Days 2017

Days 2017

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Lightning McQueen and a little Amusement for an Old Someday Woman

Here is a picture of the double-fat comforter I made for my sister Darcy's upcoming attraction. I machine quilted the characters so the back leaves a little to be desired. Maybe next time around will be better...I'm asking Mark for a quilt frame for my birthday. (Two months til the big 30. My mom had five children by then. If I got pregnant with twins by then, would that count? Don't hold your breath, Mom.) Here are also some cute summer antics of my children. Who knows what order these pics will load in. One is of Boston proudly eating some Korean sauteed Swiss Chard from our garden, because we told him it was like Popeye food. He ate it, flexed, and then started quoting to Leslie. "Olive, my love." What a card. Thank goodness for old reruns. Here is another shot of the boys on Thursday (vacuuming day) their very favorite. They are both in love with the vacuum and the broom and are always trying to make weapons or baseball bats out of the attachments. Boston even put the hard comb attachment in the tub with him this week to play with. Lovely. Here's a shot of Leslie on a day when she couldn't find any little girlfriends to play with. She got out the dressups out of cold storage and had a blast. Boston didn't know that it wasn't cool, but later I'm sure she will use this shot to torture him.
I heard one time that a girl should never ever throw away a love letter so that she can have something to laugh over in her old age. Since I'm creeping up on thirty, I had to pull out my small box of assorted "chocolates" (the Whitman's brand are just the right size for letters) from the hope chest, and they are quite old. I'm talking junior high vintage. That's what hope chests are for, isn't it? I had to show Mark and just glowed at his trying-not-to-be-jealous comments as he read through some of my adolescent drama,("Hah. He's just trying to sound smart." "Snort. 'Call me collect, I can afford it.' like he's rich or something", etc) since he had a veritable parade of girlfriends in high school and I had um, a library card. Then I promptly put the lid on the box and will save it for when we turn 60 and 62. By then maybe I'll slip a few copies of Mark's notes out of our wedding scrapbook and into the box, so he knows I like his the very best. I'm sure Boston and Cooper will have left me a few by then, too, and they are just as handsome.
ps.Oh, you should see some of the comments in his yearbooks. Zounds. He sang "When I Fall in Love" in a senior year concert and I think half the girls in his class wanted a private serenade...or his yearbook looks that way. Sorry ladies. I get to hear the shower variety whenever I want.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Poor Christopher.

Mark did a Family Home Evening lesson last night on what it means to be a pioneer. He had a sheet of paper with portraits of Christopher Columbus, Thomas Edison, Brigham Young and Neal Armstrong. (All were the first to accomplish something or go somewhere no one had gone before.) He asked our brilliant daughter to identify all the people and tell what she knew about each one. I had to help her with Neal Armstrong but with Thomas Edison, she said, "Oh yes, he invented the lightbulb, the phonograph, and a voting machine but no one wanted to buy it." (She has a book on him.) That's what made it so funny when she was completely stumped by everyone's favorite sailing explorer (well, there were a few large groups of people who weren't so happy with him, but you know what I mean...) Mark finally had her guess who it was. "Um, Brigham Young's mother?"
Then, when we laughed so hard, she was so embarrassed. She hates being wrong, but it was sure cute.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Three smoky bears at the beach

This week we had a great camping trip. This was our first time as a family since our disastrous trip when Boston was a nursing baby and I had to go to the emergency room with mastitis. (It was bound to be better than that!) It really went very smoothly. I was determined to go this year, even though the mom has to do a lion's share of work, because I think it's important for our kids to have good memories of doing fun things as a family. I especially wanted this for Leslie since she has to miss out on a lot of adventures because she has two teeny brothers who can't do much. It really was fun and I actually wasn't bothered by the extra work and hassle. Boston was just the perfect age for it--he had a great time throwing rocks in the creek and staying up late outside. Cooper did pretty well--we brought his pack n' play to pen him in a little and also his highchair. The only part he didn't like was having to go to sleep in the tent. He howled plenty and probably woke several other campers, but oh well. My other two stayed asleep, so it wasn't too bad.
We went with some of our friends that we don't see much since they moved to Logan to a campground in Huntsville, then played on the beach at the lake there the next day. The campground was secluded (just the way I need it to be to not complain about living in Utah...) by tall, tall grass and had shady trees and a stream nearby. It was perfect; even the foursome of woodpeckers living in the tree over the tent were kind of fun to wake up to.
Mark cooked us a fabulous Dutch oven breakfast and then we went over to Pineview Reservoir to swim and play on their long, sandy beach. It felt almost oceany, but without salt and sharks. Boston was kind of freaked out by the waves, but he had fun anyway, I think. Cooper loved being in the water and Leslie lounged on the floaty. My legs are still chalky white but my shoulders burned. Sigh. Here are some shots. My favorite moment of the whole trip was when the kids all climbed into Mark's vacated spot in our double sleeping bag when they woke up. (He was making breakfast.) They were all cuddly and giggly to be in the was nice to just love on them and have nowhere to go or nothing to get done.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Editorial that Might Have Been

