Sunday, May 20

Our Love Story (part 2)

To see part 1 go here.

My son came to me the other day and told me I needed to write the next part to mine and daddy's love story.  I was shocked he even remembered, because I sure had forgotten after three months of not thinking about it.

So for him, I will continue with it.

So, we ended with me complimenting Brother Wheeler on his Sunday school lesson.  But I need to back up a bit, because although this was the first time I really felt an interest in this Wheeler guy, it was not the first I had met him.  It all started at a singles retreat the previous year.

I had just began dating a guy named Brian and was excited to see him up in the mountains for our retreat. There was a dance the first night, after all the outside games (capture the flag among others), and a bon-fire.  He was a little shorter than me, and I felt like an amazon next to him~but he reminded me of my Uncle Moroni and was such a fantastic guy, so I was really looking forward to getting to know him better.
I remember that I was slow to warm up and ended up staying indoors for a while, mostly observing the life of the party crazies that weren't a bit afraid to be themselves.  Didn't really participate in the silly games they were setting up for fear of getting hurt (one was passing one person along by your feet while lying side by side).

 Brian came and began talking to me, and I decided I was in a drawing mood, so I drew him.  He flirted, and I blushed a lot as I concentrated hard on my work.  When that was done, I decided to go outside because they were beginning to organize a game of capture the flag (one of my childhood favorites).

After our FUN game of capture the flag, I still wanted to play, and saw a couple guys throwing a football, so I asked if I could join in and if we could play 500.  They agreed, and as always, I had a great time showing off my athletic abilities.  After twenty minutes or so, they decided to go in, but by then, a new guy had joined in.  His name was Dan.  He had a hat and glasses on, and I thought he seemed a little mysterious and not at all open like the guy I was dating at the time.

Well, we switched to tossing a frisbee back and forth for another fifteen-twenty minutes, and when I grew tired of that, we found a soccer ball and did the same.  He stuck with me which I was flattered by.  I saw there was a basketball hoop and small court just down the hill a little, and asked if he'd like to play basketball with me.  He said sure.  He seemed the nerdy type, and I thought for sure I could cream him.  But I found that although he didn't share the same enthusiasm for sports as me, he definitely had the upper hand...which fascinated me.  He seemed very sure of who he was and confident in his abilities, something I certainly was lacking at the time.

After he beat me (no contest), I decided to go in where they had started the music for the dance.  I sat there for a short time, and Brian approached and we started dancing.  It was awkward to say the least because I was broader and taller than him, and the thought crossed my mind "I wish that Dan guy would come in and dance with me".  He was much taller than me, and was one of the only ones I had any interest in that was there.

He never came in.  So after one song, I went back outside where the bon-fire and roasting marshmallows had started.  I don't remember seeing him again after that.

He tells me, he had an eye on me though.  He was finishing up his master's program, and between his crazy shifts as a missile keeper (twenty-four hour shifts) and his school, he really had no time for dating.  But he was planning on asking me out first thing once the semester was done.  He says the first he saw me was my first Sunday in their ward.  He sat right behind me, and noticed my long, beautiful blonde (naturally high-lighted) hair, as well as my tall and athletic build.  He has a thing about long hair, and blondes.  So I guess I caught his attention from then on.

Well, after that summer, my Dad had been offered a job back in Utah, and so I decided to move back with them so I could finish up my school.  I had been attending a community college in CO while working at UPS and then Safeway deli. So my second year at UVSC (now UVU) on a full-ride scholarship to throw the javelin.

Meanwhile, Daniel had noticed I wasn't there-and soon found out I had moved back to Utah.  He was a little disappointed he had missed his opportunity, but had faith and figured there were plenty of fish in the sea.
So I attended school again, enjoyed institute and my dating life continued to be pretty active.

After about six months, my Dad was laid off from his job (downgrading and he had no degree)~and was offered a job back in Colorado.  I prayed about it, and decided to return to Colorado with my parents.  While in Utah a couple boys had fallen in love with me. One began flying out to visit me once I went back.  He was planning on proposing over Valentines' day. I liked him, but soon realized he was not someone I wanted to spend eternity with, but had to work up the courage to tell him because he had fallen hard, and I hated that I had to break his heart.
  I soon heard that my Aunt Colleen would be coming to visit us, and we decided to set her up with a couple of good guys.  So I figured out who was the oldest in the ward since she was 33 at the time.  And guess what...Dan was one.  I called and invited him over for an evening to make her stay exciting.
  The one who had fallen for me was up for a visit the same weekend of the date that I had set up for my Aunt.  So I went out with him, but came home early feeling physically ill~I waved hello from the top of the stairs to Dan and Colleen who were down watching a movie letting them know I was not feeling well.  Dan seemed extra enthusiastic to see me...he was all smiles and seemed to be having a great time.  I had no idea at the time that he was remotely interested in me.
  It was after that night that I was able to break the news to Chris (the Utah boy).

