October 30, 2010

cause i can't do this alone.

my sweet husband gets home late tonight.
oh how i miss him.
and need him.

i saw this song on my sister in law's brother's blog.  :)
it's darling.

what a sweet message for marriage and parenting...
i love it.

October 29, 2010


i found my natural prozac.
i love fresh fruits and vegetables.
love them.
have i told you that sometimes while i'm shopping for produce i have to hold myself back from bursting into song...
sometimes, tears come to my eyes- really.
i want to sing... "from the banks of California, to the shores of Tennessee."
Ha!  That was my attempt to sing "I'm proud to be an American."
But then, as i was typing, I realized that those probably aren't the right words... seeing how there aren't any shores in Tennessee.
i ALWAYS sing the wrong words to songs...  the professor mocks me all throughout the Christmas season.
i digress.
where was i?
singing in the produce section...
Doesn't year round produce just make you want to thank God that we live in this day and age?
Doesn't it make you grateful you live in this country?
I never have to worry about my children not having food... good food.
what a blessing.
Do you know that if Americans took the money we spend on PET FOOD and donated it to end world hunger, we would eliminate starvation?! 
Our PETS eat better than many HUMANS.  how sad.
in the produce section, i feel blessed.

i had a friend in junior high who was adopted from Russia as a teen.
If I remember correctly, when she first flew to America, they stopped at a grocery store.  She thought it was fake.  A store set up by the government to make America look good.  She made her adoptive family stop at grocery stores the whole ride home to prove that they were real.  
(i really did have a friend from russia, but doesn't this story sound more like reader's digest?)
today i bought a cart full of produce- and one fresh chicken.
i came home bursting with fall goodness.
pumpkins will do that to you.

Since Halloween is on Sunday, we won't be going trick r treating.
I thought it would be fun to do a scary Halloween meal...
but then i decided to do my Fall Feast.
Lots of squash and roots and veggies... oh how excited i am.
and, i don't even care what the food tastes like...
or whether or not my kids like it.
to me, food is just amazing...
i want teach my children to experience the bounty of the earth... in all it's variety.
If they don't like brussel sprouts, they don't have to eat them every day of their life... but they should experience them.
Everyone should experience them.check out those brussel sprouts on a stick.
seriously...  SO FUN!!  
what a great food.
After this shopping trip, it looks like we will be "Fall Feasting"  all week.
I can't wait.

My kids came home from school and spent 30 minutes trying to name all the produce on our table.
They were as giddy as I am.
While I'm writing this blog they keep asking, "Mom, what's this called?"
I heard Jakob ask, "What's this?
the kids said "Cabbage".
He asked, "What kind of cabbage?"
They said they didn't know and he said, "Iceburg cabbage."
Funny boy.
Leah ate a banana and said, "Mom, did you go to the jungle today?"
Ellie has eaten a pear, a banana, and half of a pomegranate for snack.
i love it.

Oh, I'm proud to be an American.
I'm so grateful for the bounty that surrounds me.
I want my children and my home to be FULL of the good things of the earth.
If i can't live on a farm... shopping for produce will continue to make me happy.

Have you tried black grapes... SOO GOOD this season.
can you name this fruit?
yes, i bought 2.  How could you not buy a fruit that looks like Thing 1?  cool.

i knit.

because i had nothing else to do yesterday... 
i decided to try my hand at knitting.
(yes, this is a joke.  yesterday was CRAZY.  nonetheless- i managed to squeeze in a project.)
yup.  i used CIRCULAR needles and DPNs- double pointed needles.
i knitted and purled.
and, i started AND finished a project.
does that make me a real-live knitter?

it's something i always wanted to do.
knitting feels smart.
i'm not sure if i like knitting or if i just like people who knit.

i have a constant struggle in life with crafting/creating...
when i don't do it, i feel the void.
my life becomes monotonous with cleaning, cooking, cleaning, cooking...
when i do create, i wonder if it is worth the time and money i spend.
i FEEL good when i create.
i FEEL like i'm using important skills... skills i want my children to learn.
(gardening, sewing, cooking, canning, etc.)
i LOVE old fashioned skills...  but in today's world they sometimes seem impractical.
And so, I go back and forth between feast and famine.
yesterday...  i feasted and made a Brangelina hat...  from this pattern.
i actually made it smaller (only casting on 48 stitches) because it is for my boys...
for Christmas, if i can wait that long.
i loved it.
because, it feels good to create again.

October 27, 2010


This is random.
But, I just keep thinking... by the age of 33 I should already have a hair style that looks best on me.
You know...  the thing I ask for every time I go to the salon.
I'm definitely grown up, but I still feel like a kid when I do my hair.

I have layers now... it feels like a mullet.
Not cute.  Fine, but not cute.
I'm tempted to cut it off to a bob... but, I do this every pregnancy.
My body gets fatter and I start cutting off my hair.

I'm 33.
I should have this down by now.

And, I should be able to carry a purse.
But, I can't.  I hate it.
I just carry a little wallet.
You know why I hate purses?

reason 1-
When I carry one, my kids cry for candy all the time.  They always think I have something in the bag.
And, usually I do.  So, they turn into whiney brats until I give them gum.
I hate that

reason 2-
it bugs me that they are so big, just one more thing to keep track of.

reason 3-
i'm picky about a black bag with brown shoes, and i don't have time to change my purse all the time.
i keep thinking that one day i'll find the perfect purse that i love...
till that day, I don't carry a purse.

