Friday, October 31, 2008


Such anticipation...such high expectations! I can report it was a fantastic night! It was the first time I have not been super stressed. I felt totally prepared and actually got to take the girls around the neighborhood this year. I face painted early, and had everything ready by 4pm.
Mike was 'Frankenstein', of course. I painted my face like a witch. (I figured it was my 'true to self' costume) Cori was Dracula. (but a much prettier female version) Lexi opted for the cute clown, not the scary clown. Addi was a sweet little witch, and Sophie was her Black Cat. Sophie makes a great cat because she acts like one most of the time anyway. She will seriously lick me sometimes when I try to kiss her goodnight. Ew, nasty!
We had some great trick-or-treaters who were good sports with Mike. He loves to frighten the little ones. I put all the pics in a collage due to space.

(pic here)

After we had sufficiently hit up all the neighbors for candy, we ran into the cute girl who lives next door. She knows me really well, and I see her multiple times a week. She had just left my house and took a picture with Mike. She started down the side walk and started screaming when she saw me! I tried covering my face. I kept saying "Just listen to my voice...It's me, It's me!" She was not happy with me at all.
The girls shoveled down all they could. Then I gave them a quart sized bag with their name on it. They could fill it half way. (Which was about 6 pieces of candy or chocolate) The rest was promptly dumped that night.
I find it strange that they walk around gathering candy they will never eat. I guess it's the tradition...but it seems like such a waste. I need to find something really creative, non-edible, and fun to give out. (It can't require too much time either) was a great success for me. I knew this holiday would be a nightmare for my diet. I was surprisingly strong, but still allowed myself a little splurge. So that's one 'bad food holiday' down...three more to go. I think I can...I think I can...I know I can...I know I can...chugga chugga choo choo!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


(We thank Ben Stiller for this picture titled "Blue Steel")

Every day I get to live with the happiest, most cheerful little girl on the planet. She is so happy to be alive! A true morning person in every sense of the word. When she was a baby, we nicknamed her "sunshine girl" because she never cried in the morning. We would know that she was awake from the "Momma?" or "Daddy?" blissfully ringing from the nursery. We would walk in and find her sitting straight up, grinning from ear to ear. I would say "Good morning sunshine girl." and she would giggle. She was was ready to start another wonderful day of her life!

Now that she's older, she crawls in bed with me very early. She is the first one awake. Before I can even open an eyelid, she is at my bedside asking me to "snaggle" with her. But her "snaggling" is not quiet. She touches my face, kisses me, asks about my sleep lines. This morning she said "Mom? I wish that I could have those line on my face." I respond "If you go back to might get some. Do you want to try?"
After about 30 minutes of chatter, she starts talking about her "breast-fest", she goes through all the fruits and dairy products she can think of. I finally agree to get up.
Being extremely tired and grumpy, I rummage through the kitchen looking for something edible. Something that doesn't require cooking, or any type of preparation. (hence the regimen of fruit and dairy products) I will need at least another hour before my brain can even manage a complete sentence.
However, whether I respond or not, I have a shadow. Following me around, singing, laughing, and not going more than 10 seconds without commenting, asking a question, or engaging in some sort of dialect.
Sometime during her "breast-fest", she welcomes her good friend Sunny. She just loves to see Sunny for the first time, she talks to him for a few minutes. Asking him if he'll go places with her, telling him her agenda, and thanking him for his light and warmth.
She tells me how worried she is about Ella (her pet fly) because she is seeing less and less of him lately. Ella followed her to the neighbors house earlier this week and she's afraid he couldn't find his way home. (I'm afraid by January I might have to explain the situation with Ella...that she is not just one fly, and flies can't survive the cold winter. I'm afraid this will absolutely break her heart, so I will deal with that obstacle if it comes)
The next step would be putting on a dress. If I try to negotiate pants, I am almost always denied with "Mom! Princesses don't where pants...and...pants don't twirl when I dance." (that was the translation, it sounds much different than that)
Now that it's winter, I've told her she needs to wear pants more often. This morning she asks if we are going anywhere today, and I know where it's heading and answer "No, I don't think so." She jumps up and down cheering "Can I whey-ah my Spween Dwess? Pweez Momma? Pweez?" (that would be her 'spring' dress) I agree and she slips on a halter strap dress, a "Less-let" (which is a word that can be used for a both a necklace and a bracelet), and a purse across her chest and under one arm to ensure it will stay on all day.
She informs me that this is the "Bestest day evah!" that she had the "Bestest breast-fest evah!" and I am the "Bestest Momma in the woold!"
Her Preschool teacher, Miss Wendy, told me that yesterday she asked her to throw away a piece of trash. Miss Wendy said that she looked down at the trash and responded with "Thank you SO much!" and went to throw it away.
Throughout the entire day, she will love EVERYTHING we do, everywhere we may go, and everything eat. She will inform me over and over and over again that it is the "Bestest day evah!"
Everyday I am astonished that she is my child. I cannot figure out where she came from, or why she says and does things. People are constantly telling me that they can't believe what a happy kid she is. She is my only child with dimples, and she puts them to good use. I can only guess that the Lord sent her positive spirit to brighten my days.

-Each day comes only once in a lifetime-

Monday, October 27, 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

My favorite holiday is upon us! It is no secret that Halloween is the best time of year at my house. Mike and I had some fun Halloween parties. Before children (I can hardly seems like ages ago) we had costume parties, work parties, and even when we just had two little ones, a fun family event. It seems we have felt too busy to feel like hosting such events in recent years.

Lexi had her Party on Friday night. It went surprisingly smoothly considering there were 15 kids and the party went until midnight. We ate dinner, played games, ate some more, and watched a movie. We watched a movie called "The Witches". As a kid, this was my favorite scary movie.

We ate mummy dogs and made edible spiders.

One of the games we played was "Make a Monster".
We turned out the lights and I held a flashlight. I had all the kids sit on the floor in a big circle. We passed around really disgusting food that looked like body parts. Eyeballs, toes, ears, intestines, hearts and a brain. By the last item was passed, only 5 of the 15 were participating. One was hyperventilating and another was almost crying. I didn't mean for that part to be so scary.

So each child had to put one of each item into the cauldron. After everything was in, I passed the pot under the covered tablecloth. (otherwise known a a sheet!) Mike had snuck behind and underneath the table. After I passed back the ingredients, Mike started moaning. Which was the breaking point for most of the kids. Mike got louder and louder...then shoved his hand out with a Teddy Bear!
Such relief came upon the room in various forms. From laughing to yelling to crying. Two asked to go home, and the others were convincing each other that they weren't REALLY scared, they knew it was all food...and there was no such thing as monsters! (Could have fooled me!)
Mike said, "I just couldn't believe nobody noticed the 6'7" man crawling under the table." We got a good laugh.
It was such a fun group of kids. They were all so brave, and so cute! One girl said, "I rode on Wicked at I'm not afraid of ANYTHING!" Then proceeded to tell us all about the ride. Another kept informing us how freaked out her older sister would be at this party! Our youngest and smallest guest was the cutest of all! I worried about him the most. He lives next door and it took an entire year to get him to even talk to me. We have finally had him comfortable with our family, and him and Lexi have become such cute friends. I thought he might hate me forever! He was half the size of everyone else and 'kicked there behinds' at musical chairs!

