Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Reverence Does Not Require a Glacial Pace

I read an hysterical blog post over at Mormon Mommy Wars, and it got me thinking about hymns.

Let me preface this with an anecdote that will illustrate my personality and attitude towards worship well:
We have really struggled this year, and have had to lean heavily on our faith, our hope, and our trust that tithing works and we will make it through. Through most of it, I have had to be the bright, shining beacon of optimism, as it seemed no one else was up to it. In public I have been the happy cheerleader; "It will all work out! We can do it! Go team poverty!" In private, its been a little less peppy. I was bearing my testimony about this experience, and was very emotional. I related that the reserve of optimism finally ran dangerously low, and I had a little talk with the Lord. "Look, Lord, I trust you, and I know you'll take care of us. But if we don't get some help by Friday, I'm probably going to have to freak out." I was very sincere. I was very emotional. And this line got a laugh. I was puzzled. I asked around. It turns out most people don't talk to God like that. I find this baffling. How is the Savior supposed to be your best friend if you don't talk to Him like He is? Evidently, while I have a deep faith and respect for and in the Savior, I am a whole lot less formal than most in my worship.
There. Now you know.
I love the hymns of Zion. Few things bring me more comfort and peace, and some of my most powerful spiritual manifestations have come to me through hymns. That being said, do we have to sound so mournful all the time? When you sing at a funeral's pace, its bound to sound like a funeral. I have personally wondered if my arm was going to fall off while conducting sacrament hymns with 1 verse, no chorus, but an organist that is playing like my five-year-old reads: A....mi....tee...fo-or-tress...i-is our....God (with a fermata! Hold that for eight counts!) Even a one-verse hymn takes 15 minutes when it has 8 fermatas. Sure, it says to sing "with dignity," but my dignity is not painfully slow! I just timed how long it takes to sing this hymn at sacrament speed: 1:07.23. I just banged that thing out in a reverent 40 seconds flat. So here's my final question:
How much trouble to do you think I'd get in for taking a pen and adding to every mood instruction, ",but briskly" so "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" would read, "With dignity, but briskly."
It's a lot more subtle than, "Pick up the pace, people! Even God is falling asleep!"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I am the Holy Grail

The Gospel Doctrine lesson this week is on temple and family history work. Since the Church has the fabulous New FamilySearch, I was using it to trace my family line. I had read earlier this week a teacher can't be a hypocrite (bad news for me!) so since I had asked two others in the class to do something in family history this week, I should too.
So, through one of my lines, I descend from the Birds in early Virginia (founders of Richmond). They descend from a long line of nobility going back all the way to Edward Longshanks (the bad king in "Braveheart"), William the Conqueror, and Charlemagne. Pretty awesome. Another ancestor clear back there is a descendant of the Merovingian kings in France. If you've seen "The Da Vinci Code," you may remember the Merovingian line was purported to be the descendants of Christ's daughter Sarah, who grew up in France and married Antenor, King of the West Franks, making the Merovingian kings descendants of the Son of God, and the Holy Blood line. It was an interesting story, but kind of weird.
So I keep hitting the little button to go further back in time and see who each person's father was. I come to Antenor, King of the West Franks, and his wife, Sarah-Damaris Bat Yeshuah. I think, "Man, that's a Jewish name if ever I heard one!" I go back to see her parents, and they are listed as "Jesus Christ, lineage of" and Mariame migdal eder. I think, "No way! They have Jesus on the New FamilySearch?" And they do. I click on His name, and look in the box below the pedigree for more information. I click the link for LDS ordinances.

It says they are not available.

And I laugh and laugh and laugh.

You can't make up stuff that good!

To summarize:
  1. New FamilySearch is fully awesome and user friendly
  2. I lucked out and am related to royalty so I can trace my family history WAY back.
  3. It appears I am a descendant of Jesus Christ.
  4. No one knows the date of His baptism or other priesthood ordinances.

Maybe I'm bad for thinking that's hysterical....but I bet He thinks its funny too.

UPDATE! I kept clicking back for ancestors of Antenor, and after going through Russia, Turkey, Troy, ancient Greece, and more, someone has decided that the first king of Troy was mothered by an Israelite, Judah's daughter-in-law whom he impregnated when she pretended to be a prostitute. Well, with a lineage like that, its easy to go back to, you guessed it, Adam. I have a family line that goes all the way back to Adam. I am that Mormon.

I realize these connections are spurious at best, but it's still interesting. Plus, kind of funny!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Accomplishment

Rejoice with me, for I have a sparkly clean kitchen! Tomorrow--living room!

Look out piles of laundry! I'm coming for you!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I hate mess...and my whole house is one.

The good news for you is, you can pretty much rest assured you are a better housekeeper than I.

My baby has been sick this week, so my whole house has been turned into the Disgusting Land of Puke and Ickiness. I am not a good housekeeper at the best of times, so when my dryer still isn't fixed and I'm on laundry overload and all my time is spent caring for a tiny, screaming person, home-making disaster ensues.

