Sunday, August 31, 2008

Things My Children Teach Me

J.S. ( a fine young man in our ward) is leaving on his mission soon. Today he and his parents spoke in sacrament meeting. J.S. also just happens to be a very talented pianist and has a beautiful voice. Today he shared these talents with us by playing a medley of his favorite hymns while singing. It was during the Song "I Need Thee Every Hour" when Harrison turned to me and said "Mom, it feels like my heart is shining really brightly." I said to him "That's the spirit, Harrison." He then said "I know, and Jacob brought it to me." I had to smile and say a silent prayer of gratitude to the Lord for sending this spiritual giant into my life. I then realized what I had been missing out on while I was being distracted by the other kids. I committed to focusing on the medley and then my heart started to shine, too.

After family scripture tonight, I reminded the children to pray for those who were searching for a lost little girl. Lauren automatically assumed it was the girl who's picture adorns nearly every telephone pole between here and three towns over. She has been missing for nearly twenty years. I told her "No, this is a different little girl. She is eight and has been missing since yesterday."
The rest of my conversation with Lauren tonight went like this:
L: Is Savannah watching her and making sure she has some food?
M: I'm sure she probably is.
L: I miss Savannah so much. Is she almost done being in Heaven? (as if she is away in a trip)
M: Well, it may seem like a long time, but it isn't really too long. (but we really won't realize this until we see in hindsight)
L: OK, I can't wait 'til she gets resurrected next week.
M: I don't know if it will be next week. We're not exactly sure when the Savior will come and everyone will be resurrected. But we do know that He is coming.
L: I remember when she was laying in the's that pink thing called?
M: The casket?
L: Ya, the casket. She was so tiny and little in there. And very reverent.
M: Yes, her body was very still. Do you know where her spirit was when she was in the casket?
L: Um, it was with her Mommy. Or was it with Jesus?
M: I think both.

Then in typical five year old fashion, she randomly started talking about something else. I hugged her and kissed her and sent her to her room to wait for Mike to come have personal prayer with her. Five seconds later she comes down the hall way, dragging her puppy and her blanket and says "Mommy, I wanna say my prayers out here tonight." I said "OK, come sit by me." In her prayer, several times over, she said "Thank you that Savannah will be resurrected next week. We miss her so much." She also prayed that Leah would be found soon.
It reminded me of when Kiara kept coming to the casket time and time again to kiss her sister, then run off to play some more, on the night of the viewing. It was like she was checking in with her, making as many connections as she could before the casket would finally be closed. Often times it is as though children just inherently know that life continues after death. It is such a beautiful thing to see the perfect faith of a child.
My prayer tonight is that Heavenly Father will comfort even the littlest hearts that mourn for Savannah. As they try to piece it all together, I pray that their faith will be strengthened. These children are an example to those like me who sometimes forget the simplicity of it all. He lives. Little children are alive in him. Their perfect faith is what I am striving for. They are such a blessing in my life.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Inspired Again

Don't you just love inspiring people who blog about amazing experiences that have enhanced their lives. Sometimes these experiences are pleasant and sometimes they are a big trial. I have discovered a blog that tells a heartbreaking story about a couple that was in a plane crash a couple weeks ago. Both of them were severly burned and are on a long road to recovery. They have four young children, who are currently being cared for by family. I check this blog every day. I love the way Jane (the sister of Stephanie, who was the woman in the crash) so eloquently describes what is happening from day to day. It makes me cry, it is so beautiful.
If you are looking for some way to reach out to another in love, or be touched by an amazing story, you can find it here


More From Us....

Caleb, Harrison, Lauren and Lundi at Smalls Falls. August 2008

We put these muscles to good use today and yesterday when we mowed the lawn.

This is the first time this year we have done such a thing. After we searched high and low for the broken part for the tractor (last year), we finally broke down and bought a push mower. Yes, we wanted another tractor, but the push mower was in our budget. This late in the season, they're ready to clear them out to make way for snow blowers, so we got it on sale at Sears.Harrison was the first to take his turn at mowing yesterday. Did I ever mention the great work ethic that this kid has? Especially when it comes to (what he calls) "manly jobs." He loves to do things that require muscle, which is why he is so buff!
He mowed for a good hour and a half yesterday, pushing and pulling with all his might. He could have done it in half the time, had he followed my council. You have to understand, the lawn was my favorite job (still is) when I was a kid and I took pride in my great rhythm of "row by row." I am so anal about this and it drives me crazy to watch him mow because he simply can't mow in a straight line. It has the bar that you can pull down to engage the wheels to turn. This makes it hard to mow straight if you are seven. So, I just looked away and occasionally walked out there to point out his missed spots and let him carry on. As the kids get older, they will be able to do the whole lawn by themselves (2-3 acres is too much for any one of them) and I will eventually have to hand over the reigns of the lawn mower.
Harrison lost one top tooth last week one one today. Thank goodness that other one fell out today, he was a snaggle tooth. It was looking pretty bad. I started calling him "Carnie." He got tired of it being in the way, so he yanked it out himself. He is so tough.

