Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I Pray in Faith


Here is one of my favorite songs about prayer.
Actually it's one of my favorite songs of all time.
I have felt the power of the message while teaching it to many children.
My own and many who belong to my good friends.

I kneel to pray every day.
I speak to Heavenly Father.
He hears and answer me.
When I pray in faith. 
I begin by saying Dear Heavenly Father.
I thank him for blessings he sends.
Then humbly I ask him for things that I need
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Monday, May 30, 2011

My Little Monsters

Artistic Caroline presented by LG's smartphone. Such a perfect depiction of her almost 2 year old attitude.
Sophia has been really sick.
And this mom has been really worried.
She didn't have enough strength 
and was in too much pain 
and couldn't go to school all last week.

They say she just has two really bad ear infections.
But I am not sure if that is right.
This girl has had A LOT of ear infections.
2 bouts of Swimmer's ear.
Three sets of PE tubes.
And she has never been like this.
Her lymph nodes were huge on Friday night.
Visibly huge.

I also think she has a little whiplash from her cheer-leading class a few weeks ago.
Thankfully she looks a lot better today.
I am keeping my fingers crossed.
And praying more than crossing my fingers.
Especially since she just said her ear is hurting.
She already had one round of zithromax
and 3 shots of rocephin.

Sophia hasn't been sleeping as much as she should. 
Her eyes were really really red and bloodshot yesterday.
Despite her lethargy, she was dying to go to church to be the reverence child.
(I looked for a link to an explanation for a reverent child, but I couldn't find any -
a reverence child is the lucky kid who gets to stand in the front of the LDS sacrament meeting -
they stand with their arms folded and act as an example for the adults to remember reverence.)
Another side note: there is nothing like an assignment to be 10 minutes early for church to make a family 2 minutes late for church. We have been early for the past 6 weeks. Sorry Sophia.
After Sophia got dressed all pretty for church, Abigail voiced her observation:
"Look mom, Sophia looks like Rosalie (from Twilight).
Abigail was right. Sophia looked like she needed some blood bad. And fast!

Now I have two vampire children.
Just what I always wanted.

Thanks to all of our fallen soldiers who made it possible for me to raise a bunch of monsters.
We live in a wondrous country, despite the politicians.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The power of a painting


Recently, because of a very in tune Relief Society teacher, I had the opportunity to reflect on the evolution of my testimony. I thought long and hard about any spiritual experiences I had as a child. The main thing that came to mind was the amazing tingly feeling I had shoot from my head to toe when I received the Holy Ghost. Christian doctrine says that we must be baptized by water and fire. In my faith, at age 8, when a child is accountable for their own actions they can be baptized by immersion. Afterwards, under the hands of those in authority holding The Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, one can be confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and be baptized by fire when told to receive the constant companionship of The Holy Ghost. I had a really cool experience that even at age 38, I still remember vividly.

Besides this amazing experience, I could not recall a lot of details of times that I felt the influence of The Holy Ghost as a child. One thing that I did recall was a picture of Christ that my mom had hanging in our home. It was a beautiful sketch of Christ spending time with the children. I remembered that as a child, I spent significant time looking at this photo. It made me feel so good.

I can remember as a teenager looking at this photo, and having a distinct impression that I wasn't living in a way that showed Christ that I knew that he loved me and that I loved him.

As an adult, pondering this piece of art and all the good feelings associated with it, I had a profound realization. I realized that as a child I had a pure love for my Savior Jesus Christ. I feel like I have grown to love the Savior even more in the last few years, but I don't believe this testimony has evolved. I think I had a very strong testimony as a child that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. Now as an adult, yes I do have a great knowledge of my Savior, but it does not trump that I had as a child. If anything I am trying my hardest to get back to that pure testimony that I had when I was young.

Matthew 19:14  But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

And if you are anything like me, and are struggling daily with raising children. Go here. You will find inspiration as I did. I promise.

Friday, May 27, 2011

We grow


With you, I grow.
Side by side.
You're just a sap.
I am too.
Different kinds.

You flourish in the sun and rain.
And I watch.

You dance.
You cry.
You smile.
You laugh.
I watch.

I laugh.
I smile.
I cry.
I dance.
And I flourish.
Without knowing it.
Because I am always watching you.

You are my pride and joy.
Sprouted from my seed.
My best buddy.
Smart.

Beautiful.
Fun.
You got my best leaves.
And your dad's roots and branches.

Your branches
are what I love best.
Because they fly in the wind.
I blinked.
And you went from a twig
to a full grown tree.
And now I feel small.
Smaller than ever
Because you are
such a greater tree than me.



You are strong.
Straight.
Courageous.
You are my joy.
And my light.

