Friday, November 30, 2007


It took my boys' teacher posting to me yesterday for me to realize I had forgotten yesterday to write about a really super duper important thing! Reflections!

On Wednesday I had visit teaching scheduled with two of our sisters at 1:45 and 2:15. Our 1:45 sister wasn't there, turns out she thought I had her scheduled for 2:45. We needed to reschedule to the next day and both my companion and I thought oh sure we have nothing going Thursday afternoon.

Thursday afternoon early my companion calls and says "Oh no I just realized the reflections assembly is this afternoon at 2:00". Incidentally we rescheduled our sister for 2:00. Normally the organizer of reflections will call ahead to those children's parents who have won in their category to make sure the parents are at the assembly. Neither my companion nor I had heard anything but we wanted to go and support our children anyway.

And boy was it good we decided to go!

Turns out both my boys won for their entries! And my friends children also won many awards. It was a great assembly - much better done than any reflections assembly I've been to in the past (thanks to my boys' teacher Mrs. Warner - who rocks!).

I think it was meant to be that our visit teaching sister mistook the appointment time so we had to reschedule or else I wouldn't have talked with Malece (my companion) Thursday afternoon and never would have known about the assembly (because I had forgotten to put it on the calendar). I was happy to be there, not only because my boys won and that's always exciting, but because they participated and I was so proud of them.

Charlie in particular is not a participator. He would like to slide through life not really trying at much. Reflections makes him TRY. Of course, that's exactly what I like about it! And it's a wonderful program because it rewards him just for participating even if he doesn't win. It's a wonderful boon when he gets the joy of participating AND he wins something! The boys got trophies with their names on them even and that's a big, big deal when you're a seven year old boy!

So I'm grateful for the way things happened. And so, as a proud mom, I'll share my boys' stories with you ...

I Can Make a Difference by Making People Feel Better and Standing Up For Them
~ based on a True Story ~
by Xander Cross

One time, there was a boy named Martin who bullied me. I ran home from my bully. I heard a scream! I turned around and there was my bully getting bit by another boy.

I could have let that boy beat up Martin because maybe he deserved it. But I knew I had to stand up for him.

So I said “Leave him alone or else I'll tell the Principle.”

The boy stopped and he never bugged him again. After that, Martin and I were best friends.

I Can Make A Difference by Helping My Family
~ a True Story ~
by Charlie Cross

One day my Dad had a whole pile of gravel he needed to shovel off of our patio. My whole family helped, but my Mom and my brother gave up after a while. But I didn't give up. It was hard work, but I kept at it because I wanted to help my Dad.

My Dad has a bad heart so shoveling was hard for him. I like working with my Dad because when he is so sick and tired I just like to help. I had to shovel for three hours and it was really hot outside. I got the work done with my Dad and it felt good.

I felt very proud of myself because I accomplished something hard and my Dad needed me. He needed me so we could get the work done. My family was very proud of me and very grateful for the work I did. I can make a difference by helping my family.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Two Things ...

First of all, you get to enjoy my fabulous drawing, because I want to share with you what I learned at my son Xander's urology appointment this morning. Lucky you!

Xan is 7 years old and has never had a dry night in his life. And he's often wet during the day. After trying training charts and various other things with the pediatrician, it was time to hire the big guns and see the urologist.

I thought for sure that there must be something 'wrong' with Xan because he claims he just can't feel it when he needs to go pee. How can he not? I thought he was totally pulling my leg.

Turns out that's exactly what's happening. Huh. Check this out:
In a normal person, your bladder gets full and tells your brain "It's time to go!", your brain listens and sends the message to the little sphincter guy that he can let lose and off you go. However, in many kids (the busy active ones who can't take a minute to dash to the bathroom - like mine) the bladder sends the message but the brain ignores it. After lots of ignoring, the sphincter is getting awfully of tired of stemming the tide so to speak and just can't help but let go. Hence, peeing in the pants.

So now Xan gets to wear a vibrating training watch to help him remember to go every two hours whether he feels like it or not. In four weeks or so we'll go back and hopefully be able to report that he has successfully retrained his brain to listen when his bladder speaks. Wish us luck!

The second thing is that I finally ordered our Christmas cards today. We weren't happy with our family picture this year so we were going to reshoot but we ended up not having any time. Bummer. But I thought I'd share with you anyway, the picture we ended up using ...