Instead of trying harder to work on my mess, I've been playing Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook. Inside, I hate myself for being too much of a coward and slacker to just go upstairs and face the mess. As I played my last round, I heard the deep, dramatic voice of the game tell me "Good," and "Excellent," and "Awesome," everytime I did a particularly neat move. It occurs to me I may get more done if that happened in my actual life--if everytime I got something done I had that voice giving me a little instant gratification.

How do I ever change into the kind of woman who always has her house together? How do I learn to not be so overwhelmed by the mess that I walk away from it? Why can't I see messes utnil they are GIANT and hard to overcome?

Any thoughts? Anyone?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Eye of the Tiger? More Like Eye of the Bunny.

Jake played soccer this year on the city league, with the fabulous Gwen and Stephanie coaching. His team is the Roadrunners. This would imply some speed and swiftness, would it not? If you could see Jake, you'd have to agree it would not. Joe and I are both very competitive people. Whatever we do, we are in it to win it! We've learned to tone it down over the years, hoping to avoid alienating people who think competitive people are jerks. Plus, a few of my friends in high school got a lot of mileage out of my competitive nature, so as a self-preserving measure I keep the crazy to myself. Jake is not at all competitive. Some members of his team are running hard, trying to kick the ball, totally focused on the game. Jake tends to run in what appears to be a Baywatch slow-mo parody, occasionally looking over at Joe and me to give a big thumbs up. I'm not sure he knows the games are scored. I don't think he knows someone wins and someone looses. I don't think he even cares if he makes contact with the ball--ever. He sure is happy to just amble along the field. He loves to get out with his friends and wrestle on the sidelines and ask to be taken out of the game so he can go back to the demanding task of not running. Imagine Joe and I, yelling, "Jake, kick the ball! Run! Go the other way!" and Jake just bouncing along, giving us thumbs-up, while an opposing team member runs right past him with the ball. It's awesome.

I think he's had fun, and that's really all I wanted out of it. It just surprises me that two people who care about winning so much have managed to produce a child who couldn't care less.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Putting lightness in your life and a swagger in your step.

I posted on Facebook today the following status: "Emily Pugh Ward needs someone to inject her husband with sunshine and confidence. Lord, get right on that, if you will." The response I got was unexpected. Several people commented that they needed a boost of sunshine and confidence themselves, and others wrote personal messages indicating that they, too, were a little down in the dumps. For that reason, I have decided to share some happiness.

In 1Nephi 16, disaster strikes the family of Lehi. Out in the middle of nowhere, with no help in sight, Nephi breaks his bow. It seems the breaking of the bow was the last straw. Everyone else's bow had "lost its spring" and now Nephi's super-fancy bow was broken. Life was not worth living. Even Lehi started to complain. Lehi could put up with a lot--wayward kids, attempted fratricide, total loss of riches--but when he got hungry, the crankies came out a-blazin'. Amidst all this whining, Nephi never loses sight of some important absolutes:
  • God helps those who help themselves. Nephi went out and made a new bow.
  • Priesthood authority matters. Though Lehi was a murmurer too, Nephi respects his calling as the prophet and his position in the family as patriarch and defers to his authority.
  • The Lord wants us to succeed, and will help us to do so. Nephi receives instructions from the Lord via the Liahona on where to find animals to kill, and trusts that instruction, finding success and yummy food.

How can we apply this in our own lives as we seek sunshine and confidence?

  • Do all you can, and believe the Lord will make up the rest. Righteous living gives us the confidence to believe we have bound the Lord to bless us (D&C 82:10), knowing that we have kept the laws upon which blessings are predicated. (D&C 130:20-21)
  • Follow the prophet. Seek priesthood blessings. Access to Priesthood power is a sacred privilege enjoyed in mortality by a blessed few. Don't waste it! Go to the temple. Study conference. Counsel with your bishop.
  • If you truly believe the Lord loves you and wants to care for you, faith pushes away fear, and the knot in your stomach loosens as you allow your trust in the Lord to replace anxiety. He will take care of you! It's hard sometimes to go forward blindly, truly believing He knows what's best for us, even when its not what we would have chosen, but we can find peace and confidence to walk into the unknown knowing that we are not unknown to Him.

It is my firm belief that nothing is so dark that the light of the Atonement and the infinite love of our Savior can't brighten it. I sing with all my heart,

"We doubt not the Lord, nor His goodness,

We've proved Him in days that are past."

Always, always in my hour of need, the Lord has proven to me that He holds me in the palm of His hand. I have always been happier for following His counsel and submitting to my trials meekly, trusting that God has a plan for me, and that plan involves finding joy! I know He can help us, if we let Him.

Let the sunshine and confidence begin!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

If I could put time in a bottle...

