Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Giving Offense

After my last post, I thought I'd better write about something a little more light-hearted to redeem myself, but I ran across a great quote I wanted to share.  It's fitting for more reasons than the obvious, but before I do so, I just want to clarify for any who  might be concerned (in regard to previous post), my comments were not to say that I am "mad" at anyone at all.  I'm just a bit disappointed, and it has nothing to do with any one person in particular.  It's just the decision I'm unhappy about.  I still love the people who have chosen this; I guess I've gotten so I feel like I'm the only one out here taking this stand.  I wish I didn't feel so alone in this, and it's baffling to me that I feel this way.

So, here's the quote:

"What is our response when we are offended, misunderstood, unfairly or unkindly treated, or sinned against, made an offender for a word, falsely accused, passed over, hurt by those we love, our offerings rejected? Do we resent, become bitter, hold a grudge? Or do we resolve the problem if we can, forgive, and rid ourselves of the burden? The nature of our response to such situations may well determine the nature and quality of our lives, here and eternally. A courageous friend, her faith refined by many afflictions, said to me only hours ago, "Humiliation must come before exaltation." It is required of us to forgive. Our salvation depends upon it."
--Marion D. Hanks, "Forgiveness The Ultimate Form of Love", Ensign Jan. 1974, 20

Let me take a moment and explain why this quote hit me as wonderful today.  Again, it has nothing to do with the previous post.

It has been interesting at church lately.  There is one woman there who is very unhappy with me.  I won't go into to much detail, but I offended her.  Not intentionally, I can assure you, but nevertheless, I ticked her off.  Funny thing is that the same day this happened, I had to deal with another woman in the very same way with the very same problem.  I wish I could go into more detail, so you'd understand, but the second woman was so good about it, so easy-going, that it was a breath of fresh air.

It almost seems like the first woman was looking for something to be unhappy about.  The second woman kept things in perspective.  I don't want to make judgments about their situations or why they might have reacted the way they did because I don't think those things have really any validity.  I believe that, no matter what your situation, giving someone the benefit of the doubt is always in season.

So, that is why I love this quote by Marion D. Hanks.  Sometimes it seems that we allow our emotions to rule us.  We let them decide how we feel about life.  In reality, it is part of our choice in this life; we get the opportunity to control our own reactions.

Here's the point I'm at now.  In the past, I would just let the woman stay offended, and let it go.  I think all I can do for her now is continue to be kind to her even if it's just to say hello to her in the halls and give her a big ol' smile.  To be honest, it does bother me that she's mad.  It was really a very minor thing.  I don't think anyone likes knowing that someone's mad at them, but I feel good that I really did nothing wrong.  Things could be so different if she just chosen otherwise.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Is Integrity Dead?

I know I'm going to offend all over the place by blogging about this, but it's really bugging me, so I just have to say it....

My twelve-year-old has been DYING to have a facebook account.  At first, I was more than hesitant just because of the whole social nature of it, but as she has grown a bit more in maturity, I have considered it.  Most of her cousins, aunts, uncles and even grandparents have accounts now, so I even thought it would be good for her.

So, I tried to sign her up.  On the registration page at the time, it said how facebook is for "everybody" and "anyone" can have an account with them.  We put in all of her information and were denied.  This cracked me up!  Facebook is for "everybody"...but you DJ!

It seems that she's not of the required age yet.  I, to be honest, am happy to not have to be the bad guy in this one.

From what I've heard, a person must be thirteen to have an account.  That will happen in September for her.  In the meantime, the question has come up as I knew it would, "Then why do all of my friends who are younger than me have facebook accounts?"

This sparked a great conversation in regard to integrity.  How do I tell my daughter that all of her friends and cousins are liars?  Okay, so this might be going to an extreme, but honestly, isn't that what it is?  Dishonesty?  In order to get past the registration page, one would have to lie about his/her age in order to get an account.  Most of those that I've questioned about this have admitted it.

I get the feeling that the rest of the world really doesn't give much of a rip about honesty any  more.  I mean, the leaders of countries and churches lie frequently, so why should Mr. or Ms. U.S. Citizen care either? 

What are parents teaching their children when they allow them to lie in order to have something as minor as a facebook page?  Is this just setting them up for future problems?  "But Maaahhhm, you let me do that before, why can't I do it now?"  When it's something big? 

