Monday, April 30, 2012

Unless you're related to me...

Unless you call Braeden grandson, nephew or cousin, you may want to skip this post.

(You may want to skip it anyway.)

This is the post where I indulge in pictures from Seussical.  Bear with me while I get it out of my system.  I sort of can't help myself.

These are from the opening scene:


two very talented girls


The Wickershams:



torturing poor Horton the elephant

I want a dress like the Bird Girls'.

swooning over Mayzie

the one in green is my favorite

I loved the Circus McGurkus scene:



The circus train:

notice the sign...they're in Snohomish!


One of Adam's favorite characters was General Genghis Khan Schmitz.  He scared children out of their wits.




These kids are so funny...




I couldn't get enough of the Cat in the Hat and Thing 1 and Thing 2:




Or Gertrude:




And I loved the Whos:




Mark's favorite part was the cameo played by his T Rex:



I watched the play six times.


I could watch it six more.






OK.  I'll stop now.


All photos courtesy of Sam Freeman at Northwest Theater Events.  What?  Did you think I suddenly got some camera skills?

Friday, April 27, 2012

May I suggest



Maybe I'm the last one to know, but recently I discovered Bar Keepers Friend cleanser.  I had heard about it and seen it recommended in magazines enough that I decided to give it a try.  I didn't think it would be much different than my old standby, Comet.

I love this stuff though!  I am not a bar keeper but I am a house keeper and my housekeeping can use all the friends it can get.  It made my kitchen sink SO clean.  (Sometimes it feels a little pathetic, the things that thrill me.  Other times, it seems quite reasonable.  A clean, really clean sink! Fabulous!)

I also love it for my glass cooktop on my stove.  It works better than the other cleaner I have for that, the one whose sole purpose in life is supposed to be to clean my cooktop.

Here's a caution:  if you have an enthusiastic nine-year old who is generous and liberal in his use of cleaning products, you may want to ban them from this product, as I have done.  Mark cleaned my tub with it and he used A LOT.  I don't think the Mississippi delta has that much silt.  After I finally got the tub all rinsed, I gave Mark some spray cleaner and told him to lay off the Bar Keepers Friend.

It is no friend of his.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Desi, don't go!

Marianne told me that her daughter, Deseret, said, "I am going to stop reading Thelma's blog.  It's too depressing."

No, she wasn't talking about my blurry pictures or grammatical errors or narcissism.  She was comparing her school to Braeden's school.

I don't want Desi to stop reading my blog because 1) frankly, I need all the readers I can get (see blurry pictures, grammatical errors and narcissism) and 2) I love Deseret and don't want her to feel sad because of me.

Desi goes to the same school I went to, the same school her mother went to, the same school her grandparents went to.  (And I think our combined efforts have compensated for the trouble my dad caused when he was there.)



It's a good place.

They don't have a large drama department, complete with a costume room, make up room and workshop for set design.  They never will. 

That's the thing with comparisons.  You can compare yourself to someone else all day and night and nothing good will come of it except you'll feel bad.

Dear Desi, consider the wonderful things about your school.  Because they are there.  In six years at that school (7th -12th grades), I didn't have a lock on my locker and it would have been inconceivable to have something stolen.  I didn't lock my car either.  No one did. You are likely given the benefit of the doubt 9 times out of 10 by your teachers.  They know you.  They know your mom and dad.  They know your older sister.  When I went there, I was a Dahl and I was Marianne's sister and that helped.  You're Marianne's daughter.  Wowee wow wow.

You'll have the same teachers over and over.  Whether they're good or bad teachers, this can be an advantage.  You will learn their style.  You will learn how to get good grades from them.  You will learn which teachers will let you get away with things and how often. 

You have all sorts of opportunities.  You can participate in just about any activity you choose, concurrently.  They'll work around you.  If you have sports practice, play practice will be later.  If you're in the pep band and on the basketball team, you can do both.  You'll slip from the court to the band and it will work.  (Ask your mom about running off the basketball court to play the drums.)

