September 27, 2009

Teeth

Jett has been bragging to his brothers for 2 weeks that he gets to go to the dentist.

Let's take a stroll down memory lane for a moment. It's February 2009. The weather was unpredictable but had been quite snowy and lousy. I took ALL the kids on a trip to the dentist...for their first time ever. Powerful coaxing got Elliott and then Graeden into the dental chair. NOTHING and I mean ABSOLUTELY NO BRIBE could get Jett in that chair. We were referred to the children's dentist just down the hill from our home. At that time, the big boys did okay and Jett still refused to even sit in the "elevator" chair. So this is QUITE A CHANGE OF HEART when not so many months later Jett is EXCITED to go to the dentist.


Imagine my surprise when it turned out we had to coax him into this chair. But, once he was watching CARS on the flat screen on the ceiling, he was fine. He got a CARS toothbrush, which he had no inhibitions about asking to trade it for a different character.


Funny, because we've really latched on to the saying, "You get what you get and don't throw a fit."


Elliott did really well. It's his x-rays that I think are marvelous. That and the ease with which the dentist can email them to me.



It looks like Elliott may have some spacing issues with his permanent teeth, but who knows, he could turn out to have a big mouth. ha ha ha.



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September 24, 2009

Hope




Hope: to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence, and to believe, desire, or trust.


It is interesting to me that hope includes not only desire but also reasonable confidence. This definition makes HOPE more solid to me and not so wishful.


Ether 12:6: Faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.



Yes, some trials encourage hope like I have never before imagined possible.


Moroni 7:41: And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.

 

My greatest hope is definitely found in the power of the resurrection. One year ago, I thought I had faith in Christ's resurrection. That was turned upside down in such a brief moment. It's been an amazing journey these past several months. A journey that has not ended bur rather this is the beginning of HOPE.



I read an article a few months ago, "Hope: The Misunderstood Sister" by Larry Hiller that really made an impression on me.

I think of them as three famous sisters whose names are frequently linked, always in the same order: Faith, Hope, and Charity. They are mentioned several times in the New Testament and with remarkable frequency in the Book of Mormon.



Of the three, Faith may be the most well known and popular, the one whose companionship is sought most often. She’s active and energetic, definitely the can-do type. Faith can move mountains, if necessary.


I picture Charity as being modest and refined, beautiful and gracious. In her presence you feel genuinely loved and accepted. She’s unfailingly kind and generous, patient, empathetic, aware of every need, and responsive without being asked. How could you not want the companionship of someone like Charity?

Then there’s Hope, who seems to have a problem with the way people perceive her. It may be her name and the way it’s commonly used: “I hope the car passes inspection.” Or, “I hope the weather will be nice for the wedding.” Used this way, the word hope is the verbal equivalent of keeping your fingers crossed. Consequently, many seem to think Hope is unsure, even fickle—she may or may not grace you with her companionship. But surely that’s not the kind of hope our Father in Heaven commands us to have. Nor would it be the kind of hope our Savior offers.


Three years ago, I didn't know Evan. I wasn't expecting him nor did I comprehend what he would or could mean to me. Now he has passed through my life and has eternally affected it for the better. I'm still getting to know this misunderstood sister, Hope. But I can start to see the glimmer of a bright future peeking through the fog of grief.
When we endure tribulation with faith and patience, what we experience is the Savior’s awareness of us and His love for us. We experience them through the ministrations of the Holy Ghost, the Comforter. We receive this witness after the trial of our faith (see Ether 12:6).


In my own life, when I patiently endure trials, the Savior, who took upon Himself all of our ills and sorrows (see Alma 7:11–12), ministers to me through the Spirit. I experience the Savior’s tender mercies. My trials may continue, but having taken upon me the yoke of Christ, I find Him sharing my yoke, making my burdens bearable, and giving me hope. I then have strength to endure. I have assurance that all will be made right, not just in eternity but also for eternity. Hope is anything but wishful. It is expectation based on experience.


I see Hope more clearly now. She is serene. Her eyes have the deep, knowing look of someone well acquainted with sorrow, the luminosity of recently being wet with tears. Hope has the confidence of one who clearly sees a bright future even when the next hours seem fog shrouded. Hope is steady and strong, a friend I am glad to have beside me during my own trials.

