Monday, December 17, 2007

Books on CD Recommendations

Hey friends. We are driving to visit family for Christmas and are looking for good books on CD to listen to in the car. If you've read or listened to any book books lately, will you post your recommendations for me! Thanks!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Baby Jesus is Missing!

This year when we set up our Nativity, we realized that the baby Jesus was missing. We've looked all through our Christmas boxes full of lights and bells and books and ornaments and stuffed snowmen and stockings. Last night as I lay in bed unable to sleep, I was thinking about the missing figure. In that moment I saw a profound truth about how I have treated this Christmas season.

I've busied myself with putting up and decorating the tree. I've dedicated time to making cookies, tons and tons of cookies. I've shopped for and made presents. I've been to parties, decorated for parties, cleaned up parties. I've listened to countless hours of Christmas music. I've spent many hours practicing musical numbers for Christmas parties, firesides, and sacrament meeting (as well as for my own pleasure). I've read The Story of Christmas boardbook to A about a hundred times. I've even helped organize a large Christmas serivce project for our youth and prepared a food basket for a family in need.

But, when I stopped to think about it last night. I realized that maybe the baby Jesus was missing, and not just from his little resin manger under my Christmas tree! Each of the things I've been doing have been good, fun, traditional, and many have been service oriented. I've mostly done these things out of the spirit of giving and love. But I've been so busy doing these things, I forgot to take care of my year-round relationship with my Savior--which is what will, at the end of the day, be what gets me through every other thing.

So, here's my resolve! I still can't find baby Jesus to put in his tiny manger, but I know the place he keeps in my life and commit to finding Him anew everyday in the scriptures, my personal prayers and relationship with my family and friends.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

What We Do When We are Tired

After a super fun evening out with some of my girl friends, I ran over to Wal-Mart to get a few things. It was nearly 11:30 pm when I started home. I knew I was tired and thought it would be a good idea to get a little something to munch on in the car to help keep me awake on the drive home. So, I bought a bag of mint flavored M&Ms, which I love, love, love and you can only find at Christmas time.

After checking out, I made a mad dash to the car in the cold, fished around for the bag of M&Ms, threw my bags in the back seat, and took off for home. In the dark of my car I fumbled around to open the bag and pulled out a few. They were shaped like little moons. How odd, I thought, for a Christmas candy to take on such a shape. But it was dark and I was tired. I popped one into my mouth, fully expecting a tiny crunch of red or green candy coating and then the sweet, minty goodness of the chocolate to cover my mouth. Instead when I bit down, all I got was a hard bite and a bland taste of nothing.

Suddenly I remembered I had bought a bag of dried red kidney beans, and in my tiredness and haste to get home , I had just opened a bag of hard-as-rock red beans instead of my velvety smoothness of mint M&Ms. Arrgggg!

In the end the M&Ms did keep me awake on the way home; all of I could think of was how silly I had been and how much I couln't wait to get home to break open my green and red rounds of rich mint chocolate.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Overcoming the Crazies through Gratitude

So, this week I sort of turned into crazy mom. On Saturday in particular I think I went nuts. I spent most of the morning pouring out tears of frustration over my little son, who was in turn, crying because I had gotten so upset with him several times.

Last night I decided I'd had enough and knelt down to pray (for about the millionth time yesterday as I tried to regain my composure every ten or fifteen minutes all day). I absent mindedly started counting my blessing and soon found myself in the depths of a heartfelt thankful session and discussion with my Heavenly Father over what has been going on in my life. I made a plan. I gave thanks. I feel so much better.

I've noticed lots of thankful lists on other people's blogs this past week. Thanks to all of you for sharing your gratitude. It really is contagious and has helped me feel a desire to think more about what I have been given!

Here are some things I've been thinking about and for which I have felt greatful lately:

My son
My husband
My family far away
My friends near and far
My testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ
My current temple recommend and the oportunity to use it every month
My warm home
My kind neighbors who gave us tons of firewood
My young women in my Beehive class
My talents (sorry to those of you who had to suffer through my terrible rendition of Christmas songs in sacrament meeting today; Christmas songs really are the hardest on the organ)
My cupboards that are full of food
My basement that is full of food storage
My visiting teaching assignments and the lessons I learn each month about pure religion
My new home teachers
My husband's willingness to bless the lives of others through the priesthood which he holds
My body and my physical health
My connection to the outside world through the internet and my phone
BYUTV (which I love to watch online when I'm making dinner or just need a happy pick me up)
My Savior, Jesus Christ
My goal to finish the Book of Mormon by the end of the year--it gives my study purpose
My life in general

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Mom is boobah

We had a funny two-year-old moment this week. We were in the car and I was looking at myself in the mirror. I turned to A and said, "Mom is beautiful. Can you say that A. Mom is beautiful." In his best immitating voice, he said, "Mom is boobah." Jim and I burst in to laughter. For those of you who have never enjoyed the endless entertainment of the website, Boobahs are large colorful dancing blobs of goo (or something giggly). A love them and always ask for them when we are sitting in front of the computer. So in short, I am a giggling dancing blob of goo!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

I went out shopping this morning to work through my list of post-Thanksgiving sales. I found almost everything I was looking for and got some great deals.

