No more pencils
No more books
No more teacher's dirty looks!
I am officially done with school for this semester. Hmmm ... just in time to start up in January. But I need to count my blessings and realize there is a season for all things. One season in our family is that our son has been serving a church mission in Mexico City for nearly 23 months. He's been away.... but now, next month he will come home. He has grown in so many ways. A mission has done for him what I have not been able to do for him as a mother. His strict schedule, his rigid gospel study are all things that have helped him to find out who he is and gain that self esteem that can come no other way than studying and exemplifying the life of Jesus Christ.
Other seasons are my break from school. I have much to do to organize my life and home before school comes again. Every nook and cranny will be cleaned in my house over the next month and a half before school. I will throw away. I will transform this house into a home. I am so thankful that Heavenly Father gives us seasons. I would not want a year of snow any more than I want a year of sun and heat. I am thankful for this break- for this season to refresh and download all that has transpired over the last 5 months, to also have my boy come home and hug him again.
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven ~
1 To every thing there is a aseason, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to alaugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. I especially like number 7. For it means that someday I shall again make a quilt.
So, John comes to us yesterday and with all the debate over health care asks us if he can take a test to decide if he is a republican or democrat. We are trying to explain that it just doesn't work that way. We really don't want to tell him who or what to be, but we also want him to understand that he should decide what his values are and then make an appropriate decision. We also try to explain to him that even if there is a test that it would be grossly swayed one way or the other. For example, John found a test on the web and these are some of the questions:
What political value is most important to you?
# My political party should have strong moral values.
# I want my political party to believe in freedom.
What kind of questions are those????? And who defined moral values as having nothing to do with freedom???
Which of these celebrities do you think are good role models?
* Matt Damon, Susan Sarandon
* Mel Gibson and Sarah Michelle Gellar
* Clint Eastwood, Kurt Russell
* Ed Norton and Leonardo DiCaprio
Are you kidding me???? could we have some celebrities with morals, please???
What do you think is the most important quality of a good government?
* That they put money into programs that will help the community.
* Being efficient and effective.
* That they stay out of your personal business.
* That they do everything they can for social good and the environment.
I don't know the last time a government was efficient and effective and they don't put money into anything, they just make you list the government as your biggest dependent on your tax form.
So, the test ended up in a situation where John had to give them his e-mail, address, phone number, name, rank, religion, and school ID. (I'm just kidding ... but you get the picture.) Needless to say, John will never know who he is.
Tonight I went to the Reed High choir concert. Wendy did her first solo for a school choir. She sang part of "So it goes" by Billy Joel. (it is in my playlist to the right). I am amazed at how she has blossomed and matured. I was a little stunned at her performance... after all, I hear her all the time singing in the shower and her bedroom. When she got up to perform, all I could think of was "is that my daughter?". Guess what? It was her, however , when it was her turn to sing, my camera wouldn't work. I didn't get one of her soloing, but got one of the whole "Prima Voce" choir. My other shots didn't turn out very well and I've promised my friend, Stephanie that I won't take any more cruddy photo shots and stick them on my blog. (That is her pet peeve for bloggers and I really want to remain friends) So, to keep my promise, even if it is only in my head... ; p I am posting a better picture of Wendy at her spring concert.
Another special thing your should know about my daughter, Wendy ( in the far lower right), is her kindness and ability to teach me math. She spends several hours a week helping me with math problems that look like goobledy- gorp. She is so patient with me and makes me feel like, (even though I'm very dumb), I can do anything I put my mind too. She has faith in me and knows just the right things to say when I get flustered and frustrated with Algebra. When I flounder, she tells me to get back on my feet. Sometimes I wonder why I am the mom and she is the child. I would be ungrateful if I didn't tell her how much I love her and am proud to be her mom.
The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.
Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions.
One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, 'God! How could you do this to me?'
Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island! It had come to rescue him! 'How did you know I was here?' asked the weary man of his rescuers. 'We saw your smoke signal,' they replied.
The Moral of This Story:
It's easy to get discouraged when things are going badly, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering. Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground, it just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.
This week I learned that some people carry huge loads down their journey of life and alot of times the burden is not seen by others. To illustrate... most of us go through life with our little load of problems. Let's call the load ... a load of rocks. Sometimes we acquire a big heap o' rocks. Other times we only get three little rocks at a time. On special occasions... we get to distribute a great big rock... sometimes we get to dump half the load. This is a good thing because if we are constantly distributing, one person does not carry a load by himself. Many people have ways of downloading or lightening the load by adjusting what they are carry. They do this by sharing their load with others. When their load becomes light, they can then turn and help others by picking up new weight. However, some people aren't sure with who, or how to distribute their rocks so their load continues to get bigger and bigger. So, what happens when a load never gets dumped? It continually grows bigger and bigger until the load spills or is too heavy for one to manage himself. When that happens, the one carrying the load cannot interact with others without somehow letting their rocks spill into the paths of those they associate with. This is kind of like getting soaked by a cup of chocolate milk that spills onto the floor. You just can't help but get some on ourselves.