Really, purses and hair bug me.  I feel like they are signs of adulthood.  Signs that I'm not quite the mature woman I wish I was.

Maybe by 40 I'll figure out my ideal hair style and my ideal purse.
What do you think?
I know you are all styled, purse carrying women.
I just know it.

ps- i'm sorry to those of you who actually read this blog.
Sometimes I wonder why anyone would read it... especially when I'm pregnant.
Feel free to pause on me for the next 5 months and then check back.
Promise, I'll be more sane, and happy, and crafty, in April.
Consider yourself warned.

October 26, 2010

almost ready...

i can't believe i survived yesterday.
the OCD thing REALLY worked.
usually, i feel guilty cleaning all day...
(while my little girls watch tv)
usually, i feel stupid for washing windows and organizing junk drawers
when i have a whole list of URGENT things i NEED to be doing.
but, yesterday, i just told myself it was OK i was cleaning... because i was mental.
ha!  it worked.  i had no guilt... i just enjoyed my day and got a lot done.
did i tell you i washed windows...
and did laundry (wash, dried, folded AND put away)
i straightened my kids craft cabinets,
conditioned my leather couches,
cleaned out my junk drawer,
washed the cushion on my rocking chair where leah peed (last week)
cleaned my bedroom,
cleaned my bathroom,
put wood conditioner on the bench by the front door,
sometimes i felt overwhelmed but i kept reminding myself, i had OCD... i couldn't stop.
when i got tired, i drank a big drink of apple cider and imagined it was... um, fuel.

i took the kids to music lessons and while they were learning, i went to JoAnn's to buy fur for a wolf costume.
i left JoAnn's only spending $3.49.
i stopped at a restaurant and ordered myself a sushi roll... spicy tempura shrimp
i ate it in my car while i listened to a book on tape- it was delightful.
then i picked up my kids...
i cooked dinner...  a REAL chicken, with stuffing and beans (late- not till around 7:30pm).
we had apple pie for dessert,
the professor put the kids to bed, cause i was done.
but, i got a second wind catching the end of SYTYCD...
just a little.

i finished my kids' Halloween costumes.
(this is the first year i haven't made a small costume for the professor and i... oh well, 6 kid costumes are about all i can do when i'm pregnant.)
i believe that is the first creative thing i've done in a LONG time.
it felt so good.

i went to bed late, but happy.
and today, i am putting together 30 baskets for our school's Fall Festival auction.
i know...
this will be FUN. (i hope.)

hope you have a great day!! 
hey... one day of my crazy week is already passed...
um, we just might SURVIVE...
IF the big bad wolf doesn't EAT the boogie man before we go trick R treating...

October 25, 2010

OCD today.

I did NOT intend to write the previous post, today.
I thought about it last night as I was going to sleep, but this morning I was happy and ready to keep things light and airy.

Here is the post I was going to write today...

Just so you know, today I'm praying to become OCD with my house.
You know those people... the people who are OCD and their house is always clean.
They are my friends, and they always tell me not to change because they love to be at my house where it is fun and laid back.
Well, BLAH to them.
because, I'm sick of fun and laid back.  And, I'm ready for OCD clean.
just so you know.
today, I'm praying for OCD.
i think i have it in me... somewhere.
buried beneath the candy bar wrappers and lazy day book reading...
i'm going to find my OCD.
remember, i used to quilt... a lot.
i KNOW i have OCD in me somewhere.
channel--- house cleaning... house cleaning... house cleaning...
ready, go!

well, truthfully, i think i'll go OCD after i have a piece of apple pie for breakfast...  

choice and inspiration.

i'm doing better...
i found the peace.
i cooked dinner.
and sour cream apple pie.
(haven't decided if i like it yet... i need to taste it without ice cream to get the real feel)
watched AFV, and Home Makeover...
went to bed early...
counted my blessing...
feasted on scripture...
had a long talk with the professor about our life and how we KNOW we are guided and directed
(I read the BEST, random, scripture, from the Book of Mormon, Mormon 5:16-18)
It contrasted being led by a shepherd to being "led about by Satan, even as chaff is driven before the wind, or as a vessel is tossed about upon the waves, without sail or anchor, or without anything wherewith to steer her;"
i thought about how a shepherd leads... he calls and the sheep know His voice and follow.
even though sometimes sheep are dumb... we can follow.
(yes, the professor did break into song... from the Messiah... "All we like sheep.  All we like sheep.  All we like sheep have gone astray... astray... astray.)  lovely.

I have questioned this past week whether or not God really cares where we end up.
I know we can be happy anywhere.  I know it.
So, does it really matter to God?
My answer... YES.
He is our shepherd and He is leading us to green pastures.
God lets us choose...  and when we are about to choose wrong, He lets us know.

