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Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's Been Awhile Since I've Just Blithered to Blither

I just need to write to write tonight.

image: principlesforlife.org
I got my bedroom all straightened up and rearranged last night. It feels so good. I've been really grumpy lately, so I think I did it mostly just to see if it would straighten me out a bit. I think it helped quite a bit. I really have no reason to be grumpy, and I'm usually not one to be that way.

I'm thinking that I need to go back to writing everyday. Maybe it'll help me even out a bit. It's funny. When I have lessons that I'm learning or things that bug me, I have no problem writing them, and they seem important, but when I don't, like lately, I wonder why anybody would ever want to read it. It makes me hesitate to write anything. It seems that I've forgotten the whole reason to keep this blog isn't really for anybody but me. Sorry. If you're at all interested in reading, go for it, but for awhile things might be a bit boring. Nothing's bugging me right now.

image: manassascity.org
I'm working on emergency preparedness. That's hugely on my brain right now. At this point, I'm just working on clearing spaces and attempting to create a plan so that I cover all of the necessary bases. I'm still working on editing the document about this topic. Because of the guilt I've been feeling as I've been editing (am I doing enough?), I thought I'd keep a very simple blog about the steps I'm taking to prepare my family for the future. It's not much, but if you're at all interested in reading along and joining in, here's a link. It's really not a big deal, just kind of a daily log to keep me in check and accountable.

The two birthday boys
I can't believe October starts tomorrow. We'll have two birthdays in the next ten days. #2 will be 17!  Woah! That's so hard to believe. Two years until we send out our first missionary.Yay and yikes at the same time.

I've got some pretty serious birthday shopping to undertake in the next few days. I did a little bit this weekend. You won't believe what #2 wanted for his birthday. I'll have to share later.

image: jennyphillips.com
We're getting ready for our Primary presentation. We have such great kids in our ward. They did great today as we practiced for the first time. It was wonderful to see things come together. It's times like these when I come to understand why my counselors are my counselors. They are such beautiful, strong, talented women. I'm grateful to work with them.

image: groworganicmeals.com
So, I have to share a funny story....my son and one of my counselor's sons sing in a regional LDS choir. We discussed carpooling, and I told her I'd just drive. It gives me two hours of uninterrupted time to get some things done on Sunday evenings. She asked me if she could help with gas. I told her, jokingly, that I liked to be paid in chocolate. Last Sunday, her son got in the car and handed me a really AMAZING chocolate bar. Again, tonight, there was another one. These aren't like Snickers bars, these are like gourmet chocolate bars--the likes of which I've never tasted before. I tried to tell her today at church that I was just joking around with her, but she assured me that she's made it part of her routine when she goes grocery shopping on Fridays to find me some kind of yummy chocolate. Wow! Okay, so this may sound funny, but even just knowing that somebody thinks about me makes me happy inside. I told her I'd happily drive her son anywhere any time.

image: housefulofhandmade.blogspot.com
This kind of reminds me of when I was a kid....A woman in the ward brought something to our family. I can't remember why, but it was food in a 9"x13" pan. Somehow, the pan broke, so I remember my mom going out and finding the prettiest 9"x13" pan she could find to replace it. She also found the yummiest dessert recipe she could to put in the pan. She made it and gave it to the woman who originally gave us the food. The next week at church, that woman gave the pan back to my mom with something yummy in it. Prior to this, my mom hardly knew this woman, as her family was new to the ward, but this went on week after week trading delicious things back and forth. I remember being so excited about that pan coming back to our house every other week. My mom was close friends with this woman from that point on--even after they moved from our ward.

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We got the missionaries written to today. It's fun that a few of them are #1's friends. It's very weird to write for #6. Today, he started his letter "'Sup dudette?" as he wrote to a sister missionary friend of ours. It's been such a fun experience for our family. I'm so glad for dearelder.com.

image: clearci.com
Sometimes it's just so good to blither. Nice to get some of the overload out of my head and heart. If you've taken the time to read this far, thanks! Hope you have a great week!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cuts Cut Some Deeper than Others

image: greenposting.org
Oregon public education is in TERRIBLE shape right now. You ask me what affects my vote? This is a HUGE factor.

