Friday, November 14, 2014

Utah Day

I love helping out in the classroom on special event days! (Especially at Waterford where volunteering means you just show up at the appointed time and they put you to work -- no advance planning or preparation!)

Today was Utah Day. I assisted with looming and the rest of the day they made butter, learned the Virginia Reel, played Pioneer Games, had a Native American speaker and watched a guy shoot his musket.

Nick was so excited he was up at 5:45 and dressed in costume by 6:15! He's been sick a couple of days this week and so have 1/3 of his class. One of his best friends was gone for three days and he made Dan text his friend's dad to remind him that it was Utah Day and to try not to miss it! Love how he looks out for his friends!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Best Sick Day Ever

When I was 8 or 9, Michelle said she was sick. I told my mom I was sick too. She looked at me with that unsure look and in the same voice she used when we asked her if Santa was real, ("What do YOU think?") said, "You feel sick too, Huh?  Okaaaay, I guess you both will need to stay home from school."  And Michelle and I looked at each other as if we'd just pulled off the greatest heist ever right under our mom's nose!

I remember cuddling up under blankets and laying on the couch together and lots of giggling. I also remember we got to watch whatever we wanted on TV (whatever we wanted on TV that was playing on the PBS stations). And I remember it being soooo great!

Well, last Sunday when Nick barfed all day (right after he said his Primary Program part he headed to the bathroom and not a moment too soon), I knew we'd be having a day at home. Who doesn't love a sick child that knows how to make it to the bathroom to barf and is still young enough to snuggle and watch TV in your bed? It sounded downright cozy.

Monday morning Chris said he wasn't feeling well either but I still made him go to school. Big faker.

An hour later Marty came to our room to say he was sick the night before. And a few minutes later Chris called from school to say he really, really was sick. (Oops -- sorry for thinking you were faking!) But now I was thinking I was going to spend the day with them wanting to play xbox all day and me saying no. And then feeling guilty because they were sick and saying yes and then taking it away later because you shouldn't play xbox all day when you're sick. That cozy day in bed was getting ruined!

The older boys went back to bed for a while and Nick and I watched the Muppets Take Manhattan. Classic Muppets. I love it. After, we watched Studio C (seriously funny) but these were just youtube videos and it got boring finding a new one every 2 minutes.

So we looked for a movie on Netflix. And just as we were checking out the Disney section, Marty walked in. "Let's watch Mulan," he said.

I was seriously not expecting my 17-year-old to be keen on Mulan. Although he loves Japanese anime and maybe this felt familiar.

I jumped fast. "Great!" Nick wasn't convinced, but Marty told him it was good and he'd like it. Then Chris walked in. "Why are you watching Mulan?"
Marty: Because it's good.
Chris: I know it's good. I just wondered why you chose it.

Can you see what's happening here? What do you think would have happened if I suggested to Chris and Nick we watch Mulan? But when Marty says it's good...they know it must be.

So we all sat in my bed and watched Mulan. And then while I got stuff done, they stayed in my bed and watched Hercules -- Disney Hercules. I didn't sing along because I didn't want to ruin the moment. But I was tempted. However, I knew my vision of us all singing "Go The Distance" together was in reality for my boys a nightmare. So I kept my big mouth shut.

But I was singing on the inside!!

Friday, November 07, 2014

Big, Little Lies

A perfect Friday afternoon. If you haven't read Liane Moriarty, you must. 40-something moms with a supporting cast of other moms at their children's elementary schools. The always-exercising moms, the working moms, the in-charge-of-everything moms, a few nannies, cliques, school projects and of course, the Dads.

The plot of nearly all her books centers around an out-of-the-ordinary circumstance happening to regular people and the emotional complexities involved. A happy ending always results, but in the last book I read, The Husband's Secret, I wasn't sure how a satisfying ending could possibly happen. But, to Moriarty's credit, it did. I'm not sure how she'll pull it off in this one, Big, Little Lies, but that's the fun of it.

