Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I think I ought to stick to these lighter posts. I've about worked myself into a frenzy posting my opinions on sleepovers!!
A - Age: Do I really have to tell??? Sheesh...39
B - Bed size: King
C - Chore you hate: folding laundry and putting it away
D - Dog's name: Lola Ebola the Wire Fox terror
E - Essential start your day item: blogging
F - Favorite color: black, silver & gold
G - Gold or Silver or Platinum: I like them all...but platinum on the jewelry for sure.
H - Height: 5'4"
I - Instruments you play: used to play the trumpet and piano
J - Job title: Family therapist, taxi driver, house keeper, education director, event planner, organizer, nurse, Domestic Goddess, Real Housewife of Kansas City
K - Kids -Chloe (18), Hunter (soon to be 16), Bridger (soon to be 13)
L - Living arrangements: in chaos...but seriously...in a house
M - Mom's name: Sharon
N - Nicknames: oh boy....Barrel head (it rhymes with Cheryl, duh), Oscar (cuz I was always frowny), No Dawn...don't ask me why.
O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: many times as a child.
P - Pet Peeves: People picking at their toes.
Q - Quote from a movie: for some reason I can't stop saying..."let go my blouse...", from Nacho Libre
R - Right handed or left handed: Right
S - Siblings: Well, it's complicated but I have altogether I'd say...5 sisters and 3 brothers...let's see if you can figure it out.
T - Time you wake up: 6 am
U- Underwear: Angel pants. If you need to ask...feel free.
V - Vegetable you dislike: I like every veggie unless it's not fresh.
W - Ways you run late: When I should be getting in the car to go somewhere but I'm blogging. Actually, I'm fairly punctual.
X - X-rays you've had: My last ones were for my knee and foot.
Y - Yummy food you make: Sometimes my bread turns out alright.
Z - Zoo favorite: Zebras and giraffes.
The idea came to us when our oldest was in 1st grade. By that time she had already gone to several sleepovers or slumber parties and it seemed like the invitations for them were increasing to every weekend. Boyd and I heard a talk on tape given by a couple with a hundred children. Well, maybe not 100 kids but a lot...like 8 or 10 or something like that. This couple talked about some of the things they did as parents that worked well for them...they weren't bragging about their parenting skills they just shared some simple rules. The rules that worked. We agreed with one of them...no sleepovers. It was then we decided to try it out.
It hasn't always been the most popular rule. It goes like this.
It means no birthday slumber parties either.
Why do I need to allow my kids spend the night at someone elses home at the mercy of their rules, their morals and especially when really...nothing good ever happens after midnight?
Oh this made us unpopular of course. We have been accused of not trusting people. Okay, then. You're right. I don't trust people. Boyd and I thought back to all of our instances of spending the night at other's homes. Oh, the first young years were fun and innocent. Those sleepovers consisted of kids staying up all night telling scary stories, playing pranks on those who fell asleep first and generally waking up and going home exhausted and crying from being awake half the night. Not too serious of consequences. It wasn't until we were teenagers that the over-nighters took a more serious turn...sneaking out, inappropriate conversations, pornographic movies or magazines, property damage...etc. Not to mention...how many of my friends lived in homes where a parent was abusing them? More then I even knew. And for the most part my friends lived in "good christian" homes. The reality was and is....these abusers exist...in larger numbers then we'll ever know. The fact of the matter was...nothing really good ever came out of those sleepovers. Aren't we supposed to be seeking after "good" things?
Boyd and I decided to implement our rule while the kids were young. Not necessarily because we were afraid of those innocent slumber parties but because we were worried about the ones when they were older. We thought it would be so much simpler to say that it's just a rule that we don't sleep over at other's homes then it would be to say to my 14 year old...Now we don't do sleep overs. If we've never done them then they can't accuse us of instantly not trusting them. This way they couldn't say to us..."You used to let us go to sleepovers". And call us hypocrites.
Which brings up another point to the rule. We don't let others spend the night at our house either.
It doesn't make a lot of sense to tell another adult that we're not okay with our children spending the night at their house but it's okay for their child to spend the night at our house. Does that make sense? That's pretty insulting and self-righteous. The fact is...PROBABLY nothing bad would ever happen at their houses. PROBABLY, is not a risk I'd like to take when I'm the one who is responsible for my child's safety and upbringing. But, I'm not going to be a hypocrite either and say that your home is unsafe and mine is perfect.
