Friday, August 30, 2013

Does this sound familiar??

This morning after I changed Spike, Spike's diaper, I slipped on his pants and we went to his room to find a shirt.  He picked one, but refused to put it on.  I let it go figuring I would try again in a minute.  About 1/2 an hour later, I noticed my little man running around the house without his shirt.  I gave him three more options.  He chose the same shirt, but again refused to put it on.  I told him he needed to wear one and that it was time to get it on.  (At our house, we all wear shirts and pants/shorts/skits---something on the top and something on the bottom---just the rules of the house.)

Spike, Spike was not willing to cooperate.  I finally just put him in it.  He was fighting, screaming, and flailing the entire process---all 30 seconds of it.  Then because he cannot yet remove his shirt by himself, he pulled and yelled, "NOT THIS!!" complete with big, alligator tears.  It dawned on me that he probably wanted to wear his 'Uperman" shirt, but it needed to be washed.  (We had that conversation earlier in the day.)  I asked if he wanted his Superman shirt.  "Yes!!! Uperman irt!!"

"Well, it needs to be washed.  We will wash it and dry it and then you can wear it.  But until it is ready, you need to wear the monkey shirt."

(I had already let him wear his Uperman shirt three days without washing it and one night was a spaghetti dinner.  It really needed to be washed!)  "Do you want to help me put it in the washing machine?"

Another light bulb---his breakfast was sitting on the table untouched.  I had placed it there two hours ago.

"Are you hungry?  Do you need some food?"

"Ya! Ooood!"

I warmed up his breakfast, got his rice milk, and we sat on the step with his oood.

He was scowling.  "Just one bite," I coaxed.  "Just one."

He grimaced and reluctantly took the fork with one tiny piece of French toast attached.

"Put it in your mouth."

He took a little nibble off of the piece of toast.  A look of surprise crossed his face, "Hmmm that's good."

" it."

Then he did.

It just sounds so much like most of us.  We have a specific idea of what we want or how something should go.  Then it doesn't turn out that way and we are frustrated or irritated at the process.  We fight.  We kick.  We scream.  (Well, maybe you don't, but I do....)  We want it our way and we will just keep doing things our way until we get what we want!!! 

If our needs aren't being met our attitude is worse---any needs, physical, emotional, spiritual, recreational, psychological, etc....  But this is a key point.  When we understand which of our needs is not being met and why THIS particular issue is so important to us (by dissecting the emotions we are feeling and really thinking about why we want it a certain way) we usually can come to realize new information about ourselves, which will either help us meet our unmet need or recognize why we are functioning a certain way.  Once our needs are met, the issue usually isn't that big of a deal, or we have more strength and energy to manage the  drama we are creating.  (Once Spike, Spike's blood sugar went up, he didn't really care that he needed to wear a shirt.  The issue was not about wearing a shirt, it was about how hungry he was.  He did want to wear a specific shirt, which once it was out of the dryer, we put on him.  Does that make sense?)

Sometimes things we are holding fast to, or things we think we cannot do without are really more about unmet needs we may not be aware of.  Take care of those needs (easier said than done, because sometimes you really have to analyze yourself to figure them out) and the drama can just go away.

Next time you are working with a really frustrated person, child or otherwise, ask them why they are frustrated and listen for clues they share with you about what the particular situation means to them.  How are they viewing the situation/interaction/comment?  What label are they attaching to the behavior?  Find the underlying emotion (it is never anger, anger is always secondary...there is another emotion under that).  Label the emotion and ask them if [this] is what they are feeling.  Empathize with their emotion, "That must be really difficult," or "How frustrating," or "I am so sorry."

You don't have to give any advice or fix it for them.  Sometimes they just need to know someone else cares how they feel.  If they are your baby, pick them up and love them.  Fix what you can and let the rest go.  Help them make the world right.  Take the time.  They deserve it.