Mike of course dressed up as Frankenstein and made a guest appearance. This was the breaking point for a couple more kids and we were down to 6 by midnight. I was impressed with longevity they had.
We ended with sitting in a circle with a flashlight, telling ghost stories. I would start a story and pass the light around. Each of us had to build off each others part of the story. One little boy added that the boy in the story was "smoking a cigar!" I laughed so hard! I knew his Mom would just die!
They were such a great group of kids, and they all seemed to forgive us for the spooks.

We have gotten to know our neighbors better this week as well. We went to a friends party and played games with other couples. Um...why has it taken me 2 years to get to know my neighbors? I'm not sure why, but Mike and I have a hard time making friends. It seems like we slowly lost more and more friends after each kid. We've had a hard time making commitments to hang out with other couples.
We really enjoyed a neighborhood family get together this afternoon. I am so grateful for good neighbors who have thought to include us. We have decided to make a better effort to make friends. It's amazing to me how similar we are when we open up to each other. I think we are afraid what others will think of us. Then we get talking and laughing and I think we aren't all so different.
I always imagined living with neighbors who felt comfortable enough to come over at anytime. We'd be close enough that they wouldn't expect my house to be spotless, and they might even help themselves to something in my fridge. We would have each others kids in and out of our houses, and we'd hang out informally all the time. You on the sitcoms. I just need a cute back door they can walk in without knocking. It would probably mean I would need to be home more often...and dressed in the mornings! (and wearing a bra)
No really, I get sad that I don't have friends, but I expect people to put forth the effort. Mike is kind of anti-social, but then we get in social situations and he loves it! I am the opposite, and when I leave a social setting...I beat myself up for something I said, or wonder if I was too loud (I struggle with my volume level) or think I talked way too much! I have to remember people aren't as hard on me as I am on myself.

Last year...I actually don't remember Halloween. I had gotten my tonsils out the week before. I thought I had plenty of time to recover and enjoy the day. Well, needless to say, my body didn't receive the anesthesia very well. Apparently, the nurse should require you to use the bathroom prior to leaving the hospital. My nurse we a bit anxious and skipped that part of my release. 5 days, 18 pounds and many drugs later...I had to go back into the Emergency Room to receive a catheter and drain an obscene amount (over 1,000 cc's) of urine from my bladder. But hey...I really impressed the ER doc! This was the day before Halloween, I think, and I was informed that my bladder wouldn't work for days. I found out the hard way just how imperative bladder muscles are. So what most of my friends and family didn't know...was for Halloween last year I was potty training, my costume was a catheter and bag strapped to my leg under my pants. Is that not the sexiest costume ever!?! I went to bed very early, and don't remember the day at all. I've been told however, that I did my girls and Mike's make-up. Go figure!

I'm looking forward to Friday, and actually remembering this year's festivities. Being here physically and mentally! We are planning quite a 'treat' for our guests. That's right...they're gonna earn that candy! So, if you bring your kids to my house trick-or-treating this year....bring an extra pair of underwear. Or better yet...send them with a catheter...if they get scared it won't ruin your night, their night, or their pants!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Running through the Bone Yard

Last night, my sister and I ran a 5K in American Fork. She just had a baby a few months ago and is amazing! Neither of us are runners, which always makes running such a challenge.

The race started at 7pm and the runners were in costumes and glow necklaces. It was really dark, and we zig-zagged through the cemetery. It was a perfect run for us 'just running to get exercise' runners. People were running in crazy costumes! I was so surprised that some of them could even walk...let alone run. There was a man wearing nothing but purple balloons taped to him. (he was supposed to be 'grapes') and huge boxes enclosing people! In the cemetery, a man was dressed up as a tree and jumping out and almost making people pee their pants. It was so dark you couldn't see the road, and I rolled my ankle twice. Next time I will dress-up as a 'spelunker' and run with a headlamp.

It was a great run and we finished strong and even sprinted down the straight-away. I think we pushed each other well, and finished strong. I beat my treadmill time by five minutes. It is still strange how hard it is for me to train my body to run. I think God gave me a weight training, squatting, arm wrestling body...not a runners body...and since the 5k in August I have tried to "love my body"! I figure I love my body for the fact that I'm not a target for an assault. Ever since beating all the boys in third grade in an arm wrestle, and being determined to earn my Presidential Fitness Awards in Elementary with 'boy push-up's' and 'boy pull-up's' I have been too obsessed with muscle. I just wish I could trade those guys who try so hard to gain, and take supplements.

I thought the ability to leg press over 300 pounds was cool. Other girls stood facing the mirror wanting bigger boobs. I stood in front of the mirror backwards, on my tip toes, to see the cool shape my calves made, or the nice diagonal ripples I could get in my triceps by turning my arm around. Now I look at one (that's right...just one) really large forearm and think "Do most stylists bulk from cutting hair?" or even better "Are most stylists right boob higher than the left from blow drying?" The gift of bulking...what men want...I would gladly give away.

So trying to mold my body into running has been a chore. My ankle is missing most of the cartilage and constantly reminds me what an idiot I am for running. My Dr. told me to stop playing basket ball in Jr. High. He said my ankles would never survive if I didn't. I remember telling my Mom I would rather have my ankle replaced than stop playing. She knew I was serious and let me keep playing. I just love the feeling of my heart working when I run. It's a miracle to push your body into something you'd never imagine it could do.

My sister and I were both on the track team in High School. We both high jumped, and I also did sprints. Both events required serious quads, which was in our genes. She also thought it was awesome how shocked people were at the pounds she could leg press.

My sister trained with the cross country team because Coach told her to. She swore she would never run a race. On Saturday she told me she had not ran since that run in High School, she too hated every second of it.

We are quite the pair, and still know our leg pressing and squatting abilities are freakishly impressive. We are both insanely competitive and if someone tells us we can't do something...we'll die proving we can.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I was informed of a potty word in my music...sorry! I didn't mean any offense, please forgive me.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Alive and kicking!

Whew! I am still alive...sort of.
Life has seemed to get a bit crazy these last weeks. I have so much to share, funnies, and tasty nuggets. I will be catching up and back dating for the next while...
(PS- I HATE that when I add and back date a post, it shows up as my latest post on people's blog roller. Why is that? Even if I back date it for a month ago. Geeeez!)

