Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kicking off the season in high gear!

Last year, I did pretty much NOTHING for Christmas. There was no gingerbread house, nothing homemade, we may have gone and looked at Christmas lights once. It was just a very crazy year. The babies were starting to "wake-up" (you know where they go from sleeping all the time to crying all the time.) We also had a flood in our basement a couple of days before Thanksgiving and lived on one level until new years! All gifts were store bought and I didn't give a single neighbor gift. I had a hard time listening to all of the fun and traditional holiday activities everyone else was doing. It just wasn't in the cards for me last year. But it is this year, and I am going to blog about it! Just in case I have another year where life doesn't lend itself to holiday magic, I can look back and realize it is just a season.

So far this year, the only flood we have had was yesterday, when Max decided to see how much toilet paper he could put down the drain and then filled the sink with water!

Yesterday we went to the Kaysville City light parade. It was small and short--the way a parade should be. :) We had a lot of fun, then we had our neighbors and Josh's parents over for hot chocolate. I even made it from scratch! It was a great night.

See that lady in in the picture (on the left) she has 15 month old triplets. Is it crazy that I am a little jealous? 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Almost 100

My Grandpa Anderson would be 100 on Monday. To honor him and my grandma, my family is having a family reunion tomorrow. I can't be there. But I am so thankful for them! Here are some memories I have of them!
My Grandparents
Joseph Arvin Anderson and Georgia Olsen Anderson; most people called them Arvin, and Georgia but I just called them Grandma and Grandpa. I feel very blessed that I got to grow up so close to my maternal grandparents. I wasn’t as blessed as my cousins that lived across the street or in the same town, but we were about two-and-a-half hours from my grandparents. I felt I was pretty blessed in comparison to some kids. Especially considering my paternal grandparents were a whole state away—I thought two-and-a-half hours was wonderful.
The drive to Mesa was full of excitement and anticipation. I could hardly wait to see my grandparents and spend time with my extended family. With seven kids in our family, my parents never owned a vehicle that had enough seat-belts for all of us. As a parent now, I can only imagine my own parents as they loaded up the seven kids in the van. Someone was always on the floor or in a makeshift bed in the “cargo area.” I remember a lot of rounds of the “alphabet game” and countless verses of “99 bottles of ‘pop’ on the wall” in attempts to make the time pass faster. There were a lot of “he touched me”s, and even more “are we there yet”s.
I remember a few times being stuck in traffic and someone having to go to the bathroom. If they announced it at a time where stopping was impossible, then it was always followed up with a sibling making water noises. Most of these games were followed my mom’s suggestion of playing “the quiet game.” I am sure she needed a few moments of peace! We loved the quiet game. We would earn a penny for every mile we could stay quiet. We were sure that we would become rich from such a game. Sometimes the trip got a little crazy but when we got to grandma and grandpa’s it was always worth the it.
My memory can still smell the aroma that greeted us as we would get out of the van. In the winter time the smell of citrus blossoms, and growing fruit would swirl around us and lighten any travel worn mood that may still be lurking. In the summer it was the smell of Bermuda grass cooking in the heat of the blazing sun. If our shoes had ever been kicked off during the road trip, they were instantly put back on in order to walk up the burning front walk to the large wooden door. The door looked like sculpted chocolate as the wood carvings swirled in the dark heavy brown wood. All I knew is that there would be love and laughter (and maybe a little air conditioning) waiting on the other side.
Their beautiful, simple white brick rambler home is still the house that most of my dreams take place in. The bedrooms were few and small but the living area was large and would allow for many guests. To me that home represented what my grandparents held very dear, their family. My grandparents had four daughters and one son. They loved all of their children, and counted their son and daughter-in-laws among them. This granddaughter never heard a negative word about any of them. As much as my Grandma loved her children, she also loved their spouses and her grandchildren just as much! My grandma was a school teacher and loving children came naturally to her, but of all the children she loved in the world, you knew that her grandchildren were priceless to her.
One of my earliest memories of Grandpa was when he would give us “rosy cheeks.” Grandpa would scoop us up in his arms and rub his day old whiskers across our cheeks, giving them a nice rosy glow. I remember asking him to stop—all the while, giggling and loving the feeling of being in his arms. I can still faintly remember his deep crackly voice and his sweet chuckle. The memory of which reminds me of his light hearted spirit and his love for teasing.
Everyone always remembers grandpa being the “snickers man”. I also remember grandma having frozen treats in her freezer and a frozen “snickers” ice cream bar was almost always found among them! I loved the treats they gave us, but more important than sweet food, I remember my grandparents always sharing sweet words.