I grew
while watching you grow.
But your growth is
so much greater
than mine.
And that makes me feel
like a sap.
All over again.
Both kinds.

You are my joy.
I keep watching.
And waiting.
Until someday
you will have a sapling of your own.
And then my growth
will become even greater.

Because it will
not just be mine.
But yours.
And your sap's.
And we will all grow together.
Until we have a forest.

And our joy
will be one.
You and me,
we will be done growing.
But our saplings
we will watch.
Together.

And we will feel
so small.
As small as a seed.
But as small
as we feel,
we will know that
we have great power.
Power as huge as a forest.

Because there will be
so many saplings.

And we will watch.
And smile.
And laugh.
And dance.
And cry.

And grow.
Together.
Forever.


I love you Abigail. My darling darling young woman. You are such a joy to me. And I am so proud to be your mom and your friend.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I'll take my car with some humor, please.

Somebody posted this picture on facebook and I went online to find the source.
Bravo to two car companies with a sense of humor.
I guess these billboards are a few years old.
Yet humor is timeless.
And hilarious.
Who knew I was mature?

Do you want to know what's really funny?
The noise my husband's car makes whenever you put it in reverse.
I am so glad I have learned to laugh at trivial nonsense.
And that in my heart I can have peace
and know that temporal things don't matter.
Not one bit.
The most important thing is that I keep my cool.
And it's kind of fun to have a good little test with our cars.
How long can it make that noise and still run
before it won't run at all?
I think with LG's new workplace being only 2 miles away,
and the fact we are purchasing him a bike this weekend,
we may have this car noise around for a very long time.
I am holding out for a year or so.

And really, it's funny that we purchased his car in 2000,
and it will most likely be the car 
that all of our children are going to drive
when the turn 16.
Not only funny,
but a testament to Honda.

Speaking of children getting older,
wait for my post tomorrow. 
I am old.
Very very old.
So old I that I may go and finally get my ears pierced.
To rebel against my mom and her mantra
that if God wanted holes in my ears he would have put them there in the first place.
You see, I think I may have to show Abigail that she can do it.
And be the trial run.
Maybe we can get matching studs.
Oh yeah, we already have a matching stud.
He's a guy with a car that makes a funny noise.
How sexy.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Legal Assistants

LG's law practice is a thing of the past. I think sometimes he misses it a little bit. Although he would never admit it. For any of you starting your own practice my husband will gladly give you some advice. Have a partner. The other thing he will tell you was told to him by a smart law professor.
"Get a good assistant and keep her."

The first year of LG's law practice I was the assistant. I guess I wasn't good enough because he didn't keep me. We often joke that I think I quit and he thinks he fired me. Either way it doesn't matter. What really happened is I had a baby and it was too hard for me to take care of the baby, the other girls, LG, and his practice. I was forced to let LG take a portion of his take home pay and divvy it out to a real assistant.

I can't remember the details, but before I knew it, LG had hired two assistants. 

You see, he tries to be a humble guy and will gladly admit to needing all the help he can get.

The other lawyers that got to know is assistants always teased LG that he knew how to do things right. It was more than a little eery that they would all make the same joke:

"LG, you must be one hellofaguy. You have a blonde assistant on T and TH and a brunette on M,W,F."

Yuck.

I really had to work on my confidence for years, and a wife really doesn't need jokes like that. For a long time LG and I had an understanding that the only assistant he was going to have was a gay man.

But then came Sheena and Stephanie. I trusted these girls with my life and my husband. And they took really good care of him. I think if LG were to enhance his new job in any way, he would request a personal secretary to do all the things he doesn't like doing. These girls were a godsend. They relieved my man's stress level by about 40%.

Funny, by the pictures you would think that Sheena was the brunette and Stephanie was the blonde, but when they worked for LG, they both had opposing hair colors to these photos.

Sheena on her wedding day.
I stole this photo from her facebook.
Stephanie on her graduation day.
She e-mailed me this photo.
And gave me permission to use it on my blog.
When Stephanie was working for LG, her mom showed me a pair of shoes that Stephanie had requested for her birthday. Upon seeing them, I begged her not to wear them to work. No explanation needed. She honored my request. Or didn't she? I can't remember. It really didn't matter. I was just joking with her.

You can imagine my entertained laugh a few weeks back when opening an e-mail with this photo from Stephanie. Stephanie had graduated from paralegal school. She said she had to wear her heels to make a statement.

I replied with, 

My thought was what point were you trying to make...that all legal assistants have to be hot? Because if that's the case, my sex life should have been a lot better than it was during that year that I worked for LG.

Of course I wasn't serious.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Missionary Tag

At dinner the other night Abigail started telling us about her experience at school with missionary tag. Not a missionary tag that you wear on your lapel, but a game that you play at school.