Our school district has done everything they could to save money for the past four years. Everything, that is, but cut teachers. There have been paper shortages, field trips cut, furlough days taken, etc. The hope was that things would be ironed out economically before the district got to the point where they'd have to cut teaching positions.

image: http://blog.sfgate.com
Well, do I even need to say it?...Things didn't iron out, so it became apparent, at some point this past school year, that the last resort would have to be taken. They would cut everything else possible and then start diving into the forbidden territory of laying teachers off.

This was a huge topic at our house during the past months. As things developed, the Warden and I would discuss the repercussions of different actions that the district could take. One that I felt saddest about went a little something like this.....

image: http://fedupwithlunch.com
Because they would cut the newest teachers and then transfer more tenured teachers to fill those spots, there would be teachers who had taught certain subjects for years, in some cases, their entire careers, who would find themselves teaching material they hadn't seen in years, if ever. The place where this would be more apparent would be in the music programs.

image: ehow.com
You could have, in some cases, a teacher, who had always taught elementary school music, that suddenly finds him/herself teaching high school band--complete with the marching band portion that that position entails. How in the world would that person pull that off? Not to mention that that individual is used to working with little people who, for the most part, tend to be a little easier to deal with, to teenagers, who are sometimes a bit less forgiving. 

In these cases, I'm certain, though, that that teacher is probably just happy to have a job, so he/she does the best he/she can with the situation given.

One of my children came home complaining one day about a situation very similar to what I illustrate here. I quickly took this child aside and explained the logistics of just how some of the jobs in the district had been decided. I told this child to be understanding and forgiving. It stinks for the kids that they find themselves in that situation, but I would bet it's even worse for the poor teachers. The sad thing is, rarely do we look at that side of the coin.

We are in very sorry shape, and though we and our children pay the price. There are so many others behind the scenes that just go about and do the best work they can in very uncomfortable circumstances. In my opinion, they, those who have become pawns in this lousy system, are paying a much higher price than any of the rest of us.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Written in Our Hearts

image: facebook.com
This morning I spoke in church. I was once told that when I am given an assignment to speak, I should pay attention to the first thoughts that enter my mind. When I got that phone call last week, my mind went straight to some of the oldest scriptures I know--those written in my heart, taught me by my mother. I think we all have a set of those. I wonder if you might have this particular "scripture" memorized as well. It starts a little something like this: "If you don't have anything nice to say....."  In our house, this is known as Mom 1:1.

I have been asked to base my comments on a talk by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Here it is for your viewing enjoyment:

I love and admire Elder Holland. When I talk about "putting my foot in my mouth," I have a foot-in-mouth story that relates to Elder Holland. It's a bit embarrassing; can't believe I'm sharing it here, but here goes.....

When I was in the MTC (Missionary Training Center), it happened to be the time when they were training the newly called mission presidents. Because of this, many General Authorities of the Church were visiting the MTC. It was so great to run into them in the hallways. One day, my companion and I were in the foyer and in walked Elder Holland. Like I said, I have a great amount of admiration for this man. To my 21-year-old mind, it was like just happening into a celebrity. Wow! What does one say? Here I was standing face to face with the man. I had to say something....anything.

image: understandingmormonism.org
I picked my brain for something familiar....Quick! There had to be something I could share with him that he might appreciate. My mind went back to my sophomore year at BYU. Elder Holland was, at that time, president of BYU. In BYU Magazine that year, there was an article in which Elder Holland shared his thoughts and feelings about the university. The article was entitled, "JRH on BYU." Well, because my initials are also JRH, I had cut the title out and taped it to my wall in my apartment.

So, there I was, and that was all I had to go off of--the only thing that entered my feeble mind at the moment of meeting this great man--the one thing in common that we had. I quickly blurted out, "You and I have the same initials." UGH! What had I just said?! My face went immediately from pink to red to purple--I could feel it burning, and in my brain I'm thinking, "That's the best you could do?!" I skulked away hoping that I would never, NEVER run into this man again, or if I did that it would be a planned meeting, so I could come up with something brilliant and awe inspiring. Same initials....what the heck?!