It's what Heavenly Father does with His time.  Now if someone would just listen to me....Oh Wait!  He does!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

First Day of School

My little ones were so very excited for school to start!!!  Wow!  They could not wait!!  They were up by 6:30, dressed and ready by 7:00 and asking if they could leave by 7:45.  (School doesn't start until 8:30.....)
My big ones had their first day of seminary!!!
Sun picked up her new glasses.
Spike, Spike just enjoyed the time with Mom.

And Spanky is enjoying his last week before he leaves for college.
I cannot believe we are here!!!  Welcome Fall!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Mothering Moment Monday--Spike, Spike

Saturday, I was cooking dinner in the kitchen, after a sleep-less night with Spike, Spike and a difficult day.  He came into the kitchen and looked up at me.  When our eyes met, he made the sign for 'feed me,' which is putting your fingers and your thumb in a pinching motion (using your entire hand) and poking it into an open mouth a couple of times.

I said, "Are you hungry?"

He nodded, and made the motion again.  I gave him a cracker and he went off.  He came back again and did the same thing and I gave him another cracker.  He came back a third time and I was just about to give him another cracker but I realized that dinner was finished.

"Do you want some rice?" I asked.


"And some bread?"


So I fed him dinner.

After the first hand motion and cracker exchange, I just started sobbing.  There was no drama, no screaming, no trying to figure out what he wanted, just communication and the exchange.  I realized how difficult he has been for me and the stress and struggle we have had.  The last two years have been exhausting.

Spike, Spike is very verbal and expects you to understand what he is saying.  He gets super frustrated if you don't get it.  He is also very emotionally sensitive.  He can tell, by just observing my countenance, if I am unhappy with him, and then his feelings are hurt.  He is a very different emotional child than the others I have had.  I have to remind myself that I was told, through the Spirit, that he was different.  I had many interpretations of what 'different' meant.  They were all wrong.  I am still not sure I can tell you what it is.....but different is the right word.  Nothing that is in my 'motherhood bag of tricks,' (which is pretty full after eight other children)  works with him.

Then yesterday for nursery, I took him into the room and told him it was time for me to leave.  He said, "no mommy!"  Then I said I would come back for singing time and then pick him up when nursery was over.  He said, "OK, Mom, have a nice day.....bye."  And I walked away.  Another miracle.  Most Sundays I have stayed with him for at least half of the nursery time.  Yesterday, I just walked away.  And he was fine.  FINE!  No crying, no screaming, none.

It never ceases to amaze me.  Each and every child is so different from one another.  I had forgotten that they aren't all like Spike, Spike.  I watched a friend's little one who is a few months younger than Spike, Spike.  He just wandered around the house and played.  None of siblings were here.  He was happy and content, not demanding.  Oh ya....they aren't all like mine!!  And the Lord is in charge of which one's He sends and when.

I need to learn to trust Him.  He will not send me more than I can handle.  Just because He sent me a hard one, doesn't mean He will do that next time.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Father's blessings

Usually, the night before school starts, or the Family Home Evening before school, my husband will give each of our children a father's back to school blessing.  It is something my children look forward to every year.  Some years we give everyone their blessing on the same night, other years we stagger it.  The year, we staggered it.  Slim left for college on Monday morning.  Sport and Speedy began classes last Friday.  Sun, Shorty, and Smilely all start this coming Monday.

Sunday evening Slim was saying good-bye to friends and was not home when we chose to give Sport and Speedy their blessings.  As Speedy got out of the blessing chair, Spike, Spike jumped in and put his hands on his head and said, "Dad, head."

"Do you want a blessing too?"
"OK."  And Spike, Spike received his blessing.