I'm convinced that the reason the Hess family had to defend ourselves so strongly with the State of Oregon Department of Taxation in regard to the number of children we have is because someone along the line decided that integrity didn't matter.  This now affects us who are trying to be good people.

So, there you have it, me, on my soapbox.  I know there are so many ways one can be dishonest.  It's become a really gray area.  A friend and I were talking about downloading music for free, etc.  When everyone else does it, it becomes accepted and a way of life.  I really want to teach my children to walk uprightly.  To be above reproach.  Is it possible in this world we live in?

I tell you, I'm sure going to do my darnedest.  I hope that my children will be people that will always be able to be trusted, and I know that needs to start here and now--at home.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

One of My Favorite Blogs

There are quite a few blogs that I have come to love.  Here is one that I adore.  Jen is so practical and fun and down to earth.  I appreciate the things she shares and feel like if I really knew her, we'd be great friends.  Just thought I'd share, so you could enjoy her too.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Loved it!

I found favorite book from this children's literature class that I'm taking.  It was a huge surprise! 

I had to read ten children's informational (a.k.a. non-fiction) books.  I looked up some online and then went to Powell's this morning to hunt them down. 

I only found two--Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride, which was a really good book.  The illustrations were great, and it was done in a very cute format.  The other was this one...

I LOVED this book!  It is by far my favorite of this class.  The author was born in communist Czechoslavakia.  In this book, he outlines the history and rules he lived under as he grew up.  His drawings are wonderful and tell much of the story themselves.  It made me grateful to have the freedoms I enjoy everyday.  If you get a chance, check it out.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Mother Guilt

Here we are, the last day of our time at the beach, and what am I feeling?  Guilt.  Ugh!

Woke up to feed L a few minutes ago and could not fall back to sleep.  I feel like I've wasted my time here.  These are days that will never be again.  What have I done with them?

I have been more than focused on two things--L and T.  My other children have just been allowed to do whatever they've wanted.  Maybe I shouldn't be feeling bad about this.  Maybe they should have times when they can just go and do and be completely free, but I've seen very little of A and B especially. 

A, the first day here, hopped on one of the bikes we brought and just rode around.  He had never ridden a two-wheeler before.  He just did it--no one pushing from behind, no one running alongside to make sure he didn't fall.  He just did it, so he enjoyed quite a bit of time outside riding bikes with the other kids.

Yesterday it rained, so the kids were pretty much cooped up inside.

The house we're staying in is HUGE!  There are three different levels and a big flight of stairs.  Most of the time, I stayed at the top.  L would sleep, so I'd have to stay near because I hadn't brought a baby monitor. 

T is in the midst of potty training.  I haven't had to work this hard to potty train a kid in years.  It has been a huge focus of this vacation.  Not fun, but we've been pretty successful, I'm happy to say.

Even with the kids being super tired--we've been going to bed much too late--and beind stuck in the house with the pouring down rain yesterday, they've gotten along very well.  For that, I'm grateful.  I think they've had a very good time.

As for me, I just wish I would have put my focus on each of my children each day of this break.  I wish I would have played games with them and read to them and done all the things we've done on past vacations and that we do at home on school days.

So, there you have my heart.  That's what's lying in it this morning.  It feels heavy. 

The only way I know to make this better is to do better today.  On the way home, I will take a turn sitting by each and just talking with him/her.  As of this afternoon, when we get home, I will play games and not squander the rest of the vacation.

How sad I didn't stop and pay attention to my heart until this morning.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Blubbering Fool!

Z woke from his mid-afternoon nap and came downstairs.  He glanced in on the three of us, DJ, B and me, sitting in the front room, and started cracking up.  We were all sitting there bawling--eyes puffy, noses running....  You get the idea; not a pretty sight.

B and I have been reading Where the Red Fern Grows for the past week.  Today we had four chapters left, so we were determined to finish it.  As we got to chapter nineteen, I warned the kids that the last couple chapters could be sad, so they should brace themselves--I got this idea from reading the back cover.  Why, after warning them, did I not brace myself?  UGH!

