Saturday, August 30, 2014

Inevitable

I should have prepared myself for this moment, cause deep down I feared/knew it was bound to happen. I loved Sophi's hair and loved seeing her big brown eyes peek through her pretty long hair, so it was inevitable that it had to be ruined and destroyed. Sophia came down for breakfast and when I saw her, my heart sank. A quick "WHAT HAPPENED?!?!?!?" question and a little bit of motherly foreknowledge led me to know what had transpired.

Lily gave Sophi a haircut last night.
It was Friday night and, although my date was out of the country, the kids still wanted Corey and I to have our "date night". So we counted the skype conversation that we had had earlier as our date, but the kids still needed the movie part. So after we read scriptures and said a family prayer, I put Natalie to bed (knowing I'd fall asleep in the process) and left them all up to watch Harry Potter. This morning, when my pretty little Sophia came down, I discovered the deed that was performed wilst I slept. I started to throw a trantrum and yell "WHYYYYYYY?!?!?" to the ceiling. I slapped my hands on the walls within reach (I had to hit something) which woke up the children that were still sleeping because of their late night movie watching. They stumbled out of their rooms asking as to the cause of their mother's weeping and wailing. Actually I didn't weep. I wanted to, but I was too mad to cry. I confronted Lily. Her countenance revealed her guilt. I looked in their room and around for where the clumps of hair were and couldn't find them. "WHERE DID YOU CUT HER HAIR?!" Lily showed me into the laundry room. I call Corey so I can vent to someone. And I grabbed the camera.
Sophi has short short short buzz like bangs now and some layers on the side.
When Lily explained why she did it, she said she was trying to help Sophia to be able to see without her hair getting in the way.
And I think her cutting did indeed fix that problem. I liked it better when I could braid it back. No more braids or pulling it back. I think it's just gonna be little clips in front for the forseeable future.
It's bad. But could be worse, and I've seen worse. Lily's self haircut a year ago was not redeemable. It all had to be cut all the way around. This was just cut from the front... yes, we might be able to work with this until it grows out... maybe?
(sigh.) So sad. I had a bad dream a few months ago that Lily had cut Sophia's hair. My dreams have come true. Not the worst thing that has ever happened to anyone. We'll survive, but I am still sad. Same kinda sad as when deer eat the roses. Life will go on, but "I so mad" ~ a combination of "mad" at 5:11 and disbelief at 6:35... sigh.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Rescue Heroes

I've heard of this a little bit, mostly that it existed, but I knew of it but "without knowing". (Since I don't read the news anymore (since the 2012 election)). But I read Nienie regularly, and was impressed to see Christian Nielsen helped with a rescue. Now I know a little bit more. Please watch the video below.
And this video, and this link. Any questions about if this is an evil this world need to deal with? Sure, there is a small part of me wants to cover my eyes... I don't want to let it into my heart, it's too terrible and heartbreaking to imagine. But it's real and it's happening, we can help. This is a worthy cause. These men will be in my prayers and receiving my donations. Please donate and spread the word. God bless Tim Ballard. Sometimes when I pray I tell the Lord I'm sorry for all the problems we've made down here. Please rescue us from ourselves! I know he already has through his Atonement, now let's get to work applying his grace and help Him rescue us and others.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Little Things

Things are good, and week 1 of single parenting is almost over (since it's Friday Eve, yay!) Corey and I were able to talk yesterday for 30 minutes. Mostly we just sat and stared at each other through the laptop screen, and it was more "stare" than talk cause little kids wanted to say hi. Still it was nice to connect and have some face time. He also cc'd me on an email to someone at work, so it was nice to get the low down there too and get the feeling that he's doing okay. So I feel like I can breath today, which is good. Breathing is important.

