Friday, September 26, 2014

Or Maybe If a Guy was Walking Along and He Tripped, and He Hit his Head on a Rock and He Wasn't Dead, But You Knew He Was Going to Die, I Could Probably Start Eating Him. But If He Woke Up I'd Stop, cuz I Figure, Hey, That's Normal Human Etiquette and I'm Not Crossing That Line for Anybody

Yesterday I was driving to a friends house with Ash and Alexa in the backseat.

"Mama!" Ash said, thinking of something else to say. "Did you know some, some people eat...people without knives or forks?"

I paused, not quite sure what she was saying. Ash is speaking in the typical five-year-old dialect, where there are long pauses in the middle of sentences and sometimes she starts the sentence over again in the middle of the sentence. Most of the time it's not hard to understand, but in this case the wording made a difference.  Was she talking about cannibals or poor table manners? "Um...what?"

"Did you know some people, people without knives or forks?"

"Some people eat without knives or forks?"

"Yes! They eat people without knives or forks!"

I paused again, trying to decipher what she was trying to say, at the same time wondering where in the world this was coming from.  "People eat people?"

"Without knives or forks."

"People eat without knives or forks?"

"People eat PEOPLE without knives or forks/"

"Are you saying people eat other people? Humans eating humans?"

"Yes. Did you know that?"

"Uh...."   I would like to remind everyone that my daughter is five years and two weeks old. "Who told you that?"

"Maile told me. She said people eat people without knives or forks."

Ah, the influence of an older cousin. So, in a car, driving to a friend's house, I got to have a conversation with my five year old about cannibalism. And how it's wrong. And we don't eat people. Not with forks and knives, not without forks and knives. It's an important conversation to have with your children?

Friday, September 19, 2014

I've Heard It Both Ways

Two weeks ago, on the 8th of September, Alexa and I picked Ash up from school and drove to an appointment with a speech therapist. Ash just needs a few sessions to clear up her pronunciation. Because this was out first appointment, and I didn't know how long it would take to pick up Ash from school and then drive out to the appointment, we arrived about thirty minutes early. We checked in and sat down to wait.

After twenty minutes, my phone rang. As soon as I picked it up and heard the "hello" on the other end, I knew something was very wrong. It was our dear friend, Amy calling. Her mother, our Bubba, had had a seizure or a stoke and had been taken to the hospital by ambulance. Amy was calling to tell me that the last thing her mother said to her was for her to call me and ask for a blessing. I talked to her for a few minutes, said I would send Drek over to the hospital for the blessing, and I would be right there to pick Amy up and take her back to our house.

I apologized to the women at the front desk and told them I had to cancel my appointment. I then packed Ash and Sera back into the car, all while trying to call Drek, who wasn't answering his phone. I then called Bubba's home teacher, and explained to him what had happened. I asked him if he and Drek could go to the hospital and give Bubba a blessing. He said he would jump in the car right then and pick Drek up on his way.

Once again I called Drek, who didn't answer. I then started the car and started to drive home. Ash asked why we were going home and why she wasn't going to her speech therapy. I explained that Bubba was sick and an ambulance had taken her to the hospital and we needed to go pick up Amy, right after we stopped off at home and explained to Daddy that he had two seconds to change clothes before Bubba's home teacher picked him up and took him to the hospital to give Bubba a blessing. Ash asked a few questions about Bubba, and I kept driving while answering them.

My phone rang. Glancing at the caller ID I saw that it was not Drek, but my wonderful sister. I answered, and in a sleepy voice she said "Hi. I'm sorry your friend is sick."

I paused, mind reeling, trying to figure out what my sister was talking about. Had I posted something about a sick friend? Not in the five minutes since I found out about Bubba, surely.


"Your friend that went to the hospital today. I'm sorry."

Holy guacamole beans, my sister is psychic.  "Wow. I just found out myself. How did you know that?"

My sister laughed. "You  called me just now. I heard you telling Ash. Did you not mean to call me?"

Mystery solved.  In the meantime, Drek had still not answered his phone. He was busy working away, when there was a knock on the door. He answered, and was surprised to find Bubba's home teacher standing there, in a suit and tie, asking if he was ready to go to the hospital. Naturally, Drek thought I had crashed the car and his whole family was in the hospital trying to get a hold of him.

I turned down the road just a minute later, saw Bubba's home teacher was already there, turned around and picked up Amy. Three minutes later we were pulling on to our driveway, just as Drek, in a suit and tie, was getting into the car with Bubba's home teacher, still trying to understand what had happened.