This is the second book I've read out loud to my kids that deals with dogs that I've cried like a baby at the end.  The first was a number of years ago.  It was called The Beloved Dearly by Doug Cooney.  It was supposed to be a comedy.  The ending was not funny to me.  **Sigh**

Besides that fact that I was an emotional wreck about this book, I highly recommend it.  Give it a glance, it's a great one!

I also finished The Devil's Arithmetic today.  Ugh!  Painful, but then again, aren't all World War II books?

Tomorrow I start Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.  My goal is to have it done by Wednesday.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Couple of Updates

We got our tax return from the state of Oregon this past week.  There was no creative note to accompany it; no invitation for our children to come visit their office; just a quiet automatic deposit to our account.  But, we're happy to have the money where it belongs and promise to take good care of it.  We're all geared up for next year, when, there is little doubt in my mind, they will ask for proof again.

T's neck is getting better.  It is very clear what happened when you see him.  There is little else that could leave a mark like that.  I honestly can't think of what would.  He hates it when I touch it to medicate it, but I'm fearful that he will have some kind of mark there for the rest of his life.

Z and I got away last night.  It was pretty danged heavenly.  He didn't have a clue what was going on.  I got up packed and the bag in the car before he got home. 

I guess I'm a better liar than I thought.  That's not good.  I told him a friend from out of town was in town and staying at that hotel and wanted to see us.  He went along to make me happy.  I went into the lobby first to "see if she will come down to meet us," and started the check-in process.  They wanted a credit card.  I never carry one, but I was pretty sure Z did, so darn it, I had to tell him what was up. 

He was still surprised, and we had a great time.  I'm surprised at how apparent it was that we needed the time away together.  We were just so happy to be there.

This get-away was very last minute.  I actually went on and bid on a hotel room only a couple nights ago.  It was only because they accepted my dirt cheap offer that we ended up going at all.  Well, that and the fact that our kids were willing to take care of each other.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Eighteen Years

Sunday is our 18th anniversary.  I'm stealing Z for an overnighter tonight.  He hasn't a clue.  I'm so excited!  Just him and me.  It's been much too long.  We used to do this every six months, but have fallen away from that, so I think it's been about a year.  CAN'T WAIT!!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - My Mom in 1933--the year her mother passed away

If I Could Have Her Back for Just a Few Minutes

These past eleven years have flown by in so many ways.  The one thing that hasn't changed is the fact that for each of those days I have missed my mom in one way or another.  So, on this, the eleventh anniversary of her death, I got to thinking about what I would do if I could have her here for just a few minutes.  Here's what I would do...

  • I would sit and eat eclairs with her--our special thing to do when we were alone together.
  • I would ask her how she, with no prior experience being raised an only child, was able to raise six of her own and do such a great job.
  • I would just listen to her sweet voice and look into her sparkly eyes and try to memorize her laugh and her smile.
  • I would re-introduce my children to her; although, I'm sure she already knows them.  I only had three when she passed away.
  • I would just stand and hug her and see if that might keep her here longer.
There have been numerous times since she's been gone when I've felt her close.  As time wears on, these times seem to be farther and farther apart, or maybe I'm just drifting into an overly busy life and moving farther from trying to remember her. 

I have little doubt that she's here, somewhere close, watching after us.  There are definitely times when I've cried knowing how much easier things would be if I could just call her and hear her ever-encouraging words and learn from her advice.  She was the person who loved me more than anyone else on this earth, no doubt, and oh, how I miss her!

Suicide Attempt (or Why I Don't Answer the Phone During the Day) (or just another reminder that I'm living in the Madhouse)

My mother-by-marriage called me this morning.  I love talking to her.  She just always has such good things to talk about--things that make me think.

While we were talking, T was on his own.  I know...scary words.

During this past week and a half or so, T has seemed really grown up to me.  I figured out yesterday that the reason that occurred to me was that he no longer throws a fit when I say no to something.  He's learned to accept my word and not argue about it.  Such a nice little milestone to cross over.

As I continued to talk on the phone, I saw T climb on top of the big chair in our front room.  I was sitting right across from him on the couch.  What I didn't see was that he had taken the cord from the venetian can already see this going in a bad direction, can't you?  He had wrapped it around his neck.  All I saw was that when he landed he had panic in his eyes and started crying.  UGH!!!  My heart started pumping FAST!