Unfortunately, we get annoyed by the people that spill their rocks. This is demonstrated in typical conversation. Sometimes we react to others because they are not as smart, as funny, or just plain get on one's nerves. These are typically the people that always say the wrong thing, are over critical or judgmental, and their negativity just seems to spill right in your lap. Sometimes you may even wish you could meander down the path of life with your little load of rocks and hope "they" are not there to get in the way. Maybe the next time someone thinks about how annoyed they are by someone's comments or personality, they might just stop to help see what rocks they can carry for them.
I stole this post from my cousin...but whose looking? I just thought it was a good way to find a little katannuta and laughter in my life.
1. John gave me a great laugh~ ~ ~ I posted a sign on the mailbox for all the mean kids from middle school that throw trash in our mailbox on the way home from school. The sign reads, "think again! you are on candid camera". John went out to get the mail, saw the sign and flipped out... why? because he went out with a pair of shorts that had a 3 inch gaping hole in them. He was worried the neighbors posted it and were taking pictures of his bottom.
2. I was able to meet my homework goals. (sort of...
3. but I'm going to General Conference with Mr. Todd anyway.)
4. glad to not have any food storage firesides to prepare.
5. passed my last psychology quiz at 100 percent.
6. passed my last math assessments... which is a huge deal.
7. Emily cleaned the entire downstairs.
8. excited to hear conference talks this weekend.
9. Got a hair cut... even if it wasn't what I wanted. ( caution- the hair dressers hair style is probably the cut you will get. Watch out for the pink highlight ladies)
10. Today was a pretty good day and I'll take as many as I can get.
We tried to make a video and post it and it was to be a surprise. You will be surprised to learn it's not here because we are too movie making illiterate and cannot figure how to post it . The file size was too big as well as the type of file would not work with anything we have... so.... no lovely family singing happy birthday. Hope your day was special though.
Today I had a good laugh... we just received a letter from Jeremy. He has been sharing some funny stories and the few experiences he's shared lately just make me chuckle.
Sorry, but this is going to be really short. I had a huge letter written out with a few stories from this week. But just when I was about to send it, the computer restarted. I'm kind of mad right now. I didn't expect it because these computers are really nice. I've been doing great. This week went a lot better.
This Sunday was pretty tiring. We basically had to babysit 5 kids that were running around the church because one of our investigators brought her kids and nephews. They have more energy and less self-discipline than john. We chased them around outside the chapel. They were opening and slamming all the doors. Then they got into the bathroom to soak balls of paper to throw at us. I will most definitetly be teaching and disciplining my own kids in the future. Also, we have to look for a new house because our landlady is a witch and keeps breaking into our apartment to make sure its clean. Its just that she's old now and misses having her own kids. Well, thats it for now. Sorry I couldn't say more. Wow, each time I write home I get more excited and more scared of coming home. I'm trying to focus on the excitement more. Well, I love you! Bye!
I can still see him running from these little kids with the soak balls.... I'm glad that he has desires to be a good daddy in the future... even while serving a mission. I'll definitely be waiting for my well behaved grandkids to visit in a few years. ;)
Every once in awhile, a movie comes along with a great story... a great lesson or principle to learn... I happen to like the one from the movie "Phenomenon" where Baines, a friend of George Malley (John Travolta) is at a bar with friends , gossiping about Malley and all the things that bother him. Sitting quietly watching is the town Doc, who is annoyed and finally opens his mouth in defense of Malley.
Doc:"How's your lady love?" Baines: "We, uh....we broke up." Doc: "Really.. it's too bad.... yeah, now George, he's got a love at his side and she's stickin' with him. Know why? Because he bought her chairs. (She makes wicker porch chairs) Pretty Smart... eh?
You ever buy Lisa's chairs?" Baines: "Doc's really drunk tonight!" Doc: "Every woman has her chairs, something she needs to put herself into... Ever figure out what Lisa's chairs were and buy them?"
How often do we stop to find out what demonstrates love to someone we care about and buy their chairs?
Yes, I used a potty word. It is something that refers to being fatiqued. (If you don't believe me, check out wikipedia) It's not so bad that you have to sit and do algebraic equations all day to pass a class, but when you sleep algebra, consume algebra and get tired of it... It gets a little ridiculous. I woke up this morning to x's and integer signs. Ex: " Let x represent a type of math one doesn't want to do, will never use and needs to subtract from one's life. When was the last time anyone calculated the steps one takes to pick up their kid from 2nd grade in 3 min flat? I think it's about time we keep x as a virtuous letter of the word "excellent" or "exactly" and keep -(minus) signs as something we use to find out how many chocolates are missing from the See's candy box.
