Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Whose celebration is it, anyway?

Every time our son Caleb has a birthday, I secretly celebrate my own sanity on that date. On July 19, our third child turned 4.

Let me recount a few highlights of our life with the DESTROYING ANGEL.

April 2007.... While I was showering, he stuck a fingernail file in the ignition of our van and locked the tumblers so the car wouldn't start.

May 2007....Also while I was showering, he came and stood outside the shower door with a match lit. He blew it out with glee, and dropped the match on the floor and proceeded to clap. After I scurried out of the shower (no longer a privilege during waking hours), he showed me the pile he had lit and piled up in the corner.

Circa Spring 2007....Caleb pushed a kitchen chair over to the stove and turned the burners on. He also reorganized the spices and spilled a Mega-pack of toothpicks all over the stove. That was already hot.

June 2007....Caleb dumped sunscreen all over the sofa, dumped the sugar bowl all over the floor, spilled his scrambled eggs, danced in the eggs, and destroyed a pack of diaper wipes by pulling them out one by one around his room and dried them out. All before 9:30 a.m.

Also June 2007....Caleb got a fold up chair out, put it in the master closet, climbed on it, reached JP's keys, took them out to the garage and started up the 4-Wheeler.

July 2007....Caleb's diaper turned up the following objects in the past year:
1. 17 pieces of wintergreen gum (By the way, the stool smells...minty...and has the consistency of taffy)
2. a cigarette butt
3. firecracker remnant

August 2007....I had to call Poison Control twice for him during that month.

September 2007...Caleb disappeared on a Sunday afternoon and was unaccounted for for 30 minutes. 6 adult neighbors helped us canvas the area. He was found 2 blocks away in a construction site.

late September 2007....Caleb scoops butter in the toaster, turns it on and starts a fire.

November 2007....Caleb was found 'washing' Lizzie's hair in the toilet.

November 2007....JP found a naked Barbie with Desitin all over her bottom.

July 2009....Neighbor called to say she found Caleb and his nemesis urinating down her slide. And in her camping cooler. Not cool.

God bless our family for raising The Terror. 2007 gives new, deeper meaning to the child development phrase "The Terrible Two's".

Fortunately, we can't imagine life without him.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm Pretty Much Disgusted By It All...

The life and death of Michael are a few of my thoughts:

My Answers:

No, there should not be a national holiday named after him.
Yes, his family should have to pay the millions of dollars to provide all the security surrounding his memorial services (not the state of California, which is in fiscal crisis as it is.)
Yes, he revolutionized the pop music and culture of our time, but I can think of other heroes worthy of our consideration.

My Questions:

Why are we eulogizing such a broken icon?
What good did he do if he wasn't comfortable in his own skin?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Happy 12th Anniversary

Today is July 11, our wedding anniversary. This is the story of how we met...

We had both finished serving LDS missions and were enrolled at Ricks College (now BYU-I) in the fall of 1996. I was serving as Assistant to the Studentbody President, Mark Gee. My stewardship was over the Ricks College Standards Committee, which is a student run organization helping promote, uphold, and enforce the Honor Code. My first responsibility was to find a chairperson for that Committee. President Gee highly recommended Joseph Kelly for this leadership position. He then introduced us to each other. Several days later, I organized our first Standards Committee meeting, which began with an "ice breaker." (get-to-know-you activity)

We met in the west ballroom of the Manwaring Center, and I had everyone sit on the floor in a large circle. Keep in mind, it is the beginning of the fall semester, and there was ample participation and interest in this organization. (Hence, there were 30-40 students involved at this point.) I passed around a roll of toilet paper, instructing the students to each take as many squares as they'd like, as I explained the purpose of our organization. When the roll of tp had made it's way around, I then gave more instruction: for every square of tp the person took, that student had to tell something about him/her. (Hi, I'm so-and-so from such-and-such, and I'm majoring in blah, blah, blah.) Mr. Joseph center-o-attention Kelly took about 30 squares. (Insert: normal people took 4 or 5 squares). I remember resisting the urge to roll my eyes and wonder where this guy got his sizeable self esteem.

(He was however, dang hot, for an annoying guy.)

(And he obviously knew it.)

(And he didn't care.)

I digress.

As it turns out, Joseph contacted me soon after to let me know his semester was too busy to include the Standards Committee. This was the last time I saw him for a few months. (He was probably too busy schmoozing Charmin girlie freshmen.)

Fast forward to December 31 of that same year. Mark Gee, our Studentbody President, was a 'local' from Sugar City, Idaho, a small farming community a few miles outside Rexburg. He organized a cross country skiing trip for New Year's Eve and invited any students who were left on campus during the holiday break. ***A couple of my old mission companions and a convert we taught had previously invited me to fly back with them, all expenses paid, to Lexington, KY where I served as a missionary. For some reason, I politely declined. This trip would have been during the holiday break as well.***

Joseph was also a 'local' from Idaho Falls (a sizeable city 25 miles south of Rexburg with it's very own Super Wal-Mart, a few democrats, and taxi cabs). He had been working in the Rec Ed Center located in the basement of the Hart building. Mark invited him to go along, and knew Joseph could get everybody's ski equipment checked out, etc.

So the group of 10 or so of us enjoyed a beautiful New Year's Eve day skiing up in Herrimann State Park, and afterwards, we all went out later that evening doing various activities . And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Dick Clark in this paragraph. Long live Dick.

The next morning, January 1, 1997, I was helping my mom put away Christmas decor when he called asking me out for that evening. That was date #1. We have been together every day since then. He proposed on date #3 (January 3.) We fasted the following Sunday, and the experience I had with that has been sacred and dear to my heart. Because I hope the Lord will give me more of those sweet experiences in my life, I will not post those details on this blog. It has been hand written in my journal for my children to read. If they live long enough. And stop urinating on neighbor's slides.

It's been quite a ride for us both. Bill Cosby once said, "The best gift you can give your children is for your husband to be your best friend." That's our goal...What a tender mercy the Mister has been in my life, and in our children's lives. I'm so grateful for these memories and hopeful for many more to sustain us through the years...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Independence Day 2009

"Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us." ~Covey

We had a great 4th of July, which started June 29 in the Agnes cul-de-sac... a few of us in the circle purchase fireworks and spread them out over the week. It is great fun!

On the morning of the 4th, we woke up at 6 a.m. to have our family ready to be in the parade on the Stake float. (Judging was at 7:00). Then we went to the ward breakfast and patriotic program, and then back to the parade, which began at 9 a.m. The parade theme was "The 4th of July Through a Child's Eyes", and our ward was in charge of the Stake float. The Wildings built the most amazing float which centered around the primary song, "Oh What Do You Do in the Summertime". We were the family that was 'watching fireworks' (we were given the choice of playing in the pool, but to see me in a swimming suit would have been offensive), drinking lemonade and trying to keep our kids from wrestling each other on the float. Kelson and Mary, our next door neighbors, were fishing off the side of the float, while some other families in the stake were shooting waterguns and swinging. Later in the evening, we had a family BBQ with family, more fireworks, and then over to the soccer field to watch the big Meleleuca Freedom Celebration firework show! And then more fireworks. Bedtime: midnight. It was a great day!