I was more than curious. The social influence of LDS culture astounds me, and I am now living through the eyes of my children. There was no missionary tag in Tennessee. I found the idea very entertaining, as I knew it had to be a game made up by some Mormon some time in the last 200 year history. I enquired further. So, how do you play missionary tag?

Abigail responded: "well everyone has a partner."

Oh, yes indeed. Missionary tag was referring to Mormonism. You see, just like the animals in the ark, God sends Mormon missionaries out to testify two by two. Whenever you see a Mormon missionary preaching anywhere in the world, they will always be accompanied by a companion. When I was a Mormon missionary I had a companion in eye's view every minute of 18 months, except when I was in the bathroom. You would think I would be a better wife after having that kind of training.

In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established, 2 Corinthians 13:1

Apparently that translates into a school playground game where everyone has a partner.

Before I let Abigail explain any further, I started heckling a bit. Just because that's what we do.

me: So, you get a partner and then you go and find your bikes.

Abigail: No mom.

me: Oh yeah, that's lame, not all missionaries have bikes, um, after you get a partner, you kneel down to pray?

Abigail: Mom, you are so lame sometimes.

me: After you get your partner, you run inside and whoever find a Book of Mormon first wins.

Abigail: Are you done yet?

me: After you get your partner, you sing Called to Serve.

Abigail: Mom, I am not going to tell you if you don't stop.

me: So, you get a partner, and then....

LG: Alice, it's not funny.

me: really?

LG and Abigail in unison: Really.

awww man. I was laughing. I thought I was hilarious.

Abigail went on to explain the rules of partner tag. But just so you know, in case you ever visit, in Utah, classic partner tag is called Missionary tag. Even a simple little schoolyard game has been inundated with Mormon doctrine...much like many other facets of living in this great state.

Of course I am loving it.




Monday, May 23, 2011

On the Move

My brother recently sent me the pictures he took with his smart phone on the day we arrived in Utah.

Even though it's blurry, I loved this top one. It so typifies who I am. I am always on the move. I am always talking. I am a sentimental fool. I am wearing the necklace that Rita gave me before we left Tennessee. It says Trust in God. Or something along those lines. I love it. I am also just a tad bit crazy, as you can tell from my favorite bold printed dress and hair. I had slept in this outfit the night before. It wears well for 48 hours, don't you think?


Here is Abigail writing her last farewell to our beloved  TN.
I find it rather ironic that she left out the 2 in bye,
considering that my husband was raised in TN
and spelling wasn't his strongest suit either.


LG's car got trashed riding behind the moving truck through all the snow throughout the Vale, CO region.


Here are our new neighbors the Johnsons. They came over in their p.j.'s to say hello. Their oldest girls are the same ages as Sophia and Bella.

 I am not afraid to do a man's job. Even in a dress. That's why leggings were invented.


I thought twice about just getting one thing from the truck. We waited until the next day, as there was no telling what would be falling down on me when the door was lifted. We had a few casualties, but nothing major. Thanks to Scott Cruze and John McCombs who did a packing job that my dad was proud of. They followed my taunting and made that treadmill fit. I have no idea if it was damaged on the road. I haven't even tried to plug it in yet. It's as if the under-stairs closet was made just for treadmill storage. Who would ever run on a treadmill when they are surrounded by such beautiful mountains?


After three days on the road, the baby couldn't wait to get to her daddy. Who am I kidding? She always wants her daddy. It doesn't take three days on the road for her to act like this. Look at cousin Sierra in the background. She and Sophia resemble each other so much.


Boy was I happy to arrive. And to have not only my husband by my side again, but to have my dad there too. These two men, together, could accomplish anything...including making me smile after a very long road trip.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Know. love.


I sure do miss my Southern friends. Especially on Sundays.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

My girls

My girls all know that they revealed Katniss because I e-mailed them
as soon as I discovered the magazine cover.



About a year ago I decided that I finally had enough friends to fulfill a lifelong dream of starting a book-club.

Here is a photo of my last chance to attend back in March. I guess the ladies will be carrying on the tradition without me. Which makes me totally ecstatic and extremely depressed. Tonight I may have to go out with LG dressed up like a woman. The thought is cracking me up.

While living in Tennessee, one of my greatest life lessons was how important relationships are and how we need to allow others into our lives. The bi-monthly meetings I had with these women was a manifestation to me of God's love and support. These women are smart. They are fun and they are some of God's greatest creations. They offered me complete acceptance and love and I miss them somethin awful. I love them all dearly, even the ones missing from the photo, and especially that one in the middle of the photo that got her head cut in two.

