Friday, October 24, 2014

S for Soup

We couldn't find the boys when it was time to leave the grocery store. They had found some "amazing" toy and were playing with it. They actually said, "This is amazing!" about the toy. It was a self-inflating whoopie cushion.

If I get separated from the rest of my family at a store, it is super easy to find them because Sadie is excited about every little thing and talking loudly about what she sees on each aisle. ("Wook, Daddy! New cereoh! I wike that kind!...)

Me: Sadie, how should we do your hair when you wear your mermaid costume on Halloween? 
Sadie: I would wike it to wook wike a tiger that can swim.

My sister and her family were staying with us a couple of days in between moving from the house they just sold and the one they were buying. We were having dinner the other night, and Bill said, "It just warms my heart to feed the homeless."

Sadie: My body is big and worm!
Me: Are you saying that your body is big and warm?
Sadie: It's big and warm AND it has wormies. And I saw a big wormy in the backyard. But Daddy kiwed it, and it's DEAD! It was saying, "Ssssss" but then it didn't have a head anymore. Because Daddy kiwed it, and it's DEAD! It doesn't have a home anymore. And it doesn't have a body anymore because it's DEAD! S for wormy! That's what my book says. S for wormy. (It really says S for snake, as you might imagine. Also, her body does not have wormies, but her dad really did chop the head off a snake in front of a two-year-old.)

Sadie: That's my mom. My mom is named Mewissa Soup. 

Nothing makes Avery madder than someone laughing at her, especially when she is already hurt. I felt bad for doing it. I just couldn't help it. She was going crazy doing high kicks and dancing around. Right as I was telling her to calm down and be careful because she looked like she was going to get hurt or hurt someone else, she kicked herself in the face and made her lip bleed. 

I was helping Sadie say a prayer today. I peeked at her with her eyes closed so tightly while she was repeating everything I said. It made me feel grateful for my sweet kids, so I told her to say, "Thank you for our sweet family." She said, "Thank you for our feet famiwee..." 

Things my kids said this week about me:

"You're big, so you can do wots of things. You can do things because you're big. You have a big booty to shake."

"I hope I don't have a big nose like yours when I grow up. It's so long!"

"You know how to cook? Wike Daddy cooks?"

"Who cut your hair? Was it Heather? It was Heather! I want to watch a show about her cutting your hair. It was wong, and now it's short. Do you have short hair now? It wooks weird."

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Windows of Heaven

Malachi 3:10: Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

I always read this verse and thought that I would receive these blessings in the future. I just realized how many ways that I have already had the windows of Heaven opened, with blessings that there is not room enough to receive. Here's my list of just a few examples. 

1. I have plenty of food, enough that my pants can no longer receive more. Our pantry is also overflowing, and I don't know where we would put more food. What a blessing! 
2. I have to buy new pants, but I don't know where they will go because my closet and dresser are overflowing with all the clothes I have to keep me warm and covered and occasionally stylish, although it's been a while since I have attempted fashion.
3. I have an amazing husband, one who is okay with my loss of fashion sense and gain of weight that causes me to wear only pajamas or the one pair of jeans that fits that I bought the first month after having my first baby. He does so much for our family that I can't even begin to list all his good attributes and service and amazing cooking abilities because you don't have room to receive all my praise for him and not feel envious of me.
4. I have four kids. Does anyone have room to receive four kids? I don't think there's a house big enough that they wouldn't still find a way to trash every room in ten minutes. When they aren't fighting, I have moments of feelings of love that I can barely contain. If they were always well-behaved, there's no way I would be equipped to handle that much love... (I still love them when they're naughty. I just have to eat more chocolate to cope, which is another blessing spilling out of my pantry...)
5. My four kids have more toys than our house has room to receive. How many kids have few or no toys all over the world? I'm pretty much ready to take it all to the thrift store, if only I had enough energy to go through everything and organize it all.
6. I don't have the energy, but my youngest child makes up for it with an excess of energy that I don't have room to receive. What a blessing that little fireball is, that she came to our family at the right time to keep me company while I am trying to figure out MS. (I keep hearing stories of people having problems as bad or worse than I have had, people who find the solutions that work for them after experimenting the first few years, and it gives me hope that I will find that miracle cure that allows me to run after my kids and drive again.)
7. After being in the hospital when I was pregnant with Sadie and when I first started having problems with MS, I had an abundance of dishes in my home from all the meals people brought to us. We literally did not have room to receive all those dishes. I was blessed to see so much goodness and love in all the people who helped us out. 
8. While looking for a bigger bed for Sadie today, I was led by the Spirit to search some classified ads. I found an amazing deal on a bed we had looked at a few years ago, and it came with so much that we barely had room to receive it all in my van. I was able to spend about half of what I was expecting to pay for the furniture I got, so my bank account can barely find room for all that extra money that wasn't withdrawn today... I frequently am blessed to find good deals on items, making my money stretch further. 

