Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Anyone out there?

Anyone still read this blog?
This year has been a funny year, 15 hours a week all my children are in school. For years I've been depressed about this coming. People get confused when I say this, if they are related to me, they say but you don't even enjoy your children when they are young. Yes, but what if I missed too much of it, being frustrated at their small children actions.
Say what?!
No one seems to understand.

So for 15 hours a week, I get a break, and I find myself thinking at the end of my 5 hour break, really already? Can I sign him up for more school?

My 3rd child started kindergarten, he turned 5 two weeks before school started. I have been debating when to put him into kindergarten since he was in utero. Yes, I had read Outliers and seen countless studies about how redshirting is so good for children. But I had also read, that when you adjust for income there really isn't any benefit. Wealthy children are more likely to be held back (what a day to be alive, that WEALTHY children are the ones being held back) and so they are doing better in school no matter what age because they have support systems at home. I was totally waiting until he was 2 weeks after 6. Two of my friends had a baby the same time, and always said I don't think I can make her wait the extra year. I told countless moms, that for me being the oldest in my grade was beneficial. Until we changed our mind. We decided he needed to grow up, my husband found a study to showed children that skip grades aren't actually socially awkward from skipping the grade they were socially awkward before they skipped too. DUH, that made complete sense, have a brilliant child who parents for years have asked me if he is skipping a grade. No, he hasn't skipped a grade I always move to the expensive property tax neighborhood so he can go to a good school with a strong gifted program. He is small for his age anyway, he doesn't need to skip a grade to still be smart, and even smaller compared to the rest of his classmates.

Anyway, I'm off topic, last year we decided my third would start kindergarten at 5, I regretted that decision for months but never changed my mind. My two oldest kind of had crappy kindergarten years, I kind of hate half day kindergarten even though I loved it at the time. We all hated kindergarten then they magically got to full day school and loved it, had fun, and had to time socialize with kids their own ages.

Once again I digress again.
So we put him in full day, and guess what he loves it, and he is nice when he comes home, instead of yelling at me all day. And his teacher has two little boys at home and understands active little boys, and when he does things like embarrassingly tells me he broke his name tag, she says no worries, those things happen, I already fixed it. I love her, and she loves him, and he tolerates her and listens carefully to her. I recently passed her at school and she told me he is just the sweetest boy, and always does what he is suppose to be doing. For example he always walks with his hands behind his back, he NEVER forgets. Thank goodness, for a kindergarten teacher who knows what is up and actually likes my child. This is the first time we've ever had a good experience with a kindergarten teacher.

My oldest's K teacher, would get frustrated if he learned faster than the class. My daughter's K teacher had a been a special ed teacher for the previous 10 years so I was so excited to get her, because my daughter's IEP was being downgraded and so I thought she would help us build a great transition year, but anytime I brought up how my daughter was managing/coping she looked confused about what I was even talking about. I would give her specific example and she would say oh I guess you're right, weird I hadn't even noticed. Really?!

Anyway, I'm quite protective of my little ones much to my husband's exasperation, so I appreciate a kindergarten teacher and a preschool teacher who just love my little ones.

Honestly I have no idea what is happening in 6th grade, and that is probably age appropriate.
And 3rd... I can't tell if its going well, or if the crap is about to hit the fan. Honestly either way, I'm fine, if it goes well, then perfect, I'm more than happy to have a great year. If things start exploding, then 3rd is a transition year, so I'm good changing our status quo to help her with the needs she might have.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Ten years

I wrote on Facebook:
10 years ago this year I earned my college degree. I'm kind of flipping out its been 10 years since 2007. Maybe if I announce this to the world I'll stop being overwhelmed. Ten years from high school seemed like a rite of passage. Ten years from college seems old, like I'm fully ingrained in adulthood, there is no going back now.

What I didn't write on Facebook because I didn't want to sound like I was bragging... I can write on my blog because I don't know who reads it:
The past 10 years are crazy not because I'm looking back like how did I get her I missed so many opportunities.  On the contrary, I'm looking back thinking how did I get her, we (Brent and I) accomplished so much.
In my mind I was listing them off, but publicly that seems like too much. 
How did I get here so quick?
We are planning a family vacation to Belize. Everytime it seems surreal. Then again we rarely put our kids in sports because it's just so expensive. We never go out to eat unless we are traveling.  I was pretty positive I was going to put my youngest in 3 year old preschool next year. I love our preschool community and I don't want to take a year off. But then I talked myself out of it, preschool is such a money drain. Plus he's my last baby.