Addi has been exceptionally in character lately and is loving preschool. She came home this week devastated because the kids who could write their name correctly got a lollipop in class, and she did not. (Sophie didn't either...apparently through a fit and cried...shocker!)
So we worked and worked on her name. First off, it's been a challenge to convince her that her name is ADDISYN not ALLISON. It 's hard to spell your name when you don't even know it. I think she's always wanted her name to be Allison, but she is learning to accept her given name.
After all kinds of tricks and visuals...we finally got it down. I hadn't thought of teaching her the right letters, being the right-brain that I am, I taught her that the "d's face their Daddy" (the big first letter) and at the end, she must draw the slide at the park. (and 'n', the straight line is the stairs, and the slope down is the slippery part) This is how I learn things, and it seemed to work great for her. I'm afraid we will run into some trouble then it comes to learning the actual letters and sounds. Oops! I guess that's where Mike will come in.
Sophie is another story. She is nowhere close to learning letters...or even holding a pencil and wanting to write letters. She has however started to draw people. This is a huge step for her. All the people she draws are big circle heads, kind of a face, and lines coming out from the head. They look an awful lot like spiders, but steps!
Sophie went to the Psychologist last week. Things went so much better than I thought. I had worked up all the 'worst-case scenario' in my mind, so I could be prepared for anything. I really like to do that to myself. That way whatever really happens seems good or easy compared to what I had imagined.
The Dr. said that she isn't abnormal. She actually seems to be advanced in some areas mentally. So her frustrations, anger, and lack of response to discipline is normal. She doesn't want to stop and listen when she knows things already. Which explains the constant "I knooooow, I knooooow" and all the "I toad choo so!" If I even start to talk to her she starts chanting one of the phrases and will not stop or listen. Argh!
So there doesn't seem to be anything medically wrong, perhaps some learning challenges, an over-active imagination (how could she not with spending all her time with Addi!) and a very strong willed personality. (Geeez! don't know where THAT came from.)
The conclusion is...I must discipline her very differently than my other girls. She needs different rules, different consequences, and different reactions from me. I have to take my emotions out of it, and just 'matter of fact' give consequences if she doesn't follow the rules. Whether she chooses to follow the rules can't seem to matter to me. This approach seemed pretty simple and very straight forward. The only problem? I have a tough time hiding the way I feel. Anybody who knows me has seen the range of shapes and stretches my face can accomplish. To say that I am expressive is an understatement. Mike always said he knows exactly how I feel, because it's 'written on my face.'
So the last couple weeks have changed our household quite a bit. I am surprised at how much I have had to change my behavior. Sophie has no desire to be a 'big girl', there is really nothing she can be bribed with consistently. She doesn't respond that way.
We have a follow-up in a month, and we'll see how it goes.
Flu shots last night. I don't feel bad bribing them for this one. Cori actually puts up the biggest fight. But remembering how crazy I acted, even as a teenager, so it gives me a better perspective on how she feels. I recall screaming "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!" for the last shot I was given as a teenager. So embarrassing! (and "yes" I am still teased at family functions)
Addi really wanted "Honna Don awlds" but it was too late in the evening. If you are wondering where that word came from...I have no clue! It is Addi's word for any type of drive-thru. It means McDonald's, but also means Wendy's, Carl's Jr., or any other establishment that gives us food from a "litt-ul winder, wid dat mean faced wady." (Apparently friendly service isn't friendly enough for Addi.) Nevertheless, glazed doughnuts were the the ticket this year.

Our favorite holiday is quickly approaching. Cori had an Activities Day party last week and had to dress-up. Since we couldn't get this year's costume together...we went with last year's. She is the cutest darn witch. Not cute in a cheesy way, cute in an evil way! I love her!

Lexi-looski is having a party this year. I struggled a bit with the invites this year. She compiled a very unique list of guests. Most of which I don't know. I really wanted to invite all the neighborhood girls, especially the ones close by. But she reminded me the this was HER party, not mine. Even told me that if it was my party I could invite who I wanted, but it's HER party! Okay then!
She's invited more boys than girls. She wants to play creepy games, watch movies that will give nightmares, and pretty much scare the crap out of everyone who comes. I think she'll be disappointed if there's not at least one child in tears.
I guess that's what we all love about Halloween. Mike and I are huge fans of scary and creepy. Our kids have grown up to appreciate this holiday as much as we do. There's something so satisfying about really scaring someone! Does that make me sick on a level? Probably.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Me, me and more me!

This post is all about me. That's and only me. There will be no cute kids pictures or references...

I have taken a challenge to lose weight. It was the 'I-am-so-stinkin'-sick-of-being-fat Challenge'. Have you heard of it? I came across this particular challenge after wading through hundreds of pictures of myself from my trip in August.
I started real strong...always do...and have hit the wall. I write down EVERYTHING I put in my mouth. Even the bites of Mac n' Cheese I finish off the girls plates. FYI- can't afford to do that anymore! I am using the Weight Watchers points system.

I tried Weight Watchers last year and lost a whopping 9 pounds. That was after almost 4 months. I was so darn frustrated...OK, I was pissed! (sorry about that)
Well, I decided to give it another go. For those of you who know, I am eating only my daily points. No exercise points and none of the weekly allowance points. I am not attending meetings, just following the plan.
I was surprisingly so involved in this I.A.S.S.S.O.B.F Challenge, this was not tough for me at all. Well, now I'm ending week 9...and it's getting tougher. I have seen the same number on my scale now for almost 3 full weeks. (I've even held things and weighed to see if the scale was broken) I wondered if it was my exercise, so I started running 3 miles a day, 3 days a week. I wondered if it was my use of points in the evening, so I started eating bigger lunches and smaller dinners. I'M READY TO CRY!
I lost 21 pounds in the first 6 weeks and it was great! It is easy to keep going when you can see the results from week to week. Now, I am ready to sit and eat all the Halloween candy I have hidden in the garage. ARGH!!! And the saddest part, is that the 21 pounds I lost is what I put on since quitting Weight Watchers last year. So technically, I am just back to where I started. Sad, sad, I know...
Anyways...I was researching how to "break a plateau" on the Internet last night and found the Real Age test. Now I am a huge Biggest Loser fan, and they always do this with the contestants. It's Dr. Oz's thing. (Oprah's guy) And I've avoided things like this because...well, I don't need someone else to tell me I need to lose weight. I've got a mirror for that..thank you very much!
I have been curious though, because being as tall as I am, my weight is always higher. I also love exercising and weight training. My weight has never physically slowed me down, and I've been able to pretty much do whatever I've wanted. I have a high amount of muscle mass, and since I was 14 the doctors have been surprised at my weight. Let's just say I am dense! The 1/2 marathon last April was the first time I realized how much better I would feel if I lost weight. I really want to feel healthy for as long as possible. If I'm gonna live long, which I'd honestly rather not, I want a good quality of life. I'd rather kick the bucket at 65 or 70 if it's just gonna all go down hill. I want that awesome resurrected body!
So this test took 15-20 minutes. Luckily, I had recently gotten my cholesterol checked, and was at the doctors a couple weeks ago and knew all my basic numbers. Pretty much, living an LDS lifestyle eliminates many of the risk factors. I also realized as the test went on, that no women in my family have had breast cancer or ovarian cancer. In fact, besides a little skin cancer (which was promptly removed) there has been no cancer in my family.
The results took 2 hours to receive...
I was ready for the worst. And I expected to never reveal the results, let alone admit to even taking the test.
My biological age was 29.4 and my Real Age was 27.2 !!!! Yippee!
Now of course it also said that I needed to eat more veggies, lower my cholesterol and lower my BMI. But I was truly shocked!
Maybe this can be the carrot on the end of my 'weight loss' stick. Enough to keep me going.

So, more about me...
I saw this on a friends blog, and thought it was funny. I honestly tried it because of my weird name. Maybe it would say I didn't count or something. Like "The meaning of Sherian is...your Mom was a fruitcake who decided to punish her first child." Or I would have to enter another name close to mine, but not it (Sherry Ann is the most dreaded of all names, which I frequently get called by people who have known me for years...that's right, YEARS) The only other 'Sherian' I've heard of is one.
When I first met a friend of mine, she said "Sherian? Really?! That was the name of my Nana!" She is from Louisiana, and the big black lady who babysat her was named Sherian! She thought it was hilarious! Apparently there are quite a few black women with my name.
Surprisingly enough, when I put in my name, this is what I got. Since my own Mother can't tell me what it means or even how she really came up with it, I was impressed. I figure it's long enough to cover all the bases. Some of it is probably true, and some not. But, fun none the less.

What Sherian Means

You are the total package - suave, sexy, smart, and strong.

You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know.

You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do.

You are truly an original person. You have amazing ideas, and the power to carry them out.

Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia.

Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.

You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.

At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.

You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.

You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.

You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.

You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic “Type A” personality.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.

You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.