I remember one time Grandpa called our house and I happened to answer the phone. He didn’t instantly ask for my mom, he chatted with me for a little while. I remember feeling special, and important because he wanted to talk to me! I recall him asking me the normal questions, “how is school? What is going on in your life?” etc.… I loved talking with him. Yet there is one thing that he said to me that I will never forget, “Tiffany” Grandpa said to me, “you are a beautiful girl and someday the boys will be lined up around the block for you.” He probably said that to all of his granddaughters, for he has some beautiful girls, but I felt very special. With those kind words, my grandpa made me feel beautiful.
That experience was just one illustration of the bond that I felt like I had with my grandpa. The other was the song he wrote for me when I was born. My parents had been blessed with four boys in four years. They were rowdy and rough and my mother had given up on the idea of ever having a little girl. To their surprise baby number five was a beautiful baby girl (me!) My grandpa wrote a song about how wonderful having a little girl is. I loved hearing the song. He sang it when I was baptized at the age of 8. My family also sung it to me on the day I got married. It made me feel so special that my grandpa wrote a song for me! When you grow up in a large family, something just for you is rare so that song has meant so much to me.
When you talk about memories of my grandma the first word that comes to mind is teacher and the second is drama.  When I say drama, I don’t mean the current definition of someone who is always creating a scene, and making mountains out of molehills. My grandma used drama to teach, to convey emotion through a message, and most of all to entertain. She wasn’t one who enjoyed conflict, she enjoyed laughter. My grandma could deliver a speech with conviction and a poem with passion. As children we loved to sit and listen as she recited, from memory, dozens of favorite verses that not only entertained but often had a little moral. The best teachers I know are ones that teach in such a way where learning isn’t a chore.
My grandma loved people. She always had kind words to say about everyone. I can’t recall her ever spreading gossip or talking bad about anyone. I remember her open arms and an easy smile for all those she loved. Gladness would spread across her face whenever she saw a friend, or loved one. Grandma was a people person.
There are sounds, sights and smells that always remind me of grandma’s house. One of them is the smell of bacon. Grandma always cooked great food. One night she was at our house because my parents were out of town. Grandma had cooked beef stroganoff for us to eat for dinner. At the time, it wasn’t my favorite meal and I made sure she knew about it. She made sure I knew that complaining about a meal that has been prepared for you is very rude and unacceptable. It was a lesson that I haven’t forgotten.
The sound of a ceiling fan also always reminds me of grandma and grandpa’s house. I spent many nights sleeping in the family room at my grandma’s and they had a ceiling fan. The whirling of the ceiling fan often lulled me to sleep. Spending the night at grandma’s house was great! Grandpa often would make sourdough pancakes and of course there was usually bacon. I remember several occasions where sleeping bags were spread out across the floor and cousin after excited cousin sprawled out across the expanse of the living or family room. Some say our family is different because the cousins are so close. I know that it was nights like these that added to that closeness.
I remember seeing pictures in my Grandparent’s home. There were paintings that adorned the walls, but I remember the pictures of loved ones. Grandma and Grandpa had a missionary table full of their grandchildren that served missions. I remember watching as the first pictures started filling the table. It started with the Simon cousins, which lived far away. Even though they lived across the country, we knew them. My grandma allowed them to be examples in our lives. Then my own brothers started filling up the table. I knew that I wanted to follow the example of my great-grandma, grandma, grandpa, father, brothers, cousins, uncles and countless ancestors and also serve a mission. I was very excited the day that I got to join the missionary table as the first female descendent to serve a full-time mission.
Another picture that was influential in my life was the picture that grandma and grandpa displayed of their wedding day. It always reminded me that we were an eternal family. I knew that because my grandparents were sealed in the temple that we would always be together. It always gave me a reason to do my best, to be part of our large eternal family.
The most recent memory I have of Grandma and Grandpa Anderson was November 29, 2008. They both had passed away by this time. That was the day that I was sealed for time and all eternity to my sweetheart, and my two little boys. There were so many of our friends and family there with us. As I looked around and saw the faces of those I loved, my spirit felt the presence of those whom could not be seen. My grandparent’s presence was so strong—I could tell you exactly where they were standing.
Through this and other experiences—I know families are forever. I am so glad that I have such amazing grandparents. Their legacy will live on. I enjoy telling my children about my grandparents. They have left us with so much to aspire to. I pray I can do just that.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Where have I been? Eating a little humble pie.