I jumped up, threw the phone and got it unwrapped as fast as I could.  He was fine, but he now has a red mark all around his neck.

I put ice on his neck as soon as I could.  It just made it redder.  After he calmed down, I told him to go look in the mirror and explained to him that that's how people die.  He went upstairs and came back wiping his neck saying he wanted it gone.  I'm afraid it's going to be there awhile.  So relieved it wasn't worse.  What a nightmare!

...and my mother-by-marriage wonders why she always gets my answering machine....

I don't think she'll wonder any more.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Nice to Feel Wanted

A woman I know called me a couple weeks ago and invited me to have lunch at her home.  Today was the day.  I can't go into too many details about why I'm not closer to this woman, but I love her to pieces.  She is one of those amazing people that just makes you feel like you're better for just having been around her.  I think this is a rare gift, but she possesses it in spades.  I think if more people knew this about her, they'd be knocking down her door just to get to be in her presence.  I felt blessed just to sit in her house and chat with her. 

For the most part, I feel overwhelmed (although I think I'm finally striking a balance) with house, kids, husband, school, church, etc.  At this point in life, I rarely step outside of my stifling comfort zone (if you can call that "comfort"). 

I love that she felt to reach out to me.  I love that she said, "Oh, please bring T and L."  I love that she knew that I needed someone to want to be with me--someone that I don't spend everyday with.  I love that when I went to her house, she wanted to know about each of my children individually; that she wanted to know about Z and his job and all the little intricacies about my daily life; that she remembered the things that are important to me and made it a point to ask about them.

I don't know what made her ask me over, but I'm glad she did.  She is a woman with many friends.  She could have asked any one of them over, but I appreciate that she reached out.  How did she know that I needed her?

When I left her home, I wanted to be like her.  I wanted to have the courage to invite someone else into my house to spend time together.

One of the things I loved the most was that when I walked into her house, she mentioned that I should forgive the floors that hadn't been swept and the sink full of dirty dishes.  I was impressed that she was comfortable enough with me that she knew she didn't have to be perfect for me; that she could share the real her and her real house. 

I can do that I did.  I have a friend coming for lunch tomorrow.  I can't wait to spend time with her.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Someday *sigh*

Monday, March 8, 2010

Carly, Sorry, but You've Got to Go!

I sincerely LOVE my playlist.  It makes me so happy.  Sometime I'm going to go through my playlist and tell why each song is on there.

As for today, I just need to let one go.  I love the message behind Carly Simon's Love of My Life.  To be honest, I hadn't heard it for years, sixteen years to be exact, before the day I put it on my playlist.

When Z and I got in the car way back on November 12, 1993, and put our little girl in her brand-spankin' new car seat, Z turned on the radio.  I sat in the back with our new acquisition, our miracle--I really hated to take my eyes off of her--this song came on the radio.  It seemed to sing us all the way home.  It was the perfect message.  It became Q's song, but....

Who told Carly Simon she could sing?  It comes on now, and I cringe.  Ugh!  Not good.

So, I'm parting with Carly.  I think someone else should record it someday soon.  Who knows, maybe Q will.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

One Upmanship

Okay, so why can't I ever just be sick...ALONE?!

I feel like basic crud.  I'm laying here in bed, and the big man comes up, pulls on his jammie bottoms and climbs into bed next to me saying that his head hurts and he feels awful.  NOOOOOO!!!!

Doesn't he know he's supposed to be taking care of ME?!

It's the Mind that Matters

Last night, or was it this morning?  I guess it was morning--around 3:15am, as I sat in the E.N.T. room in the E.R., it became apparent that they were going to stick the scope up my nose and down my throat, we had a little chat about "mind over matter." 

I revealed to Z that when I was in labor with child #3, and I sat in the rocking chair watching the monitor, I learned some truths to life.  I learned that as those numbers rose, showing the rise of the contractions, if I did what came naturally and tensed up and let the numbers rule my behaviors, the contractions became extremely painful; on the other hand, if I, as I saw the numbers rise, used them as a gauge of how much I should be relaxing, the contractions became that much more bearable. 

When I used to run, I learned a little trick from a friend.  She said that when you're going up a hill, you should pretend it's a downgrade and make your eyes perceive it as such.  When you're running it, if you can change the way you view it, it becomes that much easier to climb.  In thinking you're going down, you're really going up.  It was amazing.  It worked like a charm.