Last year, we were offered a job in Indiana.
It was our only job offer, and we knew we could be happy there...
the day the professor was going to accept the job, I was reading my scriptures and had the distinct impression to pray about Indiana.
duh.  why didn't we think to pray before?
i guess it was because it just made sense we would accept the only offer we received.
i prayed...
"God, we are going to accept this offer, please tell me it is right."
i waited... nothing.
i prayed again...
"Um, I didn't feel anything... are we NOT supposed to go to Indiana?"
I felt a rush of warmth down my body, like a hug, i started crying, i knew I had communed with God.
I checked myself by praying again...
"We are going to GO to Indiana."
"We are NOT going to go to Indiana..."
again, warmth, confirmation, tears.
I knew what God was telling me.
i called the professor.
"Um, honey?  Have you called Indiana yet?  Before you do, you may want to pray about it."
The professor had the same experience I did.
We stayed another year in Lubbock.
(NO!!  i don't always get fire bolt answers... but, on the big things, like moving, marriage, babies... i do get pretty clear answers.)

I have MANY friends, in and out of my church, who say things like, "I didn't even pray about who I should marry, I just chose and I went forth."
I think this is right.  God wants us to choose.  But, when He sees we are choosing WRONG, He will tell us.
Especially when we ask Him.
There have been times when I was blessed for my faith and times where I felt God telling me to CHOOSE.
(ps.  I don't think God will save us from LIFE or TRIALS... even when we follow Him, He sometimes leads us into deep waters.  But, there is PEACE knowing that during our trials, He is with us.  God's path isn't the EASY button.  But, it is the path to green pastures... eternal green pastures.)

When Todd and I were first married, we prayed about whether or not to have children.
Our church DOES believe in birth control.  But, we are also encouraged to have children.  And, to not wait to have children till we "have enough money" or have graduated school.  There are reasons to wait, but from what we found, money and schooling were not good reasons.
We are taught, when you have children is a decision that should be made with God, a husband and a wife.
So, together, the professor and I asked God.
We prayed and we felt very clearly that we should NOT wait to start our family.
Todd was starting grad school in a double masters program, and I was starting my Junior year.

As the story goes, we did NOT use birth control.
And, I did NOT get pregnant for a year and a half.
(Yes, you did read this right... no birth control, no pregnancy.  I don't need to tell you that I have NEVER again in my life NOT gotten pregnant.  Um, I'm a pretty fertile gal.)
I took 24 credits a semester, graduated a semester early, and gave birth to Jakob in February after I finished my classes in December.
It was a miracle.
I was able to start my family AND get a college degree.
I knew we were blessed for our faithfulness.

The story continues...  I kinda thought, because we had prayed about not postponing our family that God wanted to be in charge of where and when our kids would come.
We didn't use birth control... and I kept getting pregnant.  Quickly.
I was tired and overwhelmed.
I prayed that I wouldn't get pregnant, then when I did,  I blamed God in my best "I'm a martyr" voice.
God turned my head.
He reminded me that I had a CHOICE, He wanted me to choose for myself not just blame Him for my life.
I know... duh.
Why would we choose not to use birth control and then pray not to get pregnant?
This is a BAD example.
A time in my life where I used my faith unrighteously... inspiration does not mean we don't have to choose. 
Todd and I  chose to WAIT for a while.
We asked God if that was OK with him... and again, He sent peace from the Heavens.
We knew our choice to wait was OK.
I believe in birth control- well, i believe in some birth control.
(But this is a topic for another day, or not.  Really, many forms of birth control freak me out... if you want to know the truth.)
I believe in choosing and I believe in a God who speaks to man.
He has spoken to me and taught me and guided my life.
Since that time, I am very careful to choose for myself so that i'm not blaming God for my life.
It is a line we walk... faith and choice can exist together.
God values choice more than He values righteousness.
He wants to see what we choose... He doesn't want an earth full of lemmings.
But, He is still our shepherd.  He gently calls when we get too close to the edge.
He teaches us and He guides us and when we wander, He finds us.
Last night, He found me.

I have learned that Satan also steps in when an important decision is to be made.
How can you tell the difference?
God speaks PEACE.
A peaceful yes, or a peaceful no.
Satan speaks doubt, fear, worry, confusion...
God says, "You are great."  and sometimes, "You can do better."
Satan says, "You are a looser, you are failing."
EVERY TIME I receive communication from God, Satan steps in to intercept with worry and fear.
Satan tries to stop good things.  But, he is very easy to recognize.
Faith and Doubt cannot exist in the same person at the same time.

Right now, I know in my HEART and my soul, that everything is going to work out the next few months.
My MIND races with worry and fear and doubt.
When I find myself and remember what I really know to be true, then I feel peace.
When I let myself worry and doubt, I am afraid.
I have to learn to choose what I let myself feel.  I have to remember the peace and feel the joy.

Last night, I remembered.
And today, I feel peace.
Tomorrow will be OK.
I am not tossed on the wind,
I am following my Shepherd.
He trusts me, and I trust Him.