The good news is that moving so far away hasn't taken any satisfaction away from reading. I can still enjoy many many books. It's just that whenever I get done reading a really good one, I have this overwhelming urge for a Panera Apple chip salad and some conversation. I think I will be 85 years old and reminiscent of the good old days with my ladies.

Not only have I made memories with these ladies that I can't shake, they have shaped my universe. I can't think of any better ladies to do my shaping. The other day I was at the bookstore and I found myself advising an unsure buyer that her friend would love reading The Help and I thought of the evening we all spent at Valerie's house. LG came home from work a while back and told me that  actors had been cast for the movie The Hunger Games and I thought of the discussion about who like me imagined Peeta chunkier. I saw the The Book Thief on the shelf at the library and thought of Rachel and that daunting voice of death.

The moral of the story: make friends. And read together. It's bonding. For life. And so enlightening.

Give and Receive

Friday, May 20, 2011

Stay with us

Children are one of the greatest gifts we have from God.
So often they remind us of the things that are truly important.
And sometimes they seem to eloquently communicate words that we can't think of on our own.

Taison and Daimon are some of our favorite boys. We spent a lot of time with them when we lived in Tennessee. This going away card that they made for us was perfection. Pure perfection. So so so sweet.

Thanks to Taison and Daimon for reminding us how much we wish we could stay with you.

It got me thinking of how many times as adults we would like to say to someone else, "Stay with me. Please stay with me," but we don't. Why don't we?


Listen to this Catholic Prayer. 
I think it perfectly communicates who we should be the most worried about staying by our side.

Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You. You know how easily I abandon You.
Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak and I need Your strength, that I may not fall so often.
Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life, and without You, I am without fervor.
Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light, and without You, I am in darkness.
Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will.
Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You.
Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You very much, and always be in Your company.
Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You.
Stay with me, Lord, for as poor as my soul is, I wish it to be a place of consolation for You, a dwelling of Your Love.
Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late; the days are coming to a close and life is passing. Death, judgement, eternity are drawing near. It is necessary to renew my strength, so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You. It is getting late and death approaches. I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows. O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile!
Stay with me tonight, Jesus, because in the darkness of this life, with all its dangers, I need You.
Help me to  me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of bread, so that the Eucharistic Communion be the light which disperses the darkness, the power which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart.
Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to be one with you, and if not by Communion, at least by grace and love.
Stay with me, Jesus. I do not ask for divine consolation, because I do not deserve them, but I only ask for the gift of Your Presence. Oh yes, I ask this of You!
Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone, Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit, because I love You and ask for no other reward but to love You more and more, with a strong and active love.
Grant that I may love You with all my heart while on earth, so that I can continue to love You perfectly, throughout all eternity, dear Jesus. Amen!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Dollar Store

As most of you know, I am all about being thrifty. I coupon. I thrift. I garage sale. I go without. I wasn't always this way, but I have learned the tricks of the trade out of pure necessity. Having three kids and living on student loans followed by owning our own business in a failing economy did wonders for this mother. If you call pinching pennies wonderful.

One thing I have learned in my journey for thrift is not to be duped by the stores. Just because they stick those items on the cap aisles at Wal-Mart, it doesn't mean it's the best deal. And just because you are shopping at a discount grocery store, it doesn't mean that everything is priced cheaper than other stores. And most of all, just because you are at the Dollar Tree, it doesn't mean that you can or should buy whatever you want. In fact, don't take your kids to the Dollar Tree. Ever. You will inevitably lose all the money you just saved. Unless you are a meanie and can say no to that glass figurine, and those coloring books, and those furry boas, and that candy...you get the picture.

However, there are two things that you absolutely should not buy anywhere but the Dollar Tree.

1- Diaper Disposal Bags. They smell good. They work. They are a godsend when your kids decide to poop everywhere, or puke everywhere, or mash a bunch of cheerios into the pew at church. They are .075 a piece + tax at the Dollar Tree. You won't find them any cheaper. We take one with us wherever we go. Even when we walk the dog. If you get my drift.

2 - Pregnancy Tests. I realize that this admission just outed my inner hillbilly, but I don't want all of you yuppies to go without this very great money saving tip. One dollar, people. And they work. They have worked for me at least 6 times. And before you think all my kids are running around without shoes and dirty (even though you'd be right) I only have four living children, and they each own many pairs of shoes. It's just that I don't always enforce the rule. (Oh, and I've had three miscarriages). So, don't buy your pregnancy tests anywhere else.

The last time I visited The Dollar Tree in Knoxville, I got a bout of nostalgia. I have spent a lot of time at that store. My kids have bought a lot of Christmas presents for their grandparents there. I am serious. My in-laws think that those presents are some of the funnest. I mean where else is someone going to let their toddler pick out a dog chain for grandpa? It's a dollar. It will be funny.

