Monday, December 27, 2010

A Christmas Experiment, Gone Horribly.......

RIGHT.  Phew, what a relief it is to say that.

Before I begin, I just want to say that we did this for us....not to judge, criticize or make anyone else feel bad about how they did things.  This was what we needed....

Felix and I decided early in the Christmas season that we didn't want the same ol' typical Christmas.  Lot's of stuff, lots of fighting.....blah, blah, blah.

This year has been more adventurous for us than most....they seem to be getting more and more hectic as we wend our way through some of our medical issues.  I spent a lot of time at the hospital with Baylee, Felix spent a lot of time at work and we both realized the one thing we didn't have enough of this year was time.  We both felt like our kids deserved more than we had been able to give this year.

So we warned the kidlets that there would not be a lot of 'stuff' this year.  Originally, we had planned on a little getaway, but that just didn't quite work out either.  But we stuck to our guns and didn't buy individual gifts.  We bought family gifts and only family gifts.

Not to say that our kids didn't get anything....they just didn't add to their piles of unused toys and gadgets already piled in their rooms.

Santa managed to still get us our Christmas Eve jammies.  Phew....I don't know if we would have survived without our Christmas Eve jammies.  Then in complete opposition to what we have always done....we stayed up until after 11, having a rockin' Christmas Eve Rock Band party with the kids.  We kept the computer up, so we could track Santa through NORAD and the second he crossed into Utah territory, we all went to bed.

Christmas morning we woke up to new sleds from Santa and new snow pants from Mom and Dad.  The kids don't believe that I have Santa on speed dial...but I do....that is how we are able to always coordinate so well.  Their stocking contained journals, silly string, a giant bag of M&M's and a disposable camera.  A disposable camera?????  In this digital age?  Well, the mommy worked that out pretty quickly and we are going to develop the pictures from our Family Christmas adventure and make a photo collage....I think we may have to do that every year.

We weren't totally heartless......there were games and movies, a Clearplay (so mommy could watch all the movies she hasn't been able to) and an air hockey table.  No individual gifts....but things we would be able to do together.

We put the air hockey table together and played for a couple of hours and then we suited up and went hill hunting for some sleddin' time.  We stopped at a convenience store and had donuts and Ruffles for Christmas breakfast....YUMMMMMMM. 

It didn't take long, but we found a great hill and had a marvelous time.  Apparently, all I do is cackle as I watch everyone else biff it....watch for videos....you'll see what I'm talking about.

We had dinner with my family and then headed home to enjoy the rest of our day.  We made a late night snack of pot stickers and fried rice and then played air hockey and watched movies until the wee hours.

So...it wasn't a big Christmas.  What is was.....WONDERFUL.   There was more peace in our home this Christmas.  Our focus, had been completely changed.....

Lessons Learned
1.  It really is just stuff.  And it really doesn't matter.
2.  My kids were amazing about our 'redirection' from commercialism.....they didn't complain....NOT ONCE.
3.  We spent a whole day playing as a family.....AND WE LIKED IT.
4.  It was nice to be content with what I have....and admitted, I have a lot more than I need....but the best thing I have, is my family.
5.  We might be doing this again next year.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ode to the 12 Days of Christmas - Repost from 12/08

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree.
--Ummmm, what is a partridge and what the hud is it doing in my tree?

On the second day of Christmas my true love game to me two turtle doves and a patridge in a pear tree.
--Great, it's that wretched partridge again and now doves? That's it, I'm calling animal control.

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
--What the hud is up with the flipping birds? Who's going to clean up all of the poop?

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a patridge in a pear tree.
--Are they remaking Hitchcocks birds or something? HELP ME.

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 5 golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
--That's right we are in Utah, so 5 golden rings is perfectly acceptable. At least there will be help to build the aviary.

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 6 geese a laying, 5 golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
--Great, now it's not only bird poop, but eggs too. GRAND.