You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Beef

I have a lot of beef to express about recent events. Between the economy, the presidential candidates, proposition 8, and other valid mind has been swimming in a pool of crap, trying to sort the 'kind of truth' from the 'almost truth' from the 'far from truth'.
I have always felt that politics is more a battle of money, then anything else. And we get the fantastic freedom of picking the lesser of two evils, instead of someone we totally agree with. I'm sure that sounds very pessimistic, but I have never understood how we have gotten to this point in our country's presidential agenda. If our founding fathers could see us now...I'm sure they'd be sick with many of our country's leaders today.

Mike very much discourages me from publicly expressing views on politics, religion, or any other areas of debate. Especially since Mike and I cannot even discuss these issues without a heated discussion. But knowing me, areas of debate are the things I mostly want to express.

I will say this...I worry about my children. Bottom line, I want what's best for them. Mike and I are at a point where we feel secure in our life. Not to say that it couldn't change, but we have a family, we've been very blessed, and we know we would be fine no matter what happens to our country.
My children are a different story. I want them to have good health care. I want them the get a good education. I want them to work hard and earn a decent living. I want them to be able to buy a home. I want them to have families of their own, and feel some of the same securities Mike and I have felt. But first and foremost I want them to have their freedom. I believe that in order for them to have any of the things fore mentioned, they must have freedom.
I am concerned with the restrictions and limitations we are putting on our freedoms. The separation of church and state has changed our nation. I'm concerned what other laws may change things for our future generations.

I will not go in depth on this topic, but I have wrestled with it so much that I cannot leave it unmentioned. Especially because I believe it will be pivotal in the future.

Proposition 8. I will start by admitting that I have been on BOTH sides of this debate. I have some family members and some great friends who are homosexuals, and I love them dearly. In the beginning of this debate, I was against this proposition (which eliminates the right of same-sex couples to marry) I was mainly against this for one reason. It seems likes a 'right' for people in this country to find marry, whomever they choose. Now, I know this may shine a different light on my values. But I am so grateful to live in a free country. I take my freedoms very seriously, and wouldn't want any laws to tell me how I can live my life or raise my family.
Belonging to a church persecuted by the law, I NEVER want to be put in that situation. Living in a country founded on religious freedom, I respect every one's right to worship and believe what they want. I hold firm to the accepting each others differences without condoning what others do. It's that whole "you can hate the sin, but love the sinner" belief. Not to mentioned, I could feel this way about the proposition because obviously, same-sex marriage does not pertain to my marriage, or even my community.
So I chosen my ground, and was standing rather confident on it. Then, the Church came out publicly with a major involvement in the issue. Never in my lifetime have I seen or heard of the Church getting so involved in political issue like this, giving an estimated 43 percent — some $8.4 million to the Proposition 8 campaign. I was shaken off my ground, and had to start again. I will admit I was a bit miffed at first, I felt like I was being told what to believe and more so, how to vote. However, that's my own stubbornness, and I follow my Lord and his appointed leaders and prophet. I just needed to understand why, and I have to believe for myself, not because I am told that I believe something.

My conclusion is this...the church has publicly and very recently said they do not oppose civil unions or benefits for gay-partners, the issue is marriage.
I think that Mormons are naturally opposed to gay marriage because it is the inversion of our most sacred covenant, temple marriage. As a Mormon, I believe that only men and women who are united together in this highest ordinance and then keep the covenants associated with it, will be able to receive the greatest blessing of all...eternal life. We believe this kind of marriage will last through eternity. It is one of the most beautiful concepts we cherish as a religious people.
Even so, I strongly oppose polygamy. I struggle with the fact that I belong to a church which practiced it not too long ago. And I REALLY struggle with the fact that people think we still do practice it. However, my feeling on that issue of marriage is based on my limited knowledge and my personal monogamous beliefs. Not to mention, all Christians have to wrestle with that as it is all over the Bible. (and the references of homosexual relations in the Bible are not positive)
The countries where gay marriage has already been adapted have shown a decline in childbearing and marriage as a whole. We know this to be true from our textbooks. And speaking of textbooks, I have heard most of the people around me say they fear this law will change the public education system. After researching, this issue does concern me. However, I am an advocate of better sex education in schools. I think that the better informed you are, the better your decisions will included. I think too many parents think the best way to keep your kids from having sex is to pretend it doesn't exist, or that it's a bad or prevented thing. Not talking about something just makes you kids have to figure it out on their own. LGBT couples will inevitably be more and more common in the future, regardless of the laws passed. Along with homosexuality...the BT in LGBT must also be addressed with young people. Pretending it's not out there does not protect your child! Just because we live in a 'bubble' here in Utah, does not mean that we don't live in the real world. You really can live "in the world, not of the world", but you cannot live in a bubble.
I do not want my child to be taught about homosexuality in school. Albeit, they will get plenty of info at school regarding all forms of sexuality, but I do not want a legalized gay agenda in my child's elementary school. I want that information to come from me.
I do not want to feel that speaking out against the gay lifestyle will endanger me or my family of being arrested on hate crime charges. Not that I condone the form of 'speaking out' which would involve any crimes, let alone hate crimes. However, the law can be bent in many ways.
If we want to pass some good laws regarding marriage...we should include divorce laws or better yet...infidelity laws. Men would cheat less often if their wives could legally dish out a Lorena Bobbit punishment. And couples would consider marriage more thoroughly if legal consequences came with divorce. There are attacks on 'the family' and the 'sanctity of marriage' on many levels.

Okay, I'll wrap this up...

I have had to do a ton of research to discover where it is I want to stand. I encourage everyone to do the same. I believe that as a Mormon, I have been consistently taught and encouraged to be kind, respectful, and sensitive to those who may not agree with our personal or collective views. I wish everyone could find the happiness they want in this life. And with that said...I will do what I can to protect my children and my family's freedoms. I am so glad that I live in the United States where I can freely express my opinions. I would never survive in a place without that freedom. As a Mormon, and a person from a very conservative place in our country, I hope and pray that all of us, on both sides, will do it with respect, patience, and kindness.

Is that not going into depth on the topic?

Monday, October 20, 2008

UEA Weekend!

While others took fabulous family vacations to Disneyland and San Diego...we had great family bonding time over our food storage.
It is difficult to explain to the girls why Food Storage is so important. I guess it's not hard to much as it's hard for them to understand. Quite frankly, I'm not sure I understand to the full extent. I know it has been commanded from the Prophet, but it is definitely one of those things you do in faith, and don't necessarily question.
I suppose that my Grandparents generation knows exactly why we should be so prepared. Which is also why I assume my Grandparents have a 3-year-supply, not just one year.
I always want to know when, where and why. I want to KNOW if I will ever eat all this wheat! I want to know WHY I would eat all this wheat! No really...the whole wheat thing scares me a bit.

So...we spent our time this weekend by renting a 'Dry Pack Canner' from the Church Cannery. It felt rather productive, and there was a sense of accomplishment and peace when we finished. We were able to do 78 cans...which included wheat, milk, oats, rice, and sugar. Nic and Sode did 20 cans as well. It went really quick and easy. We had a great assembly line going.

In recent months I think I have seen a glance of what people might have gone through in the 1930's. And while it doesn't even touch our situation and our country's prosperity now...I can see how the bubble could burst. I'm not thinking there will be a "Black Tuesday" per say , but I could see a "Black Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday" that could do us in! It may not all be in one day, but the signs of the times are becoming more and more apparent.

