Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Wild 'n Whacky 7-Things Meme

Karlene, Heather and Tristi all tagged me for this little meme.

The rules are as follows:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I actually went to three universities before I managed to get my degree.

I first went to the University of Guelph, Ontario.

Then I went to the University of Western Ontario
(which I was asked - kindly - please to not return until I got
my act together, lol!)

Finally, I went to Acadia University, where I finally (yes! finally!)
got my degree in political science.

2. My very most favorite thing to wear is my
Bobby Lawrence Karate sweatshirt.
I'd wear that darn thing every day if I thought I could get away with it. Oh wait. I do.
And I'm too lazy to get you a picture of me wearing it. ;P

3. My favorite-ever hymn is Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. I tried to find a youtube version of my favorite version, but I couldn't find one. Fiddlesticks does the arrangement I like, so I'll try to send you to a link where you can hear it here. It's a happy, up-beat version that just rings true to me. If the link doesn't work - sorry. You'll just have to trust me that it's really good!

4. In honor of Tristi's 'when I was ten ...' theme, I'll tell you something I did when I was ten:
On the way home from equestrian camp I sat beside a girl who commented on how hairy my arms were. Oh and my eyebrows were growing together. Eww! I promptly went home and shaved my legs, my arms and did a nice swipe in between my offending eyebrows! Dang, I'm striking out on finding you any pictures!

5. One of the hardest things I've ever done - in terms of facing my fear - was to give myself an intramuscular shot when I was away from home. We were about to do in vitro fertilization and I was out of state at an Opera competition. But I needed to give myself this shot if I was to stay on schedule and be able to get those embryos implanted! I faced that huge needle - I swear, the needle was three inches long - and after much humming and hawing finally plunged it deep into my thigh and depressed the plunger. Owie! But I did it, I was proud and I soon became a proud mommy of TWO!

6. Where other women have a need for shoes and purses, me? I like office supplies. If I'm blue and feel the need to shop, it's nice new pens, neat paper clips and pretty paper or notebooks that tickle my fancy!

7. And seven, lucky seven. In my lifetime, as I can recall, I have had 14 cats, 7 dogs, 7 hermit crabs, 3 birds, 2 hamsters and a handful of fish. I think cats are my favorite, with dogs running a close second. But I love all animals. The animal I most want but haven't my own yet, is a horse. I've done lots of riding in my past, but ... still want a pony one day, please, Fairy Godmother!

And now I think I'm supposed to tag other people but ya know? It's taken me like a week to get these answers together (and look how lame they are!) and I just can't think who hasn't been tagged by this little meme! By all means if you would like to play, leave me a note in my comment trail that you've responded and I'll come check you out! Play, play - it's fun! (haha)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Awesome Movies :)

This weekend we were way spoiled and went to see TWO movies! I know, whatta life.

Friday was Charlie Day and Charlie wanted to celebrate by going to see Nim's Island. First of all, Charlie is a half-birthday type thing we celebrate with the boys because they deserve a day that's all about them, don't you think? I mean, would you like forever hearing "Happy Birthday" sung to you with someone else's name attached to it? This way, they get a day that's just about them. Individually. They don't get gifts, but they do get to choose a special activity we can do together as a family (no friends or parties, this is strictly a family thing) and I bake a cake - so that we can sing "Happy Charlie (Xander) Day," of course.

Anywho. I wasn't too keen on seeing Nim's Island, but I love movies so was agreeable. I thought it was about a girl who lives on her own private island in her imagination. But it turns out I was very wrong. I loved the creative devices the movie used, loved the characters and characterization, the scenery, the humor, the dialog - everything. It was a wonderful movie! A true family movie with fun, adventure, love and a neat message about courage and following your dreams. Awesome movie - I highly recommend it!

Then on Saturday night the boys went to their first-ever sleepover! Well, what were we to do with a whole evening and night alone together without any babysitter expenses? Especially when the place we dropped them off at was in Daybreak so there's that great entertainment complex virtually right across the street. So of course, we had to go out for dinner and then we thought 'what the heck' and caught a movie too.