And on maybe the biggest payday of small school life, someday it will be your graduation.  The whole town will show up and they'll all know you because they've watched you participate in everything just like they watched your mom participate in everything.  They'll be rooting for you.  Your teachers will have an invested interest in your after high school plans because you are such a part of their lives.  Your graduating class will feel like your family; kids you've spent enough time with that you know all their birthdays, you know their brothers and sisters and where their parents work, you know their plans and dreams.

Someday you may move away from your small town and infrequently visit your high school but if you're like me, when you once again walk down those halls, you'll feel the support of a tiny school in a tiny town permeating you still.

At Wells High School, I was somebody and I was loved.  And that matters.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Pinewood Derby

Mark explaining the finer features of his car...he was a little (or a lot) red faced from running around with his friends.
Here's what I appreciate about the Pinewood Derby:

1) Adam to help Mark with the car.

2) The Design Mom for a design idea.

Mark's car:  complete with headphones.

3) Mark didn't place in the top three so we are not moving on to the district championships.

4) The good good leaders that patiently organize and run the race.

5) Mark's car made it down the track. 

6) Adam sent me home afterward and he and Braeden stayed to help to clean up.

Cub scouts in general is loud and head-ache inducing.  It is always chaotic.  It's sort of great too though.  There are cute boys who are sweet and enthusiastic combined with diligent leaders that make it all happen with a smile on their faces.

What's not to love?  (Especially when Adam sends me home afterward and he and Braeden stay to help clean up.)
 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My boys

1)  Mark has been missing Braeden.

Overheard:

Mark:  Do you even know what's been going on in this family?  I will tell you.  I started algebra yesterday!

Braeden:  Really?  With variables?

Mark:  um...

(editorial comment:  Mark didn't start algebra.)

2)  Braeden put on some pajamas he hadn't worn in awhile. (It's possible he's grown a bit lately.)


3)  Mark loves nothing more than taunting me about corn dogs which are nasty and shouldn't be consumed even in dire circumstances.  He and Adam texted this picture to me:

Notice Mark's extended pinkie.  We're pretty aristocratic like that.

They went to Wienerschnitzel.   Without me.  (Thankfully.)


4) Sunday afternoon I was tired (and uncharacteristically quiet).  Braeden was trying to cheer me up.  He said, "Mom, I don't know what we'd do without you.  I mean, after the party."

5) Mark built a little Lego something and I guess decided the architectural wonders of the world should be paying homage to it.



6) We stopped by at Whitney and Kelly's house.  They are moving (sniff) and had some treasures in the Goodwill pile that our boys intercepted.

Denim overalls (which were pulled on over Braeden's shorts, right there in the front yard), fur coat, blonde wig, hat.




I am so glad I have Emma.

Monday, April 23, 2012

One weekend down, one to go

I don't have any pictures of Braeden's Seussical performance...maybe after next weekend.  Instead you can see the treats I made for the concession stands.


I took the idea directly from pinterest.  I'm really not that clever on my own.

Are you getting tired of me writing about Seussical?  It's hard not to write about something that's been filling me up so completely.

Opening night was spectacular.  I loved every minute of it.  Except maybe the part when I was sitting next to one of the vice principals at the school.  We were having a lovely chat.  I mentioned that I'd homeschooled--it made sense in the context of the conversation--and her face soured like I'd squirted her with lemon juice.

(A lot of times, after I talk to a stranger, I wish I hadn't.)

But there are also plenty of strangers that I am glad I now know.

I loved after opening night exchanging exclamations of joy with other parents whose acquaintances I have made.  We were all exultant.  It was a thrill to watch our children have so much fun.

Saturday afternoon the show wasn't full.  I wanted it full!  They've worked so hard and I wanted their efforts rewarded by a full audience.  (It didn't help that it was a rare gorgeous day...people probably wanted to be outside.)

So now I keep "casually" mentioning the show to people and then I feel really awkward.  I am not a fan of promoting myself.  Promoting my children isn't much easier.

(A lot of times when I talk, I wish I hadn't.)