(The sad part about the weekend is that I lost all the pictures on my camera! Bummer! Pictures of Mike, Sode, Nic, and I canning were beautiful (ha!), and pictures of the kids bored out of their minds! So sad we lost all those.)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Great Divide

Even though I knew it was coming...I took it pretty hard. I like to think that I'm a 'go with the flow' kinnda gal, you know "live by the seat of my pants kinnda girl...moment to moment"
When there is change in my life I seem to do fine...if that change is the change I want. This ward split was not! I kept convincing myself that the stake could perform some type of boundaries which would allow the comfort of my friends to continue for at least another year.
I need to learn how to accept things better. I think that considering my inward feelings, I kept my cool. I left the meeting and went home. I gave myself about 15 minutes to just be really 'pissed off'. (Sorry, there is not another word to describe it) I then gave myself an hour to be very very sad. Then came the 12 hours to feel really sorry for myself. Voila! That's all I am allowing.

While I still am saddened by the new arrangement, I've decided that I am a big girl, and I will be just fine. The Lord was very kind to me, and is already helping me move on. He has a way of sending me just what I need, when I need it. After the 12 hours of feeling sorry for myself, Mike and I were invited to some neighborhood functions. I quickly realized that not only am I able, but excited to step out of my box.
I made such wonderful friends in my ward over the past year. When Mike and I first moved in, we really struggled. Mike has never tried to be a social person, I on the other hand, have never really seemed to have a hard time finding friends. I couldn't seem to make any immediate connections with the people around me. I felt very alone, and very 'out of place'. I really questioned our move, and wondered why it would feel like the right thing to do, if it now felt so wrong.
I moved from a ward where I didn't have ton of friends...but I felt like I belonged. I felt accepted in my calling, and made strong relationships I knew would last long after I moved. There was such diversity in my particular neighborhood. Widowed women in their nineties, who adored the children in Sacrament Meeting. Those who had raised their children and were enjoying life and Grandparent responsibilities. Parent with older kids, and first-time parents. Some Newlyweds, and young adults. There were new homes built on farmers land, children of older couples in the neighborhood. People who had lived in the neighborhood their entire lives, and those who were transplants.
I will first, we were the 'new-comers'. But people were welcoming, and wanted to know us.
When we moved where we are now...everyone was new. Almost all of us were the same age, and most of us had kids the same age. I'm not sure if we are all just too busy for each other, but the friendships are taking years to build.
When our boundaries changed last year, we got a new street in our ward. This street was filled with amazing people. They had all been friends and neighbors for many years, but welcomed me and befriended me immediately. I made instant connections and friends I will have for a long time. For the first time in a long time, I felt like I belonged. I had girlfriends again. People to call and talk to.
I know it's stupid to think that things have to change that much. I know I will still have my friends, but I will sure miss them on Sunday. Serving with them, and knowing their kids so well.

On a brighter note...when the ward split, I knew I would need to be willing to serve in any way I was needed. I did receive a calling, (in nursery) and I'm excited to serve the little ones. I just love kids, and there's no better way to feel uplifted than surrounding yourself with beautiful loving little children. I know when I serve my focus turns away from myself, and that's just what I need now.
I am hoping this will give me place to belong, and a group of other women to get to know better and become friends with.

I am grateful to belong to my Church. I love the opportunity it gives me and my family to serve. I know my Father in Heaven loves me and will help me accomplish whatever I need to do. I am so glad he knows me...who I really am. What's in my heart, and what I struggle with. Even if I put a smile on and pretend well, he knows how I feel. He always steps in when I'm at the end of my rope. He gives me light.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Weekend in Park City

For our GNO this month, the friend who was in charge planned a Park City trip! I was so excited, I could not wait to spend time with great friends, shop, and be in Park City! Does it get better than that? I don't think so! I know lots of people who live hear are big fans of Park City. I have not been downtown very many times, and it always seemed too 'out of my league' in terms of a weekend getaway. I had only been familiar with the exit for the outlets, and the outlets themselves. I had no idea the charm of this amazing place.
It had been set up for Thursday evening to Saturday afternoon. At first I didn't know if I would be able to make it work for that length of time. Thursday and Friday were Parent Teacher Conferences, I didn't know who would watch the girls Friday, I was going to run a race on Saturday, and there was a BYU game. fate would have it... I was able to re-schedule meeting with the girls' teachers for 4 & 4:30 on Thursday, Mike could work from home on Friday, the weather turned really nasty so I couldn't run Saturday, and the game didn't start until 4 pm. If these were not signs to go, then I don't know what else it could have been!
I headed up Thursday around 6 pm and met the ladies for dinner. The condo was as downtown as it gets, so we could walk to all the restaurants. Kristen, Sara and Stephanie were the only ones who could make it that night, and Allison met us after dinner. I have a hard time bringing my camera to things that only involve me, and not my kids. I don't know why, but it feels funny to take pictures of just unless I steal one from Kristen's blog, you will never know if I'm just making up this entire weekend and it's just an elaborate part of my dream world. It really did feel like a dream, partly because it was so fantastic, but mainly because we stayed up until 5:30 am talking both nights. Friday evening, Rebecca, Tami and Brenda came up. We went to dinner and had a great time that night talking, and even got a movie in. It was so much fun, and I loved getting to know everyone a bit better.

Now, I must clarify that this weekend was not a "pamper yourself at spas, buy a new wardrobe, pretend you're ridiculously rich" weekend...that weekend is definitely in my dream world. It was a very planned and productive weekend! It served the purpose of getting completely ready and prepared for Christmas and Kristen was clear on our agenda and what we needed to accomplish! I just love that girl and the way she thinks. Her invite expressed things like...
What to bring? Christmas lists, wrapping paper, cards..."Depends on how much you want to get done."
"Everyone have a game plan of where you want to go. We are not leisure shopping we are focusing ladies. "
and "Out the door by 9:30" every morning.
Along with letting us stay at her families condos, she provided us breakfast and said "Nothing gourmet ladies, keeping it simple."

I'm afraid we may have let her down on some of the agenda, but I felt it was an extremely productive time. I AM COMPLETELY DONE WITH CHRISTMAS! I cannot tell you how great it feels. I even stopped at Tai Pan on the way home to pick up any needed Christmas Decorations for the year. All I needed was one online order, and by 4pm Saturday...I sealed the deal.
So not only did I have a great weekend, spending time with some of my favorite friends, I came home with such a huge load off my shoulders! I have two months to enjoy the holidays and spend time with my family.
I need to express how incredibly thankful I am for this opportunity. I have an amazing friend who I just adore and admire so much. She is one of those women you aspire to become. The opportunity she gave us was so great, I owe her BIG TIME!

On a side note...Christmas was quite a bit easier to shop for this year with the economic crisis. With 'tightening our belts' this year, it will be nice to remember what Christmas is really all about. I think my family is so blessed, and my kids have so much. I keep hearing so many negative things about the future such as "the other shoe dropping" and how bad things "come in three's". My Grandpa is a bit of a 'doomsday' believer. I told my Mom last night "So Grandpa's saying that we should be wearing three shoes waiting for the last one to fall off? I'm not sure I can be that superstitious."

