Days 2015

Days 2015

Sunday, February 9, 2014

From the Tow Rope to the Catwalk

Leslie is now officially a teenager.  This was not the year that she could throw a party, so in the family adventure category, we opted to go skiing for the first time.  Just the two of us.  (Mark no longer likes skiing.  He says he liked it as a teenager, when he was good at it.  I think he mostly doesn't like it because it's the one sport on the face of the planet that I can kick his trash.  Hahahahaha.  And I'm not even very good.)
Well, she woke up to a beautiful day for skiing, but ended up cracking her head on the corner of her nightstand when she turned off her alarm and giving herself a big ole wound next to her eye.  When she came into my room to tell me about it I was still pretty much dead to the world (as I usually am when she wakes up) and waved her toward the medicine box. 

Bright spot when she arrived at school, her best friend (and her best friend's cute, tall 9th grade brother--just had to throw that in there at an attempt at embarrassment--I'm working on my teen mom skills) had decorated her locker for the occasion.  Somehow they got the wrong locker...so it was kind of funny for Leslie and another friend to try to transfer the decorations to the proper locker so friend A wouldn't feel bad for messing it up.

Not so bright spot when she arrived home from school.  Quite upset.  Crying.  She said some 9th grade boys on the bus were wrestling and kicked her in the head.  Then when she told them to cut it out they made fun of her.  Great.  Ah, teenage boys.  I forgot that number 13 also signifies an increase in idiocy in the opposite sex.  I told her that they could just go home to their boring little lives while the two of us escaped to a posh ski resort for the rest of the day, so there.

Posh ski resort, bunny hill.  It might have helped if she was a little closer to the ground at her first attempt.  Olive Oyl comes to mind, especially with all of those short little 6 year olds zooming around us.  First try up the tow rope?  WHAM!  Knocked her straight backward onto her head.  A little too much jerk I guess, then she figured it out.  Second time up the tow rope?  WHAM!  Hit the ground flat.  Again.  Third time up was perfect.  This is not such a good thing because I thought she had it figured out and wasn't giving her much instruction for her 4th time up....where she got to the top, slid backward into the tow rope instead of getting out of the way, it clotheslined her across the thighs, she flipped upsidedown with her body dragging on one side and her heavy skis trapped on the other.  I was coming up after her and wasn't too stressed because I was expecting the guy at the bottom to just stop the rope so she could get some help...but no.  Did he not see my poor gangly maiden dragging along, flailing and yelling at the top of the hill?  Just as I was starting to panic, imagining her being ripped apart where the tow meets the gear at the top (I was raised on farmer-gets-eaten-by grain-auger stories) some Dad ran over and flipped her skis up over the rope so she could escape.  Thank you quick Dad who was wearing super hero snowboots instead of lame duck skis (as I was).  I don't think this whole clumsy yet life threatening episode made her cry...

No, that only happened six or seven times down the mountain.  I decided the tow rope was trying to eat her and we needed to try the lift instead.  Lift dismount was actually pretty good, but it took us a long hard time to get down the mountain.  Falling = pain.  Falling = ten minutes of trying to get back up.  So don't fall then!  Finally, the last two stretches of the slope she really started to get the hang of it and wasn't afraid to go a little bit fast.  (Most of her falling down was just to slow herself down.)  By then she was pretty much frozen stiff, though, and all cried out with cramping muscles, so she rested by the firepit while I took a solo ride and then we were done for the night.  I think she at least saw the potential for fun and enjoyment.  She said she is willing to try it again...maybe next year.  I don't think she has cried as much on a birthday since she was like, two.

Good thing she had a great time later in the week.  The young women participated in a modesty fashion show, modeling borrowed modest formal wear.  They were all gorgeous and had so much fun getting all dolled up and trying on the dresses.  I think that when it was Leslie's turn to walk into the room there really was an audible gasp because she was so stunning.  Goodbye "Olive Oyl", hello Swan. (We can call Mark  "Pretty Nervous").  Bishop poked him as she came through and told him he's going to have to watch out for the boys.  I'll let you be the judge.


While Leslie is being all grown up, our boys still have a way to go.  This morning Boston called me into his room as he and Cooper were reading a book together.  "Mom, what's Faddle?"  Before answering "it's a kind of popcorn", I asked if I could see where he was reading such an unusual word.  He read me the sentence.  It went something like this.  "Their venom is very poisonous.  It can be faddle."

Some chuckles from one of Cooper's teachers after church today (who claimed Cooper was SOOO funny...) had us asking some questions at the dinner table.
 "Cooper, what was your class about today?"
Talking with mouth full, "Families."
"Your teacher said you were pretty funny.  What did you do?"
"I don't know.  I guess there was the time when she asked us what our parents give us.  I told her, 'Spankins'.  Then she said, no, I mean, what do they give you when you're good?  Ummmm.  Hamburgers?" 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Confessions of a Tongue-Biter...

