Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas pics

I was trying to post these on FB, so the Grandmas could see them, but it kept not working, so we will try the round-about way.
Thank you for the presents. It was a Merry Christmas all around. The dollhouse was a huge hit. Games have all been played and post-Christmas malaise has set in.
M. played in the snow a bit too much. I found her crying in the neighbor's yard, too cold to even come inside.
According to my visiting teacher, we got 8 inches of snow in one night. It hasn't snowed so much since 1973.
The much beloved dollhouse.

B. had to help everyone open their presents.Daddy's new toy.

And a good time was had by all, especially once Mommy and Daddy went back to bed for a nap.

Books for the Winter

Contrary to what you might think, reading the blog lately, I have been reading a bit. The odd, snowy weather has a bit to do with it, and being far enough along in the pregnancy to get a bit of brain function back also contributed.
I just wanted to mention a few, so as to keep track, don't you know.
We have been reading the first four books in the Percy Jackson series. Ryan got them for his birthday and they are very good. Light reading for an adult, and great for my myth-obsessed boys. It makes me think the movie just might have some potential. I just got the last one from the library, but I have to wait for R. to finish it before I can.

My dear hubby got books 2 & 3 in the Jack Campbell series The Lost Fleet, which he spent all of the 25th and 26th reading. He had been very frustrated that I have not read them so we cannot talk about them in a meaningful way. It is a new experience for him to read something I haven't. I think it is good for him. I probably won't read it until after the baby comes because it is a little dense for me right now.

I finally got a copy of Parallel Play from the library and was a bit disappointed by it. For a while this guy was on every NPR talk show and reruns and web sites and etc. The book was nice, and I enjoyed the first half, but the second half seemed more like bragging of the drugs, sex and scholastic difficulties that he managed to experience and still have a successful(?) life. I wasn't impressed.

I just finished Michael Chabon's Manhood for Amateurs, which suffered a bit from the same phenomenon as Parallel Play. Why do people think I want to know about their first sexual encounter? I personally regard that type of information as private and intimate, and not to be shared with millions of people in your memoir. TMI, anyone?
Other than that I thought it was a lovely book. Most of these types of books tend to rely on cleverness to be funny rather than actual good writing. Some of the chapters I didn't connect with, but others were amazingly gorgeous prose, talking about things that all parents can relate to.

I also read several silly vampire and supernatural fiction books, but they don't really count, since they are pretty much pure fluff.
I am collecting books that I mean to read in April after my brain comes back. It always feels like some sort of compensation that I have so much nursing time to read once my desire to read returns.
Happy New Year and all that.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Wishes

One of my wishes is that I had the time or brain capacity to blog more, but that ain't happenen'. So this is my wish that all of you have a wonderful Christmas or whatever you do with this few days off. My schedule is full until Friday morning, then I will be taking a nap. If you want to call, call after noon, OK?
Today we are cleaning and I am refereeing my sons, who cannot clean their room without violence, unassisted. Tomorrow is cooking and last minute stuff, then Friday morning the fun starts.
So whatever you are doing, be happy, it only lasts a few days, then we have dreadful, grey January.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

N is for Notes

Ryan's piano recital was this week. I generally hate these things, because our piano teacher gets together with several others, so there were 21 students at this one. That is too many. But we love our Ryan and we go every time. One of Ryan's pieces was Binary Sunset from Star Wars(the original one). He has a great ability to put feeling into his pieces. You could see the scene, where Luke is standing in front of the two suns going down, melancholy and alone. It was beautiful. I even heard a whispered "Wow." as he finished.
I love having my children take music lessons. I never did and it is something I always wished I could catch up on. Having the piano in my home is such a treat, even when it is the three-year old playing it. There is just something about live music, being produced in my home, that makes me happy.
I am also grateful for all of the many ways we have of bringing music into our home. I think MP3 players are wonderful. Mine has a connection to the stereo and is almost always going. The variety of music that is available is so wonderful and overwhelming. Then we have the radio, my left-over CDs, Pandora. This is a golden age for the music lover. Not so much for someone who enjoys silence, or wants only good music, but they can learn to live with it.
My boys have discovered Weird Al (though it is mostly my fault), we have Christmas carols going all the time, and my little girls sing while they play and are happy. Music is a part of our lives and I am very grateful.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

