Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Family Proclamation photos 2013

TWO posts in ONE day.......Scary!  I am participating the Family Proclamation Celebration put on this year by Chocolate on my Cranium, A Well-Behaved Mormon Woman, and Mormon Mommy Blogs!!

Here are my photos this year:

Here is last year's Family Proclamation Photos 2012

Carin...Growing up

We have a super crazy week this week!  Yesterday we cleaned the church.  Today we have a funeral.  Wednesday I have my monthly committee meeting.  Friday, a baby shower.  Saturday, Sport is starting his Eagle Scout Project.  Sunday is our Primary Program (which is where the children share thoughts and music about the doctrines they have learned so far this year, it is always a huge treat---kids 3-11!), and I am the chorister.  Those are just the extra things we have going on this week...that doesn't include the normal stuff.  I'm not sure how much blogging I will get done. 

But, at least I can post the photos I promised.  So without further adieu...

Here they are:

Well, there you go, from about 12 months to 19. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Family First Friday #5

Sometimes, the most important thing you can do to take care of your family first, is to take care of the caretaker (ie person home with the kiddos).  I am going to walk you through the emotional events of this week for me personally.

Tuesday I had another Miss P incident (reference here and here, if you missed it).  Being in a decent place emotionally with the Miss P situation, I sent a prompt email.  Basically, I'm tired of this.  Please stop!  Not rude, not biting, simply 'This is the behavior.  It bothers me.  Please stop.'  Send.  I didn't even tell Drew I sent it, until later that evening. 

Wednesday, I posted about my family of origin (post here), where I obviously had some unresolved issues.  After I wrote the post, I spoke with my sister for about two hours---just normal sister talk about life, kids, school, etc...  By the time evening rolled around, I wondered if I was stuffing feelings.  By morning, I knew I was.

I am always amazed at how efficiently and unconsciously I can do it.  I have noticed with new emotions and feelings, I have grown enough that I don't stuff it.  If someone says something today or at church and my feelings are hurt, I can cry and be upset in the moment.  But if the feelings are deep and old---I have usually stuffed them before I even knew they were there.  It's scary that it happens so quickly and without any thought.

I talked through my feelings with Drew in the morning.  I realized that I had never emotionally walked through the door of leaving my little sisters behind when I left for college.  My family was falling apart.  The ship was sinking and I couldn't save them.  I couldn't take them with me.  The pain was so deep and so intense that I had to block it out so that I could keep functioning and survive.  All of these years and I had never chosen to open the door to those emotions, mostly because I wasn't even aware they were there.  But here they are, still waiting for me after all these years.

I needed a good cry---as my friend Linzy says, the ugly cry---the one where your face is all puffy and red, and your nose is clogged from all the crying.  You know the look.

this is close....
My sweetheart gave me a great perspective.  He said, "Carin, why did you leave?"  I came up with many answers---to save myself, to go to college, so I didn't sink with the ship....  "No," he says, "you left to go and prepare the lifeboat.  If you had gone down with the ship," to continue the analogy, "everyone would be lost.  By leaving and clinging to the gospel and building your family within its framework, you show them where to go to find peace, happiness, and healing.  You are their light in the lifeboat saying, 'Swim this way! Over here!'  If you didn't do that, how would they know where to go?!"
His words brought peace to my soul.  I have always known I made the right decision.  I did not have guilt because of my choice.  But I had also never acknowledged the pain and heartache of not being able to rescue any of my sibling, but particularly my sisters because they were so young and innocent.  Wednesday morning I was walking through the pain.

Wednesday morning was also when I received Miss P's response to my email, simply, "I'm sorry. That wasn't my intent.  I didn't mean to offend on of your children."

Because I was already in such an emotionally vulnerable place, I was able to respond to her email immediately and from the heart.  I just said, "My feelings have been really hurt.  I know things have been hard for you too.  I am tired of this.  Can't we be friends?"  And I let it go.  I do not know if she will respond or what she will say.  And you know what?  It really doesn't matter to me.