I blog stalk a delightful woman who refers to herself as "That Girl," formerly of Brazil and recently relocated to Arizona. She brightens my day. She posted a blog today about her worth according to a nifty site, Salary.com. The site has a tool that helps you calculate your dollar worth based on hours spent at various tasks, such as Day Care Teacher, Cook, CEO, Interior Designer, Plumber, etc. "That Girl" tried to tell the site she served 45 hours a week, each, as a Day Care Center Teacher, Psychologist, Staff Nurse and CEO, but the site corrected her, albeit very sympathetically:

We understand if it sometimes feels longer, but a week can never have more than 168 hours. Please re-enter your hours.
It made me laugh, and then it made me think. A good friend of mine was diagnosed with Melanoma early this year, and while she came out of it ok, I couldn't help but confront my own mortality. The fact is, we each have a limited amount of hours in this life, and none of us now how many hours we really have. I think about all the times I've been annoyed when my kids want to be held while I'm doing something else, or when they want me to read Green Eggs and Ham for the 900th time, or when I grouse about household chores--and I wonder if my hours suddenly ran out, how much would I hate myself for resenting the privilege I have of being these beautiful spirits' mother? Will I regret hours wasted? Will I long for more hours to accomplish things I should have had plenty of time for? If my hours are precious, then I must decide what is most important in my life, and divide the hours I have accordingly. I repentantly acknowledge that I am not the best steward of the hours that have been allotted to me. I hope I can have perspective and grace to improve how I spend my hours, and be more grateful for the ones allotted me.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hey! Where's my money?

I sent the following letter to my congressmen. Tell me what you think.


Dear Senator,
I’ve been thinking a lot about how difficult these times and circumstances are for everyone I know. My family has had to make some drastic changes to provide for ourselves—my husband and I are 30, returning to school because we fear agriculture can’t support us anymore, so we are living on student loans to provide for our kids. As I thought about how we have had to scale back, and how our local religious leaders have asked us all to scale back and be provident, I wondered what you are doing in Washington to be more provident with our hard-earned taxes. I’ve done a little googling, and created the following list of perks Congressmen receive. I realize that not all the information on the Internet is entirely accurate, so I hoped you could look over the list and answer two questions:
· How accurate is this list of perks?
· What are you personally doing to cut spending?
Free parking: Not only do members of Congress receive parking on Capitol Hill, but they also receive free (prime) private parking spots at the two nearby airport, Reagan National and Dulles airport.
Perks from Lobbyists: Despite a slew of ethics regulations regarding gifts from lobbyists, Members of Congress are still able to use their lobbyist ties to get into events that regular people simply do not have access to. For example, if a Member of Congress wanted a prime ticket to a sold-out event, he could still get that ticket from lobbyists he’s close with, as long as the face value of the ticket is reimbursed by the Member. However, this money doesn’t have to come from the Member’s pocket, but instead can come from the usually deep campaign account, which usually contains money from lobbyists and their associated PACs.
Days Off: While most Americans get one day off for Memorial Day and sometimes Presidents Day, members of Congress get the entire week off. However, Congress doesn’t like to call these vacation days, but instead call them “District Work Periods,” even though there is nothing requiring them to be in their district during those times. Congress also gets a number of additional recesses, some lasting as long as a month.
Office Costs: $2 million to $4 million a year for office administration and staff expenses. There is a furniture expense account, subsidized mass mailings to constituents (known as the franking privilege) and free income tax-return preparation assistance. In addition to all that, members also receive a special tax deduction for maintaining a second residence, and yet more, there are the numerous foreign trips (spouses included) often to exotic places hosted by nonprofit groups. House members, but not senators, can also keep frequent flier miles they rack up on official travel and use them for personal trips later.
Other Perks: What's more, members have exclusive use of the Congressional Research Service to do their legwork. There is free use of broadcast taping studios, free reserved parking at the office and at Washington-area airports and a free member-only gym and pool, expedited passport services and of course the well-appointed and subsidized members' dining rooms.
I haven’t mentioned anything about salaries, because I realize you give of your time and need to be compensated. I also realize that some things, like travel, are difficult to accommodate, and probably need to be compensated as well. What I hope, is that when you fly home to work in your district, you fly coach like the rest of us. I hope you understand that the money I do earn, I’ve worked very hard for. I belong to a church to which I voluntarily give 10% of my income. They have said of those funds that they hold them sacred, using them only in the most responsible way, understanding what that money means to those who sacrificed it. I don’t have any choice about taxes, but I do believe in the Republic. I hope you hold my funds sacred. I hope you understand the trust we have placed in you to spend our money. I hope you understand that an elected official is a servant, not an entitled aristocrat.
Thank you in advance for your response. I appreciate the service you render.
Yours sincerely
Emily Ward

Monday, June 1, 2009

My life has many layers

I recently acquired a totally kick-a** vacuum. It is the first one I have ever owned that was not handed down to me, and costs more than 50 dollars. The first time I vacuumed my floors with it, I instantly felt simultaneously bad about how dirty my floors were, and elated at how much my vacuum was getting up. See, that's the neato thing about these bagless canister vacs. You can see all the nasties piling up in the vacuum as you go. In addition to my totally rockin' vacuum, I have a two-year-old who lives to make messes. If there is something to dump out, he will find it and dump it. In the last week, he has dumped the following on my kitchen floor, listed in order of apperance:
Rice Cereal
Marshmellow Mateys
Paprika
Dried Breadcrumbs
So, layered in my vacuum canister, is a layer of white, a layer of multicolored marshmellow bits, bright red, and brown. It reminds me of those sand-layer crafts:
So, I will pretend that he is merely creative, not willfully destructive. He is an artist, and art is mess. Good thing art is easily sucked in by a Hoover.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Busy Day

Today was a busy day for Kory. He woke up exceptionally early, after a rather sleepless night, due to an unexpected milk bath and two night terrors.

