Sunday, December 31, 2006

My Christmas miracle

It was Christmas Eve morning and we arrived at church on time (now that is not the whole of the miracle--but it is quite amazing). As we scurried into our seats, my dear husband leans over and reminds me that he will be sitting on the stand to sing with the choir for the entire program. i tried not to throw a tantrum right there...I am after all the mother. Perhaps as a blessing for not throwing a tantrum...i received this christmas miracle...I sat through that whole meeting! I listened to the beautiful music and even thought some Christmasy thoughts. Of course I also drew endless numbers of trains, hearts and flowers, whispered a Max and Ruby book, played patty cake, played peek-a-boo, tried to quiet the laughing babies after playing peek-a-boo, wiggled and bounced babies, discreetly nursed once, juggled three children on my lap at once, scratched backs...really this meeting is only a little over one hour long! My daughter did take one of the babies out to walk out some wiggles...but I sat through the Christmas Eve service.

For me that is an amazing miracle.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas morning

Christmas morning started at 3:30! I was blissfully unaware of its beginnings. My oldest daughter, 10, woke up to go to the bathroom. As she was walking down the hall our new kitty, fuzzy, ran between her legs and generally scared her almost to death. We had left Fuzzy to roam free, because we didn't like the thought of traping her somewhere all night, or somehow boxing her up. It turns out we are more like PETA than we thought...we spared the cat and scared our child.

Kalani finally caught the kitty and promptly put her outside! Luckily for us, Fuzzy scratched until Kalani let her back in and came to inform me that there was a cat in the house. It was 4:30 when Kalani came into our room, Kalani was very excted to know that fuzzy was not an intruder, but instead a Christmas present. Soon all of the children were up including was 5:30AM. I was worried they would be grumpy, but had underestimated the power of adrenilin and stockings and ofcourse the all entrancing kitty.

We understand their excitement. In the middle of our Christmas Eve preparations, Fuzzy was delivered. Chris and I paused to play with her for...two hours. We snuggled her, fed her treats, showed her around...and generally forgot everything we were supposed to be doing while playing with the kitty. She is beautiful, all black with a small tuft of white on her chest. It does seem amazing that we haven't had a cat before now, especially considering how much our children have begged.

We enjoyed seeing Chris' parents, his sister and children and my brother and his family. It was a busy, wonderful, family day.

Monday, December 18, 2006

bed head

I have found it is very easy to go into great detail on the lack of sleep, quantity of diapers and spit up, lack of alone time and many of the inconveniences of motherhood. It is very difficult to explain how it feels to wake up to this...How could anyone not just instantly fall in love with that face?

I have also what age is bedhead no longer so cute? I know its somewhere between 5 and 30, because it is certainly no longer cute on it the same age that toes are no longer cute...or knees or ears or noses? Do they each have their own cuteness expiration?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

it was the best of was the worst of times

I do not know why we built gingerbread houses. It was definitely not on my agenda, I was talked into it. I see it as definite proof I am not my own woman that I said yes....what was I thinking. I spent one whole afternoon making the gingerbread, cutting it out, baking it, putting it all over my lack of counterspace. Then as per instructions I let it dry overnight. The next day it came time to make the frosting glue, put them together, stand back and let my children take over. Of course that meant the house in front of the three year old ended up in pieces, and the house made for the cousins ended up broken as well. Apparently gingerbread houses are not really suitable for those under the age of four.

At this point I was ready for death by gingerbread...then my son, Raymond, and my three daughters Kalani, Natalie and Lydia sat and decorated their houses for almost two hours. Kalani and Natalie ended up with a garden, with a pumpkin patch, and a path made of smarties. None of our houses qualify forany awards, but boy did those children have fun.

This is all very good, because my house went to pot over those few days. All that baking and cutting and building left very little time for laundry...and there is a lot of laundry when people catch some sort of stomach bug. Tonight we have three children sick, tomorrow is our anniversary...who wants sweet nothings anyway. i'll take a good man who'll clean up throw up and do his own laundry.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

fabulous firsts

To break up the monotony of rants and ramblings I will inform you of the new experience I had this weekend. Last Friday I took five children to the grocery store. This would classify as a fear factor event for most people. I was not that worried myself because I have seven children, so really this was a sort of holiday.

The one aspect that needs to be considered along with quanity of children though, that makes this trip not a holiday, is the quality of the children...well really just their ages should suffice. I have children aged 10, 8, 7, 4, 3, 1, and 1. On this trip to the store I was missing the 10 and 8 year old.

As I drove to the store I mentally planned my coping strategy. I was carrying one baby, the other was in a stroller being pushed by an incredibly motherly 4year old. The 7 year old was generally walking near the cart. The 3 year old was sitting in the cart. He is the x-factor. The most volitle member of our shopping crew.

Unexplicably I deviated from my plan. We were going along fine until we got to the is the mistake I made and plan to learn from...I let the 3 year old out of the cart! From that point on the trip was disastrous. We were technically done and just needed to check out, but between the yogurt and the checkout line the little 3 year old took off. He is obviously healthy-I know this from the speed he maintained through the store. I am obviously not as my loving 7 year old was instantly deputized and sent to retrieve the felon.

There I was at the checkout line with one 4 year old and two one year olds lookings around distractedly. The checker asks me if I have found everything I was looking for. I reply altogether too honestly, "Except for my son". Just then I hear a squeal from the other corner of the store. It appears my deputy has been succesful in apprehending the felon.

Now what am I to do?

I leave the 4 year old and baby in sight at the check out line and race to keep the deputy from using excessive force.

Ah the joys of parenting. I am reminded that I am always just shy of chaos. I am reminded just how grateful I am for my two older girls. Technically the shopping trip can still be considered succesful as I bought everything on my list and with the same children I came in with. Unsurprisingly we had frozen pizza for dinner.

ode to a school teacher...

