Monday, May 25, 2009

A Memorable Memorial Trip

My maternal grandparents lived in Annabella, Utah when they were a young couple. While living there, they lost their first child to kidney failure (which we now beleive was a complication of Hyperoxaluria, the same disease my mother died from). She was twelve years old when she died, and it broke my Grandparent's hearts. Her name was Twila, and she died before my mom was born. I have always enjoyed hearing stories about her, and have for some reason felt a special connection to her, but I had never been to visit her grave.
My husband suggested the boys and I visit her grave since we are down here near Annabella (by the way, the last 'a' is silent, making it sound like Annabelle). Since my Dad and stepmom were out of town, and it was Memorial Day weekend, I decided it would be a good time to go.
The cemetary isn't very big, so it was easy to find her headstone. We took some pictures and spent a while there enjoying the peaceful scenery.
We were about ready to leave when a vehicle pulled up behind my van, which was blocking the narrow road that goes up the center of the cemetary. I quickly started to get my kids in the van so I could get out of their way. An older gentleman rolled down his window and said, "You don't have to leave on account of us!" We started to talk a bit, and he asked me which grave I was visiting. It turned out he was a good friend of my Grandpa's back when they lived in Annabella! After talking for a while, he and his wife offered to show me the old house my grandparents had built and lived in. I, of course, accepted the offer. We drove to the house, took some more photos, then said goodbye to our new found friends, and headed back home.
It turned out to be a great trip. Here are some photos:
We stopped to get some pictures by the sign. The boys had fun climbing on the rocks.
My four-year-old took this one. Not too bad.
Me next to the headstone. My four-year-old took this one, too.

My Aunt Twila's headstone.
The boys and me in front of the house my grandparents built.

Those are turkey coops in the background, built with the same stone as the house was built with. My Grandpa built them and raised turkeys.
A side view of the house.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Gentle Reminder

The day has been getting better since my last post. We went on a nice drive over the mountain and to the lake, where we drove through the campgrounds to scout out a nice place to go camping when my siblings come to visit in June. The boys loved seeing all the tents and firepits (the campgrounds were full due to Memorial Day weekend), and they got really excited to go camping in a couple of weeks (yes, I'm going camping when I'm 37 weeks pregnant; crazy, I know).

They slept on the drive back, then we had a simple dinner and I got them to bed early without too much complaint on their part.

While I was lying next to my oldest's bed talking to him in the semi-darkness (as is our ritual), I noticed a change in the light that was peeking through the window. It was suddenly more yellow and vibrant. Once I said goodnight to him and left, I hurried out to the front porch, where I was happily greeted by a gorgeous rainbow! There was also a gentle breeze, a sprinkling of rain, and the clean, fresh smell that so often comes with rain.
I just stood there soaking it all in. An overwhelming sense of peace came over me, and I was reminded of how much God loves me. I also thought of how blessed I am to be a mother to my two (soon to be three!) wonderful children, and how important the work I'm doing as a mother is to God's great plan of salvation. I realized that though I often get frustrated and sometimes feel like a failure, in general, I'm doing pretty good as a mother, and I have a lot to be thankful for.

A Day of Rest?

I'm very frustrated right now. I used to love Sundays, but with two young boys, it's hardly a day of rest anymore. I spend most of sacrament meeting so focused on keeping them quiet that I only hear bits and peices of the speaker's talks. And though I used to use the time during which the sacrament is passed to reflect on my own spirituallity, remember the Savior, and truly think about my baptismal covenants, now I just spend that time fretting about whether or not my kids are distracting the rest of the congregation from this sacred ordinance.

I'd like to spend the majority of the day after church reading scriptures, the Ensign, and other church materials, or taking a much needed nap, or quietly meditating, but those no longer seem to be options. After lunch today, I let the kids play outside for a while, then we read and I put them down for naptime and quiet time. My youngest usually still takes a nap, and even if he doesn't sleep, he will just play quietly in his crib during naptime.

