Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Sprout now reliably says "mama" and "dada" for David and me. It's SO. COMPLETELY. CUTE! This morning he even stretched it out to be "Mahhhm." He said it a couple of times. He also points to himself and said, "Doh."

He loves to point to things and have us tell him the names.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

and then there were none

Otis, the last living of our four rat brothers, passed away this morning. This is the first time in nearly 7 years that we've had no pet rats living with us. We've had as many as seven before. We aren't planning on getting any more for a while, either. Probably not until the kids are a little older and able to do the cage cleanup on their own. (We have a HUGE cage.)

Otis had been alone since shortly after Thanksgiving, and I think it was mostly sadness and loneliness that hastened his passing, rather than illness. Poor guy just missed his brothers so much.

Rest in peace, little ratties.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

temporary houseguest

We are tending this little guy until Christmas (he came on Saturday) for a family in the neighborhood. He is so sweet and cute! It will be kind of hard to say goodbye. He loves to be scritched and makes the cutest little chirps and other happy noises. I foresee a guinea pig in our future. (Not the immediate future, but someday!)

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I am feeling overwhelmed by STUFF lately. Particularly kids' clothing. I don't know how to organize the outgrown stuff, what to save & what to give away/donate. Especially as they get older and the clothes show substantial wear, but still have a decent amount of wear left in them. For example, Noodle has outgrown her size 6 jeans, many of which we acquired secondhand (as handmedowns or from Savers), and they have knee patches, but now, with the knee patches, would be great for another girl to wear. But do I hold on to them for SEVEN YEARS? That seems a little ridiculous. So then I think, I'll just save the cutest or the ones in the best condition. Then I can't decide, and figure if I'm saving any, I might as well save them all, and I'm back to where I started. For being born a good 40+ years after the Great Depression, why the heck do I have so much angst about getting rid of stuff? Sigh.... I recently threw out some dollar store tableclothes that we'd bought for our Ichthoberfest party two years ago (and used). They were nice enough to reuse, but why did I hang on to them for so long? It would have been one thing if they'd have been in some designated spot, but they were just floating around from place to place.

I'm also the queen of repurposing. I use old containers for all sorts of things. I like the canisters from things for wrapping, we use peanut butter jars when we make freezer jam, we use empty cereal boxes for all sorts of crafts, large clear plastic containers for bug houses... It's hard for me to throw out anything that I can think of a reasonable re-use for.

But I'm tired of so much stuff around me. Papers. Projects. Books. Clothes. Toys. I feel like I really need to purge a lot of things. I don't know how to begin, or how to get over my "But what if I need it?" panics. Should I start with the stuff in the shed--the clothes and packed away toys? Then stuff that we DO want to keep that is cluttering the house can be moved out to the cleaned out shed. It seems like a good place to start. Maybe first I should try and get the office under control so I'll have a home base for sorting all this stuff out.

Obviously I'm thinking out loud here. Sometimes it'd be nice just to delete a certain trait and download an upgraded version!

Friday, December 11, 2009

cute handmade gift idea....

I helped Noodle sew one for Spud this week.

The Purl Frog

I'm itching to make more, but still have dolls & clothes to finish. I think it will be on my "post Christmas" list of sewing projects, though.

Friday, December 04, 2009

oh the boogers!

Sunday we left church after Sacrament meeting because Noodle was all sniffly. Monday, Sprout started in. Spud held off until Wednesday night and I finally succumbed last night. (Not surprisingly, since Sunday, Monday & Tuesday nights I got very little sleep tending to little Sprout.) Noodle is all better today, and was pretty good yesterday, too, so I guess I have a couple more days of this. I keep having mad crazy sneezing fits, which leave me feeling rather discombobulated. Better than painful coughing spells, but nonetheless unpleasant.

I'm amazed that we've been able to get as much done this week as we have. My folks are coming into town in the next hour or so, and while I'd like the house to be cleaner, at least the room they'll be sleeping in is presentable.

This is our first cold since starting school, so I think we are doing pretty good, healthwise. No doubt we caught it from some cousins at Thanksgiving last week. Sometimes I wish it were possible (and more fun) to adopt an isolationist strategy from November until March. Dealing with illness is such a drain. (Both literally and figuratively!)

love it!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

totally called it

In this week's episode of Glee, the glee crew were going to sing a song to Quinn & Finn, and I knew it was going to be Lean on Me. (Yeah, not really such a big deal, but it made me happy to be right!)

