a mom is, and how HARD it is to stay on top of the housework, the laundry, and still find a moment in the day to do something you WANT to do, instead of things you HAVE to do--I will NOT tell them that they should just enjoy it.  I am convinced that there are experiences I have had as a mother that I will not miss one bit, and one of those will be when I am finally able to open the door to my neighbor, invite her in, and sit on the couch and visit--without worrying about the cheetos she just sat on, and whether they will stain her pants.  (True story--that was a sweet visiting teacher).  I will miss the kids--I will profoundly and sincerely miss my kids, and the cute things they did as babies and small children--and the fun times we had, but I will NOT miss the MESS! I will not miss it one bit! There, my DIRTY little secret is out now--I feel much better!  That being said--I've gotta go clean my house.  It's a pig pen in here!  Ugh...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hard Things...

Easter weekend was spent traveling to the cabin for a youth overnight for our stake girls camp, and to my sister's house in Payson, (pictures coming...) so I spent the time in the car reading this: (on my Kindle Fire--which I absolutely LOVE--and can never live without again)!
"Heaven is Here",  by one of my favorite bloggers, (her blog is HERE) and one of my heroes, Stephanie Nielson.  And can I just tell you how much I LOVED it!  She is a wife and mother of 4 young children, who started blogging when it was a fairly new thing to do.  She had many readers, and fans, when she and her husband were involved in a fiery plane crash that burned her over 80% of her body, and almost killed her. This book is amazing simply because Stephanie is amazing.  Through the toughest of circumstances, pain, and near death, she held on, and held out hope that she could rebuild her life, and raise her children. She also relied on her faith in Jesus Christ, and the healing power of the Atonement in her life to make her whole again.  What an amazing example of faith! She is a beautiful person, inside and out. 

Since we have gone through a lot the last two years during this lawsuit, and almost bankruptcy because of it, I have enjoyed reading books about people who have faced tough circumstances, and held on to their hope, and their faith in God through them. I have read several books about the Holocaust, and books about pioneers with their amazing devotion and faith. Reading these inspirational stories and books has buoyed me through so much of what we have been through.  It has taught me that I too, can do hard things, hold on to my faith, and persevere.  Speaking of  hard things...we drove to the attorneys office to start depositions in our case this morning, and as we were stuck in traffic, I was looking at my Latter-Day Words of Wisdom app on my phone.  It's awesome--a treasury of quotes from LDS leaders over the years that you can look through and share via text or email.  This is the quote I read:

“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.”  Orson F. Whitney

I would have rather been just about anywhere today, than in a lawyers office listening to a deposition. In fact, sometimes, I look at what happened to us, and it seems surreal, just like a bad dream.  But if I believe in a loving Heavenly Father, and I do, with all my heart;  then I believe that all that we have been through, each and every experience, will be for my good, and for my benefit.  And although I don't see it now, someday I will look back through my life and see that these trials strengthened and refined my faith like nothing else could have. the Lord is the only one who sees the whole picture, and I need to put my trust in Him!  As for the forgiveness that I blogged about a few weeks ago, HERE, well, let's just say I am still working on it.  As I listened to that deposition, of this man, who's actions have caused so much pain for my family, all of those feelings of anger and frustration came bubbling back up inside of me.  I felt it an accomplishment that I was able to smile at him, and keep my feelings to myself for the most part.  A year ago, I may have come unhinged just to be in the same room with him--that's some progress right? As for Todd, can I tell you what an amazing man I married?  He is such a great example to me of forgiveness and grace.  He shook the man's hand, and even congratulated him on his recent re-marriage.  I didn't have it in me to do that, so kudos to him for being the bigger person.  I just hope I am getting better day by day, and with God's help, I know that I can.   

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Getting OLD stinks...

I know I've been getting old for a long time now, after all, when I was in my teens, I thought people who just had kids were OLD.  When I was in my twenties, I thought people who had teenagers were OLD.  Now that I'm in my thirties, staring 40 in the face, I am starting to really feel OLD.  I especially feel it when I'm working out.  While I used to have a ton of energy, now I just feel tired, and sore all the time.  My muscles and joints ache with pain before, during, and after a workout.  Last night in bootcamp we did bleachers, and my knees felt like they were going to pop right out of their sockets at any moment and buckle under my (still excessive, but trying) weight!  Oy. I raced Abby across the football field yesterday, and she blew me away!  Can you believe in high school, I ran a 400m dash in less than a minute?  Now, that same race is a struggle to complete in under 3 (and I feel like dying afterward)!  I've even pulled out a few gray hairs--(those are coarse, nasty little buggers). Sometimes when I look into the mirror in the morning, I see a tired, OLD woman looking back at me, with rings under my eyes, crows feet, and wrinkles where there used to be radiant skin.  Last week, while I was shopping, I found this for $5 on a clearance shelf:

Doesn't she look beautiful?

So, I bought it!  I went home and dyed my hair the beautiful shade of brown in the picture, and dreamed of looking like the lady on the box.  The only problem?  My hair is not luxiouriously beautiful and exotic like hers...and, umm... neither is my face.  I was a little disappointed when no one even noticed that day that I dyed my hair!  I guess it takes more than a box of $5 hair color to turn back the clock!  For all the women out there like me, who are looking for a quick fix, this isn't it! Maybe my next stop needs to be botox, so I can replace the wrinkles with one of those painted on happy looks!  Either that, or I just need to accept that I'm going to get old, and resign myself to the fact that I am going to look older as well. Dang.  I guess it's not all bad--at least I'm not in my 50's yet--now THOSE people are OLD! 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Crazy Boy!...

You never know what you're gonna find when you get out of the shower.  It has been years since I could really enjoy a shower and take my time in there.  When you have babies and small toddlers, you are always afraid of what you're gonna find when you get out.  Usually, you're just grateful that your kids are still in the building, and haven't left to walk around the neighborhood, or wander the street in their diaper.  (Been There...Done That!)  The other day, this is what Jack was up to while I was in the shower...

Nice, right? When I got done laughing (at his buck nakedness??), he did manage to explain himself.  He had broken my spatula by throwing it against the window (playing Naked Ninja or something??)  He was trying to glue it back together...apparrently using the ENTIRE bottle of glue. I do give the kid some credit--he was trying to fix what he broke--and, he had a rag all wet with glue, so he was also trying to clean it up!  I'm just glad I didn't have to wash too much glue off of him--he only had a little in his hair.  The great thing about getting older (and a little wiser), is that things like this don't bother me as much as they used to.  You learn that "this too shall pass", and sooner than I think it will!  Geez, I wish I could have had all my kids later in life...I would have been such a nice mom! HA!  How could I be mad at this cute boy? I love him so much!
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