Thursday, December 1, 2016


Earlier in the Fall I had a severe case of ennui. Ennui might be the wrong word. I didn't know what was happening in my life. I could list all the things that seemed misplaced about life but most of them I've forgotten, or moved on from. I didn't know where my life was going, and I what I wanted to do to be me. Not a wife, not a mother, not a daughter, or primary leader, just me. After praying for a long time it became very clear it's not yet time to learn Spanish, but that I should write. Even if it's just a little bit a day. (Just kidding about the Spanish, that was not clear, I'm just not sure I'd have time to write and learn Spanish at this season of life.)
Guess what I haven't done. Write.
It's not that I've been too busy painting, well I have and actually that's mostly it. But I've never sit down just to write. Does it mean blogging or writing? What to write?
I keep meaning to find a mouse for a laptop and turn off the track pad, because I HATE track pads and write.
Recently I've been wondering what the heck is wrong with me?
The answer is I never started writing. But where to write and what to write?
I guess I should just open that word document, and go for it.
Instead I wish I was moving to England.
Spain fell through, Colombia fell through. And twice now for about 45 minutes my husband toyed about moving to the UK. Actually the first time it was a few weeks. Instead I live 5 minutes from the chapel I attended as a child.
Things I was never going to do.
1. Get married young
2. Have a baby in college
3. Move home
Darn it! I've stop saying things I'm never going to do. The worst part of moving home is, we do actually kind of love it here. It makes the ennui worse.
That and coughing kids. Young children that couch for years of their life they cause me to question the Plan of Salvation. Yes that seriously tests my faith. Like more than you could know.
The writing though.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Favorite thing

Between caring for little ones who can't care for themselves for 10 years and a couple of years of unrelenting mental illness, I didn't know who I was. For the past few years I wondered what I liked independent of my children. Finally the other day it hit me. My favorite thing in the world is traveling the world and wandering around the streets of a new city during the evening. Preferably with my husband but I've always like just after dusk even before I met him. I'd prefer an international city but honestly any where will do as long as I'm not constantly around a crowd. It feels good to have something I like.

On a related note, 50 weeks ago I was in Madrid Spain. Lately, I miss it pretty much every day. My husband worked during the day and I did my own thing. It was amazing I've never sightseen alone. I mean sure I love to travel with others and prefer it but to be independent was liberating. And to not have to accommodate anyone else was also a relaxing. I spent every waking minute accommodating mini mes, who thank the Lord are beautiful but driving me to my wits end. I needed a week to be me.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Been thinking...

I've been thinking about this song for a while. Since I recently heard someone sing it live. Been thinking but that's it.

Only Hope by Switchfoot

There's a song that's inside of my soul
It's the one that I've tried to write over and over again
I'm awake and in the infinite cold
But You sing to me over and over and over again

So I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands
And pray to be only Yours
I pray to be only Yours
I know now You're my only hope

Sing to me of the song of the stars
Of Your galaxy dancing and laughing and laughing again
When it feels like my dreams are so far
Sing to me of the plans that You have for me over again

So I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands

And pray to be only Yours
I pray to be only Yours
I know now You're my only hope

I give you my destiny, I'm giving You all of me
I want Your symphony singing in all that I am
At the top of my lungs, I'm giving it back

So I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands
And pray to be only yours
I pray to be only yours
I pray to be only Yours
I know now You're my only hope

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A small house

If my husband and I had an unofficial motto it would be this,
President Faust would not tell you this himself. Perhaps I can tell it, and he can take it out on me afterward. He had a mortgage on his home drawing 4 percent interest. Many people would have told him he was foolish to pay off that mortgage when it carried so low a rate of interest. But the first opportunity he had to acquire some means, he and his wife determined they would pay off their mortgage. He has been free of debt since that day. That’s why he wears a smile on his face, and that’s why he whistles while he works.
President Hinckley said it in October 1998, his talk To the Boys and to the Men. To say President Hinckley and President Faust had an influence on my life, would be an understand statement. They were probably the most influential people not related to me when I was a teenager.
President Monson has also been influential but he did not die near the same time as them so he has continued to influence my life as I've grown up.

Back to the quote, vernacular quote is, buy a small house pay it off quick and always have a smile on your face. That has always been my husband and mine unofficial plan. This summer we had to realize that sometimes the Lord has bigger thing in store. Literally. My husband had an experience to look for more home then we were looking for, but those are not mine to share. Me on the other hand I had many as you know if you read. What I finally came to know is the Lord expects me to invest my retirement not just put it in a savings account. In the case what if the Parable of the Talents is actually about money and just not just talents. Our house are investments. I know not everyone's are, but ours are. Mortgage speaking even though our house is much bigger we are paying about the same as we were when we first bought our last home. 

Its been far for me to take President's Faust story as a parable and not a literal direction in my life. I really wanted a small home. I am learning to enjoy my large house but I wanted a small house. And I've learned the Lord is teaching me far more humility this way.

Lastly, I will say this is only personal advice for me and my husband. If anyone were to ask me financial advice it would always be President Hinckley's. But people don't ask me financial advice. I buy most of my furniture second hand and always hope and maybe I should pray that someone will give me handme downs for my kids to wear. So I don't look like someone that people want to ask advice from. 

Religious Public Speaking

In case you just happened to stubble across my blog through google, I will explain something. In our church we have a lay ministry, meaning no one is paid to serve. We call our pastor a Bishop and he holds a regular job. He does not write a sermon every week, instead we take turn giving a sermon or a talk. Usually 2-3 teenagers or adults speak any given sunday. Teenagers are usually asked to speak for 5 minutes, while adults are asked to speak somewhere between 15-20 minutes. I'm not sure what other people's lives are like but my husband and I normally are asked to give a talk about every two years, if you move its more likely. For example you may be asked to speak before you move and in your new ward or congregation after you move..