Saturday night's show was well attended.  Also, it made me laugh and made me incredibly happy.  One of the other mothers told me she'll cry when it's over and I think I will too.

Afterward, Braeden was full of energy and adrenaline and pure joy.  We relented to him going off with some of his friends.  I am young enough to remember how fun that was. I am old enough to feel nervous about him being with a carload of exuberant teenagers.  I am young enough that this is a new experience for me.   I am old enough to believe Geri when she told me to relax.  We were sitting at Applebee's and I was anxiously scanning the parking lot, waiting to see where he was.  A riotous group of ecstatic teenagers congregated on one side of the restaurant (heaven help the waitresses) and we were on the other. 

After Braeden and his friends arrived, he came over to our table because he didn't have any money.  His uncle Kelly slipped him some money amidst our protests.  Braeden took the money and kissed Kelly on the top of his head.  He was giddy and it was that kind of a night.

Here's something I know for sure:  seeing your kids happy is the most direct route to happiness.

Friday, April 20, 2012

May I suggest

I want to suggest an easy way to take care of family dinners.

Oh, did you think this was going to be a post on great ways to feed your family?

Because it's not.  And when I say I suggest, I don't really mean it.  (This has been a little crazy.)

I have found that the easiest way to make mealtimes easy is to not have them.

My little cog in the huge wheel that is the production of a musical at Braeden's school is to be the coordinator for the meals.  The last week plus of practice they go late into the night and the parents feed them.  So I've been feeding over a hundred people every night.  Cast, crew, orchestra musicians, parent volunteers, directors.  It's quite a production (and wouldn't be possible without all the monumental help from other parents...here's looking at you, Janet).

Here's who I have not been feeding:  my own family.

Last Friday we started the meals and I have no idea what my own family ate.

Saturday we had an evening adult stake conference session.  I had an apple before we left and Adam and I (and some friends) went out to Applebee's afterward and I had an ice cream sundae.  I don't know what our children ate.  (I know, I know, at this point, you're wishing I were your mom, right?)

Sunday:  we actually had dinner as a family.

Monday:  I brought home some leftover lasagna from the dinner we fed the masses.

Tuesday:  I took everyone to Shake and Go for hamburgers to repay them for the slave labor of helping me serve.

Wednesday:  I think Emma and Mark had fish sticks.  I also brought home a pizza from Little Caesar's because 1) it is on the way home and 2) Mark had called me a few times to tell me the fish sticks weren't doing it for him and 3) I knew when Braeden got home at 10:30 he'd be famished and cold pizza would make him happy.  It did.

Thursday:  I brought home leftover clam chowder because I made about three times too much.

I don't know what else we'll eat this weekend with all the hullabaloo surrounding the performances.  Sunday I am going out on a limb and making dinner, though.  It will be a big moment.  (Assuming I still remember how to make dinner.)

Two good things about all this:  Emma and Mark are remarkably resilient it turns out.  Good kids.  And, we've had very few dishes to wash.

Bonus.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Without you I'm not OK

Yesterday I was changing the sheets on our boys' beds.  They are bunk beds which I love except for when I'm trying to change the sheets.  I feel like I deserve some sort of medal after I wrestle with that top bunk.

Anyway.

Braeden still has the same mattress we bought for him when he was a toddler.  It reminded me of how I felt then.  Overwhelmed.

When I considered that we had to buy him a bed, I wondered how we were going to possibly do it.  Because after a bed, a whole progression of purchases followed in my mind.  Bicycles, clothes, shoes, milk.  How were we ever going to afford this kid?  (And my mind didn't even jump to braces or college.)

A bed seemed like the gateway purchase.  He was no longer a roly-poly cherub with a snug little crib.  He was a big boy and would keep getting bigger.

I want to go back in time and pat my silly self on the head and tell her it will all be all right.

I'd like to think that I have progressed past premature panicking.

Except I haven't.

This week Braeden has been getting home late every night because he has play practice.  I trade off propping my eyes open with toothpicks and yawning, waiting for him to get home.  Adam tells me to go to bed and that is hard to do.  My boy's not home.