Right before we went to bed, Slim was ready for his blessing.  All the little ones, Sport and Speedy were in bed.  Drew offered Slim his blessing.  Then both of our oldest sons laid their hands on their father's head and blessed him.  As I watched them, I was struck with the realization that, pending my children's righteous choices, we will have priesthood strength in our home for a long time to come.  What a huge blessing to me, as their mother!  That wasn't something that was readily available to me as a child.
My father held the priesthood and he gave me blessings when I was sick and young.  But as I grew, my father became less active.  I don't remember my father giving me a blessing before school, or for any reason other than illness.  I think he just didn't know all of the different ways he could use his priesthood.

My mother has not had a priesthood holder in her home for the last 25 years.  Sunday evening, I just realized what a huge blessing and privilege it is to have a husband and sons who, on a moment's notice, can offer the power, healing, and comfort available through the priesthood.

Many of us don't necessarily think of it until it is something we desire..... the middle of the night to comfort or heal a sick baby or little one.
....after an accident.
....during times of significant stress or sorrow.
.....and any other time we feel like it would be helpful.
The wonderful thing, is that Heavenly Father makes these blessings available to all of his children.  Priesthood blessings are not reserved for members of the church.  And within the church, the Lord has set up a system of home teachers, where men are organized in pairs and assigned to a few households within their ward.  They visit them, at least monthly, to see how things are going and if they need anything.  To families who do not have priesthood holders in their home, the home teachers can provide those services and blessings.  So even if you do not have a priesthood holder in your home, you can contact your home teachers to help you.

Isn't that great?! The Lord loves us all and provides a way for our needs to be taken care of.....but in His time and His way, not ours.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

In His own due time
The other day I lost it.  I really lost it.  I was so very, very frustrated.  The situation??  Well, here in our neck of the woods, it was hotter than normal.  Not anywhere near as hot as the rest of you get, but hotter than normal for here.  I have a great house.  It has air conditioning.  I never need to use it.  That day, I needed it.  It wasn't working.  My sweet son, #2, was trying to fix it, at dinner time, while I was trying to put dinner together.  The house was broiling and my dear son had all the doors and windows closed because he was sure he had fixed the air conditioning and it was working.  (It was not working.)  We were all grouchy, sweaty, stinky people, and it was hot.  I finally made an executive decision, declared the air conditioning not working and demanded the doors and windows opened, sent the little ones outside to play in the sprinklers and left to pick my sweetheart up from work.

When he got into the car, he could tell I was frustrated and he asked if I was OK.  I indicated that I wasn't and he asked me to clarify.  I growled in frustration and then I unloaded on him.  It wasn't just the heat, or the fact that we couldn't get the air conditioning working.  It was the accumulation of all things not working in my house and all the adjustments we have made so we can live and function anyway with all of these things that kind of work, but just not quite.  For example,

.....until last week, we had two vacuums, neither of which worked completely.  One would (six weeks ago) vacuum the floor, but the hose wouldn't work.  The other wouldn't vacuum the floors, but the hose would work. Six weeks ago, they both kind of quit, so we had been without a vacuum.  (That is fixed now, so don't worry about us...another story for another day.)

.....we have a cordless phone with two handsets, one won't charge, the other you cannot talk on.  So one sits in the charger, charging the battery until the one you can talk on has a low battery, then we switch out the batteries, so the low one can charge and we can still talk on the phone.

......a year ago our van died and we had to get rid of it.  We were left with a small missionary car (five seat belts, if you squish, which does not really work with teenage boys/men).  We have still not been able to replace it.  We have made adjustments and for the last year have worked with the one car.  Fine.  It is only a little obnoxious because I cannot take my entire family anywhere unless I ask for help shuttling them, so I don't ask often....only for stake conference and missionary homecomings or departures. the beginning of the summer, my hairdryer died, my crock pot died, my iron is almost dead, our TV and computer have been acting up and last week I thought the washing machine had died (it didn't, we just blew a fuse).
Anyway, you get the idea.  Now none of these things are necessary...all temporal, and just obnoxious.  But $50.00 here and there would take care of most of these issues (with the exception of the car).  We just don't have it in the budget.  Normally that is OK, but when we couldn't get the air conditioning to work, when I know it does and we just can't figure it out, I just lost it.  I had had it.  Normally I am not a complaining person.  It takes a lot before I blow my top and just feel like I cannot handle another thing, but I was there.

