Making memories one day at a time.......and then I write about it.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

World Peace? How About I Start With Inner Peace!

A few days ago I went to a funeral.  A funeral for a man I have never met.  I went to show support and love to a beautiful woman.  My friend.

As I sat and listened to this man's son speak about his father I started to ponder some things.  Things I've been thinking about.  A lot.  I didn't know this man but we had something in common.  A spirit that was wild and crazy and full of energy and a body that doesn't want to cooperate.  A body that has health problems.  A body that is far too young to have health problems!  He passed away at the young age of 55.....

Never have I felt separation of body and spirit as I have the last couple of years and for some reason, this winter has been particularly hard.  I don't want to keep doing this.  I want the West Nile to be gone.  In the past.  Wave a magic wand and yell out some, "Harry Potter" spell and magically end up on the back of some dragon flying through the air, wind whipping through my hair, breath coming out in exhilarating gasps.

This man's son spoke about how his father is no longer held back by the bindings of health that held him back in this part of his life's journey.  From the sounds of it, it doesn't sound like he let his health hold him back much while he was here on earth.....

On Saturday evening I was preparing a lesson to teach the girls age 14-15 on Sunday.  As I was studying the lesson I was to give, I read a story about a mother who had terminal cancer.  Right before she passed away, her husband arranged it so that their little family of two little girls, herself, and her husband could have a  picnic out on the lawns of the hospital.  Later that day, she wrote in her journal about how she used to think that if you had your health, you had everything.  She realized that she didn't have her health but that she did have everything.  She had this beautiful little family and that would continue all through eternity.  The material things of this world she would leave behind but she would always have her family through out eternity.

I thought a lot about that.  Many times I have sat here like a lump on the couch and wondered what my purpose was since I'm not fulfilling the typical "Mom" criteria.  All of those job descriptions that you put under the title "Mom".  Not happening.  Dead weight.

I thought about my mum and would I rather a lump on the couch or no mum.  No question.  I'd rather the lump.  Coming home from school, just knowing a lump would be there is a whole lot better in my mind than coming home to no mum.

It got me to thinking The Native's probably feel the same way.  It's hard on them.  Not just me.  It's really hard on The SM and all he has on his plate.

I'm still trying to sort and work this through in my mind.  Coming to peace with where I am at right now.   Me signing up for a 1/2 marathon is proof I'm still fighting.  It's a work in progress.  But I'm making progress and that is what counts right?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Bag Lady Pageantry

 I came across this pattern on the Internet and thought it would be fun to teach the girls that I am over in the youth group at church.  A few months ago I taught them how to make pajama pants.  It was a complete fly by the seat of my pants adventure.  I didn't make a pair before hand so we all learned as we went.

This time around I thought I would try to make a bag before I taught the girls and hopefully things would go smoother.  One bag turned into another.... and another.... and another.  I present to you, all of the contestants in the bag lady pageantry!

Here we have Miss New Jersey with her hands on her hips.  Her gown is made from a very modern splashy springy fabric sporting stripes and paisley.

Next we have Miss Montana.  For her talent she is performing the hula.  Remember, the dance is all about the hands telling a story, not the hips......  Miss Montana learned how to hula on YouTube.

Miss Montana would like to draw attention to the inside of her lined gown.  She and Holly Hobby picked out fabric for their dresses together.

Next up we have miss Hawaii.  Don't be fooled by her cute petite size.  She's quite ticked at Miss Montana for taking all of her thunder by doing the Hula for her talent but you would never know by her yellow sunny disposition peeking through the top of her gown.

Last up we have Miss Texas.  Everything really is bigger in Texas if one goes by the amount of yardage used in Miss Texas's gown.  As she sits her all serene with arms folded she demurely leans into the microphone and tells us all that she really does just want world peace.  That's all she wants y'all.  World peace!

Then End!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


On Monday, it was a holiday here in the US.  President's Day to be exact which meant everyone was home on holiday!  The two eldest grabbed their snow boards and hit the local slopes while the rest of the tribe went up a different canyon and played in the snow and hiked around a bit.

We've not had any snow to speak of this year to play in so our hiking was more of a meandering crawl as The Native's rolled snowballs along the way........

Took little snitches of snow when they thought no one was looking......

Flashed adorable smiles.....

And more adorable smiles.......

And more....... ummm........ hey!  What happened to the adorable smiles?  It's a teenage thing.  Do NOT smile at the camera what ever you do!

Endless snow ball throwing.

I'm talking non stop!

Hello.  My name is Mr. J and I model for Wrangler jeans!

