Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Girl in a Whirl

Okay, I know yesterday I just wrote how glad I am about all of the running I get to do, BUT. . .I just had to include this poem my sister Jodi emailed me. We were laughing this morning about this poem and about us funny Mormon women who try to do everything. I told Jodi that as I read through it, I was laughing so hard because I really feel like I should be doing all of these things! I don't, but they are all on my list of "things I would do if I had it all together"! This makes me see how crazy that idea is, but I find myself getting caught in the trap! It's good to laugh at ourselves every now again!

Mormon Women:If you, or someone you know has ever felt overwhelmed by all they feel they need to do, Vickie Gunther of Redlands , California , wrote a hilarious poem, Dr. Seuss style, about how much LDS women try to take on. David B. Marsh used it at Women's Conference, and Vickie has given permission to share it.
The Girl in a Whirl by 'Dr. Sue' ( a.k. A.. Vickie Gunther)
Look at me, look at me, look at me now!
You could do what I do if you only knew how.
I study the scriptures one hour each day;
I bake, I upholster, I scrub, and I pray.
I always keep all the commandments completely;
I speak to my little ones gently and sweetly.
I help in their classrooms! I sew all they wear!
I drive them to practice! I cut all their hair!
I memorize names of the General Authorities;
I focus on things to be done by priorities.
I play the piano! I bless with my talents!
My toilets all sparkle! My checkbooks all balance!
Each week every child gets a one-on-one date;
I attend all my meetings (on time! Never late!)
I'm taking a class on the teachings of Paul,
But that is not all! Oh, no. That is not all,
I track my bad habits 'til each is abolished;
Our t-shirts are ironed! My toenails are polished!
Our family home evenings are always delightful;
The lessons I give are both fun and insightful.
I do genealogy faithfully, too.It's easy to do all the things that I do!
I rise each day early, refreshed and awake;
I know all the names of each youth in my stake!
I read to my children! I help all my neighbors!
I bless the community, too, with my labors.
I exercise and I cook menus gourmet;
My visiting teaching is done the first day!
(I also go do it for someone who missed hers.
It's the least I can do for my cherished ward sisters.)
I chart resolutions and check off each goal;
I seek each "lost lamb" on my Primary roll.
I can home-grown produce each summer and fall.
But that is not all! Oh, no. That is not all,
I write in my journal! I sing in the choir!
Each day, I write "thank you's" to those I admire.
My sons were all Eagles when they were fourteen!
My kids get straight A's! And their bedrooms are clean!
I have a home business to help make some money;
I always look beautif ully groomed for my honey.
I go t o the temple at least once a week;
I change the car's tires! I fix the sink's leak!
I grind my own wheat and I bake all our bread;
I have all our meals planned out six months ahead.
I make sure I rotate our two-years' supply;
My shopping for Christmas is done by July!
These things are not hard; 'tis good if you do them;
You can if you try! Just set goals and pursue them!
It's easy to do all the things that I do!
If you plan and work smart , you can do them all, too!
It's easy!" she said and then she dropped dead.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thankful to be running. .

Yesterday was Courtney's Uncle Doug's funeral. He had been a quadraplegic for almost 35 years, after breaking his neck when he was only 17. This has given me quite a bit to think about the last day or so. I sometimes get frustrated about being so busy, and feel like I'm always running to and fro. Anyway, this morning as I've been cleaning and thinking about Doug, I have been pondering how grateful I am that I am so busy. It occured to me that most all of the activities, callings, etc. that we are running to and from are things that we want to do- things that we choose and enjoy. What a blessing to be able to get out and go where we want to go and be able to do so many fun activities whenever we want to! What a silly thing to complain about. I'm thinking that the ability to "go running" (whether it is for excersize, playing with the kids, or just to get to the next activity), is a very good part of my life. I was touched yesterday, when at the cemetary, all of the kids released purple balloons into the air, which were quickly carried by the wind up into the blue sky. I thought of Doug, who now is free to run whenever he pleases. It's funny how much I take for granted. Hopefully, I'll look at my daily to-do lists a little bit differently now. A day full of running? How lucky am I!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Vacation from Life Day

Sometimes everything just seems a little bit overwhelming!

For Ryenne, this has been manifesting itself more and more over the past week or so. Yesterday morning I could tell that Ryenne was very much feeling like she couldn't face the day. After a little bit of thought, I declared it a Vacation from Life Day. We've never done this officially before, and so I wasn't sure what it would entail. But then I realized that was the beauty of it- we didn't have to have a plan. We were going to do whatever we felt like doing for a whole day. (Well, mostly!).

Being that it was also officially Ryenne Day at our house, it was especially fun! Ryenne was served breakfast in bed on a tray. She was thrilled to allow me to cater to her every whim. (We all need that every now and again, don't we?) School was a no-show. That meant we didn't have to do the morning rush of making her bed, doing homework, and trying to get out the door in time. Heaven!

After an hour or so, we decided to watch the movie, Heidi, which I had rented for the weekend and we'd never gotten aroung to watching. Loved it. All of us girls cuddled in my bed. After lunch we sent Kate off to school (she was feeling quite perky and so it was decided that a Vacation from Life day for Kate wasn't needed yet- we decided they are reserved only for those days when you REALLY cannot face life. And Kate could face life yesterday!