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In regard to this "foot in mouth" disease that I have, I'm grateful that much of the time, the things I say are lame, not necessarily hurtful, but I must admit that there are times when I'm sure I do hurt people with what I say. I hope that those individuals will give me, and anyone like me, or better yet, everyone, the benefit of the doubt. I hope that we will all be quick to forgive. I figure there are two kinds of people, those who say hurtful things and don't mean to and those who say hurtful things and mean to. In either case, our responsibility is to forgive.

image: psychologytoday.com
Elder Holland quoted Ephesians 4:32:" And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." It really doesn't matter what others do to us. We're not going to be judged for their words and actions; it's our own that will condemn us, so forgiveness is our only responsibility in these matters. We have to somehow convince ourselves that everyone has our best interest at heart. If we can't get past it, maybe it's time to talk openly, tactfully, and humbly to the offending person and/or pray about it sincerely to either understand or come to peace with it.

Elder Holland particularly mentions "how we speak to each other and how we speak of ourselves." As a child, I underwent ten years of virtually daily verbal abuse. I believe the only thing that got me through it was the love of my parents. I was so young when it started that I really can't remember anything different, but because I was so young, it also became part of my core beliefs about myself. It's been a hard thing to kick. When the external abuse ended, when I was about 16, I would bad talk myself. It was almost like I had to have my daily knock-down, and if someone else wasn't going to provide that for me, I had to bring it upon myself. I remember my roommate at BYU chastising me for sticking my tongue out at myself when I'd look in the mirror. I didn't even know I was doing it until she said something. I wonder how long that had been my way of doing things.

I have spent years trying to overcome my low self-esteem. Now, in hindsight (and I'm not done battling this monster yet), I can see how it has made me a stronger person. I have learned that so much of life is how we talk to ourselves. If we tell ourselves we can or we can't, we're right. It's important to encourage ourselves and speak positively to ourselves about the situations we face in this life.

image: http://omahapoweryoga.com
I have also learned that, no matter what, I am to protect my children from others who would damage their spirits through harsh and untrue words. Along with that, if I am that person, then I need to stop and learn to control myself.

Elder Holland said, "We must be so careful in speaking to a child. [It] is so very, very important in shaping a child's faith in us and their faith in God....Never tell them, even in a whimsy, that they are fat or dumb or lazy or homely....They remember and may struggle for years trying to forget--and to forgive."

It is vital that we find the good in ourselves and that we speak positively about ourselves and others. Speaking negatively isn't humility, it's pride. It's taking what our Father in Heaven has given us and calling it bad. It's not bad; it's just in development.

image: http://money.cnn.com
In speaking to and with others, our language can really go either way. Do we bless and build or condemn and tear down? Which do you want to do? This applies to EVERYONE we meet--the teller at the bank, the man that you've waited on hold, listening to awful music for fifteen minutes, to talk to. But, most importantly, your family members--your parents, your spouse, your children.

I love Doctrine & Covenants 121: 41-44 for how it teaches us how to communicate with others. It's especially been helpful as I've been learning how to interact with my children. Although it states how those who hold the priesthood should interact, it's really addressed to all of us. It states that we should use persuasion, be patient, gentle and meek and show forth genuine love. In verse 43, it uses the word "betimes." I've heard it said that that means, rarely, but when I looked it up, it was defined as "early on." In other words, we should nip things in the bud. We shouldn't let things get out of hand.

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Elder Holland shared a scripture from the book of James. It states: "For in many things we offend all. [But] if any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body." Our words are powerful. Just like someone might put a bridle on a horse so that he can ride it and control where it goes, if we can learn to bridle our words, we can control our lives better. According to James, we can become a bit more perfect.

I want to go back to Mom 1:1 for a moment. Although we shouldn't say anything at all if we don't have anything nice to say, I have the feeling that Mom 1:2 should say something like, "But if you have something nice to say, make sure you say it."

image: wpclipart.com
We sometimes withhold praise and recognition of others. How wonderful it was to receive a thank you card a couple weeks back from a young man in our ward, a young man who is quite busy with school, sports, family, and church, but he took the time to write the Warden and me a note and put it in the mail. It said how he appreciated us driving him someplace. At the very end of the note, he made special mention of a couple things I did. They were little things. Things I hadn't even noticed that anyone else noticed, but he did, and it touched my heart that he had. It's things like these that can change the lives of people.