As I unloaded on my sweetheart, I could see in his eyes the pain at not being able to fix those things for me and having them just function.  My heart softened as I realized how hard my frustration must be for him, as he is doing the best he knows how to provide for our very large and demanding family.  I sunk into the driver's seat and apologized and we changed the topic.  I felt ashamed for complaining.  Our life is good, I was just frustrated.

The next morning, we got into the car to take everyone to school and work.  I noticed something in my bushes out front, but we were running late so I didn't get out to check it out.  It looked like a propane tank......?  I said so.  Drew said, 'So someone dumped their propane tank in our bushes.  Whatever.  Let's get to work.'

When I arrived home, I parked the car and headed into the house when I remember the propane tank.  I went to the bushes.  It wasn't just one propane tank, it was two, and they were full and brand new.  Now, since you do not know the rest of the story, this is not such a great thing, but here is the rest of the story.

Two years ago, my boys helped our elderly neighbor put together a new bar-b-Que grill.  She was so excited that she paid them and bought our family pizza that night.  Two weeks later, she decided the grill was too big for her.  She bought herself a smaller one and gave us the brand new big one.  It just needed a propane tank.  At the time, my husband didn't want a propane bar-b-Que.  But I did.  He didn't want to spend money to buy the tank and the propane.  Because he is managing the budget, I didn't argue with him.  In my heart, I just wanted a propane tank.  For the last two years, the grill has just been outside, under its cover, me wishing for propane, but resigned that it wouldn't happen.
So here is my interpretation of the events of the last two days:  Heavenly Father hears my frustration.  He knows it is irritating.  He knows the desires of my heart.  He inspired someone to bring me propane, not one tank, but two---two new tanks, just because he loves me and because who else knows I wanted propane??  It isn't something I talk about or have advertised.  It was just a secret desire of my heart.  They put them in the bushes because if they left them on the front step, someone would take them, and they would have.

Last night, the same air conditioning son hooked up the propane and grilled the chicken.  It was delicious.  (And if someone shows up at the door step and asks for their propane back, I will be sad.... but I will understand. :-)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mother--reminding children of God

This has been a really crazy week.  We have been sick---which includes a horrible headache, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, cough, wheezing (for the asthmatics), congestion, and just plain tiredness for about a week.  We have had a lot going on, both in our family and in our ward, even at my sweetheart's work.  (I haven't even planned my primary music for the month, not even for this next week....)

I have been coming down with symptoms of the illness, but I kind of refuse to get sick and just do my own thingy, so I have been able to keep it at bay, mostly.  Tonight, I started feeling nauseous.  I went walking with my sweetheart anyway (in high school, I learned that if I exercised even when I felt sick I usually felt better afterward and didn't stay sick very long.....).  When I got home, the kiddos still hadn't had dinner, but Spanky almost had it finished.

In an effort to just relax and recoup, I sat in the living room and found a photocopy of a lesson one of my sons is suppose to present this next month in his priesthood quorum.  I decided to read it.  It was this one:  How do the roles of men and women complement each other in families.   

One of the supplemental talks for the lesson was this article by Elder Ballard:  The Sacred Responsibilities of Parenthood. 

He expresses participating in preparing The Family:  A Proclamation to the World. 

