Sunday, November 26, 2006

funeral memories..a love story

Shellie and Robbie met in a backyard at a bonfire. Although they only saw each other for a few moments that first night it left butterflies in her stomach and a determination in his mind. He begged, cajoled and pleaded until four months later he got her phone number. On their first date they went to the comedy club, held hands and shared one of what would be many electric kisses. He had a great smile and a disarming dimple. Their second date, Shellie knew she better keep her feet on the ground. They went to chuckie cheese with her four boys-he passed with flying colors. On their third date they talked about marriage...not theirs necesarily. They were married in March of 2001, December of the same year Riley was born. Robbie never once left home without kissing Shellie. Shellie worked as a manicurist in their home, and one day as she was with a client, she called out to Robbie. the client was sure Robbie had gone, Shellie was sure he had not. Finally Shellie said, "he hasn't kissed me yet, he hasn't left." A few minutes later Robbie walked in, kissed her and left. "Now he is gone" Shellie said. They were the coolst couple they knew. Everyone noticed their unique relationship. Her father in law thanked her for making his son so happy. Her sister in law said she was the love of his life and made him whole. Just five years after their marriage Robbie died suddenly of a heart attack, in the arms of his loving wife.

His stepson said he could not have asked for a better stepfather, then promised he would take care of Robbie's wife...this from a teenager. What a man

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

November 21

One of the reasons I wanted to start a blog was to capture a "day in the life" every once in a while. Although today doesn't seem typical, I'm sick for example, there were still memories I wanted to capture.

1am Susan and Becca (1yo twins) wake up-Susan is snuffly and struggles to breath and nurse so I sit up in teh rocking chair with her. Both babies fall asleep in our bed-I don't. I drift in and out of sleep until...

4:30 In comes Benjamin (3yo) saying "I wanna watch a show" and "I'm too tired". I choose the second option and convince him to come in bed. This is why we have a king sized bed and this is also what makes this a non-typical day...

7:30 The older children have woken up and the girls are waiting for the babies to wake up. I get up and start breakfast.

8am family devotional in which the older children read scriptures about Moroni building walls around cities and digging moats...we discuss how that would NOT be a good thing to do around our house.

9am I am not the only one with a cold...this isn't technically a homeschool day. Both Kalani and Natalie have colds and stay in their pajamas all day. I mention this because this is one of those quiet learning days in which it is blatantly obvous to me that texbooks and desks aren't necessarily the best facilitators of knowledge. The children listen to Peter Pan on tape. I feel gipped that I have never read this book before and amazed at the story. Raymond (7) is reading an illustrated dictionary of mathematics and decides to use the tangrams to make some of the shapes. Much of the morning Natalie (8) and he work with tangrams while listening to the story. Other children join in for various amounts of time. We discuss geometry, names for polygons (not pronounce pol-ya-gons as originally thought by Raymond), various traingles, and quilting.

Meanwhile Lydia (4) has jsut started her phonics workbooks. We use Explode the Code ( ). She started yesterday and is on page 20. I end up bribing her to stop when I know she is tired and isn't being careful.

Somewhere in here I do two loads of laundry and make bread-bread and honeybutter is that part is completely normal!

The babies nap in the afternoon (simultaneous napping is considered bliss!), I play trains with Ben (3), during which my older daughters answers the phone and I miss an important message because she says I am busy! I read The Return of the King until Pippin and Merry unite and decide the Lord of the Rings is too long of a series to e all in one HUGE book...and much too tempting to read.

5pm dinner is begun, chores are begun, whining has begun, two loads of laudry are folde and put away. Unfortunately they are not the same two that were washed...but atleast we are no more behind then we were at the beginning of the day.

The children evidiently have a strange condition. When i mentioned chores they were all far too sick to pitch in, but are now playing a loud gme of tag through the house...i feel better about enforcing the chores.

6:30 an extravagant meal of spaghetti and meatballs begins...we discuss the differences between Disney and the real Peter Pan-the main difference they all brought up is that in the disney version Wendy is the first one of the the book it is the boys. We are split on which way we like it...(wendy or boys first)...but all prefer the book to the show. We also discuss planets and the sun (this was Raymonds doing) I ask him the difference between planets adn the sun and he immediately replies that the sun produces its own light...i think to myself that i better start reading what he is reading before he thinks I am really stupid. We also discuss the tragedy of the evening: once again we are denied books at the dinner table. Natalie (8) says this is worse than being grounded for a week. Poor child.

After dinner the girls dressed up and danced...Raymond asked if he could dance too with a prop (a sword). The girls swirl and Raymond and Ben end up collapsing on the bean bag in what can only be wrestling.

7:30 YIPPEE the dinner dishes are done before bedtime...this is not normal adn should in no way be construed as such...what is normal is baby bird and bedtime. I dose the children up with echinachia-which they all love. They stand around with their mouths open, which is why I call it baby bird. Bedtime was relatively easy, except in the shuffle susan fell down five steps.

Ben and Raymond's bedtime story was about volcanoes. Lydia wanted me to sing songs she made up herself-always a challenge.

8pm Kalani's night-we are reading "Growing Up" by Brad Wilcox. although she has already had "the talk", I want to make sure I didn't miss anything and that she understands it a little better. As we read the first page, she interupts and says, ya but how does the sperm get in there...thats what I want to know" I am reminded of why we are usng a book, relieved she doesn't know more, and happy she is interested...we skip ahead and read together. After a bit on birth we turn to Susan and Kalani says "Is that the way it was Susan?" To which Susan shakes her head no and laughs.

