Friday, January 30, 2009

Alma 5...

Alma 5: 14,19
"...Have ye received his image in your countenances?"
"...I say unto you, can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon your countenances?"
In my life I've been blessed to know some people who truly fit this description, and if they were asked the question, there would be no answer other than a resounding "YES!"
I feel it has been such a blessing for me to have the opportunity to meet them, learn from them, and through their love, kindness, and example I feel that just by being around them, I feel closer to my Savior. I want to try a little harder, and be a little better, and smile a lot more.
One such person is Steve Larsen, and his wife Sue. Steve passed away today, and my heart is just broken for their family. They are such amazing people - all of them. One of the nicest, happiest families I've ever had the privilege of knowing, though we didn't know them all that long, or all that well. I often think of their family, and their children when raising my own, and try to raise mine in a way that they can become like them. Steve was also an amazing Sunday School teacher. I would always leave his class so excited to learn more about the joyful gospel of Jesus Christ. Whenever we were blessed to be in his presence, there was always such a wonderful spirit of love, and happiness, and the promise of a laugh at the slightest provocation.
We always left feeling better about ourselves and everything and everyone else.
I'm so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that this birth we call death does not permanently separate us from those we love, and that the end of this mortal state is not the end of family, friendship and love.
Anyway, I just wanted to take a moment to remember a man who has been such a great example to our family, and thank him and his family for the lives they've lived. We truly love you.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A tough time...

So as part of my new years resolutions, and in trying to bring myself up to a higher level, I'm having a hard time figuring out what I want to write about these days.

Normally, I like to be somewhat sarcastic, saying things I don't mean while laughing on the inside. Stuff like, "I didn't read scriptures today, but I read Twilight so it should be okay." Totally not true, but it makes me laugh to say it and write it, and I assume everyone knows I'm being facetious. I also talk like this in real life. But in being around other people over the past couple months, I realize that a lot of people don't get that I'm "joking." I can't tell them, because that would completely ruin the hilarity of my statement. Kind of like laughing at your own joke. Plus then they feel uncomfortable for not realizing it was a joke. So then I have to listen to their ideas about how Twilight really isn't on the same level as the scriptures, and I have to convince them I know that.

So that was a tangent, and I'm not really sure where it came from. Anyway, part of my goals for myself is to become more reverent, less "light-minded," (currently the only part of me that can be accused of being "light" well, also my skin tone.) (And there I go with more light minded stuff.)

As I've been working on this, I find myself thinking, "I'm SO blogging about this." then having these nagging second thoughts, realizing that it probably doesn't fall into 2 of the 3 categories that any comment should fall into. Nice, Necessary, True. So, I'm left with no blog fodder.

(But I really wanted to write about my seeing Twilight in the theater last week. It was much better than my previous viewing. But my favorite part was when Edward unbuttoned his shirt to show Bella what he looks like in the sunlight. My husband shouts, "Ow Ow!" I about lost it. Granted he was triple dog dared, but it was so funny. Hmm. Maybe you had to be there. Or really, if you just know my husband, and how not the "Ow Ow"-ing type he is, you might kind of get the idea.)

Then the other problem I have now is that a lot of my thoughts are turned inward and upward. So I kind of like keeping them to myself.

Actually, writing this was good for me. Now I realize that I still have lots of stuff I can write about. Mainly, I just have some really hot gossip that I've really been wanting to share, and it keeps building up every week. So instead of thinking what I can write about, I'm thinking of how much fun it would be to write about what I can't. (Now I really want to write about that/those/them. But, I guess if it were about me, I wouldn't want someone to write it, and if it were about you, you wouldn't want me to write it either.) And no one wants to hear my ideas on politics, religion or education. (Okay being facetious again..)

I should go to bed. This is already really long and I'm rambling again.. Chatterbox.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Update on the Shells

Well, we decided not to put shells out for our kids. Instead, we put shells out with our kids, then we sat on beach chairs and watched other people get really excited about them.

No we didn't. We didn't do anything with the shells. But, the kids found a bunch of real shells, from Mexico, that I do not remember unpacking. I have no idea where those are, but I bet they'll stink. They're in a ziplock bag somewhere. Anyway, they had fun. Our trip was good. ish. I'm not up to writing about it yet, but I will say that driving on the back roads of Mexico sort of lost-ish in a rental car until 1:30 in the morning would make a really good horrible movie. I also learned that "tope" while it's supposed to mean something like maximum speed or whatever, it really means really big mean speed bumps. Lots of them.

Anyway, we're back, we've mostly recovered, then we had Jerrod's mom come visit, and that was fun.

Now we're getting ready for Jerrod to go to work in Reno for the next few months.

After all that stuff settles down, and I get done unpacking, I'll write about the rest of the trip, and Christmas and Essi's birthday.

I really should go find those shells.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hypothetical Question

So lets say we've got some friends who are going to Cancun. Let's say they are bringing their kids who are 4 and 8. These same kids are WAY excited to look for shells on the beach. How horrible would it be if their parents were to go to the dollar store, and get one of those big buckets of shells and starfish, and if the same parents were to surreptitiously drop said shells on the beach for their kids to find?

Of course this wouldn't be us. We are all about experiencing the nature indigenous to the area we'll be visiting, and of course I'm thrilled to let my kids bring home a big smelly bucket of seashell and beer bottle fragments, because I remember the joy it brought me as a child. (It did not however bring my mother the same joy. She found my wadded up grocery sack full of shells hidden in the "hiding place" compartment in our van about 2 weeks after we got back from CA. Then I used (and possibly ruined) one of her pots to try to boil the awful stench from my beloved shell fragments. She didn't like that either.)

