Thursday, December 09, 2010

Little Moments

We had just pulled up to the school. Tyler's friend that we carpool with got out and started running toward the door. Ty likes to keep up with him so they can stand next to each other in the line to go to their kindergarten classroom. But he forgot his backpack. I rolled down the window.

"Ty! Your backpack!"

"Aww man!" he yelled, as he quickly turned back to come and get it.

"Have a good day. I love you!"

"I will. You too." he said, turning around to try and catch up to his long-gone friend.

At this point I would have normally driven away, heading off with Lauren for errands, or a lunch date with Brad, or presidency meeting, or whatever plans I had for that afternoon.

But I didn't. I thought of my friend Anna, who recently wrote about the same kind of moment in her blog. (I would link to it, but it's private) We went to Time Out for Women together, and a couple of the speakers (Linda Eyre and her daughter Shawni Pothier)really emphasized Cherishing the little Moments in our lives. In fact, we were encouraged to
  • Remember the Moments
  • Acknowledge the Moments, and
  • Watch for the Moments

Time slips away so fast, and sometimes I find myself not enjoying the journey as much as I should.

Anyway...with all this in mind, I decided to just wait and watch until he got all the way inside before I pulled away. And I'm so glad I didn't miss this little moment:

As he walked up to the door, a little girl was already there and was opening it. I thought he would race right by her through the open door toward his friend in line. And he almost did. But then something clicked and he took the door and held it for her to go through first. And she did. Then they did it all again through the second door. As she went through that second door, and he stood there holding it for her, he turned to look at me, perhaps to see if I had seen his good manners.

I did see it. I had stayed to catch a moment, and I wasn't disappointed!

I gave him a big thumbs up, and he returned it with a big smile and thumbs up himself. I was so proud of my little man, and so glad he knew I had been there to see it.

Just a little moment, really. And yet it made a big difference in my day. I felt like a better mom. I was so proud of Ty for treating girls with respect and being a gentleman. I look at him a little differently now. He really is growing up.

And to think I almost missed it...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Let it Snow!

The view from my front porch this morning. It's been lightly snowing for over 24hrs.

I dreamt of days like this in the dog days of Texas summers. I love the snow. I love the calmness, being cozy inside, the magic of it. Of course, I'm not the one shoveling it, or digging my car out. Brad's my shoveling hero!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Go With the Flow

I gave a lesson to my Young Women the other day on Optimism. The lesson pointed out how a go-with-the-flow attitude can help you be happier in the long run. I couldn't help but think of my mom, who is the epitome of go-with-the-flow. She doesn't get rattled when things don't work out the way she wants, she just finds a way to play with the hand she's been dealt.

I found one of my favorite examples of that come-what-may attitude as I was looking through my old journals. Please indulge me as I quote from an entry in my journal, dated February 17, 1990. I was thirteen years old.

Background: Growing up, my dad was the head of our Stake, which is a group of about 6 or 7 church congregations. Every six months we had Stake Conference, and often a General Authority came out from Salt Lake. We had several General Authorities stay with us over the years. It was kind of a big deal to make sure everything was clean and perfect for the visit.

"Today was a fun and busy day. It started at around 7:50. I got up and cleaned, cleaned, and cleaned some more. You see, it is Stake Conference weekend and Elder Pinnock is here. So, finally he got here. We ate lunch. They left for meetings and I had a b-ball game. We lost 71-25.

Then we came home to get the food and stuff for the dinner at the Stake Center. We were on our way out and Mom spilled the stroganoff on the asphalt. She was about to cry. We couldn't think of what to do. Finally, she goes, 'I don't care! We're gonna eat it anyway!' So we went into the kitchen and got a couple measuring cups, and I got another can of mushrooms and she got some more cream of mushroom soup.

'It'll have sour cream anyway, and you know, it was awfully runny.'

Yah! A great way to get rid of the sogginess!!! She took those measuring cups and started scooping that stroganoff off of the ground! We kept it a secret and were hoping no one would bite on a pebble.

