Saturday, December 19, 2009

Burnt Biscuits

Got this in my inbox. I LLOOVVEE it. Bet you will too.

When I was a kid, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every
now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made
breakfast after a long, hard day at work.

On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and
extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see
if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile
at my mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don't remember what I
told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and
jelly on that biscuit and eat every bite!

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom
apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I'll never forget what
he said: "Honey, I love burned biscuits."

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he
really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said,
"Your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And
besides - a little burnt biscuit never hurt anyone!"

Life is full of imperfect things.....and imperfect people. I'm not the
best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just
like everyone else. But what I've learned over the years is that
learning to accept each others faults - and choosing to celebrate each
others differences - is one of the most important keys to creating a
healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.

And that's my prayer for you today. That you will learn to take the
good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet
of God. Because in the end, He's the only One who will be able to give
you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn't a deal-breaker!

We could extend this to any relationship. In fact, understanding is the
base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or

"Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket - keep it
in your own."

God Bless You..... Now, and Always....

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Love This!!

Came across a link to this on a Family Home Evening blog. It comes from iPrepared. Love it!! Easily adapted for younger kids by discussing scenarios rather than writing them, then teaching a family plan for emergencies.

family home evening - earthquake scenario

I taught a lesson on preparedness last night for FHE (family home evening). Here is a synopsis, if you would like to try something similar:

I chose the most likely emergency for our area - which in our case is an earthquake. I invented a scenario including time of day and extent of the earthquake. I also determined situations - like downed power lines, dam breaks, and gas leaks that we would encounter (but I didn't share these additional situations with anyone else).

I gave each member of our family a blank sheet of paper with a single sentence indicating their location and situation. After the earthquake "occurred," each family member wrote on the page what their next course of action would be. I had predetermined my course of action prior to starting the activity so that my responses were not changed based on their decisions. Then I responded (by writing on their paper) to their actions indicating additional situations as needed. The main objective was to find each other.

We have older children and a three-year old. Obviously, this activity is better suited for children who can write. Our little-one acted as the paper "passer" as we responded to each other and loved it.

Here is what happened:
Tuesday @ 10:30 am - 7.8 earthquake occurs. There is major damage, no electricity, and many injuries.

My responses:
10:30 - I am grocery shopping with my three-year old. Sky lights in the store break sending glass everywhere. I cut my shoulder. By the time we make our way out of the store, everyone is busy and frenzied. We find the car and use the first-aid kit kept in the glove box to bandage my shoulder. We discover that all cell-phone service is dead.
11:15 - I attempt to drive back into our neighborhood. However there are so many power lines, trees, and poles down that I finally park the car and start walking.
1:15 - We've walked up into our neighborhood, only to discover that there must be a major gas leak up by our home. We need to stay out of the area.
1:30 - We walk to our church building instead. There I find my oldest son waiting for me. My 11-year old and husband are not there, however.

My oldest son:
His paper states, "School collapses in two-story section. What class are you in? What do you do?"
My summary of his responses:
10:30 - He isn't affected by the collapse. He looks for his friends. They start walking home.
11:30 - He arrives at our neighborhood only to discover that he can't go to our home because of the gas leak. He decides to stay at the church with his friends.
1:00 - I wrote on his page: "You've been waiting at the church for 1 1/2 hours now and haven't seen any other member of our family. What do you do? His response: "I pray" [This was my favorite response of the whole activity!]. I ask: "Do you stay there?" His response: "Yes."
1:30 - Mom shows up at the church at 1:30.

My 11-year old son:
His paper states, "Part of the school gym collapses. Many injuries among those who are there. Rest of school is moved out into the school fields. Where are you? And what do you do?"
My summary of his responses:
10:30 - Not in gym. Go out to field with friends - am really scared.
12:00 - I wrote: "Many of the kids have been checked out. The school won't just let you walk home so you have to stay until someone checks you out. You see Mrs. J. come to the school to check out her kids."
12:15 - He asks Mrs. J. to check him out (she is authorized to do so), then heads west back towards our neighborhood with her.
12:30 - I write: "you see a huge set of power lines on the road all along the major north/south road." He responds, "jump over." [This was the most disturbing point of the whole exercise. I discovered at this point that he honestly didn't know that you shouldn't jump over power lines. Hopefully Mrs. J would have not let this happen. We discuss this problem verbally and I teach him about power lines.] His new response, "go around."
12:45 - He gets to our neighborhood (north end) only to discover about the gas leak. He continues with Mrs. J around the neighborhood to the south end. They tape a note to our mailbox (which is not in the neighborhood) to let us know where he is.
Note - We didn't get any farther with him on the scenario. He determined that he would stay with Mrs. J. But we figured out that we would have spent a lot of time looking for him and that we would have just missed each other. We discussed better places to leave notes (like on the church doors).