After a little while, Ryenne wanted to make cookies and so we did: sugar cookies cut out in all the shapes that represented what we were grateful for: house, carrot(harvest), and boy and girl shape (our family), and of course, turkeys. (We saved a turkey for Daddy for when he gets home from out of town.) I assigned Ryenne to be my "cookie policeman" to ensure that I would only eat one. Quite a feat for me, but she did her duty well!

And what did we do the rest of the day? Nothing much! I had thought it would be fun to take the girls to a matinee, but Ryenne wanted to wait until Courtney would be home to go with us. This made me realize that it's funny how I think that in order for a day to be special, we need to do something. . .well, special. But Ryenne was perfectly content just being home, with me paying attention to what she wanted to do. A little lesson learned.

Being that it was Ryenne Day and Courtney was out of town, I didn't know how we would quite pull off the ice cream date that the girls get on their special day. Ryenne was lucky to have Grandma & Grandpa C handy to fill Daddy's shoes. I asked them if they could take her, which they did. She was thrilled to go get a treat in her PJ's while the other girls went to bed.

All in all we didn't do much of anything out of the ordinary. But in retrospect, I think that was the beauty of Ryenne's Vacation from Life Day. Late last night, after everyone was in bed, it occured to me that we all need to take one of those days every now and again. A day of doing nothing much of anything every now and again somehow put a little bit of magic into a perfectly "ordinary" day.

Friday, November 9, 2007

A look back at Halloween

Another fun Halloween has bit the dust. As always, plenty of sugar was consumed in the process!

We had a great time at Grandma & Grandpa J's party with all the cousins. Carving pumpkins was a highlight. Due to a pumpkin shortage, we were able to use our creativity to create our 1 pumpkin masterpiece. Thus we had a 3 faced pumpkin! Each of the girls drew a face on 1/3 of the pumkin, and Daddy helped to carve. It was the first schizophrenic pumpkin I've ever seen. But lovely, none the less.

Of course, Grandpa J looked absolutely smashing as Minnie Mouse.

This was a very easy costume year. (Thank Goodness!) We talked the girls into diving into the recesses of Grandma C's costume boxes. This was very handy for mom and the girls were pleased with the results. Kate found a vintage 1970's indian costume (Aunt Kerri's old dance costume). Emmy was thrilled to be Minnie Mouse. And after a little bit of drama in trying to round up just what Ryenne had envisioned, we borrowed cousin McKell's Hippy costume. (Thanks for saving the day, Mckell). When it was all said and done, everyone was happy, happy with their costumes!

Ryenne and Kate had a fun time at the school costume parade. (Actually so did Emmy, who paraded with Ryenne & her class. She thought she was big stuff!) Trick or Treating was also a hit. The girls were so excited that they were able to go to the doors by themselves this year. Courtney and I had a good laugh everytime we watched them hop out of the van and run to the door. Emmy's little legs were runnning as fast they could go to keep up with her big sisters, pumpkin in tow. What a fun night!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Counting my many blessings. . . .

I've been thinking today about all the things I like about my family.

Amidst all the hub-bub of life, I find it easy to get in a rut of looking at our short-comings. Just the other day, my sisters and I were bemoaning our bad mothering/kid/family moments. My sister Jodi (always the positive one) told a story about a family member who was reminded (by a psychologist- who really does see real family struggles) that most of us have terrific kids, who we should adore and be most grateful for.

And so I've been thinking a lot about that the past week or so. And you know what- I live with some fun people! I have a lot of reasons to smile.

For instance, I love to hear Ryenne and Emmy giggle. These girls could make a living as professional gigglers. And I laugh out loud everytime I think of Kate and all of the funny things she says. Just the other day she told us that she would like to take lessons on how to fall asleep. She is sure she never sleeps at night. (This is funny to us because she is our model sleeper. She is first to fall asleep, never wakes to household noise, and the last awake each morning).

I love the way Ryenne likes to make everything beautiful. I was able to watch her at ballet class and she is such a cute little girl. She loves nature and is always pointing out an almost hidden bird nest, a beautiful flower, or the most vivid leaf on a tree.

I smile when I think about Kate's determination- don't tell her she can't do something. She'll try even harder. Just Sunday I bore my testimony only because I followed Kate to the pulpit.

Our lives wouldn't be complete without Emmy starting and ending our day. (A little more well rested, perhaps, but not complete). It is not unusual, at 6:00 in the morning when I am in the garage exercising to see Emmy's face pressed up to the glass. And at 10:00 at night, we often fall asleep to the sound of her laughing or singing to herself as she tries to play with her toys in her dark room.

I love watching the girls marching in a line out in the backyard, off on some exciting adventure. I can ussually hear their excited voices calling to eachother in response to what must surely have been another amazing discovery.

And how could I forget Courtney? I love when he arrives home from work. The house is all giggles and pattering feet as everyone runs to a window or out the door- trying to be the first to see Daddy. Those are fun moments. I like that he wipes down the shower after he uses it to save me a little bit of work. I'm glad he doesn't hold it against me that I don't fix his lunch. He loves me anyway! I love it when I see him in the rocking chair, cuddled up with three little girls and a book. And last but not least, I adore his smile.

So it is true. An "attitude of gratitude" can go a long way in transforming what I sometimes overlook as ordinary moments into fun and memorable blessings in my life. Life is good.

Happy Thanksgiving!