He began his day taking a totally awesome picture of his sister.

A picnic lunch was really fun!

Sliding is super fun! He's lucky to have such a great big brother to play with!


Then I made them a tire swing to play on. Kory played and played and played...



Till he just couldn't play anymore.





Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Outdoor play

Here are a few pics of the kids that I really liked.














Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Big Fun

The weekend saw some awesome additions to our home, upping our fun quotient significantly.
I've been begging Joe to get me and old tire and fill it with sand for years! Finally, Julie took pity on me and helped me get the tire myself. That was a month ago. On Saturday, Joe finally brought me a load of sand. I think he overdid it, but the kids aren't complaining.
Goats! As mentioned in the Bennet Blog, we got goats. I'd like to point out that I put in the last t-post and finnished the pen all by myself Sunday so we could bring out goats home.

Kory's goat still needs to be bottle fed, and he LOVES doing it!


They spend as much time as they can with their goats. Jake had named his "Goaty" but has since changed his mind to "Faster." Jake doesn't have terrific diction, so if you come to my house and hear Jake calling "Bas-tard!" across the yard, you'll know your ears are deceiving you.

Kory thinks his pet is a sheep and his name is "Goat." I'm sure we'll sort it out.








Thursday, May 14, 2009

What Best Friends Do...

A best friend gives you fridge-rights, and their last Coca-Cola.
A best friend makes quilts for your kids.
A best friend finnishes your sewing projects for you, accepting that you are a big sewing retard.
A best friend makes up words with you. Even if they are grammar nerds, too.
A best friend never really mocks your Harry Potter obsession--at least not when you're around.
A best friend thinks you are hysterical, even when you are just obnoxious.
A best friend thinks your kids are a stone riot, even when you are nanoseconds from murdering them where they stand. This is good-it allows your kids to live.
A best friend doesn't treat you like a weird preachy hypocrite when you go all churchy on her toukus.
A best friend tells you really personal stories so you can joke about them later, no matter how serious or heart-breaking the situation.
A best friend thinks of you when she purchases things at Wal-mart.
A best friend will text you from public restrooms.
A best friend will get accidently pregnant with you, just so you don't feel like the only tricked moron on the face of the earth.
A best friend likes you just the way you are. You don't have to pretend with her, even though sometimes its hard to stop pretending.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

You're never too young for DaVinci

The following link was listed with toys appropriate for a 6 mo old baby girl:
What did you think? Too much?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Check out the crafty-ness of me!

I made this for my mother-in-law for Mother's Day and I'm really proud of it.















Thursday, May 7, 2009

Because attitude is everything!

Jake was early diagnosed with ADHD last year. I kind of thought the doctor was jumping the gun a little--4 seemed awfully young, and how can you tell if a kid has a disorder or is just a kid? But, in the eighteen months since then, he has shown very little improvement. So, I have bowed to the likelyhood that Jake does indeed have ADHD. This really concerned me when I thought of him starting school in the fall! I loved school, and I think its important to Jake's future success that he have a good experience there. I don't want him to think that because he doesn't think like the other kids or work the same way that he isn't smart. He's actually really smart, he just has a really hard time sorting things out. I got some books today about ADHD and how to help your child learn to work with it. It is such a comfort to know that:
1. He isn't this way because I am a bad parent.
2. The things I have noticed about him aren't all in my head.
3. I have every right to be frustrated.
4. His way of thinking and viewing the world is unique, and I can teach him how to use that to be successful.
5. I can arm us both so that we can be prepared to succeed in school and reach his full potential.
I can't help but think of Ether 12:27:
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
I know that one of the most powerful tools I can give Jake is teaching him about the infinite love of Jesus Christ, and the infinite power of the Atonement. Teach him that grace isn't just about sin, its about filling all the deficits in our lives. I know that by trusting the Lord, Jake's weaknesses can be strengths! Can you imagine that kind of energy and determination, that drive and that desperate need to do well, that power in intuition, all chanelled into building the kingdom of God?
I can give my child tools that will make him unstoppable! Look out Satan! Here comes Jacob--warrior for truth!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Couples Therapy in a Divine Sense

Have you ever been reading your scriptures and something completely unrelated pops into your head? I was reading the other day (I can't even remember what I was reading) and the following just barged right in:
Think about your relationship with your spouse. You love him. You trust him. You feel a need for him, and he has a need for you. How did you build this relationship? If you're like me, you spent a lot of time together. You talk to each other about things that matter to you. He knows your secrets--good and bad. You have fun together and find joy in each other. When you need help with something, you call him, because you know that he will try to help you. He earned that trust because you gave him oppurtunities to prove himself trustworthy. You let him serve you.

The Lord often refers to Himself as the Bridegroom and Israel as the Bride. If you consider that when Israel is referred to, the Lord isn't just talking to Israel as a whole, but to each of her children individually, then you can see, for the sake of metaphor, how you, personally, are the Bride of Christ. So then, what can you do to build your relationship with Christ?