October 24, 2010

don't read this, i'm cranky.

yes.  i'm a bit crazy these days.
my house is a mess...
i'm crabby...
i'm in over my head with church and pta...
i'm not ready for halloween...

the professor is going out of town this week so it is not even physically possible for me to get my kids where they need to be when they need to be there...
and, i can't even get to the point where i can accept help.
you know it's bad when you don't even know how anyone can help.

my kids spent this morning making a huge fort in their bedrooms... then playing board games...
they used the laundry basket to reach the top of the game closet... the laundry basket that used to hold clean laundry... the games at the top of the closet are games like Settlers and Railroad Tycoon...
just so you know.
they are LOVELY to clean up.
and... my house was a mess BEFORE this started.
at least they have been playing quietly and nicely together all day.

i've tried chocolate (as in- i tore open the Recess bag i bought for trick or treating)
it's not working.
i'm still REALLY crabby.
i can't sleep.
i can't clean.
i can't figure out a plan that makes everything good...
i can't loan out a few kids for the week.
i can't postpone this pregnancy till i'm mentally able to handle it better.
i could take a pill (and that might help...) but it wouldn't get my laundry put away.
these are the days when my sweet New Jersey neighbor used to say, "Jen, come on over and I'll pour you a glass of wine... no one will ever have to know."
Isn't that cute?  She was serious too.

Maybe today, Jesus will turn my water into wine.  :)
Hah!  That's pretty funny isn't it...  who needs a pill, we can all just pray to be imbibed with Holy Wine.

i wish i could just zap myself past the next week...
ok, honestly, i wish i could zap myself past the next year.
is that horrible to admit?
i'm not excited about the professor getting a job, me getting fat, being cranky, selling a house, packing, moving, saying goodbye and meeting new people...
i'm not sure i can handle it.

but what can i do?
chocolate isn't working...
(i'm really going to try drinking some water and imagining it was bourbon on the rocks- or something like that... honestly, i can't even NAME a drink cause i've NEVER had one... but oh, i can imagine.)

i also think that i'm going to find out whether i'm having a boy or girl on Friday.
i wanted to be surprised... but, i think i have too many surprises in my life right now.
i want to plan and start to know this baby, now.
seriously, i HATE surprises.
that's why i'm insane right now.
too much in my life is out of my control.
so, i'm going to find out boy or girl.

and tonight, i think i'll try cooking dinner.
meatloaf, mashed potatoes and asparagus.
with sour cream apple pie.
(hah!  i'm writing this post because i was trying to print out the apple pie recipe and got distracted... back to dinner i say, dinner will fix many things.)
then I may try doing the dishes.
and watching AFV with my kids.
i'll go to bed early and mentally count my blessings.
maybe i need to write out a list.
maybe i'll read over my favorite scriptures... like the one that says something like,
"Therefore my dearly beloved, let us cheerfully do all that is in our power to do and then stand still and see the arm of the Lord."  (I'm sure it says something like that.)
then tomorrow, i'll wake up and cheerfully send my kids away to school...
furiously clean my house...
work on pta...
and pray that somehow, i will be enough.
i'm afraid my 5 fishes and loaves are pretty soggy today...

October 22, 2010

this is the place?.

it was so fun visiting with the Brobergs while the professor interviewed at Wichita State in Kansas.  aren't they adorable?
look at all those kids!

this is the small town where we broke down.  oh what a day!

this was the NICE motel.

see, it has arches...

and semi-clean beds...

even after getting our fuel filter changed, our car still stopped every six miles...  once, right in front of Happy.  too bad we missed the exit.  :)
i spent a lot of time thinking last night, and this is my conclusion...
life is never "easy" for long.
there is always something.
there is no perfect place to live and no perfect situation...
lubbock has not been perfect... but it has been great.
BECAUSE... we KNEW we were supposed to be here.
i knew from the moment we first entered Lubbock, this is where we would be.

Right now, I have complete confidence that there is somewhere we are supposed to be next year.
I am ever so patiently waiting for that confirmation to come.
And, when we feel the peace, it overrides the worry...

so...  the professor is still applying for jobs, and we are ever so patiently awaiting real job offers, and i've traded my dreams of a white farmhouse and horses for dreams of a definite "this is the place" feeling.

my friend maria had an ancestor who walked west pushing a handcart with the mormon pioneers.
when she finally entered the valley and knew she had arrived, she pushed her handcart over the edge of the mountain and said, "i never want to see the damned thing again."
isn't that funny?!
i'm afraid i'm going to have to have a symbolic handcart demolition...
maybe i'll throw a student loan bill... maybe a medicaid card... maybe my nasty double stroller that i have had since jakob and drew...
oh, that's good.  i'm totally going to push my double stroller over the mountain's edge. 
when i arrive.
and i'll tell you when i'm there.
you know,
that place.
the place that has been prepared for us and our gang.
the place that feels like home, even though i can't find the wal-mart.
and, i'm going to buy one shirt (or maybe a dress), full price at target.
just because i can.
i used to dream of banana republic and ann taylor.
today, full price at target... someday.
when i'm "there".

till then, i've got LOTS of laundry, and pta stuff, and Halloween costumes to rock and roll on...
enjoy your Friday!

ps.  Hi Shelly!  Um, totally NOT rock star.  more like "crazy momma with tons of kids" come to visit.  isn't tiffany great?  i say, she's better than prosac.  one nice thing about living in Wichita would be living near our good friends... tiffany has a way of making you feel great even when your silly 2 year old is attacking her son. 
yes, my kids have all loved to taunt... and, they are pros.  sorry spencer.  (that's from me, not lily... she's still on the bench refusing to say the word sorry... but, hang in there, she'll be darling when your home from your mission.  and, i'm totally a fan of arranged marriages... just so you know.) 