Snowballs...... it's an effect.  No seriously!  It is!  Once it starts rolling...........

The red rocks beckon to us.  No longer are we satisfied with playing in the snow on the ground floor.

We climb.

Some of us more brave than others.

Umm, Scarf Kid?  Come back here please?  You're making my toe nails curl inside my boots.

Good thing he listened because I did NOT want to have to go in after him!  Don't make me pull over my sled and get off!!!

Snow.  Cold.  Freezing.  Middle of winter.  Green.  Who'd have thought!

This green leafy plant looked like wool felt to me.  The leaves are thick and fuzzy/furry looking.

Mr. M walking close behind Mr. J making sure he doesn't fall.

No one asked Mr. M to do this.  Notice the left hand out just in case his brother slips.  Mr. M just comes by this naturally.  He's a care taker.  Ever since Mr. J was born........ he's taken it on personally to care for Mr. J.

The SM doing the same for Levi.  This part of the trail was a bit titchy.  

Levi taking a breather.  Do we keep going up?  Or do we go back down?

Oh look!  Shells of some critter that has since moved on.

Being the middle of winter I was amazed at all of the shades of green we saw and found.  Pretty moss the color of sage backed by a red canvas.

The vote was to keep going.  What were we thinking??

We weren't.  The ledge where The SM is helping Levi get up is as far as I went.  Julie wouldn't go any further and whined and cried because Levi was out of her sight.

Right where Henny Penny is, is where Julie and I were the smart ones and stayed put while the others went a bit higher.  I wasn't about to leave Julie by herself and my balance was way off so I was more than happy to sit with Julie and grumble about what a bunch of nincomepoops I was spending the day with and if someone got stuck or hurt don't come crying to me!

I didn't get a photo of it but seconds later, Henny Penny is reaching down her hand and helping pull Mr. M up.  I think this was the highlight of the trip for me.  Seeing The Native's reaching out and helping each other all on their own.

As I waited I started to look around me and about fell off the mountain when I saw this out of the corner of my eye!  I thought it was a barking spider.  Stupid remnant of some flower.......  NOT FUNNY!

Driiiiiiiiiiiip!  Ummmm, honey!!!!  I realize we're all stuck up here on this mountain but.......  I gotta gooooo!

Uh!  No!  I won't be caught dead in one of these.  Shudder............

Awwww.  Much better.  Nothing a little bush around a corner can't cover!  A little rude that the paparazzi was waiting for us to come back around the corner laughing their fool heads off  at us girls because we'd rather go behind a tree than in the hootie 10 feet away but considering who was behind the camera.  No surprise.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Gone to the Dogs

That's not an eraser discarded on the family room floor.  You're imagining you are seeing a pink eraser left on the floor.

The Native's are off at school, I'm sitting in my recliner, I look over at Julie and see this.  How pray tell did she get herself all wrapped up snugly in this blanket?  Wrapped up in a blanket with Levi's scooter wedged underneath to boot.

That is still not an eraser.................  

I know this look.  This is the look I have on my face every morning after the alarm clock goes off.  If a dog could glare, Julie is glaring right now.

That is still not an eraser........ or a discarded used band-aid............ these aren't the droids you're looking for............ 

This is what happens after the alarm is turned off.  Head tucked back under covers wishing the world would go back to sleep for a bit longer.......

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hungry for People to Open Their Eyes and Say Something!

I am writing this blog post as a concerned parent.  A parent that wishes society would open their eyes to what is going on around them and say something!  Be a voice!

It started a few months ago when Mr. C came home from school upset.  His English teacher was having the students study a book for an entire semester.  They were given a packet of papers to go along with their study of the book.  The book is, "Hunger Games".

I realize that the, "Hunger Games" has been quite popular as was/is the, "Twilight" series and so therefore this post won't be a popular post.  I don't care.  Sometimes being popular isn't the cool thing to be.

All I have heard is how wonderful the, "Hunger Games" is.  It's a series that no one can put down.  I was ready to start reading it when one voice, my sisters, told me not to.  She told me what it was about and I was shocked that our society is so numb, we think teens killing teens in a gladiator style is fun and entertaining.

I called the school and talked to Mr. C's English teacher who was very good to work with us.  Mr. C would go to the library for the semester and do a study on a book of his choosing.  Our dear friend, Kristen Randle would mentor him and after the semester, have Mr. C write a paper that she would grade and that grade would be submitted.

All went to plan and I thought this would be the end of it.  Yesterday was parent teachers conferences.  As I was walking down the hallways of the high school, I noticed several tv's up on the walls in the main hallway.  What I saw being advertised on the tv's had me furious!  The trailer for the movie, "Hunger Games".