I learned that so much of life is in the perception of it and how we respond to that perception.

As the doctor came back in this morning, I revealed to her that I was going to close my eyes during the whole procedure and "go to my happy place."  She said, "You'll do great.  I can just tell."  How did she know?  How could she tell? 

When she left again, Z asked what my happy place was.  I told him I was either laying on a nice, warm beach or in my field of daisies.  Last night was a daisy night.  Anyway, it was funny to vocalize my happy place.  So, what is your happy place?

When all was said and done, after the scope procedure was done, the doctor said, "See, I knew you'd do just great."  She asked me if we had children.  I told her our oldest was 16, and our youngest was 8 months.  "Oh, wow," she said, "That's quite the spread.  Very unusual."  I said, "Oh, we have a whole bunch in between."  I then shared that we had seven.  "Thus the 'mind over matter,'" I added.

In raising this family, I'm learning that I can't possibly get worked up over everything that occurs.  Sometimes you have to picture things differently just to get through them calmly.  I have to choose what's worth the battle and what should be ignored and let go.  Not always easy.  So much of life is how we look at it.  When things get tough, can we take the challenge and do what doesn't come naturally?  Can we remind ourselves to breathe and relax and cope in a much more calm state of mind?

Amongst all this, one thing I've decided is true... 

I need to spend much more time in my happy place.

One Expensive Throat Swab

At 4:00 this morning, Z was looking at my "beautiful" vocal cords.  Really!

Let me explain a bit....

I came home after a bunch of running around yesterday and was TOTALLY wiped out.  I needed to study, but I knew I wouldn't be able to focus and really learn, so I gave in and slept.  Really unusual for me.

I've had a bit of a nagging sore throat for about the last three days---nothing I couldn't handle.  Or so I thought.  I just kind of took it easy all afternoon and through the evening not because of the throat, but I just felt crummy.

At 2am, I woke with the strangest sensation.  I felt like my throat was closing in on me.  What usually feels rigid, felt soft.  I felt like I had to keep swallowing to keep my throat open.  It was scary.  I woke Z and asked him to take me to the hospital.  He asked me if he needed to call 9-1-1.  I had two visions--the sirens coming, blaring, waking our entire family, not to mention all the neighbors; and the bill that would arrive later.  No, we just had to get going.

There weren't a lot of cars in the E.R. parking lot, so I thought we were in good shape. We went in, they did the little prelim stuff and told us to wait.  We waited and waited and waited some more.  I kept swallowing.  Sometimes the opening felt a little larger and then it would go back to shrinking.  By the time I got in to an actual room, I was able to swallow without difficulty.  I started to wonder why we'd come but then the thought of going home, climbing back into bed and having it happen all over again and realized that I didn't want to come back again.

They took me to the ENT room.  It was just a small room with a large blue chair in it.  Kind of like a chair you'd find in a dentist's office.

Again we waited.

They ended up swabbing my throat for strep and sending that off to the lab.  Shortly thereafter, they numbed my nose and throat with some nasal spray.  The stuff was NASTY!  After having just finished feeling like my throat was closing, it was quite disconcerting to have it go numb.  Suddenly I had no control again.

I closed my eyes and went to my happy place, which happens to be a beautiful field of daisies by a babbling brook.  The doctor then stuck a very long scope up my nose and down into my throat.

Thus, the viewing of my vocal cords.  The doctor said it was beautiful down there.  That's nice to know.

The strep test came back positive.  This, I guess, is unusual for adults.  When I was a child, I had strep really bad.  I was about ten years old and just remember getting sicker and sicker until my mom took me to the doctor.  By the time I was seen, I had a throat infection, tonsillitis and scarlet fever.  I would get strep at the drop of a hat.  Thus, the diagnosis was no surprise.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Drove the sprinters from the high school around to deliver fliers to people's houses at 7:30 this morning.  I took Q, L and T with me and took seven other kids to a neighborhood adjacent to the school.

After that, we dropped the kids back at the school, and me and mine headed to the far reaches of the school district for G's tournament game.  We got there shortly after the game began.  According to G, they played against an undeafted team.  Well...they are now defeated.  G's team plays again Wednesday night.