It's just so much simpler to make a rule...straight across and keep it.
Easier said then done.
Do you know how many nights I've had to go pick up my children from a "slumber party" at midnight? This makes me the meanest, most unpopular Mom ever. We prep our kids ahead of time by telling them...if they throw a fit when it's time to go...then they won't get to go to the next party at all. For the most part, my kids have been fine with this rule and haven't given us too much trouble. Why? Because we started the rule early and we've always been consistent with it.
It really paid off the night I went to pick Chloe up from a slumber party in 5th grade. 5th grade. I went to the home at midnight....having already warned the parent I would be there at that time to pick up my child....and arrived at the door only to find the parents were having a party of their own in the basement. All of the adults they had invited were passed out drunk in a cloud of smoke while the girls were upstairs in their parent's room, trying on lingerie and taking pictures of each other. The adults were so stoned, they couldn't even answer the door. Imagine my surprise when one of the 5th grade girls showed up, opening the door in lingerie. This was a home of a Mom I knew well. She was disappointed in me because I didn't "trust" her to let my daughter spend the night. Really. I wonder why I don't trust people.
It's not always been easy to stick to my guns. The lock-ins for sports have been a challenge. But, I've always felt that if I were to break my rule one time then it would open the flood gates of inconsistency. I never wanted my girls to be able to say..."you let me do it last time!" or "oh sure...you let me spend the night at a member of the Church's house but not anyone else".
Come on...I know all the teenage guilt lines and I didn't want them used on me.
But I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My kids know the rule and they don't even try changing it now. They know that we will be picking them up or that there is a curfew and they have to be home by that time. I think if you asked them, they will tell you that REALLY...they haven't missed out on much. And maybe...just maybe, we've spared them and allowed them to miss out on something that could have been dangerous, unhealthy, immoral, or things with serious consequences or ramifications. It was worth the risk, I tell you.
So, am I the meanest Mom ever? You might think so...but it was worth it to me. And at least I have had good nights of sleep knowing my kids were home in their own beds. Sleep on it yourself and let me know what you think.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
It all began with a trip to Emerald City...Hunter's end of the year choir extravaganza.
Because I knew you....I have been changed...for good.
When I watch my girl on stage I'm speechless. I don't know that I've ever had as much charisma in my pinkie as she has. She is so comfortable and secure up there.
The same night....Bridger's choir concert...
The next night was the unmentionable flood... The following day and night was spent at the Music Hall for Bridger's dance recital...Frankly, I don't know what's cooler...watching your daughter dance on the gigantic stage or hanging out backstage in the labyrinth of tunnels and halls where you go to see Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and Wicked. It's a fabuloso venue. Then to top it off, my oldest child became an adult. It was unspectacular and a colossal disappointment for her, I'm sure. But with so much going on and graduation only two days away, what do you do? I offered to turn over all her bills to her and let her pay them from now on but she declined.
Alas...by the time the "main event" came around, I had 8 guest staying at our house and a torn up basement.
More to come...
Friday, May 15, 2009
Seminary is finished for the year. We celebrated by going to breakfast at Corner Cafe. While a couple of my students were missing, I enjoyed spending some time with these kids that have become so much a part of my life.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
I found this picture of me standing at the end of our driveway at the bus stop on my first day of 6th grade with my Dad. Can't read what's on my lunch box, but I'm sure it was pretty far out in a middle school kind of way. I'm almost certain it was the Bee Gees...I was a HUGE fan of them at the time.
I'm sure Dad was trying to reassure me that I was cool and that I would love my new school. It wouldn't be much longer when I started getting stomach aches all the time and lived on chewable Pepto Bismol to get me through the day.
This was the day that began my journey in Cowiche Canyon at Route 6 Box 24 for the next three years.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
"Having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days.
“And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge.” (1 Ne. 1:1, 3.)
Wilford Woodruff—“There is one subject I wish to speak upon and that is the keeping of a journal. … When the Prophet Joseph organized the Quorum of the Twelve, he counseled them to keep a history of their lives. … I have had this spirit and calling upon me since I first entered this Church. I made a record from the first sermon I heard, and from that day until now I have kept a daily journal.” (Wilford Woodruff, pages 476–477.)