While I was walking down the aisle with my 10 boxes of diaper disposal bags, I noticed something. By the way, 10 boxes is roughly a two month supply. I buy a lot when they are in stock. It seems I am not the only one who knows a great thing when I see one.  Just to give you another shopping tip and I will hope that you don't shop at the same store as me. Anyway, I noticed the pregnancy tests. I am not needing those much nowadays. But, you wouldn't believe it. There were 10 boxes opened on the shelf. I assumed someone or 10 ones had opened the boxes and swiped out the tests without paying.

All I could think was this: "the poor unborn fetus that is in the womb of the person who couldn't even afford to buy a pregnant test for a dollar."

Not so white-trash, redneck, hillbilly, ghetto, (whatever you want to call it) after all, am I?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Second String

It has been so awesome to see my husband happy again. He has been so stressed out for so long and I have hated seeing him sad. LG is loving his new job and I couldn't be happier for him. LG has really been missing basketball for a long time. I think one of the things he loves most about his new job is that the whole office plays basketball at lunch, almost daily. Doesn't he look happy?

In Tennessee, I had been encouraging him to start his own basketball team, so that he could get in more playing time. Basketball is his favorite sport and his chosen form of exercise. The bad thing is, it's hard to play by yourself. He teased that he would only invite the fat and out of shape to play.

We started joking about it, LeGrand telling me that he couldn't start his own team because it would be obvious to all his in-shape friends who had their own team that he was trying not to be left out. "C'mon, honey, this is about you, not them. You would feel so good to play again, and you would be forced to work it into your schedule, once you made a commitment. There are probably plenty of other guys out that who would love to play, but aren't good enough to be asked. You should make a team for them and in the name of playing for fun and exercise and not for winning."

And then I chimed in with this goodie:
"It would be cool, you could name the team Bench-warmers. Or how about Second String?"

LeGrand laughed. I laughed. We had a good laugh. Laughing is healing. Funny that my blog is call imsofunny. I need laughter in my life. I need healing.

Somewhere in that amazing brain of his, LeGrand decided that I would not get the last laugh at his expense. He would get me back for the bad joke. Weeks later, he and I got into another conversation. This time, it was about a musical number that was put together. I usually had an invite to sing alto. This time I did not. In fact, the newly formed group was singing the same song that I sang with them last time. Another friend of mine, who was now in while I was out, and had no idea, I had been outed, informed me. 

LeGrand and I got talking about the situation. I said, "It's o.k. I'm pretty over life right now, maybe they knew I didn't need to add one more thing to my plate." What I needed to do was be more like Christ. And care more about the people who are our friends than my own feelings of pride. I should be happy for them that they have the best basketball team and the best singing group, even if that means we can't be a part of it. I should sit through the church meeting and feel the Spirit of the Lord with their voices being raised, and not need to be included, except to appreciate it from the sidelines.

I told LeGrand that I believe my singing career had just found the end of the road. It's not worth it to be included and then to not be included. I can't help it that I am overly sensitive. LeGrand told me that I was wrong and that I loved to sing, and that I was good at it, and I shouldn't let this little episode completely discourage me. And then, LeGrand, turned to go to the bedroom and change out of his suit. And like LeGrand, with his incredible timing and humor, he said, "Alice, you should start a musical group of your own. Really. You could call it Second String."

Good one LeGrand. Good one. I love my husband. He really is great at a lot of things. Like being forgiving, being temperate, being funny, and being the best second stringer of all time. He's MY second stringer. And I would rather be on the fourth string team, if it meant we get to be together. Thank you to LeGrand for always making me laugh and trying to teach me to let it go by incredible example. And thank you to Jesus Christ who takes us all from whatever team we are on, and puts us on His team...the best team, no matter what our skill level.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I hit the motherload.

Just minutes ago I hit the motherload. Under one of the seats of my minivan, just waiting for a diligent mother, was a lost Barbie DVD, the pre-teen's favorite flowered flip-flop, and the toddler's teeny pink croc. Wow, two pairs of shoes have been rightfully reunited and that makes this mother very very happy!! I won't tell you about all the discarded Easter candy wrappers, and candy (some chocolate) and cheez-its and fruit snacks and french fries I had to wade through to hit my motherload, it would just be embarrassing and may make you question this mother's luck. Or worse, my ability to teach my children hygeine. "Cleanliness is next to Godliness, dears. (In my sweetest tone)  How many times do I have to tell you?" (In not such a sweet tone) No, let's just focus on how totally lucky I am.