         I love Thanksgiving. I have such a testimony of gratitude . . . or so I thought. I believe that we need to express our gratitude for all that we have in life. I have so many things to be thankful for. Yet while I was trying really hard this month to focus on the things I was thankful for, the things that I wasn't thankful for seemed to pervade my mind. I know that it is okay to want things to be different, because I also believe in goals, dreams, and aspirations. The way I want things to be seems to have taken over me lately though. I got frustrated and lost sight of what I really have. I was reminded today that we are commanded to be thankful in all things. That is right folks, ALL things.
          Have you read "The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom? If you haven't, go check it out of your local library right now! Or, better yet, order right now. It is a classic. It is a true story about Corrie and her sister Betsie, whom helped smuggle Jews out of Holland. Wonderful-story, short--They get caught and are sent to a concentration camp. Betsie is the most thankful person alive. She is religiously devout and shares her beliefs with others in the concentration camp. They get moved to a camp where they are in a room swarming with fleas. Corrie is horrified by the situation and Betsie suggests that they offer a prayer of gratitude for their new accommodations. Corrie states that there is no-way that she could be grateful for fleas. Betsie reminds her that they are commanded to be grateful in all things. So they offer the prayer and later learn that they are able to hold a nightly scripture class with other prisoners only because the guards won't go in that room, because of the fleas.
         It was such a good reminder this morning to be thankful for all things. In the Doctrine and Covenants it states four times that all things shall work together for your good. (D&C 90:24, 98:3, 100:15, 105:40.) That means that we should not only say that we are thankful for our trials, and the "less than perfect" circumstances in our lives, we really should be thankful for them! How do you know that you are thankful for something? You express it! So here are at least 8 things (to make-up for my week off) that I am thankful for today. Some of them may have been things that I previously had a hard time with, but I won't tell you which ones because that wouldn't be fair!
  1. Our van. It gets us places safely. I am able to fit all of my kids in there, in their car seats. I can usually get music to play on the radio. Silence is a nice alternative though sometimes.  It has taken me to Arizona three times this year to see my family. Did I mention that it runs?!?! It even passes safety and emissions! What a wonderful car.
  2. My four wonderful kids, so close together.There are so many wonderful things about having so many kids, so close together! My kids are great friends. Today Buddy wanted to go play with a friend, but he didn't want to go by himself. Moo-moo couldn't play with friends because he had chosen not to do his job. Both of the boys were upset about not being able to be with each other. The twins have a hard time being without each other also, and the four of them all adore each other. Don't read too much into this either and think my kids have the perfect relationship--this post though is to write about the positive and I won't discredit that by writing things that are negative.
  3. My marriage. I know earlier in the month I wrote about being thankful for my husband, but a marriage is so different than a person. When I got married, my family didn't know my husband very well. He had only been home to meet my family one time. There were many who where concerned about my choice. I wasn't one of them--at the time. If I have ever had a time I have a moment where I question my choice, God reminds me why we were suppose to be together. We compliment each other in so many ways. Sometimes in a marriage, it is the yin and yang and is the hardest. Those are the places where you learn to stretch and grow. Stretching and growing isn't always pleasant, but that is why I am thankful for my marriage. I have grown so much, and my husband has too.
  4. My husband's job. I am so thankful that he is employed! We have an income!
  5. Neighbors. I am blessed with a host of neighbors whom would do anything for me!
  6. Self reflection. Okay this one I will tell you--I wasn't thankful for this one. I have eaten humble pie lately. I have realized that things I once prided myself in--I am not that good at. I have a lot of work to do, and sometimes I get very overwhelmed by the amount of work I need to do on myself!
  7. Housework. I am so thankful that I can take a dirty, sloppy room and turn it into a orderly haven. 
  8. My body. I am thankful that I have a body that can work. I can get on the floor and play with my kids. I can take a walk. I have eyes that can see, ears that can hear, a nose that can smell, a mouth that can taste and fingers that can feel.