September 23, 2009

Angel Day

Three years ago, today, I had no idea that Evan would enter our lives. Two years ago, today, our beautiful Evan was blessed in church.  One year ago, today, Evan became our angel in heaven.



It seems so long ago. So long ago and then like it was just yesterday. It is amazing that such a small footprint can make such big difference in our lives. We miss him dearly.
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September 19, 2009

Gratitude

I won't focus on my flight from my moody belligerant boys last night and the following stress-free evening spent with my cousin...instead, I'll tell you about what I'm grateful for. Just as my husband was coming home from work and pulling into the neighborhood, I was leaving. I'm thankful he said, "okay" and didn't question me when I told him I was done and drove off.

I was delighted to find UN-USED eraser sponges in my cupboard yesterday afternoon. Yes, it has been months since the boys used a sharpie on my walls. I'm excited that I got my laundry room floor swept and organized. Yes, those little particles of whatever have been sticking to my feet for some time now. And they are gone...for now. It makes me smile that Jocelyn can crawl up into her swing in the family room and close the bar to hold herself in and then will swing and swing to her heart's content. Jett complains about unloading the dishwasher because, "it's too hard!" I have him stick to it and finish and last time when he exclaimed, "it's not hard, Mom! Mom, it's not hard!" it was all the motivation I needed to continue to teach him to work. I loved it when Tymon actually liked the summer squash casserole I made. Our neighbor has given us 12 of them and we've eaten 10 so far.

I'm pleased that the blue flowers we have ready to take to Evan's grave on Wednesday are happy and healthy and love the rain shower that came this morning. I'm touched by the love of friends and family, especially at this time in our lives. It's one of the ways in which we feel Heavenly Father's love for us. I'm continually amazed that the pain of losing Evan doesn't go away. I didn't know love went so deep. When my uncle died or as each of my grandparents died, I cried. Sometimes more than once. But I didn't cry about it a week or two later...and certainly not months later...or a year later. I think I'll be crying about my Evan until I see him again. And even then I'll cry tears of joy. I'm grateful for eternal families and the love of a Heavenly Father who understands the depth of love far greater than I do.

September 16, 2009

Sunflower


Today, Jett, Jocelyn and I had lunch at Evan's graveside. My emotions are very close to the surface as we approach Evan's Angel Day. We wonder what life would have been like. Would he have taken Jocelyn's abuse (she likes to hit others and sit on their face and other such things) like Jett accepted his? Or would he fight back? Would he still be climbing up everything he sees or would he have taken a serious fall and learned a little fear? So many thoughts. So much love for our little guy.

Thank you to Evan's sunflower giver.  What a pleasant surprise to find today. You remembered our boy when you didn't have to. You brought him a gift from our Father and your kindness has touched my heart.

September 15, 2009

Milk

My darling cranky Jocelyn spontaneously signed "milk" several times this morning. I guess she was frustrated that the one she'd been drinking all night was empty. I was so excited that she was trying to communicate with us and knew why she was uncomfortable. I rushed to fill her bottle, which she threw to the ground. Now if she would learn to sign "tired" or "sleep" then she could take control of her next biggest problem.
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Elliott's School Saga

When the little guy is begging me to go to school....
And the school district refuses to admit Elliott into kindergarten because he is 4 (even though he met or exceeded the required score on each of 6 tests to get in)....

We ended the 2 week fight and enrolled him in a private school.

And now I know that being a strong parent advocate is not enough when stacked up against a bunch of "intellectuals" at the school district. Apparently, they know more about my child's readiness for school than I do. And that irks me...so much so that I looked up when the 5 member school board is up for re-election. It pains me to know that 3 of them will be voted in again in November. They are all running unopposed.

That will NOT be the case when the other two are up for re-election in 2 years. I am hoping that I can get several real people (including me) with real children and real educational needs on the board. And now that I know when the filing deadline is, I will be better prepared in June 2011.

