Friday, June 22, 2007

Congratulations Are in Order

It's true!!! Mike passed the N-CLEX. We found out yesterday and are so very thankful for the Lords hand in our lives. Mike is now a Licensed Practical Nurse, so we are half way to our goal of RN. He took the test on Tuesday and we had to wait two days for the results. I think they do that to torture the students....the wait was so hard. Anyway, now our lives can continue without the stress of wondering.....wondering.....wondering. Now he can get a job and he can continue on next semester. The Lord has truely blessed us.
We have some friends who have a camp (a cabin on the lake) and they invited us there to spend the evening. So yesterday we packed up the life jackets, the cooler, the beach toys, the camera, stroller, camp chairs and kids and headed off to the Collins camp. We had great fun. We made sand castles, went in the canoe, swam in the lake, caught frogs, sat around the campfire and roasted hotdogs and made S'Mores. It was a great day!!! It is so peaceful there and the scenery is gorgeous. We also saw a cute duck with her four baby chicks. They were so adorable. We saw three Loons, too. They are solitary creatures so that was a treat to see them on the lake. Lundi loves Loons. She tried to row the canoe closer to them to get a better look, but they just went under the water.
Last week we spent three days traveling around the state so Mike could fix the computers at all of the church buildings in our stake. That was fun, too. We let the kids bring their bikes and they had the whole church parking lot to ride. No hills or bumpy roads, which is what they are used to. They had fun racing and learning new tricks.
Today we will spend at home. Our house needs attention and I think everyone needs rest. And I need to make a dent in that huge mountain of laundry that is always waiting for me. Did I ever mention that I hate laundry? I think it's because it never actually gets DONE.......unless we all spend the day naked.
A bientot, mes amis.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Make Enough of Me

I have had so much on my mind lately that I have just been reading instead of writing. Sometimes procrastinating is easier than coming face to face with inadequacy. I know this is a terrible way of thinking, but I am trying to change that about myself so that is why I am here tonight.
It was not a good day. A dear friend hurt me deeply. Perhaps this post should be titled "Vent."
Things I know......
I know that Christ paid the price for my shortcomings and for everyone elses, too.
I know that the Church is perfect, the members are not.
I know that we are all at different points in our spiritual progression.
I know that I am not doing my absolute best in my calling....I need to be better.
I know that some of the things she said are true (hence the pain it caused.)
I know that I should keep a "Look here first" policy when someone expresses to me that I am doing something wrong. In other words, try to be humble.
I know that gossip only hurts people and makes a situation worse.
I know that there are many things that are out of my control.
I know that the Lord loves me and wants me to grow, learn and progress.......Bloom where I am planted.
I know that I don't deal well with confrontation' I either "stonewall" or cry. Today I was trying so hard not to cry.
I know that I fall short in so many areas.
I know that Christ understands my hurt fellings and her frustration.

Alas.....this is my prayer tonight......

Overwhelmed and under paid
Morning comes too soon
Running late and on my plate
A million things to do

Got a baby cryin'
Another trying to find the other shoe
When I open my eyes
The dam will break
Their needs will flood my room

You made wine from water
Raised up Jairus' daughter
From her bed
Filled the empty fishing nets
And with some loaves and fishes fed
A hungry crowd
Make enough of me to go around

My mother's sick
And I'm late to pick up kids at school
I need to clean
Can't fit in my jeans
The fridge gives no comfort food

Multiply and magnify
This tiny little life of mine
Enlarge me
And expand this heart
And fill it with divine

My heart is cold
Nothing grows
But thistles and some thorns
They choke the light
And shrink the vine
I need to be reborn!

You made wine from water
And told a scarlet daughter
Sin no more
Sin no more
Surrendered to the garden
Through thorns and nails you pardoned
The angry crowd
Make enough of me to go around.
----Julie de Azevedo

Again, these are not my words but I certainly appreciate them this night.
I love the scripture that says "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me." I don't know that reference. But I know that He lives and and I am grateful that He paid the price even for my sins and shortcomings. Because of Him, I can be better tomorrow.
Slumber awaits me and I need to spend some time on my knees before I go to sleep. I will close for now.