On one hand, I worry about our nations future, and what it means for me and my family. However, on the other hand, having the gospel and knowing the eternal perspective helps me realize that we are going to be OK. It's seems strange that my generation has no clue what a real financial crisis is, and that my kids have no clue what difficult situations we may face. They love having Mom cook more often, growing a garden, and eating Spaghetti once a week. To them, Mom cans food because she enjoys it, and they will love to help can next year. For UEA weekend we have rented the canner/sealer from the church cannery. They are as excited about doing that than anything else. We discuss all we want to can, Cori will help with the assembly line, and Lexi's looking forward to sticking on the labels.
Cori overheard Mike and I discussing the financial future we wonder about. Later that night, I was brushing her hair. She asked "Mom? If Daddy lost his job, we wouldn't have money, right?" I said "yes, not enough to live like we do now...why?" She so innocently said "money doesn't really matter too much. We could move, and not have nice clothes...but we would all still be together right?" I again said "yes" and she sighed "That's what I thought...I knew we would be fine without money."
I'm grateful for the simple thoughts of an 8 year-old to put me at ease. I was grateful for the messages from our Apostles and Prophets recently. I know everyone has a personal experience getting what they need out of conference. I am blessed for the peace it brought to me. In a crazy world, that foundation is so necessary in my life. There are a lot of luxuries which could be taken from me, and I know I would be just fine. We are lead by the Lord, and he has prepared us. He will care for us and provide the way to return home. I sometimes wish I knew that path, what bumps may be in the road ahead. Cori says she knows as long as we are together we will be fine, and so do I.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Final preparations before hibernation

I am huge pansy when it comes to cold weather. My body is not meant to function in temperatures below 65 degrees. So when Mike informed me that it was going to get colder last weekend I panicked. I had to hurry and finish my current project in the backyard, and plant anything I wanted in the ground by Friday evening, because my hibernation will soon begin.
I usually don't leave my house much from November until May. My neighbors see me at church, but that's about it. And usually someone is always sick, so even church is hit and miss through winter. I used to ski, snowboard, and even sled occasionally, but I guess I've turned into a Mama bear.
The only things about my hibernation which varies from really Mama bears...#1 I don't get to sleep through winter, which would be absolutely divine if you ask me, and #2 I don't come out of hibernation skinny and food deprived, don't I wish! If anything it's the opposite, I've been couped up in my house all winter baking warm comfort foods, and making Christmas candies. Dang it!
No actually, I really do have a fantastic plan this winter. I am going to make an asserted effort to have a more productive winter. Instead of spending 6 months miserably complaining about how cold I am, and how I wished I lived in Arizona, I am making a plan!
First off, I have a fantastic GNO group who will give me a great excuse to get all gussied up and get out once a month! I absolutely love these ladies, and we have such a blast together. So I'm looking forward to that.
Secondly, I am determined to take advantage of my exercise equipment this winter. For Mother's Day, Mike gave me some great equipment. I've used it over the summer, but I'm really gonna hit it hard this winter. I'm running a 5k in a couple weeks, and one in November. That alone will make me get out and get moving. But...and I've not quite convinced myself yet...but I think I'm going to run the 1/2 marathon again. (I can't believe I just typed that! I've struggled even letting the words escape my lips!) I absolutely SWORE I would not do it again. I mean I literally swore and cussed the entire eleventh mile that I would NEVER do it again. Mike said he has heard me cuss less than 10 times over the past 10 years. I am not a potty mouth, but boy did my mind give me a lashing during that race. My self talk went something like this...

"You are so awesome! You can totally do this!...You are such a $*^# idiot! Why in the #^$* did you think you could run this #*$, %()$*, !&#*$^# race!!!.........
(15 seconds later)
You are so great, so amazing, and you will be so glad you did this! You are fantastic and so strong, you can totally do this!....totally do this #*$, %()$*, !&#*$^# race you stupid %&$*!!!!!"

Whew! That's the mental beating I'm preparing to give myself again. I promise I am not a potty mouth AT ALL, I was in a lot of pain, and to my surprise...that is how I seemed to deal with it. I also kept thinking my body had never been through something like that without an epidural. I can't comprehend natural childbirth. It's probably a good thing I never tried it...I'm afraid of the words that may have escaped my lips!! I'm thinking the second time around I won't get so mad...I guess I'll see when that sixth and eleventh mile rolls around.
Everyone kept saying it is "addicting", and there is a "huge adrenalin rush"...well somebody forgot to tell my body that! Baaaa! I thought I was going to die, but I figured it was a decent way to die, I'd leave this world as a casualty of fitness. Or... I would be the "idiot wimp who couldn't cut it", since millions of people run like that for pleasure. My definition of pleasure is the absolute farthest thing from running like that! My only motivation behind running is exactly behind!
So I guess I am determined to come out of hibernation with a healthy and smokin' hot body. I really want to wear a bathing suit again. Instead of a bathing suit under a pair of shorts and a tee shirt I refuse to take off! I haven't done that since 2003, and I'm ready to get healthy and happy. Not to mention, if I drop some of this extra weight, that 1/2 marathon will sure be better on my knees. When I lose weight, it all comes off my chest first. It would nice to run with a little less "bounce" in my step, if you get my drift ;)
So for the first time in 8 years or so, I am looking forward to the coming months. I think I can use my hibernation for good. So, when this Mama bear leaves her cave in out!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A very busy weekend

This was Addi's wonderful surprise for me Friday morning...

I saw them and wondered if I stuck them all together and flipped through them, maybe there would be an awesome cartoon. How can I get mad that she used up all my post-it's when she gives me such a great display?

On Friday evening, our good friends came into town, and came over to watch the football game. (I won't discuss the game, I was a bit disappointed, but thankfully we came out on top.) These are friends we've know for quite some time. Mike's mission companion who is my former co-worker and friend. He actually introduced Mike and I. Then he met his wife, and life seemed to take us in different directions. Ironically however, they had four daughters within 12 months of us having four daughters.
The girls were so excited to have them over, and we tried to see if the older girls would remember them at all. When I told Cori about our friends, and how we all became friends she said, "Well, I will have to thank them SO VERY MUCH! If it weren't for him I would not exist!" How's that for dramatic gratitude!
When I told the girls they would each have a friend their own age they were more excited than Christmas morning. All night Addi kept pointing and asking "Is that one mine?" She wouldn't learn her friends name, just referred to her friend as "My very own" and "mine". She was a crack up!
We had a great time and the house was full of 8 adorable giggly girls running and playing. When it was time to go, they would not stop hugging each other. It was as if they had to part with their soul mates. These girls were instant best friends, and all connected so well. We had such a great night visiting and catching up.

