Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I Love Crimson Shadow

In conjunction with Valentine's Day, last week we had a great Relief Society activity on the 5 Love Languages. It was a lovely dinner with friends; the committee went all out. Everyone took the love languages quiz and then a sweet young man who is studying marriage and family therapy at UNLV talked about the results. (I remember when this man was a teenager so . . . yeah, I'm old.)

If you don't know, the five languages are: words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. These are ways that we all feel and communicate love. To have good relationships with people (especially our spouse and children) it is crucial to understand how we and they "speak" the language of love.

I scored highest on words of affirmation and quality time. Those two were almost tied. Next for me came acts of service, also high. Low on the list was gifts. And I scored a big fat zero on physical touch. (That makes me sound like a weirdo, eh?)

So yesterday I decided to give Mary the quiz, the one designed for teenagers. I felt like I understood her pretty well but though it'd be interesting to hear what she had to say.

I gave her the quiz and to my surprise, she wrote a full-page analysis of her results.

My results were that I really like gifts and acts of service, but I also had a high score for quality time. However, in many cases, it was only sometimes. I enjoy spending time with you, but am uncomfortable if I spend too much time with you. I don't really like attention. One of the questions was watching TV or a movie with me. I like that very much. We don't have to talk or even look at each other, but there's still a feeling of companionship. I especially like shows that make us laugh. I like to laugh with you. I did not get many A's [words of affirmation]. Again, I don't really enjoy attention. I know you think it's crazy, but most of the time I don't want you to acknowledge my accomplishments. Or at least, not verbally. It is nice to receive gifts or presents from you. I like to know you're there, even if I prefer to be alone. I don't like to be hugged or touched. To be honest it's often annoying and invasive and makes me uncomfortable. I like to be independent and I want you to trust me. I prefer quiet. When things get tough and I struggle, and I know it might be hard for you, but I don't want you to hug me or hold my hand. I don't want you to tell me it's okay. In my experience, limited though it is, things are rarely "okay." But that's all right. I just need to know you're there.

Crimson Shadow 

Man, if we could all express ourselves so eloquently we'd have a lot fewer misunderstandings in this world. I love that girl.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I Might Take a Class

I went swimming last week with the twins. You may already know this but I am not swim team material. I took lessons for the first time in 3rd grade and by that time I had a lot of fear built up; I reluctantly learned to not drown. These days I have a lot to catch up on when it comes to form. I don't know if it's because my breast stroke is manic or what, but I always get a great workout in the pool. If it didn't involve me getting wet I'd probably swim every day.

The rec center has some water aerobic classes. I'm thinking of taking one but I don't want to show up the octogenarians. Just kidding, they would probably kick my butt. We will see.

I am also thinking of signing up for yoga again. I went today to drop in but guess what--the teacher had taken the week off. So now I have to decide if I want to commit sight unseen. The last time I signed up I ended up dropping it because I didn't like the teacher's style and my super-thin yoga mat did nothing to protect my bony hips from the hard wood floor. But now I have a squishy thick mat; half of my problems are solved. Again, I'll keep you updated. Inquiring minds want to know.

All of this is in an effort to make good on my new mantra: I am an active person. Just trying to add to my existing activities of treadmill intervals, walking the dog, and racquetball. (Racquetball has been so incredibly fun.)

In other news, my dad is gaining mobility in his right arm. That's a good development, for sure.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Swing Dancing for FHE

Tyce's friend Autumn is homeschooled but does choir at the high school. She and her whole family are super talented in all of the arts. One of their passions is swing dancing. We were fortunate to be invited along with others to go to their house for a great night of learning and showing off our mad skillz.

Tyce is by far the best dancer in the family and danced with the best, and helped the struggling. Cam has great rhythm but used a vice grip on me as his dance partner! Harrison danced with Mary until he got bored and climbed a tree. Then Bryce was able to cut in and have some quality time with his lovely daughter.

We had a blast boogying with some super fun people (besides our family, the Rogerses, and our hosts, the Davises, and a few people I didn't know). Later we switched to line dancing and that was a blast too.

It was a perfect night for being outside!

Harrison and Mary, Tyce and Autumn

Bryce's turn with Mary

Cam and I doing "the pretzel"

Cam spinning me

Tyce took a turn with his sis

He was very good with her

I asked Mary who her favorite partner was and she said this girl, Chloe!
Tyce and Hallie, Ryan and Gwen, Chloe and Mary

It was so great to be invited to something we don't normally do. I don't think I will ever be an amazing dancer but man, I sure did have fun! What a great night with our family and some really cool friends.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Stake Conference and My Run-In With the Cops

This past weekend was stake conference and Tyce was asked to put together a special musical number. He asked some of his friends to sing a beautiful medley of As Sisters in Zion / We'll Bring the World His Truth. They sang on Saturday night and they did such a great job. Seriously talented kids.