  • How can you spend more time with Him?
  • How can you take time to talk to Him about things that matter to you?
  • How can you listen to Him better?
  • How can you confide in Him more?
  • How can you find joy in Him?
  • How can you give Him oppurtunities to prove He keeps His promises, that He loves you, and that He can be relied on?

Building a relationship with Christ is the same as building a relationship with anyone else; it takes a lot of effort. And like any relationship that you feel has gone south, all you can do is change yourself. The good news with Christ is that, unlike some spouses, he wants to work on the relationship too. He's waiting for you. It takes time, it takes patience, and it takes faith, but I know if you try He will more than meet you half way.

I really felt like this was a message I was meant to share, and couldn't think of a way to do that until yesterday. So, I have recorded it for myself (and now that I've written it down I will remember it more often) and let it out there. Thanks for indulging me.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Horses!

My kids love animals, and since Joe's cousin Emily and her husband Marty moved just down the road, and keep their horses nearby, their favorite thing to do is stop at the arena and see the horses. When Kory sees Marty at church, he almost invariably asks about "Marty's hosses" (which is how he says horses). Tonight they invited the boys to come ride, and they had the best time! Thanks to Starks for being super-awesome!


My little cowboys!

Jake


Kory














What a weekend!

Last weekend was totally shot thanks to the paralyzing flu I was suffering from. My house still has not recovered from that lapse in my duties, so naturally I spent this weekend catching up.
HA!
If you know me at all you know that's just not true. Joe actually took most of Saturday off, and took me and the kids to Burley to see one of his cousins get baptized. Usually Joe's extended family can be a lot to take--there's so many of them (6 uncles, 3 aunts, plus spouses and kids and grandparents!) and as a group, we all tend to be pretty loud and they argue a lot. Have you seen "My Big Fat Greek Wedding?" Make those people Idaho hicks, and you will have a fairly accurate representation of what its like: "Everyone's always eating, eating, eating, and into each others lives and business and you never have a second alone just to think! The only people we know are Greeks, because Greeks marry Greeks, to breed more loud, breeding, Greek, eaters!" Ish. However, at this event there was a fairly limited amount of Ward to be found, so it wound up being pretty low key. My kids had a great time, and I was glad to spend so much time with my husband.
(For the record, I do love Wards. They are very nice and very generous and love to have a good time. Its just if you get a group together that is that large, with that much personal history, stuff is bound to get a little crazy!)
Church was nice, though a little crazy, as the only place we could find to sit was with another family--it's hard to keep your kids behaving well when they have new and exciting books and toys to pillage. I did say something sort of stuped while teaching my Sunday School class, and I'm not sure I recovered from it, but hopefully my ward family knows me well enough to just call me a nerd and move on, and not be offended by me. I may need to issue a public retraction (if its good enough for John Stewart, its good enough for me).
During Relief Society I had one of those rare experiences where the Spirit constrained me to speak. I've actually made a goal to keep my mouth shut in Relief Society for the month of May; I'm trying to develop listening qualities, and learn to draw on others instead of always talk so much. So when the Spirit directed me to bear my testimony during that portion of our class time yesterday, I was not willing at first to do that. It took a few promptings and my baby falling miraculously to sleep to get me to obey, but I did. I'm glad I did, because I love that feeling that comes when the Spirit gives you words and you get swept away in it. I actually felt myself say at the end, "The Spirit compells me to share that, and I do it in the name..." Such a thing has never been that strong before. I suspect the experience was for me alone. It was about obedience, about feeling the power, and I am remarkably insecure and I really need the validation that comes with feeling the Spirit like that. Maybe I don't totally suck after all.
I am so blessed to have the calling I have, and the oppurtunities I've been given to share the Gospel with my friends and family. Can I take just one second and testify to how vital the scriptures are in our lives? Because of my many oppurtunities, I'm simultaneously studying the Doctrine and Covenants, the Book of Mormon, and the Old Testament. I'm amazed at the ways they all work together, and how it really is one big circle, each book part of the great whole of all God has to share with me. I have learned SO MUCH since last year when I was called to teach. I am so grateful for all I have gained, and all that is yet to be gained from really feasting on the words of Christ. It's worth having a messy house for. :)

More Dancing!

In the continuing series where my family shakes their cute booties, here is Raena. She likes Shakira, but only Spannish Shakira. She doesn't groove at all to the English albums. It's weird but true.

video

If the video is shaking its because I'm trying to inspire her. Now there's a video to see...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Several new things...

I have so much to tell you! And since I can't get the picture order right, it's going to be just a little random.

First picture: Kory got a big boy bed for his birthday! We got it at IKEA, which was an experience all by itself! IKEA is HUGE! It has a giant show floor on the top floor, and all the pieces to the furniture on the bottom. It's a giant maze of Swedish ingenuity! Kory really likes his new bed, and took to it with almost no trouble at all.



Here is Kory's birthday cake. Morgan was nice enough to point out that someone left a giant number 2 on my counter. (Get it? Yeah, he's funny, but gross.)


I really want my kids to understand why we celebrate things like Easter and Christmas, so in the week before Easter, we did a few activities to help them learn about the last week of Christ's life, including the triumphal entry. I told them the story, showed some pictures, and then we made these palm fronds and sang "Hosana" from the Children's Songbook. They really enjoyed it.