I actually don't know anything about the current school board. Only that they hired the superintendent, who hired the staff that refused to listen to a parent. And when I sought help from the school board president to appeal the decision, he didn't even have time to respond to me. He had the superintendent's secretary contact me. Apparently, there is no way to appeal a decision made by our superintendent. Yup, that was disappointing and upsetting. I urge all voters in my school district to WITHHOLD your vote for these school board members. Why vote for anyone unopposed? And why vote for anyone who refuses to listen to his constituents? But if you must vote, just write in my name on the ballot...
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September 10, 2009

Our Circus


While the circus that is our house is often exciting, it is never as fantastical as a real one. I really like the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey show. Tonight's was great and I liked it better than the show last year. Although, we lacked having some of our favorite people with us that were there then.

When I bought the tickets, it didn't really sink in that it's a school night and Graeden has to be up early...which means that I have to be up. The boys fell asleep on the way to the show and although they were good and engaged during the show, Graeden started whining around intermission time and Jocelyn got wiggly, so we decided to leave early. Jocelyn ended up crying most of the way home. Ahh, it's good to be home.

September 9, 2009

Sausage Face

Apparently, Jocelyn knows how to climb onto a chair now. This is how I found her this evening. She is eating the sausage that Tymon left on his plate from dinner. I guess she was hungry and decided to take things into her own hands.

School Schmool

For Graeden's first day of school, I made him a little Graeden on his lunch sack. He liked it.

Here are all the kids at the bus stop in our neighborhood. The only thing is the bus driver is new to this route and he missed our stop today. After waiting 30 minutes, a couple of the neighbors ended up taking all of the kids. Of course, they were all late.

I spent the rest of the day working on getting Elliott into a school. We toured two and I have had a lot of contact with our public school district. I'm sad to say that parents don't have a lot of influence over their children's education with these bureaucrats. I am so disappointed with our district. Last year I didn't volunteer at all with the school. And with 3 kids at home, it made sense. This year (hopefully), Elliott will be in a private kindergarten somewhere and Jett will be in preschool and I'll have a few hours where I can volunteer in the schools.

September 7, 2009

Alaskan Adventures

The last week of August Tymon and I lived on this boat. It was fabulous. We visited some great places but the best part was our balcony cabin. We could sit in our room and have an unobstructed view of one of the most beautiful and remote parts of the world. I also really like the towel animals and Andes mints we got in our room each night.

We joined a group of art lovers and were able to spend time with Marco (below) and Dominic Pangborn.

It was really interesting to talk to the artists all week. Marko is really humorous. After finding out that he was from Croatia, I was pretty intrigued about why his accent was so good. Well, he spent the first 11 years of his life in the United States before his parents took him home. We ate dinner at his table one night and he kept us all entertained by drawing on cloth napkins (he keeps a mega-sized sharpie in his pocket) and ordering odd drinks to try. His Croatian roots shined bright when he ordered a side dish of olive oil to pour on his entree. Hilarious.

What you can't see well here is the blueness of the water. It was such a pretty color.


Views of a glacier while we cruised the Inside Passage.


Tymon practiced his swing one afternoon. He even went to the gym a couple of times.
In Skagway, we took a train ride up White Pass toward the Yukon Territory. It was beautiful.


Here's Tymon panning for gold. He got $6.33 worth. I got a little under $6.

We loved the chocoholic buffet...especially Tymon. The scultures were amazing.

I liked the dragon ice sculpture best.


In Ketchikan I got a photo op with my homegirl Sarah Palin before we headed off to the lumberjack show. I didn't know she was so tall.
In Juneau, Captain Obvious let us know not to get on this bus, but maybe we should have. Instead we got in a rickety van that took us on a canoe trip. The back seat we sat on wasn't bolted down to the floor all the way so it rocked back whenever we stopped or started at a stop sign. That would've felt fun except that the back door had been in a collision and didn't close all the way. So our adventure started with us thinking that at any moment we might fly out the back.




It got better once we got to the Mendenhall Glacier. A couple of days before we got there a huge ice chunk came off the glacier and filled Mendenhall lake with tons of smaller pieces of it as it broke apart further.




The ice is SO blue from the pressure of the compressed ice on the glacier. It is such a pretty color and unlike any other color in its surroundings.
 
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