 God is good! So can you think of some things that you really are blessed to have (even if you once thought that it wasn't a great thing?)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pioneer Heritage

          This chair, that Milzy is sitting in, belonged to her namesake: Helen Amelia Whiting Buchanan. It was made by her father, Edwin Whiting. Helen Amelia was my great-great-great Grandmother. Her family crossed the plains when she was 12 years old. My grandmother has a cross-stitch that she did when she was just a little girl. I love that I come from Mormon Pioneer stock. I saw the movie 17 Miracles for the first time yesterday. It was a lot more graphic than I thought it would be. I have heard the stories, I have been to a couple of sites even, but there is so much power in film. Most pioneer companies didn't face those types of hardships. Some of my ancestors came across in a company that didn't lose anyone. The trek was a few months. Can you imagine those few months though? They were amazing people. I am thankful for all that they sacrificed for me. I am thankful for their strength, for it teaches me that I can also have strength in my trials. I am thankful for their faith, for it shows me that even if it doesn't make sense now--it will someday. If they can carry on through faith through their trials, I can also. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Double duty

I totally forgot to post what I was thankful for yesterday! So today I will be doing double duty. I am going to keep it simple tonight--no long wordy-posts . . . well less wordy at least!
  • I am thankful for my home. I don't live in a large house. I live in a small, simple house. In fact it is so small, I had a couple of people ask me if we were going to move when I had the twins. It is an old house, a simple house. There are no frill and no luxuries, by local standards. There isn't even a master-bathroom. I love it! I love that my kids can't get lost in our house. I love that it forces all of us to be together. I love that it is warm and cozy. I love that it protects us from storms. I love that it is big enough to have room to play and learn. I love that it is simple. I love the flowing creek in my backyard. I love the cherry and peach trees. I love my neighborhood. I love my house and the people that live in it. I am thankful for my small, simple home.
  • I am thankful that the twins are becoming toddlers. Even though I think babies become toddlers when they WALK, they are still entering into that phase. There is just so much personality and and discoveries EVERYDAY! I love it! It is such a fun age! Honestly all my kids are in a very fun stage right now. The only compensation for all of my kids growing up is that I love who they are becoming!

Too Late?

My little devil and angel
Finally I got around to doing the Halloween pictures. I know it is a little late, but better late than never, right? Halloween was pretty low-key this year. I did a lot more for the holiday last year when I had two brand new infants. Then again, I wasn't teaching preschool or taking a writing class. I have to admit though, two toddlers is busier than two infants!

I have a hard time getting this boy to look at the camera long enough to get a picture! Most of the time his face is just blurry!

Josh Made his costume 100% by himself! I love being married to such a creative man.

Halloween breakfast.

Here is the whole crew ready to trick or treat!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Those who risk their lives

My dad and his sisters
We all have a part to play in this world. Some fulfill their life mission, and some don't. Babies and small children sometimes fulfill their life missions within a matter of minutes, days, or a few years. Some of us take a little longer. And even a few, wish their life mission was already past. This has been on my mind a lot in the past few years. I honestly believe that there is a place for everyone on this earth. I was taught, and fully believe, that all of us can teach each other something. Not all of us will get paid or praised for our life's work, but it all truly matters. 
     Some people were put on this earth to be warriors; whether they wage social, spiritual, or civil wars. It is who they are inside—not even physically, but emotionally. Those individuals stand up when others retreat, and they fight when others would flee. Where would we be without warriors? Well, nowhere. The first predatory animal that came our way, we would have become as extinct as the dodo bird.
            War has been waged throughout the ages, some of it justified, and some not. There have been warriors to fight those battles and I am thankful. I am especially thankful for those individuals that may not have warrior’s blood running through their veins, but they fought anyway. Whether they lived or died, won or lost, their wiliness to do it for the greater good matters. When was the last time you were willing to sacrifice yourself for others? Maybe not even your life, but your pride? Some people put their lives on the front line for us. When was the last time you were willing to be mocked or made fun of, for something that you believed in?
            I am truly thankful today for all of the veterans and all whom have served in the military, war or peacetime. I am thankful for what they sacrificed for our country—my grandfather, father, Uncle, and two brothers especially. I am thankful for the spouses, children and parents whom also sacrifice so much. The veterans of our country’s willingness to sacrifice their lives for me is very humbling.
            How do we repay that sacrifice? I don’t believe that my mission in life is to be on the battle front of wars. But looking at the example of those who serve, gives me the courage to fight the battles in my life that need to be fought. It also helps me to sacrifice myself, and especially my pride, for the greater good. And I feel very blessed that those that give, so unselfishly help to protect my right to follow my heart, to fulfill my life’s mission—whatever that may be.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The pursuit of education