We found ourselves at Home Depot looking for a birthday present for my sweet, do-it-yourself husband. We saw a train set almost as soon as we entered the store. We've been looking for a train to put under our Christmas tree. Of course A loved it. But even more than that, Daddy's eyes just lit up as he watched the train round the track. We didn't immediately pick up a train set to put in our cart. There were eight or so boxes and didn't think much of it.

After a half an hour of looking around the store for the other items we wanted and debating about how much we could really afford to spend, we went back to look for the train set. But to my dismay, they were all gone! My heart just sank as I watched my husband's countenace fall. Just then a woman walked by with a train set box in hand. It was one of the saddest moments for me in a long time. It's funny. It was just a little train set, one that we could probably find some place else at some later date. But I think Dad was just so excited to share something with Son that my husband's disappointment broke my heart. I'm so greatful for a husband who love his son so much and wants to provide special moments of love and sharing with him.

To put a happy ending to this story, I went and asked the customer service desk if they would sell me the display model and they said yes! It always helps to have my happy little two-year-old in the cart when I'm trying to convince a bunch of women to sell me something. So at the end of the day, we brought home the train. Dad and son immediately set it up in the living room when we arrived at home. A walked around for the rest of the afternoon saying, "Choo, choo. Train on, mom. Train on, please."

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A family birthday

Yesterday was A's birthday! We had a fun little party just the three of us. I can hardly believe that two years have passed. My how my baby is growing into a little boy. He's sporting a new haircut thanks to dad and his vocabulary is exploding. We've been working on learning to pray, say please and thank you (without having to be reminded), and say "I love you." When grandma called last night to wish him a happy birthday, he said "bye grandma, I love you" without any extra proding. It's suprising what a proud moment that was for me.

As we put A to bed last night, I felt such love for him. I just wanted to hold him close and tell him how much I love him and how proud I am to call him my son. We always hear that the little spirits that Heavenly Father is sending to earth at this time are stronger and brighter than ever before. Rather than finding that an intimidating responsibility to raise a child with such potential, I actually find peace in knowing what a partner I have in my child in trying to do what is right and make a difference in the world.

We can do this! Happy brithday my beautiful bright boy!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

To Have Enough

This week I've been thinking about what it means to have enough.

So what is "enough" and how do I know when I've got it? How do I say, "that's enough" and be satisfied. In Latin culture when you are full at the end of a meal, you do not say, "I am full." Rather, you say "I am satisfied." I read an article in the newspaper about how the price of food has risen significantly in the last year. What a normal family could count as "enough" just 12 months ago, may not be enough today. I called the local food bank to work out details for a youth service project I've been working on and they said that this year our county has a significant need for donations of all sorts.

It is easy to say, "Well, they should have known better and managed their money better and not complained so much." But we'll never be in their shoes. We hear the endless list of welfare needs or we look at our own pocket books and think of all the sacrifices we are already making and it is tempting to just say we can't do any more.

But what if this year we did things differently? What if this year we suspended all, and I mean ALL, judgment and we dug a little deeper to give up one of the special things WE want (or that we want for our children ) in order to give something special to someone who does not have enough, regardless of why they don't have enough?

I suppose they wouldn't call it sacrifice if it didn't pinch a bit.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The New Computer!

After weeks of dealing with our computer spontaneously shutting off, we finally got a new computer! (Who knew that computer monitors could be so big!) It's nice to finally catch up on everyone's lives and see what fun things others are doing. You don't realize how much you use your computer until you don't have one--looking up phone numbers, googling a recipe, mapquesting an address, working on a Sunday lesson, you name it! So it's back to the electronic grind.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Place to Begin

I've given in to the inevitable. I've found a home for the numberless half-written personal essays and day to day observations of my wanna be writer self. Besides everyone needs a little spot of ground which they can call their own. It's about time I had a piece of blogging real estate. So, here's to those of you who keep asking if I've gotten around to building my blog and here's to that inner voice that loves having a place to tell stories, muster hope, brag about my family, vent my frustrations, and put in to words all the things I dream about.