So what's going on here...  I let Sophi have cereal for lunch. I almost never let that happen, I'm feeling lazy. I'm enjoying these nice days outside with my little girls playing on the trampoline or walking around in the grass while I weed or saw (cut some shelves today). Abi and Sophi both have birthdays coming up next week. Sophi calls herself "Fofi". I gave Sophi one of her presents early, just to keep her entertained during the transition to a quiet "the kids are at school" house.
It's her "phone" and she likes to say to me "Fofi phone?" and I say "Yep! That's Sophi's phone!" We like Fofi. And here is Fofi's little side kick. She misses you Ethan!
Natalie likes to help empty the dishwasher. She goes straight for the knives and glass dishes, so I gotta be quick.
I've been a bit more smitten by her today than usual. Today just about everything she did made me laugh for joy.
Standing on the dishwasher that I'm worried is going to have the door broken off... cute!
...spilling broken ramen noodles that Joseph left out... aw! adorable!
stacking cups (I think a cup stacking championship is in her future!)
We started off the day with a long morning nap after getting all the kids off to school. We snuggled in bed and I looked at her sleeping face with her little "dream" shirt on, enjoying a little bit of the present. Then she peeing on my bed, then pooped on it, then #2-d the carpet, and didn't bother me at all, it was just my little corner of heaven with these precious kids. Love my little girls.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Legacy of Mary Williamson

Sophia likes the movie Mulan lately (she's watching it right now) and I keep finding myself singing the "ancestors" song. And I think maybe I need to pray to God to send them to work a few more miracles for our family. We've been praying for years for Movie Mouth to be a success for Corey. And it's coming along, slowly but surely. And so eventhough it's slow and he hasn't struck gold yet, we'll keep pressing forward with a firmness in mind. The kids and I read and talked about Jacob 3:1 for scriptures last night: "...Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause..." I pray for him to plead our cause and open the way before him.

Whenever I'm start to get a sinking feeling of hopelessness, there are three examples that I think of that help me keep perspective. 1) Jesus Christ 2) George Washington at Valley Forge, especially the not so well known history of Valley Forge (highly recommend that book) and 3) Mary Williamson Hibbert.

First, I know that Christ has descended below all things and that I can always pray to him to be strengthened in my circumstances. He knows and understands and will no leave us comforless. Second, we lived in Virginia in 2006 and George Washington was often on my mind. We visited Valley Forge and I got books from the library ~ that book "The Secret History of Valley Forge" shows the incredibly difficult circumstances George Washington was in at Valley Forge. He wasn't just dealing with the British, he had enemies on the Patriot side that should have been allies that wanted to see him fail. Desperate and difficult circumstances, I'm so thankful for how he endured. And for #3, allow me to share the story of my great grandmother Mary Williamson Hibbert.
So my dad is Kim, Kim's dad is Julian, and Julian is one of the sons of Mary Williamson and Ambrose (Julian is 2nd from right)
Mary married Ambrose Hibbert after his first wife Sarah passed away (Sarah was Mary's aunt)
So, some background to that story... in Apethorn, Cheshire, England in 1878, Ambrose Hibbert and his wife Sarah listened to the missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They had a 6 month old baby girl named Nellie. While they went to missionary lessons, Sarah’s niece, Mary Williamson, who was 9 years old, would tend Nellie. Ambrose and Sarah loved Mary, as she was so tender in her care of baby Nellie. Ambrose and Sarah were baptized and in May 1880 and left England for America to settle with the saints in Zion. At first they stayed with family members of the missionaries who taught them. They lived where ever Ambrose could find work—and had 7 more children. During this time Ambrose’s parents, Thomas Hibbert & Ann Rowland Hibbert, who had also joined the Church in England, emigrated to the same area Sarah and Ambrose lived. Sarah also continued to write letters to her family back in England, and kept in touch with the young Mary Williamson who had tended Nellie so long ago.

When Sarah went into labor with their eighth child in July 1892, Ambrose hurried off to get the doctor. It was a stormy night and on the way back to the farm, the horse spooked from the thunder and ran off. Ambrose and the doctor were late getting back. Upon arriving at the farm home, Ambrose found his wife Sarah had died after delivering the baby, and his daughter Nellie, who was now 13 years old, was holding her newborn brother. What a sad and desperate situation, I can hardly imagine. Ambrose was obviously grief stricken. The bottom had fallen out of his world. A neighbor took care of the newborn baby. Ambrose’s mother came to take care of the other children. What should Ambrose do with his little family? Through many desperate prayers and pleadings to God, his thoughts turned to Mary Williamson in England, who was now 21 years old. Now remember, Mary is Sarah’s niece, and is not a member of the Church. Ambrose was impressed that he should write Mary a letter. He wrote Mary about Sarah’s death, and entreated her to come to America, marry him, and be a mother his motherless children. When Mary received Ambrose’s letter, she was greatly concerned with the request. All that her family knew of the Mormons was the fact that a Mormon had taken one of their family, Sarah, away to America, and now she was dead. The thought of Mary going to America was preposterous to them. Mary worked in the Cotton Mills in Apethorn, and had to walk a few miles to get to and from work. As she was walking home from work one evening, Sarah appeared beside her and walked with her. Sarah pled with Mary to accept the call from Ambrose, her good husband, and be a mother to her children. Sarah said she would never know the joy of doing it herself, and willingly would trust them to Mary’s care and keeping. Mary was so impressed by this experience that she knew what she must do. She felt sure that the Lord had chosen her to do this work and she must obey. Surely God never would have felt it necessary to let Sarah come back and plead her cause otherwise. Mary had the courage she needed to face the future. Mary told her family of Sarah's visit and announced that she was going to America.

