Sunday, April 30, 2006

A good day for birth control

Last night Ellie and Savannah Beckett came to spend some time with us. Luckily, our kids were asleep when they came last night or there would have been giggling for hours!! They did REMARKABLY well going to bed ( Paul had not brought a "tag lovey" for Ellie, but luckily, I had two). This morning, we actually got up and got all 7 children, not only ready, but to church 10 minutes early. Unfortunately, it's hard to find a row to fit all 9 of us, so we were relegated to the front row. And the fun began. I think I know why I've never seen the Beckett's on the front row. Both the girls thought all that space was just MARVELOUS to play in- so much room to spread out, lay around, roll around, and have fun in. Poor Scott, I don't think he knew what to do (although if it were one of ours, he sure would). So I gave him Ava duty, while I managed the pew monkeys (well, we don't actually have pew's, so they'd be chair monkey's). I must admit, I was happy to sneak out and nurse Ava, but it didn't take as long as I would have liked. I got back to Ellie making certain that the entire Bishopric saw she had Dora underpants on, and quickly sat her on my lap where she let it be known that she wasn't really interested in being there (on my lap, that is). The one great thing, is that they were quiet- no arguing or fighting. After sacrament, I took Ellie to her nursery class (for those of you who have recently potty trained a little one, you will notice that I skipped something VERY important), and the other kids to their classes. I was in the hall talking to the YW Prez, when the nursery leader came out leading Ellie by the hand. One look at her standing there in wet shoes was all it took. Apparently the rain wasn't the only thing making puddles that day. We washed her up (I felt HORRIBLE, realizing that I should have taken her to the potty before class), and had to borrow a diaper from the Clegg's. I tried to reassure her that she wasn't a baby, I was just fresh out of little girl underpants in my purse. When we got home, Kate gave her a pair of her's to borrow, but they hung down to her knees. So poor little Ellie went home wearing a pair of Aidan's tighty-whiteys.

There was lots more, but I will just sum it up by saying that 2 adults + 7 children + 1 small apartment = 1 Jar of Prozac, 7 straightjackets, 2 muzzles, 4 earplugs, and a lifetime supply of birth control.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Ten things I love

1. The smell of a baby right after a bath.
2. When a whole day goes by and the baby's diaper doesn't leak all over. Of course, if it does, I still get to look forward to the above mentioned #1.
3. Aidan's accent. Not certain where he picked it up, but I love to hear it. ("I hov a new botmon shot!" translation: I have a new batman shirt!)
4. Going garage saleing with Amelia, and watching her mull over things for an eternity, making certain that she comes home with something for everyone.
5. Getting books for Enoch at a garage sale and knowing that he will read all 30 of them in the next week.
6. Doing Kate's hair (when she's in a good mood).
7. I loved knowing that Scott was out with the boys last night bonding over an open fire. I also loved the smell of smoke when they got home (camp, not cigarette).
8. I love it when my kids hear someone say the word 'stupid', and they collectively say "OOOHHHHHH! That's a bad word!" I also love it when they interrupt any tv show or movie and point out everyone's immodest clothing (bet you never realized how immodest they are on Lawrence Welk!)
9. I love spending time with my grown-up girlfriends. Sometimes you need someone to talk to, someone to listen to, and someone just for YOU. Not someone who HAS to rely on you, but someone who CAN rely on you (and you, them).
10. I love that my husband sees things in me that I often forget are there. And I'm grateful that he overlooks the things that I know are there. I love that he loves me.

Have a great evening!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Girls' night out!

The boys are out of the house!!! I'm not sure who was more excited, Enoch or Mia and Kate. I think Scott and I were pretty equal, but after I snuggle down in my nice warm bed, and he hunkers down on the cold hard ground, I think I may have the better end of the stick, per se. Scott took Enoch and Aidan on the annual "Fathers and sons campout", even though this is only our second year. Since all of our camping stuff was lost in the mold house, they are sharing a tent with someone from the ward, and took a whole bunch of blankets and comforters. I hope it works for them! I'm sure they'll have a blast! We invited Mark and his boys (our neighbors/friends), but I got the feeling that Mark doesn't quite "do" camping. When I asked Toni if he wanted to go, she just laughed and told me I needed to ask him myself. Oh well. I imagine that they'll enjoy this WONDERFUL new hammock Toni picked up at a garage sale today- $30!!! It was in such great shape!! I think I may be getting someone else hooked on this. Does that make me the dealer, or the pimp?