This is David, me, Xander (the shorter one) and Charlie, both 7 years old. Don't love the picture, but love the people!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Different Christmas Poem

By Michael Marks

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."

"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

Monday, November 26, 2007

This Just Cracks Me Up ...

You Are Midnight

You are more than a little eccentric, and you're apt to keep very unusual habits.

Whether you're a nightowl, living in a commune, or taking a vow of silence - you like to experiment with your lifestyle.

Expressing your individuality is important to you, and you often lie awake in bed thinking about the world and your place in it.

You enjoy staying home, but that doesn't mean you're a hermit. You also appreciate quality time with family and close friends.

I was over at Candace's blog and she's a Sunset. So on whim I tried it out and got this ... I'm Midnight. And let me tell ya'll ... it's PERFECT FOR ME! This is so me, it's the closest little blogthing I've ever read about myself. How do they do that with those few questions?

If you ever wondered who I was (not like I don't pretty much just tell ya ... after all I AM a smorgasbord, right?) well ... this should sum it pretty well!

It's That Time of Year Again ...

One of the things I've been up to lately is pictures, pictures, pictures. I started my own photography business oh about 6 or 7 years ago (it's too much of a brain strain to figure out just how long, lol!). It took me a while to get it going, but once it did it really started to take off. Too fast.

I had to decide whether I was a business woman or a mom. So I scaled things way back and said no to some jobs and took a big risk with my fledgling business. Turns out saying no was the worst thing I could do for my business but the best thing for my sanity and especially for my family.

I am first, and foremost a mom and a wife. Anything and everything else comes second. And while it hurt my business, yes, now my business is really just where I want it to be. I do a maybe a shoot a month or so and really, that's just fine with me. Just enough to give me something fun to do, a little bit of something different, but not so much that it stresses me out and turns a fun thing into an unhappy thing.

This is a family who's order I just put in today:

I do really enjoy photography. I love getting out and spending time with people, helping them capture a moment to remember. I love giving them something they can be proud to display on their wall. This family was very happy to get this picture ... their little girl screamed the whole time despite my best efforts so they were happy with this at-least-not-crying-at-this-moment shot.

Most of all I love being a mom. I love that I am blessed with talents and interests that keep life exciting, but I hope never to forget what is really important ... family.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Has it really been a week since I last wrote? Shame on me.

I don't have any really good excuses either, other than I just haven't been on my computer much this week. And not because I was enjoying lots of time with family and friends over the holiday. More because I was busy Christmas shopping and taking care of sick family members.

The good news is the children are on the mend (hubby is still sick) but the bad news is I spent too much money. Darn it. I just want to be a millionaire and be able to spoil everyone the way I wish I could. I'm going to have to take some stuff back. Normally I shop with cash, this time I went out with my debit card. Naughty, naughty debit card. Well that and I'm not good at math on the fly.

Math and time.

I'll go out shopping with a total dollar amount I'm allowed to spend and while I'm shopping I'll *try* to add it up in my head as I go along. The problem is, I'll miss some little things along the way. Don't ask me what, but those little things add up!

Same with time. I'll look at the clock and I have fifteen minutes until I need to be some where. It only takes me five minutes to get there so that leaves me ten whole minutes to do something else. I'll look at the clock I *swear* two minutes later and it's already been fifteen minutes. And somehow in my figuring I forget that I need to go to the bathroom, get on my coat, get a bottle of water, grab my keys, put the dog in his crate, put on my shoes (unless I wear my slippers like I did a week ago to a doctors appointment! oops!) and get in my car. Whew! All of that would probably take the ten minutes I *thought* I had extra! Crazy! I can spend money and time like I have all of it in the world.

I would really like to write a new post every other day. That's a good goal, isn't it? So if you'll route for me, I'll try to give you something new to read on Tuesday. Deal?

In the meantime, why not tell me what you wish you had more of. Are you like me and wish you had more money and time? Do you wish for more love? More friends? Talents? It would be fun and interesting to talk about it, so lay it on me! And ... thanks for being patient with me when I drop off the face of the earth!

Sunday, November 18, 2007


This weekend I got to do something new and different ... had a 'girlfriend date'! My BFF Sheri flew down from Boise, we had dinner together, spent the night at a hotel and talked till the wee hours of the morning and then shopped all day Saturday until I had to take her back to the airport.