Explain to me, why a high school, would have a movie being advertised that promoted teen violence?  An institution that is supposedly teaching our kids NOT to be violent?

Why in the world are there tv's in the hallways of the schools advertising ANYTHING??

My blood is boiling over this one.  I wondered why no other parents came forward about our youth being made to study, "The Hunger Games" in class......... now I'm wondering why parents aren't coming forward about what is being advertised in the hallways of the schools!  I hope they are.........

I am going to assume that it is because they don't know.  I am going to assume that if they knew, they'd be as boiling mad as me and say something!  I'm one voice.  I'm hoping that more voices will join mine and say something.

Am I over reacting?  Should I be concerned?  I'll answer this one.  I'm concerned about those who think I'm over reacting and aren't concerned.  I'm concerned about parents who don't think this is a big deal..... who are also caught up in these types of books.  I'm concerned with an institution where my kids spend 90 % of their time in a day that isn't concerned.........  that is more concerned about money in the advertising they are getting than in what is being advertised and promoted to our kids.

Are you concerned?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Betty Cracker

I've no photos to help illustrate the story I am going to tell.  I was too busy in the kitchen being Mrs. Betty Crackers.

I hate Valentine's Day.  I've hated it ever since Jr. High and High School where all of the populars would run around with their flowers and balloons and I'd walk around empty handed.  A stark reminder that I was NOT popular.

Yesterday I had to go to the High School and drop off something for Mr. C.  I was there while students were in between classes.  The halls were filled with giggling twittering girls holding handfuls of flowers they'd been given.  I think I growled.

I know, I'm married now and The SM spoils me rotten so what am I complaining about?  Let the past goooooooo.  Grow up and move on Rachel...............  I'll work on that in therapy okay?

The other day I came across this link on Face Book and an idea was planted.  Wouldn't this be so much fun???  I might actually like this Valentine's Day!!!

The Native's came home and were banned from the kitchen.  I'd taken a rope and strung it across kitchen cabinets.  I then put sheets on the rope so they couldn't see into the kitchen.

All seated around the table I gave them their 'menu' and told them to pick their courses.  They made their choices.   I did change the menu a tidge.  I thought that garlic toast went better with spaghetti than biscuits and jam.  For the biscuits I did the garlic toast.  For the jam I served chopped up watermelon.  Gotta go with the color red theme......... for dessert I did cheesecake with strawberry syrupy stuff on top.

Dinner took about an hour.  The Native's, SM, and a neighbor of ours spent the evening laughing and I couldn't help giggle as I'd put together their courses and hand them their food without utensils.  At one point, poor Levi got a napkin, a toothpick, and a spoon for his course.  He wasn't happy!  He was the only one I changed the rules for.......

All through the evening The Native's kept saying that this was the best dinner ever.  They were having so much fun.  I thought that was pretty fantastic until Henny Penny gave me the best thank you.  She made me sit down, fill out a menu, and then she went behind the curtain and served me up my courses.  I thought that was the sweetest Valentine ever.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Horsin' A'round

I can remember in elementary school decorating a shoe box for my classmates to put their Valentines in.  I would cover it in red and pink construction paper......  maybe add a few doilies.......  some stickers....... tons of hearts........  

The Native's like to make boxes to put their Valentines in too!  They've made boxes that look like sharks that their classmates had to put their hands in it's mouth to place the Valentine inside, there have been dinosaurs, a frog...........

 But never have any of them been as disturbing as this.......  For the record.  I had nothing to do with this project!  Just sayin'...............

Mom!  I promise.  I did not do this!!!  You believe me right?  The SM isn't as innocent as he looks!  Mom?  Mom?


Sigh...........  Even when I'm not being naughty I still get blamed.............

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Recital Time!

The Natives, their extremely talented piano teacher, and Henny Penny's Best Friend
in the whole wide world,  the lovely Miss J.

I could post several photos of The Native's acting like punks as I tried to get a decent photo of them, photo after photo after photo........ this is about the only one I could find where one of them wasn't making some sort of awful face.  I won't though because I know you just want to hear them play so..... without my further yodeling I give you........... The Native's Piano Recital 2012.  And yes, for those of you that have been around for awhile, it was at a new location.  Our church, since the Gallery where they normally have it has raised their obnoxious prices!  Unlike our salaries.......  Oops!  Did I just say that out loud?

Henny Penny and Miss J doing two duets.

Miss Henny Penny

Mr. M

Mr. M and Mr. Piano Teacher doing a duet.

The Master The Native's are learning from.