Well, the girls and I decided that if they boys are away, we needed to play. So, we went to O'Charley's (kids eat free), then the Dollar movies (saw Aquamarine- no comment), then got some Dilly Bars from DQ. Quite the date night. A girls night out for 4 for under $20. Can't beat that. Okay, maybe microwave popcorn and the Princess Diaries (for the millionth time) at home with Ben&Jerry, but what fun would THAT be?

Well, I'm going to try and get to bed early- tomorrows a pretty big garage saleing day (5 different neighborhoods). I was out today from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, and still have 2 1/2 neighborhoods I haven't been to!). I did find Scott a stereo for his car. We're really hoping it works. Thanks for listening!!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

A peak into the past

Wow! What a great meeting!! I don't know where I would even begin, although in the car on the way home I didn't seem to have a problem. It's probably a good thing that my mindless blabbering isn't all recorded. We opened with our Stake President inviting us to leave our problems and worries at our feet, while we attended our seperate leadership meetings. It was remarkable. Talk about opening our minds and being enlightened. I'm certain it will help with my new calling.

As I got to thinking about our youth, and as the Bishop and I discussed the troubles with our ward youth in particular, it got me thinking back 15 years ago....(fuzzy dream clouds and mystical music)

...I had just turned 18 (or would be turning in a few short days). When you hear the term "troubled teen", you could probably picture me and you wouldn't be too far off. I was the poster child for birth control, and probably the reason my mother should be bald by now. I did what I wanted, when I wanted. I lived for the moment, and only THAT moment. I didn't care about tomorrow or the next day- heck! I barely cared about today. I sought the approval of people I didn't even know, and who didn't even care about me. I wanted attention in the worst way, and got it- in the worst way. Life was just about existing, not about living. I felt I had no begining, and couldn't care less about the end; sometimes I figured the sooner the end, the better. Do most teens feel like that? I don't know, but I sure did. It had nothing to do with what I was taught. My Mom certainly instilled morals and values in me, but they just didn't seem to stick.

Then, the opportunity came to be a nanny in New Jersey. Why not? I figured. It would get me out of my small town blahs, and into the great big, wild, wonderful world. Emphasis on wild. Then came the day I left.

As I borded the plane, and casually entered the world of "on your own", I sat down and looked around me. Everywhere, people were seated, actually DOING something with their lives. And, here I was. So I decided. The thought came to me as clear as any thought ever has. 'You can be whoever you want to be. No one knows you there. No one knows who you were, or what you did. You have a clean slate. This is a once in a lifetime chance.' I remember those lines exactly, and will until the day I die. On that plane ride, I decided who I really wanted to become. I made a mental plan, starting with the longest goal I could think of. I wanted Heavenly Father to be proud of me. I wanted my Mom to be proud of me. Most of all, I wanted to be proud of me. Then, I started to break things down- I wanted to be married for eternity. I wanted it all- the family, the husband, the temple marriage that would ensure we would live together not only in this life, but the next one. I had studied tons of religions during my "rebellious" days, and although I would have never admitted it to my Mom or my Bishop, I always knew that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was true. I always say that I know it is, because at one time, I doubted it was. By doubting, I had to delve deeper, to search with more meaning, to open up my mind and heart, and to decide. You can't just assume with religion. Who wants eternity based on assumption? So, I decided that I would be the most faithful Latter-Day Saint I could be. I stopped swearing completely (and for those of you who might have known me before, you would have thought that I didn't know any other vocabulary), and focused on making my life WORTH something. To live to BECOME something. To SERVE without thought of gain, and to DEDICATE without thought of recognition. And today? Well, I am proud of me, and I would hope that my family is proud of me as well. I know that Heavenly Father is proud of me, because he has blessed me far beyond my ability to comprehend it all.

What a powerful gift I was given. I probably don't think about it as often as I should, or give it enough credit. But, I wanted to share this with those of you I love most. It was far from easy to pull myself out of the muck I was figuratively covered with. It took months of work, and years of repentance. But completely worth it. I hesitate to think where my life would be without that plane ride. I know it wouldn't be here with all of you. We talked about how our youth struggle with their testimonies. I, too, struggled. But like that chick that must struggle to hatch from the egg, it will build their spiritual strength. My testimony has grown each day that the sun has risen again, whether I could see it or not. There was a time in my life that I didn't understand why I was given this path, these hardships, this much stuff to struggle with. I wrote a poem, properly entitled "Feeling Sorry For Myself".