The wonderful thing about Sheri and our friendship, is that it's not about the shopping and eating. It's all about the talking. And the wonderful thing about talking with Sher is that she always lifts me up. She sends me home with a new plan, feeling like I can handle my life, and do it better than before.

Our time together is never spent husband-bashing - we long ago agreed that we would never build up our marriages by cutting our men down - nor do we gossip or spend any time at all, really, talking about other people. Instead we talk about our children and help each other with problems we are facing. Or we talk about what we like about ourselves and each other and help each other find ways to improve that things that bother us.

Here's a pic I took of Sher a few years ago ... isn't she beautiful? Inside and out.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Live ... by love

I stumbled upon the most wonderful quote today that I just had to share with you.

The poet Robert Browning said,

“There is an answer to the passionate longings of the heart for fullness, and I knew it, and the answer is this: Live in all things outside yourself by love, and you will have joy. That is the life of God; it ought to be our life. In him it is accomplished and perfect; but in all created things it is a lesson learned slowly and through difficulty.”

Isn't that lovely?

To live by love is to have joy. I can really only think of one thing that means and that is the pure love of Christ, or charity. Jesus embodied charity in his love of all mankind and his endless service on our behalf. I am no expert on charity, being an inherently selfish person, but I do know that when I have looked outside of myself to serve another, my own problems swiftly dimmed in importance and I felt better about my ability to overcome them.

Monday, November 12, 2007

When in Doubt ... Go With a BlogThing

You Are a Chimera

You are very outgoing and well connected to many people.
Incredibly devoted to your family and friends, you find purpose in nurturing others.
You are rarely alone, and you do best in the company of others.
You are incredibly expressive, and people are sometimes overwhelmed by your strong emotions.

Sorry guys, I've been WAY busy. Yikes! And now I find myself with probably too much to say that I don't know what to say at all. So I'll go with the Mystical Creature Thing instead. :)

I don't know about "very outgoing" but I am outgoing to a degree. I am well connected to a lot of people. At least, I am at times. Friendships and connections take time and effort and there are times when I let those connections slip. They are too valuable to let go altogether though. Got to work on that.

Hmm, I don't know about the "rarely alone and do best in the company of others." I like my alone-self. She's my friend and it's nice to spend time with her.

I am very devoted to my family and friends and it does make me happy if I can cheer them a little and lift their spirits. So I think that's probably accurate.

Yep, expressive and a bit overwhelming ... that's me. In singing it has been a benefit: I had a gift for expressing feelings through music. It was cathartic for me too ... without it, I feel a bit stagnated. Must. Find. Forms. Of. Expression. Maybe my emotions are a bit overwhelming for ME??

Anyway, thanks for visiting this past week even though I was in absentia. I appreciate you guys! You make me feel loved!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Random Thoughts

Wo! I've been tagged a lot lately and I haven't been playing very well. BUT Jen gave me an easy assignment I think I can do right now, though my stuff will surely not be as interesting as Jens'! Can you believe she graduated high school at 15? With a GPA of 4.0???!!! WOW.

Anyhow ... 7 Random Things about me are:

1. I can do tongue tricks :) I can roll my tongue lengthwise, fold it in half (without holding it with my teeth) and I'm working on learning how to do that funky clover-leaf fold. I have lofty goals, don't I?

2. I never dated my husband before I became engaged to him. And NO ours is not an arranged marriage; at least not in the traditional sense. ;) A-ha! Now I've piqued your interest, haven't I? Something to blog about another day :)

3. I used to be involved in the occult and used crystals to meditate, sometimes doing healings with them or divining answers to questions. It was all very complicated and DRAMATIC. I don't do those things anymore though, preferring the Spirit as a way to glean the answers to my lifes' questions.

4. I am obsessed with the smell of a tree. There is a particular tree, I believe it is the cottonwood tree, that when it's seeds are dropping, it smells soooo good. I'll just stand and drink in the smell. It is my most favorite smell in the world and can you believe I don't have any of those trees in my yard? It's smell gives me such pleasure, I really ought to have it near by!

5. I cannot read a book more than once, unless it is a truly remarkable book. In truth, I've only ever been able to read two books more than once ... The Book of Mormon and a trilogy by Guy Gavriel Kay called The Fionavar Tapestsry.

6. I'm terrified to wax my upper lip, but I think it's time, if you know what I mean.

7. In my minds' eye I am a really cool karate chick who can kick anyones butt. I think Cynthia Rothrock, well ... rocks!