Lastly, TA DA! My new table! Some of you will know that I had uncharitable feelings toward an uppity German woman who beat me to a beautiful dining room set at DI. Well, my feelings were asuaged by this stellar find on Craig's list! It's hardwood, from Pottery Barn and I picked it up for a steal! We love it! It has one additional captain's chair, and you can see the other leaf leaning up against the wall. It will suit our needs for years to come!





I asked Jake to play with his sister so I could finnish dinner. This is the great activity he came up with.
It was a huge hit.







Friday, May 1, 2009

Peas!

Vegetables...not a favorite yet...

video

Friday, April 17, 2009

Is that your power plug or are you just happy to see me?

Fair warning: what follows is a discussion of sexy commercials. If you don't like the sound of that, better stop now.

I'm getting nervous about my appliances. I've seen a couple of commercials lately that have made me thinks twice about vigorously pushing my vacuums or scrubbing my stove or using the toaster.

First, there is the homo-erotic Quizno's commercial involving some poor schmuck who is being sexually exploited by a sandwich oven. "We both enjoyed that, Scott." I get the Space Odysey reference, but when the oven said, "Put it in me," I started to look askance at my toaster. Now I wonder why it gets so hot when I push its button, and am especially put off when the toast pops up when the toaster is finnished. It just doesn't seem appopriate anymore.

This morning I was treated to a stove-top talking dirty to a woman using a scrubby-wipe. I have a really nice stove-top myself. It's glass and shiny and takes a long time to cool down when I'm done with it. I really have to scrub to make sure it doesn't get stained forever or smell funny when I use it. Now, everytime I pour on the baking soda and get to work with the elbow grease, I will hear that sick, clearly lecherous, stove-top in my head, and I fear I will do a poor job.

I know sex sells. Everyone has always known that. The subtext for almost every commercial seems to be, "I will get you laid!" Toothpaste, gum, cars, alcohol (I think this is actually one of the few times where using sex to sell is truth in advertising), even tires. Seriously. I saw a sexy tire commercial. I know I have never looked at a set of tires and thought, "Whooo baby, would I like to get a hold of the guy driving on those!" I know there's a reason Mr. Clean is a buff guy in a white t-shirt. I know Victoria Secret commercials are not for girls. I just stand in awe that inuendo and double entendre have reached epoch lows and sell the weirdest things ever. What does that say about us as a culture? How are these messages subliminally affecting my children?

Why is my vacuum looking at me like that?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

"Don't think Dad, just move!"

My kid has some moves!


video

Sometime I'll have to get a video of Kory dancing. I have two words that are sure to get you wriggling in anticipation: JAZZ HANDS!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The test

Kory had his third EEG Monday morning. Since it's a sleep-deprived test (which means we kept him up intil midnight and woke him up at 4am) and there was no way we could keep him awake from AF to IF on 4 hours of sleep, we elected to stay at the Holiday Inn in IF Sunday night (which you already know if you read my sleep-deprived blog) We chose this hotel because it had a 24-hour heated pool. Totally boss! Kory really enjoyed some one-on-one fun with Dad. Jake always gets to go with Dad, but never Kory.
I've had some questions about what an EEG is and how it works. For the test, they attach wires attached to electrodes and a computer to measure electrical activity in the brain. This was un-fun. I had to hold Kory down while he screamed so they could attach everything. He kept yelling, "Mommy, I'm DONE!" It broke my heart. He was finally so worn out that he fell asleep before they were done attaching everything. After the test subject goes to sleep, they flash a strobe light at them. Basically, they use two things known to bring on seizure, and try to create one they can look at on the test.

Raena was SO GOOD! It was no fun as it was, but it would have been unbearable if she hadn't slept and played through the whole ordeal!



Here's the boys, all worn out from their brush with modern medicine.




The doctor said everything looked completely fine, and we should just watch him. This is what I expected. I'm not discouraged (yet), but I'm considering asking his primary physician to ask for an MRI. Maybe there's something there that wouldn't show up on an EEG. Whatever happens now, we're still holding up pretty well. Kory still loves me even though I tortured him, and I suspect he won't even remember it soon.















Pigs!

Big Fun! Saturday Joe took us out to Burley to see his uncle, who has recently gotten into breeding pigs (4-H will do funny things to a man). My kids don't have any first cousins, but that's ok because Joe has LOTS of cousins my kids' age. Raena made friends with Brekkyn, who is having her first birthday soon. Jake and Kory got to play with the pigs with a little help from Caleb. Thanks to Wards for a great day!



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Monday, March 9, 2009

Mr. Sandman, keep walkin'...

In my heroic efforts to keep my little boy sleep deprived
(cause torturing your kids in the name of medicine is heroic),
I am blogging from the business center at the Holiday Inn Express
(free full breakfast! Old eggs! What appears to be some form of bacon!)
with a tiny boy sipping orange juice from a coffee cup
(orange juice seems to be Sunny D with pulp)
sitting on my lap. My eyes are burning. He's making a tape collage. My head hurts. He's talking about lions. We stayed up until (almost) midnight watching
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,
cause if I'm going to make myself miserable making my baby miserable, I'm going to do it with
a little Potter
in the background. Anyway. We'll let you know how the EEG goes, and here's to not falling asleep and crashing the car on the ride home!
Must have Coke...