Here's the crazy part.  I believe that if I had not been in such an emotional state, I wouldn't have responded so honestly and openly to the pain and heartache which had been happening in the present.

Today I have been nurturing my soul.  I threw my diet out the window (not binge eating, just not strictly following the plan).  I have spent hours this week writing, reading, and visiting with people I love.  The rain is falling and I'm watching a cheesy, but clean romance.  I'm having one of my favorite dinners and reminding myself why I love my life and me.  :-)  (I may even cut my hair!)  Because I made time to take care of some emotional baggage (past and present), nurture myself, and feed my soul, I will be a much happier and nicer mother!
me being my happy self!

Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Little Carin Photos

A long while ago my mother brought several photos with her for me to scan into the computer.  The deal was, she would leave them here for me to scan and then I would mail them back to her.  I still have yet to mail them, but I did scan them!!!  I thought you might like to see some of them?

You can compare them to my children.
Family photos first:

Before the baby. (early 70's)

After the baby, same dress and pants :-)

Mid 70's

Late 70's

Early 80's
Late 80's
I think I will post the individuals another day.  One thing I couldn't help but notice was my father's eyes and facial expressions.  In the early family photos, he seems so happy and he looks twinkly.  As the photos age, his countenance drops and his twinkly-ness goes away, my mom too.  The other thing I noticed was how all of our clothing is 'time-period' appropriate.  Scary.  I never realized my mom was a fashion guru :-)

Don't we look so cute?!!  We started off so very well!!  The gospel became a part of our family and my parents were sealed just before I was born.  During my teenage years things began to fall apart.  I already documented some of my father's sorrows (Here and Here).  The financial pressures on our family were great and my father kept thinking we needed more money.  I don't know if he pressured my mother to work or if she decided to work to help ease his burden.  Whatever the reason, working proved to be the straw that broke my family in two.  My mother was stretched thin.  My father was stretched thin.  No one was home to keep tabs on us children.  I kept busy with school things and extracurricular activities.  My brother got into trouble with substance abuse and the law, which caused more stress on my already maxed out parents.  Sundays became a day to rest and recuperate instead of a day to worship and most Sundays, we were not attending church because it was just one more thing to try to get done during the week.  All of this stress and time spent away from the family and everyone's needs not being met, provided fertile ground for Lucifer to introduce many, many temptations into everyone's lives.  As some of us fell to those temptations, feelings were hurt and relationships destroyed.  Fear replaced faith.  Fatigue replaced anyone's ability to nurture and help others.  Everyone was on a course for themselves.

My mother ran away because she was overwhelmed with burden and grief.  My father, who was not a nurturer anyway, just tried to keep busy with work and console his aching heart with other women.  I ran off to college, because I knew if I stayed I would be drained of my ability to do anything.  This mess was not my responsibility.  Though my father begged me to stay and help out the family, I knew in my heart that was the wrong decision.  How hard is that?  To be a fixer and a builder and to know that if you stay to try and help your efforts will amount to nothing.  This is not a situation that I could fix.  I had to leave.  The ship was sinking and if I stayed, I would go down with it.  My little sisters were only 10 and 9, and I had to leave them home with my parents who couldn't take care of themselves, let alone their children.

My father is still angry at me for leaving.  Periodically he reminds me that I left when the family needed me.  How can I tell him that I knew if I stayed I would die spiritually with them?  It is not something he needs to hear, just something I have to tell myself when his words wound my heart.

Wow, I had no idea I had all of that to share.  This was just suppose to be a post with my family photos :-)  I guess there is still a lot of emotional work to do.  This is just a part of how divorce has affected me personally.  I have been blessed to have the gospel to cling to when these tragedies struck my family.  The family I have created comes from the principles taught in the gospel of Jesus Christ, specifically The Family: A Proclamation to the World and because Drew and I have been and are obedient to those principles.  My siblings have not been so lucky.  Their testimonies were not quite developed when tragedy struck for them.  They have not had the added blessing of the gospel framework within to build their families.