So, what can you do to become a little more perfect in how you use your words? Can you give the benefit of the doubt to others and forgive those who've offended you with their words? Can you be kinder to yourself--in your self talk? Can we speak more positively to and of others as well as ourselves? Can we bless and build everyone around us--even those who are working to tear us down? And can we learn on a moment by moment basis to bridle our tongues?

image: livesofawoman.com
More important than any of these ideas, always remember Mom 1:1! The good thing is, it's already there in your heart. You just have to open it a bit further. Then, when you do, you'll also find Mom 1:2....

"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all, but if you do have something nice to say, make sure you say it."

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Dull, Boring Life

image: http://pdblogs.wordpress.com

I recall a time when we used to joke around at our house about who you'd want on your "wagon train." You know how the pioneers came out west in groups. Well, we'd sit and ponder about who we'd want with us if we had to take a long, grueling journey like that.

image: desperatelyseekingdeals2.blogspot.com
May, June, and September are the hardest months at our house. Tonight, as I'm working like a fiend, my mind is wandering, and I'm sitting here thinking about who I'd want in such a situation, and then I realize, because it's September, that I AM on a long, grueling journey like that. Life is hard right now. I'm really struggling. Adapting to having life all of a sudden pick up to a running pace from that slow, crawl of summer is tough every year, but since it's so full of meetings for the Warden, I'm just trying to keep my head above water. I know....whine, whine, whine. Really, life could be SO MUCH worse, I know that. Just let me have my little pity party, okay? Indulge me. When I'm done, life'll be better.

image: motherhoodandmore.com
Anyway, back to the wagon train. I thought I really don't know enough people that are the kind I'd want with me. There are two things that pick me up...well, three if you count chocolate, and I'm not sure that that will last very long--I'm not very good at rationing things like that. I am cheered and encouraged by music and laughter. Without them, life is dull and boring.

More than anything, on my wagon train, I want people with me who will laugh with me. People who face the dumb, crazy, stupid, hard things in life with a joke. When I'm wheeled in for any kind of surgery (I've had a handful in my life), I'm cracking jokes all the way. It's how I cope with fear. When I broke my leg, I lay on the floor and laughed. There really wasn't any other choice. Yes, it hurt like the dickens, but that I should be crying didn't even occur to me.

image: sodahead.com
I just don't know enough people who laugh. That makes me sad. I wish I knew more. I know a lot of good people, and I don't mean just "good people." I mean, really, close-to-God, good people. Kind of so-close-to-God-it's-almost-scary kind of people, but most of them don't laugh. Nothing is a joke. Life is earnest. It makes me wonder if something's wrong with me. Why do I have such a need to be bent over double holding my belly from laughing so hard?

image: http://healthland.time.com
I think these past two weeks, I really could have used a good laugh. I think every day I need to find something funny that makes me chuckle out loud. Is that wrong? Is that bad? If life is supposed to be joyful...It is supposed to be joyful, isn't it? Well, if so, shouldn't we snicker sometimes?

I once knew a woman, and I believe I've written her comment before just because I was so shocked by it. She said that she thought there was something wrong with people who laughed too much. She thought they must be crazy in the head. Hmm....Should I take that as a hint?

image: http://mormonchannel.org
Well, if that's the case, then crazy I am. I just don't think I could live without laughter. Honestly, I think I'd lose my mind....Or maybe I already have, and we're now at the maintenance stage. Regardless, if you're a person who finds the funny in life, you're welcome to my wagon train any ol' time. Just jump on board, or bring a wagon of your own. I need to travel with you.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Writing My Requiem

image credit: pippinmovies.blogspot.com
Have you ever watched the movie Amadeus? The film about the life of Mozart? I don't know how historically accurate it is, but it, near the end, promotes the idea that Mozart died as he wrote a requiem, a mass for the dead, for an unknown person--an individual who comes to his door in a mask and pays him a large sum of money to do it. This experience haunts him so much because of the recent death of his father, with whom he had a love/hate relationship, that it induces and leads to his own death. Mozart works tiringly, night and day, to complete the project. Here is a scene:

By the title of this post, I am not foretelling my own death. I don't plan on dying any time soon, but in many ways I feel like Mozart. In a very real way, In regard to how I choose to deal with my current situation, I could be driving nails into my own coffin.
image credit: http://omogun.webs.com

I have been working on a project with a gentleman I have never met. We have spoken on the phone a few times. I have been commissioned to "rework" an emergency preparedness document.