Friday, March 6, 2009

TA-DA!

My princess learned a trick!



video

Thursday, March 5, 2009

My, but its soggy around here.

So if you started to potty train a little person who had seemed ready, but they hadn't made it to the potty even one time since Tuesday morning, would you give up until later?

Man I hate a quitter, but you know what I hate more? Cleaning upholstery.
Your advice is appreciated.
(I promise to take it under consideration)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Joy

I've mentioned before how happy Raena seems to be to see me every morning, so I wanted to share with you and preserve forever how much she likes me right now.

Who wouldn't laugh with joy to see a face like that all for you?

Big Boy here I come!

I know its blurry, but check it out!
Kory is potty-training!
Yesterday went well until he got a little sick, then in the interest of everything I own I put him in a diaper for the rest of the night. As soon as he woke up this morning, he asked to go potty! I'm so excited! Jake didn't seem interested in potty-training until he was almost 3.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Third time's a charm...

We took Kory to the neurologist yesterday, and once again retold our story of massive freaking out and uncertainty. Then he wanted to know how Kory was doing :). Our neurologist feels that a night terror, while possibly being the culprit, is VERY uncommon during the day. He also feels that because this was such an atypical event for Kory, and because he has had seizures in the past, this incident warrants further evaluation. So, we'll have another sleep-deprived EEG on March 9 (Boo!). This EEG should be even more fun than the last one, because we have to take Raena. Nursers are needy like that. The good news is, Kory was really well-behaved and so was Raena. My awesome plan is to be prepared to play Wii a lot, give him lots of juice, and pray really hard. I'll get blessings for all of us, to help us prepare, and help Kory be comforted throughout his torture, and help Raena sleep. I don't want Jake to feel left out, so he'll get a blessing too, though really, he probably won't care that we're gone. He loves spending the night at Grandma's house.

Thanks for all your notes and calls of concern and support. We really appreciate you and count ourselves so blessed to have such good friends and a great ward family!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Perks

Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with all the things I have to do, and all the things I could be doing better that I wonder if I'm accomplishing anything at all. I wonder if I stepped out of my life if someone else would step in and do a better job than I do. But then little things happen, and I think I might be ok....

For example...

A very tiny girl is ludicrously happy to see me in the morning-like we've been apart for years!

A small boy smears slobber all over my lips when he gives me a kiss while I read him his favorite book (Big Red Barn) for the 72nd time today.

A rapidly growing boy stops me vacuuming to tell me I'm the best mom ever.

The small boy asks me, "Kory yours?" and I can respond "Yes. Forever and ever." Then he laughs and throws his arms around my legs.

The rapidly growing boy tells me he's going on a mission like dad, but only if I come too.

The small boy tells knock-knock jokes that always go the same way: Knock knock. Who's there? Orange. Orange who? Butt! (hysterical giggling) His big brother taught him that "butt" is funny. I know it's wrong, but the joke is awesome.

The rapidly growing boy tells me that Raena is so pretty, "just like you!"

The tiny girl sings along with hymns during family prayer.

My children offer the cutest prayers.

No one loves me like my children do.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A work in process

So, maybe you will have noticed I have another blog that I work on to practice my writing. If not, check my sidebar, and don't be too judgemental. I read of a most wonderous event yesterday, between Nancy Pelosi and the Pope (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/19/us/19pelosi.html?ref=politics). They have such diverging accounts of the event, that I was reminded of "Summer Lovin" from Grease. It is my current deepest literary desire to write a song chronicling this awesome happening to the tune of "Summer Lovin" entitled "Papal Meeting."

Papal Meeting, winter in Rome,

Papal Meeting, so far from Home,

Met a girl, she won't tow the line,

Met the Pope, he liked me just fine,

Catholic rules, someone needs schooled
but the spin makes her look real good.

I'd appreciate any glimmers of inspiration you may have!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Here we go again...