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me 7 swans a swimming, 6 geese a laying, 5 golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
--I don't have a pool, why the heck are they here? Where's my gun? Swans aren't a protected species are they?

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 8 maids a milking, 7 swans a swimming, 6 geese a laying, 5 golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
--Milking what? We only have stupid birds.

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 9 ladies dancing, 8 maids a milking, 7 swans a swimming, 6 geese a laying, 5 golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
--Has anyone told them that they are dancing on bird poop and eggs yet?

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 10 lords a leaping, 9 ladies dancing, 8 maids a milking, 7 swans a swimming, 6 geese a laying, 5 golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
--Okay, the lords a leaping got the memo...at least they are trying to avoid the bird poop.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me 11 pipers piping, 10 lords a leaping, 9 ladies dancing, 8 maids a milking, 7 swans a swimming, 6 geese a laying, 5 golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
--Great, the plumbers are here. What do they think they are going to accomplish, birds don't use toilets.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 12 drummers drumming, 11 pipers piping, 10 lords a leaping, 9 ladies dancing, 8 maids a milking, 7 swans a swimming, 6 geese a laying, 5 golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
--Well, with any luck at all they will drum everyone out of here so I can clean up the poop.

MERRY CHRISTMAS (and avoid all of the poop). 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Eensy, Weensy Spider.....

"Spider!"  "Spider, spider, spider, spider, spider!!!!!"  "SPIDER!"

Yeah, that would be how it started. Oh my goodness....put your big girl pants on and get it yourself.

"I have to leave,"  Felix says, "Can you go down and take care of that?"  "Fine!"  I said on the inside and outside.  The big babies.  "I'll be down in a minute!" They can avoid it for an entire minute.  No problem.

I finish up what I am doing and go to the basement.  I get to the bottom of the stairs and just as my toes are gracing the very tippy tops of the carpet, Caleb, Baylee AND Savannah are all screaming, "Stop!  You are going to step on it.  It's a black widow....we're gonna die!!!!!!!"

Drama much?  I look down and see a GIANT spidery-lookin' thing.  It was black...but I'm pretty sure there were more than 8 legs.  I get down and look closer.  Why?  Because I'm me.  Spiders don't scare me.  My older brother had a tarantula as a pet.  So....I get about an inch from the 'spider' and realize...it's a wadded up ball of string.

So I reach to pick it up and the kids all start screaming bloody murder.  I'm not kidding....bloody murder.  I pick it up and Baylee nearly passes out before she turns and runs screaming in the other room.  Caleb and Savannah back up towards the wall as I am trying to unravel the string and explain it's  JUST string. 

Sadly, there was so much screaming it sounded something like, "But........No.......Stop........Screaming.......Wait..........Look.......Chill........"  I think you get the general idea.  I finally get close enough for the three "Screamateers" to see the string I am holding up.  After a minute, Savannah and Baylee calm down and kind of giggle.  I say, kind of, on purpose.   They had worked themselves into such a frenzy they were having trouble calming down.

It was about then I realized someone was still screaming.  Poor Caleb was sitting on the couch, tears streaming down his cheeks, flushed and wailing.

I finally sit next to him, touch him with my hand (so he'll open his eyes and stop screaming) and he opens his eyes, sees the fully extended string and screams even louder as he tries to burrow through the cushions of the couch to protect himself from the danger of the wild string.  After a minute it dawns on him.  He stops screaming, looks at me, looks at the string and says, "Stop chasing me with that thing."

Lessons Learned
1.  I think we might be needin' a tarantula.
2.  Big babies.
3.  Poor things.
4.  Poor Caleb...he needs to not hang out with his sisters.
5.  For the record, I wasn't chasing anybody!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Angels Among Us

Many of you know that Baylee has to go up to Primary Children's Medical Center pretty often. If you didn't before, you do now.

We were last there a couple of weeks ago. Because we had to push her treatment up, we ended up going a little later in the day than usual. I don't think that was an accident. I think Heavenly Father wanted me to have a particular experience.