When I open my eyes and all I want to do is close them again,
When I wake to a day that holds nothing but struggles and pain,
When I long for the peace that I felt so very long ago,
I stop and I wonder where have all my prayers gone?

It seems as though life has forgotten me here by the wayside,
It seems as though good fortune has lost its way here,
It seems that when things can only get better, they don’t,
And I wonder where is the God I once knew?

As a child I believed that the world would always protect me,
As a wife I believed that my husband would always be there,
As a mother I knew that my children forever could trust me,
But now I wonder, If I even know who I am.

They say that the scriptures always will lead and direct us,
They say that the prophets will guide us to comfort and peace,
They say that He knows and He suffers beside us,
But where can I find Him when nothing inside me feels real.

I’ve searched for Him here by my bedside at nighttime,
I’ve searched for His comfort in hospital rooms,
I’ve searched for His healing power in my children,
But struggle to find the power I thought I knew.

Does He feel me struggling each day to get up?
Does He hear my cries out in pain?
Does He know how cruel I think this life is?
Does He care that one of His children longs to be with Him again?

I never did finish the end, although it's good and depressing just the way it is. Sometimes I feel bad that I wrote such a good poem about such a pathetic subject. I still read it every once in a while to remind me where I once was, and where I never want to be again. I figure God is kind of like an anti-biotic. Stay with me here. A lot of people take it really well at the beginning, but as things start to get better, they figure they really don't need it any more, and start to slack off. Sometimes, nothing happens, and things just go along. But what happens more often, is that the pain and infection are even worse. Okay. So not the best scenerio, but I figure people go to God when they are at their worst, and He comforts them. Well, they figure that things just got better on their own, and God had nothing to do with it, so they slack off. Then things get even worse than before. What's my point? Good question. I think it's that Heavenly Father is not only there for our problems, He is there for our triumphs. And for goodness sakes, a little "Thank-You" to Him every once in a while (daily, hourly perhaps?) wouldn't kill you.

I didn't get to my crumpled superhero tonight, but I'll really try to tomorrow.

Wow, do I ramble on.

Home and Deranged

Weeeee're baaaaack! So I actually did get my shower in before I left this morning! (Big plus for everyone who had to come in contact with me!) We had a little bit of a slow start, but after finally finding the shuttle parking (which they moved from last month), we were there only 20 min late. Hey, the way I figure it, we've waited for them for at least 4 1/2 months, if you total up all of our wait time for them. They still owe us 4 months, 14 days, 23 hours, and 40 minutes- but, who's counting? Aidan had the surgeon remove his band-aid that we couldn't, and - low and behold- NO INFECTION!! Of course not. It'll wait another three days, so we have to drive all the way down there again.
We took Scott's car- it gets much better gas milage at 80 mph- but, his radio has issues. The main issue being it doesn't work. So....on the way home, with too much time on my hands, I came up with this song (sung to the tune of "Home on the Range)


Oh, give me a home
Where Mrs. Brady can be cloned,
Where the kids do their chores everyday.
Where seldom is heard, an argumentative word
And the dinner's prepared everyday.

But, no! I'm home and deranged
Where I babble incoherantly all day!
Where the baby smiles at me,
'Cause a lunatic she sees
And my family thinks I'm a nutcase!

Speaking of babbling incoherently, you can imagine the fun in the car. Perhaps THAT's why my kids are the way they are.

Well, I'd better go prepare something for Scott (Tater tot cassarole, I believe. That probably makes the cooks out there shudder with mouth-watering glee). Tonight I get trained for my new calling in church- 1st Counselor in Young Women!! I'm VERY excited! I'm not sure if it's a blessing or a warning of what's to come with my own girls. We'll see!

Stay tuned...later tonight I will try and give you my top ten thoughts for the day. One of them involves a crunched up superhero.

'Till then!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Another Hospital Trip

Wow! I actually did something on the computer that may work!! We'll see.
I'm not certain where exactly to begin. I really just hopped on to see if I could really start one of these. I guess it worked! I'll slowly introduce you to my life (trust me, it'd be like getting hit in the face with a bat if I gave it to you all at once). Tomorrow our 4 yr old has another trip to the hospital, so his surgeon can make sure his incision sites (from an appendectomy) are healing. One of them is infected pretty bad, and I know they'll have to re-open it. Sounds like it's going to be a barrel of laughs tomorrow!! who-pee. I'll try and introduce you more to my life tomorrow. At least I know I'll get a shower before 3pm since I have to leave for the hospital at 8am!