If any of you know me, I tend to be a bit driven. When I feel passionate about something, I go for it. After the experience in Japan, this is definitely something I feel more than strongly about. I feel honored to be asked to work on such a project. In many ways, I feel that it's yet another step in a journey I'm already on and have been for quite some time. I feel drawn to it.

image credit: http://phantasytour.com
Here's the thing, though. The deadline for completion is past and has been reset. The gentleman has been forgiving (hmm...a lot like Mozart); for which I'm grateful, but do I foresee the end of this project? At this point, to be honest, no. It's completely overwhelming me. It is a lengthy document and requires a lot of rewriting. I have been chipping away. It was easiest to start with the lists but now that the lists are somewhat in order, I have to jump into the meat of it. There is no avoiding it.

Each day, from the beginning of this project, I have woken at 4:30am and gone to bed at 11:30pm, at the earliest. I don't work on it all day, I work a bit at nap times and when I can steal a moment here or there, but early in the morning and late at night, there I am. I have missed meetings because of it. In some ways, I've rearranged my life around it.

Most of this time, I'm not being paid for. That was part of our agreement. Am I happy about that? I will refrain from comment at this time, but I feel that this document has become my project for my own learning. I will finish it. I'm determined. Only, here's the problem....

Let's go back to Mozart.

image credit: geolocation.ws
I got up yesterday morning and knew I was going to have to go at this differently. I, before I started to write, got to my knees. I expressed my frustration--I feel like I'm in a very confusing tunnel and am not able to find the way out. I prayed for direction and inspiration to know what to write.

I got into my chair, logged in, and opened the document. I started to write. As I wrote, I suddenly recognized the feeling I was having. GUILT. It was a feeling of shame. It was a feeling of hypocrisy.

image credit: informl.com
Am I prepared for an emergency? No. Yes, I have 72-hour kits out waiting in wheeled garbage cans in my garage. Yes, I have some food storage to hold my family over in the event of an emergency, but I'm not even a portion of the way there. To be honest, this idea so overwhelms me that it's to the point of inaction. I'm drowning in it just like I'm drowning in this document.

So, I fought through it and continued to write. The ideas that came to my head were these....

  • Obedience must be the focus. Just do it to obey God.
  • It's not too late to start being obedient.
  • It's a lifetime commitment. You're never done, so it needs to become a daily focus.
  • Baby steps are all that's required, but consistent baby steps are key.
  • You must have a plan--but where to start? (This is my biggest problem).
  • God desires my success (1 Nephi 3:7)
  • Because of the previous point, every effort, no matter how small, will be rewarded.

This document in no way justifies my current existence, so it is very uncomfortable to write. The previous version of this book was very condemning to those, such as me, who weren't actively, or maybe I should say were half-heartedly, involved in preparing for the future. As I write, I feel despair, so as I rewrite, I rework it and interject words of hope. I add encouragement because as I write and feel pulled down, I feel impressions that bring me back up....Up to the point of knowing that I must do something. Anything....daily.

image credit: brainandevolution.squarespace.com

Any step in the right direction, no matter how small, is just that....a step in the right direction.

So, before I went to bed last night, I straightened the kitchen. As I did so, I pondered on the document I'd just been working on, and the impression came to do something. HaHa! Yah, right. What was I going to do at that time of night?

image credit: nationalgeographic.com
My eyes fell on the empty bottle from the apple juice we'd drunk at dinner. There it was sitting on the counter waiting to be washed out and recycled. Then it occurred to me that there were two others sitting at the top of the recycling bin under the sink. The one on the counter had a lid. The other two did not. I remember throwing one of them away earlier and #4 had already taken the garbage out for the day. No matter. I would wash them all because that's what I felt I should do.

I washed them and filled the first with water and put the lid on. Sure, the quandary of no lids for the others really tempted me to put them back where I'd gotten them from, but I thought I'd fill them with water anyway, what the heck? I was almost done filling the second when something caught my eye. I looked down at my feet. There, on the floor, sticking out from under the fridge, was a lid. I don't know, am I just lucky? Or could it maybe go with one of the principles above? I know what I think, but some people think I'm nuts because I think that way--thus the "madhouse" theme of this blog. One person's madness is another person's miracle.