I was on hands and knees with my hindside perfectly wedged between the carseat and the van door searching diligently for one thing and one thing alone: the pacifier. The dreaded yet much needed pacifier. I am not talking about the baby needing it, although she is addicted. But, once again, this post is about me and my good fortune, not my children and all that is wrong with them because of me. No, I am the one that needs that pacifier. If it's up to me, she will have it until she is five, and in kindergarten, cause let's face it, my house is loud, and getting louder every day. 

My four girls could take on my family of upbringing without a worry. Who cares that we'd be outnumbered by three? We would win a decibel contest...with flying musical instruments.  I am talking by the brass section or even the percussion. So, every bit helps in the hushing of my brood, and that teeny pacifier is my saving grace. And for some reason the baby likes to play fetch with mommy. The little monster. She knows when I am most needing silence. And she always seems to know when mommy is most desperate for quiet. Which only happens when we are down to the last pacifier. You would never believe me when I tell you that we really do own 6 of them. You especially wouldn't believe me when I tell you that at least once a day, we can't find a single one of them. I would love to share all my sane moments with the inventor of the pacifier. I do have one question though, why couldn't God send an nondetachable perfectly matching built in one for each and every baby? Those darn velcro tie things can't withstand the wrath of my 2 year old.

Back to the motherload. Mother's Day was last weekend. I scored. My amazing husband (and I guess my kids too) got me a beautiful silver ring, a pedicure and a Costco membership. How could I ever complain, right? Wrong. Do you know what my best mother's day gift was? Remember I am the luckiest girl alive. My motto is all or nothing...especially when it comes to cleaning. My children's real gift to me on Mother's Day was a whole sippy cup of milk...wait for it....dumped everywhere (and I mean everywhere)...wait for some more... on the second pew back... in the middle of Sacrament meeting. On the baby. On her blanket. On the pew. On the carpet. On every single toy and every single snack baggy and every single page of every single board-book. Even on the hymn book. You see, I am the luckiest mother alive and Abigail had helped get the baby's "shut up and be happy bag" ready for church as part of Operation Pamper Mom Day. She did a great job. She just forgot one thing: the plastic piece that holds the milk inside the cup.

This luckiest mother alive...and smartest mother alive ..sent her hubby out with the screaming baby. The baby had accomplished her role in helping to spread (or should I say pour) the joy..everywhere and was upset that she had no milk left. And who knows where the pacifier was. It's always hiding when we need it. I used a diaper and the dry portions of the baby's blankie to soak up as much as I could. And then I took out my baby wipes and had sanitizer for the rest of the sour prevention duties. In the background I could hear people. They were faint in volume compared to my task at hand, but I think they were talking about how wonderful their mothers were. I am not quite sure why they thought they were so wonderful, but I have a good idea, or two, or three. 

All the while I am thinking, "Oh how lucky I am to be a mother. Someday when I am dead, my kids may get up in church and talk about how wonderful I am." They won't even recall this fiasco. They won't say "only a mother can handle a situation like that." And as I am having this conversation with myself, I finished the clean up job and found the pacifier under the pew. I simultaneously had the thought that they won't have to remember this. No they won't have to remember any part of it, because hopefully, if I have any luck at all, they will someday get to live it. The motherload indeed. I couldn't stop smiling the rest of the day.

And here I am a few days later. Once again, a pink croc is missing and we are down to the last pacifier. Yes, the cycle will continue on forever. As long as there are women out there who are willing to have children.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Grassy Feet

Did you hear that the way to really get air on the trampoline
is to get as much grass as possible
to stick to the bottom of your feet?

The grass gives you super powers.
You can jump over houses
and touch the top of 
mountains.







Even Olive was amazed.

I've learned to enjoy the moment.
And then scrub the feet.

Friday, May 13, 2011

My Joy is Full

When LG and I had been married about three weeks, we attended the temple together. Once inside we went our separate ways for an hour of learning and service. He went with other men and I went with other women. While there, one statement played over and over again in my head, as if God was trying to tell me something.

"Have joy in your posterity."

When I rejoined LG as we walked back to our car, he said, "Alice, you are being mighty quiet, do you have something to tell me?" There was no way that I was about to tell LG that I thought God was trying to tell us to have children, when we had only been married three weeks. I said, "I'm fine." LG's reply, stunned me: "Alice I felt it every time too, and the temple worker even said 'Son, now go and have joy in your posterity' as I was leaving."

My jaw dropped. God had been talking to me!! And He spoke to LG at the same time so that there would be no confusion or arguing. It took me 6 months of wrestling with the Lord until I was ready to listen. I guess we all act like Jonah at times. I knew if we were to have children so soon that I would more than likely have to forgo my greatest desire, which was to finish college. But, I chose to trust that God knew what He was talking about. I was pregnant shortly after our first anniversary.