We saw The Forbidden Kingdom. We had wanted to see this because we love martial arts movies, especially Jet Li and Jackie Chan (I mean, come on, who doesn't?) But holy cow, what an amazing movie. We got so much more from it than we had ever hoped. Both David and I already want to go back and see it (and we never want to see movies in the theater twice) and we want to take the boys to see it too. It was a wonderful movie, with amazing fight sequences and a great moral. Again, two thumbs up for me! Check it out ...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Blue Skies

I feel like I've weathered my own personal storm and am finally sailing under blue skies again.

I got my employer to reduce my hours a bit - by eight hours. Doesn't sound like much but it is just enough to allow me to breathe a bit, to feel like I am still MOM and not just a slave for someone else. I still have to work Saturdays for another month or so, but there is a light at the end of that tunnel and plans to have me move to weekdays only as soon as possible.

I actually went back to Young Women's last night and began the process of getting involved with my calling again (which I've been totally slacking on the past six weeks or so.)

With David's mom gone, that is a huge relief and weight off of my shoulders. No more worries or sorrows in her behalf. There is still some concern about how Dad is doing, but I don't feel as personally impacted by that ... at least it's not stressing me out too much at the moment.

David and I had our first Critique Group meeting tonight with four amazing women. I'm excited about this because it is forcing me to put writing up front and center in my mind and life, which is where it belongs.

I've discovered I can print out a chapter or two of my book and bring it to work with me. In between calls I can edit and rewrite ... effectively leaving me in 'writing mode' all day. I love living in my book, it makes working so much more fun! And also, it's so much easier to plunk down and right when I have a few minutes because I've never really left the story all day. It's working great!

I love seeing my boys more and feeling more like their mom again. Oh yeah, I already prety much said that, didn't I? There was this moment the other night ... After I had finished reading to them, but before I'd taken them to bed there was this moment when the boys had been getting up, but then both kind of relaxed into me. I was lying down, they were both sitting looking at a book together over my body. I don't know ... it wasn't a big thing or anything that's interesting to describe. But that moment of them ... relaxing, sighing ... into my body. The closeness, the intimacy, the familiarity and safety of it. It was sweet and warm and I keep replaying it in my mind. I'm so happy to be their mom and to have the chance to spend more time with them again.

Feeling good tonight. Happy. Relieved. Things are better. And getting better-er! Rah! Rah!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Be My Journal

I'm way too exhausted tonight to write in my journal. But there were precious moments from today that I want to remember so here they go.

Today was a beautiful and sweet day - Mom's funeral - but I found it very, very hard. The boys were being typical little boys, really fine with the whole thing and not really connecting. I asked the boys if they wanted to go say goodbye to Gramma, and they said yes. But when we started to go up there and they caught a glimpse of her, Charlie broke down and Xander didn't want to go any further.

Instead I took them to the couch, where Charlie climbed up onto my lap. Xan was really fine, or at least acted fine. In fact, he said he was concentrating on being happy because that was what Gramma wanted. He said he felt sad, but he was choosing to be happy instead.

Charlie, on the other hand, just couldn't stay the flood of tears that burst through his dam, and in the face of his emotion, neither could I. So we cried together today a LOT.

During the program, Aleta's (David's sister) girls Melissa, Amy and Emily performed "I Am a Child of God." Charlie said "I remember when Gramma sang that with me," and the tears started again. He also said he knew she would like them playing that for her. I think he might have felt bad that he wasn't doing something for her, because later, when we sang the closing hymn he said "I'm going to sing, for Gramma."

Now, you've got to know that Charlie does not like to sing. Correction: He only likes to sing goofy songs he makes up. He doesn't sing in Primary or anything, in fact he said during the last Primary Program that "I love Jesus, I just don't like to sing!"

