Thursday, November 29, 2012

Happy birthday, Thirdborn

12 great things about Thirdborn

1.  He works hard.  He has to work harder than others at school because he learns differently than them.

2.  He doesn't complain.  Instead, he tries to find a way to solve the problem.

3.  He is empathetic.  This is the kid who feels deeply what others are feeling.

4.  He is compassionate.  He wants to save the world.  He is always looking for ways to serve.

5.  He is smart.  When you have a question about science or animals, he is your go-to resource.  If he does not know the answer, he will find out for you.

6.  He is kind.  Always a good friend.

7.  He is patient.  He particularly has been patient concerning The Love Magnet.  She hasn't been easy to live with lately, but he has tried hard to patiently teach or model good behavior for her.

8.  He is serious.  Now that he is 12, he has been ordained a deacon.  He takes serious the responsibilities of a deacon.

9.  He has a great sense of humor.  He always has a joke to share.  He loves to find the fun things in every day activities.

10.  He is brave.  The kid recently attended his first middle school dance and made the goal of asking someone to dance for every single song.  If the girl said no he had the attitude of finding another girl who wanted to have fun and get out and dance.  He even convinced a few of his friends to do the same thing.  This mom is so proud.

11.  He is enthusiastic about life.  Going to the temple.  Going to see family.  Family activities.  Service activities.  It doesn't matter what it is, he is enthusiastic and his enthusiasm is contagious.

12.  He is loyal.  He sticks up for family and for friends.  He will not tolerate anyone trying to hurt or offend them.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


27 lb turkey plus........ 

veggies and dippy dip, traditional stuffing, wild rice stuffing with dried cherries and pecans, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, au gratin potatoes, homemade rolls with butter and jam, brie and baguette,  plus....... 

hungry people, plus.... 

more hungry people, plus.... 

more hungry people, plus.... 

plenty of food for seconds, the most amazing apple pie on the planet, pumpking and sourcream lemon and pecan pie, plus.... 

gratitude for friends who are like family.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Going to the MTC

I was told that the drive to Utah to take my son to the MTC would be the most emotional drive ever.  I did not cry once.  I was excited for my son.
 After taking care of banking, buying a backpack last minute, and lunch at the Brick Oven (where, we didn't know until we got there, that missionaries entering the MTC that day eat free), we stopped by the Provo LDS Temple for pictures.  It seemed that everyone else taking a son or daughter into the MTC decided to do the same thing.
 The kids were tired and not looking forward to the hours long drive home.  Firstborn was just excited.
 The day was bright and mild.  Still no tears from mom.
 As we left to get back into the car to head to the MTC across the street.....
 Firstborn couldn't resist teasing Thirdborn one last time.  I think he was theatening to throw his little brother into a snow bank.
 At the MTC, there is no lollygagging.  The luggage is removed quickly and goodbyes are even quicker.  The tears (mine) started to come.
It was a lot like the first day of kindergarten.  All smiles, no tears, quick lean instead of a real hug (all the while talking to the missionary over my shoulder) and then off into the doors of the MTC without even a glance back.  He was ready.
On the way to the freeway, as I dried my tears, The Love Magnet started to cry.  Mr. Wonderful and I tried to console her, telling her that Firstborn was safe and she could email him and that he would email her back.  She replied "I'm not sad about him!  I MISS MY PUPPY!"  We couldn't help but burst out laughing.  It was too funny!  Later that night, The Love Magnet was in her bed and I heard her crying.  I went into her room and wrapped my arms around her.  "Honey, look it is okay.  Doggie Girl can sleep in your room tonight.  Look how happy she is to see you."  My duaghter looked up at me with tears on her cheeks.  "I'm not crying about her.  I miss my brother!"
Yeah.  We all miss him, sweetheart.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Farewell

