Sunday, April 29, 2012

Withering Chaff

So, I was watching Carter's soccer game the other night. He was sitting out one quarter and caught me off guard with this question:

"Grammy, when I go back in, do you think I should do my best?"

Well, silly me, I thought he was doing his best and told him so. His response? "No. I was only doing about medium." Honesty at the simple level.

Then I was reading my scriptures this morning {I say that in a casual way so as to make you think I read them every morning}, and I was reminded how Heavenly Father turns no one away, denies no one the blessings of the Gospel, of Exaltation, or of the Atonement. Instead of shooing us away, Heavenly Father says, "Come unto me..." I was uplifted.

Then I entered verses that described the 2nd Coming a little more. There was a lot about fires and burning and chaff and stubble and dry stalks and straw that will burn quickly. An object lesson from Relief Society many years ago came to mind.

There were two plants on the table. One was green and growing and full of life. The other dry, wilted and obviously finished. The teacher pointed out both plants had looked just the same at one time - and not just yesterday, either. The dead plant didn't get that way overnight. It took days and weeks of not getting nutrients or water or sunlight to eventually wither up.

My point is: I need to quit performing at "medium" {or lower} and improve on doing my best because I've come to believe it's all too easy to wither up.

It's been a hard winter. I'm praying for a kinder spring. ;-)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tribute to the Joys of Womanhood!

They say a woman's work is never done. Well . . . here's a small glimpse into one hard working day in a busy woman's {or a busy woman in training} life:

Fix nutritious meals for the family

Solve puzzling problems carefully and wisely,

considering all possible solutions

Get a good amount of physical activity and exercise

Deal with traumatizing situations with grace and dignity

Release tensions by freely having a meltdown now and again

in the arms of someone who understands

Know when you've had enough . . . find a sympathetic shoulder,

your binkie and just relax.

And last, but not least, be able to shut the chaos of the world out!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I'm Hearing Voices . . .

. . . but these are beautiful voices! The main reason we went to Manti for the weekend was because Joe, Jodi, Mariah and Brian were singing in Sacrament Meeting. Anyone who would sing was promised a BIG bowl of ice cream, which worked right into Grampa's birthday celebration!

They sang "Build an Ark" and it was awesome! Brian looked right at the audience the whole time and they all sang loud and made sure we could understand all the words.

I needed to make note of this event because I wanted to have their first singing experience documented. I'm sure it won't be the last! Joe and Mandy will have to keep stocked on ice cream!

I'm So Proud to Call Him My Son!!!

Seriously. I really am. He took his punishment like the grown man he is. Ha, ha.

Joe stuck his tongue out and that warrants getting soap in your mouth. He was a trooper, suffering through the consequences of his choice.

After the bubbles episode, he came to the conclusion that if he ate his apron, it would somehow absorb the soap taste from his mouth. I don't think it worked but it was great entertainment!

The beginning of the idea since rinsing
did not get rid of the soapy taste.

Getting all of the apron stuffed in

The removal . . .

Still removing . . .

Almost done removing . . .

The apron doesn't look any worse
for the mutilation. I think it will
be awhile before Joe sticks his
tongue out!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April 17th

Dear Mom,

It's your birthday today. It so happened I was driving to Springville to listen to Betty give one of her great presentations in Relief Society. The weather was rainy and messy all the way down and the wipers weren't working that wonderfully and it was all I could do to keep my eyes on the air space directly in front of my front bumper. I had to keep reminding myself to look farther down the road so I could anticipate what turns and shifts were going to be expected of me.

And I thought of you. I sense you maybe just kept going day to day, keeping your attention focused on what lay directly in front of you, when all of a sudden you looked up and the lanes were shifting and exiting and merging and you had no one physically by your side to tell you which way to go. You sure ended up on roads taking you places you never anticipated, I'm sure. And I guess that's why, after you got your drivers license, you always had someone in the Edsel watch out for "Exit Only" lanes and merging lanes - so you wouldn't be caught off guard again.

You did it, though. You made your choices at each lane change and made the best of what was down that road. I have good kids who have made good choices, too, and that's due in large to the part of you that's in them. You would be proud of them and the awesome people they married.

Oh, yeah, and thanks for giving all these amazing, beautiful grandchildren that extra hug before they left! They'll need all the extra help they can get on this Road of Life. You thought the freeway was crazy and intimidating back in your day . . . you should see it now!

Well, that's all I have to say. And, well, Happy Birthday from my heart to yours.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

On Mariah and Perspective

I have to share this. It was too precious to me not to.