8:45 Chris comes home!!! We finish up Kalani's night, Lydia interupts for the third time, natalie comes up to defend herself from whatever Lydia is going to say.

9:15 I go to the bathroom by myself!!! I am quickly discovered and there is much crying at the door..then silence. I would have been happier with the crying, Chris hears splashing and discovers two babies playing in the other bathroom.

9:30 bedtime for newly washed babies!

I deserve or love and serve

This must be a weakness for me because I think I have learned this lesson a few times already. My first poignant memory would be as a mother of two young children. I was nursing one while rocking the other early on a Sunday morning. I grew more and more frustrated that my husband was peacefully sleeping in the other room. He finally woke up, we got ready for church and all the while I steamed. We walked into church for choir practice..we were late and that was obviously his fault. What song was the choir singing. "As I have love you, love one another." Mentally I froze..I noted that they didn't sing..."as much as you feel justified love one another". That one moment has led to a lot of pondering.

I didn't learn quickly. It was only a drop in the bucket. I hadn't learned it enough to have love continually overflowing from my heart.

As a mother of seven children I have frequently been told that my hands must be full. My favorite reply is "you should see my heart!" I love the image of having a heart bulging with love. I have wondered more lately if there are not unused parts of our hearts just as there are unused parts of our brains. Perhaps these unused portions of our hearts can only be accessed when our hearts are pure, or without offense or anger. If we would choose to not give any place in our hearts for offense or anger just imagine how much room there would be for love. Too often I fear I am lulled into a calm security and then a palteau in which I become more worried about how much I am being loved, instead of how I can love those around me. It is true that I need to take care of myself, watch what I eat, exercise and in general try to take care of my health...unfortunately this sometimes turns to looking out for me.

Yesterday morning I was feeling down. I have been sick, my babies have been sick, I have gotten very little sleep. The weekend went by and I did not have a nap. Feeling frustrated and unloved I trudged through the morning, trying to rouse myself with house work, and mentally trying to shove the feeling of offense away. Then I recieved a phone call. My friends husband had died the night before of a heart attack. He was not even 40. My biggest worries were a couple of colds and a lack of sleep..

I have recently read a book called Left to Tell by Immaculee Iibagizia. This faithhful woman survived the Rwandan holocost by living in a 4ft by 6ft bathroom for 91 days-with six other women. During that time she overheard men telling of how they had killed her brother. Her mother, father and two brothers were all killed. She seems to have every reason to be angry, resentful, offended and seeking revenge. Miraculously she spent her time praying and learning English. I wonder how many times I have spent time and energy and heart space being offended even for "good reason". What could I have learned in that time? Immaculee now has a husband and two children whom she loves. She has not forgotten her family or friends. She felt she could mourn them more truely by loving then by hating. She has moved onward and upward, breaking a cycle of hate with the power of her love. "A soft Answer turneth away wrath" Proverbs 3:5.

"As I have loved you, love one another." What a simple, powerful, challenging phrase. How grateful I am that Christ doesn't love as much as He is justified, but instead loves unconditionally. I can visualize Him praying very succinctly in the Garden of Gethsemene, then talking a few step toward the cross, then he could freely turn back and glibbly saying-"that's about as much as you deserve." Logically I realize the falacy of wanting what I deserve. I am grateful heavenly Father's plan is not based solely on justice and fairness. Instead Christ prayed and died because His heart was overflowing with an amazingly complete love for each of us.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

the joy of work

I had grandiose thoughts of beginning my blog with a beautiful sermon on inspiring I want to be an inspired mother, a mother who inspires her children, and who inspire motherhood in others. However my inspiration for the day revolves around a much more mundane topic; the joy of work. Yes this is what you can look forward to...pages and pages on the joys of scrubbing kitchen floors and changing diapers. Well probably, but don't run away too quickly. Perhaps I should explain.

Today in church we were discussing the importance of menial, mundane, sweat producing work. It occured to me that God must really love work. This should not come to any Bible reader as a shock. Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden were given work "for thy sake". Specifically Adam was told "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread. Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life." Genesis 3:18. Eve was told "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children". The word sorrow is from a Hebrew root word meaning very hard work...I don't know that sadness was meant to be implied. I believe this was not punishment without a purpose, but instead a consequence with meaning. There are definite lessons we can learn from dirt and children. The law of the sower is one example; sow wheat, care for it, you get wheat. Tell your children a thousand times to wait a minute, mommy is get a two year old constantly telling you to wait a minute, while they line up rocks or follow worms. Perhaps this leads to another lesson... patience.

God thinks so much of work he felt it should be a priority for his prophets. He didn't have them talk about it nearly so much as he had them actually work. Noah built a boat. It wasn't small or random in design. It was hard work. He wasn't supposed to hire other people to do it so he could go preach; he worked. God chose not to just miraculously deliver a boat ready made. Moses climbed mountains and led the children of Israel for forty years-involving much practical work as well as a lot of walking around. God requires a lot of work to build and to serve in Temples. Enoch built a city, Isaiah wrote without a wordprocessor-can you imagine getting poetry right without an editing function? Many altars were built, people moved, all miracles generally required physical effort, not the least of which was prayer.

The greatest example of work is found in the Garden of Gethsemene. Christ sweat great drops of blood from every pore, for us. "For this is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." Moses 1:39.

Heavenly Father is much more likely to strengthen us to bear a challenge rather than miraculously remove it.

And I am much more likely to keep writing forever rather than get to the what is the point? "And the Lord said: Go to work" Ether 2:16.