Her characters are so real and the complexity of their mothering emotions reminds me Ya-Ya Sisterhood.  Or maybe more like Little Altars Everywhere. Fortunately she's pretty prolific so she has lots of books to enjoy. What Alice Forgot is definitely my favorite. A 40-year-old mom with a failing marriage and a difficult pre-teen falls off her bike during spin class and hits her head.  She wakes up with amnesia believing she's just turned 30 is madly in love with her husband and pregnant with her first child. Possibly my favorite book ever.

And while you're stocking up on books, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, is the same genre and another of my favorites.

(P.S. The problem with a white duvet cover that the designer didn't think of is when you spill your peanut butter while lying in bed reading and eating a snack, it doesn't blend in so well.)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Happy Birthday To Me!

Mallorca, Spain

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, September 06, 2014

And That's Okay

So I called and backed out. I'm not a quitter. I do a good job and stick it out to the end. No matter what. I'm actually frustrated by those who don't. But this time...  I said "yes" and the job was more than I had understood or anticipated. And this time... I quit.

In Lake Powell we had a wonderful week of Vacation -- no cell phones, no computers. No e-mail or home phones. Just our families, new friends and lots and lots of fun. At the end of each night the families gathered and we took time for a short devotional -- a spiritual thought, prayer and song. The week was filled with lots of laughs, brand new friends becoming like family, trying new things, working together, more laughs, sharing and caring, natural beauty and fun.

At the end of the week we boated out to an area where we could get reception. I was able to download my messages, but just the subject, not the content. There were multiple messages from the group I'd committed to and suddenly the pit in my stomach that had been there ever since I'd said "yes," came back. It was going to take too much time.

I didn't want to let anyone down. I don't do that. But I realized that if I continued spending my time helping this organization, especially when I wasn't even enjoying it, I was going to be letting people down -- my family and myself because I wouldn't have the time for special things for them and me.

After the year of chaos we just had with the remodel, I had inadvertently signed us up for another year of chaos. Obviously not to the same degree, but my free time was being spent pounding the pavement, e-mailing and organizing. And by free time, I mean not time away from reading a book. But time I had to fold laundry, cook dinner, shop for groceries. Mom time. Homemaking time. And I actually like being a homemaker.

On our way to Powell I took a Martha Stewart magazine to read.  She's got a calendar in the front that's a little ridiculous... "cut fresh tomatoes to dry," "remove back garden and hang herbs for drying," "learn to hand blow glass to create personal gift for neighbor's best friend's Uncle's goddaughter's wedding." But I realized, I kind of wanted time to do stuff like that. I want to try some new recipes. To have time to make healthy snacks for my kids after school. To try the formulas on Pinterest to get whites whiter.

And why shouldn't I? It's my life. I don't want to put off these little pleasures to volunteer for one too many things (because besides the thing that I wished I wasn't doing, I'm already volunteering at Church and with a Foundation at the high school and at Nick's school, not to mention a new house to build -- all things I enjoy working on) -- especially not to fundraise, another year.

And then I had another realization. Maybe they want someone different than me. I remember in PTA and Primary kind of wishing a person or two would decide they couldn't do it after all. Yes, it's a pain to go hunting down a new person. But often, you have just the right person in mind.

So back at Lake Powell as I lay under the stars surrounded by sleeping bags and 8 friends and our 22 children between us, I whispered my thoughts to Dan and came to the conclusion I was going to back out. And I felt really relieved. It wasn't how I wanted to spend my time.

And time is precious.

So I quit. I called and apologized and even offered a monetary donation. As an olive branch I offered to stick with the current fundraising project and see it through to the end. I even went several extra miles and spent several days trying extra hard to make it work. But it didn't. I would have liked to finish with a bang -- a successful fundraising opportunity after all. But I won't.

And that's okay.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Trust in the Lord

Shaeffer Family Theme for 2014-2015