Saturday Joe and Mandy had a bit of a scare with Mariah and they took her into Primary Children's for a check-up. After things had settled down a bit and the future looked - literally - less intimidating, I was talking to Joe. After we'd said all we needed to say, he asked if I wanted to talk to Mariah for a minute.

Me: "Sure!"

Mariah: "Hi, Grandma."

Me: "Hey, sweetheart! You've sure been through a lot lately, haven't you?"

Mariah: "Uh-huh. I even lost my tooth this morning! Pulled it out all by myself!"

Thanks, Mariah, for helping me keep things in persepective. You already have all you need to deal with the challenges you are experiencing now.

Love you so much!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Pebbles

Growing up - I don't think I really had any deep knowledge or understanding of Easter beyond the basics. {When I use the word "Easter" in this post, I mean everything it embodies - resurrection, atonement, forgiveness, etc., etc.} Honestly, I don't remember thinking about it. I'm not saying there weren't plenty of pebbles {experiences tied to Easter} pelting my closed window, because there were. Looking back I see them, anyway. At the time, I just wasn't collecting them and connecting them all together to form the big picture. Some things you just can't force acceptance and understanding. You have to wait until the time is right and the window begins to open.

However, the first time I remember noticing a crack in my window and perhaps actually going out and picking up the guilty pebble and fondling it for a bit was after Nathan was born. Easter now meant knowing that Nathan's body would be whole one day. It didn't matter that it wasn't now. {Okay, well, yes it did/does but my new found knowledge helped alleviate that little issue}. I tossed the pebble into a basket.

A couple of years later, another audible pebble left a mark at my window. It was a sharp little pebble that hurt when I closed my fingers over it to add it to my collection. Now Easter was knowing I would see Stephanie and get to hold her and hopefully {if I did my best} would get the opportunity to raise her. Another pebble rattled in my basket.

Fast forward many, many years - to 1997 and my mother's passing. The pebbles that came flying towards my windows were nothing close to round and smooth. But I carefully added them to my basket. From then to now my window has opened more and more. My personal understanding and appreciation for Easter has been opened proportionately. I have added to my basket as I have collected an assortment of pebbles - many of which were buried under years of debris.

I think the most important one was found a couple of days ago in a picture Joe forwarded to me from his phone. They'd had a few minutes to wait in Mapleton and so they had taken a detour into the Springville Evergreen Cemetery. He sent me this picture with a text message saying "Grandma says hi":

I was a beast at best growing up and I know I didn't make Mother's life easy. We didn't have Family Home Evening more than a handful of times that I remember so there wasn't a whole lot of gospel teaching going on in our home. I even quit going to church for a big chunk of time. But as my four-year-old knees knelt around that rectangle of stone and cement pictured above, putting all her baggage and bitter feelings aside, my mother taught me about Easter and how it applied to me. And I've never forgotten.

Taking a break from pulling weeds and edging around the cement corners; arranging freshly cut flowers in the little tin cans on either side of the headstone; trimming the shrubs {or were they rosebushes? I don't remember now} and sweeping away the bugs and dirt, I would trace my fingers in the etchings that spelled out my dad's name. Mother would reconfirm we were only taking care of this site out of respect to him. It was important that I know that my Daddy was not in the ground below. My Daddy was in heaven doing important work and watching over me. Tending to that little bit of earth may have been when I heard the most positive things about him and about me and about him and me as a relationship. His spirit was there and I've found the pebbles that were tossed.

At this Easter, I thank my Heavenly Father for a basket full of pebbles. 

Who Says My Habit is Bad???

Enjoying the drinks: $100 (roughly)

Watching the tower go up and then come down:  Priceless

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Grampa's Tractor Train Resurrection

Well, it's called Grampa's Train but he sure seems to like pawning off the driving privileges.

Joe hasn't changed much since his bike riding days in Delta.

Evidently the goose egg on his head either didn't phase him

or it phased him worse than I ever realized.


What a menagerie the Grampa Train has become!

A Little R&R

Everyone needs a break once in awhile - just to sit and ponder the answer to the mathematical equation of just exactly how much fun one person can endure in any one given day. It takes a smart person to know when they need to step away from it all!

Aspen & Reagan getting away from it all with a leisurely swing.



Not sure how Tyler was able to be alone in an area of this size

but he seems to have been able to put a significant amount

of space between him and everyone else.

Reagan stopping for a short minute.

Bruno {Joe & Mandy's dog} stretched out of a rest.

Adam had a good spot until . . .

. . .busted. Actually Grampa was the one who gave up his hiding

spot to Nellie. All good things must come to an end!

Paisley didn't have any problem getting her needs met!

See what I mean??

Brian and Hunter having some relaxing friend time.