       I am combining a little of what I am thankful for and some scrapbookin' tonight. I am thankful for the pursuit of education. My definition of "education" has changed a lot in this past year. I thought that the more educated one was, the more degrees he could hang on his wall. I have since realized that true education is never a destination. True education is a living, breathing process. I have a bachelors degree and some classes under my belt for a masters.
     I use to be a social worker and was paid for my expert advice and opinions by the government, especially concerning certain individuals, that were assigned to my care. Am I an expert on social norms anymore? I would have to confess, no. Maybe I still know more than the average "Joe" but my proficiency would be lacking. Was my "education" a waste? NO!
     Education is never a waste. See in my formal education what I learned the most, was how to continue to seek an education. A day never passes that I don't read something.  If I need to learn to crochet, or need to know more about grass-fed beef, or home education,  I read, I learn, I practice, I fail, and sometimes I succeed. I also take classes and learn from others who have a passion for what they teach. I love learning and I am so thankful that I have recently discovered that I don't need a university to tell me that I know something. If I want to know something, then I need to seek great mentors through formal, or informal paths. 
       My husband did not have a desire for a formal education when we first met. He struggled through public school, and had been told that college was not for him. He was made to feel inferior, and unintelligent by the very teachers that should have been empowering him and teaching him. I am not sure he would really want me to go into a lot of detail of the events that occurred in his life that led him to believe this, so we will leave that as his story to tell. 
     Yet my story to tell is that shortly after we were married he discovered something in himself. The company that he was working for, at the time, was moving to a new building. He had  a few spare moments so in the computer program paint, yes--the free one that comes on your computer, he sketched up the floor plan for the new building. At the time drafters were in great demand, and I told him that people get paid to do that all day long. He decided to look into it. 
     Shortly after Turner was born, Josh started going to school full time and working full time. Unfortunately the local university didn't have a drafting course he could take at night. We soon discovered that the technical school in our town offered a night drafting course. He completed that program with a lot of effort and dedication. It took him three years of going to school four nights a week, but he stuck to it, and accomplished his goal.
     He didn't want to participate in the graduation ceremony. I convinced him that we needed to celebrate OUR accomplishment! I had worked harder for his trade certificate than I did for my own degree. I sat in the ceremony, and realized that most of our country wouldn't see much significance in a trade school graduation. For us, for our family, it was an amazing feat. No matter how great or how small the world may deem his accomplishments, the accomplishment of his goal was the real prize. 

Getting his metal. That is what they did instead of caps 'n gowns

Showing it off! Doesn't he look thrilled?

Contemplating about what to do with the rest of his life.

Don't we look cute?

The whole lot of us!

Josh and his parents

Smothered with kisses

The whole support team
Now if only the world hadn't changed in the last 5 years and there was employment for drafters still!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


     I just got back from my last writing class. It is late and I am so ready for bed. Today was my first day trying to function as an adult again, and it didn't go so well. So today's post is short and sweet. I am thankful for computers. If you know me well, you know that I am a in-person kind of person. I need people, and not just on the screen. Yet, I am a once-you-are-in-my-life-you-are-always-in-my-life kind of person as well. (spell check is not loving that huge word I just made up! Oh well, spell check--deal!) So I am thankful for the computer so that I can keep in contact with family and old friends. I love seeing pictures of all the people that I love.
      I also love writing so I can just put my ramblings out there for all to read. Yes, like April told me, a public journal. The first time that I read a blog that is exactly what I thought, "why would you put this out there for anyone to read?" So, if you think my blog is too intimate, then you would not be invited to read my personal journal. Well, no one is--except my husband who doesn't feel like he should anyway. (What is he afraid of?
A raw look at what I think and feel--that is exactly what he would get!)
     Lastly I love my computer because I love having a wealth of information right at my fingertips. For all of the evil and stupidity that is out there on the internet, there is some great knowledge and information also. So if I ever did become Amish--which I have been tempted to do--I think my computer is the one thing that would be the hardest for me to give up. Love ya girl!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thankful for twins