Monday, June 11, 2007

AMother Myth

Stephanie said....
This is something I've been contending with for a while, now.One of my mother's favorites has always been the above saying, something like "We never had much money, but you were always tidy and had clean faces!", and something akin to (while walking to church when we were kids) "Together! Get up here! We are not a bunch of heathens!"
I remember these experiences. I remember thinking as a child...."What IS a heathen? What is so bad about a heathen? They must be awful people and perhaps I am in danger of becoming one of them!" Maybe I am a heathen. Am I? Am I raising heathens if I don't hold all of my Mothers standards in cleanliness and conformity? Sometimes I find myself thinking...."Man, what a loud, tacky, misbehaved, unruly bunch of kids I have." Then I start to feel guilty about all the things I am doing "wrong" as a Mother and hope that they will all turn out alright, anyway.
Until....... a certain person posted these thoughts on her blog. My thoughts have been given a pathway to expression. Deep down inside, I have always known that these ideas that were planted in my head so long ago are simply......MYTHS.
......................Love and devotion (excellent Mamahood) are judged by certain factors. Cleanliness, manners - quietness in church and sit-still ability in restaurants are all Tell Tale signs of a Good Mother. Tis a hard thing to admit -in vulnerable moments- that (sigh) mine probably don't have it. These words from my dear sister have helped me to discover a liberating truth and I will forever be in her debt.
Since I have read this post, I feel like I have been given "permission" to let my kids have dirty faces, build forts on the front yard for all of the neighbors to see, be seen in public with messy hair, wear jeans with holes in the knees and even go to the store with mismatched clothes. I did these things before, but always had that myth haunting me that I wasn't a good Mom if I allowed these things. Now I feel differently. I am also looking forward to recognizing and dispelling other myths that I consciously or unconsciously believe.
Thank You, Stephanie. From the bottom of my heart. You have taught me so much.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Friday....A Fun Day

It was a pretty lazy morning. I slept in and Mike got up with the kids. Eventually, after the milkman came and I put the baby down for a nap, I decided to go out and mow some more of the "lond" ( as the kids call it). Mike had worked on it the two previous days, his back was hurting so i wanted to finish it up. So I set out to do it when within five minutes I was interrupted by my charming little Harrison...."Can I help, Mom?" "Sure, son." So I turned over the reigns of the push mower to my little 6 year old. I knew he could do it, Mike had let him help the day before (after giving him a crash course in the dangers of the blade). But can I just tell you.....that boy can work!!! Pushing with all his might, brow sweating and occasionally stopping to seek my approval......he mowed the lawn for a good hour. He is a strong boy with a lot of energy and determination. It was indeed a proud Mom moment as I watched him mow that lawn.
So we finally got it done about 5:00, so it was time to start daking minner. Then, I started to clean out the fire pit in the back yard. I knew we had hot dogs in the freezer just waiting for a roasting. So I asked Mike to defrost them while I built a fire. I sent the kids on a mission around the yard to gather "snappy little sticks", bark and dried leaves for kindling. Away they went. So we started the fire (with a little help from the lighter fluid) and got some big dry logs from the barn. The kids were so happy to have a fire and went and got chairs and wire hangers for our roasting sticks. So we sat around and ate our hot dogs,.....some charred, some raw, some both. They really enjoyed it.
Then I said to the kids...."You wanna set up the tents and sleep outside tonight?" "YES!!" came the gleeful reply. Their next question was, "Can Zach and Abrahm (two brothers that live near by) sleep over?" I said that they could, only no mixing girls and boys in the same tent unless they are your sibs. They were fine with that. So it started out with Lundi and Lauren in one tent. And Caleb, Harrison, Zach and Abrahm in another. (I wonder how long this will last, I said to Mike). Ten minutes later....Lauren starts crying...."I wanna sleep in MY bed." So we brought her in, settled her into bed and that was that. A few minutes later, Tricia (the boys' Mom) came over to check on them and Abrahm says "Can I go home with you, Mom? We keep hearing noises in the woods." So off goes Abrahm, home to his bed. Next comes Harrison, crying because the big boys were keeping him awake because they were telling scary stories. Mike tells him "Maybe you should sleep inside because bigger kids think it is really fun to tell ghost stories in a tent." Harrison readily agreed to spend the rest of the night on the couch. A half hour later...the giggling and talking stops. Mike says "I think they are asleep." So we go to bed.....until 2:30 Caleb comes in the house to announce that Zach wanted to go home because he "felt like he was going to puke" and he didn't want to sleep in the tent alone. Last comes Lundi....she didn't want to sleep out all by herself. And it's a good thing she started pouring at about 3:00 this morning. They had insisted I leave the rain flaps off so they could study the constellations. I agreed, as there were not any clouds when the night began.
So we sent them off to their beds and had a peaceful rest of the night. It was fun for them while it lasted....maybe next year they will make it until 3:30.
Childhood is so............FUN!!!