After 3 weeks preparation, Mary left Liverpool, England. There were sad farewells. She would never see England or her parents again. She was coming all alone, to a new land, to a man whom she hardly knew. Ambrose picked her up at Echo Junction, in Wyoming, and took her to the Stake Patriarchs home where she learned how to ‘keep house in the American style’ as Ambrose put it—churn butter, make bread, care for farm animals, haul water to the house each day, and take care of a small farm. She was also taught the missionary lessons. She visited with Ambrose’s children every few days. After 3 months, on March 4, 1893, a hole was chopped in the ice in the Weber River and she was baptized. Four days later, March 8th, she married Ambrose in the Logan Temple and began her new life. She earned the love and respect of her step-children and lived to give birth to eight of her own. In the course of her life she accepted joys, tragedies, loneliness, happiness, and sorrow and ever acknowledged the hand of the Lord in everything that happened to her. She supported Ambrose when he served 2 missions for the Church, and relied on the Lord to help her take care of the family while he was away. To me, Mary exemplified what it means to be a woman of strength. When she made the decision to come to America, she turned her life over to God. I hope I will always remember her and follow her example and be willing to follow God promptings, no matter where they take me or what life circumstances it leads me through. Mary has always been an example of strength to me and my family. I'm so thankful for her example and for this wonderful legacy of faith in my family.

So there is that story for you to read and know, my children. You've got Mary's genes and her blood flows through your veins. Remember her as you face life and the lessons and challenges it presents to you. You can do hard things and your posterity will bless your name for it. I'm so thankful for Mary Williamson and to be one of her great grandchildren! I will try to bring our family honor! :) "Please bring honor to us all!"

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Perspective

Well, another day with Corey gone, another day that I didn't get to talk with him or message him for more than 4 minutes. I'm feeling a bit sad and pouty about it at the present moment. Yesterday we talked for 3 minutes before he said he had to go collapse from jet lag and busy work exhaustion... "We'll talk tomorrow". I wanted to know what was up, so logged onto his email to see if I could glean any details about it. But my biggest take away from that was that Corey must be very busy. He's got a lot on his plate. I feel a bit helpless to help him, all I can do is pray I guess. Which is a good thing to realize again. It all really is out of my hands. But I think if I was in his shoes I'd go hide in a corner and cry, just seems like he's got a thousand things going on. It's gotta be a lot to manage. I'm glad he's built for it. He breaks down crying from being home with the kids for too long, but that I can handle. I'm built for this and I hope he's built for all the responsibilities he's got on his shoulders. Again, I think it would make me crumble. Good article on the mentality of an entrepreneur here, and I totally love this picture from that same post, I think it's an accurate representation...
It's kinda hard to see your sweetheart risking his life riding around on a hungry man eating lion and not be able to do anything about it other than "Good luck, sweetie!" So today he called and we talked for a few minutes, but then the kids wanted a turn and we didn't talk again. I wanted to know details of how things were going, but there was too much and he was mentally exhausted (Mars & Venus advises that men generally don't like to decompress by talking about their day, unlike women. I could rambled on about everything on my mind here, but he pretty much already knows what my days are like, so even though it's been taken up a notch with school and with him gone, I didn't think it necessary to share....) SO... the kids took the phone, I thought I'd have a chance to talk again, I cleaned the kitchen while Lily told him about the first day of kindergarten... "I never even went to the principals office for being bad for TWO DAYS!!!" and Hyrum and Joseph asked questions about music (they have Caleb Band Auditions coming up the day Corey and Ethan get back) and when Joseph came back he had hung up the phone, he said Corey had some work to do quickly and to skype him in 10 minutes. I finished loading the dishwasher and sweeping and wiping the counter and found this message when I came to the computer:

Sweetie, I was going to talk with you again, but too much to do. I love you. Lets try again tomorrow if we can - though busy day.
hotel event tomorrow. Please pray for a good turnout. i love you!
goodnight sweetie. I'll pray for you and us. Good night. love you

He'd gone to bed and I missed him.  So that's that. It does make me feel though that if we can't connect and I can't talk with him, I'd rather just not even try. I'd like to go back to the mission days where I trust to get a letter once a week, and don't think about it until then. Yes, I might just pretend we're back in time 20 years and we don't have internet or skype or cell phones. I think it will be easier.

But maybe I'll stop my pity party. It's not so bad, this isn't Valley Forge. And I am also going to remember my great grandmother Mary Williamson Hibbert. Maybe I'll tell about her tomorrow, good to get that story on the blog here for family history purposes. But in a nutshell, she took care of 14 children and ran the farm while her husband Ambrose served a mission to England TWICE, for 2+ years each time. Should give me some proper perspective for these two weeks, right? Yes.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Two First Days

Today was the second first day of school for our family, since this morning the junior high school year began. I took Joseph and Melodie. I made them pose for me outside the car window, which is what my "mom memory" of their jr high life looks like.
Lily was very excited to go to kindergarten today. I got to snap a picture of her on the bus. You're a cute little one Lily! Little Lily starting Kindergarten?!?... how did that happen? Where did those 5 years go? My life is passing me by too quickly, nooo!
I guess we still have one more "first day" coming up, when Ethan goes to school for his "first day" after he gets back from Brazil. Hyrum, Wes, and Abi were all last week -
  
I didn't post their pictures cause I was too busy reporting on our School Year's Eve party. Well, so here we are, looking forward to another school year and seeing these kids make new memories and have new experiences.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

And He's Off...

Corey's off to Brazil again, for two weeks again, and Ethan is going with him again. (Go Movie Mouth!) Not the best timing for Ethan, as he'll be missing the first two weeks of school as a 7th grader. I've emphasized to him that he is very likely going to be a bit overwhelmed when he gets back, not just with trying to catch up on homework, but also with getting into the grove of a new school and schedule. So, be prepared. I won't mind if you ask for help, but no whining or crying, cause this is your choice to go and you know what you're getting into. (He's agreed to not complain.)
It's also not best timing for me as the planner and manager of our family school schedules. The Jr. High kids start on Monday, and with Corey gone, I get to pull his morning carpool. So I've decided to run Joseph and Melodie to school a half hour early so I can get back in time before Hyrum heads out. Logistics, logistics... might be a little tricky, but could be worse... I could be left alone for two weeks in Central America! Yeah, this is easy. Thank you, my lovely life experiences, for the gift of perspective that you've given me. (Pretty cool that I did that and that I survived to tell the tale!)

What else. Amazing thunderstorm last night, very cool to hear the thunder and see the lightening. We've been getting a lot of rain this week, it feels like fall. We had a beautiful rainbow on Thursday evening. Melodie and I took a ton of pictures, then the kids drew pictures of rainbows on the sidewalk with chalk. It has been nice having the older kids here this week when the elementary kids started. Gave the little kids a head start and a little more attention from me as they figure out their routine.
I finished the final school year touches today, and now everyone has a hook for their backpack and a file for their papers and I have an inbox and an outbox and I'm excited to see if I can keep on top of it! Here we go! And good luck Corey. I'm glad that I'll be busy, cause that will help the time pass quickly. He'll be back before I know it, and that will be good. :)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Jam Session

Last night Caleb Chapman Music had a jam session with Jeff Coffin. He's a three time Grammy award winning saxophonist, in case you didn't know (like I didn't.) Joseph has been working a lot on rhythm changes this summer, and when the said they were going to do Oleo, Joseph was ready and ran up to show his stuff. 
It was pretty cool and Corey was a super proud dad.

Ethan did Stolen Moments with Jeff.
Fun night for our musical boys. Corey's been the one working so hard with them, so good job Corey. It's still work, but they like it so much that it's mostly fun and they are really starting to excel.