I have lots more little experiences and blessings that I have seen come directly from paying tithing. What are your examples of the Lord's promised blessings from paying tithing being fulfilled in your lives? If you haven't yet experienced the blessings that come from paying tithing, now is a great time to find your own faith in this particular principle by experimenting upon the word and trying it out!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Identity Theft

We all create an identity for ourselves in our minds. We associate certain traits as being a constant part of who we really are. Here are a few things I have thought would always be a part of my identity. I am mostly neither proud of or overly ashamed of these things, and there are many more things that should be on the list, both good and bad.

Pretty eyes
Horrible skin
Pretty good athlete
Decent musician
High intelligence
Love of serving others
Love of all things fun
Too talkative
Poor self control, especially when it comes to food

I have a bit of an internal dilemma as I see some of these things on my list changing. Some changes are easier to deal with than others. I am now an average weight because of medications I have taken that have caused me to gain weight. I'm trying to be okay with that change, but I haven't mentally and emotionally adapted well. Also, my wardrobe has not been adapted for this change, so I don't fit into any of my pants. My eyelashes are becoming thinner and shorter as I age. Also, my eyes don't work well. My skin quality goes up and down; every once in a while, it isn't that bad. I currently have absolutely no coordination or strength because of MS, so I am horrible at all sports now. I frequently can't play songs that used to be easy for me on the piano because of a loss of fine motor skills. Also, I never get to practice piano because I am a mother. I also cannot consistently sing well. I have had cognizant issues relating to MS, so I actually am getting stupider beyond just the normal IQ decreases that come with being a tired mother. I am not able to serve people very well much of the time because of my own health issues. I am also so tired that I don't enjoy as many activities as I used to, and I just don't have as much fun anymore. Even if I want to do some fun things, I frequently have to choose not to because I know my body can't handle very many activities. I now sometimes don't want to talk and would rather listen to others, or I am too tired to talk. Once in a while, I am even mature enough to censor myself and avoid saying things I shouldn't. I have way better self control than I used to have. Having tons of food allergies, most of which can be deadly, can change a person in that way. I never thought I would be able to stop myself from eating something I wanted because it seemed impossible the way I was before. 

All these changes in what I thought were integral parts of me show me a few things:

1. I shouldn't label myself. God can give and take away, and I can't base my identity on those labels, even if the pants labels have a bigger number on them than I would like. 

2. Losing and gaining new abilities doesn't actually change my individual worth, even if I usually feel like I am worth less when I physically contribute less. I need to work on remembering that I have value, whether or not I feel like I am a contributing member of my family or society or when my kids tell me I am good at laying on the couch. The trials and how I deal with them are what bring about the good changes in my abilities, which still don't actually make me worth more but help me cope better with life.
3. The only part of my identity that doesn't change is that I am a daughter of God. He loves me. If I can remember who I really am, maybe I won't feel too upset when I have so many things changing that I thought would never change. (Don't take this as a sign that I am hinting that I am super depressed, just that I have normal feelings of inadequacy and sadness when I am not meeting my own expectations.)

