Thursday, May 31, 2012

Almost the End of School

I am practicing positive thinking about this reality.

I have a little last-day-of-school present for each kid: sunglasses for Tyce, goggles for the other kids. I might buy some crazy nail polish for Mare and a water gun or something for the boys, something that says SUMMER IS HERE. I have lots of ideas for crafts and stuff. I will be Hobby Lobby's favorite person after I empty my wallet there.

I wish I could squish my kids' ages together just for these 3 months.

Here's what I was thinking though, and I think it's a good idea. Each kid could have one day a week where I focus on them: for example, on Monday I would be Tyce's chauffeur and take his friends around to the movies or swimming or whatever. Then on Tuesday I could do crafts with Mary and her girly friends. Another day would be all about the twins doing what soon-to-be-2nd-graders enjoy. Every day we'd work on the house and some personal projects so we don't end up an an episode of Hoarders. Then I could spend all weekend at the spa to recuperate. Can I get an amen.

All I know is that no matter what we do, I'm super glad to not have homework to deal with.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Wrapping Up the Week

Thursday was the last day of seminary and OH MY HECK was it a welcome day. Love the kids, love the Old Testament but teaching 2-3 days a week so early in the morning is taxing. It's like planning a Sunday School lesson and a birthday party every other day. I am so happy to have the summer to recover and get ready for teaching the New Testament in the Fall.

We are in super-speed mode in planning for girls camp and I know it's going to be great. We have 30 girls coming! How fun will that be? Did I tell you we changed the location? Now we're going to Zion Ponderosa. For better or for worse it'll all be over in less than a month. But I am pretty sure it's going to be a BLAST and I'm glad to get to be there with Mary. I asked her if she was glad I was going and she said, "No, because you're probably going to make me take a SHOWER!" Ha.

Mary had some cavities filled, much to her delight. She loves the dentist. I also had a filling replaced which seems unfair since I do not love the dentist. It's not even a new cavity but I still have to endure the discomfort and the expense of someone who's been a bad flosser.

Tyce went to both the volleyball and choir banquets. At the choir banquet he was awarded "Most Outgoing" and "Most Outstanding Sophomore" boy. Also, he made the elite Chamber Choir and was even appointed Section Leader for the basses in Chamber for next year! Oh, and he also made the dance team.

Concert Choir.

Tyce's award for Most Outstanding Sophomore boy.

Harrison and I went to an awesome performance of Mary Poppins at the Smith Center. The sets were incredible! He was fascinated by what was real and what was acting. ("Is there really tea in that cup? Are those kids really brother and sister?")

We cleaned the house today. We have a long way to go. Afterward we went to The District (Bryce went to REI, I returned a shirt to DownEast Basics) and then we ate dinner at the BBQ place Lucille's. We ate outside and looped Katie's leash to the picket fence outside. She was so very good. The twins, on the other hand, acted as though they had been living in the jungle their entire lives. I told Bryce that if all dogs were as easy-going as Katie every place would allow pets. But if every kid were as loud and unruly as Cam and Harrison there'd be an adults-only policy throughout the world.

Little Miss didn't want to stay on her side of the fence!

Bryce is giving a talk in church tomorrow and I am substituting in Cameron's Primary class. Woo!

And that's about all for now.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

More Overheard at Our House

Last week both boys stayed home from school
Harrison: Cam, why did you get dressed in new pajamas?
Cameron: Cuz I want to daydream.
Harrison: You can do that in any kind of clothes!
Cameron: Yeah, but doesn't it make more sense to wear pajamas while you're doing it?

On getting ready in the mornings
Harrison: I'm tired of doing my hair. I just want you to shave it off today.
Cameron: Me too! Wait, no. Not while my hair's still so plush.

The TV was turned to TLC this morning while I laid on the bed and Bryce got ready for work
Rebecca: Wow, those Duggars are pretty awesome.
Bryce: I agree. You know how they probably get so much work done?
Rebecca: They're really organized and their kids are obedient?
Bryce: No, they're busy making a TV show while we're sitting here watching it.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Letter from my Teenager

Dear Mom!

You wonderful mother you
every time you sing I will not smother you.
I love the jokes that you make
And sometimes I don't laugh and that's a mistake.
The love I feel in your hugs is much
better than a bug's.
You're the greatest mom I ever met
and all these things you have done for me I can
never forget.

I love you.

Tyce Jones.