Such a great song. I want to teach it to the kids.

And (one of) my favorite thing(s) about Glee is how unabashed it is in its own hokeyness.

Here's another fabulous song:

Saturday, November 21, 2009

highlights of the week

1. Spud read FIVE early reader books. (See details here if you are so inclined.)

2. I watched all the episodes of this season's Ugly Betty. We'd kind of decided not to keep up with it, but I ended up having enough evenings alone when I was working on sewing projects that I decided to watch it.

3. Glee was hilarious. So was 30 Rock. (I'm very grateful for good TV shows during the long, cold, dark winter.)

4. I got to order FREE photo cards! I also found another promo code and made up some flier type cards for my photography business.

5. I took pictures of my friend's daughter who turns 8 next month. She (and the pictures) are both very cute.

6. I sewed the hair on one of the dolls I'm making. It looks fabulous! I'm having so much fun making them, if only I had more time. I think I'll finish the ones I need to before Christmas, but it might be close!

7. I got to go out with a good friend to have milk shakes. It was yummy and fun, but next time we'll go to a place that isn't FREEZING so we can sit and chat instead of escaping back out to her car!

8. We finished up our second term for the year, and had a Fun Friday party to celebrate. Hooray for dance parties!

Friday, November 13, 2009

ups & downs

Rough day today. Sprout was particularly fussy (as he was yesterday during the day), and I just felt really alone. Noodle and Spud were really good, which was nice, but as I tried to slog through some of the chores I had to do, all I really wanted was to have a friend come over and chat. I had a real need for some commiseration today, but it just didn't happen. I hate feeling lonely. I think one of the harder things for me about being a wife and a mother is dealing with the down moods. When what I most need is just some quiet time to think, read, pray, etc., I just have to keep my "game face" on and try to muddle through until my mood clears a bit. (And try not to bite anybody's head off.) I've opened up a dialogue with Noodle & Spud about how sometimes I just need a break, and they are remarkably good at giving me some time & space. Unfortunately, babies don't have that skill.

Such is life.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

today I'm happy about...

...feeding my family dinner & dessert for under $5. ($1 can of yummy soup, $0.29 package of cornbread mix, $0.99 half gallon of chocolate milk, $1.99 - $0.65 coupon vanilla ice cream, $0.69 2 liter root beer). Granted, it wasn't fancy or super nutritious, but they loved it and we can have root beer floats again tomorrow!

...Sprout's ultra-deluxe car seat arrived today. We could barely buckle his other one, and I know it had to be uncomfortable the last few weeks. Thanks to my awesome mom and (one of) my awesome SILs for helping with the purchase. This one should last him a good long time!

....it took me four tries, but finally I got a good fire going in the fireplace. I guess I'm rusty after 8 months of no practice.

....learning a useful embroidery stitch that will help me make cute faces on my Christmas projects. No more "fake" embroidery. Now I know something! (This video library of stitches is so awesomely helpful! It's like having your very own granny!)

....David's business is slowly but surely acquiring clients! There might be an actual income in our future!

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Obligatory Halloween Post

The best things about Halloween this year:

1. The kids wanted to be things that were very easy for me, as we already had bunny & cat ears, and Sprout conveniently was the right size for the little cow suit.

2. As it was on a Saturday, our friends had an afternoon halloween party that was very fun. I ate way too much yummy food (which was fun for me).

3. The kids actually didn't trick or treat that much, so rationing their candy (after the first couple of days) wasn't that big of a deal. They finished the last of it this morning.

4. We get free pumpkins thanks to my in-laws' garden. Yippee!

And because I'm messing around with the picture size, some of them look a little blurrier than they should. Click on them for a crisper version (if you care that much).

for some reason....

when I widened my blog, it deleted my "blogroll" of friends' blogs. I'm in process of remembering/tracking down all my favorite blogs again, but if you could help me out by commenting here and I'll follow the trail back to your blog, that would be helpful.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Like, Don't Like

Fish Edition

Cute little porcupine puffer fish. Doesn't he look like he's smiling and waving?

Don't Like
This fathead fish. Okay, maybe I like him a teensy bit, just because he's so ridiculously ugly, but overall, Don't Like.

Really Really Don't Like
I think these fish might actually be the spawn of Satan. The data isn't conclusive at this point, though.