M is for Moab

I have talked a lot about the town I live in. We moved to this tiny, isolated community from Las Vegas and haven't had a moment of regret. In the age of cars, Amazon.com and over-night FedEx you can't complain about the availability of products.
The beauty looking out my front porch is wonderful. So many talk about how going out in nature helps them remember God's love and feel rejuvenated. I am blessed enough to feel that just looking out my window.
I can let my children walk to school. I know the teachers and see them at the store. I have two of the three maternity nurses at the hospital living in my neighborhood, one of them across the street. The librarians know me, the grocery clerks know me, we have so many of the benefits of living in a small town.
Yet, because of the nature of our town, we have a bookstore, a good after school program, and a healthy artistic community. Some of the insular nature of small towns, (Utah ones in particular) is alleviated by the nature of the tourists that come through and those who came "just for the summer" and stayed for love of the area.
Can you tell I love it here? I hope this post didn't sound too boastful. I love living here and hope to be here a very long time. I am grateful that we are blessed enough to find a place that suits us so well.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

L is for Listening

My husband is an audiologist. He deals with people who can't hear to one degree or another everyday. He also comments that half of his business is marriage counseling. If you have ever taken a "how to be a better person" class, lecture, note, pamphlet, etc. under whatever guise, there is always a section on how to be a better listener. I remember in the MTC, learning to be a missionary, there was a section in the handbook on listening to the person you are teaching.
If everyone on this planet (well, 99%) is born with the ability to hear, why do we need so much training to listen? Obviously there is a big difference. Part of the problem is that our ears are so easily overwhelmed by our eyes. If I had a nickel for every time I pretended to listen to my children while actually doing something else I would be on a beach in Bermuda instead of writing this post.
Even when we intend to listen, our brains put up this competitive sideshow to distract us. My husband comes in and starts talking about his day. A sentence or two in he mentions lunch and then my brain starts thinking about dinner, what we should have, if I have the ingredients, if I want to eat what I am going to make, etc. And I haven't actually heard anything my sweetheart has said. This happens more than I want to admit.
So why am I thankful for something that isn't in my life often enough? Because when I make the effort wonderful things happen; my relationship with my husband improves, not only are my children better behaved, but they are happier and I learn things about them. The funny thing about listening is, the things we allow in front of the conversation are very rarely as important as the conversation itself.
Perhaps the most important listening we can do is to the Holy Ghost. Our Father in Heaven wants to talk to us, but if we never turn off the electronics long enough to hear, who is at fault when we feel we lack guidance. In her recent talk Sister Beck suggested putting a pad of paper and a pencil near where we pray at night. Then spend some time listening. It might seem silly to stop praying in the middle to write something down, but it is better than forgetting it.
I am grateful for what I hear when I listen. I am grateful for how I feel when someone listens to me. And I am most grateful for what I feel when I listen to the Holy Ghost.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

K is for Kids

For a few months at the beginning of our marriage, David and I worried about not being able to have kids. We got over that.
I am incredibly thankful for my children, to the point that I feel completely inadequate to write about them. The list of adjectives alone is over whelming: smart, funny, cute, talented, aggravating, adorable, kind, thoughtful, brilliant, good-looking, spiritual, helpful, geeky, musical, readers, artistic, persistent (some), erratic, entertaining, healthy, charming, educational, the list could go on all day. I could do an ABCs of my children quite easily (don't worry, I won't).
They have changed my life for the better and made me grow as a person I didn't know I was capable of. And I have grown in ways I didn't want to be capable of. They are amazing people, each of them. I look forward to getting to know them better as they become teenagers and then adults, with their own personalities and opinions.
I have been amazed, as each comes into our home, at how different they are, even as a newborn. Their own spirit personality shines through. It is an honor to have been entrusted with the care of such strong and brilliant people. I am grateful for the help of our Heavenly Father, because left to this task by myself, I would surely mess it up.
Thank you Heavenly Father for my children, thank you for their strengths and weaknesses and the joy that comes from learning together. Help me to keep on and for us to progress together.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

J is for Joints

After a very long Thanksgiving break, which was mostly enjoyed and completely survived by everyone, I am ready to get back to a semi-normal life. It won't be completely normal because it is December. But I love December and all the stuff that goes with it. I've started the Christmas carols. I find them very soothing when what I want to do overwhelms what I can do.
Today I chose joints because they are cool. Remember the Primary song? "I'm all made of hinges cause everything bends. . ." Though they often cause problems, where would we be without them? In the same place because we couldn't move.
My sweet daughter, E. will be getting an MRI on Thursday for her difficult hinge, her left ankle. We took her to Primary Children's to see the doctor of last resort. At least now I know we won't have to go to anyone else, he has to figure it out. So we will get a pretty, multicolored image of her ankle, and hopefully all will be revealed.
Our bodies are amazing, the more I learn about them the more I am grateful for a mostly healthy body. It is like pregnancy, the surprising thing isn't that babies are born with defects, the amazing thing is that so few are. The way we move, grow and heal are all miracles, every day.