Well, at the table, people were complimenting the meal and Dad was all bragging, 'Yah, that's my beef!' Mom and I started cracking up! It was so funny.

After the meeting, we hurried home to park in the same place where mom spilled so it would kind of cover it up. Mom spent many minutes trying to wash it down with the hose, but it didn't work. It was a fun evening.

p.s. Elder Pinnock calls me: Sal Pal Gal"

How could I not have learned to go-with-the-flow from that and the many other experiences I had growing up? What a valuable life lesson! Thanks Mom.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Birthday Cake

I feel like a bit of a slacker. Remember my tradition of making a specialized homemade birthday cake which the birthday child had requested?

There was Elmo for Ty's 2nd birthday...

Spiderman for his third...

The infamous Jesus cake for his fourth...

And a Cars theme for his 5th?

Well, I was planning on doing a Diego cake for his 6th, but something came over me when we were at Costco. Knowing that he's still easily persuaded, I started talking about how much I loved homemade cakes, but sometimes the store-bought ones were soooo cool! How I always felt so special when I got a store-bought cake. (At least it's true. There's something especially yummy about that Costco buttercream frosting that I love.) So he got excited and asked if he could have a store-bought cake this year. Please?! Please?! "Oh, okay, since you asked."

The selection was low, and we didn't have enough time to special order one, but he loved the music notes, and was very excited. And the chocolate mousse filling? Way better than any cake I've ever made, that's for sure!

Here's a little video of him blowing out his candles. I love the split second before he blows them out, where you can tell he's making a wish. I love the magic of childhood!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Better Late than Never: Halloween

We had a great Halloween this year. The kids decided to be Dora and Diego, and they had a blast trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. We spent the night with Ty's birth family at their annual family halloween party. It was a lot of fun.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Treehouse

We've decided that in our family we'll have big friend birthday parties every other year (if they want them) and just do something fun as a family on the year off. So when Tyler's birthday came up, we decided to go up to Ogden to a big dinosaur park. We got a hotel up there, and planned our fun trip, and then Brad's co-worker mentioned how scary the dinosaur park was in October, all decked out for Halloween. We decided not to scare the kids to death.

I'm so glad it didn't work out, though, because plan B was a children's museum up in Ogden called the Treehouse, and it was JUST PERFECT! We had so much fun! Other children's museums I've been to have been a little run down. But not this one! It was in tip-top shape, and had so much to see and do!

There were so many dress-up places.

They had a cute pioneer schoolroom that the children really enjoyed.

Moving on to the American West, they had a tee-pee.

And rodeo stuff.

This one was pretty funny. There was actual fluid coming out of the cow! The kids were grossed out and mesmerized at the same time.

They had a stage where they had a children's play. A worker narrated the story of the Princess and the Pea, while the children acted it out. Tyler was a guard.

Lauren didn't want to be in the play, but she got to play on the props afterward.

There was a fake oval office complete with the President.

Lots of science stuff.

Lincoln logs.

A hospital nursery.

And tons more that we didn't get pictures of. What a great place! We were there from opening to closing! If we lived closer, I would definitely want to become a member. The kids still talk about it and ask to go back.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fall Family Night

In an effort to keep watch on the changing leaves, we took off on a Monday Family Night up to the canyon. Who knew it would be such a big adventure?! We started out enjoying the autumn colors as we climbed up the mountain.

About .6 miles after the pavement ended and gravel began, we saw two cars in a bend in the road. One of them, unfortunately, had driven off a little cliff and its nose was stuck in the creek. The other car was stopped to help the lady who was in the driver's seat of the first car, either hallucinating or in shock. She was breathing heavily and was not responding. Since we couldn't really help with first aid, we took off down the mountain to call 911 where there was reception.

We definitely wanted to make sure the lady made it okay, so after we saw the first responders headed up the mountain, we stopped in a little grove of trees to hang out until they came down.

The joys of being a boy.

Practicing spooky faces

After what seemed to be a long time, the ambulance came back down. We still wondered if she was even alive, so we safely followed it to the hospital. It didn't have its lights or sirens on so we figured either it wasn't too bad, or she was already gone!