  I was now free to date whomever I wanted to and soon I was set up on a blind date by a mom in our family ward.  His name was James and we hit it off right away-had plenty of fun, hung out constantly and talked on the phone for an hour or so nearly every night.  After two weeks of hardly every being without each other, Dan entered the picture.  He asked me on a group date with his cousin Tim and his girlfriend Liz.  We went bowling and had pizza.  He asked me out again the following weekend, and we played racquetball then went iceskating for our third date.  Since James was at my house often to help out with whatever needed doing, he was actually there when Dan picked me up for the ice skating date.




Thursday, May 10

Awakening

  When I became obsessed with sewing a few years ago-- for two and a  half years straight-- I felt like I had been prepared for that skill; through design and art classes, my love of lettering, color theory, etc.  I had tried my hand at it before, but it had not really clicked until then.
 Another "awakening" that I hadn't previously discovered, was a love of reading...especially biographies; probably my way of getting some much needed mental stimulation. Like sewing, this seems to come in waves for me, and I'll often read four to five books within a week or two.

I suppose a third awakening would be my motivation to work out regularly, to take pride in both my health and the upkeep of my home   There are times when we can do it all, and plenty of others where we just cannot.  I guess we all do what we can when we can.

    To make a long story short,  I've had no interest in sewing since Christmas (think I did a little overkill with gifts), continue to work out regularly, keep my house in order, and wave in and out of reading...but have needed something else to fill my time (especially because I only have two little ones at home for most of the day who generally entertain themselves and do well to keep out of trouble-this will change come summer).  So let me introduce you to my newest passion...hint: it all started with my garden and sandbox.

  All growing up, I was surrounded by wood-working.  My Grandfather is a cabinet maker, carpenterand retired contractor.  My Uncles are contractors.  My Mom along with her sixteen siblings did what they could to help Grandpa in his pursuit of supporting a very large family.
  With that experience and knowledge, my Mother, with our help (my eight siblings at the time), built a forty-two hundred square foot home from the ground up while living in a trailer home and later in the basement. This included but was not limited to: framing, sheetrock, electrical, roofing (my personal favorite), and siding.  I watched her work all day every day sometimes till three in the morning during that year.  As a twelve year old girl who would sometimes stay up as late as ten o'clock helping her, I was amazed at her stamina and enjoyment at such an impossible task. Even those days that were beyond frustrating did not slow her down a bit.
  Now my Mother is attending her last semester at BYU for a Bachelor's in fine arts and will begin teaching as a high school art teacher on internship come fall.  Her home is full of her creations, from clay, to glass figurines, vases, beautiful hand woven baskets...and much more.  Her talents and hobbies have only increased three times since my adolescence which is hard to wrap my mind around, let alone someone who hasn't known her all their lives.
  Through my Mother's example, I was given a great start in life as far as discovering my own talents and having ample desire to build upon them.  She gave me a love of working hard with my hands, and all things creative.

My newest project, which I have finished within a couple days (even with my protruding belly, sciatic pain and prone to exhaustion) will be the first of many to beautify my home.

Here they are, standing at about five feet tall...my own creation for my sweet little girls ~
                                                TODDLER BUNK BEDS
                                          Finished product
    Before I was married, my Father gave me a beautiful blessing in which he stated that if I continued in obedience and faith, my blessings would overflow, even to exceed my ability or "room" to receive them. This blessing has become an anchor of hope through my darkest hours and has only deepened in meaning over the years.  For the purpose of this post though, why I share this is not to boast (after all, it is a promise stated in the scriptures to all who are faithful), but to illustrate how this project correlates with that promise.  Simple, really.  Our family is outgrowing many things at this stage-our dining room table (seats six) and soon our van.  But other than that, we have run out of room for all of our children's beds. Those of you who know me at all, know that it is more painful for me to read instructions than it is just to make it up as I go.  So naturally, that's what I did.
  I measured off of my girls' toddler beds, went and purchased the wood (about thirty-five dollars worth), borrowed a couple tools and began.  After cutting and sanding all the boards and getting the first bed done (a day and a half later), my sweet husband went and got me an early mother's day gift here. I have LOVED it, and it is already been used well.
All I have left is to paint.  Like any big project, there were many frustrations along the way and many mistakes made.  However, this bed symbolizes a long anticipated love affair with wood-working that I intend to have.  It will in no doubt come in handy as our family grows (just think of the possibilities!).