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So, am I writing my requiem? If I continue to write and do nothing about what I'm writing, then yes, I believe I am, but if I am wise and take all that I'm writing and do just what it says....Then, I am blessing my own life and that of my family. Not only that, but I believe in the points I've shared above. I believe in prophecy--ancient and modern. I believe these are the "last days," and I believe that hard times are upon us and harder times are ahead. Do I hide under a rock and hope it goes away? That's where I've been, but the time has come to change. It's time to "awake and arise." I'm pretty sure, because of past experience, that if I can move ahead even in just my little baby steps, there will be miracles as God meets me on the path and moves me ahead to the next step. I've seen in before; there's no doubt He wants to see me succeed.

image credit: begreeninfo.com
I will make sure that my fate and Mozart's are very, very different, but I'm the one that chooses that. The ability to change my fate may lie in something as simple as an empty apple juice bottle.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Too Much to Handle Alone

#s 5, 6, and 7 were out in the backyard playing this afternoon. It was just like any other Friday when the weather's good.

image credit: nachi.org
Suddenly, I could hear #7 crying. I wasn't familiar with this cry, but #2 was talking to the boys trying to figure out what was wrong. When the crying didn't subside after a few seconds, I went out to the backyard. #7 had been trying to get a bike from the side yard of the house. I asked the boys what had happened. I heard, "A bee was on m' hand!" Said between shrieks.

I asked the boys if she'd been stung. They didn't know.

image credit: bee-stings.net
I got her into the house, and she continued to cry. Sure enough on the middle finger of her left hand right above the middle knuckle was a very large stinger with all kinds of nasty-looking puss coming out of it. I knew from first aid classes I've taken that you don't use tweezers to get a stinger out, but in the state that she was in, I knew I had to hurry, and I had to be smart. She was freaking out and wasn't going to be all that patient.

I asked for my computer to be brought to the table. The instructions were LENGTHY. I didn't want long explanations of why you do things, I just wanted to have a couple words telling me what to do. UGH!

image credit: wired.com
I had the two little boys standing there staring at me doing nothing; maybe they were just waiting for instructions. #2 had returned to writing his paper in the front room. I guess he knew I had things in control. Don't kids always think that about their moms? I asked one of the boys to get me a needle (to flick the stinger out with). I asked the other boy to get some ice. They both went to get what I'd asked for. Although, a needle couldn't be found, so I was handed a safety pin instead--no matter, it was just to flick with, so whatever.

I flicked the stinger out and asked for some rubbing alcohol and some dirt to make mud with. Dirt was not brought back, it was a mixture of old dead grass and who knows what else. I was a bit frustrated at the lack of knowledgable help I had standing around me. Where were the kids I could count on to know where everything was that would just jump and do it without too much being said?

image credit: en.wikipedia.org
During all of this #7 was still screaming. Ugh! It also became apparent that there was another stinger. After asking about it, she moved to reveal one in her right forearm--just where it's hard to reach with her sitting on my lap. I flicked that one out also and applied the ice as much as she'd allow and then doused two cotton balls with rubbing alcohol and put them into place. She kept hollering that she needed a bandaid, so #6, trying to be the best brother he could be, prepared the bandaids. The entire time, I tried to stop him from wasting bandaids, "Buddy, she's not bleeding. She doesn't need a bandaid." Somehow her pleas were more important than mine, so there he stood, on the ready with a bandaid in hand and poised for application. 

The screaming on #7's part and the lack of listening on #6's part were stressing me out. I finally couldn't take it any more.

image credit: ehow.com
It's been that kind of day from the beginning, so I put #7 down on the chair and went up to my room and locked the door. How could I handle this better? Yes, there was chaos downstairs, but I had to have a second to think. I knelt down and expressed my inadequacy..."I can't handle this...." and asked for help..."Take it away."

When I got up, I calmly opened my door and said, just loud enough so the kids downstairs could hear it, "[#7], you may come up as soon as you're done crying." She started to climb the stairs, shrieking. I shut the door and, as I did so, reminded her that she had to stop. She did. I opened the door; tears were streaming down her cheeks, but no sound came from her mouth. 