Almost fourteen years later, I am still waiting for my chance to finish college. I have been the main nurturer of the children while my husband has gotten all the education a man could ever want. It hasn't even been a sacrifice really. I so appreciate the fact that my husband has busted his tail to play the role of student/provider and has 100% supported me in having as much time as I want with our kids. I don't even try to pretend that I know what God is doing, but I do know that I have the rest of my life to finish my coveted college degree and I will never regret its postponement as I think of all the moments that I have been able to appreciate.

I love my children and am so grateful for them. I am proud to be their mother. There is no joy greater than the joy I feel with my husband and our posterity.

Sometimes the joy is so full that it takes me breathe away.





More on joy in posterity here.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Utah Style


Caroline thinks that Utah style headbands 
with big flowers 
just take away from the cuteness of her curly hair.

I have to say that I agree.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Blogging 101


These events
actually happened
on the very same day
at my place of residence.

Do not try this at home.
Leave it to the professional.






Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hi.



I just want you to know that you were my hero yesterday. It started with you waking up with a Caroline sized hangover and dragging your butt to work. 

From work in the afternoon you then called me, even though you had a question that needed answering, it was so nice to hear your voice. And it was nice for the two minutes that you let me believe that you just called to say Hi and listen about my day. It made me tingly all over. 

And then after work you read my mind. I do believe we are making serious progress. You rescued me from hell. Literally. You did exactly what I have been coaching you to do all these years and that is to be my knight in shining armor. You said, "Alice, let's get out of here." And I so appreciated it. More than I can express. 

You then patiently put up with my ranting, that for some reason I just couldn't stop myself from directing it at you. And it was so unfair. I am aggressive. And what I was really trying to say (but still have a looooonnng way to go) is I was so in love with you yesterday. And I don't want that to change. I love it when you are there for me, but I guess I can't let myself enjoy it. Because I am completely crazy and I obsess about it all coming to a screeching halt which won't let myself enjoy the good. But I should have hushed my own fears and just enjoyed it. So I apologize. Profusely.

Then, as if all of that already wasn't enough. When we went to bed, you held my hand while we prayed and when I told you that we didn't have to hold hands every night, you told me that we did have to hold hands every night. I wondered why and you said that it was part of your big plan. Then I asked what that plan was and you said "staying hopelessly in love with you". I knew you were telling the truth and I believed you and I have never felt so good. It just took me a night's sleep to process it. I couldn't ask for anything better. Ever. 

You are the person that means more to me than anyone and I want it to be us against the world, not the world wedged between us. So today I am happy for all of it. And I am crying because I love you so much and I look forward to tomorrow because I believe you that you want to stay in love with me, and I also believe that you have a plan to do it. Even if you don't reveal every detail of it. I guess that's the next step. Progress not perfection. Although really, you were pretty near perfect yesterday.

I love you my patient patient Conquistador.

You win my heart over and over again.

Rocky Mountain High


Here's the view from my front window.
The mountain is called Timpanogos.
Timp is my newest best friend.
Her majesty is almost as good
as my old best friends
among the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.
But not quite.

I do believe that I spend more of my time
with her
every day
than I ever did with my friends in Knoxville.

Sometimes I just wish that she could talk back.
But I think she is just trying to figure out if
I am Rocky Mountain High
or I am just plain crazy.
I don't have the heart to tell her
it's probably a little of both.

That's not the kind of thing that you
tell your new friends right off the bat.
It takes years to build that kind of re pore.
No wonder why she can't compete.
We've only known each other for a month.

I'll let you know how the friendship evolves.
I hope she will eventually appreciate me
as much as I appreciate her.
Besides my family,
she is most definitely the highlight of my day.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Exciting feature

Dorry, this is for you.

The rest of you can also be happy.

Blogger has added a new feature where you can select the follow up e-mail box when making a comment. I can then respond in a comment that will be sent back to you if you selected the box. This will hopefully make our comment threads more of a conversation.

So, check the box people.

I am so excited. I have been waiting for this, for a long time. Ever since I discovered facebook.

Also, for those of you who are my faithful readers, if you could go over to facebook and like me, I would be much obliged.

And if you can follow the link on the right to become a follower, I may attempt to lead you somewhere good in the future...like to the tune of giftcard or something.

Fried Rice

Whenever I make a meal that requires rice, I double the amount of rice.
I refrigerate the leftover rice.
In the following few days, I either use the rice to make
rice pudding or fried rice.
I will save my rice puddin (said with my best Southern accent)
for another day.


Here is my fried rice recipe.
It makes a good cheap whole meal 
and is a great way to use up leftovers.
The best thing about my fried rice is
that my whole family will eat it
and I don't even think they realize that 
they actually get their veggie quota for the day.