October 21, 2010


ugh. although we had so much fun in kansas (thanks tif!!)
the horrible ride home left me cranky and TIRED.
my kids were AMAZINGLY good...  it's just that even though we fixed the filter $50 we didn't have $700 to fix the fuel pump, so the last leg of the trip that should have taken 3 hours took 6 hours.
we could drive 6 miles before the car stopped and we glided to the side of the road till it would start again.
oh my! 

and, the whole trip left me a little smacked in the face with reality.
you see, i have spent the past 4.5 years saying "SOMEDAY" when we graduate...
and having this idea that all my dreams will come true.
and...  i just don't think it's going to work like that.
i think we'll still be tight financially (we'll have 7 kids and LOTS of student loans to pay off)
someday, it'll all be great...
but, someday may be further away than i was originally thinking.

so, amidst my headache and crankiness i have come to a conclusion...
i need to STOP thinking about SOMEDAY, and start planning for TODAY

i can't tell you the last time i made something...
or invited people over...
or worked on a project...
i think i've spent the last few months making plans and making babies...
and, it's driving me CRAZY.

so... here is my list for TODAY, or TOMORROW, or THIS MONTH.

1.  Make a pumpkin pie or this sour cream apple pie.
2.  Plan a "Fall Feast" - start a new tradition.  (see this blog.)
3.  Invite someone over for dinner.
4.  Crotchet my afghan.
5.  Finish Halloween Costumes- this year we're doing BAD GUYS.
6.  Go to the park with a friend.
7.  Wash all the windows.
8.  Learn to knit and make a gnome hat.
9.  Think about Christmas pictures and Christmas gifts.
10.  Volunteer up at the school.
11. Paint something.

I need a little spice in my life and i just can't spend one more minute thinking about next year.
TODAY is all I have, and i'm missing it.

i've been a bit hermit lately and i think i need to break out of it...
what are you doing this week?
anything fun?  come on, set one goal and join me as I bring back the spice...
ready, set... go!

October 20, 2010


yeah, we're driving home from our school hunting tour of oklahoma and kansas, and our car just stops accelerating... we can drive 3 miles, then it starts gliding to a stop.
we prayed our way to mclean, tx.  it's a small, small, one road place, with one nasty motel, one overworked mechanic, and the mechanic's neighbor with a semi truck, four dogs, three cars on his front yard and a nice harley davidson that he parks in his LIVING ROOM.  really.
wow... mclean, tx.

then, we turned around and prayed our way 19 miles to the bustling town of Shamrock.
today, the kids and i are watching tv in our "lovely" western motel while the professor hunts down a new fuel filter.
can you believe that the 3 major hotel chains they have here were all SOLD OUT.  for real.
shamrock is a happening place.
at least shamrock has a mcdonalds. 

'there's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home'
and, um, i don't think i'm as much of a small town girl as i thought i was.
just sayin'. 

October 15, 2010

black and white.

i talk to myself.
conversations that begin with other people continue in my mind.
and recently, i am YELLING to myself.
you CAN be both!!
Black and White.

Personally, I am very CONSERVATIVE.
I am VERY pro life, VERY conservative fiscally, I believe in small government, I believe that marriage is between a MAN and a WOMAN. I believe that SEX outside of the bonds of marriage is a SIN.
I am modest. I don't believe in altering my body with tattoos or enhancements. I believe children are a gift from God. I believe families are blessed when a mother can stay home with her children. I don't swear (most of the time). I believe in the 10 commandments. I believe that pornography, drugs and alcohol and homosexuality lead to unhappiness and sin.
I believe in laws that outlaw WRONG.
Stealing is wrong, murder is wrong, abortion is wrong, adultery is wrong, abuse is wrong, rape is wrong, sex outside of marriage is wrong... immorality, disrespect, crass behavior, addiction, abuse, etc... these things lead to the disintegration of a community.
Our laws should protect us and our children from exposure to things that corrupt.
I vote conservatively, I believe in these principles, and I teach my children RIGHT versus WRONG.

Saying all this... my heart and my soul are VERY liberal. 
{this does not mean i act conservative and feel liberal... it means i am conservative but i LOVE easily... i empathize liberally.}
I am a listening type, people come to me and share their stories with me.
I have MANY people i LOVE who are gay, who have had abortions, who certainly do not wait for marriage to have sex. I LOVE many people who have committed adultery, had abortions, smoke, drink, have tattoos, have breast implants, mothers who need to work and mothers who want to work. People I love smoke, drink, steal, go to jail, struggle with homosexuality, mental illness, promiscuity, teenage pregnancy. My heart aches for my friends and family who are alcoholics, prescription and illegal drug addicts, pedophiles, suicide survivors, rape and abuse victims.  (Not that working mothers compare to pedophiles... just that in my society people seem to judge one another about so many things... I don't think we can judge, on big things or little things.)

Can I not support Gay marriage and still love people who are gay?  Yes.
Can I think abortion is a sin and completely love and grieve with someone struggling to heal from an abortion?  Yes.
Can I teach my children not to smoke and teach them to love and respect people who smoke?  Yes.
Can I feel that it is wrong to put silicone into your body to enhance your breasts and still love my smokin hot friends who've had boob jobs?  Yes.
Can I empathize with a child abuser?  Yes.  Even if I think they should go to jail?  Yes.