Interesting....I went to Girls Night Out on Thursday evening. It consists of a small group of friends who get together the first Thursday of the month for chatting, relaxing and just socializing with other Moms. This particular meeting, there was a new face there. I won't mention her name...I'll call her Jen.
Somehow we got on the subject of homeschooling (I am the only one in the group who does HS). So Jen asked me if I liked homeschooling. I said yes, gave her a few short reasons why we chose to HS our kids, then told her the MAIN reason......ultimately it was because after making it a matter of prayer, we felt this was right for our family. I don't like to sound preachy or make others think that I think they are wrong for sending their kids to PS. I do know that it is not for everyone.....some people can hardly stand their kids around for three months in the summer. So I try to remain neutral about HS vs. PS because I don't want to offend those who choose PS for their kids. But if someone asks my why I HS, I tell them. Reactions vary. Some people say I am crazy, controling, naive, sheltering my kids too much, out of touch with the real world, wasting my time (why not let the "experts" educate them?). Others commend my efforts, some say "I wish I could do that, but I have to....(FITB)." But really, none of what others say matters. For I have the confirmation from the Holy Ghost that this is what I am supposed to be doing for my children. Nothing anyone else says will change my mind.
I got off on a little tangent, there. Now to continue telling what I set out to record....and that is my conversation with Jen.
She teaches Kindergarten, was telling me the good and bad parts of her job. She mentioned how much they have to assess.....assess..assess, all the time. "So how do you assess your kids?" She asked me. I said "I don't. I homeschool because I like the freedom that it affords me and my kids and I don't believe in conveyor belt education. I don't believe that the government knows what my kids need to learn. I just don't buy into those ideals." I then gave her my testimony of how I trust my kids to let me know what they need to learn and we go from there. "Much of the time I learn right along with them. That is another one of the joys." I said. Jen said..."Ya, I can see your point. We just spend so much time trying to get every child on the same level, that I feel many of the brighter ones (her words) get cheated. I must confess, that when and if I ever have children, I would be tempted to homeschool." I said "It is a good temptation and you would not be the first PS teacher turned homeschooler. There are 3 in my group of twelve Moms who use to teach PS." She was amazed at that and seemed relieved that she is not the only teacher who doesn't have faith in the PS system. Yes, she wants to help other children, but would not choose that for her own. I see and hear of this happening all the time. I was glad to have been able to shed some light on that for her. Now I am not a homeschool advocate who shouts from the roof tops "Get your kids out of that failing institution!!!" But I am happy to enlighten those who care to ask.
Ca-Lu-Ha-La-Li. Doesn't that sound like a Hawiian word? Now say it fast...."caluhalali.". I wonder if it means something in Hawiian. It is the first two letters of each of my kids names. Clever, huh?
Signing off for this post because I want to write about our fun day yesterday.
Au revoir, mes amis.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Eloquence That I Appreciate

These are not my words but I certainly appreciate them.

You were sent here to change the world,
not for the world to change you.
I appreciate this quote because it reminds me that we are sent here by our Father in Heaven and He knows our potential. I am still trying to reach mine and to help my children do the same. They have many spiritual attributes that I want to nurture.

What if......

What if I loved the skin I'm in
Focused on beauty from within
What if my spirit and my body
Lived in harmony

What if my grass was always green
Greener than any fields I've seen
What if I celebrate the garden
Right in front of me
My life is a beautiful garden
What if I loved the life I'm living
What if I only wanted what I've been given
I saw a bumper sticker once that said "Want what you have." and it is something that I am always working on. Expensive taste can be a curse sometimes.