  I'm so thankful that after many years as a new mother-having no desire or motivation for anything creative, or even life itself (never been one to do well with lots of change...and I married an officer in the military-eek!), that a new level of desire has awakened within me.  My trials were great for several years.  I grew and became.  And now I am blessed to enjoy the fruit of that growth.  There is a difference in me that makes these new abilities possible, and that makes balance possible like never before.  I thank my Father in Heaven for blessing me so graciously whether or not I deserve it.  Because of His guidance, I am beginning to realize my own potential to serve and bless my family's and others lives.
  I feel eternally indebted to Him and to my own earthly parents who have always inspired and encouraged me to just go for it!

Wednesday, May 2

So Many Things

I have had a few things on my mind recently.  Whether it be struggles with mental illness, health difficulties, loss of loved one, accidents, natural disaster's, unexpected tragedy: whatever it be, these things seem to have the effect of either turning men's hearts to God, or to bitterness and misery-and I speak of long-term.  Obviously, these things in and of themselves are going to bring sadness and anger of the most real kind.  But how we choose to allow these things to mold us, is in direct correlation to the level of faith we possess in our creator and His purposes for us.

I hear many speaking of the newfound "peace" in turning away from God and instead, being true to themselves.

"For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed?  for the end of those things is death.
But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."(Romans 6:20-23)


"I find then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me.
For I delight in the law of God after then inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.  O wretched man that I am!  Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.(7:21-25)"

There is a war going on-a war against our souls.  When we simply give in, and stop fighting, following every lust of our temporal bodies, then we choose death over life (spiritual).  There are eternal laws with eternal consequences.

May we be mindful of whom we choose to give our existence to.

Tuesday, May 1

Family Update



Although we are just renting, we're having fun using this as our "practice house" because we think we may be able to build our permanent home after this assignment depending on if Dan is able to get a follow on to the Academy to teach Physics in Colorado Springs.  That is where we are planning on raising our family.

I have built a garden box, and we planted our garden and flowers.  We also leveled and put down lining for grass, and have finally planted our grass seed (just saw the first of it yesterday popping up).  Here in Albuquerque, it is mostly desert landscaping, and they have a law that only forty percent of your yard can be grass.  I've painted and almost finished drilling together our giant sandbox for the kids (12'x8') and will soon put it into the ground and fill it with sand.

I am ordering a couple small trampolines and digging holes in the ground just beyond the grass for them.
Anyhow, we're having fun getting that all put together, it's a big project, our backyard is huge and pretty much all dirt at the moment.

I am due with a baby boy on August 10th.  We are planning on naming him Joshua Dale, and although it's expensive, I am having a home water birth with midwives.  I have no more desire to give birth in hospitals if I can avoid it-and I think Dan and RaNae (my sis-in-law and her husband) are onto something (delivering their last three unassisted in their home).  Midwives are expensive-and the only ones covered by insurance are certified nurse-midwives (who generally work in hospitals these days).

Hyrum will soon be eight.  But our kids are all now even ages other than him.  Six, four, two.  Sarah is sort of potty-training herself.  She usually goes one to two times a day in the potty.  She talks a mile a minute and so fun to have around.  Angela has had a bit of a speech delay, but is quickly catching up now, and it seems that Sarah is helping her with that. They are good little friends and a great balance for each other's personalities.
Virginia is way beyond her year in school.  She'll be going into first grade, but has been complaining about being tired of doing homework that is too easy.  I try to supplement with math pages, and she reads a lot (probably more fluent than Hyrum at this point). I would have her skip a grade, but I think that social and emotional development are important with her age group. She is about level in size to Hyrum, and most people think she's eight with the way she acts, and her size.
Hyrum is an artist, and is into Sonic right now (Sonic the Hedgehog on Jaroo.com).  He's been struggling with anxiety and stress, and has unfortunately been the target of some bullying.  I'm doing my best to help him learn skills in dealing with it, because it seems that all his "friends" have and are continuing to do it.  He is forgiving and kind, and very well-behaved at school-I hope he is able to work through it, and be stronger for it.  I feel it important for my kids to attend public school so they can learn early on how to deal with different people and situations away from the comforts of home.

Anyhow, that's about it.  Daniel's work at the research lab is going well.  He is doing contracting (says it feels an awful lot like babysitting) getting people to follow through and get along has been quite the challenge for him.  He'll be happy when their biggest contract is met in a couple of years, and then he'll opt to be done with the assignment and be able to move on.  It has been more stressful than other jobs he's had throughout his career.

Stellaluna and Cardboard Butterflies

  My thoughts have been turned to a famous LDS blogger.  Josh Weed is his name. He had come out with a post about four years ago decla...