I read an interesting article in Newsweek while sitting in a waiting room yesterday. I disagreed with it but when I went to leave a comment on their website, it only allowed a few lines of commentary. So here is the Editorial that Might Have Been. I encourage anyone who agrees with me to leave comments as well. The article is found at Does Having Children Make You Happy? | Newsweek Global Literacy |
The author of the article is trying to stir the pot by trying to answer this true or false type question. She cites lots of controversial statistics about how married people with children are less happy than singles or marrieds without children. She concludes that the statement "Having Children Makes You Happy" is false (even though she has children of her own.) Although I agree with her to a degree because nothing MAKES you happy if you are determined to be unhappy, the cultural idea behind this article is frightening. Pres. Monson said in his talk, "A Sanctuary from the World" (February 9, 2008, Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting: Building Up a Righteous Posterity), that "Messages surround us which contradict all that we hold dear--enticing us to turn from that which is 'virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy' and embrace the thinking which often prevails outside the gospel of Jesus Christ." This article is certainly one of those messages swirling around us.
A big problem is that the world does not often distinguish between pleasure and abiding joy, or realize that it is possible to have both, but not always at the same time. There was once a well-known couple who faced the decision whether or not to have children. Where would we be without them? "And they would have had no children, wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery, doing no good, for they knew no sin....Adam [and Eve] fell that men might be, and men are, that they might have joy" (2 Ne 2:23-25). Adam and Eve made a huge sacrifice as parents, as do each of us who choose to multiply and replenish the earth. Sacrifice is another word the world doesn't define very well. It means giving up something good for something better.
Another enormous part of having joy AND children comes with understanding the truth about life as a three-act play. This life is only the second act, where sometimes babies die or children become estranged, they cause us to change our plans and dreams, they cause us to work hard for little thanks or reward. I hope that your second act is going better than this, but face it, sometimes it is rather dismal. Don't forget, the third act is much, much better, and it goes on forever in happy families. The curtain never drops on that blissful stage.
A novel I am reading has a scene between the protagonist and a bereaved mother. The somewhat atheistic hero asks the mother if she would have children all over again, knowing they would be taken from her and she would have no one. She replies heroically, "I have someone to grieve for. Do you?" I think hell itself would be to be left "without root or branch" (Mal. 4:1).
I agree that the "swinging" single life or the life without children has many wonderful opportunities. I hope that single and childless people will be happy because they are also entitled to it. But I think they will find that something very essential is missing. "But when we have sampled much and have wandered far and have seen how fleeting and sometimes superficial a lot of the world is, our gratitude grows for the privilege of being part of something we can count on--home and family and the loyalty of loved ones...We learn that nothing can fully take the place of the blessed relationship of family life." (Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Feb. 9 2008).
Maybe the unhappiness found in so many families today is not evidence of a childless life being happier, but instead a sign that we as a society are failing to train, support, and give encouragement for those who are making the more selfless choice by living a family life. I would be hard-put to find a good mother role model in our current books, movies, magazines and pop culture. Perhaps "Elastigirl" from Pixar's The Incredibles. I absolutely love the scene where the Incredibles family is at the neighborhood barbecue and some careerist woman is whining about how she could never have children, she would have to give up her very important work. Elastigirl, who is living incognito, retired from such an unimportant career as saving the world, gives the woman a good tongue-lashing and really takes her apart. She stands up for motherhood as the most important work there is. What, you don't remember that part of the film? That's because it was cut from the movie and only made it onto the DVD extras in sketch form. I wonder why?
I am so grateful to belong to a church that provides the truth about parenthood and then gives the support and reassurance I need while making these sacrifices. M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, "There are moments of great joy and incredible fulfillment, but there are also moments of a sense of inadequacy, monotony, and frustration. Mothers may feel they receive little or no appreciation for the choice they have made...As a church, we have enormous respect and gratitude to you mothers of young children. We want you to be happy and successful in your families and to have the validation and support you need and deserve" ("Daughters of God", Ensign, May 2008, Vol. 38, Number 5, p.109).
My heart goes out to all those parents who report being unhappy. The article discussed many possible reasons, (including stress from having both parents in the workplace, and I agree), but no solution to all this misery. Here is a lifesaver to all those sinking families, one that I rely on all the time when I feel I might drown in all this sacrifice and responsibility. Are you ready? "Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ" (The Family: A Proclamation to the World, released Sept. 23, 1995 by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints).
I need to watch myself a little more with the things I say about being a parent--to rejoice a little more and complain, even jokingly, a little less. If we could each do that perhaps those who are trying to validate their lifestyle will not tear down those of us who are working, loving, and yes, even triumphantly laughing in this greatest of causes.
--Jackie Day, "surprisingly" happy mother of three young children

Monday, July 7, 2008

Bucket-head Boston and Freedom Friday

On Thursday we kidnapped the kids out of their beds early and drove down to Provo for the Freedom Festival Hot Air Balloon launch at 6:30 AM. It was a pretty cool family adventure, plus, even with breakfast at McDonald's afterwards, Mark was still able to get in a full day's work. It was fun to feel the sun come up over the mountains. Leslie wasn't sure what to think about getting dragged out of bed (she stole Cooper's blankie and was trying to go back there I guess) but she still liked it.
You can see in this last picture Boston being off in lala land. We spotted him from the dining room and he was still doing this by the time we were out there with our camera. You can see the lack of briskly growing pumpkin plants around the sandbox. We had a little problem with some short guerrilla pulling out our sprinklers and using them as automatic weapons. So it just floods. Mark tried to fix it this weekend...we'll see how successful he was since he prefers chewing off his own foot to working with the sprinklers.
Potty training is going very well. Nuff said on that blankety blank subject.
The fourth of July was fun. We went to Mark's brother's house for a barbecue and the kids had a blast with their cousins, as usual. Then we came home to host our own neighborhood barbecue that evening. Lots of food, lots of kids, and only one bee sting. Oh, on the way home from Paul's house Boston blurted to us out of the blue, "It's Freedom Friday!" I was glad he picked that up because he kept thinking it was his birthday, what with the chocolate cake and the party and all.