There is a dance tonight for Q and G.  It's a "traffic light" dance.  You come wearing red, green or yellow--red means you're taken, yellow means you're hard to get and green means you're available.  G said he needed a green shirt, Q said she needed yellow, so we went by Old Navy on the way home from the game and got them their shirts.

My throat's been hurting mildly for the past three days.  Today it was worse, and I was just DRAGGING when I got home, so I climbed into bed.  I feel so much better now that I've rested.

Got to get some studying done.  Some of Q's friends are coming over a couple hours before the game to watch a movie and hang out until the dance, so I'd better get moving.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Really?! (please don't judge me by this post, but it might help you understand the sanity thing a little bit)

If you are my friend on Facebook, you know that many of my statuses there are based on something T has done that's cute.  I have to be honest here.  There is a reason for that.  It is to remind myself and make me focus on the things about him that are good.  This morning, I'm having a hard time reminding myself of that.

I decided that on Friday's I was going to force myself to get out of my house.  I never thought I'd be a house mouse, but I have definitely become one.  I LOVE being at home.

The plan this morning was that I was going to take T to OMSI.

As we prepared to go, I got to looking for a few things.  One of them was my little hands-free bluetooth, ear thingy that I got for Valentine's Day.

As I headed upstairs to find it in my sweatshirt pocket (the one I wore yesterday), T said, "It's not in my room."  I knew just where to look.  I guess when I read to him at naptime yesterday, I took my sweatshirt off.  I must have inadvertently left it in his room as I took the baby to put her down.

In his bedroom, I immediately found the little thingy (sorry for the technical terms) that goes around my ear.  I knew then that I was in TROUBLE.  He had pulled the thing apart.  UGH!!!!  I also found the little rubber thingy that goes around the thing that goes in my ear.  One little part of that was ripped off.  So, at this point, I have no idea where the device itself is.  He's upstairs looking for it as I write.  He told me he put it down the heat vent.  NO!!!  "Way down there" were his words.  I searched it to no avail.

PLEASE tell me I'm going to survive this age.  Not just this age, but this child.  Remind me that he will outgrow it someday.  Give me hope that it will be before too much longer. 

UGHHHH!!!!!--can you hear that reverberating through the hills?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ah! It All Makes Sense

I totally believe in biological clocks--not like in the pregnancy sense; although, I guess that figures in too, but I mean the kind that your body knows what time of year it is and stuff like that.

I sat here and read, on the blog of a personal friend, that she's been down lately.  Funny.  So have I.  As I read hers, I got to pondering the whys and wherefores of my blue attitude; it suddenly occurred to me that this is that time of year for me.  Every year, when the clouds start to get chased away by blue sky and a bit of sunshine, I go through a few weeks of sadness.

This is the time of year when my mom died.  It used to start February 1st and go through the end of March--she passed away on March 17th.  Now, it goes from about March 1st through...hmm...I don't know how long it will last.  I'm hoping it'll go away soon.

It also makes sense that about three nights ago, just as we were falling asleep, I whispered to Z, "I miss my mom."  It was very out of the blue, but it was the truth.  Will I ever stop missing her?

The Song of the Day

I'm sitting here putting my grocery list together.  My playlist is on in the background.  This song came on.  I have a special place in my heart for Courtney.  I got to singing along, and it really made me happy.  I needed this today.  ENJOY!

Climbing Down the Stairs

When my oldest was just learning to walk and climb and all those things, don't laugh at me, but I thought that if they knew how to climb up, they knew how to climb down instinctually.  Oh my gosh!  Now I think of that and see how really dumb that logic is....  What WAS I thinking?  I was a new mom, and as one of the younger children in my home growing up, what can I say?

Q climbed up the stairs at the church the first time she climbed.  I was standing in the hallway watching so proud.  What a big girl!  She got to the top of those unpadded stairs and decided to come down.  Poor baby.  Why wasn't I faster?  I caught her as she reached the bottom step and picked her up as she cried.  Kicking myself all the way.  I guess you could say that day I learned my lesson--don't assume that know-how is instinctual in any way.