She came in climbed onto my bed and the crying started up all over again. I walked out into the hallway, and as I shut the door, reminded her that she had to stop crying, and I would be back in as soon as she was done. The crying stopped instantly.

image credit: zombielogicblog.blogspot.com
I called to #2 and told him that he was the only one who could help me in this situation, so even though I knew he was working on a paper, he needed to stop for just a few minutes. I asked him to bring me an Excedrin from my purse (not sure how I knew to do this. My computer was still down on the kitchen table, and I hadn't gotten this far in the instructions....I was punting. I just knew I needed something with aspirin in it), a cup, and a spoon.

When he arrived with these items, I went into the bathroom and poured a very small amount of water into the cup and dropped the pill in. I sat and stirred it until the pill was dissolved. I asked #2 to lounge next to me on the bed and hold #7. She climbed onto his lap and laid her head back on his chest. She tried her best to stay calm.

image credit: head-fi.org
I asked #5 to bring me two Q-tips. With the Q-tips, I applied the Excedrin water on the spots. She cried as I did it, and I encouraged her to stop, so she whimpered instead. I can handle whimpering in situations like this. Soon the whimpering stopped and she just laid there leaning on her brother. I asked her how she was doing. She said, "Good."

"Do they hurt you?"


After a few minutes she started to whimper gain, so I applied a bit more. We kept this up for about ten minutes, and the pain had subsided. She got up and started running around, and things have been fine ever since.

image credit: flickr.com
I used to think that if I prayed, it would take time to get into heaven or something. I don't know what I was thinking. I just always thought it would take time to be heard. Since I've become a mom, I know that answers can be instantaneous. So glad to know He's watching out for us! I wonder if my mom knew this too; I'm pretty sure she did. That must be how she survived days like this.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Follow Up on "Only Two Kickers"

Saturday morning we went to #5's soccer game. We were a bit harried. It was the first game of the season. We had three other games that day. The Warden took those who were ready, and I kind of lagged behind with those who weren't.

I've been working on a project that has kept me up late at night and gets me  up early in the morning. I'm working my rear end off for it, but I'm being paid a project price, so I'm fearful that the work is way more than the pay--note to self: don't do that again. It's a great and important thing, so I'm learning a lot from it. So, some mornings I'm dragging a bit more than others--Saturday was one of those days--a dragging day.

Before I had even arrived at the field, the Warden called and shared the fact that he'd run into a woman from our ward. She had told him that #6 was on her son's team, and they had a game...a half hour from then. YAY and WOAH at the same time.

We had not one, not two, but three overlapping games. The good thing was that #6's game wasn't far from #5's and that none of the games started or ended at the same time. The other good thing was that we had dragged #3 (who had just started high school that week, and I'm sure, had been looking forward to sleeping in that Saturday morning) out of bed to tag along with us. I stayed and watched #5. The Warden took #3, #4 and #6 and took off for the little guy soccer fields. The plan was that the Warden would stay and watch for awhile and then leave #3 to act as parent while he ran #4 to his game. How would we have done it without #3?

image credit: portlandismybackyard.wordpress.com
When #5's game was over, I took off to get #s 3 and 6. Whoever has the playground handy at their game gets #7, so that was me. #2 was at a cross country meet in Washington state, so he escaped the morning's insanity.

I just wanted to share this because of this post. I wanted to show you that everything worked out. YAY! Really there was no way for us to know that it would. The woman who told the Warden about #6's game said she didn't know either, she just decided to take her kids to the field that day to see what would happen. I felt that running into her was a little tender mercy. It seems that there were many parents who were uninformed. One team there only had two children on it. There were many teams without coaches.

image credit: market.swap.com
It was kind of funny that morning. I had told #6 both the night before and that morning that he wouldn't be having a game that day, but that he would be going along to watch. He nodded at me but continued to get his shorts, shinguards, socks and cleats on. I didn't argue. I just let him do it.

So, when it was time for the Warden to take him, he was all ready. Nice!

credit image: www.summercamptac.com
He went, was given a blue jersey, and was off and running. The kid was in heaven!

I love it when all of the pieces fall into place and things work out! Sometimes it shocks me how, with a family the size of ours, things, although insane, really end up being rather well choreographed. I'm still thinking Somebody's got our backs--even if only for a little boy who wants to play some soccer.

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