This makes me feel a little overwhelmed.  I start spiraling into a no-my-baby-can't-grow-up-and-leave-me tailspin.  I need my children around me.  I need them at my table at mealtimes.  I need them in their beds at night.  I need them driving me crazy with requests and I need them making messes and making me laugh. (I need to get over all this because they're growing up.)

Besides, if I'm not able to sleep unless my boy is home, I kind of think I'm in trouble.  This is just the beginning.

Someday he will go to college.  That's going to be a long time with no sleep.  (I'm really not very pleasant when I don't sleep, ask anyone.  No don't.)

Something's got to give.




Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Learning from the past part two



It's the not so distant past but when I look around me, it seems like a lifetime ago.

We had our home movies converted to DVD and so are revisiting the olden days.  I love watching videos of my children.  I see my babies on the screen and I want to pick them up.  It all comes back to me.  I completely understand their toddler babble because I used to speak that language.  I remember the sippy cups.  I remember the soft onesies.  I remember the bald fragrant heads and the tender toddler curls.




I remember being exhausted.  I remember being lonely.  I remember being poor.



But when I see video of our children rolling around the floor, wrestling with their dad in our sparsely furnished apartment, I see that you don't need plenty of sleep or nice furniture to be deliriously happy.


You just need love.



And love we had.  


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Learning from the past part one



I hesitate to bring this up because my siblings all seem to have very healthy self esteem as it is, but lately I can't get them out of my head.

I think it's because we've been watching family movies.  We've been watching the ones from when I was little.  I see Enoch, when he was probably two years old,  putting his horses in Olivia's new doll high chair on Christmas morning.  He looks like an impish and charming troublemaker.  Olivia's infuriated.  She flings the horses at Enoch.  She upends the high chair.  She throws her head back and screams.

And I think, There It Is.  My childhood with those two.  Enoch is still charming.  Olivia is still fiercely defending what matters to her. 

There is also old footage of Tabor.  He looks ridiculously happy as a baby, kicking his legs and grinning for the camera like any little boy would who had three adoring older sisters and an older brother who's so thrilled to have a brother he keeps handing him stick horses.  Ammon was serious and pensive as a baby.  He studied the mobile above his crib, probably figuring out how it was built.

Ammon--in the history of the world, has there ever been a cuter little brother?
The video of me is cringe worthy. From the time I was a third grader on, I ducked my head and covered my face and ran out of the room whenever the camera was on.  I was such a shy and weird kid.

I am still that shy and weird kid I guess, I just do a better job hiding it.  (Hopefully?) 

My siblings show up in our more recent family movies too.  Back when we lived in Connecticut we took a trip to Nevada when Tabor left for his mission.  We took some video on the trip.

Marianne:   is pictured with her toddler girls.  She looks the same:  slender, wearing flip flops, exuding relaxed confidence.  (Her toddlers, who are currently 16 and almost 14, look quite different now.)  I don't know what it is about Marianne that puts me at ease.  Even seeing video of her does the trick.  She told me yesterday on the phone that she was given a new church calling:  ward missionary.  That's in addition to being a primary teacher, Webelos leader, merit badge counselor and who knows what else.  Oh, and bishop's wife.  (If you're not a Mormon, you should understand that is A LOT).  She also has six kids and homeschools 4 of them.  When I was homeschooling three children I was always busy...really busy.  Like Adam would come home and find me crying busy.   I don't know how she does it.  Or how she is so happy and confident and calm. 

Olivia:   is in the video, holding court with her nieces and nephew.  They are all dressed up with items from her personal dress up box.  Olivia is maybe the only person I know who had a personal dress up box when she was single and in her twenties.  She was ordering food in a pretend restaurant from Clarissa who was three at the time.  Clarissa offered her cheese sandwiches.  Olivia deliberated and said, just because she's Olivia, "Well, I am trying to cut down on my cholesterol..."  Clarissa just looked at her, confused.  Finally Olivia relented to the cheese sandwiches (which were invisible and pretend so I'm guessing low in cholesterol) and declared them delicious.  That is Olivia, so engaging and imaginative and completely selling the pretend play that she had a circle of toddlers around her, fascinated.  She had all the time in the world for them.  And they knew it.  