It's a different story with my oldest. He seems to need constant attention! I told him to have quiet time in his room today so that I could take a nap. I gave him plenty of things to do in there. He has puzzles, coloring books, picture books and toys to play quietly with. I left him in there at two o'clock, and told him to stay until I came and got him.

Then I went to my room to read and relax. I read an article from the Ensign, then lay down for a nap. At 2:20 (probably five minutes in to my nap), I was awakened by my oldest coming in to show me one of his toys. I groggily told him to go back to his room until quiet time was over. He left, but he didn't go to his room. He went into his brother's room and started talking and laughing with him. I don't know if he woke him up, but he knows he's not supposed to go in there during naptime. I got out of bed and angrily told him to go back to his room and stay in there until quiet time was over. This, of course, made them both cry, which is turn, made me feel frustrated and guilty. I was unable to rest after that.

This scenerio is not uncommon for us on Sundays. In fact, it is the norm. My oldest always says he hates Sunday, and I can't really blame him. He doesn't get to do a lot of the fun things he does on other days. Things like going to the store or the library, jumping on the trampoline, running through the sprinklers, or helping me with the laundry. I feel like I've already ruined him and he's only four years old. I would like to help him focus on things we get to do on Sunday, rather than those we should refrain from doing, but, honestly, what is there for a four-year-old to do? He says that he hates primary, and he just seems bored the rest of the day.

How do I teach my children to look forward to and enjoy the Sabbath? How do I get to a point where I look forward to it like I used to, rather than fretting about what to do with my children all day? What are some things you do with your chilrdren on Sunday? I know part of my frustration stems from the fact that I don't have my husband here with me now to help out, but even before we moved here, I still often got frustrated and was at a loss of activities to do with my kids on Sunday. If you have any suggestions, please offer them!!!

Since quiet/naptime was a flop, we are going for a drive now. That is something we frequently do on Sundays to pass the time. The kids are strapped down, and though I can't sleep, at least we can listen to church music and enjoy the beauties of the earth and each other's company. I'm feeling better now after venting. Blogs can be good for that sometimes.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

You Can't Tell a Book by it's Cover

This is in response to a blog post by my sister-in-law (hi, Kristen!). She made a list of six books she couldn't put down, six she had put down, and six she made herself finish, no matter how agonizing. So, I've done the same:

Six books I couldn't put down:
1. Holes by Louis Sachar

2. The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

4. The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis (the second time I read it... I had a hard time getting through it the first time around because it was so dark and dreary, but I LOVED the ending, so when I picked it up again, I couldn't put it down because I was so anxious to get to the ending)

5. Anthem by Ayn Rand

6. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate Dicamillo

Six books I have put down:
1. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (what a slooooow start! I just coudn't get into it and haven't picked up a Harry Potter book since).

2. Ursula Under by Ingrid Hill

3. The Work and the Glory series (I think I put down the third one and haven't picked it up since.)

4. Lincoln: A Photo Biography by Russell Freedman

5. On Becoming Babywise by Gary Ezzo (I started reading this when my first baby was a few weeks old and I was in the throws of what I now think was post-partum depression. I didn't just put it down, I threw it across the room and put a dent in the wall. I think I may have jumped on it and screamed at it, too.)

6. How Spider Saved Halloween by Robert Kraus (I was reading this for a book report when I was in first grade, and I kept falling asleep... I don't think I ever finished it or the report. Not that it's not a good story; I was just tired.)

Six books I have made myself finish no matter how agonizing:
1. The truth is, if I don't like a book, I don't finish it. So I don't have any books in this category (unless you count textbooks, but I'm not going to)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Trip to the Lake

This was a few weeks ago, but I want to post these pictures. I took the boys to a nearby lake for a picnic. Though it was sunny, the wind was freezing!! We braved the wind to eat our sandwiches on a blanket near the lake, then ran to the van for shelter. It was simply too cold to eat Otter Pops out in the feirce wind! It was somewhat disapointing, but still a fun little trip. Guess we'll have to try again sometime and hope for warmer weather and less wind.