Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Home Again.

The missing comes in waves.
It is always like this.
Just when I think I'm over it, another wave rises--and there it is again.
When I open my suitcase.
When I clean out the car.
Little things you find that remind you, they are far away. Again.

I miss them.

Thanks, Mom and Dad--for coming. Anytime you want to move to North Carolina, we're ready and waiting.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Out of the country.

I think that's my favorite sentence in the English language. Or any language. I've been throwing it around this week like candy, "Oh, sorry, I can't come to your terribly long and boring committee meeting to decide on the color of cafeteria trays--I'll be out of the country."

Isn't that just luscious?

Well, it is to me. Because I don't get to say it nearly as much as I'd like to.

I love how it feels, saying it. I love how I can't say it without smiling. It's just... great.

So, sorry I won't be posting for the next few days.

I'll be out of the country. *grin*

Friday, April 17, 2009

Let us pray.

Four years ago (almost five) I walked into a small library in a small town. I was wearing a baby bjorn, and in that baby bjorn was my two week old daughter. My first. We already had our little patterns, and one of them was to walk the two blocks to that library and try to find books with which to fill my days. (I was new to the stay-at-home-mom thing, and going out of my mind with all the time on my hands. It's not for the faint of heart.)

As I stood, running my fingers over the spines of the books, I came across a small (very small) section about... wait for it... homeschooling. Before I had time to even *think* I had a thought. (How does that happen?) My thought was "I should homeschool."

Quick upon the heels of that thought was this one "You have lost your mind."

Let's talk about homeschoolers.

Homeschoolers are nutso. They come from homes where their parents are too religiously fanatic to trust other people, so they grow up so sheltered and controlled that when they finally leave home they run totally amok and are a menace to society. The first homeschooler I met, in third grade, couldn't handle confrontation with his peers--at.all--so his answer to any disagreement was to punch you in the face. NUTSO. (And I'm really not just making this up--most of the homeschoolers I knew, growing up, really didn't know how to deal with their peers or social pressure of any kind. It was sad.)

But then, why did I have that thought? What was that thought???? An errant whimsy? An idle, fleeting thing that I could ignore? Or was it fate? Destiny? Kismet? WHAT?!?!

Fast forward a year or so, and find me now living across the country, on the east coast. Imagine my suprise when I moved here and it seemed like half the population was homeschooled. Not only were the kids homeschooled, but the kids were Friendly. Capable. Social. Not nutso.

Enter various friends and mentors, who I've chatted with about that moment in the library. They have encouraged. They have been great sounding boards. They haven't judged.

And this baby girl has grown, and has evidenced different delays along the way. She is academically bright, but has other struggles, and so attends the "special ed" preschool at our local elementary. It is a *brilliant* program. We love it. She loves it.

But next year is kindergarten. We're starting to play for real. And I have no idea what to do. I can't get this homeschool thing out of my head (despite the parts of me that still think it's sheer insanity), but I am positively terrified.

So, we're debating.

Public school?
No child left behind?
School lunch?
Mean girls?

Kitchen table?

I just don't know.

But, in an attempt...

Heaven help us.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Oh baby.

There comes a time in every baby's life when they have to step out. Take charge. Make it on their own.

And today? Today was her day.

Gimme that spoon.

Oooooh, slimy.

If she can make it there, she'll make it anywhere.

Do you see those eyes???? Just another one of the many reasons that I love this baby...

Well. That, and this face:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I'd Really Like to Eat a Child

I love children's books.
And I have a weird (should I say quirky? is that better?) sense of humor.

So this book?
This book fits me perfectly.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday

One of the things I love most about living in the South, besides Biscuitville, is their traditions of Easter observance. And no, I'm not just talking about beautiful Easter bonnets, although that's true, too.

My favorite thing about Easter in the south begins on Ash Wednesday, when churches put up crosses that are draped in purple fabric. Below is a good example.

Then, on Good Friday, these same crosses will be draped, instead, in red or black. It feels very somber and sad, to look at them.

But then, on Easter? Suddenly....

Some of these crosses are just absolutely beautiful. Some do fake flowers, and some do real. The ones that do real flowers are my favorite. We don't have crosses at our church, but every year I look forward to seeing these beautiful "living crosses." They make my heart sing.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Saturday

We have gone much simpler for Easter this year.