From that time, my attitude has been that sometimes we have to teach our children to come back down from a place they've gotten themselves into.  They may get up, but most of the time, the down must be taught.  If we don't teach them how to get down, we're doing them no favors.  If we grab them down, again, we do them no service, and in addition, we will always be known as the one who can get them out of the situation.

We have a long flight of stairs in our house on which many children have learned to climb down.  I had one child who, from the first time he climbed, would get to the top and would sit and cry waiting for someone to come save him.  I loved that I never had to worry about him taking a tumble, but I did have to worry that it was my job to empower him with what he needed to get himself safely and confidently down.

Funny, I was reading another blog which brought these insights into my brain and made me decide to write, but I didn't realize that writing this would lead me to the solution to my own problems this morning.

I still have one child that has yet to learn to climb, literally, down the stairs, but I have six others who have many figurative stairs to learn to maneuver in this life.  The trick is to teach them how to do it on their own; to give them the skills and confidence (through word and example) they need to successfully get through what life has to offer them.  Teach them once, and they'll be just that much smarter to get themselves through other things.  Save them once, and the teaching takes that much longer, and you have a mess to get yourself out of.

Too Early

I am seriously going to be hating life this afternoon.  L got me up at 4:30.  I got mad about a couple things that happened last night (that I believe are symptoms of other things that need to be dealt with), and now I can't sleep for thinking about them.  I'm trying frantically to keep up with my house and with my kids, and now I'm going to be tired on top of that.  If I go back to sleep now, I won't be able to wake up.

I realized the day before yesterday that if I wake up when my alarm goes off and start right in getting my act together, life runs so smoothly, and I'm a much happier person and am able to accomplish so much more during the day, but if I wait for Z to get up, I'm behind all day long, and it's just frustrating,

So...I guess I'm up and had better get moving.  The alarm's going off in nine minutes.

Wish me luck in keeping it all together today.

Where's Your Brain?!

After such a great experience yesterday, I wake up angry this morning.  Urgh!

I don't know how much I dare share here, but one of my kids is making some lousy choices.  What makes me so mad is that this child has been warned numerous times yet continues to ignore my advice.  The sad thing is that this child doesn't even see the forest for the trees.  Seriously!  It's so obvious to me what's going on, but again...URGH!  This kid's going to end up getting hurt big time if this continues, and I don't see things changing any time soon.  I feel like my  hands are tied.

This isn't even an ugh, this is most definitely URGH!  Darn the whole agency thing. 

I know my mom must have felt this kind of feeling toward me many times in my growing up, but I really thought this child was smarter than me.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Why Didn't I Think of this Before?

L woke me early this morning.  Whenever this happens, I have a hard time falling back to sleep, so I laid there and thought about today.  I felt a tad guilty about yesterday because I spent so much time getting those darned coupons organized.  I felt bad that T sat there and watched DVDs.  Now having a sixteen year old, I realize just how short a duration they are small, and I value that time with them.  I don't want to see a day pass by that I don't make some kind of difference on my kids while I've got them under my roof.  There, that's the reason for my guilt, and yes, I am hard on myself.

Anyway, as I lay there in bed, I really got to pondering about what I could do to make a difference today.  It suddenly occurred to me (yes, I know where these kinds of thoughts come from) that I should take him to the temple.

The beautiful thing about our temple is that we have an atrium inside.  It's just behind the foyer.  Anyone can go into the foyer and the atrium--even a three-year-old and his most beloved baby sister.

When we got up this morning, I told T that he needed to get dressed in nice clothes today because we were going to the temple.  He immediately got excited.  He had been to the temple before.  Shortly after hearing this address at this past April's General Conference, we took our kids to the temple for Family Home Evening the next night, but because it was a Monday, the temple was closed, so this was his first opportunity to step inside.

I was curious to see his reaction.

We walked around outside.  We parked near the beautiful fountain, so that grabbed his attention first.  We then walked around to the opposite side to see the reflecting pool.  Z and I have a photo from our wedding day standing by the reflecting pool, so I told T I'd take his picture there too.  We then climbed the stairs to get to the front of the temple, so we could go in.

As we entered, I asked the sweet, little lady dressed in white if it was okay to bring him in.  She said, "Oh, of course."  We walked through the foyer to the atrium.  T smelled every plant and flower he found there.  He was so quiet.  He was quiet on the grounds too, but it was nothing like how he was inside.  I would almost say he was silent, and no, I hadn't coached him.