My husband:
His paper states, "Windows blow out in your building. You have minor injuries from glass/books. Many campus buildings collapse and a lot of people are cut and hurt."
My summary of his responses:
10:30 - I would spend several hours helping take care of students.
2:30 - Go look for car. Car is luckily in an exterior lot. Can drive away from campus, but finds roads jammed. Rumors that the overpasses have collapsed on the freeway. Tries cell phone only to discover that it is dead.
3:00 - Takes side roads until police officer stops him and indicates a potential dam break and the need to move to high ground. He abandons the car, takes blanket and water from car and moves into high area.
5:30 - I write, "Flood threat is cleared. But in the middle of a huge rainstorm now." He writes, "walk" - to "the church."
Note - We figure he would have walked through the whole night in terrible weather to find us. I'd like to have an office kit and a better car kit for him in this type of situation. He had water, a blanket, and a 1/2 full gas tank, but he also needed a rain poncho and some food.

At the end we discussed meeting locations and note-leaving locations. We also discussed basic precautions like not jumping over power lines, etc. All is not worked out -- but a lot was! It would have been appropriate to serve snacks from our 72-hour kits (but we did something else). My kids thought that the activity was "fun." Go figure.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Poor Piglet!

This arrived in my inbox with the heading "H1N1."

Those who know our family may see Gabe as a sad, isolated little pig from now on. At this moment he's in the ER with his dad, finding out what strain of AIDS he's got this time. My poor little piglet has a fever of 103. Pull out your masks, people, and avoid us like the plague we are! If there's anything contagious, Gabe hunts it down and licks it's sweaty butt folds. (Sorry, was that irreverent?) I'm a little stressed right now.
Oh, and thanks- I love you too, truly. But please don't stop by to check on us. We're holding up fine, but that hinges on the fact that friends and family cannot see the state of our front room. Thankyouverymuch.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Last night I was feeding the baby in the front room while Matt was watching some toons with the other boys in our bedroom before bed. I could hear the tv and was mentally singing along to the theme song when I heard Jesse's spontaneous remark. "Dad, I just wiped a big booger on your cheek."
Matt's reply? A calm, "Good, I'm gonna leave it there till I get hungry. Then I'll eat it." A regular person would never believe how nonchalant they both were about the whole thing. It ended almost as soon as it began, probably as unremarkable to them as blowing your nose is to you. There was, however, a reference made this morning, when Jesse addressed his father. "Dad, did you eat that booger I gave you last night?" I can't report Matt's response, as the question alone induced an automatic mental shut down/ block out on my part. After a while around here you build up these defense mechanisms to shield yourself from... you know, everything.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Catching Up... Sort Of...

Here are some glimpses into what we've been up to: Jesse at soccer, preschool trial run, and Family Night with Andrew's family. Thank you Kristen for sending me all of these. Between forgetting my camera, forgetting to charge the battery, and forgetting the memory card (all on separate occasions!) Kristen's sort of stepped in for me as our family photographer. Now I've got things together a BIT better, so hopefully she can rest from her generous labors. Sorry y'all for being so far behind.
For some reason Blogger is only uploading about half of the pictures I tell it to upload, so I'm gonna try later to post the rest. Weird...

Judy M. DalPonte, “Pillow Packets,” Ensign, Oct. 2009, 71

Pillow packets have helped me emphasize the love I have for my grandchildren when they come to visit. I have made the packets using legal-size paper envelopes fastened to the pillows on their guest beds. Inside, I tucked small messages and gifts that conveyed my love for them individually. Soon I discovered that sharing carefully chosen quotes from conference was a perfect addition to the packets. Not only do these mini-messages uplift my grandchildren, but they also bless me when I review each conference talk with them in mind. For me, the Church leaders’ words of encouragement for our youth, in particular, give me greater hope for our world and future.