He wrote this for my birthday. Really, how amazing is that? Our relationship isn't always rainbows and roses but I really appreciate the good times. I give him huge credit for our relationship being as good as it is because he frequently comes to me to make amends, smooth things over, and tell me he loves me. We have some good pictures to post of our Mother's Day outing too--we had a great time. He is so sweet and has a very kind heart. I'm a pretty lucky mom to have that kind of 15-year-old, wouldn't you say?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Overheard at Our House

On their 5-year-old cousin Kira and her dog:
Cameron: Kira wants to marry Toby [the dog]!
Harrison: It's true. I heard her say it. 
Cameron: Yeah, but she can't because Toby's not . . . A MORMON! Actually, maybe in his world he is.

On the special musical guest at our HCA concert:
Cameron: Now I remember why I hate bagpipes. They are exceptionally loud and extremely annoying.

On outfitting Tyce for the dance team:
Bryce: It says he has to have jazz shoes and jazz pants. I don't even know what those are.
Rebecca: Just do a google search for "jazz pants men" and you'll figure it out.
Bryce: But I'm afraid I will see images that can never be unseen. 

Mary's #10 on her To-Do List:
"If Mommy sees it is fit I will jump off the bridge of fate into my destiny."

On the color of the cashier's hair at Michael's:
Mary: I don't know if it was natural or not but I loved that lady's hair.
Rebecca: Really? I didn't notice.
Mary: It was a really pretty brown, like a bay.
Rebecca: Girl, you keep using colors of horses to describe people and I'm just not following you.
Mary: Okay, what you need to know is that my favorite colors are bay, chestnut, blood bay, and dapple grey.
Rebecca: For people or horses?
Mary: Both.

Harrison's Mother's Day fill-in-the-blank:
"My Mom looks best when: she takes a shower and puts on church clothes."

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Book of Hosea

Have you ever prepared a lesson and developed a huge love for what you were teaching? That's how I felt last night as I read and studied the book of Hosea. I wonder if I'd ever read those chapters before last night.

If you have, you'll remember that Hosea was a contemporary of Isaiah, Micah, and Amos, and the years of his ministry (about 755 to 715 B.C. ) were difficult ones. I feel bad for Hosea because he taught at a rough time. Peace and prosperity ended, domestic uprisings increased, and foreign nations attacked. The kingdom of Israel formed alliances with pagan nations, which made it easier for her people to embrace their customs. Israel degenerated into idolatry, including its sexually immoral rituals.

Hosea used the metaphor of the marriage covenant to condemn Israel for her unfaithfulness and idol worship. But he also testified of God's love for his people and willingness to forgive and not "divorce" them if they would but return to him.

In my studying I found this from Henry B. Eyring:

“For more reasons than I can explain, during those days teaching Hosea, I felt something new, something more powerful. This was not a story about a business deal between partners, nor about business law. . . . 

"This was a love story. This was a story of a marriage covenant bound by love, by steadfast love. What I felt then, and it has increased over the years, was that the Lord, with whom I am blessed to have made covenants, loves me, and you, . . . with a steadfastness about which I continually marvel and which I want with all my heart to emulate."

Yes! My heart was full to bursting as I considered that.

I found a song, "Come Back to Me" based on the message of Hosea. I must have listened to that 20 times last night. I am so grateful to know that when I stray, the Lord wants nothing more than to receive me again into his arms. I just have to take the first steps. More than a judge, more than an enforcer, he is my Advocate with the Father and he LOVES me! He will never give up on me!

How grateful I am for that!

When it comes to my class, you know when people say that little children who don't look like they're listening can still absorb information? I am praying that's also the case with teenagers. If I was able to impart even a little of the lesson's message to just one person today I give the glory to God.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Field Trip

Guess how many parent-chaperones went on the 1st-grade field trip....50! I was only in charge of 3 boys, Harrison and two of his classmates. A teacher behind me said, "Oh, you'll have fun with them" and I couldn't quite gauge her level of sincerity. But she was right, I did. On a side note, God bless all teachers for their patience.

We went to the Las Vegas Natural History Museum. Dinosaurs, desert critters, and sharks were the highlights of our tour. I'll be honest, it isn't the coolest natural history museum I've been to but it's what we have. I'd guess Vegas does what Vegas does best in some of our city's other offerings like the Atomic Testing Museum, The Mob Museum, and the Erotic Heritage Museum.

(However, the new Smith Center for the Performing Arts is a jewel in this city. I'm going there tonight for an early Mother's Day present--a date with Tyce to see the female a capella group Sweet Honey in the Rock.)