Which has, somehow, made the little things--mean more.

Like dyeing the eggs....

I love dyeing boiled easter eggs.

My little chick bowl from Target.

Hello, little chick.

Ooooh, hellooooo, little chick.

Most of all (most of all) my kids.

Happy Easter.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

I'm pondering, this morning, on Good Friday. As a Latter-day Saint, we celebrate Easter with the rest of the Christian world, but we don't really celebrate Good Friday. (Okay--really, in all honesty--I didn't even know that Good Friday really existed or was a big deal until I moved to the East Coast. I believe that it to try and help us focus whole heartedly on the glory of the resurrection of the Savior, which is also the reason that I believe we don't wear symbols of the cross. ) In any case, this year I decided that I wanted to put more thought into this day, because it does have a significant meaning for me. I want to draw closer to the Savior, and I've decided to set out to do that this weekend.

As I studied this morning, I came across a talk from the late Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles called "Sunday Will Come" and I love his words:

I think of how dark that Friday was when Christ was lifted up on the cross.
On that terrible Friday the earth shook and grew dark. Frightful storms lashed at the earth.
Those evil men who sought His life rejoiced. Now that Jesus was no more, surely those who followed Him would disperse. On that day they stood triumphant.
On that day the veil of the temple was rent in twain.
Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus, were both overcome with grief and despair. The superb man they had loved and honored hung lifeless upon the cross.
On that Friday the Apostles were devastated. Jesus, their Savior—the man who had walked on water and raised the dead—was Himself at the mercy of wicked men. They watched helplessly as He was overcome by His enemies.
On that Friday the Savior of mankind was humiliated and bruised, abused and reviled.
It was a Friday filled with devastating, consuming sorrow that gnawed at the souls of those who loved and honored the Son of God.
I think that of all the days since the beginning of this world’s history, that Friday was the darkest.

But the doom of that day did not endure.
The despair did not linger because on Sunday, the resurrected Lord burst the bonds of death. He ascended from the grave and appeared gloriously triumphant as the Savior of all mankind.
And in an instant the eyes that had been filled with ever-flowing tears dried. The lips that had whispered prayers of distress and grief now filled the air with wondrous praise, for Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, stood before them as the firstfruits of the Resurrection, the proof that death is merely the beginning of a new and wondrous existence.
Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.
But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.
No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come.

I was so touched by Elder Wirthlin's comments, and the imagery he uses. Because I have had my moments of sorrow, even if they were brief in a lifetime of sunshine. But I have known some days when I knew I just could not go on myself, and I have been carried by my faith, my family, and my friends. I have even known my share of spiritual temper tantrums, when I was mentally shaking my fist at the heavens and the only prayers I could utter was of my utter confusion and anger at a plan that I don't always comprehend. Heavenly Father really is patient. And I've been amazed at how, almost always sooner than I think possible, "Sunday" has come.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Happy to be sick

So, I've been sick the past couple days, and *zowie* has it been a doozie. I even had a fever. And I don't get fevers. (This makes the third time in my memory.) As I was laying in bed last night, wondering how much one body had to hurt/ache/revolt before it was allowed to die, I remembered Pollyanna and her Glad Game.

So in the spirit of Pollyanna, I've been trying to find reasons to be "glad" about this particular illness. Here is my list:

1. I am not pregnant or nursing and, therefore, can take real drugs.
2. I took my daughter with me to the urgent care and she puked on their floor and someone else got to clean it up.
3. It gave my blessed visiting teacher a chance to magnify her calling by watching two of my children today.
4. Sleep. Lots of sleep. And that's always a good thing.
5. All liquid beverage diet is good for my weight goals.
6. Perspective. Lots and lots and lots of perspective. Because I don't always hurt like this. I feel pretty good, most of the time. And that is huge. There are plenty of people in the world who go to bed hurting and wake up hurting. Every movement is pain. Light on their eyes makes them wince. I don't understand how they cope without driving themselves and all around them crazy, but I know that a lot of them do, and I'm amazed.

Pollyanna is right--you can always find things to be glad about. Please pass the Nyquil.