My sister was living with a man who was abusive.  I went to help her leave him... and she couldn't do it.  I prayed that God would change her, that I could make her leave.  I learned, as I cried with her on her bed, that it is HARD to choose, even if it is the right thing to do.  God did not change her, instead he changed me.  He told me to love her.  And, I did.  I understood that it was harder than I thought.  Yes, I still think it was RIGHT for her to leave him, but I knew it was harder for her to choose to leave than I originally understood.
Could I think she was wrong and still completely love and respect her?  Yes. 

Everyone has a story. Usually, people who struggle are people who have survived more in their life than anyone should have to endure. Tattoos—who the heck cares about a tattoo? Boob jobs? Abortion? Homosexuality? Addiction? How can we judge... especially when we don’t know the story. Every time I hear their stories, i LOVE these people. I learn from them, in MANY ways I want to be more like them.

In fact, I have a MUCH harder time with someone who appears "perfect" and is so openly critical and judgmental of others than I have with a big tattooed, beer drinking, cussing, kind-hearted motorcycle man. The more I am around religious, educated, wealthy people, the more I am DISGUSTED by their pride and judgment of other people. The MOST Christ like, giving, selfless people I have ever met were uneducated, unimportant, poor, loving people who have endured much in life.  People who have endured much can love easier.  People who struggle can empathize better with others who struggle.  Isn't it interesting that most of the 12 apostles Christ choose were poor fisheman? 

{In church once, I made a comments that started, "I like Barrack Obama, but..."  People were aghast.  They gossiped about this comment and labeled me "liberal".  Oh PLEASE.  I do like him.  I respect that he is the first black president.  I respect that he grew up in a single parent home, graduated from Harvard and that he is spending his life trying to make a difference.  I think he's funny.  I think he's smart.  I like that he lived in a cheap apartment when he was in the congress.  I like that he values his family and that he is married to a strong woman.  I don't agree with him politically, but I like him.  I respect him as my president.  I believe he is trying to do good.  If people sitting in a Sunday School class have a problem with that, I think there is a problem with them.}  

I'm trying to find the quote from Brigham Young, he said something like, "If our chapels do not smell like smoke we aren't doing our job."
I KNOW that all of us stink. We all do things that are wrong. Some sins are just easier to see than others.
Is it MORE wrong to have homosexual tendencies or MORE wrong to scream and hit your kids?

Take two first graders, an A student and a D student... one has a parent who checks their homework and quizzes them on their spelling words and another whose mother is working all night or drunk. Can you say one is smarter? One is better? No. You have to know their stories. Is an A better than a D? Yup. Is the A kid better than the D kid? The A kid grows up and marries and raises a perfect family where the D kid struggles with addiction and teenage pregnancy and steals... is one better?

We CAN NOT judge. That is why Christ is the judge... he is all knowing, all loving and all merciful. He can judge perfectly. Grades, appearances, even life style choices are not good judges of what a person is made of.

I have a friend who works with pedophiles and murders in the jail system. I’ve asked him, “Have you ever met an EVIL person?” He said, “No, not yet.” He went on to explain that so far (he has been doing this for 10 years) every person he has talked to eventually softens and describes a childhood of pain or abuse that is unimaginable. Yes. Pedophilia is evil. Yes, it is wrong. Yes, it should be illegal. Yes, no matter what your background you still have a choice. But, I can’t judge a pedophile. I don’t know their pain, their story, what it must be like to struggle with that addiction. (I do think there are EVIL people in the world... I think there must be people who choose evil and don’t care. But, most of the people I know have good hearts and a desire for goodness, even if they don’t always choose good.)

My heart loves liberally even if my vote is conservative.

I have studied the life of Christ. It is interesting to me that when the Son of God, himself, was on the earth he did not condemn the sinners. He had compassion on them. He healed them. He blessed them. He forgave them. He taught them. Who did he condemn? The people in the temples and churches. He cursed the hypocrites. He said, “He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.” Then to the adulterous women, “Neither do I condemn thee, go thy way and sin no more.” He rebuked those of us with a beam in our eye who are arguing about a splinter in someone else’s eye. Every time I hear the life story of someone who seems easy to judge, I am humbled. Every time.
Yes, there is sin. God is a god of JUSTICE. Right versus wrong. Good versus evil. But, He is also a God of MERCY. I would NOT believe in a JUST God if I did not believe in a PERFECTLY merciful God also.
And so, I am BLACK and WHITE.
Conservative and Liberal.
My vote is conservative, my life is conservatinve, my heart is liberal.
I believe in both Justice and Mercy.
Love the sinner, hate the sin.

And, I teach this to my children.
Yes, smoking is bad for you, you should not smoke.
Yes, you can still love and respect someone who smokes.

