Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Glorious Things All Around Us. And Stuff.

Ah, dear reader, I have much to tell you...

First of all, we spent the 17th through the 23rd at Aspen Grove Family Camp! It was delightful and felt like going home.

For those just joining me on my happy crazy train, you should know that Brandon and I spent the first two summers of our marriage working at Aspen Grove. Brandon attended the camp with his family several times as a youth, and also worked there the summer before his mission. We hiked up there while dating, he first kissed me on the trail to First Falls, he proposed at sunset by a campsite which overlooks Aspen Grove and Sundance... We've attended marriage retreats there, cross-country skied, attended staff reunions, but, but, but! We've never spent a full week at family camp as guests. We've wanted to for thirteen years, and it finally happened! Huzzah!

I'll post pictures and tell you about our epic adventure soon. I promise.

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I spent Friday until Sunday afternoon in a hazy fog with a crazy virus that attacked both my head and chest in military form. I now have a sinus infection (first in years) and I believe my asthmatic lungs are not going to recover quickly from the chest cold. The goal, of course, is to take it easy so I can, but I've run out of time to take it easy. Brandon is traveling, kids are in school, soccer is underway (we have five kids in soccer this season. What were we thinking!?), and I'm trying to get rid of old habits and establish new ones (like organization. Hahaha!).

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School has begun, and my crazy brood is excited! Grades we have this year: 7th, 5th, 4th, 1st, and preschool. Baby gets to stay home with me, but he's already growing up --he starts Nursery this Sunday!

Obligatory first-day-of-school photo:


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We have instigated new rules into our school year, something I should have been doing for years:
1. No TV or electronics Mon-Thurs. That means to TV (obviously) for the big kids (preschooler is allowed 30 minutes each day while the big kids are gone), no video games, no iPhone games, no iPod games, no iPad games, etc.
2. Scriptures and prayers are at 7AM, sharp (okay, this isn't a new rule)
3. No playing with friends until AFTER homework, piano practice, and chores (and soccer practice if it's applicable).

In the past, I have been an incredible push-over. I let other's opinions of how I should raise my children dictate how I would raise my children. Brandon and I both felt that I was not being consistent enough in discipline (since I'm the one home the most to implement it, eh?), and so it's been decided (mostly by me --Brandon just agreed my idea was fine) that I will be a little more hard-nosed. Our kids need to learn that families work together to make life beautiful, and part of that is consistent discipline of one's time. My alternate goal in all of this is to teach myself consistent discipline of my own time.

So, how is it going? I have no idea. We barely survived the first day (and the preschooler watched at least an hour of television). Ask me in a few weeks!

(We do make up for the lack of the television, however, by playing Pandora in the background. I usually choose our Mozart station, so my kids get a good dose of Classical music, as well as helping the mood in our home.)

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Well, it's almost September. The ninth month of 2013 begins this weekend, and it marks the Ninth Cycle for me. Too much information? I apologize. I'm trying to ignore the screaming ovaries in my abdomen, the ones yearning to create life. The ones wondering why it is my turn to wait and pray, to wonder and hope... and yet... I feel relief at the knowledge I've already attained, the knowledge that I already know I am not in control. The knowledge that I've received guidance and answers to prayers, and that I do not need to suffer needlessly, that I can access His peace and embrace His timing.

I've had some specific answers to prayers lately. They have come through many different ways and I have decided that's because God works this way. There are glorious things all around us, dear reader. We just have to recognize them as such! Here are some recents of mine:

*The book, Global Mom: A Memoir by Melissa Dalton-Bradford has changed my life. I will write a proper review of it soon, but if you have a chance to read it, please do. I have the privilege of knowing Melissa in real life, but I'm even more grateful I had the privilege to read her book.

*This video (it's long --about 45 minutes) of Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaking to an audience at BYU's Education Week last Tuesday. It was so powerful. Moving. Truth.

*Receiving a blessing from my husband (after the kids received their traditional back-to-school Father's Blessings).

*This post by MMM on how one scripture can change everything.

*The new blog of a dear, dear friend. Following it this last week has made me think hard about things. Really hard.