4. I'm stealing this one from a friend yesterday, and I have no idea where she got it, but the idea behind it always helps me to cope with all these changes so much better. "Laughter is like a windshield wiper. It doesn't stop the rain but allows us to keep going." 

So to keep me going, here are a few of Sadie's funny quotes from the last few days, well, the ones I can remember...

Sadie: Mom, what do you wike when you're in the mood for?
Me: I like you.
Sadie: No, you don't wike me. You wike cheese sometimes, maybe a sour kind.

Sadie: You can borrow awe these. (While dumping all her blankets and stuffed animals on my lap, just what a claustrophobic person loves...) You're borrowing awe my stuff! Is it fun? It is fun! And we can have a couch party! Just wet me get up there with you...

Sadie: What in the world!?! (She has said this multiple times the last few days, with great surprise and expression, and she actually uses the expression appropriately. I'm not sure if she got it from me. I don't know if I actually say that when I am probably thinking something less appropriate for a toddler to say.)

I got my bangs trimmed, and Sadie got a haircut. After we got home, she said, "Where are your bangs?" I pointed to them. "No, where are your weftover bangs? Oh no! We weft our weftover hair there!" 

Preston and Avery had been laughing and playing and were up super late. I told them to go to bed, and he replied, "Well, at least we're obeying Daddy even if we're up late. He told us in his note before he left on his trip to remember to be best friends, and we are right now!" I'm glad we have moments of them being best friends. I hope they have more of those times and not just when it's an hour after bedtime, after fighting all afternoon and evening.

Avery has become a little like the one sister of mine I never thought she would have anything in common with. When we were kids, my dad, with his twisted humor, would always have Becky say the prayer on Christmas morning when we were waiting to go open presents. She would be thankful for everything people could think of to be thankful for and then a bunch of things most people would never think to show gratitude for. It's a great trait to have. It's hard to sit through one of those prayers if you are a kid waiting to open presents. Avery's prayers are like that, and it's wonderful and sometimes a little stressful in the morning before school when their ride is going to come at any second while she's still being thankful for those leaves on our neighbor's trees. It is a good reminder to me to try to be more that way.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Cutest Puppy Ever

We hit a new low tonight. Sadie's doll said our family prayer. 

Carter was talking to his friend online this afternoon, collaborating on some homework assignment together and probably also goofing off. I suddenly heard the sounds of a cello coming from downstairs. I knew something was up because he has never played before without strong threats of bodily harm. (His idea of bodily harm is not being able to play minecraft or other programming games he likes to play. "But I'll DIE if you don't let me...") It turned out they were practicing their violin and cello together over Skype. These are the same boys who have played H-O-R-S-E over Skype with laptops outside by their respective home basketball hoops. 

I love when Sadie follows her teacher, Miss Avie, around the house. She had art class today. So now there are weird used envelopes and other things that have been covered with little spirals of all different colors. 

One of my sisters brought home the cutest puppy I have ever seen, admitting that her husband "slightly" didn't know she was bringing the puppy home. Sadly, a few days later they realized that they couldn't keep the puppy because of allergies. Luckily my other sister fell in love with the puppy, so they came and got it and brought it home. A few days later, they realized that they couldn't keep her because of allergies as well. If I didn't know that five out of six of us in this house are very allergic to dogs, I would be tempted to go get that puppy. It's a black lab/heeler mix, and it has got to be the cutest puppy possible. I feel like I've fallen in love with that little cutie, and I've only seen her through pictures! I hope she finds a good home full of healthy people without allergies to dogs. 

Avery had a little talent show at church with the girls ages eight through eleven and parents. She played "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" on the ukulele, which is a fine song for an eight year old girl to play. I was a little disappointed that she didn't play another song that she has been playing around with..."Smoke on the Water".... Who doesn't want to rock out on the ukulele with a classic from 1972 for their first ever performance?