But everything has turned out ok. Bubba is out of the hospital. She is recovering well thus far, I don't actually have a psychic sister, although sometimes she can read my mind, and Drek has taken to answering his phone the first time I call.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

And Over Here, We Have the Cafeteria, Where We Were Mauled by Snakes.

This evening I was on our desktop computer and talking to Drek at the same time, who was standing to the side. Suddenly Drek froze, then very calmly said "how about you back away from the..." 

I had already pushed off of the desk and my rolling office chair was halfway across the room. I was sure there was some giant spider. 

But it wasn't. Drek, out of the corner of his eye, had seen one of the computer cables move. And keep moving. He grabbed some kitchen tongs, I grabbed a bucket and a few minutes later: 


We decided it was a baby gopher snake. Non-venomous, and they don't even bite. besides, this one was just a baby and the poor thing was so scared! We took him out and put him in our raspberry bushes, where I'm hoping he will live up to his name and eat gophers. Or, until he's a bit bigger, maybe he'll eat giant spiders. I'd keep in the house if he promised to eat the spiders. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

We Broker Her Heart. Now She knows We Won't Always Be There For Her. That's Good, Right?

In the very, very early hours of Wednesday morning, Drek decided that all of Alexa's sleeping problems are my fault. His decision was still firm Wednesday night, so he banished me to the front room to sleep on the couch, while he stayed in the bedroom and promised all of Alexa's night-time wakings would be gone in a week. He says his method isn't cry-it out, because Alexa will be a pack-and-play next to his bed and he will occasionally pat her back.

So I pushed the two couches together, snuggled up under a blanket and went to sleep. I slept until two in the morning, when I woke up from a horrible nightmare involving spiders. It was then that it clicked where I was sleeping: on the two couches where, just few months ago, I found several spider nest attached to the bottom. I was sleeping on the very same couch where, two years ago, I almost touched a gigantic wolf spider perched on the cushion. I was sleeping a few feet away from the space on the floor where, last month,  Drek found another gigantic wolf spider, and in tracking him down, found dozens of spider nests in our computer cords.

I am an arachnophobe. Sometimes I pretend I'm not, but at two in the morning, after a nightmare about spiders, my true fears surface and I find myself terrified. I freaked out over tickle, every shadow, every movement. I turned on the light and searched for spiders, sure they were everywhere, just out of sight. I turned the light back off and then hid under my blanket, sure they were sneaking in and crawling over my legs. I tried to sing myself songs to keep my mind from visualizing my nightmare, I tried clearing my head of any thoughts so I could fall asleep. Finally, at around five in the morning, I was able to doze off.

Thursday I was able to clean every inch of the floor, couches and walls with a rag soaked in peppermint oil. I washed my blanket with peppermint oil and will probably bathe in the stuff from now on. Thursday night I slept much better.

Drek reported that Alexa did, too; Which is very good, because after that I can't handle thinking about a tiny baby, all alone in a pack-and-play, thinking there is something very scary in every shadow, in every tickle, in every sound, and crying out for mama to come save her so she can fall asleep safely in her arms, only to have her never come, leaving that tiny baby alone to cry in terror. After going through a night in terror myself, I just can't handle the thought of Alexa going through any of that. She may not be an infant anymore, but at 16 months she's way too small  to get up the next day and clean the pack-and-play with something she knows will keep the scary things away. I guess that's why Drek thinks I am the problem.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Charity Never Faileth

I've been a Visiting Teacher to a women named Hazel for thee years (A visiting teacher is a calling in my church. As a visiting teacher I am assigned other women to visit every month, see if they or their families need anything, spiritually or temporally,  to pray for them and to leave them with a little spiritual message).  Some months I will drop off a message and a treat at her doorstep, most months I will invite her to a church activity, but I have never met her.  She does not come to church. She does not come to activities. She doesn't really want me coming over to visit her because she is so busy, but she does want a visiting teacher and after I left a few treats and messages on her doorstep for several months in a row, she texted me! We've been exchanging texts ever since.

Saturday we our Stake's July Jubilee, which, as far as I can tell, is our Stake's way of celebrating Pioneer Day. In any case, if you only to one Stake Activity all year, it should be the July Jubilee. Face painting, snowcones, and firetruck rides. Of course I texted Hazel to let her know about the even, and once again invited her to come, and once again repeated that I would love to see her.

IT WORKED! She came. She texted me right as the event started that her family was on its way. Having no idea what she looked I asked a person who did know her (her Home Teacher) to point her out. I didn't have to worry. As sson as she got there she found the bishop's wife and told her she was looking for her visiting teacher who she was so excited to finally meet. The bishop'd wife pointed me out and we finally met! After three years we finally met!