Anyway, good idea? Bad idea? Or would this be like the whole Santa let down?

(We may not really do this... But I am considering it... If I get peer pressured into it, I'll totally succumb. Is this odd that this is a total moral dilemma for me, yet I have no compunctions telling those dead sea salt potion sellers at the mall that I've already got all their stuff (I don't.) and I've had bad reactions to it?)

I'd have loved to have found a sand dollar and a star fish as a kid. If I found out my parents put them there, I'm sure I would have laughed about it later. Maybe?

But it might be difficult trying to explain to my 3rd grader that it isn't really that good of an idea to give one of her "cool shells from Mexico" to all her classmates who she wants to bring souvenirs for. (Or maybe it would be a good idea! $1.06 divided by 26 = $0.o40769... per student...)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Is Your Mama a Llama?

Adult content, well sort of... You've been warned.

So tonight we were at Barnes and Noble. We were about to head out the door when I glimpsed a book about someone who'd lost 200 lbs, and so I was flipping through it. (Still loving how the second you walk into the bookstore in January the big front display so kindly reminds you of the damage done over the holidays. (or last 10 years.)) Anyway, so as I was flipping through the book, Jerrod tells a bored Essi that she could look through one of the clearance books from a big bin of books. I hear in the background, "This would be a perfect Essi book." Then a couple seconds later, "Actually, this is NOT an Essi book." I turn around to see what she was looking at, and Jerrod is putting back a book called "The Llama Sutra. Getting Wild in the Wild Kingdom."

Okay, gasp..snort... ah~hahahahahaha!!!

Then Jerrod's explanation, "All I saw out of the far corner of my eye were two cute fuzzy bears! Then after she was looking at it, I saw the word Sutra, and was wondering where I'd heard that before." He was thinking it looked like a kids book on the cover.

Anyway, apparently it is a book, with a whole bunch of animal um.. pictures, that my (just barely) 4 year old thought was quite fascinating.

(I'm still trying to decide whether or not it was appropriate to post this, and if I don't get any comments, I'll probably worry that I am some kind of weird pervy parent because I thought it was funny. It's really not that bad. Essi just thought they were animals who were friends with each other.)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Cold Hard Bitter Truth...

So today Sariah (my 8 year old) found out about Santa Claus. We've been asking ourselves when the right time was to tell her, but not really finding any answers. Ever since she was old enough to understand "Santa" we've told her that mom and dad are Santa, she just never believed us. We would still do the whole Santa thing, and pretend we didn't know where stuff came from, but I just couldn't get around telling her that he was real, when he wasn't. So she was getting a lot of mixed signals.

When I was a kid, I believed Santa was real until probably at least 6th grade or Jr. High. I got into big embarrassing arguments with people defending his reality. (He gave me make-up, and my dad would never allow it. Explain that!!) I would get into the same arguments defending the reality of God and Christ. In my mind, I knew that "Santa" with the red hat and clothes wasn't necessarily real, but I'd concocted an elaborate theory where Jesus was really the one who left presents in our stockings. So when I'd somehow found out the truth, it made me really question the reality of God as well. I've never gotten over the sting of this betrayal, and have a hard time with faith and trust still. To this day I still cry at least once every Christmas season when I "remember" (for lack of a better word) that Santa isn't real. Ever since I had Sariah, I was trying to figure out what to do to save her the same agony. Obviously, I never found that answer.

So Sariah found out today. I'd been kind of hinting to her all month, figuring that when she was ready to find out, she would, and until she was ready, she'd keep explaining it away in her mind. Today we were talking about exchanging something, and Jerrod was asking me about the receipt, and she was like, "But that's from Santa." I said actually it's not. I put that out with the other "Santa" stuff. But that's from me. Then she kept asking questions, and I kept letting her come to her own conclusions. I think this was the worst parenting moment to date. I want to cry. I feel so terrible for her. She is just devastated. She kept looking for some shred of evidence that it was really Santa who left her her gifts.

Sariah: But Dad's not COOL enough to be Santa.
Me: Is mom?
Sariah: Yeah. So did you pick out the presents?
Me: Do you think I did?
Sariah: Well, you didn't get us presents this year, because you said they were all going to be from Santa, but you wouldn't let me look in the back of the car after shopping, was that because they were Santa presents?
Me: Is that what you think?

Then she got all teary, and everything she said just broke my heart because I could see that hers was broken.

Defiantly she says, while choking back tears, "I'm not sitting on Santa's lap next year."

"So is all the cool stuff I believed in not true?" "No Easter Bunny, No Tooth Fairy.." "The only cool powerful thing left is Jesus."

I tried pointing out that now she can be one of the "Secret Keepers" and that next Christmas she can stay up later and help put stuff in everyone's stockings, then explaining that the "Spirit of Santa" is real, and doing nice things for people, etc... "I don't really want to be a secret keeper," then more tears that the whole time she was trying not to let escape. (and I'll be the first to admit, the "Spirit of Santa" seems like quite a let down from the myth.)

It's so sad and I can't stop crying for her. I'm so glad she had this one last magical Christmas before finding out. My heart is just bleeding for her right now, and I don't know what I can do to take away the hurt. I guess we just keep hugging each other and crying together.

I still don't know what to do with Santa for my younger children. Do I take away their time of life where they can believe? Take away the magic that is Santa Claus? Or do I let them experience the pain and betrayal that finding out the truth brings? I want to always be honest with my kids, I've never told them that Santa "is" real, but is not telling them the whole truth the same as telling them a lie?

Anyway, I'm interested in your input.

(And I will soon post a bunch of posts with Christmas pictures, and joy, and humor. Maybe.)