There's Enoch:  handsome and self assured, wrapping his arms around his fiance, Jennifer, to pose for a picture. That was the first time I met Jennifer.  My sisters had met her before and told me she was juuuuuust right.  She was.  We loved her immediately, never knowing then how much that love would grow as she became very thoroughly our sister.

Ammon: is there, a gangly teenager.  He gently held his nieces and nephew and talked to them softly.  He made witty comments.  He will always be the coolest person I know.

There's Tabor: taking a last horseback ride with our dad before he left.  I know them both enough to know what that meant.  I see Tabor's clean shaven face, so young and intact (before he broke it in a run in with a mule...long story).  I see the naked fear visible in his eyes the day we took him to the Missionary Training Center. 

I was glad my children were watching the movie with me.  See, I want to tell them.  See that tall upright kid?  That's what I want you to be (except it's OK if you're not that tall).



Besides my parents, my brothers and sisters are the people I most want to be like in the world.  They are confident and brave.  They are courageous risk takers and pools of strength and stability.  They are talented and good and kind.  They are funny.  They are tall.

I wish I were more like them.  (Tall too.)



When I see them as little kids, as teenagers and young adults, I remember where we've all been.  I'm glad to be part of their ranks.  I'm somehow more because I'm their sister.  They love me (and they know better than anyone what a shy and weird kid I am).

Monday, April 16, 2012

Things I know

1- When you come across a random t-shirt belonging to one of your sons, it is safer to just assume it's dirty and wash it than smell it to check.

(I think permanent damage could arise from such an olfactory assault.)

2- The machinations that occur amongst seventh grade girls when they are allowed to pick their own seats in science are astounding.  It was quite complicated and I received a play by play over the course of two days.

3- Sunshine has more of an impact on my mood than chocolate or enough sleep or anything else I can think of.

4- When a mother has five sons, she has "worked a day in her life."

5- There are restorative powers in Sundays.  Church was renewing. A long afternoon with my family and then taking a walk in an arboretum with Adam and Geri and Mark reminded me how happy and lovely my life is.   There are opportunities all around me to enjoy.  I just need to recognize them.


Friday, April 13, 2012

May I suggest


You would think this suggestion was mostly for people that live around here.

But I would like to suggest that there may be some people (for example) that live in Nevada or Utah (for example) that would like to see their oldest nephew (for example).

I know.  I know.  Just a suggestion. 


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Between

It's been hard to know how to dress lately.  We had 35 years (give or take) of cold rainy days.  I know how to dress for that.  Then we had a few days of brilliant sunshine.  I had to rethink things.  Then yesterday, I changed twice because cold and rainy returned and I was resisting the change.

Today is sunny again. 

I've had a similar problem at night.  I took the wonderfully heavy quilt off our bed my mom made us for our wedding because it was too warm.  But then I was too cold.  I wore more clothes to bed--fuzzy socks, long underwear, sweatshirt.  Then I woke up too warm. 

We had a landscaper over the other evening.  We discussed options for the hill in our yard that has been puzzling us since we moved in.  I like and dislike both ideas we talked about.  I can't decide.

My biggest concern lately has been balancing the needs of the rest of my family with the musical that Braeden is involved in.  They rely on parental involvement to make it a success and I'm...a parent.  Also, I really like a lot of the other parents and their kids (and Braeden) and I want to help.

But I have two other children.  And I'm also quite enamored with them, not to mention their charming dad.  It's hard to strike the right balance.

To mirror my indecision in other parts of my life, I had a few disjointed things I wanted to blog about.  Before going to bed last night, I asked Adam what I should blog about.

He said, "The usage of shall and will in modern and older English."  He went on to describe the differences and give examples of each.  Since it was right before bed, my cognizant thought was not at its peak, so I am unable to replicate that idea here.