I hope that Tyce can really go--he has a wicked fever and is still asleep. He got a vaccine with the caveat that it could cause headache, swelling, nausea, fever, etc. but we didn't think it would actually happen, you know? He wants to try out for the dance team at school today but I think he can't if he's not in class. Of course he thinks he can so we will see. That's hip-hop and not ballroom, in case you were wondering.

I was almost late for the field trip because we had a very hard time getting Mary off to school. She was impossible to wake up. In fact I gave her some clothes to wear and she fell back to sleep trying to pull her pants on. She was running an hour late and then lost her binders looking for her PE clothes and her PE clothes looking for her binders. It was a frustrating morning. I was about to pull my hair out but she was as chipper as can be in the car! Good thing she can make me laugh though because the night before when I asked her when she was going to get around to cleaning her room she said, "Mom, I know you probably won't believe this but I promise . . . at the next cycle of the moon."


All's well that ends well I suppose because she actually made it to school. And I was glad to spend time with my little guys on their field trip.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Katie's Birthday Party

Yes, we had a party for our dog. Do you think that's weird? It's okay if you do because we have officially become "those people." At least we draw the line at dressing her up in clothes (except for Mary--she and Katie share a wardrobe). I can't imagine not having our little miss--to say she is a blessing in our lives doesn't begin to cover it. She is sunshine, acceptance, joy, comfort, companionship, hilarity, and sweetness to our family when we need it the most. She's 2 years old and the best pet our family could ever ask for!

Mary and Katie.


Katie had a hamburger patty for a birthday cake!

She got a toy duck for a present.

Ready? Come on!

Her favorite thing is to play tug of war.

We love our Katie girl!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

"Did You Hear About ..."

Our Bishop told the ladies this week that there are several women who have come to him in tears because of gossip spread about them by members in our ward. That statement both surprised me and cut right through me. I don't know of anyone who can hear a lesson like that and not feel at least a twinge of discomfort.

I have never talked about another person with the intent to hurt or spread rumors. I can't imagine taking a secret and sharing it with others, laughing at the distortion that results from being passed around. I've never said something with the hopes that it would get back to the original subject and cause damage.

In fact, I don't think that most people have. No, I think that most of the gossip we spread is the more garden variety but just as hurtful in the long run. Most of it is done out of boredom. If we have time to idly judge people's performance, values, clothes, opinions, or hair care products then we should probably make time to invest in a mirror for some self-reflection. Mother Teresa said, "If you judge people, you have no time to love them." Isn't that true? It is so much easier to point out the faults of others (especially if we have an appreciative audience) than to work on ourselves. I would much rather talk about what's wrong with you than what's wrong with me.

I know when I have spoken poorly about others or spread the latest news--I've felt good for a moment. Even superior! Who doesn't like to hold the power? There's an illusive momentary leveling that takes place--once I knock someone down a peg I move up. Or once I share the big story I'm more important than I was just a moment before. It can be an addictive cycle. But the feeling passes and there have been times I've actually felt the stabbing pain of the Holy Ghost telling me to stop. That's a sadly humbling experience.

 A yardstick for measuring what to say might be "Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary?" And even then it just may not be any of my business. (Which is where I get sucked in, because I feel like the world is my business.)

Whenever I go to the salon my stylist Patty hands me a stack of magazines to look through--OK, People, US Weekly--gossip rags which don't appeal to me, until I open the pages.

Oh my gosh. She definitely wore it better. 

Wait, who is she seeing? I thought she was married! 

That girl needs make up--every day. She shouldn't be seen in public like that.

Pretty soon I feel like my opinion is welcome and expected. And if I can and should judge celebrities for what they do, is it really that bad to tell my friend about this other friend's mom's neighbor who once did that crazy thing? 

I love what Sister Osborne said when someone comes to her with gossip: "Oh, I just love that person! I can't imagine that she would have done that. I should go ask her about it." She said that has people scrambling and backpedaling in a hurry!

I am glad we had that lesson even though it was hard to hear. I realized I have a lot of room for improvement. I love people--their quirks, their flaws, their motives, and their opinions. My verbal musings and analyses are insightful--just ask me. Haha. Just kidding, don't because that would be gossip. However, I am grateful to have an outlet in my husband because if I didn't share I would explode.

Have you read this quote lately? It's Eleanor Roosevelt's searing insight: "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."

I am working on moving on up.