My parents' choices to fall to temptations instead of fight with obedience and faith has affected generations of people and their ability to build strong, happy families.  Just like a couple who does choose to fight through temptations with faith and obedience, who chooses to apply the doctrinal principles in their lives and to forgive and love and use the atonement of our Savior to heal their hearts will weave a legacy of faith and obedience and willingness to persevere throughout generations of their families.  So then I guess the question is, what are you doing with your choices and temptations and sorrows?  Are you using gospel principles and obedience and faith to fight the battles you have in front of you?  Or are you falling to the temptations?  You will affect generations!  I can guarantee it!

PS....Decided to link this up with Chocolate on my Cranium for Celebrating the Family this week!  Not specifically about a specific part of the proclamation, but definitely addresses the principles.  And if you want to read more, check out today's post: Family First Friday #5!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Cream of Wild Rice Soup

I haven't posted anything Table Talk related in a while.  Here is one of my very favorite soups.  I always think of it as Turkey and Wild Rice Soup, because I put my leftover turkey in it after Thanksgiving.  Imagine my surprise when I was reading the recipe today and realized Turkey and Wild Rice Soup is the name of the recipe above it in the cookbook.  The recipe actually calls for chicken!  Nonetheless, Sport asked for turkey this week in our menu planning and I decided to make this soup with the leftovers.  It always reminds me of fall.....I LOVE the fall! :-)

1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, grated
1 celery rib, chopped 
(I always double the carrots and celery)
1/4 C. Butter or margarine
1/2 C. flour
8 C. chicken broth (I use 6)
3 C. cooked wild rice (mine is the mix, with wheat berries, wild rice, and brown rice)
1 C cubed chicken (I usually use turkey)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 C. evaporated milk (I use soy milk)
1/4 C. snipped chives (I use parsley, 1/8 C)

In a large saucepan, saute the onion, carrot, and celery in butter until tender.  Stir in flour until blended.  Gradually add broth.  Stir in  rice, chicken, salt, pepper.  Bring to a boil over medium heat or until thickened.  Stir in milk; cook 3-5 minutes longer.  Garnish with chives.
Serves 10.

Serve with a loaf of warm bread and a salad (my kids liked grilled cheese too :-)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Instagram Great Gran Day!!

I'm participating in the Celebration of the Proclamation of the Family.  Today we are posting photos of our ancestors.  I uploaded all the photos my mother brought me about a year ago.  I was so excited to have some of my ancestors!  Unfortunately, they were all ME!  A few of the photos have others in them, so I will include those, but they are still just my parents and one grandparent.  However, after the photos, stay tuned for a great story that happened to me this week in the family history world! :-)

This is my mother:
Forty ish years ago.  (And that cute little person is me.)  Here she is 20 ish years ago:
And this is her today:
She is an amazing woman!  She has such persevere and determination.  I love you Mom!!

Here is a photo of her father:
His name is OB Biggs.  I think that naked baby is me too.  I wish I had a photo of my grandmother or of them together.  I actually do have one of her, but I didn't find it to get it scanned.  My mother mostly grew up in Texas.  We lived there when I was a little girl.

Here is my amazing family history story (on the other side of the family):
This week I opened a newsletter from New Family Search (Here's the letter.) announcing a new feature of their website, search records.  I thought, I'm going to try that.  I had a particular line in my family tree where the information just kind of died after my great-great grandparents.  So I pulled up my information and the ancestor I was looking for and hit the button.  In just seconds, I was able to view all the historical records family search had on file that might match my ancestor.

I found my ancestor and some of his family on the 1880 census records!!  I also found another child that I was unaware of.  Plus, with the information on the census, I was able to pinpoint his birthday within a year and to know that his wife's death date was before the census because he was listed as a widower, all information I did not have. I put that information into my family tree files.  That information allowed me to then request their names be cleared for temple ordinances, which they were.