Yes, you should wear modest clothes, you should not get tattoos, you should not have sex before you are married, you should be kind and obey the law and study hard to get good grades, you should not steal, you should not get an abortion, you should believe in God, and pray, and go to church. Marriage is between a man and a woman...
but ABOVE ALL, you should love other people.
You should love people who are different than you and love imperfect people and not think you are better than someone else just because you have been taught differently.
The greatest commandment is to LOVE God and the second is like unto it, LOVE your neighbor as yourself.
To love is more important than to not smoke.
To love is more important than to not get a tattoo.
This is what I teach them, and what I believe with my whole heart.
We are NOT the judges. We're just not.

and, i'm Mormon, i'm Christian, i'm pro life, i'm Conservative, i'm not a fan of socialized medicine, communism or big government  and still, i like Barrack Obama.
i would not vote for him, but i would invite him to my home for dinner and games.
just sayin.'

want to read more?... after i wrote this post, i read this... i guess my church agrees with me.  :)

October 14, 2010

before the dance.

do you remember the week before the dance?
planning, shopping, imagining what it was going to be like.
sometimes you were just going with girl friends, sometimes with a boy you were madly in love with, most of the time with the service project boy you had to say yes to.
always there were nervous butterflies, and for me, a break down moment when i knew it would be horrible and i would look ugly and i was scared.

this is my before the dance time of life.
and, i'm nervous, excited and breaking down.

i HATE, HATE, HATE change.
(yes, i wrote a blog titled i LOVE change.  it was a JOKE title.)
but, more than hating change, i HATE the unknown. 
i HATE, HATE, HATE surprises.
now, a true surprise i can handle, but a "i got you something today but i'm not going to tell you what it is."
i HATE that.
we're all going to act weird around you and pretend that we don't remember it's your birthday so we can surprise you later, i hate that.

you are moving sometime, somewhere, and hopefully selling your house shortly after giving birth to a child, and paying for your move and your new home somehow... 
this makes me insane.
most of the time i can control my emotions... i know everything is going to be fine.
but today... i'm a little crazy.

even though i try not to think about it and worry about it... it's not working very well.
you see, i'm smarter than my brain. 
i TRY to convince myself not to worry, but really, i know that i have a lot to be worried about. 
change is going to be difficult for me and for my family.

once, at christmas time, the professor said, "honey, don't worry.  I NEVER worry about Christmas and it is always magical." 
HA!!  that is my point.  if i didn't plan and worry than it wouldn't be magical. 

no, i'm not taking any mental medication.
if i drank, i'm sure a glass of wine would help...
yes, i'm a bit anxious.  which is funny and odd for me, because i am usually the opposite of anxious. 
i go depressed, calm and mild and carefree. 
do you know, i can't even nap.
i'm pregnant and i can't sleep.
WHAT?!!  this is not like me.

so, please remind me that the dance is always great.  always.
God gives us what we need when we need it.
I have to believe that He has a place for us, where we will be able to provide for our family and serve others and be happy.
I can feel peace and trust and faith.
We will sell our house, our baby will come and it will be calm and right, our move will be smooth and we will see the hand of God helping us through this transition time. 
i hope.

thanks for listening to my therapy post.
this is a big weekend for me, we are presenting the big Stake Nativity (that i am in charge of) to all Mormon congregations in Lubbock, and we are taking the kids on a road trip to visit Stillwater, OK and Wichita, KS...  and, although todd has had 3 fly back interviews he still doesn't have any official offers... so all our dreaming might be in vain. 

i say to God... I'll go where you want me to go... just tell me WHERE.  please.  i hate choosing. 
i know this isn't good.  He wants us to choose.  He believes in agency.
i just hate agency sometime.
i hate choosing and waiting and worrying.

but, i LOVE to dance.
and soon, we'll be dancing.

October 13, 2010

i spy something green.

sorry, i have to post this.

on sunday morning i looked at leah and noticed something odd.
she quickly tried to run from me and said, "I did NOT go into the boys room.  I did NOT."
upon further investigation, i found a slew of treasures...  carefully hidden... in her panties.

that child.

October 12, 2010


My bigger kids are big now... and they're great.
This past week I have watched them "perform" at dance and soccer and visited with their teacher for parent teacher conferences.
Teachers say, "I just love your kids."
And, I agree.  I love them too. 
They're good kids.
Not perfect, but good.
Jakob's coach said, "I just want you to know what a great kid Jakob is.  If I had a kid like him, I'd have 6 more."
I completely agree.  Um, I am having 6 more...

As I was watching the bigger girls ballet practice I was thinking about how nice it is to be in a stage of life where I can just watch and be proud of how my kids are "performing."

Right after the big girls dance, Leah has dance practice.  She has 2 years till kindergarten and dance is her very first "extra-curricular" activity.
She was funny-- kinda.
There were a LOT of kids in her class.  And they all listened to the teacher.  Except Leah.
She kept coming to tell me that her finger hurt, or her mouth hurt, or she was too tired to dance...
when I told her how beautiful she was dancing, she would say "Oh Yeah!  Watch me!" and run back to her class.
She pouted and sat down half way through... she stuck her tongue out at the teacher a few times (ahh!?!)... she was covering the mouth of the girl next to her, and even hit her on the back...

i REALLY wanted to go and grab her a few times, but i refrained, because i was supposed to be "observing".
oh man!  that child.
i've been here before, and i know that she will grow up to be just as well behaved as her siblings.
but, it's good to remember every now and then.
and... this week we are practicing pointing our LEFT toe, and our RIGHT toe, and summersaults, and skipping.
(even though leah was being a stink, i know it was just because she was embarrassed that she didn't know what to do.) 
don't worry... we'll be skipping queens in no time!
(and, um, the sticking out the tongue thing, she gets that from her father...)