     Toop-Toop has seemed to master the kiss this last week. All things social, he tends to be a little behind his overly social sister. He also learned to wave, and say "bye" today. Toop-Toop and Milzy make quite a pair, as she is always saying "hi," and now he says "bye." Yet, the kiss, is by far my favorite accomplishment of the week. Every mother waits for the day when her baby attacks her over and over with those petite kisses. Toop-Toop didn't start with the traditional open-mouth kiss, he went strait to the pucker. My favorite thing is that he hums the ascending kiss hum (the mu of muah) and plants the tiny pucker wherever his face happens to land. He then breaks into this mammoth coat-hanger-smile, knowing that he just did something great.

     Tonight I got to witness what only 1 in 100 other moms get to witness, one twin practicing his kisses on his twin sibling. Milzy wasn't interested in being target practice tonight, which delighted Toop-Toop even more. It also delighted their older siblings. They cheered Toop-Toop on in his menacing pursuits. It was one of those moments that, even though Milzy was a little annoyed, just over-joyed this thankful mother's heart. These are the little moments that family memories are made of. I love being a mom of my four amazing miracles!

Monday, November 7, 2011


I have 3 followers now! Wahoo!! I love my friends ;)

Feeling blessed!

". . . and their mourning was turned into joy, and their lamentations into the praise and thanksgiving unto the Lord Jesus Christ, their Redeemer." 

     I am so thankful today for women of service. Yesterday after church, my neighbor called, and asked why we weren't there. I explained my current situation. Instantly she asked what she could do to help. She volunteered to take my kids today and bring me dinner. My big boys went there while the twins and I napped for 3 hours this morning! Yes, the babies slept for 3 hours straight! It was such a delight! I woke up a little before the babies and got a shower. It was a slight miracle that I was able to shower myself and so I was feeling a bit beat by the time Toop Toop woke up. I was just holding him for a minute when the same dear neighbor called and said that her sister-in-law, who is also an amazing neighbor, was going to come and pick up the twins and take all my kids to her house for the afternoon. I have been blessed!
     I often find myself on the receiving end of service. It is very hard for me. I watched my mom struggle with the same thing. As a teenager, my mother had some severe trouble with her knees. She has since had both of them replaced. When she started struggling with the pain, it seemed the hardest thing for her was the service being rendered. I thought that was silly because if no one accepts the service, then no one can give it! I have since learned how hard it really is to accept service. I have tried to accept service with a smile on my face, because we all know I have needed it. One time I told a friend who had come over and cleaned my kitchen that I felt bad. She looked at me and said, "I don't want you to feel bad, I want to to feel blessed."  I hope that someday I can be those hands of service to someone in need. I want to bless other people's lives.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Oh the things we take for granted!

