Friday, December 16, 2016

Today-Dec 16, 2016

McKay- At your request today I wrote to your teacher, Mrs. Ingram and invited her to join us at the closing night of your "A Charlie Brown Christmas" production at St George Musical Theater. She accepted with enthusiasm and MADE YOUR DAY when she told you she'd be attending. You are so proud of the production and your role as "Schroeder"...but I think I'm even prouder! Nana went to your show tonight and brought you a treat, a Snoopy doghouse ornament, and a singing Charlie Brown. Plus you stopped at Swig to celebrate. She sure loves you!

Benson-This morning you practiced the piano SO WELL. You have a gift for piano playing. Your cheerful demeanor lets you laugh off mistakes and keep trying without getting frustrated. You played Ode to Joy beautifully and your Turkey in the Straw and Bug scales are getting smoother and smoother. Tonight we read about Jousting and tournaments in your Time Traveler book and you were fascinated by all the details.

Lily-Today you have another cold and stayed home from preschool. You love Miss Suzie but love staying home more, so you were happy to be sick. You have been sick most of December and we feel badly at how often you are ill. Still, it doesn't get your spirits down. You still managed to kick me in the shins, call your brother "stupid head" and shout at Baby Kate when she wanted to look at your princess story book.

Kate-You don't talk much yet but today tried a few new words. You now eagerly shake your head and say, "Yesh (yes)" whenever we finally figure out what it is you want. The Yesh and the smile on your face are well worth the screams you give until we get it right.
We went to TJ Maxx today with Nana and you very helpfully pushed the cart through the store (you hold on to the bottom rack and push as hard as you can). You also unwrapped a couple of toys and dumped their contents onto the floor. To complete your day at home you broke a giant jar of pickles all over the kitchen floor, then ran through the juice and then again through the cleaner mommy used to clean the floor. You also dumped daddy's cologne all over yourself, so you smelled like a man all day.

Lessons from the Stomach Flu

Two days ago I had "the throw-ups" as we call them around here. I had it bad. I haven't been so sick in a long time. It was miserable, nasty, and debilitating. I couldn't take care of the kids at all. My mom was also sick the same day, but thankfully Sue came downstairs and rescued me, helping with the kids and otherwise saving my life.

At the end of the day when I was starting to feel better, McKay said to me, "Mom, I liked today, even though you were sick. You were so nice!"

Well, basically I let them get away with murder because I was too sick to care. "Sure, eat some candy, just get some for everyone." "Yes, have a fruit snack, just give one to the baby too." "Yes, you can watch another show." Etc. It was a mommy fail kind of day.

And yet, it wasn't. I was so debilitated all I could do was lay helplessly on the couch. Yet my kids still wanted to be right there with me. They layed next to me while they watched TV and I cuddled them. At night our bedtime routine took longer because I was too tired to scold or threaten, but I think we all enjoyed it more too. I read more slowly and listened more carefully. I laid next to them in bed and soaked in their love and warmth.

McKay's comment has made me think. Do I rush through too many of the routines that should be treasured? Sure there has to be structure too, and I think we're pretty good at that, but sometimes just slowing down and being together is most important. It is a lesson I've taken to heart and one I'm sure I'll need to be reminded of again (though hopefully not with the stomach flu). Still, I feel grateful for the reminders and the moments when my children teach me.

Light the World

During the month of December this year the LDS church is challenging everyone, everywhere, to Light the World for the 25 days leading up to Christmas. Each day has a theme related to following the Savior and some suggestions for how to light the world each day.

Our family has taken the challenge and it has made our Christmas one of the most meaningful ever! I have felt true joy each day as I personally focus on a specific aspect of the Savior's ministry and what I can do to serve or help someone else in a specific way.

It has spurred us to actions that we often only contemplate but don't actually do. We've donated money to the Utah Food Bank, delivered a meal to a family in need, sung our favorite Primary Songs to each other, and shared our favorite scriptures on facebook, among others.

Tonight as I was quickly reviewing facebook I realized what a wonderful feeling it was to read post after post about the wonderful ways people are lighting the world everywhere. Tonight my feed was filled with wonderful, uplifting thoughts and acts of service. Media is usually so full of criticism and complain. It was amazing to read about service, beautiful Christmas music, and how others everywhere are making a difference for good.

As I read tonight I remembered a blessing Dad gave me as I entered my first year at BYU. He described a picture he'd had come to his mind during the blessing. As he pictured me attending BYU, living with roommates, and meeting new people on campus he described it as lights touching one another, connecting and brightening their surroundings. Light the World is exactly this in action. What a beautiful Christmas gift!