I would like to say that I made a decision for breakfast.  I had peanut butter toast.  I was successful.  I was decisive.

It's a start.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Note to self

Yesterday morning Adam asked me if I had a day to look forward to...or not.

I said, "Not."

I was tired.  I didn't get enough sleep.  I had a disjointed day planned of errands and driving kids around.  But I regret my response to Adam's question.

It's even haunted me a little.

My gratitude had packed its bags and left the building.  And that makes me feel ashamed.  I have a healthy body that does more or less what I ask of it.  I have a car that drives us where we need to go and money to fill it with gas.  I have a home.  I have people who love me.

And I had a day full of things to look forward to.

1) I spend my days with Mark.  One of the goals of his life is to make me laugh.  During science when we were talking about the earth simultaneously revolving and rotating, Mark said, "It must get dizzy."  Then he gave me his sideways look that indicates oncoming attempts at humor, "That's why there are earthquakes.  The earth got dizzy."  Then he laughed because he thinks he's hilarious.

How lucky is it to spend time with someone who's constantly trying to entertain me?

He also has a very rich imagination that sometimes defies explanation.  For example, why is his angry bird wearing swim goggles and guarding the upstairs?  Why is there a clipboard underneath the chair listing every person in the family, carefully written in black sharpie?



Only Mark knows.

Every day I have Mark to look forward to.

2) Emma is reading Pride and Prejudice (my favorite book) and loving it.  It delights me beyond reason to discuss favorite parts with her.  I love it when she comes home from school. 

Every day I have Emma to look forward to.

3)  I live in the land of the free.  America is not perfect, but it is pretty great.  Our days stretch before us with opportunities.

4) Speaking of opportunities, it disrupts my day and keeps me dependent on my calendar to keep it all straight but I am glad that my children have opportunities to take piano lessons, to swim, to be in a musical.  They thrive doing things they love.

I look forward to their smiles.

5) The abysmal Seattle weather has been glorious and not abysmal at all.  I could have been looking forward to sunshine and smelling fragrant blossoms and climbing into a warm sun toasted car (I love that.)

6) I could have looked forward to walking with my friends.  We do more than propel ourselves around our neighborhood.  We laugh a lot.  We compare notes on the ups and downs of motherhood.  We give each other advice and listen and did I mention laugh?

I also, if I'd known, could have looked forward to two unexpected things that happened.  I read something powerful that changed the way I look at things and Adam and I had a good discussion with our two favorite teenagers about something that matters a lot.

I wish I could have a do over.  Ask me again, Adam.  "Do I have a day to look forward to?"  My answer, every day, should be yes.



Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Egg Hunt at Grandma Geri's

Q: What's the best way, maybe the only way, to get a teenager to carry around a pastel basket?


A: The promise of candy.

Speaking of candy,  I told Mark with the tell-tale chocolate smeared mouth and a trail of candy wrappers in his wake that he was to have no.  More. Candy.  He said, "I ate five pieces of candy but don't worry.  It's all gone.  You can just imagine how much candy I ate yesterday."


Yes, I can imagine.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring work

Our children told me they thought it was going to be spring break and it seemed more like spring work.  I feel terrible that I worked them so hard.  They had to do terrible slave labor like clean up after themselves and empty the dishwasher.  It was intense.  Also, they got to spend time with their friends nearly everyday.  Poor, poor kids.

They have it rough.

Here's what else happened:

1- I made "real" breakfasts as requested by Mark, including pancakes.

You’re not supposed to have cake for breakfast, of course, but somehow pancakes slid through. I don’t know how that happened. It’s like, “Young man you’re not having cake for breakfast. You’re having fried cake with syrup for breakfast." Now load up on that and try not to nap.
- Jim Gaffigan
2- I wrote some.


3- I learned to knit.  Besides finishing Emma's room finally (usually projects don't take me that long--it took longer because I did it with Emma...she's less of a steamroller than I am), learning to knit was the highlight of things for me.

Janet came over to teach me and Jill came over to chat.  Also, I think she was jealous of my skills.  I could tell by the way she kept laughing at me.  I think I'm getting it though!  (It helped that I also took my knitting to book club and got a little help.) 