The next day, she texted me that she hoped she would see me at church sometime.

So THERE! Proof that visiting teaching actually works. And proof that if you don't have a testimony of an aspect of the gospel (for example, how for the last ten years I've thought visiting teaching is a waste of time) you simply have to obey, and you'll get a testimony.  Just another real life example of how trusting God is the way to bring yourself and other to happiness. Happiness and face painting, snowcones, and firetruck rides.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Young Women Personal Progress Breakfast

Young Women camp is this week. We met at eight in the morning pack up the cars, start off camp with a short devotional, and make sure the girls were all ready to go. 

I volunteered to be in charge of the breakfast. As Personal Progress Leader, I decided to make it a Personal Progress Young Women Breakfast! We had Young Women Value Parfaits! No cooking, and minimal prep work.

My budget was forty dollars for twelve girls and five leaders. 

Shopping list: 
1 jumbo cantaloupe
2 pineapples
3 baskets of strawberries
3 8oz containers of blueberries
1/2 bag purple seedless grapes
6 kiwis
1 container  Plain Greek Yogurt
1 bear of honey
1 pkg of napkins in each of the eight value colors
1 bag clear cups
1 box clear spoons

Total:= $38 

I also donated 2 gallons of milk (that the girls hardly touched), two jugs of fruit juice, and homemade granola.  

I printed off these value printables and taped them to mason jars.  I then cut up all the fruit and put them in the mason jars: 

I taped the Faith printout to the Yogurt container, and I put the Granola in the Virtue Mason Jar. I tried to think of a way to make Virtue honey instead of granola, but I did not have enough honey to fill a mason jar.  

The girls put the granola on the bottom of their cup, then piled on the fruit and topped it with yogurt and honey. The result was a delicious breakfast parfait in all the value colors! 

My devotional went something like this: 
When Ammon converted the Lamanites to the gospel he converted an entire generation of young women. These women were not born into the church and neither was anyone around them. They had no one more experienced in the Gospel to teach them, no written curriculum to follow. They learned everything by personal obedience, personal scripture study and personal prayer. They internalized the values of the gospel so much it left a lasting impression on their sons. When their homes were threatened, their sons rose up and formed an army of young, inexperienced boys to fight against whole armies of skilled warriors. They volunteered to fight because their mothers taught them that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. Not a single one of these boys were killed in battle, and their army was a major factor in the war. Without them, the war would have been lost and the women's homes would have been destroyed. These women changed their sons, changed a war, and changed the world by truly becoming what the gospel teaches. We need to have that level of personal study. We need to take on the responsibility of our own Gospel education. Only God can teach us how to change the world, and only if we want to learn. That's why Personal Progress is PERSONAL. It's you and God, changing the world.

 The only thing we didn't have enough was the yogurt, but I think two containers would have been too much. We had two gallons of milk left over, most of the juice and only a little bit of each fruit. Of course we had lots of cups and spoons left over. I just packed them in a car heading for camp! The girls will use them before camp is done, I'm sure!

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Universe is Big. It’s Vast and Complicated and Ridiculous. And Sometimes, Very Rarely, Impossible Things Just Happen

On Friday my wonderful, globe-trotting friend came to visit Sunland. Time was short, so we decided to meet at a beach. She picked a beach I had never been to before and we decided to meet there at ten.

Apple maps (curse you Apple Maps! Was there ever a worse map created? Why won't Google Maps work on my phone?!) decided to take me to the wrong beach. Unfortunately, we didn't realize this until after several confusing phone calls. Since I had had already set up camp and had the two children with me, my friend, L, decided to come to me. As I was walking back up to my site to put my phone away, I met the gaze of the women who was camped out next to us. I recognized her immediately.

"K La?" She asked.

"Yolanda?" I answered.

We went to high school together. All the way back in HomeTown. We didn't know each other well, I couldn't even tell you what crowd she ran with, but we had a few classes together and obviously we knew each other well enough to remember names and faces ten years later.

Her family decided to vacation here in Sunland. Friday was their only beach day, and they picked a beach at random. They decided to set up their spot on the beach next to ours, of all the places. It's just so weird.

But her kids played with my kids and once L showed up we all talked and talked and talked.

It's always so good to catch up with L. We met in fourth grade and have been good friends ever since. Sometimes we don't see each other for years, but once we get together again we just pick right back up. It's wonderful.

We invited Yolanda and her family over to our house for dinner. They brought us a yummy desert and we had a wonderful evening talking and watching the kids play. She is the third person from high school I have randomly ran into out here in Sunland. You just don't think that your high school compadres will follow you across states to show on a random beach, but sometimes they do.