Monday, October 26, 2009


This one is from today:

These are from last week, the morning that the kids saw that the leaves had fallen from the maple tree. Which makes me wish it snowed leaves instead of snow all winter.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Like, Don't Like

So I have a confession. Sometimes as I go about doing my regular stuff during the day, I blog in my mind. Sometimes I get on and just spew whatever thoughts I have unedited out into the world, but sometimes I think of witty things to say. The problem is, often I've forgotten them by the time I actually have a few uninterrupted minutes to sit down at the computer. Or sometimes I realize they aren't as witty the next day when I'm operating on a bit more sleep.

But a couple of weeks ago I had the idea to do "Like, Don't Like" posts. I was entertaining myself by thinking of all sorts of related items, one that I liked and one that I didn't like. Example:

Like: Round toed shoes

Don't Like: Pointy toed shoes

Like: Wheat Thins

Don't Like: Triscuit

I thought this would be a fun and somewhat clever way to tell the world little things about me they might not know, and would never think to ask. Yeah, I realize they would also probably not care, but in this world of Facebooking, Twittering, blogging, etc., we are all narcissists. I think some of the others that I thought of were more interesting than the two examples I shared, but (naturally) I can't think of them right now. Perhaps because a baby is destroying things under my desk even as I type this and a fluffy dog is trying to persuade me to throw her rope for her. I need uninterrupted time to be brilliant. Which explains a lot...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

fetch: fun for dogs AND kids

So, my Daisy doggy is a fabulous fetcher. A fetching fetcher, if you will. She will race to retrieve all manner of soft squeaky toys or her tug rope time after time after time. She releases the toy to the command "Give," or just drops it on her own. It's a lot of fun to watch her fluffiness run and carry her toys around (she has a HUGE plush bone which is especially entertaining!). We play fetch outside and also inside. Rudy is not such a great fetcher. He will, however, play for a bit inside when he can try and steal Daisy's toys from her, or act like a roadblock just by standing longways in her path. Spud, however, is a most awesome fetcher. I think it is one of his favorite activities. Whenever I get Daisy going on a game of fetch (usually without Rudy around), Spud will come and join in the fun, racing Daisy to get the toys and bring them back. And he can keep these sprints up for a loooong time. It's a great way for both of them to burn off their excess energy, and it's pretty fun to watch.

Though there are days when one or more of the pets threaten to send me over the edge of sanity, I do love having them around, especially for the kids. I really can't imagine anything more fun for kids than to have pets to play with, tease (in nice ways), cuddle with and love. I know my kids will never fully appreciate their "good fortune" in having an animal-loving mother, but it makes me happy enough knowing that they are growing up with these experiences and will be animal-loving adults, too.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

thinking out loud

Kind of. I guess we need a blog-appropriate phrase for that. "Thinking at keyboard." Maybe that works.

A couple weeks ago was General Conference (wow, I guess it was only about 1 1/2 weeks ago, but it feels like much longer). It was my first attempt to actually involve the kids. In the past I was happy if they stayed out of my hair and managed to be relatively self-entertaining. I would tune every radio to conference, so it was playing wherever they were, but I liked to do my own thing and let them do theirs. This year I felt it was important for them to participate more, so I did a few things differently. I found some great Conference Bingo sheets, and also these Apostle Cards which I printed off and laminated. I also printed off some pages from various Conference packets--the most used page was the one where the kids could color the ties of each of the Apostles as they saw them. Pretty fun. Anyways, though it took more effort on my part both before and during the conference, I really felt like the effort was worth it to have the kids participate in Conference. As a child, I was allowed to bring toys in to the family room to play with quietly on the floor while the family watched, and I remember those times. I've always felt like Conference is a very important time, and I think it is because there was always the expectation to watch/listen to all the sessions. I want my kids to grow up with that, too. They did really enjoy the bingo sheets, and they earned treats for getting BINGO on both their Saturday and Sunday boards. So it's definitely something we'll do again.

