Showing posts from March, 2016

Science Fair

I'm sitting in a large high school auditorium,  listening to a very dynamic announcer read of the names and awards of state science fair projects. The kids here are in junior high and high school,  so many of the projects are over my head.  I don't even understand all the words in their titles!  A huge amount of research and hard work go into these science projects.
Chris and his friend have already won a specialty award from NASA.  I'm impressed with the depth and and scope of their research,  but I can't sum it up for you very easily.
Chris has such a brilliant brain,  and his thoughts are progressive and well ordered. I'm so peeps of him!   I'm sure I don't tell him that enough, but it's hard for a mom to say mushy things like that to a teenage boy without eye rolls and embarrassment. But I am proud of him, and impressed with how he is growing up.  He is graduating this year,  but I'm not sure how that happened.  He will find his own place in t…

Mission Monday

I wrote two letters to my missionary boys this week - for the last time.  It's hard to believe that Alec's two years has come to an end,  but he really will be home this week.   I'm pinching myself.  I know he won't want to stay home once he gets here - what motivated young adult would rather stay home and be bored over getting out and on with their life?   But I'll enjoy just sitting back in the corner and seeing him interact with everyone.
I've missed his self-assured confidence,  his loving tenderness with our small fry,  and his mischievous dimple.  He reminds me so much of his cheerfully brilliant dad.  I've been blessed to be surrounded by such amazing men.
The blogs:  Madagascar and South Africa.

Slowing Way Down

So the other day (which means a vague sometime in the past but not necessarily recently.  We're liberal with our definitions here) I wrote about getting an inspiration in the temple that I needed to slow m life down.  I tried!  I thought seriously about it and everything.

But the reality of life for me is that I am the Mama of a large family.  Six kids at home rely on me for food, clothing, love, and attention.  I am the homemaker in charge of a house and land.  It's not huge, but there are always things that need cleaning up, fixing up, taking out, and tuning up.  I am the primary caregiver to a wonderful man and his Parkinson's Disease and he's not improving.  This disease is slowly stealing him and his abilities away from us.  And not lastly (but bestly!) I am the wife of a good man.  I'm so lucky to be the one to love him.

None of this will let up.  In  spite of the fact that we cleaned the front room yesterday, it needs to be cleaned again.  The laundry does …

Spring Weeding

I spent some time out in the sunshine today, weeding and thinking about our current political climate.  The two went really well together., actually.  Whenever I thought about a politician, I ripped out a weed.  Very cathartic and energizing, somehow at the same time.
There is a small strawberry patch along the back of the house.  I don't think I've ever seen it really flourish.  My mother did not like to weed, and I don't think she liked anyone else to weed, either, so she just wanted to put the whole yard in grass and forget about it.  I remember her making us weed lots when we were kids - I guess it wasn't worth the effort for her!
My brother and his sweet wife tried to tame the yard when they lived here, but it's a really hard spot to grow anything well.  Most of the strip is only about six inches wide, right against the south side of the house, so everything there just bakes.  Except the grass, the dandelions, and the bindweed. 
Right now the soil is soft and…


After the twins told me two good things and one bad thing about their day,  Freddie asked if he could tell me one more bad thing.  "Sure," I responded,  "as long as you tell me another good thing, too. " He told me the bad thing (Georgie had poked him with a pencil), and for the good thing, announced that today was library day.  Their kindergarten class went to the library and got to listen to the librarian tell them stories.   "I love hearing stories!  It's just like bedtime except we get to wear shoes!"
*** Angel was telling me about how Grandma Susie had a bad diet and that she died from it.  "And now she's in Heaven, so that's a good thing."  She paused.  "You know what the good thing is about when Opa dies?"  She plunged on enthusiastically.   "He'll be with his wife again!"  She was so happy and sighed in rapture.    "I just want to kill him right now!"

Mission Monday

Change is in the air.

