Wednesday, November 30, 2016

When My Memory Fades

I forget things.  Not just because I'm getting older, but also because moments change.  When the house is a disaster and all the pennies need pinching and I'm hungry but there is nothing for me to eat and the kids are fighting with each other and we are LATE AGAIN! it is hard to remember that there are times that go well.  But there are good moments.  Lots of them, in fact.  So I need to write them down, because that's how I remember better.  I think that is one of the great blessings of the scriptures - they make our collective memories bigger.  And it's nice to remember the good things, especially when hard times hit.


Alec came over to change his oil.  I have appreciated how Trent has taught the boys how to fix and maintain a car.  When Alec's new car spilled oil all over the driveway, Alec was good to come back and clean it up.  He stayed for a bit and we ended up all eating hamburgers in the kitchen together - 12 of us with Grandma Jeanne that day.  It so warms my mother-heart to be together.


We were driving home from a late-night family gathering in the big van.  I love being in our big van, even though I don't particularly like driving our giant, unwieldy van -  because it means we can be all together.  Something is missing when we have to take two or three cars instead.  Eddie started saying things in a British accent that evidently wasn't quite up to snuff.  Before long, David, Chris, and Ben were all criticizing  his attempt, but each fake accent was different than the one before.  I think we all ended up in giggles at all those bad accents.  British giggles, mind you.


When someone does an especially good job on a school paper or artwork, we hang in on the refrigerator.  I was pleasantly surprised when Chris asked at the end of his senior year if he could put his well-done-paper one the fridge, since he usually does not like to be the center of attention.  The next time I walked past the kitchen, it looked like this!  It was so fun we left it that way, all covered with his awards and achievements, for the whole summer.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Family Funnies

Even though I haven't been blogging, I have been collecting little snippets of our family life.  Some are funny, some are sweet, and some are just happy family moments that I'd like to snuggle up in and enjoy for a long time.  As much as I'd like to remember them forever, I know myself better than that.  If I don't write it down, it is lost and gone.  End of story.

We went to a family reunion recently, and they talked about having a family talent show.  At dinner, we discussed what talents are, and what we could do for the show.  Angel was more than excited with all sorts of ideas.  "Ooh!" she squealed, "I'm going to draw some pictures!"  Freddie pondered for a few minutes before somberly announcing, "My talent is reading."   Georgie didn't have to think long before he let us know what he planned, "I'm going to hoop a hula.  I like hooping."

Angel loves watching all kinds of animals and birds.  She told us she wanted a bird to make a nest in her lower lip and lay and egg there.  "When it hatches, I can raise it for my very own.  It would be glorious!"

Trent took Freddie on an errand in the car.  After a few minutes, Freddie innocently asked, "Dad, why didn't you use the [tongue clicking]?"  Thinking.  You mean the blinkers?  Yes, that.  Busted by the six-year-old back seat driver!

Georgie had been in the car too long.  In desperation, he demanded, "I want to walk home for the last block!"  When the answer was in the negative, he insisted, "Then I will cry all the way home!"  Freddie muttered under his breath, "Oh, just let him walk!"

Freddie let us know an important upcoming event.  "I'm gonna change my name when I grow up.  I'm gonna change my name to... (thinking)... Hot Sauce."  Not to be outdone, Georgie will also change his name.  When asked what his new name will be, he replied matter-of-factly, "I'm Batman!"

Monday, November 28, 2016

Must Right the Not Writing

A few years ago, one of my sons implored me to never stop blogging.  "How will we ever know when we did things?  Or remember our family stories if you don't write them down, Mom?"  His plaintive request caught me totally off-guard.  I didn't think he read the blog at all, or even really knew that I wrote.  Especially since he was in an I-don't-care-about-this-family kind of stage.  So I kept writing.  Every now and then, life gets crazy and other things are more important than writing, so I pause.  But I miss it.  It's hard to jump back in and not feel guilty that there are things that I didn't record that I wanted to - that's why the pauses last longer than I want them to.  I feel like I have to play catch-up before I can jump back into today.

In the past half year, we have gone from Mom and Dad, six kids and Opa, with two missionaries out, to both missionaries home and eleven people in this house!  At the end of the summer we had a wedding and two other boys going away to college, so we were down three.  David and Eddie were happy to move into Chris's old bedroom (it has a window!), and the twins got to move out of the room they shared with Angel.  Yes, we had eight children in three bedrooms for a while - although some of the older boys preferred to couch-surf rather than sleep downstairs.  It seems funny to say that the house is quieter and feels empty now, because there are still five kids plus two parents plus a grandparent who still eat, sleep, and hang out on the premises.

But it is a little empty.  Alec and his new bride have a cozy little apartment a few towns over, and seem to be living happily.  Do we need a bloggy name for her?  Does it need to match up with Alec's letter A, or should we begin with B since that is the next girl name in the alphabet after Angel?  Let's call her Belle, just for fun, and because it fits her.  Ben's university is in the next town over from the university Chris chose, so they are sharing an apartment and commuting.  I love to hear them tease and bicker over bedtimes and groceries, and I'm glad they have each other.  My mother-heart has grown a few sizes to include a new family member, and to love my boys as the adults they are becoming.  I pray every night that they will all find real happiness and fulfillment in their chosen areas.

David is a sophomore this year, so I have him in the nest for two more years while he grows his flight-feathers.  I'm so impressed with how he handles the challenges he faces, and how he determinedly gets back up every time.  He is learning such good things!  Eddie is in eighth grade and finding his groove in his studies and groups of friends.  He and David clash on a regular basis over the standard sibling things, but I'm glad that they like each other anyway and manage to set things straight.  If we could figure out how to simultaneously play music and have quiet; turn the lights on and have dark, we would be a thousand times more peaceful.  And rich, if we could sell that technology!

Our Angel is eight and thriving in second grade.  Her social butterflightiness (can I combine "social butterfly" and "flightiness"?) is calming down several notches, and she spends a great deal of time writing and drawing pictures, or playing school with her little brothers.  When she has been quiet for a long time, I know her imagination has been captured by a good book.  Freddie and Georgie are in the first grade.  Gone all day!  I love to hear the commotion that descends upon the house when the three of them come tramping in after school.  And then my mother-heart is happy: my children are home!

Yes, dear son, I'll keep blogging.  There are so many things for me to write about and I miss it when I don't.  We have a great family, don't you think?  If I don't jot down the things I am ever so grateful for, then I forget.

And I don't ever want to forget.