Then he discusses the Adversary's attacks on the family.  I was particularly struck by these paragraphs:

When you stop and think about it from a diabolically tactical point of view, fighting the family makes sense. When Satan wants to disrupt the work of the Lord, he doesn’t poison the world’s peanut butter supply, thus bringing the Church’s missionary system to its collective knees. He doesn’t send a plague of laryngitis to afflict the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He doesn’t legislate against green Jell-O or casseroles. When Satan truly wants to disrupt the work of the Lord, he attempts to confuse gender and he attacks God’s plan for His children. He works to drive a wedge of disharmony between a father and a mother. He entices children to be disobedient to their parents. He makes family home evening and family prayer inconvenient. He suggests family scripture study is impractical. That’s all it takes, because Satan knows that the surest and most effective way to disrupt the Lord’s work is to diminish the effectiveness of the family and the sanctity of the home.

Look at what he accomplishes when he does that. Couples unhappy in their marriages tend not to give appropriate gospel instruction in the home. They are less likely to be committed to gospel principles in their own lives. Some drift from the Church. Apathy can overcome even active members, keeping them away from the temple and weakening their capacity to be effective leaders and teachers—thus leaving countless lives untouched and slowing the Lord’s work. And the Internet when not properly used is a vicious influence in the home. So we know, without question, Lucifer is the enemy of the family!  (Elder Ballard, The Sacred Responsibilities of Parenthood, Ensign, March 2006)

Yes, so true.  Why would he put so much effort into some huge plan, when he just needs to create distance and apathy in the families of the world, but specifically those even in the church.  I have seen it in my ward, my extended family, and feel like I fight it all the time in my own family.  Don't get me wrong, we are not constantly at each others' throats.  For the most part we get along and really enjoy each other.  But I can tell when we are stretched too thin, too sick, too tired, too far apart and we need to reconnect and stop the world.  It takes time and diligence and effort and recognition.  
When I recognize what is happening, I make us stop the world.  I do not care if we are going to be late for school, church, miss a game or practice or whatever.  What is most important at that place and at that time is how we feel about each other.  I call us all together and talk about what each person is feeling and bring the Adversary's efforts to their attention.  Sometimes we talk about why he might be targeting us at that moment (we usually have something important coming up...).  We talk about how we should be acting and then what we can do to make that happen.  We usually end with a prayer to ask for the Holy Ghost to help each of us.  For us, it works.

Elder Ballard then shares five concepts from The Family: A Proclamation to the World that if followed will help us to ensure happy and secure families.  One of his concepts is this:

3.  Mothers. The proclamation teaches that “mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.” Nurturing refers to parenting behaviors such as warmth, support, bonding, attachment, recognizing each child’s unique abilities, and attending to children’s needs. Nurturing in and of itself is more important in the development of a child than is any particular method or technique of child rearing. It hardly needs saying that nurturing is best carried out in a stable, safe, family context.

A mother’s nurturing love arouses in children, from their earliest days on earth, an awakening of the memories of love and goodness they experienced in their premortal existence. Because our mothers love us, we learn, or more accurately remember, that God also loves us.

Today there is significant pressure in our materialistic world to have and spend more money. Unfortunately, this draws married mothers to work outside the home in order to provide a second income. As husbands, wives, and children recognize the difference between basic necessities and material wants, they lessen family financial burdens and contribute to helping mothers be at home. Decisions about working outside the home are difficult ones and need to be made prayerfully, keeping ever in mind the counsel of the living prophets on this complex issue. (IBID)

I almost cried, OK, I did cry.  I thought about what had just happened at my house today with my little Spike, Spike.  He is one of my asthmatics.  He has been horribly wheezing with this illness.  His eczema is inflamed.  I took him to the doctor on Friday.   He needed breathing treatments every four hours.  Tuesday I took him for a recheck.  Still wheezing.  The doctor gave us an oral medication to help out.  My little Spike, Spike is super sensitive.  The oral medication made him puke, and I only gave him 1/4 of the dose.  I gave him a breathing treatment hoping it would help and then gave him another 1/4.  He puked again, this time all over both of us.  I took his clothes off.  We bathed him, put the special cream on his eczema, lotioned up his little body, put him in jammies, and gave him more rice milk.  He threw his arms around me and said, "Huggie!"