     My two followers and my aunt, who reads my blog, I am sure have noticed my absence. I had promised a post everyday in November of something I was grateful for. It isn't that I didn't want to, couldn't find something to be grateful for, or didn't have time. I physically couldn't get to the computer. Even now, the pain in my back is a lot to bear. So it all started last Wednesday when my back started feeling a little sore. This happens to me quite a bit. I have two 20 lb. weights that I frequently swing around. Both of my twins like to be carried around and both refuse, even at the age of 15 months, to walk. My back was bugging me but, it wasn't anything unbearable. I went to bed later that night and woke up sometime in the middle of the night with it hurting quite a bit more. I, so brilliantly, decided that the hard wood floor would make a better bed. I went into the living room and laid on the floor. My sweet husband went to work at 6:30 and I got up off the floor to pray with him. I then proceeded to use the restroom. I noticed that I couldn't pull up my pants without a lot of pain so I decided to make my next brilliant move and lay back down on the floor until my kids woke up.
     A little after 7 I had to use the restroom again but this time, I couldn't get up off the floor. I struggled, strained, and told myself to breath through it. I couldn't do it! I called my mother-in-law, who lives half a block away, and asked her to come over. By the times she came, the babies were in in their cribs crying to get out. She quickly got to work feeding and dressing the babies. My father-in-law also came over and tried to help. They made lunches for us but then had to leave due to some doctors appointments. I was still on the floor. I called a neighbor and she came over with her little girl and took care of the kids, put the babies down for a nap, and tried to help but she was no more successful at getting me off the floor. She had brought over a walker to see if that would help me pull myself up but to no avail. She had to go pick up her son from kindergarten and had to leave around 11:30.
     As I lied on the floor I cried, pleaded and worried. I wondered if I would ever be able to get up. I wondered if I would have to call the paramedics. I worried about my kids. I broke down and called Josh at that time and asked him if he could come home. Shortly before his arrival, my mother-in-law came back. By this time the babies had woken up from their naps and Turner and Max had taken them sippy cups and tuna fish sandwiches. I am sure that was the best crib picnic ever! After an hour of Josh and his mom helping and trying to problem solve I was about ready to give up. By this time, I had been on my back for 7 hours, not including the amount of time I had slept on the floor.
     Finally Cathy (my MIL) got a brilliant idea. She took two couch cushions and stacked them on top of each other. The top one she slanted like a ramp. I was able to roll on top of them. From there Josh and Cathy both grabbed a leg and scooted it under me and I could get on all fours! This was progress, painful progress but progress none the less. The next step was for me to pull myself up to a kneeling position using a dining room chair. Every painful step took abut 5 minutes. I then could pull myself up to the armrests and then I pull myself up to a full kneel with the help of a walker. The pain was too much to bear and I had to go back down to the chair. Finally I worked through it and got up to standing and with Josh's help, I was able to go to the bathroom. I sat down on the toilet and almost passed out because of the pain.
     I have had gallbladder attacks, gallbladder surgery, gone through natural childbirth, a twin pregnancy, and the beginning of a c-section without drugs. This was the most pain I had ever dealt with! My wonderful husband has been the sole caregiver to all 5 of us. In addition to me being down, all four of my kids got a little stomach bug. Josh has had to deal with throw-up and diarrhea! My back pain gets a little better everyday, and I haven't had to use the walker all day today. I am thankful it is getting better but it looks like it is still a long road ahead. The doctor said 2-3 weeks! Holy moley!
     I have had a lot of time to reflect on the things that I am grateful for. First off is my relative-good health. There are those who suffer through chronic pain everyday of their lives. I can't imagine! Second, is modern medicine. I am not a huge fan of meds. or going to the doctor. I try not to do it as much as possible. The doctor I went to see on Friday was the king of clueless doctors, but he could prescribe some ibuprofen and muscle relaxers. They have helped to take the edge off and I am thankful for that. I am also thankful for the walker my friend lent me. Someday I might have to use one of those full time and believe me they help a lot! Third, is my wonderful kids who decided to get sick while mommy was out of commission. Thank you for saving me from this round of vomit and diarrhea! Fourth, and last (for today) is my in-laws. They have brought us dinner twice, took care of my kids on Thursday and have offered a lot of advice and support. I am glad that they are only a phone call away when crisis strikes!
     It has taken me all day to type this so a review isn't on the docket- please forgive my errors! I hope you can understand my drug induced ramblings. Hopefully I will be able to post everyday again!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Stalwart Friends

". . . worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you." Alma 34:38

In my life right now, I don't have a lot of close friends. Scratch that, it isn't true. I have more close friends than most. I am very blessed in the friend department. What is lacking is geography. Most of my dear friends are far away. I don't have a close friend that lives close. I have a few friends that I can talk to about the weather, her kids, my kids, my lack of a shower that day et cetera, but a true blue, I can show up at your house with all four of my kids, still in pajamas, and cry on your floor for no reason at all, type of friend (just an example because we all know I have never needed that.) Or a friend that we can laugh at nothing until "tears" run down our legs—I have needed that—a lot.
I have often felt alone, and quite honestly forsaken. I have struggled, since I have been married, to feel like I belong somewhere. I know I belong at home with my children but that isn't enough for me. The closeness I had with friends growing up completely spoiled me. My college roommates and the roommates I had after college continued to spoil me. I have been very blessed. Josh is a great companion and provides so much yet, I have felt a void.
I am not saying that I have never felt this before marriage because that wouldn't be true. I have felt it several times in my life. One of those times was the first time I moved to Utah. My freshman year in college had been filled with too much fun, so I moved to Utah to try to get a little more serious about my studies. My sophomore year proved to be the complete opposite of my freshman year. I lived with a friend from home who was going through a very serious internal struggle. She never did open up to me about it, and only years later did I figure out that she was losing her testimony and embracing her alternative sexuality. The other two girls in my apartment were very close, and my ward was very lacking in the friend department. I remember being on the phone crying to my mother that I didn't have a friend at all. My wise mother told me that sometimes we go through times of loneliness, so that we will turn to the Lord for comfort.
I have remembered those words often. Usually as soon as I turn my heart, windows of friendship are opened up to me. Sometimes I still wonder why that hasn't happened yet where I live now, in this season of life, but it hasn't. I am sure it is because I still have so much to learn.
            There Lord has been my one constant friend. I have turned to Him through prayer, fasting and most of all reading the scriptures. Through the scriptures, I have found peace, love and even the friendship that I have so longed for. This is what I am thankful for today: my scriptures.
Elder Richard G. Scott gave a wonderful conference talk that helped put words to my feelings about my scriptures. He stated that "They [scriptures] can become stalwart friends that are not limited by geography or calendar." I have found this to be true in my life. They are the means by which I can have a conversation with my Father in Heaven. The greatest thing is that the advice I receive from them, is always sound and usually emphatically tailored to me. I love arising early, before anyone else is awake, and having such a conversation with my Father in Heaven. 
I am so thankful that I live in a day where I have the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Together there is less room for interpretation by man and more room for precise direction. Every time I want a feast, there is one waiting. As Bonnie D. Parkin calls it, "Fat-free Feasting!" In a time where the world is so full of imitations when it comes to food, philosophy, spirituality, and even friendship (i.e. Facebook), I am grateful to have something real. I am thankful for the scriptures and that I can turn to them when I need a true friend—in my pajamas, on the floor, crying if needs be!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"with thanksgiving let your request be made known"

     "Be careful [JST: afflicted] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made know unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
     I have been struggling a lot lately. Mostly due to a very full plate which is unfortunately fixed for the moment. As much as I long to scrape some of it off into the compost bin, I can't. When people comment on the fact that I "must be busy." I usually retort with "Better busy than bored," or "A busy life is a good life." Yet, in reality I do think that there is a point where too busy is not better than bored and too busy is not a good life. I am there. I just happen to have too much on my plate right now physically, mentally, and emotionally. The interesting thing is that the only way I can deal with it is spiritually.
     I read the above scripture this morning and a peace washed over me. Of all the things on my plate, of everything I am worried about, I am counseled to be afflicted for nothing. If I pour my heart out to God in prayer with thanksgiving, His peace will keep my heart and mind. In times of strife and great stress, I am told to be thankful.
     November is one of my favorite months of the year for the very reason that it is the month of Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for the opportunity to focus on what we have and what we have been blessed with. I am going to post something that I am thankful for everyday.
My Amazing husband! (He will kill me if he sees this!)
     Today it is an amazingly wonderful husband. Last night I went to bed with a mind full of things I needed to get done before preschool this morning. I woke up around 3 and couldn't go back to sleep because of everything on my mind. Finally at 4:15 I got up because I was making myself sick with thoughts everything I needed to do. One of those things was clean up the basement. I hadn't touched the basement since our Halloween party at preschool. It was a disaster! I came downstairs and it was all picked up. Not only the school room but the whole basement. There was a huge pile of things that needed to be put away at the bottom of the stairs and it was all gone. The family room was a wreck but it had all been picked up. There were hundreds of foam stickers on the floor from our party and this morning, there was no trace of them. Sometime after I fell asleep, my husband must have got up and quietly came downstairs to do this for me. With tears in my eyes, I knelt down and thanked my Father in Heaven for such a wonderful companion. (I also felt slightly guilty for pushing him away when he tried to cuddle up to me!) 
     Marriage is tough. It is a refiners fire. Sometimes I get very impatient with the process of learning and growth we both go through. Today I am thankful for it. I am so glad that I was given the perfect man for me. Not the man that made my life perfect, but the one that helps me to grow in the ways I need to. No matter how hard married life is sometimes, I am glad that I get to do it with Josh. He is my favorite person to be with!