We watched the Sunday session with David's family down in Springville. Since we don't have a TV subscription, we ended up watching Saturday's sessions in the office on my computer. Not nearly as comfortable as in our family/TV room, but at least the screen was a decent size. (I love my big monitor!) Between sessions the TV was on and there were commercials for various toys. Noodle said, "It's a good thing we don't have TV, otherwise we'd just want all these toys that they show on commercials." I thought that was rather an astute observation, and think it is very true. We do watch movies and a handful of cartoons, but we are spared from commercials. It's pretty great, really. It's hard enough for kids to be grateful and satisfied when they aren't constantly bombarded with commercials for the latest cool toy or trendy idea. My mom likes to say, "The play should be in the child, not the toy." I firmly believe this. I don't think this means only wooden or simple toys are appropriate (you should see the creative things Spud comes up with for his Transformers!), but rather that a toy should invite the child to use their imagination and not only have scripted play. One thing that Noodle does that I love is to "accessorize" all her toys. Shemakes houses for them, food out of Sculpey clay, beds, blankets, vehicles, musical instruments, etc. Plus she will write letters to/from the toy, illustrate scenes from their lives, construct a family tree, and on and on. Last week was our week off school and I sewed Noodle & Spud each a cute little plush mouse. It's pretty neat to watch how much fun they can have with one toy. Spud likes to build aircraft for his mouse from the Magformers.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

piano boy

Sprout absolutely loves to play the piano. He lights up every time he gets a chance to play.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

things that are ridiculous

My dog (Daisy) now wears to bed the following:

1. her plastic cone aka Elizabethan collar
2. an outgrown one of Sprout's rompers (long-sleeved, long legged onesie)
3. two socks on each of her back feet


Well, I'll tell you.

Over the past few months we have had one sore after another. One of them was a legitimate injury, exacerbated by her understandable licking at it (she had a foxtail embedded in her rump--ouch!), but the others have been various itches that she either scratches until they bleed or licks until they bleed. I don't know if it is an environmental allergy or food allergy or just because we live in a super dry climate, but I do know that it is a lot easier (though heavy on the ridiculous side) to prevent these sores than to deal with them once they are present. And I think the annoyance/discomfort to her is also less if I can keep her from making the sores. She actually doesn't seem to mind the onesie or the cone. The socks I think annoy her, but she's a pretty good sport.

Aren't you glad you asked?

On a somewhat related note -- today I gave her a bath and, for my first time ever, a haircut!! Four weeks ago I did part of her haircut by myself (David has done the haircutting for the past nearly 3 years that we've owned her) and it didn't turn out that great. But I learned from my mistakes and did a much better job this time. It's a small thing, but I'm happy to be able to take it off of David's plate and kind of proud of myself for doing such a nice job. :o)

Friday, October 02, 2009

we like to party

We had an "End of Term" party for the kids tonight. We invited 12 kids over and made mini pizzas, ran around the back yard like crazies, and then had a dance party in the garage (complete with our cool "disco-esque" light ball thing [gift from a former roommate in honor of the Year of the Dance Parties]). Who knew that 14 kids in a garage could be so fun? I enjoyed the party, though, even if the only adults were David & I and my friend Leah. Kids are fun, especially when I get to spend time with them on my terms (not Cub Scouts, babysitting, helping out in a school classroom, Primary, etc.) My terms usually involve just wanting to do fun things. Anyways, the party was a hit and I'll post some blurry pictures if I get around to it soon.

Things are looking really promising for David on the work front. If you've been praying for us, thanks! and keep 'em coming. I've been working on being very mindful of the blessings we've received over the past year and have been diligent in keeping the fear and worry at bay. Heavenly Father has kept us going this long (with/through the generous help of a number of people here on earth), and I trust that he won't let us fail. I've been doing a good job focusing my energies on productive endeavors that pertain to my role in our family (nurturing & teaching the children), and honestly, that has taken so much of my energy and time that I haven't had any left to worry unnecessarily about the money situation. I feel like I'm doing the right things, and I think David is, too, so I think we are in the right place to do "the next thing." I have to say that I am so proud of the kids and I for doing as well on our homeschool these past six weeks as we have. It has been an adjustment, as it's been our first time doing real, official FULL-TIME homeschool. Last year we had kind of a funny schedule because of my working so much. Noodle has adjusted really well, and I think Spud is responding well to the one-on-one attention he gets when we do his preschool work. Also, now when he isn't doing his school, he'll often play nearby on his own, rather than just moping around or pestering. So we have made progress!!

Well, I'm rambling. It was a good day, and I'm glad we had the chance to have some fun and make some good memories with the kids. I hope we can be the sort of home where friends like to come to feel safe and have fun.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

wise words

"Never let a problem to be solved
become more important
than a person to be loved."