*This post given by a friend of mine recently in a forum:
So, I've been thinking a lot about this concept of "not shrinking"and enduring things well (Doctrine and Covenants 121:7-8 "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.).
The word "well" has leapt out at me recently. Adversity, trials, affliction, only benefit us if we endure them well, rather than just simply endure them.
I am in love with these barre workouts (www.barre3.com), and I was doing one the other day before my face exploded and one of the instructors said something that just spoke to my soul. We were holding some incredibly simple-looking but incredibly difficult position and my whole body was shaking and I kind of wanted to die and, of course, a little person chose that exact time to ask for a drink of water/need to poop/hit her sister and it was everything I could do not to go ballistic on said sweet, adorable little child (I mentioned the shaking, right? And the wanting to die?) and I just wanted to STOP, and the instructor, at that moment, said something like, "I want you to commit now because we will not be here forever. Commit now, because it's almost over."
And I just kind of stopped screaming "MAKE IT STOP!!!!" in my head and went, "Huh? Now that is something to ponder in regard to life in general. Embrace the hard. Embrace the challenge. You've been given this chance to learn something, to grow, to become stronger. You can do it halfway or quit early or gripe about it, OR you can commit to it. You can dive in. You can welcome it and embrace it and do it with energy and zest. You can choose to squander it and throw it away or you can endure it well."
So there, that's my thought of the day. Commit now, because before you know it, the chance will be over.
*Green Smoothies. No, not preaching about them again, just simply making them again. Perhaps starting with the three day cleanse. Perhaps re-starting my morning ritual. Knowing that if I use food as my medicine, I may perhaps illicit the cure for my sinus/lung situation, as well as jump start my way to losing weight, which could then help me conceive... We shall see...

*The sweet peace that comes when Brandon and I are both listening to the Holy Ghost and receiving the same answers; knowing that we are on the same page, united, and going forward with confidence. It doesn't always happen this way in marriage, nor even in ours. But when it does, it is beyond beautiful.

*A quote I needed and found on Pinterest (where I spent a LOT of time this last weekend in my virus-induced hacking-haze):


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And now I leave you with more Pinterest love --and because laughter always makes me feel better about everything!












3 comments:

Christy said...

So much I love about this. But, I will comment about your family rules being implemented. In the last ward that we were in, the bishop of that ward has 13 kids. NONE of their kids have cell phones, they don't have a TV, and they don't have a computer. They range in age from 5 to 22...so they are raisin them in the thick of "everybody has one mom!" I had the privilege of living across the street from them for a year and their family dynamic changed my life! The mom gave a talk at a stake conference adult meeting once and she talked about how she came from a dysfunctional home where some of her family members are not active. She said that when she got married - she made the decision early that her family was a matter of life and death. That she would do everything in her power to make sure she did her part because it was literally life or death (spiritually). That thought has stuck with me...and I feel like it is so powerful. You are making decisions for your family right now because you understand this principle...I am so grateful for examples like you and this other woman. She had her family around each other singing, reading scriptures, playing games...and helping them to understand that it is your family that matters - not society. My favorite thing about them - is every Sunday we could hear them in the front yard talking about scriptures, singing together, laughing together and just having a good time. In her talk she also said that she has made scriptures and prayer the number one priority - along w/ FHE. There is NO activity more important than these...not even girls camp. She said when they started to move girls camp to Monday thru Friday...she would go and get her girls on monday after noon so that they were home for FHE and then drive them back up to girls camp. Might be a little extreme...but it goes back to the life and death scenario and what you are willing to do for your own family. I applaud you - you are doing an amazing job at raising your army. Sorry this was so long...it wasn't that long in my head :) ha ha!

Cheryl said...

Christy, your comment made my whole week, seriously. Thank you so much! Thanks for telling me about this family you admired, too. I also love women like that and seek them out!

You are amazing. :)

Julie said...

Loved those Pinterest posts. The Tupperware one is SO. ME.

I love your rules. We haven't had a real media use issue in our house, partly because my girls are so involved in their sport of choice, but my boys want more of it than I am willing to give. I won't budge on it, though. I have strong feelings about the video game and my boys are the benefactors/victims of that. :)

Anyway, I love ya and think you're terrific.