I am a tongue-biter, albeit not a very good one.  I got my start by realizing I am one of those people who sees most things in black and white.  One of those people who really struggles with not being judgemental, but WANTS to only see the good in people.  I am a wuss in bright sunlight and always need my sunglasses...I wish I had an inner pair of sunglasses I could put on when the glare coming off of someone else's faults is a little too bright.  Some people are born with those inner sunglasses.  I was not and therefore, am desperately trying to train myself to be a tongue-biter.  I see you do something wrong, I KNOW you know better, but because I want to put the relationship first, the person first, the heart first, I bite my tongue.  Don't cast the first stone.  Don't judge you because you "sin differently than me".  That outer, black and white stuff is the easy part for me, I guess I get frustrated when it's not easy for everyone else.

I blame my lack of tongue-biting skills on being a born Big Sister.  Who else is going to tell you your nose is running, your fly's unzipped, you're a putz?  Who else is going to tell Mom you swore at the cats, I can see you hiding on the roof--get down here and do your dishes, what the heck are you thinking going to an R-rated move...and on a SUNDAY!  If you wear that skanky sleeveless prom dress you are going to regret it for the rest of your life, to your children's children's children. Do you want to go to you-know-where or what?  It was probably a big sister who does the forehead smacking in all those V-8 commercials.  And I must brag, now that my siblings have all thrived successfully on into their adulthood, I really haven't learned my lesson.

It did me no good to become a Mom (although it feels EXTREMELY liberating)  Moms can say anything they want for the good of the offspring!  It's beautiful!  Who else is going to tell you your brain is going to rot if you play too much Wii?  That you were a little too bossy to your friends and they aren't going to hang out with you anymore?  That you're going to get fat if you eat junkfood? That you stink and need to take a bath, change your clothes, brush your teeth?  That if you don't tell the truth you will end up scrubbing toilets in jail? That our family goes to church, doesn't drink or smoke, works hard, plays hard, prays, doesn't fight, and tries to follow Jesus, hoo-ra?  With that powerful "or else!" tone in our voices?  Ah, motherhood.

Oh, and like keeping a blog is going to help me learn to keep my mouth shut.  (Insert wicked laugh here.)

So, please, please everyone.  Take it easy on this fledgling tongue-biter, and don't do, say, wear, or post on facebook, anything I might regret.  Especially now that I have young'uns to train up in the ways of good and evil!   Imagine their poor little confused faces when we go to Seven Peaks (local water park, in Utah, where many people know much, much better.)  They just gaze at all the skin on display and look at me like, "Mom, there were a whole lot of folks who didn't read the memo!!"  A little less Sports Illustrated, and a little more Ensign would go a long way, folks.

Leslie is taking it very easy on me.  Tonight she is excited to participate in a mock fashion show with her Young Women's group, modeling modest formal wear.  (I'll have to post pictures later.)  She turned 13 this week and is a tall drink of water even without the beautiful clothes, so I'm sure tonight will launch her into knockout status.  Learning to dress modestly is one of the things she has to do to earn her Young Womanhood Recognition Award (similar to Eagle Scout status for young men).  Mothers are encouraged to earn this award alongside their daughters, so today I read some of our standards booklet that teaches principles taught by our prophet to our youth (and everyone else).  Loved this, especially going into the "dangerous" years for Leslie and her friends (who I SOOOO appreciate for making high standards so easy, thanks girls and young women's leaders).
Through your dress and appearance, you can show that you know how precious your body is.  You can show that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ and that you love him.  ....Your dress and grooming influence the way you and others act.  ....Do not use a special occasion as an excuse to be immodest.  When you dress immodestly, you send a message that is contrary to your identity as a son or daughter of God.  You also send the message that you are using your body to get attention and approval.
If you are wondering what "modest dress standard" means, here is a pretty straightforward definition.
"Immodest clothing is any clothing that is tight, sheer, or revealing...short shorts and short skirts, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and clothing that does not cover the shoulders or is low-cut in the front or back."
And in conclusion,
"The fashions of the world will change, but the Lord's standards will not change...Ask yourself, "Would I feel comfortable with my appearance if I were in the Lord's presence?"
Do I just need to love people and look past the stuff that bugs me, that I know is wrong?  Yes.  In fact, I need to repent for the even worse sin of withholding/blocking my love for them (this kind of repentance is also known as forgiveness). What's the sweetest smell in church?  Cigarette smoke.  I know this very personally from a few years ago when I accompanied someone newly released from prison back to church for the first time, smelling rankly of smoke.  I also saw her tears as the little primary children plugged their noses and loudly asked, "What stinks?"  She was afraid to come back.  Those kids were probably Eldest Children, suffering from Black and White Directness.  I recognize the symptoms.

And so, lips closed.  Heart open.  Chomp chomp.

Any tips for this tongue biter?