Here is the coolest part of the story.  In looking over the records and trying to discern if these were indeed my ancestors, I recognized the name of the family above them.  Wait!  I think that family is also in my line!  I went back to my family tree and sure enough there they were!!  It would appear that two families in my line were at one time neighbors, as the census was not listed alphabetically.  Their children grew up in the same neighborhood.  Now their children did not eventually marry but their grandchildren did and happen to be my great-grandparents!!!  How cool is that??  I went looking for the records of one family and on the same record found two!

I do not have photos of these ancestors, but I will keep looking!  Another amazing feature in the newfamilytree program, I can attach that record to my ancestor!  (See how in the letter linked above!)

I LOVE this work!  I still have to figure out how to link them here (My Family Search) but maybe I'll do that later today.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Family First Friday #4

Yesterday, I had a massive headache.  I could not think.  I sat down to do some brain work and I just came up blank.  But I realized that I could still do things that didn't take any brain power.  Yesterday was a great day for getting housework done. 
Unfortunately, I didn't realize it until about 2:00 in the afternoon.  So after I picked the little guys up from school, I set out to do yard work, another mindless task.  As I gathered the clippers and rakes up to get started, Shorty asked what I was doing and indicated a desire to join in.  He had been fairly grumpified since we brought him home from school.

As we chopped the bushes, he started talking.  Here a little, there a little.  Pretty soon he said, "I think I wanted to come out and help because I was grouchy."  (Really?  I had kind of noticed.)  "I'm feeling better now."

Sometimes our children just need our time.  They may not even realize that is what they need.  We can still accomplish things and spend time with our children. 

When I was in college, I took a class on work and the family.  It mostly talked about how family life has changed over time, specifically with industrialization.  Before industrialization, families worked at home.  Fathers were farmers, blacksmiths, carpenters, etc....  Most fathers worked at home, so when there were family issues, fathers were there and available to help, counsel, etc....  Fathers, mothers, children all at home working for the economy of the family and community.  With industrialization, fathers were taken out of the home and had to go to work at the factory, bank, grocery store, etc...  Fathers in the workplace, mothers and children at home.  Then with the World Wars, some women moved into the work force.  With the sexual revolution of the sixties and women's rights movements, more and more mothers moved from their work in the home and joined the fathers in the factories, leaving the children at home alone (latch-key kids), or to be tended by others. 

Today, most parents work outside of the home and their time in the home is extremely limited because our society tells us our time should be filled with activities and leisure, computer time and entertainment.  Very few activities are geared toward the entire family participating in the same activity at the same time.  And when some families are home, now they are plugged into headphones so even if they are in the same room, they aren't interacting with one another.  What a lonely world we live in.  We have more social interaction than any other people in history, yet we are completely isolated even in our homes. 
Those are some of the reasons we limit our television viewing to entire family options; we have one television and whatever is on it has to be appropriate for the littlest person in the room.  We do not have MP3 players, Ipods, cell phones, even laptops (college students, excepted, and they live away from home).  We spend time doing things as a group, whether it is watching TV, playing a game, having family home evening, yard work, housework, cooking, eating, whatever!!

Yesterday, doing our mindless work, my little Shorty was able to just talk to his mother about things that were on his mind.  He just needed my time.  And because my brain was unoccupied somewhere else, he had it, even while we chopped bushes.  The next time you sense one of your children needs to talk, or maybe they just haven't shared their life with you recently, invite them to participate in some mindless task with you.  I guarantee you they will start talking to fill the silence.  You can ask them questions to get them going.  Don't make it personal, at first, if you are struggling in your relationship.  Just ask them what they think about a particular topic.  Make it an open-ended question.  (Read this article for help.)  {Yes, it is talking about teaching the gospel, but it will work with people in general.}  Really get to know those children who are yours to love.