My husband and I love our Alma Mater. We both graduated from Brigham Young University. It is unique in so many ways...however (isn't "however" just fun to write! You know a lovely rant is coming), we recently received a dvd from my husband's college. He graduated from the David O. McKay School of Education. The dvd was a parenting dvd. I do not appreciate the public education system telling me how to parent. I wrote them a lovely letter. Here it is...

I am disappointed in the new parenting program "You Can Do This". The McKay School of Education continues to worry about political correctness-God is obviously missing from the "You Can Do This" dvd. If BYU can not involve God in teaching and parenting, who can?

The content of the dvd could be discussed further, but I am most concerned at its existence at all--coming from the school of education. It is not the role of public school educators to teach parents how to do their job. The Mckay School of Education must not perpetuate the worldly notion that teachers should fix parents. It is a slippery slope towards a socialist view that the government knows how to parent better than the parent does.

There is plenty to fix in the realm of education. Existing classes on multicultural education and family issues are nice, but they don't address the critical issue that our school system is based on homework. Mom may not speak English or be home to help with homework. Absolutely those family dynamics affect the classroom. The educational system can be changed. BYU's McKay School is the school to lead out in that change.

Surely that should keep the McKay School of Education busy enough.

BYU already has a wonderful school of family life that enobles parenthood and recognizes inspired principles.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

waxing nostalgic

I am trying to avoid a long rant about society and "these kids today" I'll try to be gentle. A chat room I like had a discussion about what age it is appropriate to start waxing one's eyebrows...wait don't look away this is a reasonable chatroom with normal people that are very nice!! It's just that a few of these ladies were saying in all seriousness that 10 is not too young to start waxing your eyebrows if it is affecting your self esteem! UMMMM...are you kidding me? Have you seen a grandma's eyebrows lately? My self esteem is related to my eyebrows? A ten year old should be playing with Barbies not trying to look like maybe that is part of the problem...

this is the long rant part

See how nice I am not to subject you to it all?

Gee back in the good ole days self esteem was based on lasting things like good hard work, service and knowing God loves you.


Monday, December 4, 2006

by Him I see all things

I remember in college happening upon a quote by C.S. Lewis. "I believe in Christ like I believe in the sun, not that I have seen Him, but that by Him I see all things." This one quote set off frequent ponderings about the sun and the Son. Once in the Hansen planeterium I remember a movie discussing how the sun is the source of all of our power; coal, oil, electricity, all share a single original power source...the sun.

Today my son informed me that I wasn't helping him meet his education goals! He needed to do more sience experiments, perhaps more than one a day. I can see his point he is after all newly 7 and time's a wasting. He chooses an experiment and there we are reading and experimenting with light. Here is the quote for the day "light cannot be seen until it strikes something that reflects it". This seems obvious and basic but the application is limitless. Do I reflect the light of the Son so others can see it? All matter reflects the sun's light, but different material absorb more than others, thus reflecting less. How much do I absorb, and reflect?

There is also a vision principle here. I am sure the Son's light is reflected all around me...and yet too often I am tired or frustrated and I miss it. What we see is dictated by who we are.

the way to my daughter's heart

Friday was tiring. I haven't gone out much in the last year and sometimes my children protest. Friday is the result of a delussional mother giving in to the protestations of naive children. We went to a play group for two hours immediately followed by a two hour homeschool talent show, followed by library time.

I made it home and tried to gather myself, while my twins made up for distracted nursing time.

Finally up from the nursing chair I discover it is time to make dinner. In the world wind that is dinner preparation in my familiy I don't remember sitting down until almost everyone was almost done eating. As I sat down to a delicious slice of homemade pizza covered with peppers I ask my 8 year old, one of the cheif protestors, if she had had a good day. "Not unless I get seconds " she says.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Number the Stars

I am always amazed with positive stories connected to World War II. I found The Hiding Place astounding, I enjoyed the Diary of Anne Frank, and Viktor Frankyl. Now Number the Stars by Lois Lowry is understated. It is about youth and courage. I have never heard about Denmarks role during the war. I had never heard that although Denmark surrendered, they destoryed their own Navy, so the third Reich could not use it. They also quietly smuggled most of their 7000 jew out of the country to Sweden! The virtue of that country to do what is right, protecting the Jewish people before it was even concentration camps were known and understood. It astounds me that a majority of the citizenship was willing to help or atleast remain quiet. Jewish people were their neighbors, friends and countrymen first, and not discriminated against becuase of their religion. If we could some how bottle this up and spread it around...what wonders there would be in the world! How did this country become that way? What would happen in America if we could see each other as friends and neighbors and Americans first...and whatever -ite or -ism you are or choose is secondary!

The Lord of the Rings

I normally try to write something after reading a book. It is generally a reflection of the thoughts I had while reading. For a few days after reading The Lord of the Rings I struggled with what I would write. There was almost too much in the book to pick one subject or theme. The more time I thought about it the more i kept coming back to one character...Samwise. What an amazing hobbit! What a devoted friend. His choice to stay with his master, even after experiencing increasing danger, is a selfless one. He must have bit his tongue constantly while Frodo learned or spoke when overtaken by the rings power. When others lost control, he let it role right off of his back. He was focused on the mission, even when he could have easily gotten distracted, which is how he snuck away with Frodo at the falls of Beruna. His dedication to resuce Frodo when he was captured is overwelming. All this without much thanks or least not verbal. Sam was definitely an actor, not a reactor.

I make come bak to this and think of one hundred things to add...but for now this is it...Tolkein writes for 1000 plus pages and I see one good friend.