Thomas S. Monson

Friday, September 25, 2009

the weirdest thing

So I went out later this evening with a friend and when I came back, Sprout was already asleep. I got in bed about 11:50, and he started waking up. It had been about 3 hours since he last ate, so I expected him to be hungry. But he wouldn't latch on to nurse. Weird. He also was making these little "blowy" noises periodically. He didn't seem at all distressed, and he has been teething, so we thought maybe his teeth were bothering him and made him not want to nurse (though this has never been the case before.) I go down to get his teething drops and bring them up. He happily takes them, seems fine, but still no nursing. I check his diaper--he's damp but not very wet, but I decide to change him anyways. So I go change his diaper. Finally, we are in the hall and he makes his blowy noise again, and I think I see something in his mouth. I stick my finger in and fish around and I pull out a wrapper. What?? I smooth it out and look at it. It's a temporary tattoo wrapper from one of the kids' tattoos, a 2-ply plastic pouch about 1.5 inches sqaure. It had been in his mouth WHO KNOWS how long, but he'd slept with it in his mouth! He wasn't at all bothered by it, apparently. I'm very thankful that he didn't swallow it. Now I'm wondering if he'll be another orally fixated infant/toddler like his brother was. Spud ALWAYS stuck stuff in his mouth, but NEVER choked on anything, and only once swallowed something (a tiny metal marble that was only found because I dumped out the diaper [we use cloth diapers] in the toilet and I heard a "plink"). We actually gave up trying to stop him from doing it, and opted to just watch him closely. Crazy boys.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

still cute

What a relief, huh?

I don't know if it is just because I'm busier with 3 than I was with 2 or 1, or if it is just because I'm older, but the 7 1/2 months of Sprout's life have flown by. He's starting to crawl and I'm excited to see him learn new things, but part of me wishes I could slow everything down.
He continues to be an amazingly happy little guy. He loves to play with everything. His top 2 incisors are about ready to come through, so he is extra drooly, and he loves to stick his tongue out all the time. And he is so fun to hug! I think that's one definite advantage of big babies--they are big enough to really squeeze!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

baby + cat toy

= happy, content, self-entertaining baby.

Yes, I did take pictures but I'll have to upload them later.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Happy Birthday (yesterday) David!

It was a pretty low-key day. We actually didn't get around to having cake until this morning. We put all the candles we had on the cake, and it wasn't close to 32, but I think it accomplished the same purpose (looking festive and enabling The Wish).

I am so grateful for David. One of my favorite things about him back when we were dating was how much fun we can have together. I remember driving along University Avenue (I think we were going to a movie at the theater up by the Riverwoods) and we were just having a great time being ridiculous in the car. I told him that I felt just as comfortable with him as I ever had with any of my girl friends, which was a new experience for me. We had (and still have!) romance and passion during our courtship, but the foundation of our relationship has always been friendship, and that friendship has largely been built on fun. He still makes me laugh (a lot) and I still make him laugh.

When we first got to know each other (on the airplane trip down to Brazil), neither one of us could sleep and most other people on the plane were asleep or at least dozing. The lights were dim/off (you know how they do that on airplanes at "night") and it was even more annoying to be awake. We were sitting in the back of the plane, so people had to walk by on their way to the bathrooms. We put the mini pillowcases on our heads (a la chef's hats) and started doing dances in our seats, and possibly lip-synching to our head phones. Did I mention we were very tired?

So, Happy Birthday my Love! You are 32 years AWESOME!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


More than a week with no fabulous musings from the mind of Mindy? How doth one survive?

Seriously, this is my life: Get up (not as early as I need to). Do some household chores (not as many as I need to). Have breakfast with the kids and David & get ready. Have devotional with the kids & David. Start school with the kids. Do various school stuff until early/mid-afternoon. Do more chores or some work (photography stuff) on the computer. Have dinner with family. Get kids in bed. Prep homeschool for the next day/do chores/study scriptures with David. Go to bed. Repeat.

I am enjoying most everything we are doing, but the routine really wears me down. I have never been one who enjoys a routine, so I am trying to come up with things that will add a bit of fun variety to the days and weeks. Theoretically, I understand that routines are good and productive, but I sometimes can't wrap my heart around one. Oh well! Tomorrow (if the weather cooperates) we are going to start off our homeschool day with a walk on the river trail. Should be nice.

