Friday, February 27, 2015

Family First Friday #7--Tammers Homecoming!

I have missed two Friday posts!  Life has been kind of exciting and busy here.  Two weeks ago, before I missed the first post, Tammy got home!!!  She arrived Thursday night.  I tried to get my Friday post finished before we picked her up, but it just didn't happen.  Then I spent all of Friday visiting with her and hanging out and hearing about her mission.  It was so wonderful and fabulous!!!  The week before that we had all been sick, including me, for like three weeks!  It has been a long recovery!!  I even took Spike to the hospital at the beginning because he couldn't breath.  But Tams got home and we didn't make her sick, for which I was super grateful!

It never ceases to amaze me the growth and development these young adults have gained by serving a mission.  They are more interactive.  They look people in the eye.  They keep conversations going.  They know the scriptures.  They know who they are and they know where we can find answers.  I LOVE their service and I LOVE the results of their service in their very own lives.  Scuff gets home in May and I get to see it all over again!!  I LOVE that!

This is how we all felt that Tammers was home!

We, of course, had to play.

Last Friday we all went to the beach.  It was super cold, but we had a good time.  The wind was blowing too, so everything was full of sand.  There were too many dogs on the beach that day for Shorty.  He ended up going back to the car and hanging out for about 45 minutes because he does not like dogs.  We only ended up staying for two hours, but it was still fun, even though we were cold.

Then, after the beach on Friday, my sister arrived!!!  She just spent the weekend with us!  We had a great time!  I really miss hanging out with her, even though it has been like 25 years since we did!
Don't you just love the sun bursts?  Somehow I didn't realize we were photographing right into the sun.  But it made for superb beach photos!!  The color is amazing!

And that's the crazy stuff we have been up to!  Today it is raining.  Tomorrow I get to give a talk at a Spanish baptism, luckily I get to speak in English.  Thank you!  I don't speak Spanish :-)  I'll try to keep up better.  It might be easier now that I am not sick!

Friday, February 6, 2015

FFF #6--Castles in the Sand.

Aren't those amazing??!!!  They are so beautiful and so perfect!!  It is difficult for me to believe they are sand.  But it is more difficult for me to believe that someone or more than one someone spent all of the time it would take to make something so amazing and beautiful and then to do it out of a medium as fickle and fluid as sand!  Seriously!!??  Your beautiful work, your time, your effort, your talent, gone in one rain storm, one gust of wind, or one rogue wave.

More than not, life is like that.   We choose those activities that are important and significant to us and that is where we put much of our time, talent, effort and even sometimes, our entire life.  Have you ever wondered if you were building out of sand?  Or are you building something that will last for eternity?  I don't know about you, but when I look back on my life's work, I want it to mean something.  I don't want to look back and realize that I was using sand as a medium. 

I know, I know, I am talking in riddles.  I have something weighing on my mind.  I have a dear friend, whom I love.  She is amazing!  She is talented!  She is dear to my heart.  She is building sand castles and I don't know how to tell her.  I don't know if I should tell her.  She is happy and she is excited!  Her castle is beautiful!!  But it is still made out of sand, and not the things that will last for eternity.  I know she is not trying to use sand.  She doesn't believe that is what she is doing, or she wouldn't do it.  She has more sense than that.  I mean, how do you say to someone, "You know all that work you have been putting in, all that time and effort to express your amazing talent?  Sand."  Because other people don't see it as sand.

I have never been good at building castles in the sand, not real or figurative sand.  I don't pretend.  I can't make believe and play nice with the other kids with rose colored glasses on.  I have to live in reality.  For me it is the only comfort.  I want to know where I stand, in the gospel, in my relationship with you, in my job, in my parenting.  I only function in reality.  If I am not quite in reality, it is only because, for the moment, I believe it is reality.  But when the glasses come off and I really see?  Then I shift into functioning in the new reality.

When I become aware that a relationship is not what I have thought it was, even if the other person doesn't see the difference?  My behavior toward them changes because I am functioning in a different paradigm of the relationship.  Did you know some people can't do that?  Some people are afraid of reality.  When they realize you only function in reality and they do not, your friendship with them is over.  I do not worry about that with my sandcastle friend.  She lives and works in reality, which I appreciate and value.  But I have lost plenty of people who I had considered friends because they do not want to live or work or play in reality.  Which has been fine for me, because the truth be told, trying to maintain a friendship with those people is really exhausting because I can never remember 'which' reality they are functioning in.  I am feeling like all of this rambling is probably not making a lot of sense, but it does in my head.  Does that help?  Probably not.
This is the extent of my ability to build sand castles.

It is really difficult for me to write today.  I am sure my feelings are in the way.  How to say what I want without saying to much or offending someone.  It also doesn't help that Spike Spike is sick today and bored and all he wants me to do is play with him, which I have, but he is not satisfied.  And so he is in my face.

When I was a younger mother, I asked a question of my religion professor once.  I had four small children, five and under.  We were talking about studying our scriptures and making time for the Lord.  I simply asked how that was possible when you had little children.  The response I received was not favorable.  Basically I was told (without anyone understanding my circumstances) that if I was ignoring the children to spend some 'quality time' reading my scriptures then I was missing the point of the gospel.  Ya.  It was not a pretty moment.  I left the class feeling awful and like a total and a complete failure as a mother.  I knew time with my Father in Heaven was important.  But seriously, with four small children five and under, I couldn't go to the bathroom without assistance from one of them.  There was never time and all I was looking for was 15 minutes, not an hour, not three, not a day.  Literally, 15 minutes.  That was before you had scriptures on your phone.  Otherwise I could have read them as I walked home.