Harrison about to lose his fourth baby tooth.
August 27, 2008

Liam at Smalls Falls. August 2008

Lundi, Harrison and Caleb.
Smalls Falls. August 2008

Lauren at Smalls Falls. August 2008

Here is proof that Liam is doing a great job at being a toddler. He gets a new one of these atleast every other day. Not all of them are quite so colorful.

When we went to go pick Lundi up from Girl Scout camp, we took some time to explore a little bit of Baxter State Park. It was beautiful.

Here is Lauren (with attitude) posing for the camera.

Lauren and Harrison at Baxter Staye Park. August 2008
Liam (with turtle in tow) at Baxter State Park. August 2008

It's getting late and I need to still write letters from the Tooth Fairy to accompany the cash that will be placed under pillows tonight. Caleb, Harrison and Lauren have all lost teeth in the last month. What can I say? She's a little behind.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Long Time No Post

I know....the posts are sparse lately. Pregnancy really puts a damper on ALL that I want to do. It's like I am on "couch rest" or something. The kids have learned to expect my frequent rests, though, and have become alot more independent the last few weeks. Even Liam can now get his own "nack" out of the fridge.

The latest and greatest at our house looks something like this:

Caleb has caught on to the thrill of Star Wars. We bought a new lawn mower. We are still trying to get rid of the dog, she's too stinky, too crazy and nobody is able to make the time to train her. Starting school next week. It will be good to be back on a regular schedule. A couple of the kids are getting over a cold. I ended up bleaching the stinky towels that were used to clean up milk. I figured after 5 washes, it was the last resort. Besides, they were worth more to me bleached than they were stinky. The new van is going great, the black car is near death. We are diligently searching for a place to move that is closer to the hospital. We are sick of paying $450.00+ on gas every month. Mike absolutely loves the E.R. and is almost sure that this is where he will spend his nursing career. Mike and I went down to O.O.B. , once again, to look for an assisted living place for Laurette. She isn't able to live alone, but not sick enough for a nursing home. The waiting lists of these places is incredibly long. The process of finding care for an old person is tedious and difficult. She doesn't want to live here because our house is too noisy, even with her hearing aids off. (Imagine that). The de-junking of the house is slowly coming along. When we move we are NOT bringing the junk with us. I am going to adopt Kristen's method.....keep one out of four things. It has been so liberating to get rid of so much. The other day, we got rid of 4 bags of clothes, a huge bag of videos/DVDs, 4 boxes of books and 5 trash bags of toys, which were all broken, never played with, out grown or had missing parts. We have much more to go, but it's a good start. I love purging, I feel so free when the clutter is gone. The baby is growing every day and the movements are getting stronger and more noticable. Feeling the baby move is my favorite part of pregnancy. I am still teaching institute, and loving it. We just finished the Old Testament and will start the New Testament in September. I will be down two students, though, because they are off to college.
There is so much more, but my pillow calls.
Bonne Nuit.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy Heavenly Birthday, Savannah!!!

I am so inadequate when it comes to these things. Eloquence is not one of my strengths. But I know I will regret it if I don't record my thoughts of Sweet Savannah on what would have been her eighth birthday.

She passed away two weeks ago today. The Lord needed her home and she very graciously fought the fight to the end.

I am so grateful for the lessons she taught me and my family. She is beautiful inside and out, a princess to all who knew her, and best of all, a precious daughter of God and an instrument in His hands. She had a very special mission on earth, and continues that mission in a far holier place. We will miss her eyes, her smile and her laughter. I feel honored to have known her. We love you so much, Savannah. Happy Heavenly Birthday!!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Boy Girl Boy Girl Boy.........

........Girl, of course. That's right, I had an ultra sound last week and our sixth child is a girl. We kept our pattern. Someday I'll patten my secret and make it known to the rest of the world. We took all the kids with us, these appointments are (by tradition) always attended by the whole family. So, all seven of us crowded into that little room to find out the gender of the baby. Everyone is happy. The kids have been saying all along that it had to be a girl so it would be "even." Lauren was so cute....everytime the baby put her hand up, she would giggle and wave and say "Look, Mommy, she is waving at me!!"
As she stirs in my belly, I am grateful for this new life. She will, indeed, make a most merry Christmas present.
We're not sure on the name yet...we've got plenty of time for that. Many people are calling her "Audrey" but we are not set on that name yet. Any suggestions are welcome.