I read this in the Ensign and loved the idea. Wouldn't it be great to make a note each day of something we love about each of our children and communicate it this way? I just imagine how cool it could be for a kid to come to expect these things every day, and the trust and strength that could be added to a relationship this way. Maybe I'm naive and the kid would just whine and be all sarcastic about it, but I bet deep down they'd appreciate it and it would make them feel valued. Besides that, it would make them aware that you notice their strengths and it might even challenge them to develop those parts of themselves. It's always encouraging to have a little acknowledgment. And adding inspirational quotes is genius. One of Kristen's many good influences on me has been the encouragement to make every moment a "teachable moment." I love how she demonstrates with her kids that every experience we have comes with some sort of lesson, if we'll only think it through or talk about it with someone. What a great way to learn about perspective, attitude, goals and standards to live by. The perfect habit to keep us aware of our choices and priorities, which likely will otherwise run away from us unchecked- and we might not like the directions we've gone without even realize we were headed that way. We can all use these reminders!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What a Great Start!

It's About TIME, I Know! (RIGHT?- That part was for you Kristen.)

Ok, Grandparents, prepare to be disappointed. My first blog after all this time is PICTURELESS. But regardless, I think the topic is significant. (And I'll get to that picture thing right after this, if all goes well.)

This morning I woke up early. I was quietly excited for some time alone while the very first signs of morning light were peeking through my windows. (When I can manage to pull myself from bed this early I relish these hours. It just brings joy to the soul, doesn't it?) Last night I was so tired by the time I managed to pull myself from my new found love of online coupons, leaped the hurdles of a sleep-refusing Gabriel, anxiety-attack Jesse, and woke-up-too-fill-my-drawers Jacob, that I was nearly spent by the time I got to read my scriptures. (Matt was working overnight so the evening was a long one.) Anyway, I was deeply glad this morning for my stolen time with the Lord before anyone else would wake up.

I grabbed a spare Book of Mormon from the shelf and since I'm actually reading the Doctrine and Covenants right now, I flipped randomly through the book and settled into Alma mid-chapter. After a few verses I came to a place that struck me profoundly and I want to share it with you here.

Alma 58:40-41
40 But behold, they have received many wounds; nevertheless they astand fast in that bliberty wherewith God has made them free; and they are strict to remember the Lord their God from day to day; yea, they do observe to keep his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments continually; and their faith is strong in the prophecies concerning that which is to come.
41 And now, my beloved brother, Moroni, may the Lord our God, who has redeemed us and made us free, keep you continually in his presence; yea, and may he favor this people, even that ye may have success in obtaining the possession of all that which the Lamanites have taken from us, which was for our support...

Those who know my positions regarding the state of our country and who are of a like mind may easily tell why this seemed so applicable. One of my most valued possessions is my freedom and liberty, and I am passionate in my love of them. I do believe them divinely given, and thus all the more sacred to my heart. I also strongly believe that many of our freedoms are currently under attack and slipping away, often without even the notice of the citizens. It's natural to become concerned and even afraid, but I've had profound comfort in my faith that in keeping the commandments, the Lord will not leave us alone. Knowing that, there's nothing to really fear.
I took some time last night flipping through my scriptures and browsing some of the ones I have highlighted. Here are some that were particularly appreciated:

Galations 2:20
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but aChrist bliveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the cfaith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

2 Corinthians 6:4
But in all things approving ourselves as the aministers of God, in much bpatience, in cafflictions, in necessities, in distresses,

2 Corinthians 4:8-11
We are
atroubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in bdespair; aPersecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not bdestroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

2 Corinthians 4:15-18
For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the athanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the ainward man is renewed day by day. For our light aaffliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and beternal cweight of glory; While we look not at the things which are aseen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not bseen are ceternal.

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be ain Christ, he is a bnew creature: cold things are dpassed away; behold, all things are become enew.

2 Corinthians 6:17-18
Wherefore acome out from among them, and be ye bseparate, saith the Lord, and touch not the cunclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a aFather unto you, and ye shall be my bsons and daughters, saith the Lord cAlmighty.

Romans 16:17& 20
Now I beseech you, brethren, amark them which cause bdivisions and coffences contrary to the ddoctrine which ye have learned; and eavoid them... And the God of apeace shall bbruise cSatan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

1 Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written, aEye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath bprepared for them that love him.

Some of these inspire me with perspective and with their relevance to my thoughts and feelings lately- and some are simply blessed reminders of eternal truths. I never regret time spent reading my scriptures. The words in these books are the most powerful on earth. They do bring joy and salvation to any soul that will read and believe them and do all they can to live them. I've never known anything with stronger conviction than I know that the Lord answers prayers. He wants so much to bless each of us. There is so much joy in store for anyone who will obey His words and receive His blessings. It's the way to true peace.