Spike is a much different child.  If I let him, he would take all of my time every day.  Seriously.  He will not use the toilet unless I am in the room with him regardless of how bad he has to go.  He will wet his pants.  He needs me to eat with him.  He wants me to sleep with him.  Still at three, he is like a wool sock full of static cling that just came out of the dryer.... A.L.L.T.H.E.T.I.M.E.  And when he is sick he is worse, even with ibuprofen.

Maybe my friend isn't using sand.  Maybe she is just distracted.  Her distraction though, is evident in the lives of her children.  While she is building her castle, she is missing her opportunity to build in the lives of her children for eternity.  I have not been willing to make that trade.  My mother did it.  And I will not.  It is a little more personal to me.

This is my day.  This is my time.  These are my children.  Children do not stay children forever.  They are not pliable and mold-able forever.  If you have not built your relationship and taught them while they are little, they will not let you when they are older.  They won't listen then.  Sometimes even when you have they don't listen to you from about 13-21 (or returned missionary age).  Somehow when they return home from their mission you have become an all-wise parent again, but not usually before that.
My formatting is messing up.  It must be time to stop.  
Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Blessings this week!

I really wish I had more time for blogging.  Some very fun and interesting things are happening at my house!  I have two quick stories for you.  The first is about sandals.  I have one pair of sandals that I LOVE!  I have loved them since I was in high school, about 30 years ago now.  I had a white pair in high school.  They took forever to break in, but once those babies were broken in, I wore them everywhere!  They were super comfortable!  I could wear them with a skirt, jeans, shorts, pretty much anything.  They were awesome!!  Well, as time would have it, they broke and wore down and I had to throw them out.  I was sad, but I had loved them and worn them completely out!  They were worth the $10.00 I had paid for them.
copyright:  Karen Larsen photography
Time goes on. 

About 10 years ago now, I found another pair, for $10.00!!  I bought them because I knew what kind of a bargain they were.  I didn't wear them very often because they are hard to break in and now I was chasing children and my feet weren't as good because I was also 50 pounds heavier than I was in high school.  But I still loved them and wore them periodically.  Last year, they finally broke in.  Since then, I have worn them more often.  This pair is brown.

After our last little trip (I don't remember where---me and Drew), I couldn't find them.  I knew I had taken them on the trip with me.  But I could not find them when I got home.  I assumed I had left them in the hotel, which I was a little anal about leaving stuff in, so I thought I brought them home.  But when I couldn't find them, I thought I must have missed them.  I have been looking for them for about 6 months.  I have mourned their loss.  They are very much an '80's sandal and I didn't think I would ever find another pair.

Last week, I was looking for scotch tape in my wrapping paper box.  I was digging because I needed it for my seminary game the next day.  I wasn't having any luck.  'Keep digging' came the thought.  'Look harder!'  The box isn't very deep.  It is long, but shallow, but I kept digging.  I started looking around the box.  I picked up a cloth grocery bag and moved it and as I did so, I felt something familiar.  "Wait!"  I grabbed the bag and opened it up.  Inside were my sandals!!!  I was sSSSOOOOOO excited!!!

I thanked my Heavenly Father profusely!  They weren't lost!!  They were here the whole time!  I had no idea I was so attached to a pair of shoes!  That was my miracle #1.

Miracle #2 was a bit more intense. 

My little Spike Spike has an anaphylactic allergy to nuts.  The last time we visited the allergist, she told me she was going to order him an epi-pen for which I was super grateful!  (An epi-pen is a dose of the medicine epinephrine with which I can inject the allergic person after exposure to their allergy.  It is just enough medication to keep their airway open while I get them to the hospital for further medical treatment.  I have one for the bigger boys, but it is an adult dose.  I didn't have one for Spike, who is just a little guy.)

Well, when the pharmacy got the order, they called me to make sure I had insurance because the price of the epi-pen without insurance was $962 (and change!).  I about fell off of my chair.  Seriously!  You have got to be kidding.  (That is almost what I pay in rent every month, and more than all of the food my family eats for one month!)  We certainly didn't have that in the budget.

Because I was worried about the price, I didn't fill the prescription right away.  Well, Monday I felt like I should fill the prescription.  I was nervous.  I told my husband about the phone call from the pharmacy the few days before, but I didn't tell him the price of the prescription.  He was already wondering how much it was going to cost us and asked me to wait to fill it.  When I picked it up, the lady at the counter said, "you have insurance, right? Because I am not sure how much it is going to cover $962 + anyway." 

That was my concern also.  I had been praying since I entered the pharmacy.  "Please let the price be something we can manage.  And something that my husband won't be upset that I spent."

As she ran our insurance card, she got a look of relief on her face and said, "Well that brought it down to a $20.00 co-pay!"

"Sweet!!  I can spend $20.00!"

Then she ran the other insurance card and it took care of the $20.00 co-pay.  I walked out of there with the prescription for zero dollars!  What a HUGE blessing!!  Thank you Heavenly Father.

I decided at that point that Drew could handle me spending $1.00 for Smiley's Cheetos!

Those are my huge blessings for this week!  Today in seminary we studied D&C 82:10.  "I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say, but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise."

I am so grateful I try to do what He says.  He provides blessings to my family in ways that I can not anticipate.

On the flip side, Shorty has been sick for three days with a fever.  Now I have to go pick up his antibiotic and take Smiley to the dentist.  But I don't have to pay $1,000 for Spike's epi-pen!

Thanks again!