I know how I feel in the temple.  To me, it is the closest place to heaven on this earth.  I wondered how he'd be.  His silence was a natural response to being in such a holy place.

We walked around the atrium.  He asked if he could sit, and I asked him if I could take his picture:

We got up and walked back out to the foyer, stood there for a few minutes, and then decided it was time to go out again.  As soon as we got out the front door, T turned back again and asked if he could go back inside.  He wanted to sit in the foyer for a few minutes.  I conceded, and we went back in.

He went in and just sat.  He just sat!  That's all he wanted to do.  He just wanted to be there.  For a few minutes, I wondered who this child was.  This wasn't my running, jumping, climbing, yelling boy.  No, this was a child of God.  This was a boy who understood the importance of whose house he was in.

He had entered the temple of God, and the temple of God had entered him.  Priceless!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Stuff on My Mind

My computer has a virus again.  This is the second incident with this particular virus in a matter of a week.  I had to wait for Z to get home this evening to borrow his Mac.  It's late.  I want to go to bed, but I want to start in with a better habit of blogging.

I clipped coupons for most of the morning.  It was a HUGE job--one I've been avoiding for months.  Coupons, for me, are usually not this time consuming, so I hated it, but I got it done.  I had a mountain of recycling when it was all over.  I grabbed it all up in my arms; it looked like I was carrying a baby wrapped in newspaper, and I started out the door--in my socks.  Thank goodness it wasn't (and hadn't been) raining, but wouldn't you know it...two women from down the street came walking along just at the wrong time.  There I am, in my socks holding my recycling baby coming down the steps to the sidewalk.  I'm sure I looked a bit wacky.  Ah well.  It's the truth, I guess.  I am a bit wacky.

We went to McDonald's for dinner tonight because the recipe for the meal I'd started in on was on the plagued computer.  There's one McDonald's a ways away that has Happy Meals for super cheap every Tuesday evening, so we ventured.  As we rounded the corner, Q saw that they had Big Macs 2 for $4.  I hadn't had one of those in FOREVER!  So, it had to be done.  There's just something about that "special sauce."  Mmm.

I'm trying to be very good with my Weight Watcher points.  Problem is, I learned this past week that I needed to reduce my points by 6, so it's kind of killer right now.  Usually you go down one point at a time, which is very doable, but because L is eating more and more solids, I'm not getting all the points I was for nursing.  That's why the large reduction.

Anyway, a Big Mac is something like 15 points.  I now have 25 points a day, so was it really worth it to eat one?  Probably not.  I ate half and gave the rest to G who was already done inhaling his two McChickens.  What can I say, it looks better on him than on me.

Since I brought up the subject, Weight Watchers is much harder this time.  Part of the reason is that I only weigh in once a month.  That's all I have to do to maintain my "lifetime" status.  Because I'm outside my goal weight, I have to pay $13 a month until I'm back within that goal then I won't have to pay anything at all.  That will be nice.

I have lost every week I've gone in since starting up again (all but one time when I stayed the same).  But, the losses have been small--considering it's been a whole month since the last weigh in.  For example, this past Saturday, I'd lost 1.4 pounds since the month before.  If I were losing like I had been when I'd weighed in weekly, you'd think I'd be losing 4-5 pounds at each weigh in.  I'm a slacker, what can I say, but at least it's all been losses, so I can't get too discouraged by that.  This month, though, I'm determined to stick with it the whole month through and see what results I get.  So much of it is just a frame of mind, and I'm starting to get that way of thinking back, which is rather encouraging.

Oh, another random comment....
I'm reading about five books right now for my class.  The Wednesday Wars is one I'm required to read.  I'm enjoying it a lot.  Kind of fun and quirky.  If you get a moment, check it out.  I'd love to hear what you think.

I'm now a day behind in statistics class again because of the virus, but because it was fixed once before, I was able to back up the most important documents off my hard drive, so that has made me not nearly as stressed as the first time it went down.  That day, I felt like I was going to throw up whenever I considered the idea of an entire hard drive reset and the photos and half finished school documents that would be destroyed.  I'm grateful for people who are smart enough and willing enough to help a troubled soul out.  Phew!

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