I have so many things that I'm working on to become more obedient, and many more to go, I'm sure. But every step I take in the right direction is very richly rewarded. I am really grateful for that.

While I was constructing this post Jesse woke up and came to cuddle on the couch with me for a while. We were huddled together quietly while his sleep wore off, then he issued this request.
"Mom, can I have m's?" (That's short for M&M's)
"Hmm... ok. Do you want to get them from the cupboard?"
(Yawn) "I just want you to get them for me."
I fought the urge to correct his impertinence. "Well... will you tell me how much you love me?"
"I love you bigger than this house."
I smiled and kissed his head. "Thanks Honey. I love you bigger than the moon." I headed to the kitchen.
"I love you bigger than- we could be astronauts! Mom, when could me and Dad be astronauts?"
I smiled again and joined him, with our healthy breakfast in hand. We had a good time together. It was some good conversation, fragmented attention spans and all. What a great way to start the day!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Yes, we're home from our trip (which was seriously awesome!). We're also quite sick. We left in a hurry, had a blast and came home exhausted. The house is still a wreck. Matt started a 24 hour stint at work yesterday and we're all dragging a bit. So fair warning: I have no intention of answering the door for at least a couple days. Phone calls are a maybe, depending on what's going on each moment. So please don't take it personally. We're just not up to interacting much as of now, and we really look forward to seeing/ chatting with everybody when we've got some umph back. Love to you all! We'll post pictures soon. Thanks for understanding. Talk to ya later.

Friday, August 7, 2009

My Son is Like a Box of Chocolates...

Jes was eating a delectable dinner of reheated takeout pizza, when Matt related the story about a middle of the night pizza mission he'd carried out with Gabe the night before. Matt slanted the facts a little to sound like the whole trip was concocted just to surprise Jesse with pizza for dinner tonight. Matt ended with, "Wasn't that nice of Gabey to go get this pizza for you?" J's response: "Well, I like Little Caesars, and... is this Little Caesars?"
Actually, it was Domino's. (Little Caesars was closed.) Sorry Domino's, a consensus has officially been reached. Y'all are pathetic compared to the classic five-buck-pizza.

In other quotables, Jesse's dinnertime prayer last night included a request to "Please let Jesus come and see us for a while." Tonight's contained, "Please don't let Jesus get killed by the bad guys again." (I should note here that we have explained how Jesus allowed some bad men to hurt and kill Him because of Heavenly Father's promise that if Jesus did these certain things for us, families can be together forever, etc. This will obviously be an ongoing discussion.)

A couple weeks ago we were in the car when Jesse had some questions. "Mommy, next time it rains can you show me the rainbow?"
"Of course, Baby."
"And can we go outside and play with it?"
...Oh and yes, in case you're wondering, I am in love with the boy.

It was that same car trip, when out of nowhere I was very urgently briefed. "Mom, we have a problem." His voice held all the panic of a mouse on a glue trap, trying to keep its cool. "WHERE IS GRANDPA JIM GONNA SIT?? There's a seat right here (gesturing to the front passenger seat) and Grandma Kay can sit in it. And you will sit there, and me and Gabey and Jakey will sit back here, and THERE'S NO PLACE FOR GRANDPA JIM!"
I told him all about rental cars, and he listened patiently, then sounded both relieved and astounded as he responded, "Oh. That's weally cool!"

So while it's at the very least entertaining to be around the kid, there's just no guessing what excitement the next moment may hold. I can only imagine what Gabey and Jakey will have to say as their vocabularies increase. I admit, I'm morbidly curious.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Good Ol' Abe!

"You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves."

~ Abraham Lincoln

News Letter

Friday, July 17, 2009

More Men!

J wasn't feeling well and kept going inside and back out. Couldn't quite resist.

Jesse's picture of himself

They built a jail, guarded by Army dudes.

I was running low on blankets so I threw him on a towel to sleep, and he found this thumb! SO FREAKING CUTE.

Whenever the girls come over, every single toy from the toy room gets dragged out. Check out the destruction in the background! Impressive, no? Even better than what my kids normally do!

I know, I need to take more of the other boys. Jakey's just changing so fast I've been focusing mostly on him. I'll do better next time.