So when I heard the sweet voice of my tender hearted boy singing "God be with you till meet again," it was about all I could bear. He cried, I cried.

Tonight when I was tucking Charlie in, he prayed that God would take good care of Gramma and especially bless his Grampa and his Daddy that they wouldn't be too sad. Then he asked about if she could see us or anything, because he thought he felt her. I was so happy to tell him about the veil and how she would always be watching over us and if he thought he felt her, then she was probably there. Which of course made him cry more, but it made him feel so loved and happy that maybe she had come to tell him goodnight.

Anyway, kind of personal tonight, there's no need to comment. I just didn't want to forget all this and it would have taken me forever to write it all out longhand! So thanks for letting me share :)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Igneous, Sedimentary & Metamorphic

We've been talking a lot about the Plan of Salvation since Gramma got sick. What happens when we die? Is there a heaven? What is it like?

In the process, we've talked about the importance of family, the resurrection and eternal life.

At school the boys have been learning about the different types of rock.

Now tonight Xan says, the stages of rock are like the stages of life. Igneous is our life on earth. Sedentary is when we are waiting to be resurrected. Metamorphic is when we are resurrected and live forever with our family in the Celestial Kingdom.

And I just looked at this kid and had to say, "Umm, yup. Pretty much!"

I love it when my kids GET IT, and teach me stuff in the process. Pretty cool, eh?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Burning Hut

Tam sent this to me today. I almost didn't read it but when I did I was glad. Thanks Tam!
The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements, and to store his few possessions. One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, "God! How could you do this to me!"
Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island. It had come to rescue him! "How did you know I was here?" he asked the weary man of his rescuers.

The Moral of This Story?
It's easy to get discouraged when things are going badly, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering. Remember that the next time your hut seems to be burning to the ground. It just might be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.

Laura Lucy Johnson Cross Jan 1928 - Apr 2008

Last night my dear mother-in-law, Laura, passed away.

We are so thankful for the blessing of her death, which is a release for her spirit from the pain and suffering her body had endured far too long.

But we are so sad at her loss.

The world will just not be the same without her fun and silly attitude. She was full of life and loved her children and all people she came in contact with. She was the consummate mother. Everything she did, everything she said was geared to how she could help another. She believed in showing love and kindness and leading by example.

She loved the gospel and taught it constantly, in all she did. She never read her children bedtime stories, preferring instead to read them stories from the bible. She would send them to bed each night with "Shadrack, Meshack and In-To-Bed-You-Go!"

She loved to love her children, to hug them tight, to make them laugh.

When no one, even David and I, could figure Sam out, could handle him, could love him enough, Mom loved him.

When my babies would cry, Mom could hold them, bounce them, and quiet them.

She taught me to crochet. She taught me to bake bread. More importantly, she taught me how to be a better wife, mother, and even friend.

I love her and will always love her. She's spry and lively now, living among her loved ones, only a thought and a prayer away.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Love Languages

Have you read this book? The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I read it years ago, but still think of it often. It has helped me tremendously - not only with my husband, but in better relating to my boys, too. I highly recommend it.

I feel loved when...

The Five Love Languages

My Primary Love Language is Acts of Service

My Detailed Results:
Acts of Service: 9
Quality Time: 7
Words of Affirmation: 6
Physical Touch: 5
Receiving Gifts: 3

About this quiz

Unhappiness in relationships is often due to the fact that we speak different love languages. It can be helpful to know what language you speak and what language those around you speak.

Tag 3 people so they can find out what their love language is.

Take the Quiz!
Check out the Book

Ali Cross, Writer

If you're into writing and care to see what I'm up to, I want to invite you to my writing blog. I've only just begun it, but there you can read about my latest exploits, specifically as they relate to writing.

Not sure how exciting it's going to be ... Well, of course I expect it to be exciting! I hope to be able to show my journey to publication, lol!

In the meantime though, read if you like, share, encourage, advise. I welcome you!