Ha! fooled ya! I bet you thought I was going to post the kids. The kids are actually starting next week, but this was MY first day of school and figured since everyone else has been posting first day of school pictures I'd do so with my backpack and my tinkerbell lunch box. I didn't want to feel left out.
I do want to say that I have succeeded in getting a 72% on the entry assessment in my math course. This might not sound too nifty to some, but for me it means in my old age there is a pea sized spot of memory that can still hold a few formulas or two. The math course I spent time on in the summer paid off and just maybe I will pass basic math for dummies after all. It also means maybe I don't have to do fractions the rest of my life or figure out how many hours and minutes it will take me to get to China if I'm riding my bicycle. I only have about 10-15% of this course to pass and they will automatically bump me to the next math class... for free! Yes, for free! :D (I know, it tickles me too... ) Anyways, this also means ... if I pass 096 this fall... I can start my college math in the spring. (diana is doing a happy dance and eating bbq elephant)Woot... Woot!
Of course,now... hers will look better than ours ;P
Today was Christmas!
Most of you know that I can never keep a pen or pencil in the house. My sister, Kara is known to put together a box with a year supply for me for Christmas. Every year it mysteriously disappears. Guess who brought in a supply from her bedroom that she mysteriously found while cleaning out the nooks and crannies? As I said... today was Christmas!
The kids decided to play darts in the house this summer.
Wendy couldn't help herself. She couldn't hit he target and decided to take matters into her own hands... cheater!!! They never prosper!
Todd grows a garden every year. Look what crude little carrot came up? Yes, kids... (sigh) one more thing for mom to take a picture of and stick on her blog. tee hee.
Kate is at that ripe old age where her inquisitiveness is starting to blossom. The other day she started a question and answer session. ( although... her idea of a Q and A session is that she asks the questions... and then... she asks the questions.) This was demonstrated one day when she started asking me about why we have books in the world. I told her that we have books to learn things. “Well, Why do we have to have them? Why couldn’t people just tell people what was in them?” She was really starting to think about the world and the why’s to everything. I honestly thought she was done with this stage, but realizing that she is my baby and will never pass this way again, began to give her a small lesson on how we gain education from books and that not everyone can go to peoples house to learn what they all know. She must have caught on to my “teacher, student” lecture... (or... I was simply talking too much) because I had no sooner got started in my little presentation when she raised her hand and sat on the edge of the chair in a “ooh... ooh... pick me” stance. I held in the giggle that was quickly forming into an audible belt of laughter. I was so taken back by her motivation and desire to share with me all the little things swirling around in her head ... I couldn’t think of the next thing I wanted to say, and before I knew it.... Kate was already blurting out her next question. We had a lengthy discussion of which I will treasure for years to come. Hmmm.... I can only wonder how the birds and bees talk will arrive and if the same attention and fervor will be paid. Not surprisingly... I never remember any of the other kids sitting on the edge of their chairs bopping up and down in the “ooh... ooh pick me” position during that talk.
I usually have a good idea about what I want to post, however, when I sat down this morning, I couldn't think of any of those things. I decided to go through my pictures and ran across my visit to my sister during June.
I've always loved and appreciated my sisters. I live for my relationships with them. In fact, someday I'd like to live next door to one and share a cow. I'd even help clean their kitchen just to spend a little time. On one occasion in conversation with my eldest sister, we were lamenting that we were getting behind in our motherly duties, and how we both were overwhelmed with dishes, clutter, and kids. Great minds think alike and we came to the conclusion that I could fly to Salt Lake and help catch her home up.
We spent many hours in the kitchen...
many, many hours.....
working and slaving away.
(Yes,.... that's right, slaving away.)
I'm so glad that Leslie was able to catch up her duties as a mother and find at the end of the light.... wiped, empty counters and nice clean dishes.
I hope my living room can someday look as nice as hers.
Thanks for the inspiration, Leslie. Everyday I wonder why I cannot get my act together and keep my counters as clean and my livingroom as tidy. Maybe if I worked as hard I could be just like you.
My mother called during this visit... her not knowing of my trip to Salt Lake, mistook me for Leslie. A mother hen knows her chick and the cat was finally let out of the bag.
I am so thankful for sisters.
Now...ahem... who is going to help me clean mine?????
“Seeing that a Pilot steers the ship in which we sail, who will never allow us to perish even in the midst of shipwrecks, there is no reason why our minds should be overwhelmed with fear and overcome with weariness”