The halls of PCMC are blessed. I've always thought that. How can you not, when you see the bent and twisted bodies, the tubes and machines hooked up to children, and all of the amazing people who care for these little ones?

There is a part of me that feels almost guilty for noticing that even though we have our fair share of trials, it could always be worse. I don't like having that viewpoint, but it is reality.

I was somewhat frustrated with our last visit. I was tired, not looking forward to another long afternoon/evening.

It's always interesting to see the people at Primary's. You can see the worry, hope and peace throughout their bodies. Anyone who has spent any time there, even for just a doctors appointment understands the combination of emotion. You worry because of the struggle of your child. You hope for the best....you always hope for the best, even when part of you is expecting the worst. And peace....some have it, some are searching for it and some don't think they will ever find it.

We arrived in our room, got Baylee hooked up to her IV, did all of her blood work and then waited for the medication to arrive from the pharmacy. Once she had ordered her dinner and had a craft to occupy herself, I went to the cafeteria to get myself some dinner so we could eat together.

As I was walking into the cafeteria, I was looking toward the floor, kind of deep in thought about how much more I could take and more importantly about how much more Baylee could take, and how I need to do a better job for all of my children, especially the ones at home. I glanced up to walk through the door (and make sure I wasn't running into anybody or anything) and the first thing I was were two little legs being held up by the supports on the wheelchair. I quickly looked at the boy, his father and walked past to get something to eat.

After I got my food, I went over to the line to pay. I was privileged and extremely humbled to be right behind this child, his father and a guest I hadn't noticed the first time. When I first brushed past, I didn't see what this little one had been through. This time I saw the multiple scars that ran from his feet up his legs. I saw the swelling and irritation of more recent surgical scars on his arms and legs. I also saw the drainage tubes coming from underneath his shirt.

I felt bad for dismissing this little wonder the first time I saw him. After standing behind this little boy for only a few minutes, my spirit was humbled and I felt a peace unlike any other. I was amazed at what I heard from this angel.

As he looked back and forth between his father and the other man as they talked, his eyes were bright and excited. After a moment watching the exchange, he suddenly said, "Bishop, I am so happy to see you. I am always so happy when I'm here, because I get to see so many of my friends. The people here love me Bishop. Know how I know? Because they take care of me. I am so happy to see you. Can you stay for a while? My dad likes to talk to you and so do I. This is why I like it here, because so many people love me." I watched as the Bishop stood there and wiped tears from his eyes. He got down on bended knee and gave a quick hug and said, "What's not to love?"

It may not sound like much, but looking at the scars, the tubes and the physical ailments of this little one and I was completely overcome by what a precious place this was. Even though Baylee did not have the same journey as this boy, hers was still a trial for her. And through it all, how blessed we are to have so many angels among us. These doctors and nurses who have chosen to help the weak, sick and suffering little ones are but a few of the angels there. Others include the friends, volunteers and support staff.

I was also over come by how many of Heavens angels walk through the corridors of that hospital. The blessings of Heaven rest there. Our babies are never alone in their suffering and trials and neither are we.

Heavenly Father would never turn His back on a child and there is proof of that at Primary Children's Medical Center.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to see the purity of this boys spirit. I cannot fathom how he has physically suffered, but I can understand so much better why he is able to endure the physical struggles and and yet continue to bring joy to others. What a wonderful scene to witness.  I saw the power of life.  I feel so privileged.

I know mere words could never do justice to what I witnessed, but I hope it suffices to say that I felt the love for my daughter and for me on this visit. I was truly, truly humbled and am so grateful for this loving, gentle reminder of how truly blessed I am.

Lessons Learned
1. There are so many, where do I begin.?
2. How grateful I am to a Father in Heaven that gives us everything, and asks so little in return.
3. I'm grateful for my blessings, even if I have to walk through the refiners fire to reach them.
4. I know I'm stronger for my trials. I know my family is too. I hope we can give our strength to those who need it one day.
5. In this midst of chaos, is where the greatest peace lies.
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