 Sunday 11/11/2012 was Firstborn's mission farewell.  He gave a wonderful talk on why he was willing to go halfway around the world to teach the Romanian people about the Atonement.  It was wonderful to listen to his testimony.  Every day I pray that Heavenly Father will help me to see people the way He sees them.  That day I was able to see my son the way his Father in Heaven sees him.  He will be a great missionary.
 There were hundreds of cookies and 4 types of soup as well as a lot of rolls and sliced homemade bread with butter and jam.  We prepped for hundreds of people to show for the open house.  After our extended family left to head back to Utah, the house was quiet.  No one else showed.  We kept posting on FB that we had a lot of food and were waiting for visitors.  The soup ended up being put into the fridge/freezer.  Firstborn and Secondborn put together plates of cookies to take to people.  The rest of the cookies were packed up to take to Utah.
 The night we arrived in Utah, more family and some old friends we haven't seen for seven years since we moved came to my parents to say goodbye.  Good thing we brought the cookies.
 It was fun to see everyone.  The house was noisy with laughter.
Some of these cousins will look very different (and taller) in 2 years.
Firstborn made sure he was done with the openhouse by 9:30 and in bed by 10 p.m. per mission rules.  He was set apart as a missionary Tuesday night and had his dad for his companion until he reported to the MTC.  Whether he slept at all that night is a different story.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Baptism

 Twin sis (whom the Love Magnet is named after) came to support us.  We also had many of both sides of the family present.  This was a huge weekend.  Not only was it a baptism, but is was a farewell for Firstborn who was leaving to go on a mission to Romania.
 The Love Magnet was so excited.  Her big brother was going to baptize her and her daddy would confirm her a member of the Church and give her the gift of the Holy Ghost.  She was so thrilled that the room was full of people she loved.
 I worried a little about how she would feel about the baptismal clothing.  But it turned out to be soft (and not scratchy as I remembered from my own baptism when I was 8.  Mr. Wonderful had reminded me to bring a white tshirt and white bike shorts for her to wear underneath.  Good thing - with those on, she did not freak out over wearing unfamiliar clothing or over the feeling of the elastic waistband.  As soon as she changed (which was 15 minutes before the ordination), she tried to immediately step (dive) into the font.  I had to stop her more than once and remind her that other things (talks, singing, and prayers) had to happen first.
 This was Firstborn's first baptism.  I love that his first baptism was for his sister.  It is not appropriate to take pictures during the ordination.  The Love Magnet led the music.  Seconborn and Thirdborn gave the opening and closing prayers.  The Grandmothers each gave a talk on baptism and on The Holy Ghost.  The Grandpas served as witnesses.  Firstborn did a great job with the actual baptism.  When the Love Magnet came out of the water, she announced to everyone watching that she forgot to plug her nose.  It didn't bother her.  She just shook her head and kept smiling.  In the dressing room, after the baptism and before the confirmation she kept saying to me "Mom, I feel so AMAZING!"

Friday, November 09, 2012

The Baptism Portraits

A friend of ours who took Firstborn's Senior pictures offered to take The Love Magnet's baptism portraits.  My daughter was enamored by the photographer.  She thought the photog was very pretty. 
The Love Magnet was also thrilled to pose with scriptures.  She loves scriptures.
 The photog directed TLM to open the scriptures and start reading.  So TLM did just that (and pretty much ignored everything else - she was busy reading). 
 This is my favorite shot.  I'm not sure what The Love Magnet was thinking.  This wasn't a directed pose - I think TLM was looking at the cute baby hat display while the photog and I were talking.
 And one more of the same shot.

The dress is soft and flowing.  Not the white baptism dress I dreamed of, but she looks beautiful.  Huge thanks to the photog for taking these.  Her work is stunning.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Baptism Dress and what is really important to my salvation.

I had in my mind a dream that most mothers do - shopping for the perfect dress with their daughter.  When you daughter is going to be baptized, you want to find the perfect white dress for her to wear before and after. 

Problem:  the Love Magnet has sensory issues when it comes to clothing.  No shiny, slippery, satin, lacy, itchy, sequins, or large seams or tags can touch her skin.  It causes her to go crazy.  She wears knits, some denim.  And as soon as she gets home from school, she changes into pajamas.