Mr. C

Mr. T

Mr. B

Mr. C and Mr. B playing a duet "The Stars and Stripes". A fitting last number for the end of an era. This is Mr. B's last recital. One of many things I need to be brave about this year and embrace!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Feelings. We're supposed to 'feel' them............

In the church I belong to, (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) the youth are broken up into groups by age.  There is the Primary which is ages 18 months to 11 years of age.  Then there is the YoungMen/YoungWomen who are ages 12-18.  I am over the Young Women ages 12-18.  Particularly the age 14-15 age group.

I don't know if it is just me....... or if we live in a society that suppresses our emotions and feelings.  I know that I am by nature a peace maker.  I don't like confrontation at all.  I don't like to rock the boat.  But, if you cross The Native's, The SM, or the youth in my church, my friends........ I become a big huge ugly green mess of rage.  I'll put on my boxing gloves and go the full 9 rounds.  It's 9 rounds right?

Then why pray tell, do I not do the same for myself?  I came to a conclusion last night.  I gave myself permission because I want the youth I am over, especially the young women to know, they can fight back.  They can stand up for themselves and it is okay.  It is okay to feel anger and frustration when we are being attacked in anyway.  Emotionally, physically, verbally, etc.

I know for me, I honestly do try so hard to do what is right and be Christ-like. Shocking...... I know.  I realized last night though, that suppressing our feelings is not what the Savior would do!  He gets angry!  Our Heavenly Father gets angry!  It's righteous anger but it is anger never the less!  What we do with the anger determines if we are being Christ-like.

Years ago when I placed my daughter for adoption I remember my father telling me that it was okay to mourn.  It was okay to take that time to mourn.  He cautioned me not to let it consume me; mourn and then move on with my life.

I think it is the same with things that are upsetting in our lives.  Go ahead and be angry.  Don't let it consume, but go ahead and feel those feelings and then move on.  Let the Savior's grace take it from us and become better people because of it...

Am I making any sense??

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Musical Number

The assignment:  Go to a music store, pick out a piece of music for the instrument that you play, some piano accompaniment music to go with, practice, and then play in front of the teacher for a grade.

Mr. C goes to the music store and starts thumbing through the music.  No, too easy.  Nope, not hard enough.  No, too easy.

He finally found a piece of music he felt was at his level of playing.  Mind you, this child has been playing the clarinet for two years........  two school years which means there are many months in the summer where it isn't played.......

The night of the due assignment.  We sat in the hall outside of the band room, along with The Native's piano teacher who was so kind to accompany Mr. C, and listened in on some of the other students solo pieces.

The realization.  Mr. C had picked a MUCH harder piece than anyone we'd yet to hear!  Is this kid crazy??  He could have chosen a much easier piece, played it to perfection, and gotten an ace grade right?

That's not how Mr. C works.  Mr. C chose a very hard piece, played it to perfection, and better get an ace grade (we're still waiting to hear back from his teacher).  We all felt he did an ace grade job.

You decide:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Revenge Is Beautiful

Once upon a time there was a family who liked to play games together.  One of the games they enjoyed was 'hide-and-seek' in the dark!  All of the lights are turned off in the house, one of The Native's is "it" and goes upstairs to count while the rest of us hide.  When the time is up, The Native comes downstairs and with only the red light on their headlamp, begins to try and find all of us.

This is a fun game and imaginations run wild with all of the places to hide.  One day, The Mum thought she would hide in between the clothes drying on the clothes rack.  On a normal day, after The Native's have been out playing in the snow, it looks like this!

She thought it would be so funny if she crawled up inside with all of the clothes covering and hid.  She looked at the tiny hole she'd have to climb through and thought, "no problem".

She started to wiggle and jiggle her way up into the clothes rack when she realized something.  She wasn't as small as she thought, or the space was a lot smaller than it should be, or she was a lot bigger than in her world full of denial.

As this realization struck, so did gravity and the world began to tip.  Sideways....... and over the whole contraption went, trapping the giggling Mum inside.

The Mum had to shout "times"!!!  "HELP"!!!

All of The Native's and The SM came running flipping on lights as they came tearing around the corner and busted up laughing when they saw the pile of disaster.

The Mum was laughing so hard she was crying and in between her laughter and hiccups she asked her children to please help her out.

What you see pictured here............ is their idea of  helping.  Poor helpless Mum who can't fight back with a camera in her face.

The Mum in this story may not be an evil step mother but you can bet she is hatching an evil plan.  An evil plan of revenge.  (Evil cackle).

Watch out Mr. B and The SM......... when you least expect it............  THIS MEANS WAR!

NOT!!!  The End!