What if I loved the man I'm with
Not who he'll be but who he is
This man was a gem when I married him and continues to improve each day. I love you, Mike.
What if it loosened up the soil
For more love to grow

What if I let my children be
Just who they are not what I need
What if I watched in wonder
As their tender wings unfold
This is my favorite phrase of the song and one that I repeat in my head on a daily basis. I want to give them roots to grow and wings to fly!!! My children are wonderful people and I don't want to get in their way of becoming who they are.
What if I wanted what You bring
I do want peace, comfort, happiness, forgiveness, eternal life and everything else He offers me.
Didn't long for the next big thing
What if I only lived for peace
And not for the thrill
What exactly is it that I am chasing when I think such and such will be better?

What if I gave You all my heart
Didn't hold back the slightest part
What if I lay it on the alter of Your will.
I love my Savior Jesus Christ and know that He is the rock I need to build on.

---Julie de Azevedo


Gird up your loins,
Fresh courage take
Our God will never us forsake. Hymn

Hindsight is 20/20

In looking over my "Spoonerisms" post I realize that alot of those phrases I typed sounded like commands that I might shout at my children. That is simply not the case. In the interest of time (I wrote that post at 1:00am this morning) I just wrote the condensed version of the phrase....or the part of the phrase that is "Spoonered".
We really do try to speak respectfully to each other in our family, and are always trying to be better about it.
Today is a crisp, cool day. The kds are out enjoying their new bikes, chasing butterflies and cruising down the hill at 15 (scary for the Mom to watch) miles per hour.
Lauren continues to amaze me. She got two new puzzles (Thanks Juanita) for her birthday and will spend an hour or more puting them together. They are hard ones, too. She is patient, peaceful, generous, loving and has a very long attention span. I admire her. I can learn much from this beautiful child. What a blessing she is in my life. I love her so much!!!
The day moves on....gotta catch it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Have you ever heard of such a thing? Have you read the book "Runny Babbit" by Shel Silverstein?
Well, this has been a fun tradition in our family since before Mike and I were married. So, ofcourse "Runny Babbit" is a well loved book in our house. For it adds a great deal to our already well established spoonerisms vocabulary. It is every day language ih the Smith house.
Let me share a few.......
Shake a tower.
Bussy faby.
Vet in the Gan.
Gun out of ras.
Tush the floilet.
Dake minner.
Chiaper dange.
Frut the shidge.
Bo to ged.
Dret gessed.
Slo to geep.
Are you aslake or aweep?
Dit sown.
Po gotty.
Time to Cho to Gurch.
Le're weaving.
The pheletone is for you.
We're going on a rike bide.

We have alot of fun coming up with these in our house. The possibilities are endless. I just thought I would share....see if you can come up with some funny ones. Oh.....and don't forget to check out "Runny Babbit."
I love you all!

The News Chez Nous

I haven't been here in a while so thought I would share just a few of our curent events. Life is busy, here is why.......

Mike got his date to sit for the boards. He will be taking the N-CLEX on June 19th. His LPN liscence is contingent upon passing this exam.
Lauren got her cast off about a week ago and is almost walking normal now.
Mike fixed the lawn mower and started mowing today. It will be a three day project with the push mower but we can't find the part we need to fix the tractor.
It has been cold here the last couple of days.....50's....tonight I feel like turning on the heat. I just can't bring myself to do it in June, though.
The kids all recieved scholarships to go to summer camp. Caleb will be attending Technology Camp. Lundi will be attending Imagination Station. (The one she chose is the African Nation. I think it sounds so neat. I tried to post the link for it here but I am using Mike's laptop and don't know how to copy and paste on a Mac.) Harrison will be attending soccer camp and Lauren gets to go to Bug and Butterfly camp. They are all looking forward to it and we are indeed grateful for the scholarship money that we have been granted.
I am in the (long) process of weaning Liam. We are down to twice a day. I think the 5:00am will be the last to give up, but right now we are working on going to bed at night without nursing to sleep. He won't take a bottle or a pacifier so it is quite a chalenge.
I have been stenciling in the girls room. I let them choose, so ofcourse they chose flowers and butterflies. It looks really cute.
I am currently reading "Little Women" and don't know why I have waited this long to do so. I am really enjoying it, which is why I spend my evenings (after the kids are asleep) reading instead of blogging.
I just got a message that I am running on reserve battery does the computer know I am tired?
I better close before this puter blows up or something.
Chow for now brown cow.