I thought that taking her to the mall to let her watch the teen girls trying on prom dresses would work.  She loved looking at the "princesses" and wanted to stay there a long time. While she watched, I pulled white dresses her size off the rack and then took her into a dressing room.

She looked at the dresses and started to shake, sweat, and cry.  I felt awful.  I tried to explain that she had an undershirt on and tights so it wouldn't touch her skin.  I couldn't even get the dress over her head.  She was inconsolable.

I gave up and took her to lunch.  During lunch she apologized profusely over not trying on the dresses and asked if we could try again.  So, after lunch I took her to another store. The same thing happened in the dressing room.  We gave up and went home.  Where I cried - I know it was selfish.  I just wanted to have that moment with my daughter.  If she ever goes to prom, I will have to pay someone to design a prom dress out of jersey knit or something equally soft.

My Twin Sis started sending suggestions and wracking her brain to figure out how to make something work.  She also reminded me that baptism dresses did not need to be white.  File the white baptism dress idea under "If it is not important to my salvation, I'm not going to worry about it."

Two days before the baptism, I found a dress.  It wasn't white.  It was gold and cream.  It was organdy on the outside, and fully lined in soft cotton on the inside.  The Love Magnet felt it before we went into the dressing room.  She made sure she had on her undershirt and sweater tights so the dress wouldn't come in contact with anything but her shoulders.  She started to panic before I slipped the dress over her head, telling me that it was going to hurt.  I reminded her that she felt that it was soft.  She then begged me to hold the dressmaker tag in my hand so it wouldn't touch her and the price tag in my other hand for the same reason.  Then we were finally able to get it over her head (with much panicking) until she realized it was going to be okay.  With her arms held out so she wouldn't touch it, she looked in the mirror.  "Mom, I look like a princess!"

She still panicked every time I put it over her head, but she acted fine after it was on.  A photog friend offered to take her picture.  A ward member with a brand new hair business made her a hair pretty and did her hair for the pictures and baptism. (picture to come as soon as photog friend sends it.)

Now the non-salvation stuff was taken care off.  On to the baptism.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

"Mom, I want to be baptized."

When the Love Magnet turned 8 years old, people asked if she was going to get baptized.  We knew she wasn't ready.  She never talked about it.  She loved to watch others get baptized but she did not think to want it for herself.  So we let her be.

Fast forward to last summer.  Out of the blue, the Love Magnet announced "I want to be baptized." I told her that was awesome and let the subject alone, thinking that it was fleeting.  But she kept talking about "When I get baptized...." and asking when that would be.  Wanting to make sure she understood the ordinance and the promises involved, we started to focus Family Home Evenings around the subject.  It is a bit difficult to put together lessons that she will understand and yet still be interesting to her older brothers.  With a 4 year spread between each of our sons, they each have a different level of understanding.  It helped when they each were in charge of lessons.

The Love Magnet was asked to give a talk on the Holy Ghost for the Primary program in September.  She was thrilled to participate.  She told me what to type:

The Holy Ghost

The Holy Ghost can help me to not be scared when there is a fire drill at school because I don't like loud noises.
The Holy Ghost can help me be polite and kind.
The Holy Ghost can help me remember to be honest and tell the truth.
I can't see him.  He doesn't have a body.  But I can feel him.
I'm glad I know how to choose the right.

We spent the Saturday before at the church, practicing sitting on the bench where her class would sit, practicing walking up to the microphone and putting her paper on the stand.  We practiced how to speak in the microphone.  This went on over and over for an hour until she told me she was ready.

During the Primary program, she sat with her class.  When it came time for her turn, she walked up to the podium, put her paper on the stand, took a deep breath and said under her breath (but loud enough for the microphone to pick it up) " we go.", and gave a Primary talk by herself.  It proved to me that she does understand, in her own way, about the Holy Ghost, about Jesus, and the promises she would make in baptism.

She was ready.