Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!
Thanks to my friend June for the idea. Sent it to all my family.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Primary Program 2009

Yesterday was the Primary Program in our ward. It went really well and I was exceedingly thankful and proud of all the children and adults that participated. Cherry was wonderful to play the piano so beautifully for us (thank you sooooo much Cherry). Thank you to Lindsay, Patrice, Naomi, Shawna, Vickie, and Kristy. You are wonderful sisters and I feel so thankful to work with you!

We wanted to make sure every child got to say some lines. As you may know, the same kidlets do not show up every week, so we had to make some last minute adjustments. Some of the kids repeated the lines the person in front of them said. But I don't feel one bit bad about that--they were important concepts worthy of repetition.

My daughter S kept me and many others in stitches whenever she had her moment to participate.S was sitting right in the front by the other dear, wiggly sunbeams. W sat right in front of her for as long as T would let him. He said she got really loud at the end of each word. She doesn't know the correct words to "How Firm A Foundation" so she sang what she thought they were--something completely different--with a great crescendo ending each supposed word. When it was her turn for her part; she gingerly got up to the stand, beaming, spoke so loudly that some of the people listening had to protect their ears. At the end of her second line, which was. "When I am 8 years old I will be baptized" she threw out her jazz arm (a straight arm) out into the air exultantly. Then she chuckled a pleased-with-herself laugh.

The kids were so wonderful and they spoke clearly. They sang the songs (softer on the parts they couldn't remember all the way and triumphantly loud on the parts they knew like the backs of their hands).

R sat across the stand from me so I didn't see to much of him. When we did have eye contact he would smile broadly. I love my sweet primary children.

The pictures are from a few weeks ago (sorry I forgot to take new ones).

Sunday, October 25, 2009

School and Life Lessons

A few days ago I took R to school with T in the stroller. We had to go up a few steps to get into the school yard and in NYC it is not unusual for people to think that going before the stroller is an advantage (usually I'm okay with that). R walked up the stairs and toward his class. After waiting 30 seconds for a turn to get up the stairs; I followed and had my eye on him the whole time until he got to his class and lined up. I stood behind him and said something like, "R, I love you."

Twenty seconds later while I was talking to a mother near the line, I looked up and R was not in the line nor in my line of sight. Parents and kids were everywhere laughing and chatting loudly. I begged-your-pardon-ed myself and the stroller out of the area around parents while trying to quell the panic screeching in my soul. I told myself, "He could not have gone far. I was there the whole time." Then T and I walked toward the steps where we came in, thinking he must have walked back. I began to cheerfully call his name (I didn't want to worry myself more or anyone around me, for that matter).

Half-way there I ran into a teacher with him next to her. Tears were running down his red cheeks. My heart melted. I could feel his sorrow and his pain.

I have R a good long hug to let him know I was there for him all the while and explained I was behind him all along and that I thought he knew. I held his hand as we walked back to the line. He stayed right next to me until he got involved in a conversation with his friend and walked into the school.

Still, I stood nearby as he walked off into the school. He turned, smiled and waved. I smiled and waved back as he disappeared into the school.

Then I thought of how the Lord looks at us. He loves us so dearly. Sometimes we walk away thinking that somehow he has left us for naught when all along he is following us and our moves closely. When we feel anguish and pain He has felt them acutely (in Gethsemane) . He never really leaves us. But there are times we feel alone. Those are the times we reach out for aid. Prayer, reaching out to a leader (like R did with the teacher), speaking to a friend, etc. The Lord is reaching out to us, calling us by name, and sometimes with outside help pulling us in for a comforting hug and loving explanation.

I know the Lord is with us all along sometimes we just need to remember and feel the peace that comes from knowing that. Sometimes we just need to put forth the effort to check in through heartfelt prayer; smile and wave by obeying and striving to obey the Lord's commandments and pondering how the Lord, in a sense, smiles and waves at us through the blessings he gives.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Zombies in the Park

It was a dark and stormy night, er, um day. The wind whistled through the swing set and made the cheeks of the children red and the noses run. The clouds a thousand miles away were herding in like a bunch of cows hurdling to get to the site for rain (but they really don't have much to do with us at this point--but it sounds exciting, right?).

The kids were running around doing their rigorous vitamin D absorbing moves like running up and down the toys, laughing, playing tag, arguing with their mothers about the need for sweaters, and the like. All of the sudden an unsuspecting person was assailed by none other than----(ominous music)------A ZOMBIE!

Moments later R ran to his mother in a fit of tears, hurt pride, a hurt side, and utter anguish.

Turns out an 8-year-old zombie and his little sister zombie invited R to be a zombie. He accented and the boy zombie immediately set up doing the power-ranger bad guy routine of knee-kicks and punching. Then R ran to me and I tried to patch up the torn trust of random kid-strangers at the park. Zombies can be such a kill-joy.

Being a mother of a non-zombie I figured I had better go and confront the zombie boy. Personally I would rather NOT confront people--as I tend to dislike intensely (notice I did not use the harsh word "hate") any sort of confrontation. The boy zombie was standing by the daddy zombie pushing a baby zombie in the swings.

I could have been livid, but I find that livid-ity doesn't work well for me--I lose my ability to think straight.

T and I strolled over (he was in the carriage) and I began, "Um, I think your son has been hitting people on the playground."

The dad took over, "What?! I told you that if you were hitting people at the park we would have to leave." Dad and boy zombie have a short, unresolving (to me) apology session (to R, whom he didn't even look at). The girl zombie apologized more sincerely to my friend's boy. The boy zombie insisted she use the word "apologize" in her sentence. What is a zombie to do?

