Wednesday, November 26, 2008

On being grandparents . . .

A couple of weeks ago we cared for two of our little grandchildren, Isaac (age one) and Katelyn (age 3) for eight days while their parents, Kristy and Brian, were in Provo for a Dancesport competition at BYU. This deal also included a tiny white miniature schnauzer puppy that was not completely potty-trained.This decision was made in a quick moment. We had an interesting week and learned something: we are getting old! We had forgotten some very important things about the care of small children. (The following list is a collaboration between the two of us):

1) it is impossible to keep the house straight
2) it takes twice as long to go anywhere
3) small messes can become major messes if you don't stay right on top of it
4) this is a 24-hour a day task
5) training a dog means training yourself
6) quick-change artists come in size three, and
7) babies have incredibly strong lungs.

Moms, does this sound familiar? Kimberly is loving it! She says she feels validated.

Yet, there were some wonderful memories that came back to us:

1) there is never a dull moment
2) we don't have to go out to be entertained
3) "kids say the darndest things" and the cutest, most hilarious
4) they love us even when we say "no" -- at least they love us later
5) babies are so angelic when they are sleeping
6) it is fun to take them out and have people say how adorable they are, and
7) about the time we become exhausted, we can give them back to their parents.

Actually we really did have a fun week and had some lovely moments. My favorite (Lonna) one was one evening when I sat in my rocking chair in the corner of the living room with two sleeping children on my lap. Two little heads were tucked up under my chin. So cuddly and cozy! I couldn't move to put either one to bed without waking the other, so I sat and rocked for about 45 minutes until Max came home to help me. I remember thinking, "This is heaven!"

So now we are resting comfortably during the night, in the early mornings, during meals, and during regular children's bathtimes. We have forgotten dirty diapers, sticky fingers and screaming tantrums. So why do we miss them so much?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Max's Blessings

I'm grateful that we can be across the street from the Logan Temple. That makes it very easy to go to the temple regularly, where I can ponder and pray and feel the Holy Spirit. I'm grateful for the opportunity to go to school and to learn more about the teaching and learning process. I recently received approval to use a research study I conducted a year ago as my dissertation study. I'm also grateful for the opportunity to give workshops on best practice instructional strategies and methods.

I'm grateful for our wonderful children and grandchildren who bless us and are a blessing to us. I'm grateful for our two missionaries, Karolyn and Kyle, and for the positive, uplifting emails that they send us each week. I'm grateful for Lonna, my wonderful wife, who has brought so many blessings to me.

Thanksgiving ramblings . . .

Our niece Emily in Provo has been posting a daily “Thanks list”. It has inspired me to stop and think about what I am really grateful for. Of course, I am most grateful for my life, for my Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ and for the Plan of Salvation and all the innumerable blessings of the gospel in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am also most grateful for my family: 1) for a loving and thoughtful husband who shares the same ideals, beliefs and goals, 2) for six kind and loveable children who bring us great joy, 3) for eight grandchildren, six boys and 2 girls, (counting Princess Knoll who is soon to arrive) who delight and surprise and entertain us daily with their progress and cute conversations, 4) for my sweet sisters and their families, 5) for all of the members of my husband’s family and their kindness to me, 6) and for my parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, and ancestors who lived their lives striving to make my world a little better.

There are other things for which I am grateful—lemon meringue pie, campfires, the color skyblue pink, starry skies, music of almost all kinds, especially the hymns, classical music-particularly baroque, and country western, piano, organ, bells and chimes and the guitar. Also hot baths, early morning walks in the fall, pine trees, education—learning anything, books, mountains, streams, rivers and the ocean. I am thankful for mentors, listening ears, teaching moments (to teach or to learn), good friends and exemplary leaders. I feel gratitude for my scriptures, for opportunities to help others, any opportunity to lead a choir and for a desire to love and serve God. I am certainly well-blessed. And for those who may read this blog, thank you for being in my life!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tag 6

OK, I'm not sure exactly what I am supposed to do when I am tagged, but sweet Emily tagged me. She said "sixth picture on the sixth folder"--I think.
It came up with the back of my pinewood derby
car that I made for our single's ward
pinewood derby. So I suppose I should post the front of the car as well. Pretty, but not practical. (I came in last!)
I tag Kim, Katie, and Christine.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy Halloween!

This Halloween was very different for us. We bought the candy to give out, but if we don't count Max's counselor and his wife and baby and don't count the people that live downstairs, we made only three trips to the door for trick-or-treaters. Too much candy leftover!

But the 31st also happened to be the birthday of the little girl downstairs. Her name is Danna. Her mother is Ilda and her four-year-old brother is Alejandro (Alex). Danna turned eight-years-old and will soon be baptized. They are an hispanic family from Mexico. They stayed in their apartment in Houston during the hurricane even though they were ordered to evacuate. They endured a month without electricity or water and the neighborhood pooled their food so that all could eat. Ilda is also expecting a baby.

Victor, the father, sent them to Utah where they knew many people, including our family. He will be coming in a couple of months when his job can transfer him. So for now, they are living with us. Not as renters, just as friends.
Ilda had never before made a cake. So on Thursday I taught her to bake a chocolate cake and decorate it as a jack-o-lantern. She learns quickly and did all the fancy decorating herself. We surprised Danna and had both cake and ice cream. Later, one of Ilda's missionaries that had served in Texas came by with a piƱata. We strung it up on our tree with our dog's tie-out. We laughed and laughed as either Danna or Alex tried to hit it with the bat and the other one pulled the cord up and down. Finally Danna hit it and the candy went flying. It was good to see them all laugh. They have had much hardship and have suffered a great deal.

Our children and grandchildren were all far away on this holiday evening, but we enjoyed the children that are here, and thought fondly of those that were not.