The Saturday sessions of General Conference were fantastic. It rained all stinkin' day long. Which made it a great 'lazy day'.
The girls are always so excited to see our apostles and prophet. They are like sponges, and love to learn and soak up spiritual knowledge. They are such great examples to me, and such amazing girls.
Mike went to the Priesthood session Saturday night, and I decided to get a babysitter. My sister came into town from Washington, and I was hoping to see her, or hang out with other ladies who were without hubby's that night. My sister was otherwise occupied, so I decided to see what chick flick I could see. No chick flicks looked good, so I went to a comedy and rather enjoyed my Diet Coke and alone time. Mike called me afterwards and we went to dinner. He worked on his laptop , finishing a software job in a corner table at Starbucks until my movie was over. It doesn't get any better for Mike. A date with his computer and some high quality hot chocolate! So we each got some great alone time, then shared the rest of our evening together.
When my sisters heard of my night, they told me how 'weird' Mike and I were. Me, for going to a movie by myself. I don't see why that's weird. I have no problem being alone. In fact, there are times I rather enjoy it! I am almost NEVER alone. I would be a very content single woman. I was not the kind of girl who needed friends to go to the bathroom with me, and I kind of like the time alone to think. Not to mention, I love the fact that I can do what I want, without having to consider or consult with anyone else. I think I am a friendly person, but I like to be alone. Not that I try to be alone a lot, but for some reason it seems natural to me.
Sunday morning at 2:45 am I got a call that my Grandma was on her way to the hospital. She has been quite sick on-and-off for the last 10 years or so. She moved up here to Utah a few years ago, and has had a hard time. She is my Dad's mother, and she's now 77. She has been in an assisted living center for the past year, and has struggled caring for herself.
So, when I woke up Saturday I headed over to the hospital to visit her and get the scoop. When I got to the hospital, I found out that she wasn't admitted, and only stayed an hour in the ER. I went to her place and found her in pretty bad shape. After taking care of her and trying to figure out what was happening, and what happened a few hours earlier, I decided to take her back to the hospital. Truthfully, I was ticked that they sent her sent her home in her condition. I would like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but I've witnessed times when being older, and on Medicare gives you less privileges than others. It's so crappy, but it happens. I'm not making a plug for socialized health care, but there are situations where I get so miffed at our health care system!
I got her checked back into the hospital and, stayed with her until 3:30pm. My sweet sister came to the hospital so I could go home, and I caught the last two talks on the radio during the drive home. I was so bummed to miss both sessions of Conference, but thankful for my DVR and the Ensign.
I missed spending time with my family Sunday, but I was glad I could be there for my Grandma. I have gotten to know her so much better since she moved here. It feels like another link to my Dad. He left such a void in my life, that to try and fill it, seems to somehow complete a part of something inside me. My Grandma is such a unique person, and I never quite know what to expect with her.
Mike always teases me that I will be just like that when I'm her age. Kind of crazy and way too independent! Maybe that's who I get it from, she's done a lot of stuff by herself. Being alone never stopped her from doing what she wanted, like going to the movies!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Cherokee Wisdom

Two Wolves

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Family Drama

With five sisters and four daughters my life is never free of drama. It seems that no matter what, no matter when, there is always some type of drama happening.
I am not very good at drama. I tend to start by getting heavily involved, trying to help, being concerned, and caring TOO much. Then I just get frustrated, don't want to deal with anything or anyone, and remove myself from the situation entirely. Which makes me cold, hard, insensitive, rude and not sympathetic.
It seems the past year or so there has been more drama in my life and my family than usual. Maybe my tolerance has lowered, or my attitude has just changed. Growing up, most of my friends were boys, I was a tomboy, and I enjoyed that very much. Boys don't get emotional, they are honest, don't tend to play games, and easily forgive, forget and move on. Why in the world was I born into a family of so many females? I will never know.
As I was taking care of my Grandma on Saturday I was thinking about the cycle of life. About the family drama which seems to always be bothering me, and the way things never seem to go as planned. It hit me pretty hard that our life is not really our plan, but the Lord's plan. Yes, we make our own decisions, we chose our paths, but the real course of my life is ultimately up to a higher power.
Dealing with the death of my Dad, and the death of Mike's parents has given me an odd perspective on life and death. I feel like I have odd relationships with my family. And quite frankly, I feel I have a very odd family! (I'm sure everyone feels that way) I want to convince people I love to think like me. I'm sick of being the 'black sheep', yet I know that stigma came from my own decisions. And although I'm glad my family is so close, I wish people would just stay out of each others business. I don't want a family that pretends everything is always perfect, but boy it sure would be nice sometimes. And while I know we belong to our families for a specific reason and purpose, I sometimes think...why couldn't we be in families where we are more alike. You know that saying..."Any family tree produces some lemons, nuts and bad apples"...well, I get to be pegged as the bad apple, and I really struggle with the lemons and nuts! (Although some of my family will tell you I am all three!)
I honestly love my family, bless their hearts, but sometimes I wish we just got together for Thanksgiving or Christmas every year. We would sure get along better, and would really enjoy each others company. It's just that family drama is not my thing, and I'd rather tell everybody off, than sit and listen to "he said, she said" crap.
I should add that I am blessed with a great family, and the dynamics are just as weird in every family! I love that as we get older we become better friends. I also love that your family will forgive you for stupid things you did or said as a kid. (most of them at least) I find it amazing how different we all turned out, and the adults we have became, or are becoming.
I looked at my Grandma and pictured her at my age. Married, with three of her 5 children, she would have just given birth to my Dad at my age. What did she expect from life? What was her plan? Did she ever think about her future and picture her current situation?
It made me really think about how short our life is. It is so very short, and such a small part of the eternal plan. And though it is such a short time, it is so very important. The choices we make, what we learn, the things we do or don't do can shape not only our future here, but for eternity.
I've never feared death, if anything I seem to fear life. I'm afraid of living, or not living to the fullest. I hear 'eternal potential' and wonder what mine is. And realize I am not reaching it.
My grandma is a convert to the church. She has suffered some extremely difficult trials in her lifetime. She has done some amazing things, and traveled the world. She has incredible stories of her life experiences. She has lived a very full life, and yet I get the feeling she is not ready to die. Mike's Dad was the same way. Mike's Mom however, was ready. She didn't want to die by any means, but she accepted the Lord's will and was ready to go home.
So, what is the difference? What makes you ready? Should you always feel ready?
And I know the answer. I know that 'that' is why we are on this earth. I hate to admit it, but I don't want to grow old. I don't want the complete life cycle. I don't want to have to surrender my independence. I mostly don't want an old body, or and old mind. I want everything to function properly until the moment I die. Which probably means I will live until I'm 108, and will suffer a very lengthy, drawn out, deterioration process.
My amazing sister recently wrote the following...

One tree with thousands of leaves. Every leaf the exact same shade of green. They do not stand out. If one changes color, it is because of death, or an unbalance of nutrients. When they are balanced, healthy, thriving, they are all the same color. They do not boast except when the inevitable death sweeps through during the fall. They all give their last hurrah of maroons, yellow ochers, rusts, before they quietly one day, without ceremony, accept their death. Mother sends a light breeze and they comply, break away. The result is not millions of micro-tombstones. The result is new life. There is a white hollow carcass. The result of millions of cells being created and regenerating. This once-insect did its duty everyday, survived, then passed. And now? To some, the result of its hard work, its hard outer protection from the world, is now a nuisance, dirt. Trash, gross.

I just love that girl. You know you're blessed when your little sister can teach you so much, and be so profound. I am so proud to say I am related to such a talented mind, and poetic voice in this world! I believe in 'old souls', and she is living proof of that. (Obviously not a family member I have trouble relating to, a family member I wish I was more like.)
I know the current family drama will pass, and will soon be far in the past. I will hopefully learn to be more tolerant, and understanding. I may someday have a daughter who I don't understand. She will have to make her own decisions, and will become her own person. And I will love her unconditionally.
On Sunday, being with my Grandma, I realized that my family is really very special, unique, and my very own. I am here, on this earth for a short time, born into the family I have chosen to spend eternity with. And while I can't understand or relate to some of them, they all teach me something about myself. My children will someday see me old, wrinkled, and at the end of my life. They will see me as a 'finished product', knowing the decisions I've made, the life I have lived. They will hopefully inherit qualities from me they like, and inevitably qualities they will work hard to change. I pray they will forgive me for the mistakes I make, and be a better wife and mother and woman than I could be.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Secret Conference Love Letter

tee oh em why gee eye are elle es:

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elle oh vee ee ay elle double-you ay why es,
em oh em

Too funny not to add!

I'm a Alice! I found out through Which Twilight Female Are You? Take the quiz and find out!
Take the Quiz and Share Your Results!

You are intelligent, outgoing & stylish. A true girly girl, you love shopping & makeovers.
Although you are a generous friend, you can be coy, tricky & very persuasive in order to
get your way. You are known to zone out occasionally during conversations, but your
friends forgive you because you are understanding, supportive & know how to throw one
heck of a party!