I think the other part of the routine that gets to me presently is that no matter how nice the routine is, babies haven't read the memo! I'm not a fan of trying to schedule babies exactly with naps and feedings, so I guess it's my own choice, but it is hard to try and get things done with an adorable little ball of chaos around. Who knows when he will feel sleepy, cranky, be teething, have an "explod-o-poo" diaper, stay up really late (and causing you to sleep in the next morning), get sick, etcetera etcetera. But such is life. And it's good. I need to cultivate the art of finding happiness and joy during the busy, full days as well as on the more relaxed days. Just now, as I was typing that, I realized my shoulders were all hunched up. Do all moms feel that "burden" on their shoulders all the time, that makes you feel like there is something else to do and makes it so hard to "enjoy the now" for more than five minutes? Is there a solution? Would love to hear your thoughts on this....

Saturday, September 05, 2009

the fruitiest post

I just had to take a picture of some of the nectarines from our tree, and I ended up taking pictures of other fruit around the kitchen as well. The nectarines aren't as big as they were two years ago, but last year we had none, so it's a vast improvement. And. despite their small size, they are juicy and delicious. David and Noodle hand pollinated this year since it was too cold in the early spring for the natural pollinators.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

what a week

Yes, I'm re-using that generic post title because it is (once again) so appropriate. This was our first week of homeschooling for the 2009-2010 school year. We really didn't take a long break as we've been working on improving Noodle's reading this summer, but I was implementing a new approach so this was our first week of that. We are actually taking this week off because of a family reunion, but to stay on schedule I wanted to start this last week. It went really well. The kids enjoyed their activities and studies (for the most part...for some reason Noodle is a bit resistant to math even though it gives her no trouble) and we had some fun along the way. For those of you who just can't get enough of my life, you are welcome to check out my homeschool blog. I won't be at all hurt if you don't, but there it is. If you notice me MIA from this blog, there's a fair chance I might be over there.

Yesterday my SIL Anita was over here and she did a super awesome job organizing some of the craft/art/school stuff we keep in the kitchen. The same stuff that I've been looking at for weeks and thinking, "How should I organize that?" So I had the painful realization that I have no inherent talent for organization. Yeah, I really should have realized this before, but when I saw how nicely she'd done it, it hit me that other people do possess this talent. I think before I'd just assumed that it was hard for everyone, but organized people just worked through the difficulty. So maybe it should be a relief to realize that I don't have the talent, but instead I was kind of disappointed, as it seems like a pretty awesome talent to have. I see things how they are and think, "Hm, it would be nice if they were better organized or looked nicer," but have no clue how to do it. Every once in a while I get a bit of inspiration, like with the "thing" I put in our entry way (I don't even have a good name for it...), but they are few and far between. Oh well! A friend on facebook said I should just look at the bright side and say that I have a high tolerance for chaos!

Sprout is sitting up so well now. He loves to sit up and play with toys, and he will also lean waaaay forward or sideways to reach something else. He still topples over on occasion, but much less frequently than he was a week ago. He's also started babbling, which is really fun. A couple weird things he is doing right now is "noodle arms" when he is sitting up (waving his arms around all loosey goosey) and wheezing when he inhales sometimes. Noodle did the wheezy thing too as a baby. So weird.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

besides the usual stuff...

This is my latest project.

I know I could charge a lot more for my work. I hear that from people I work with on a regular basis. The thing is, I've never been in a position where I felt like I could drop $100+ on photos, but it seems sad that people who don't have the extra income should be left with only Wal-Mart, JCPenneys and Kiddie Kandid as options. So I like to provide opportunities for the average family to get really nice pictures. I'm hoping that making this offering to the universe will reciprocate in good ways for me and our family in the long run.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

God helps?

I experienced a crisis of faith this week. My job was only a year-long position, and the year has ended. For the past month I've been looking forward to it, as I'm planning to get our homeschool stuff finalized for this coming year and also have a little "staycation" time with the kiddos. But this week, as the end was imminent and no resolution to our financial difficulties has yet presented itself, I started to panic and become anxious. I'd been feeling okay, trusting that Heavenly Father had helped us this far along the way that surely he wouldn't drop us now. But sometimes you can tell yourself things and they don't sink all the way in, or maybe it's that we leave a window slightly ajar and Satan sends a doubt in. For me, doubts tend to multiply like rabbits, and soon they've overtaken my whole soul.