Joseph Fielding Smith—“Every important event in our lives should be placed in a record, by us individually. … If you have accomplished something worth while during the day, put it down; it may be of use to posterity.” (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:204.)
Gordon B. Hinckley—“May I suggest that you write, that you keep journals, that you express your thoughts on paper. … You will bless the lives of many—your families and others—now and in the years to come.” (Ensign, November 1984, page 91.)
John H. Groberg—“There is something eternal in the very nature of writing, as is so graphically illustrated by the scriptures themselves. In a very real sense, our properly written histories are a very important part of our family scripture and become a great source of spiritual strength to us and to our posterity” (Ensign, May 1980, page 48).
Hartman Rector, Jr.—“I personally believe that the writing of personal and family histories will do more to turn the hearts of the children to the fathers and the fathers to children than almost anything we can do” (Ensign, May 1981, page 74).
Spencer W. Kimball--"Your private journal should record the way you face up to challenges that beset you. Do not suppose life changes so much that your experiences will not be interesting to your posterity. Experiences of work, relations with people, and an awareness of the rightness and wrongness of actions will always be relevant. Your journal, like most others, will tell of problems as old as the world and how you dealt with them.
Your journal should contain your true self rather than a picture of you when you are “made up” for a public performance. There is a temptation to paint one’s virtues in rich color and whitewash the vices, but there is also the opposite pitfall of accentuating the negative. Personally I have little respect for anyone who delves into the ugly phases of the life he is portraying, whether it be his own or another’s. The truth should be told, but we should not emphasize the negative. Even a long life full of inspiring experiences can be brought to the dust by one ugly story. Why dwell on that one ugly truth about someone whose life has been largely circumspect?
Your journal is your autobiography, so it should be kept carefully. You are unique, and there may be incidents in your experience that are more noble and praiseworthy in their way than those recorded in any other life.
What could you do better for your children and your children’s children than to record the story of your life, your triumphs over adversity, your recovery after a fall, your progress when all seemed black, your rejoicing when you had finally achieved? Some of what you write may be humdrum dates and places, but there will also be rich passages that will be quoted by your posterity.
We hope you will begin as of this date. If you have not already commenced this important duty in your lives, get a good notebook, a good book that will last through time and into eternity for the angels to look upon. Begin today and write in it your goings and your comings, your deeper thoughts, your achievements, and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. We hope you will do this, our brothers and sisters, for this is what the Lord has commanded, and those who keep a personal journal are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance in their daily lives."
(President Kimball Speaks Out, pages 57, 59.)
I need a lot of help these days keeping the Lord in remembrance of my daily life and keeping my priorities straight.
I wonder if blogging will count as my journal. Hope so.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
I think a great cure for the "block" is a trip down memory lane.
Lately I've been dreaming about the outskirts of Yakima, Washington and a little 900 square foot, 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom house (that housed 5-8 people at any given time)on seven acres.
I see the darkest, deepest, richest soil being tilled from the back of a red tractor.
I can still see the Native American pictographs on the lava rock down the road.
I remember a garden, so large that it was bigger than most entire city lots...with the tallest sunflowers you've EVER seen. People driving by would actually pull over and gawk. Shucking corn, eating more peas than actually getting them in the bowl. Fresh tomato sandwiches on warm homemade whole wheat buns.
I've never nor will I ever eat as many apples or apple baked goodies as I did there. It felt like it was always apple season in Washington. As a kid, I appreciated the week of school we got off in the fall so kids could harvest apples. I still melt over a good green apple.
I remember Mom pulling leaches off of Tonia's leg after swimming in Ashbaugh park.
I remember the big high school girls who used to spit on us or smack us middle schoolers around on the bus if we sat in the back.
I've thought a lot about the cherry tree that I would spend hours hiding in and eating so many cherries that my fingers and lips were stained.
I keep thinking about the coal crates stacked by the creek...where you could make the most awesome forts.
I'll never forget the rooster that jumped on my back one time as I was coming from the barn....or the hen that was killed by the wayward arrow.
I wince when I think about the chicken wire bouncing up from the barn floor and piercing my eye....and the lovely patch I wore afterwards.