After the conference teenagers piled in to my minivan so I could take them to Sonic. It was dark and I didn't even see who was in my car. But when I was at a red light I looked back and there were more kids than seatbelts; two boys were on the floor. How did that happen? I was two intersections away from our destination when I noticed a cop behind me. My heart started to race as I thought, great, I don't even know where my insurance card is so please don't stop me. BUT. As soon as the light turned green--I saw that dreaded red and blue flashing in my rear-view mirror. Holy crap.

The kids hissed, "Get down!" But I said, "No need, he already saw you. That's why he's pulling us over." That didn't stop Tyce from covering his friend Josh with a blazer. Nothing says, "Hello Officer, nothing to hide here" like a jacket-covered human.

I rolled down my window. The kids froze.

"Do you happen to know why I pulled you over?" he asked, not unkindly.

I shrugged my shoulders. "Ummmm . . . . no?" I lied.

"Your tail light," he said, gesturing to the back. "It's out. Did you know that?"

"Oh! My tail light! Yes, I knew that. I was about to get it fixed. Oh my word, yes, it happened at the car wash, can you believe it? They broke my light and I need to fix it. Yes, I really do. I will do it right now," I gushed, unable to stop talking.

"Yeah, I'm just telling you so that you don't get a ticket. Have a nice night."

And then I rolled up the window and pulled away.

The kids collectively exhaled. "I've never been pulled over before! Oh my gosh, I was so scared!" I kind of rolled my eyes. Hello, they were basically the reason I was pulled over in the first place. Well, I thought they were. Turns out my busted light saved the day. Because as you know, the last thing I need is a ticket for endangering the lives of foolish floor-sitting minors.

After the Sunday session a group of kids came over to eat and play games. Nothwishstanding my stress of the night before, they are wonderful teenagers, and a delight to be around.

Starting with Chris V. (with iPad, taking a picture of me taking a picture of them) and going clockwise: Autumn D., Brady D., Joaquin P., Kyle M., Kayley M., Lizzo D., Tyce, Josh B., Keara H., Emily D. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Heart Attack and all Valentine'd Up

Valentine's Day was on Friday but the kids didn't have school that day (teacher inservice). So the twins had their parties a day early and for Mutual the girls "heart attacked" some of their class members. Mary was the lucky recipient of the girls' love!

Hearts everywhere . . .

Candy too!

They made messages just for her.

I can't believe they did all of this without her knowing!

She was super excited to come out and read the messages.

A line from one of her  favorite Imagine Dragons song.

A line from the popular One Direction song.

Collecting the love.
The reason she didn't go to Mutual was because she was busy making Cam's Valentine's card box. I'd asked her to do that for me because she's so much better at that than I, and I was stressed about having a lot to do that night. She took on the task with gusto. Mary was frustrated that we didn't have the craft supplies she wanted (but there's no way I can keep up with her consumption--believe me, we've had it all, not long ago) so without the sculpting clay, she made her own play dough.

We didn't have any black construction paper so she cut up Cameron's Dracula cape from two Halloweens ago and stapled it to a sturdy box. Cam went to bed and Mary stayed up all night. Apparently she started to bob and weave from exhaustion around 3:00 a.m. and fell over onto the box she was working on and smashed her little figures. So she put on some Jim Gaffigan comedy sketches and said she was surprised I didn't come in and tell her to stop laughing. But anyway, when Cam got up she had a finished box ready for him. He loved it!

How cute is this little guy?

Close up of the box. There's a dragon, a devil cupid, a bleeding heart, and lava.


Pile of hot tamales.

She even fashioned the fence from splitting Popsicle sticks in half with a knife.

The artist and her little valentine.
Cameron said that people loved his box and that he "gave Mary half the credit." Half!!! Ha!

Harrison's class had a simple arrangement for their card distribution. I don't know what it was but he didn't have to make anything at home. He chose to just use the box his Fun Dip cards came in. Crazy!

After the kids went to school Mary set out to make presents for her friends Nikki, Bella, Sara, Madi, Taya, and Emily.

She drew cute pictures on hearts for each girl. This is the one for her cat-loving pal Nikki.