So, today was the worst of the past few days. I felt panicky and desperate and hopeless. I felt like just lying in bed and falling asleep for a few hours so I could forget about all my problems, at least for a while, even though I knew they'd still be around to greet me when I woke up. David came in and we talked for a few minutes, and I felt like I should pray, even though I didn't really want to and I didn't really feel like it would do any good. So I prayed. It was a random jumble of thoughts and tears and words, and I didn't even know what questions to ask. I just wanted help. I needed something concrete enough to grab on to in order to pull myself out of the pool of worry that was paralyzing my spirit. I was hopeful, but not confident, that I'd get some sort of answer. I don't often get anything while I'm actually on my knees, but that could be because I don't often stick around long enough to hear anything that might be said. Today, though, a line from my patriarchal blessing popped into my mind, and it was sudden enough and without forethought on my part that I feel pretty confident that it was from Him. The line was about my greatest joys and best experiences being those associated with my roles as wife and mother. The accompanying impression, though, was that I need to pour my heart and soul into these roles. David and the Lord will take care of David's roles, particularly that of provider.

The big thing with my job the past year was that it allowed me to not stress so much about David not having a steady income. Rather than worry, I poured all that energy into working 20-30 hours a week. And, lest you doubt, I assure you that I could have easily spent all those hours worrying and fretting. So at least this was "productive." Maybe if I'd not clung so tightly to the security of my job, we'd be at a different point right now. I don't know. Maybe the job was instrumental in me growing and having the paradigm shifts necessary. For the past few months, my heart really has longed to be with my kids. I've wanted to be a more engaged mother, and I no longer wanted to have a need to be so separate from them. Perhaps I never would have felt that longing without the hundreds of hours of work. Maybe the time wasn't right before for whatever David will be able to do, but maybe it's right now. I think that's what is so hard for me about this whole faith thing. The very nature of it makes it so hard to nail down the causality of anything. You can't say, "I did such and such and then the Lord did such and such, so see, Faith Works!" It's one of those things you can only see after the fact, never while you are in the middle of it. (This reality makes me think of the chain of events that resulted in David and I meeting/getting married, which I think is interesting and should blog about, but not right now....feel free to remind me.)

Anyways, to continue my ramblings. I was talking to David tonight and I realized that I don't have much faith in the "practical" (and by that I mean non-spiritual) realm of the Lord's promises. He makes all sorts of promises in the scriptures, such as Matthew 7:9, when the Lord says that what man would give his son a stone if he asked him for bread. We are asking for bread. Why do I find it so hard to believe that the Lord will give us bread and not a stone? I believe all that stuff He says about repentance and being born again and what not, but it's like I'm completely ignorant when it comes to matters of daily life. I don't often ask for help like I need it when it comes to parenting my kids, even though when I do ask, I know I often get help. My brain can't logically figure out how the Lord is going to help David provide for our family (even though this isn't my role, so I may not even have the ability to figure it out, but still I try) unless it is by "getting a job," so I worry and fret and try to find him a job. I have not been able to trust that together, David and the Lord can solve that problem. I have to have faith in this area. And I think the only way it is going to come is if I follow the promptings that I have received about fulfilling my own roles better. So this week, I've been planning to have a fun week with the kids, before we start school again next week. There are some homeschool related things I need to do, but other than that, I've been wanting to go do the fun things that I've NOT done all summer because of the constraints of working. Granted, these need to be free (or nearly so) fun things, but that's not impossible. But the way my heart felt this weekend, I was all ready to spend the week fretting and worrying, and not doing what I need to do.

I want to find the promises of the Lord for temporal blessings that are recorded in the scriptures and make a study of them. I need to bolster my faith in this area.

I don't know if I told you that Sprout's middle name is Ezra because Ezra means "God helps." I felt really strongly that Ezra should be part of his name, but it didn't fit as a first name for him. During his birth, I felt strongly an influx of strength in answer to prayer, and we received many blessings during the time I was pregnant with him. I wanted his name to remind me of those blessings and the experiences. I think it's become a bit of a mantra for me..."God helps. God helps." But obviously, even with that, I still need reminders. I'm not done learning and growing. (Apparently, you don't have everything figured out by age 30. Whodathunk?)

Anyways, this is probably about 12 times longer than any rational person would want to read, but as it's mostly for my own benefit, I don't suppose it matters much. I'd love to hear any thoughts you might have, though.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009