Sunday, May 29, 2011

to remember is good.

Mesquite interviewed me recently as part of an English project she is working on.  She had quite a long list of thought provoking questions that took me down memory lane.  After we finished the first round of questions, she thanked me for my efforts, but then told me we'd have to do some more work.  She didn't want just answers--she wanted stories.  I talked about my mission to Colombia in the 1980s in response to a question about an event in my life that had changed me.  It was easy to put my mission at the top of a list of life-altering experiences.  I recalled a family that my companion and I visited, who lived about a mile outside the major city of Medellin.  The paved streets quickly turned to dirt roads, which then turned to winding dirt foot paths, leading up hillsides and into what I really thought felt like the middle of the jungle.  We found their home, which was nothing more than a simple one-room shanty with a tin roof and a dirt floor.  I remember feeling a sense of amazement that there were people in the world who lived like this; the family sharing a single bed, clothing hanging from hooks attached to the support beams under the roof,  the kitchen nothing more than a portable burner made from a large tin can and a large wash tub outside the door.  There was no running water in the house; the light inside came from a single bulb dangling from a wire which entered the house through a gap where the wall didn't quite meet the metal canopy. It was all they knew, and they were happy.  On that day, the mother was feeling distraught at the prospect of a new school year just weeks away, and no money to pay for the childrens' school uniforms.  The kids would not be allowed to attend if they were not properly dressed.  I wrote a letter home describing the dilemma to my parents.  On the day my letter arrived, a friend had stopped by, and listened as my parents read the letter out loud.  Right there on the spot, he pulled out his checkbook and wrote the check for $25 U.S. dollars which would cover the cost for the two uniforms.  I was humbled by his act of kindness, and in an instant, had my eyes opened to the difference between my life style back home, and the struggle to provide basic necessities on a hill in South America.  I hardly blink an eye when it's time for school to start, and with my kids, we make our annual pilgrimage to Target to purchase school supplies.  I need to remind us all that there are places in the world where  trying to decide between the oblong blue pencil holder or the glittery silver square one is like an unimaginable fantasy.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

watching number three

Leeli has rocked the soccer field this season. In the net and on the field, it has been a pleasure to watch her play.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

all in a day

Thank you Enrique, for being the drama club driver.
Thank you, home teacher for being the ballet shuttle.
Thank you, Rooney for making dinner.
Thank you, Grampy for going to baseball in the rain.
Thank you, neighbor, for arranging carpools to and from soccer practice.
Thank you, EVERYONE for helping to raise our kids and for making our little world continue to go 'round.
(I wasn't even sick! ...it really does take a village)

Monday, May 23, 2011

When it's Dub's turn to pick the Family Home Evening activity

...we might learn about the flush valve in a toilet tank,
or we might learn how to throw a tomahawk.
You never know.
He keeps us guessing!
We like to try new things.
 


Friday, May 20, 2011

WELCOME back!!!


My shadow!!
I recognized it this afternoon.
I almost forgot...
 We went SKIPPING out of the house to play catch in the front yard
when we realized there was a strange and unfamiliar phenomenon happening in the family room:
sunlight coming in through the windows.
Welcome back sun!!

It's FRIDAY!!

I had homemade wheat toast for breakfast, and it was DELICIOUS.
I haven't made whole wheat bread for a LONG time, and it's been on the list.
Since we're on our bazillionth dreary day in a row, fresh bread seemed like a good idea.
I used this online tutorial to make it, and now we have three loaves wrapped up in the freezer, waiting to be used.  Meanwhile, I feel like I have done my family a gigantic favor by discovering that I can make a light, tasty loaf of wheat bread without using even a lick of nutrition-less white flour.  
Bonus:  the bread doesn't weigh fifty seven pounds and taste like paper bag.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

We're having HAY for dinner.

As I swept the floor today, I couldn't help but shake my head and cluck my tongue as I thought: 
We're just a bunch of animals. 
-and- 
This barn we live in is masquerading shoddily as a house.
*
When the kids get home from school they're having grass for an after-school snack, and the all-you-can-eat-garbage-can-buffet.  
Dinner?
Hay, chased by this pile of miscellaneous floor droppings for dessert.
you might think I'm kidding.
you might not want to pop in for dinner tonight.

gloomy skies; perky lettuce and broccoli


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Some Days Must be Dark and Dreary

Be still sad heart and cease repining;
Behind the clouds the sun is shining,
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life a little rain must fall...
-Longfellow
It becomes the "New England way" to complain about the weather.
I try not to comply.
This week it's been tempting to have Noah on speed dial.
I LOVE my rain-soaked, drooping flowers!
I love when baseball games and soccer practices are cancelled!
The rain slows us down.
And this is GOOD.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I learned something new today

 I spent 8 hours of my Saturday in a quilting class with my mom.
Cha-CHING!
I felt like I won the lottery.  We had a grand time!
I learned lots of useful stuff about quilting.
I also learned that my mom grew up:
-eating white bread sandwiches
-not using sunscreen
-not drinking much water
and
-eating (& liking) peanut butter and miracle whip sandwiches.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tired Poetry.

There is a poetry project going on.  (Among a myriad of other things)
In support of the 6th grade curriculum, I extend to you my Cinquain goodwill offering:

Luggage.
Not lost, but found!
A matching set of bags.
The mirror helps expose the site:
on ME!


I'm tuckered out. (And I have the bags to prove it.)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

on Mothering

My youngest sister lost a child in May of last year. 
No mother should EVER have to lose a child.  It was a difficult emotional period for Becky, and for everyone that cares about her.  Riding that wave of emotions has allowed me to glimpse at the "why" behind my thoughts and feelings, and it has been an enlightening journey for me.  Because the difficulty of her losing a son became the strongest surge of what I was battling emotionally for myself, and as a support for her, I was unable to focus on exactly what it was that made this loss feel especially hard.  
On Mother's Day I share part of this with you.  
Becky is an amazing Mom.  
She takes her mothering very seriously, but sprinkles it with a generous amount of fun and smothers it with love.   
Becky became the mother who influenced my life and my mothering way before her loss. 
Her youngest son Ben was born with disabilities that most of us look at and humbly bow our heads and think “Wow… how sad, how hard or I’m so glad that didn’t have to be me.” 
Becky looked at her son as a gift; as an opportunity to feel closer to heaven. She felt great joy in being Ben's mother.  She reached out to others using her son’s differences as a tool to draw us all closer. 
To most, it seems more natural to pull away from someone like Ben, and yet Becky would use him as the magnet to draw complete strangers into her journey of love with Ben. 
He went everywhere she went. He became a physical and tangible statement of “we are ALL children of loving heavenly parents."
She helps others see that when we allow ourselves to see beyond what our human eyes can comprehend, we learn that we each have gifts that are divine and Oh, SO good. 
Being around Becky makes me a happier person. She is positive, motivating and sees the good in everyone, despite what some might consider defects. She has a gift to love unconditionally–especially to those who wear their differences on the outside.
She is a mother.  She is a teacher.  She is a giver. 
She makes me want to be better.  To love more deeply.
She is my inspiration. 
Her mothering has an eternal perspective that changes the way I see imperfections. 
I am a better mother because of her.  I am also lucky to call her sister.