I have developed a new knitting design.  It's called Swiss Knitting.  I know I'm pretty advanced for just learning but what can I say, some people just have talent.

(It's Swiss Knitting because of all the holes.)



Don't listen if someone tells you that the holes are where I messed up.  I won't listen either.  We'll keep believing in Swiss Knitting.

It's not just our kids complaining--Adam told me I have to do a better job on my photos on my blog because it is driving him crazy to see my bad blurry pictures.  I would say you can't please everyone but I don't think my pictures would please anyone.  So I will try to have better pictures.

(Kindly observe, there is a different between bad pictures and bad knitting.  Don't blame the photo for the above debacle masterpiece.)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter

When Braeden was a toddler, I wondered as Easter approached how I was going to teach him the real meaning of Easter.  How could I explain the wonder of it all in a way that he would understand?

I asked my dad.

He told me, kindly, that he didn't think I could.  "He's a little young still."  He told me to wait until Braeden was older.

What I didn't realize was that I didn't understand Easter as much then as I would in the future either.

I knew the story.  I knew what happened.  I had felt deep inside that it was true.  I knew that Jesus Christ was my Savior, that He'd suffered and died for me.  I knew that because He lived again, we all would live again.

I knew all that.

Then, things happened.  My knowledge of the Atonement, the knowledge that my parents had patiently taught me, was tested.  Heartaches occurred that were nothing like the supposed tragedies of my youth (if you could see a picture of me when I was about 8th grade, you would understand the supposed tragedies I'm talking about...yikes).

Time after time, when I felt sad or discouraged or broken, I felt the healing and atoning love of my Savior, Jesus Christ.  I marvel that because of Easter, because of Jesus, we can repent, we can be forgiven, we can forgive.  We can be comforted.  We can know that when this life ends, we will live again.

And when it comes down to it, there's nothing more that matters.



Friday, April 6, 2012

May I suggest

Jill told me about Land O Lakes cinnamon sugar butter.  It seems like it's not that hard to get your own butter and cinnamon and sugar instead of buying it already formulated.

But I sort of think this stuff is magic.

It is just the right mix of everything and it's lovely and spreadable and delicious. 

delightful on bread

better on toast...so good it made the photo blurry (I should be fired from photography--also, by the time I saw the blurry picture, I'd eaten the toast.  What can you do?)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Emma's Room

Here's what it looked like before:



Here's the painting process.  (Hannah's in the first picture--she was roped into helping.)  Please notice our painting attire.  Emma is wearing an old referee shirt of Adam's...just in case she needs to blow the whistle on anything?  I, of course, match the paint.  Doesn't everyone wear the color they're painting?



I was using a projector to draw a tree on the wall.  I started plugging in cords and flipping random switches.  Emma picked up the instruction manual.  We're a pretty good team.  I make sure it moves along, she makes sure it works.

I was using the projector to get the essence, a rough outline, nothing perfect.  Emma was aghast.  "It's not exact!" she kept declaring.

"I know," I said, "It's OK."

"But we need to do it right."

"Meh," I said.

Emma was home from school, sick that day.  She finally said, "I'm going to go take a nap."

Note to self.  Emma is more compliant when she's sick.  I'll need to remember that when doing things like planning her wedding.  Try to infect her with something first.

As time passed, Emma was more on board with my haphazard ways.  She kind of has to be.

I am what I am.

I gave up on the projector and just drew the rest of the tree.  Emma helped me paint some of the tree (some of the time her friends were over and she left me on my own).  Yesterday we finished.


It was fun.  At one point, Emma smiled up at me and said, "This is great.  I am glad we are doing this."  It was pretty great to work together on a project.  It turns out in the end we collaborate just fine.  (Maybe I won't have to make her sick before planning her wedding.)

Here are some other shots of the room:

We installed magnet boards in one corner.  (And by we I mean Adam, Emma and I directed traffic.)

A pretty new room for my pretty girl.


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