Then I thought about what I did today for my people:

Spike, Spike:  see above, and a trip to the doctor.
Smilely:  gave him ibuprofen for his headache.
Shorty:  let him eat all the extra meat and make a special lunch
Sun:  checked her ears, made her a doctor appointment for tomorrow, picked up her school books, braided her hair.
Speedy:  Spent an hour and a half registering for school, paperwork, and photos
Sport:  also spent an hour and a half registering for school, paperwork, and photos, plus extra running around.
Spanky:  he did more for me today than I did for him---he actually fixed my washing machine---a huge blessing and gift, and we watched a movie together, took him to the dentist for the first time in two years.
Slim:  dropped off at work and dropped his suits to the dry cleaners, so they are clean when he leaves for school.

Not that any of those things are outside of my motherly duties, but if I was otherwise occupied, with work, or friends, or social engagements or volunteer stuff or whatever..............who would have helped my people.  The answer???  No one.  I am a nurturer.  I am their nurturer.  Elder Ballard's words are amazing: 

A mother’s nurturing love arouses in children, from their earliest days on earth, an awakening of the memories of love and goodness they experienced in their premortal existence. Because our mothers love us, we learn, or more accurately remember, that God also loves us.

My nurturing does that for MY children.  Because I love them and nurture them, they remember that God loves them.  Could anything be more important than helping my children remember, on a daily basis, that the most amazing being in the universe loves and cares about them?!

I am not just a mother, for my children, I am THE Mother, and for yours, you are (unless you are their father! :-)


Monday, August 5, 2013

Mothers--opportunities for love
Saturday, after Drew and Spanky left to drive to LA (picking up Sport and Speedy who attended EFY), I was tackling some home improvement and decorating projects.  I needed a picture frame---a specific size, almost square, between 21 and 27 inches.  I decided to hit the thrift store.

Because Slim was sleeping (he has been sick), and Sun, Shorty, and Smiley were watching a movie, I decided to take Spike, Spike with me.  (At 6 that morning, Drew brought him to me while I was in bed, explaining that as they got into the car to drive away, Drew had forgotten something.  On his return into the house, he met Spike, Spike heading out of the house---looking for his dad and mom.  He would have been outside by himself, unable to get back into the house, with all of us asleep, unaware there was any problem.  Lovely little escape artist.)

The thrift store was dirty and usually busy on a Saturday.  "I will just put him into the stroller.  He will be safer with me than if I leave him home," I reasoned.  Besides, even if it wasn't as convenient for me, he would enjoy the time out.

We got to the thrift store.  It was busy.  I parked the car, opened the trunk, pulled out the stroller.  I couldn't open it.  Something was wrong.  It was stuck.  I messed with it for five minutes.  Nothing.  I couldn't figure it out.  I decided to forget the stroller and just carry the baby.  After all, I only wanted a frame.

I went inside and walked over to the frames.  Spike, Spike was content to sit on my hip as I browsed.  But when I pulled out the measuring tape to verify sizes, he was done.  He wanted down.  He wanted to try out the pink toddler bed across the aisle.  OK.......sure.  I made my purchasing decision simultaneously keeping Spike, Spike in my view.

As he was preparing to stand and jump on the bed, (Mothers of boys know when something like this is going to happen.  Its an internal sensing thing.  We can feel it.) I scooped him up and noticed the VHS cassette tapes.  I wonder if they have any Blue's Clues?