The flowers are coming up, the snow is melting, we are putting another bed in Chris's room, and Alec wrote a longer letter this week than the normally-longer-winded Ben.  Always something new!

Ben told me a funny story about a drunk guy they encountered who kept telling them that he loved them.   "The one thing that makes me have a good day no matter what is finding something to laugh about. There's lots of good things out there and when I am good at laughing, I'm way happier. Isn't that great?"

Alec has no car, I think for the first time on him mission.  That may have something to do with his recent birthday and the expiration of his driver's license.  So he's riding a bike, and I hope he really enjoys it!  He loved biking before his mission, but I'm sure riding for transportation is much different than racing them.

Jump over to Alec's South Africa blog or Ben's Madagascar blog.

Working Together

As I slow down, I am realizing that I am not a one-man-band.  The universe does not revolve around my efforts. I am not indispensable.  And contrary to how I often feel,  I do not carry the entire weight of the world in my poor arms.
Instead, I do my little part and those around me do their parts and we all manage together. None of us are perfect, but we manage to make things work in spite of our mistakes.
Nowhere is this more true than at the junior high band concert I attended tonight.  Eddie plays the trombone in the beginning band and I went to cheer him on.
I'd really rather have stayed home on the couch, but if I stayed, I would have been on for dinner patrol.  I gladly let Trent manage the last part off dinner prep, getting everyone to the table, the happy chaos of eating, and the cleaning up. For my part of parenting duties,  I'm sitting comfortably in a padded chair,  listening to the different junior high bands. 
They aren't as painful as I remember from when…

Lessons From the Organ - Slow Down!

Before I started playing the organ at the temple, I met with the organ coordinator to make sure I could play -  I'm passable.  She took me to the temple when no one was there so I could practice a bit and get used to the organ there.  As I played, she beat the tempo with her hand.  Down, down....down...........doooown.  I was playing too fast.  I slowed down some, and then more.  But her hand wasn't down yet.  Down..................down......................................down.....................................down
Oh, that was hard!  I've always had a thing about music with a slow tempo.  I chafe at singing hymns at church that should be bright and perky but instead drag into a boring cesspool of dead tones.  Yes, I feel that strongly about it.  I don't know why church organists often feel that the correct tempo - for everything - is "moderate funeral dirge."  I work hard to learn the weekly hymns thoroughly enough that I can play them up to speed, or may…

Mission Monday

I know Alec's blog hasn't been updated for a while.  Sorry you don't get to hear some of the adventures he has been up to!  It stopped at week 86, so I haven't thought for a while about what number he might be at now.  I think it is actually about 100, and that is just crazy.  How in the world can time go so quickly?  He'll be home soon, and I'm doing a lot of reflecting.  I've missed him.  I've missed his strength and his perseverance, his tenderness with his littlest siblings, and that dimple when he gets mischievous.  It goes against common sense, but in spite of all the distance and everything, I love that boy more than ever,  It will be nice to have him back home.

Now I need to go figure out where he is going to sleep!

You can catch up on the Madagascar blog too, which is already at 86 weeks.  How??

Cataracts, Not Part II

We had Dad's other eye scheduled for cataract surgery this week.  That makes it sound like we could just pop the eyeball out, send it in for refitting, and then pop it right back in.  Wouldn't that be nice!  But no, his whole body was required at the cataract surgery.  Too bad.

At any rate, the second surgery hasn't happened yet.  That left eye just is not seeing well enough and we don't want to take out the good eye.  I mean, not take out.  Just put it out of commission for a while.  It would be nice to be able to see out of the left eye before they operate on the right eye.  The left eye is improving, but more slowly than they wanted it too.  Right now, with best correction, he can see 20/1000 out of it.  And that is an improvement!  So we'll just wait and see.

I'm hoping all these procedures help with his... seeing things that aren't there.  I don't know whether it is the Parkinson's (hallucinations are not uncommon) or his vision, but I'm gu…