The other night I complained to my husband its not fair. You jot down some bullet points and get up there and give the fun talk. You always pull out some story that I've never even heard even though we've been married for more than a decade, and everyone thinks you are fun. I write 2-4 rough drafts, lose sleep. Then while you are sleeping I type up a 7 page talk. You share the fun story, and I talk about how I better came to know God as I struggled with depression or something equally as lame. You get to look like the fun one and I get weepy.

My husband started laughing and said,"the jokes on them, I'm not the fun one".

For the sake of posterity I thought it would be fun to tell my process.
I am given a topic and I start researching it usually that day if not the next day or so. I let it mull around in my head for a while. Then I hammer out a talk in the next day or two. I like to get my to do list done, unless its cleaning then I like to stare at my phone. I get a rough draft typed and I think good, now I don't have to worry about it for the next week. A day or so later I then can't sleep and write an emotional mess of my deepest convictions. The next morning I think that would not be what should be shared in a public form, that must be for my journal. (No I do not have these things organized in a journal if I did do you think I would be blogging?) I am not embarrassed at all by my second draft and would be willing to share it with people in a smaller setting its just not really proper for a large group. I continue to jot down notes during this time, and then a night or two before I speak I sit down and write a combination of the two talks into something nice and flowing. Something far too long to give in 20 minutes.

Then, when I get up there I don't even know what I've said. I try to listen to the Holy Spirit and give the talk the Lord wants me to give. I mostly go off my notes, but I differently. I share more then is written and also less than is written at the same time. I don't even know what I've said half the time. Although I look out over the congregation while I speak I try not really to make eye contact. Once I sit down I look out at the congregation again except this time they aren't looking back at me, and I wonder what in the world did I tell those people because I can't remember, and I know its not the talk I prepared.

Two talks ago, I decided wrote a talk. First Draft. I knew it wasn't the talk the Lord wanted me to give, but it was the talk I wanted to give. It was filled with mostly quotes from church leaders, and absolutely NO personal stories. It was wonderfully vague and full of doctrine. As the day of my speaking assignment got closer I wasn't sleeping well. The night before I said, ok, fine, I'll write the talk you have been telling me to write. It was chalked FULL of personal antidotes and fewer doctrinal quotes (still plenty). I was not thrilled and I had known plenty of my fellow saints for about 4 years so I told them that this was not the talk I wanted to give but it was the talk I felt like the Holy Ghost told me to give, so here it goes...

Of coursed everyone liked it, I don't mean that pridefully. Even though it sounds like that. For whatever reason as a teenager I was usually asked to speak twice a year, and by the time I was 17, I had the opportunity to give a 25 minute talk. I come from a long line of eloquent speakers. Saying public speaking is one of my talents is like saying the starter of the high school basketball team is good at sports. Not only was it something I was born with and have worked on over the years. I really don't say this pridefully.

Anyway, so the last time I talked I sat down looked out over the congregation and there a few people visibly crying, like Kleenexes wiping eyes and such. And I thought oh golly gee! What did I just tell these people? The last time I talked I knew the Lord would inspire me to share a personal trial so I thought ok, I'm ready. I prepared it a mix of the way my husband does and I do. Then the day before my talk I was kind of having a melt down. My husband said what is wrong, I said its bath night, we have no food, and I still haven't prepared my talk. Before I said that I thought I did. So he bathed the kids while I went grocery shopping. Then he went to bed while I hammered out my 7 page talk. Yes, the Lord and I have a pattern. I wish we could skip to the third draft, but he is apparently more concerned about me learning than my ease. I should just accept this method as our relationship and stop being jealous of my husband's. For one, he works better on the fly than I do, he likes working under pressure, I like being prepared. He doesn't ever take notes when he is in school. When I was in school I took notes over everything the professor said then reread them and my textbook before a test. Clearly my husband and I have a different learning pattern.

The most awkward part is, Later a friend said, your talk was so good. Thank you. You are a really good public speaker. Thank you. Your husband is too. A follow with what I thought was a sheepish smile while I tried to come up with a response. All of a sudden she excitedly says, you already know that don't you?! How do you response to that?

Funny thing is I can't actually remember being nervous to give a talk. I'm sure in my past I was, as a child in Primary I know I was. Last time I was speaking, I lifted my hand up, I often talk with my hands. When all of sudden I realized it was shaking uncontrollably. So I gently put it back down on the podium and hoped no one noticed. As long as it was on the podium the shaking was contained. I later mentioned it to my husband, he totally noticed. I don't mind scripted public speaking even if I go off topic, but I do hate saying prayers in public. I'd rather always prepare a lesson or talk. A year ago I had to realize no one, I mean no one ever remembers a prayer, unless they are too long. So I'm good. Its helped me not hate saying them, but I don't volunteer, that and reading aloud. As a dyslexic I never volunteer to read out loud.