I found four, at $.49 each!!!!  Two of them are ones I wanted to purchase new.  You know I bought them!  We had to wait in a long line, which was frustrating trying to juggle a wiggly toddler, four cassette tapes and a frame.  Then when we got to the car, Spike, Spike refused to get into his car seat.  Seven to ten minutes arguing with a two-year-old why you have to sit in this car seat.  Oh, I love those days!!!  But we arrived home, put on Blue's Clues and finished the project, only taking a break to make dinner.
Sunday morning was its usual frustration.  Our littlest man, for the last six to eight weeks, has decided he doesn't like to wear church clothes.  The first three weeks, he fought to put on any pants, except his pajama ones.  The last several weeks, he has refused to wear any shirt.  This Sunday was a little different.  After a bit of negotiation, he put on his pants and then his shirt without a fuss.  (He was distracted by Blue's Clues.)  Then when he realized which shirt it was, he screamed and screamed, "Help! Help! Help!" as he pulled at the buttons and the neck.  I wouldn't take it off until he agreed to wear a different one.  I helped him change and order was restored.  We actually arrived at church on time.

After church was fairly uneventful.  We had favorite foods for lunch and dinner (bean soup and pizza), so there was very little complaint and the baby (toddler) even took a nap which allowed me an hour's worth of quiet time and scripture study.  After dinner the children played outside, we tidied up the house, read scriptures and prayed, brushed our teeth, put on jammies, and sent the little ones to bed.

Slim and I sat down to watch a pilot episode of a new series---about the murder of an 11 year-old boy in a small town.  We were near the end of the episode when the phone call came in from one of my husband's counselors.  Was the Bishop home?  When was he expected?  Could he get a hold of him?  Sure.  I relayed the necessary information.

Then he told me why.

That evening, he had been reading the paper.  As he read the story, he recognized the people.  A 19-year-old young woman and her 21-year-old boyfriend had been cooking drugs in their apartment and there was an explosion.  They had been released from the hospital with 1st and 2nd degree burns on their hands and arms.  Their two-year-old however, had been flown to a larger hospital with 1st and 2nd degree burns on his face, front, back, arms, and legs.  The parents were incarcerated pending child endangerment charges.

The mother was one of my inactive young women when I was the Young Women's President.  She and I were in the hospital at the same time delivering our babies.  She brought hers over to see me.  I held him and played with his thick, dark hair.

As I recalled those days, I thought about these days.  Was he covered in burn bandages? Did they have him medically sedated to keep his pain away?  He didn't have any idea where he was, what was happening to him or why, and where were his parents?  Who was going to be there for him when he woke up?  Who is going to comfort him?  What will happen to him when he is released from the hospital and where will he go?  He is just TWO!  He is just a baby!  Like my baby.........  His suffering is due to no fault of his own.  My heart hurts for him and worries for him.

I remember those Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) days with Slim and the ones in Pediatric ICU.  We were in the NICU for a month.  I was there every day, all day long watching over my little man.  There were other bassinets, where fights for life were happening, alone, with only the hospital staff around.  I did not try to be judgmental, but I did wonder-----where are their people, specifically, where are their parents?  They were never meant to do this alone.  My heart hurt for them also.

Last night, at 3 a.m., when Spike, Spike came up the stairs, I pulled down the covers and welcomed him into the bed.  I snuggled him---close.  I didn't even care when I woke up at 5 because his elbow was in my back and he kept trying to sleep on top of me.  I was just glad he was mine and he was home and he was safe.  This morning, we ate waffles and smoothies, watched Blue's Clues, and built forts.  It's 11 and we are still in our pajamas and I don't care.  We might stay that way all day.  (I might even let Spike, Spike wear them to church on Sunday.....)  But we are safe and warm and happy and fed and loved, the way God intended us to be.  When my big ones get home, I'm going to spoil them too and tell them how glad I am they are mine.

Love your little ones every day and hold them close.  You never know what tomorrow may bring.  My prayers are with you little friend, and with your parents, regardless of some of their choices.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Homecoming #2

YEA!!!  Our Florida Orlando Missionary arrived home last night.  His plane came in about 11 p.m. and then we went to the stake president's office to be released.  We arrived home about 12:30 a.m., then stayed up visiting.  We are tired but enjoying each other's company and getting all caught up.

I will post pictures and details later :-)  Right now we are playing.