Joe and I had quite a scare yesterday. Kory had fallen asleep in the car on the way home from church yesterday, and was so tired he didn't wake when we transferred him from the car to his crib, or when we took off his coat. About half and hour later, we could hear him screaming in his crib. He sounded REALLY mad. It seemed really unusual, because Kory can climb out of his crib on his own, and he didn't seem to be trying to get out. I was nursing Raena, so Joe went and got him. As soon as Joe touched him, Kory freaked out and fought him like crazy! Joe put him on our bed and Kory rolled around, screaming, not seeming to even know where he was or that we were with him. He couldn't hear us, and he wouldn't talk to us. He freaked out if we tried to touch him. This lasted about 10 minutes, by which time I had deposited Raena in her crib, and tried repeatedly to calm Kory down. He almost seemed possessed, not like my little boy at all. I finally handed him into Joe's lap and said, "Bless him!" I couldn't think what else to do! He was clearly in some kind of awful distress, and we were both (Joe and I) scared, not knowing how to help him. Joe blessed him, but there was no change in Kory. We talked later, and Joe and I both felt, though we didn't share it with each other at the time, that in that moment the Spirit whispered that Kory had had a seizure. You'll remember he has had this problem in the past. I called the hospital and described his symptoms, and they told me to bring him up. Kory finally calmed down right before we packed him in the car. Joe was with him, and he said Kory suddenly relaxed, and Joe asked him if he wanted to be held, and Kory said he did. We took our other kids to Claunches (who have more than repaid us for taking their boys home when Avery broke her face!) where Jeremy helped Joe administer to Kory, and gave Joe a blessing as well. At the hospital, they said what I expected them to say, because it's all a doctor can say about a seizure he didn't see: "I don't know."
I have since done some research about what happened, and I think what Kory had was a night terror. Night terrors occur in the frontal lobe in the brain, which is where the injury the provoked Kory's first round of seizures was. Experts say that night terrors and seizures aren't related. I know the Spirit doesn't lie. Maybe a doctor will never be able to tell me what happens in his brain, but I know there is a potential for malfunction there. I also know I have a very intelligent, gifted, valiant little son.
I don't often let go with my fears and worries. I think worry is counter-productive. But I wonder if Kory seizures stopped as a mercy to me, dealing with an unplanned pregnancy? I wonder if, now that other things are better, now is the time to deal with this unknown malady in Kory? I acknowledge the little mercies that made yesterday bearable; the lesson I gave on recognizing the Spirit, Raena's remarkably good behaviour, Claunches willingness to help us bear a burden, the inspiration of a priesthood blessing, and the abiding comfort of the gift of faith. I was blessed to feel the actual power of the faith the Lord has carefully cultivated in me through the last year. I was blest to feel the power of the priesthood in my home. I was blessed to witness the deep love my husband has for my children. I was blessed to know with certainty that my Saviour loves my son, and holds him in His hand. I can't understate how deeply I know my Savior loves me. I can't say often enough, or adequately enough how grateful I am for His grace, His love, and the privelege I have of having access to his power. I am greatful that He has taught me, that even when I am scared or worried, I am compelled to thank Him for everything.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Presents!

My long-lost friend Krista passed this idea on in her blog, and I liked it so much, I wanted to give it a try.

Here's the deal:

Be one of the first three people to comment on this blog and I will make a deliver a gift to your home.

Here's the catch.

I choose the gift (so it won't be spectacular) and I choose the time...you won't know when to expect me! I will come sometime this year. I hope it will be when you really need me.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Skydiving? Really?

My little brother took himself skydiving for his 25th birthday. Evidently nothing says, "Happy Birthday to Me!" like defying death. He posted a video of his experience on Facebook. Jacob watched it with me and had the funniest things to say:

"Hey, that airplane is too tiny to fly! Who's going to throw it in the air?"

"I wish I was big and I could jump out the airplane and fly."

"Let's see if he gets hurt at the bottom."

"Why is his face squiggling like that?"

"Why can't Josh get away from that guy (he was strapped to a helper)?"

"Here he comes! His legs will blow up!"

"Whew! He made it! Hey, is your brother crazy?"

Yes.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I have been listening to some fabulous 90's tracks lately, and laughing a lot of the time. Give yourself some time teenagers, and a lot of the music that seemed so cutting edge, so timely, and so romantic, will make you laugh when you're 30.
Some insights my fellow 90's children will appreciate:

The only difference between Color Me Badd and Boys II Men is symantics: "I Want to Sex You Up" just doesn't sound the same to girls as "I'll Make Love to You."

Boys II Men probably came together in an effort to make girls believe that having sex with boys was a huge treat for girls. The whole premise of "I'll Make Love to You" is giving a woman sex for her birthday. Cheap bastard probably didn't even buy her flowers. Now that I'm older, I'm pretty sure the gift wasn't for her. "Whatever you want girl you know I will do..." Yeah. I'm pretty sure that's not specific to a birthday.

Is Madonna really reinventing herself, or just finding new gimmicks to sell sex?

Nirvanna was just the next logical step in rock and roll. Music exists to irritate your parents. Frank Sinatra was the Elvis/Beatles/Kurt Cobain of his day. Now he's geriatric music. Some day, our grandchildren will find Limp Bizkit quaint.

Ska: it wasn't cool then, and it isn't cool now.

The macarena was cool for only one reason: even white kids could dance to it.

The fact that one of my boyfriends and I had "Everything I Do, I Do It For You" as our song is just testament to me noe of how ridiculousy overblown 13-year-old love really is. If only there had been a song entitled, "You're Neat and Our Parents Hang Out A Lot"...

Savage Garden is still cool.

BLOG

I haven't blogged since December, so that means I have a lot to tell you. Actually, it doesn't. My life is not that interesting.
We had a nice Christmas at home. Our power was off Christmas morning, so we opened our presents by candlelight. We then had to use our farm equipment to dig ourselves out of the driveway and clear a path to Joe's parent's house. It was crazy! We took the kids to see the lights on temple square, which was SO fun. I was a little dissapointed though...it seems the Church is conserving energy or something because the lights weren't as great this year.
The new year hasn't brought anything to terribly exciting. We went to the state YF&R convention and had lots of fun there with old friends and new. I promise to blog more often about the little things I care about.