I guess it's pretty close, but the "true girly girl" part is not. I'm a sucker for horoscopes and stuff like that. Unless it's negative...then I tell myself it's completely off! Like the coy, tricky, persuasive part...I could never...OK, maybe it's kind of true. Alice was probably my favorite female character in the books. Although I'm not sure I'd be good friends with that Bella chick...she would drive me crazy!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Torturing my children!

I seem to fall behind on the regular scheduled dentist and doctor check-up's. I remember when I just had Cori, or even Cori and Lexi. It didn't seem like a big deal, I think the longest I went was 1 week past an 18 month milestone once. I would watch the "Immunize by 2, it's up to you" commercial and think to myself "who doesn't take their child in to the doctor regularly?" I pictured drug addicted, homeless parents without insurance. (how's that for judgmental) Ha! Now I laugh because it's my kids saying..."Mom? Aren't we supposed to go to the Dentist every 6 months?" Shoot! Lexi said to me last month, "Mom, I don't think I've been to the dentist in 3 years!" which is Lexi's typical dramatization, but obviously it had been a while.
I got my rear in gear last month and scheduled appointments. I don't think I realized it...but I scheduled the Dentist Monday, and the Pediatrician Tuesday. Ooops!
Monday was not too bad, except I had to schedule them starting at 8:00 am! Considering they don't start school until 9:15, this is incredibly early for our family!
I got the girls up at 6:30. We are sitting at the table eating breakfast, I feel like the bag of frozen hash browns violently beat to death on my counter. Addi points to the lefdt half of my face and says "Whey'd you get dat 'T' on yo face, Momma?" "That's from smashing my face on the pillow while I'm sleeping." I answer. She smiles and says "I wish I could have 'T's' on my face." I honestly look and feel like I have a hangover if I get up before 8 am. My kids probably think I treat myself to a few pints of whiskey after they go to bed. (Sadly, there have been a few nights recently when I've considered it!)
I look at the older two and say "Boy, aren't you glad you don't go to school on the early schedule? Can you imagine getting up like this every morning?" To which they respond "Yah! I think it would be fun!" OK, so maybe it's just me, I could never do that day after day. "I was kidding!"
We drive to the office, during which I had some rare experiences. I watched the sunrise, saw fog, drove in the morning commute, and smelled funky clean air. Even Addi said "it smells really good outside today!"
The dentist went as usual..."cross bite, cross bite, severe cross bite, and cross bite." Then the usual "crowding, crowding, crowding, and more crowding." (I think my girls thought it would be funny in heaven to get together a horiffic dental plan. I'm sure Sophie would have instigated it, "let's ALL have really big mouths full of really big teeth. And let's ALL have cross bites. Mom and Dad will go broke with braces for all of us!") Needless to say, if had we known, Mike would have gone to school and become an Orthodontist. We will be paying this man for the rest of our lives.
There was however two very big events at the office...Sophie got the first child cavity in our family! And the even better news...Lexi is MISSING an adult molar.
The look on the Dentist's face was awesome. It was her first panoramic X-ray, he looks at the film and says "Ummm...I think she is missing...yeah, she is defiantly missing a tooth." "What? Is that normal?" I ask. "No, that is not normal." Then he asked if it was hereditary, which is not the case. Funny things is, neither Mike or I had braces or any dental work besides a few cavities. Put us together, and we make really strange mouths, with lots of problems. It's a good thing we didn't have children 100 years ago. We'd be our our own traveling circus!
However, the plot thickens, because my sister's oldest son has a EXTRA tooth. What the crap?
Anyway, we made an appointment to take care of Sophie's cavity and headed out.

The next day, I take the little girls to the Doctor. They, of course, are both in the 95% for height, and the 50% for weight. I'm really glad my Doctor doesn't tell ME what percentile I'm in, that would suck!
Sophie got two shots. She cracks me up, and watches them put the needles in and says "Ouch!" and gives a little groan, "that's hurts." It takes a lot to get a cry out of her, she's one tough cookie. While Addi talks the poor Doctor's ear off. At one point she stands up and leans in to touch her necklace. I grab her arm and apologize, then Addi says "That is Go-Juss, whey'd you get it?" Addi's poor husband, she loves the jewelry!
We have been having some real concerns about Sophie. I scheduled the appointment mainly to discuss my concerns with the Doctor. I have had three positive, well-behaved, easy kids. I used to see out-of-control kids and think it was the parents fault. Lack of discipline! I started to think I had the parenting thing down pretty good. The Lord just knew that I needed Sophie last. She has made me feel that I know NOTHING about parenting. I have tried any and everything I know to help her. Nothing I have done seems to reach her. I've always believed that every kid has 'currency', you find it, and it's leverage for discipline. Be consistent, be firm and follow with an increase of love. NOTHING works...and after some serious breakdowns, I'm at a loss.
I've read books and researched online. I have tried to be open to any and all suggestions. This last week I have started telling more people my issues, hoping someone will give me a magic cure. She has behavior and social problems.
I know my challenges with her are small in relation to other parents struggles. I feel like complaining makes me sound ungrateful for all her great qualities. Some of the difficult things about her also make her so fun and spunky. I just want her to learn not to be so angry.
The Doctor looked her in the eyes and talked to her about her behavior. (Genius...I hadn't thought of talking to her!) Then she recommend some evaluations, and a visit with their child psychologist.
My hesitation comes with 'labeling' her. I fell like so many 'labels' are given to both children and adults. I also disagree with giving her medication before I know what and why! The Doctor didn't suggest medication, just beginning the process of deciding what she may need. I was doing alright until she throws in words like "Autism", then I freaked! She could tell by my face that I was shocked. Then she says "there is a huge range of levels of Autism, and she may even have just a few of the behaviors associated with a disease, but not have the disease."
On one hand I am trying to be open minded, and on the other, I would just love to keep living in denial.
Sophie had neurological problems in her first 18 months of life. She was our miracle child, and recovered to where nobody thought she would. I just figured that would be it! Over, done, end of story! I have already had my fair share of trials with her, I think she should not have to go through any more.
She suggested a new parenting book I haven't read, and Mike and I started using a different method of discipline last week. Between that and prayers I am hoping she will be just fine. I really do know that her issues are NOTHING compared to other children's issues. I do believe she will be fine either way, she has proven before how amazing she is.

And the torture continued today. I received a call from the Dentist, there was a cancellation and Sophie could get her cavity filled. Dentist, shots, more dentist...I bet they won't ask me to take them back for a while!
Sophie was so funny! They gave her laughing gas. She kept petting her face, especially the contraption covering her nose. She would rub it, and rub down the hose then laugh "Look at my nose! My nose is so funny! Look at my nose!" But it was slower and a bit slurred.
She didn't even blink and the cavity was filled. They gave her oxygen through the mask, and then she was free to go. She wouldn't let me help her of course, but she looked a bit loopy. She walked out of the room to get a prize for being good. She walked like she was holding a 10 lb. weight in her right hand. She was totally crooked, and still trying to run. She got to the prize area, looked up to choose one...then landed SMACK on the floor. She looked up at me with a mad face, she thought I had PUSHED HER OVER! I went to pick her up and she frowned at me. I said "Oh! Are you OK?" She just gave me a disappointed look, shook her head, and looked away.
I guess I deserved it...Dentist, Doctor, Dentist...maybe we'll go see if they let 3 year-old's donate blood tomorrow!