October 09, 2010

percy jackson is my hero.

i had friends who HATED the movie.  said it was horrible.  said they almost walked out.
(and, they didn't even have kids with them when they went to see it.)
i had another friend who read the books and wouldn't let her kids read them.

my boys and my husband LOVED the books this summer.  it kept them reading for a LONG time.
i had no idea what they were about, but didn't think i'd love them.

my kids were watching the lightening thief from netflix one afternoon and it caught my attention.
there is a line, at the beginning, where they take this kid, Percy, who has failed out of school because he has dyslexia and ADHD and tell him something like, "You aren't a looser, you just haven't found your super powers yet.  You are part god, you have greatness within you."
this is TRUTH.
no, i don't believe in the greek myths... but i do believe that we are children of God.
all of us are "demi-gods"
we all have strengths and weakness and divinity and goodness within us.  we just need to discover our gifts. 
 i sat and watched the whole movie.
and, i LOVED it. (even if it isn't the same as the book.)

i decided to read the books.
just finished this morning.
i LOVED them.
LOVED them.
LOVED the ending
LOVED the HOPE the author gave for humanity.
loved the struggle between good and evil... in the world, and in each individual.
LOVED that the worldly struggle continues, even though most individuals choose good.
LOVED the message of unity amidst differences.
LOVED that the kids weren't smarter than their parents...
and even the mortal parents of the demi-gods could take care of themselves and remain parental.
Percy chooses life over immortality.  so did we.
many are "redeemed" as they sacrifice their lives for those they love.
gods love their children, even if they don't take away their trials.  love that.
and, although there are deep ties of friendship and love throughout the book, the most we get is a kiss at the end.  PERFECT for my boys.

But, one of my favorite parts of the book, came when i was reading about the books.
The author, Rick Riordan, started this book as a bedtime story for his son.
His son was just getting diagnosed with Dyslexis/ADHD.

This is what he said,
"When I was writing Percy Jackson, my own son was in the process of being tested for learning differences. He was having trouble reading, and some trouble focusing in the classroom. The teachers were wondering about ADHD and dyslexia. He was frustrated about learning to read, and we had to explain to him that the testing was designed to help the teachers help him, not to make him feel bad….
dyslexic/ADHD kids are creative, “outside-the-box” thinkers. They have to be, because they don’t see or solve problems the same way other kids do. In school, unfortunately, they are sometimes written off as lazy, unmotivated, rude, or even stupid. They aren’t. If they can get through their rough school years, they often go on to become very successful adults. Employers love them, because they come up with original, fresh ideas. Making Percy ADHD/dyslexic was my way of honoring the potential of all the kids I’ve known who have those conditions. It’s not a bad thing to be different. Sometimes, it’s the mark of being very, very talented. That’s what Percy discovers about himself in The Lightning Thief." www.rickriordan.com

This is what his SON, Halely, said about Percy,
Percy has changed my life,” says Haley [Riordan]. “You read a lot of books and none of them have a hero who is ­dyslexic or has ADHD – it’s always perfect people in a perfect world ­doing perfect things. Percy is, in fact, very flawed and he has to fight against that and at the same time fight monsters.”

the only thing i didn't like about these books... they were a little too Harry Potter-ish.
but, for a younger audience.
i would recommend these books to young readers- especially boys who are having a hard time getting hooked in books.
yes, there is fighting, but it is good vs evil.  and good wins.
i like that.
and, i LOVED these books.

October 08, 2010

happy birthday?!

want to hear the saddest story?
you know my husband, the almost professor.
it's his birthday today.
he's 37... old huh?

anyway... for the past month he has been collecting data for his thesis.
all day, every day.
last night he says, "I'm almost done!!!  Only 3 more companies then i have collected the data for 350 companies for the past 12 years.  It has taken me 5 weeks.  Next, I can analyze it."
he finished up while i went to bed with yawns of congratulations.

this morning, we went to the gym.
while our kids sleep- 5:30-6:30am.
our oldest is almost 12, and we have cell phone, so i feel safe leaving them alone.
this morning, when we got home, everyone was awake.
the girls said, "Daddy, Lily has something to give you."
she handed him his jump drive.
that he had left plugged in the night before.
he has not backed his jump drive up since the beginning of September... 
BEFORE he started his data collection.

we went to lunch for our special birthday date, and when we came home, he plugged in his jump drive... so he could back it up and begin his analysis.
totally BLANK.

as i type, the computer is running scans to see if the company can help us recover any of the data.
but so far it still says "0 files recovered."
isn't that a horrible birthday present?
i knew we should have slept in this morning...  let's blame it all on the exercise.

blah.  37th birthdays.  it's the curse of the "you're too old to be in school" god.
maybe saint timothy (i think he's the saint of lost stuff) can come to battle for us.
{can you tell i'm reading percy jackson?}
oh, i sure hope this story has a happy ending...   he's a good man, charlie brown.
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