She made rice crispy treats in waffle cone bowls, drizzled with white chocolate.
Nikki came over on Thursday night to hang out. That was a good present for Mare!

On the 14th since the kids didn't have school I got to make a nice breakfast.

Breakfast sandwiches and hot chocolate.


You know I like to decorate the table.

Sara, Madi, and Taya sold these little cakes to raise money for a church history trip.
What did we have for dinner--LUV-sagna, of course!

Tyce asked a sweet girl named Autumn to be his Valentine. He made her some paper roses. He spent the morning at Cafe Rio with his friends Josh, Joaquin, and Keara. Bryce had to work all day and then leave for his second job at 7:00 pm so he and I didn't do anything at all. I have no need to do anything romantic on Valentine's Day and I texted Bryce to remind him to please NOT buy me anything, for real. He responded: "Successfully avoided any feeling of responsibility toward you on this most holy of days. You will be pleased." That's just how we roll.

I love him and he loves me all the other days of the year, so for that, I am lucky to have a year-round Valentine. And I have the best kids in the world so what more could a girl ask for?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Heart Full of Love

Yesterday my dad had neck surgery. He was miserable before but only consented to the operation when his right side started to go weak and numb. I'm sure no one wants to go under the knife until something like that becomes the sign that now's the time. Anyway. The doctor's assistant said that is looked like a bomb went off in there--arthritic spurs, pinched and squished nerves. No wonder he was in so much pain. My dad came through surgery just fine except that his arm weakness was worse than before. He couldn't even lift his arm higher than his waist. So he had a second surgery today to remedy that. I pray that all goes according to plan.

I sent him a message wishing him well. He responded and ended with this:

I love you and am very proud of you Rebie- I don't tell you often enough but I do. Dad

Ay yi yi, tears in the parking lot of Food 4 Less as I read that sweet note. 

Then I texted Bryce to tell him about the second surgery. He responded:

If you need to go home (I know your family is not like that) just let me know.

Sheesh, tears again in the produce aisle. Good thing I was by the misted lettuce. Just got a little something in my eye.

I have good men in my life. The best, honestly. I really, really do.

My heart is full of gratitude for people who give to me so much more than I deserve: credit, encouragement, freedom, and love. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Just a little of This and That

It took me forever to get the Christmas and New Years part of my life put away. That's purely metaphorically speaking though since my tree and decorations are still up and I just can't seem to find the motivation to change that. Quick, we need to have visitors so that I'm shamed into action. I don't know why I'm not more bothered by this.

This week we had some bad news/good news events. The bad news is that on Saturday our hot water heater broke and leaked all over the garage. The good news is that nothing was damaged and that our very nice neighbor Dave helped Bryce install a new heater in record time. Then on Sunday morning when Bryce had left with the kids for church and I went to go to the Fairview ward, I discovered that the garage door springs had broken in half and my minivan was trapped inside. But the good news was that when Bryce came home after sacrament meeting we were able to deadlift the door, getting some exercise AND freeing me for church service. And how great was it that that the garage broke AFTER the water heater . . . see, good news.

Also, our brand new cable box freaked out, fizzled, and died. I can't find the silver lining in that since now we can't watch the Olympics. The Roku is surprisingly unhelpful on that front.

I have enjoyed going to the different wards New Beginnings programs for Young Women. We have such wonderful leaders and girls. I love my presidency, even though Michele shocked us by suddenly moving to Utah to run a restaurant. So now I'm in need of someone to replace her, though no one can ever do that--I can only add a new flavor to our group and see how that goes. I really miss Michele. She was exactly what we needed and I'm sad to see her go.

Bryce and I are also busy with the youth committee (and our presidencies) planning Youth Conference for next month. I can't say it enough, we have great young people to work with. I am truly in awe of their ideas, leadership, and spirituality.

Something else. Tyce competed at Solo and Ensemble and got a I (Superior) on his duet with Rachael O. He got a II (Excellent) on his duet with Cara H. The next day he sang in a four-man barbershop quartet and also made a I. In fact the critique said that the rest of the group needed to match the skill of the bass. I said, "Wow, you can literally tell people to 'get on your level' now." He was very pleased with his performances and the results.

I feel like I had more to say but apparently I do not. Mary's Nova: Hunting the Elements is over (it was fascinating) and now I have to get her Latin lesson ready. She agreed to help Cam decorate his Valentine's Day box for school tomorrow which is a load off my mind. This is one of the many reasons I am glad to have her home.