We parked across the street from the hospital and saw her being brought out on a gurney with an IV, so we figured she must be fairly okay. Phew!
Another normal day for a Rescue Hero and his family!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Cookie Grandma

Sometimes I don't know why I am so blessed. Why I had such an idyllic childhood surrounded by people who loved me and wanted the best for me. People who unselfishly spent time with me and taught me important values and life lessons.

At the top of that list was my Grandma Dorothy. I never doubted her love for me. I always felt not just loved, not just appreciated--but adored! Between the chocolate crinkle cookies she always kept in the freezer, the clothes she sewed for me, and teaching me to sew, our special walks to Armatidge Park to get fall leaves, long camping trips every summer, watching duck games and an occasional Days of Our Lives, and later, trips between Ontario and Eugene, always stopping at the Shoe Tree, I always felt her love for me.

Grammy, as I called her, passed away Thursday evening. She had lost most of her memory by then, living only in the present. Even though towards the end she didn't know my name or my kids' names, we still felt her love.

Love like that is beautiful. It is a gift from God, and it is Eternal. There's not a lot we can take with us from this life to the next. While I hold on to and cherish and now ration the knitted washcloths she expertly made, eventually they will wear out. I'll never again have chocolate crinkles made by her. But her love for me goes on. It's what ties us together in a long line of generations loving and teaching and caring for each other. Love like that is why I look forward to Eternity, and why I don't fear death. Our earthly experience together has ended, but not our love. That is forever.

So I'll miss you, Grammy. But I know I will see you again. And I look forward to the day that we can go on Heavenly walks. Imagine the fall colors in Heaven!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ophir Goodness Sakes!

On Labor Day, while we wanted to go out and do something, we didn't want to go too far because the kids had been acting whiny and we didn't want a long car ride with tired and cranky kids.

So, we explored the little mining town of Ophir, tucked up in a little canyon all by itself.

There were leftover mining things, and old railroads to play on.

You can't see it from this picture, but this whole pile of dirt and gravel sparkled! The kids loved finding little gold nuggets.

I've been working on the railroad, all the livelong day...

We thought this was funny.

Learning some history...

Our first taste of fall!

Skipping rocks.

All in all, a great day. And we got home right before the meltdowns began!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Growing Up...

Remember this little guy?

He's not so little anymore. He's a big Kindergartner now. Today was his first day and he LOVED it! I'm so excited for him. (And nervous and a little bit sad, too, but I keep that to myself).

When did he get so big and handsome?

I had to crack up at the mom that wouldn't leave her son, so she stood in the line and walked with them.

Friday, August 27, 2010

When I was in Arkansas as a missionary, we taught a lady who was in the advanced stages of MS. She didn't have a lot of control over her muscles. She decided to get baptized, and we worried about how she would do physically in the font. It turns out our worries were legitimate--it took seven times to finally get her baptized correctly. Each time that she came up and the witnesses had to shake their heads no, I felt worse and worse.

Only a little miracle occurred: when we were talking about it later, she mentioned that she was kinda happy it only took three times! Three times?!? Somehow she only remembered it being three times instead of seven. I think that was a blessing.

Fast forward thirteen years to a small soccer field in small-town Utah. Our soon-to-be-kindergartner and his team (the red dragons) were playing their hearts out. Only it was clear that they and the other team (the pirates) were not evenly matched. The parents stopped counting after the pirates had scored around ten goals to our none in the first few minutes! The other coach moved the cones to our goal closer together so his team wouldn't be able to score as easily. They stopped short of giving us an extra man on the field, but I'm not so sure that would have helped.

Tyler on one of the many kickoffs after the other team scored

After an excruciatingly long game where the other team's goals were probably well into the thirties, the final whistle blew, the kids gave their "good game" cheers, and got their Capri Suns and Teddy Grahams. On the way back to the car, we asked Ty how he felt about the game. With a big smile on his face, he lit up and said, "I think we won!"

Not quite sure what game he was at, but if he's happy, we'll keep up the illusion!

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