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!