Somehow I did not feel that the issue was resolved, so I added to the boy zombie, "They would like to play with you, just not games that involve hitting."

He incredulously responded, "But I don't even know them."

Of course, didn't I know that all children walk up to complete stranger children and start hitting them? Where have I been? That last part was me being sarcastic.

In reality I see how our Heavenly Father's children should love each other and determine to be good, loving and kind to one another. Like R, when we've been hurt it is nice to run back to the Lord and pour our souls out to him and to feel the loving solace and peace that comes through the Spirit. Also to be quick to forgive. The minute the boy apologized R forgave him quickly went and played for the rest of the two minutes we stayed after the apology. Quick forgiveness can give us peace of mind, greater love for our fellow men, and lower blood pressure. Isn't it amazing how everything can relate back to the Gospel?!?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


A few days ago I went for a run/walk. Shall we say a walun or a rulk? It was the first time since I got my enormous blister. It was so nice!

It was so refreshing partly because I compared it to the times I am out and about in survival mode. Granted I had a little fellow with me in the jogging stroller but after a few short minutes he was asleep, but I didn't feel the pressures that would normally accompany me as I go places.

But there are times that I can think of where I felt like I was barely hanging onto any thread of civility and normallacy that I could possibly have. Like when people can hear me three blocks away (quite a feat in Brooklyn) shouting at the top of my lungs, "S and R STOP! YOU'VE GONE TOO FAR--WAIT FOR ME!" Perhaps you may rushedly hear me say, "Come on, hurry! We've go to get . . ." when a dear one dawdles behind in quiet revelry of the glories of the outside or pouting sulkily because of my perceived short-sitedness.

My feelings of utter-exhaustion passed at least ten minutes before any situation like the one I listed above, now worn down to a bitter if-we-stay-out-a-moment-longer-I-will-probably-fall asleep-on-the-cement tone of voice and composure (okay that might be an overstatement, but you get the point, right?). Patience is a virtue--one which requires a desperate amount of concentrated determination and endurance.

Compared to the walrun (walk/run) where I talked softly to one child rocked to sleep by the breaks in the cement, my ability to look in one direction at a time (instead of three), my attentiveness to the details I saw--like neat designs on buildings, flowers and such. I could take a moment to breathe and think about the details of my life. I could see the Statue of Liberty, boats floating down the river, Staten Island, the Verrazano Bridge and a multitude of other glories around this area. Things seems so much simpler and easier when one can step back and cumulatively contemplate life in every light.

I came home rejuvenated and thankful, striving to to stave off the survival mode and more fully enjoy the kid mode.

Sometimes we need a pause of silence to help us fully appreciate the music of life.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Your Child's Art

A few days ago we went in for immunizations for S. It was really trying for her (to say the least) and she practically kicked the doctor (no, she did not get a sticker and a sucker from the doctor afterward). I know I shouldn't think it is funny, but part of me--the bully part if I have one--is laughing hysterically.

At any rate, before the part of "Don't look, it won't hurt as bad. AHHHHHHH." The doctor asked about how she is doing developmentally. Turns out she is doing awesome (yay). I told the doctor she loves to draw almost all the time. If I kept all of her drawings all of Brooklyn would be covered. That might be a slight exaggeration. Okay, just all of the western half of Brooklyn.

He told me to start saving her best drawings to put in her portfolio.

In my brain I coughed, "What?! Why don't I just go type up her resume and put it on"

I said, "A portfolio? What for?"

He said, "They just opened up a new high school, the Frank Sinatra High School. It specializes in the arts."

Okay, now I feel bad that I thought it was sort of funny that my daughter almost kicked him. He is really a nice doctor.

Somehow the thought that someday my daughter will be going to high school kind of . . . well . . . I don't want to think about it.

This was the book that inspired her drawing. :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dearest Folk

In our family we are striving to build our talents. The one talent we've been working on extensively for the last week is that of having a clean home. Yesterday, W came home utterly exhausted. He looked so tired. We had already eaten dinner together and we weren't planning on him being home for a few more hours. The house was less than guest-worthy (a lot less) and he came in and helped R with his homework and then got the kids excited about picking up and helped me finish picking up the front room, our room, and the kids room. Sometimes I just need a big pick-me-up (like developing the clean-house talent) and he was there for me. Thank you, dearest! I love you sooooo much!

Secondly, my mother. Not only does she give me wonderful advice and inspiration, she is what I want to be like. She seems to be able to single handedly run an immaculate house, a great family, aiding my father with his business. Yet, she still is able to talk to me for a long time. Today I received in the mail a care package, just to let me know that she loves me. She sent me some ideas for primary, candy, a gift card, a fun CD, a DVD, paper and other immensely fun things. Thanks Mom! I love you profusely!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Random Acts of Kindness

As my children and I walked down the sidewalk to a nearby Duane Reade a sweet, elderly lady stopped and told me she wanted to to donate a hat and a scarf to me and my kids. She said she does it all the time for people she knows and she wanted to to do it for us.

I was stunned. I had never thought what to do in that situation. Oddly enough however, I have been in the situation before. That is how we got our very sturdy double stroller. That time however we seriously looked like we were desperate for it (we were too--it has been such a blessing).

We ended up with a beautifully knitted bright red scarf and barrette (R says he can't wait to look French).

I'm going to wash them first, just because, well, you know.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Summer Updates

This is a 100 year old ribbon. Yay for Relief Society. Look at how fabulous my family's kidlets are. This was from Rexburg ID from this summer.

You know you are jealous that you didn't come to this dental office.

I love posing by a mannequin.

Hey teacher, pick me!

I love family reunions.

Look at this fabulous painting--someday I want a painting like this in my kid's room.
I love the nursery rhymes.