I don't always refer to recipes. Sometimes I just like to wing it.
My fried rice is never the same twice.

I get my wok and heat canola oil. I start with about 1/4 cup and add more in if I need it along the way.
I then take any veggies that would be better sauteed and throw them in the hot oil first.
I always use some type of onion (green being the preference)
and I love mushrooms.

I then add in any cooked meat that I want to use up. The ideas are limitless: chicken, beef, pork, hotdogs, shrimp, or lunch meat (I probably use sliced lunch ham more than anything else).

I then move all of that to the side of the pan and crack two eggs and scramble them into the rest of the ingredients already in the pan.
Next, I toss in any other veggie in bitesize pieces that I need to get rid of:
carrots, peas, cauliflower, broccoli, corn, celery, peppers, etc.

Lastly I throw in the rice from the tupperware straight out of the fridge. (add more oil if needed). I usually use anywhere between 2 - 4 cups of cooked rice.
I season with soy sauce and whatever else I feel like. I like using the fried rice seasoning packets (kikkoman) but sometimes I use leftover shrimp sauce or teriyaki. Or all three.

If you are more of a recipe kind of person, go to allrecipes to find a recipe that you can follow for fried rice. As long as you pick something with a good amount of ratings that is 4 or 5 stars, you can't go wrong. Unless you burn it. Which I have also done many times in the past. Burning isn't always a bad thing, sometimes you can go out to dinner as your last resort and you can then celebrate the burned food at home in the garbage as you saved yourself some dishes to do. It's a good thing because you are going to be scrubbing the burn ouf of the pan when you get back home.

I looked on my two favorite recipe blogs and didn't find either of them listing fried rice. I am sure Donna or Jennifer could make something even tastier, but you will have to wait for them to post it.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

For the Moms

I was asked to write a poem about mothers. I am not sure what is going to be done with the poem. It's not my greatest work. It's for my church back in Tennessee. I didn't have a lot of time, and I really have to be in the mood for poetry. I hope that somehow my main feeling is communicated: I have been mothered by many many women. Some are really my moms and some were friends and some were total strangers.

I will never forget the day that I left the local library bawling. That morning I had just received some shocking and awful news. I decided to take the kids to the library to get my mind off of things. Of course, my two children had other ideas. My baby was a monster that day. They say that our small children respond to our emotions, and I think she was responding perfectly. A man came across the library and pretty much told me I was an awful mother. It was the straw that broke the momma's back. I gathered the monster, her sister, and tried my best to keep it together until I got outside. I broke halfway to the door.

Another mother had seen the whole thing go down. She ran out to greet me at my car. I had locked the kids in their seats and sat at my steering wheel bawling uncontrollably. I couldn't even muster the strength to drive back home and even if I could, I couldn't see well enough to drive. She had the audacity to knock on my window. I sheepishly rolled my window down, and explained that I was having an awful day. She asked me if she could pray for me, and I said, "Oh, that is so sweet, please do." As a Mormon, I thought that meant she would go back to her car, bow her head and say a silent prayer, but as a relatively new Southerner, I had a lesson comin' to me. She stood in place and started pleading with the Lord on my behalf. I don't remember most of what she said except for one line, "Jesus, this woman is obviously having a really hard time, and she has children to take care of, please comfort her so she can do whatever it is that she needs to."

Do you know that it is six years later and I am still dealing with this major trial in my life. And often, very often I hear the words to that prayer and feel at peace. I wish I could somehow tell that mother, wherever she is, that she has been an angel in my life. But really, aren't all mothers angels? I think God gets so much of his work done through women with mother hearts. How grateful I am to be one who can succor and to also be one who is succored.



Mothers.
They give birth to babies.
Cradle, not just their own.
A woman’s heart is so large
It’s too big to be alone.

Mothers.
Sometimes are single.
Or have never housed a full womb.
But they still hold hands and hug,
And cry over grave and tomb.

Mothers.
Love and teach.
To everyone they know.
Their children, or mine,
They can’t help but help them grow.

Mothers.
Don’t exclude.
They love one and all.
Because they can’t help it.
They know peace is their call.

Mothers.
I have many.
Lots are far away,
Yet I carry them in my heart,
To get me through each day.

Mothers.
I hear them.
Encouraging my frown.
They laugh with me a lot
And cure me when I’m down.

Mothers.
They are also known as
Sister, daughter, friend.
They are women who I love.
God, to me, did send.

Mothers.
They are busy
Righting the world’s wrongs.
I will, with them, in awe,
Kneel in His eternal throngs.

Mothers.
Work miracles.
In lives old and new.
Because they know how to love.
And succor me and you.

Mothers.
They inspire.
Each person on the earth.
All good things start with them.
Without them, where’s our worth?