I've never seen since a larger, uglier, meaner pig than Sheba and the fate she deserved.
I don't know anyone who has reenacted Star Wars while bouncing on inner tubes more than me and my sisters and friends.
I don't know if I'll ever forget the croquet ball hitting me square between the eyes and the swelling that caused me to not look like myself for the last week of 8th grade.
I still smile when I think of Mike's camero and the thundering sound of riding in the back seat. He had a screwdriver for a shifter...so rad.
I thought my life was over on May 18, 1990 when the ash began to fall from Mt. St. Helens shortly after we were evacuated from church. Such a surreal experience for an almost 10 year old.
I see my Mom standing over a tiny hot stove in a pioneer era looking kitchen, canning and freezing food for months on end. She also had a mirror hung up on the wall so she could get ready every day. There was no outlet in the bathroom.
I lovingly remember Mom recording a record of KC and the Sunshine Band onto a tape for me to play on my new (used from a garage sale from Mike) tape player.
I loved the mystery of the Staudinger family, who built and occupied the antique little house we lived in until their deaths. They were Germans who had migrated to America during the early part of the 1900's. We inherited their old furniture and treasures that were left behind. I never knew what became of their handicapped adult son, who was unable to take care of himself when his parents died. I'll never forget the story of how he brought his father back to the house in the old metal wheelbarrow when he passed away at the back of the property. My Mom still has the wheelbarrow. I have the buffet from the dining room.
I knew there were hazards living there. Like the time the log rolled out of the fireplace and caught the carpet on fire. We had no heating in the house or wood stove. It was necessary to keep fires going all night. Sometimes we used coal. I can still remember the smell and heat from a coal burning fire.
I remember how it was a big deal to be first to take a bath. There was no shower in the bathroom and only enough hot water in a day for one bath. If you were first, you got the hot, clean water...
We had more pets than we needed. There was Susie...the German cat we inherited with the house...who was gone for months at a time and then would mysteriously reappear. There was Shazaam...the doberman pincher who we ended up giving back because he was psycho. There was Sam, the mutt who had been run over by a car and shook it off. There was Josie, the momma dog who would lure her babies to the train tracks over the creek and watch as they fell to their deaths in the water below...maybe she had depression! There was the collie we thought had run away, only to find him several days later locked in an unused garage. The stubborn Appalachian, Lady...who dumped me more than once.
I'll never forget the endless places for adventures. The creek which would swell and rise to a raging river every spring. The creepy cellar. The food storage room in a barn, the tack shop with it's pot belly stove. The pear tree that produced the largest pears in the world....no, really. The swing set made of power polls, so high that it would take you 20 minutes of pumping just to get momentum for your swing more than 5 feet off the ground. The old gas pump that provided hours of make-believe.
I'll never forget my homemade church dresses, that always matched my sisters. And the green shirt Mom sewed for me that I wore on my first day to 7th grade.
I'm sure Mom will never forget the hours she drove me to dance lessons almost everyday and the endless recitals and performances.
I still love to see glass prisms in windows. Mom had several in the window of the living room. In the morning you could go in there and see thousands of rainbows...so magical.
Lily's of the Valley, grapes, old wooden Adirondack furniture in the yard. Mowing with a push mower...non powered. Learning to drive by driving the old green truck around and around the property loop. Mom spray painting the wood paneling on an old station wagon. Homemade Christmas candles covered in glitter that never would stay lit. Fighting over the silverware as we set the table every night. Laundry hanging on clothes lines. A gigantic walnut tree loaded with deadly falling balls every autumn but the best tree in the world to climb. Finding dozens of chicken eggs everywhere you looked. Homemade bread everyday and Christmas chocolates during the holidays. Seeing real poverty for the first time when I went to a friend's house...she lived in a one room shack made of boards that you could see the sky through while sitting on the couch she slept on for a bed. Attending a rural farm/immigrant school...in Naches. My first crush. My first bra. My first time wearing make-up.
I could never forget this place that made such an impact on my life. It was the home I lived the longest in until I was married...3 years. I can't imagine my kids could ever relate to that life.
There....writer's block is cured, by a trip down Memory Lane.
I need to take more of these trips. They are free. And best of all, I can revisit whenever I like.