Birthday Coming Up

Abi made these two documents yesterday:
Try as I might, I could not figure out what the red strip of foam said. As far as I could tell, it was the following:
ABIGAIL|12DEEZTELHURBIDEEIETLBELOSUVFUN
With a little help from Melodie, we came up with our first transcription:
ABIGAIL 12 DEEZ TEL HUR BIDEEI ET L BE LOSUV FUN
Then Abi came to interpret and we now know the English translation:
Abigail ~ 12 Days till her Birthday! It'll be lots of fun!

Ok, so now we know the gist of document 1, let's see how we do with document 2.
Melodie and I were able to do this one without help. It says:
IN12DEEZITIZG
OWENT
UBEMAE
BRTEE
GWEN
ELLIE
JUJU
BRK
DALIN
MERIN

First transcription:
IN 12 DEEZ IT IZ G-
OWEN T-
U BE MAE
BRTEE
GWEN
ELLIE
JUJU
BRK
DALIN
MERIN

English translation (this is the people she is going to invite to her party):
In 12 days it is going to be my Birthday!
Gwen, Ellie, Juju, Brook, Dallin, Maren
You're cute Abi! Corey's going to do something with Abi tonight since he'll be gone on her birthday. I better figure out how to make her birthday special as I'll be on my second week of single parenting. She's a pretty simple kid though, I think I can handle it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

School Year's Eve Family Party

Happy School Year's Eve! (yesterday!) and ~
Happy New School Year today!
It wasn't school year's eve for all our children, but it was the new school year's eve for our family, so that meant that even the Kindergartner and Junior High crowd that starts next Monday were invited to come. First, we had a feast of ham and cheeses sandwiches, with custom ordered turkey bacon avocado sandwiches for those with refined tastes (Corey).
Also on the menu were cheese puffs, Lay's chips, mango slices, and pickles.
Part of the decorations were our educational place mats. Sophia knows her letters!
After everyone ate their sandwich, they were free to have a cupcake.
We made three tiers, the lower tier for Elementary school (cupcakes said their grades, "granite" and such) middle tier was Albion for Hyrum. And the top tier was Churchill, with the greatest achievement of Jr. High schooler's world (around here atleast) being properly represented with the high and noble "SBO" cupcake. (cue holy music)
Abi's holy grail was the lollipops. She's always wanted a flat lollipop, so this was her lucky day.
Joseph being weird with his lollipop, kinda making a muppet face.
After dinner, we had some "back to school" activities at different "Centers" - (just like in elementary school!) First "center" was our lesson. Our theme for the school year is "Of Things That Matter Most" from this talk by President Uchtdorf. We watched this video.
We talked about what matters most. Being honest when you didn't finish your homework and might get a bad score, or copying from a friend and getting a good grade? Some hypothetical situations like that. Then was our questionnaire center.
This was our questionnaire. (I'll make the questionnaire cuter next year). This part was to capture a little personal history for their scrapbooks and is also going to help me (in my quest to be organized) to have everyone's heights and weight ready for when they go rent skis this year. Corey usually catches me off guard and I have to scramble, not this year! Go me! Then we did  a quick "Routine" Center...
And then it was really getting late (cause this is a school night), but I said we could start the "Visualization Board" center.  
Once the kids got going with this one it was hard to pull them away. Hard to pull myself away too.

Abi did a good job on her board. :)
Melodie and Ethan are working on their more this morning, they want to take time to get it just right.
Ethan is being serious about it, but he is also a big goofball, he was cracking me up.
Do you like his little mouse "Steve" who is at the top left of his "W"? Nice headphones, "Steve".
And some guy "Photobombing" Harry Potter in the middle of his W. Ethan, you're funny.
Ethan is going to Brazil with Corey on Saturday, so the quote under neath Steve was appropriate "It's a big world out there, Someone's got to see it" Yes, very appropriate for you, Ethan.
We didn't get to the Father's blessing center or the school supplies center, going to do the blessings sometime before Corey leaves for Brazil on Saturday afternoon.
And I'll have to catch them each individually about our family school supply center. The kids did think it was pretty fun, Wesley said "It's like our home is like school!" Well, I do want to be planned and prepared for school like school teachers are, so I'll keep trying to give the kids that impression. 

Overall it was a great success and I think will be a tradition we will keep for each upcoming school year. 
The little girls that will be my companions this upcoming school year were happy to play with balloons the whole time. I'm grateful to have them with me to constantly remind me of the moments and things matters most. Small and simple things ~ that's going on my visualization board. 
It's going to be a good school year!
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