The Trials of a Busy Mom

Month: December 2015


2015 brought a lot of good. So much good.

-Missionary returned. He worked and started school again. He’s also got himself a cute girlfriend and we’ll see how that goes.
-We have TWO kids in college, now. Both of them are about halfway through their sophomore year. Megan will need to decide where she wants to apply to go next year, as Snow College is for getting your associates. I’m so glad she has good roommates this year (all of them) and that she is having fun.
-Natalie started teaching piano lesson AND got herself a part time job at CVS. She’s doing well at school, has lots of friends, enjoys debating, and is even out there dating.
-9th grade is good for Jenna. She is creative, always drawing, or playing video games. I think she may be a game artist someday.
-John is dyed his hair for halloween, and we are finally used to it being brown. Although he got a haircut today and it’s a bit blonder. Scouts is great for him. He enjoys school, too, which is great. He got a pogo stick for Christmas, too.
-Ryan continues to work at Control4. At home, he tinkers, fixes things, uses his 3-d printer, takes long bike rides, and works on all kinds of projects. He tolerates the cat, likes the chickens, now. He had too many days off that he didn’t take, so he’s ended up with every Thursday and Friday off for the past 6 weeks. He’s loved having the time to work on some things. Today, in fact, he installed speakers in the basement. I’m hoping I can talk him into painting the entry way this year.
-A big change for me this year was being called to be the Relief Society President in April. It was totally unexpected, and not something I thought I could do. But I did receive an answer that I would be blessed for accepting this calling, even with my time consuming bells calling. Playing bells is kind of like my part time job that I go to once a week and for three weeks a year. And I love it. I can honestly say the RS gig is not as bad as I thought it was going to be (at least not this year). We have such a wonderful ward. I love that my ability to care for people has increased. I don’t know if I can help them as much as I would want to, but I do my best. I love my counselors and really love the sisters we serve. I didn’t do a play this summer because of that calling, but we’ll see what 2016 brings.
-We did also host quite a few people this year. For a month in the winter we had those two Brazillian boys. That was really not a great experience, but we’re trying to put that behind us. We took a risk and hosted again, with Rika from Japan, who stayed for 2 1/2 weeks in the summer, and then Nozomu, who came from Japan to and stayed with us a week in October. Robin and Ron also came to stay with us twice. We are even considering hosting a full year exchange student again. Thinking about it.

Our chicken count is up to 14 right now. I was disappointed that the three chicks I got in the spring all turned out to be roosters, so I got three more chicks. I’m pretty sure one of them is a rooster, but if the other two are girls, I’ll be happy with that. 14 is a lot to keep through the winter, but I hate to get rid of them. I really enjoy the chickens, even if they aren’t pulling their weight right now in egg production.

For 2016, I’m sure we will see more changes. I’m hoping to get my teen chime choir going. Cole will maybe decide that she’s the one. Or she will break his heart. Megan will finish up at Snow College. John and Jenna will both move up to middle school and high school. So, even though I hope that not much will change, I do anticipate changes this year. Good ones.

May 2016 be a great year for you, too.

Sometimes it’s the little things

The church bag. Every mom has one. The church bags evolve through the years. What was once filled with cheerios, books, crayons and toys, now carries a huge Relief Society Binder, calendar, and many papers. It was time to get ready for church, and I had to make sure I had everything I needed. Can I take some stuff out so it’s not so heavy? Where’s my journal/notebook I like to have with me at church? Down at the bottom of the bag was a birthday notebook, tied with a bow. It’s not my month to deliver birthday gifts anymore. Just more stuff to lug around. Mine is the only birthday left this year, anyway. I should take it out. But in looking for something else, I didn’t take it out.

At church, I tried to take advantage of the few minutes before sacrament meeting to talk to a few people. I haven’t been in sacrament meeting for two weeks because of other music commitments, so it felt like I hadn’t talked to certain people in a while. I slid into the bench next to Ryan with about a minute to spare. Behind me, a young college student was sitting with her family. I haven’t seen her in quite a while, but thanks to facebook, I remembered that it was her birthday. “Happy Birthday!” I turned and said.

During the meeting (which was awesome, by the way–6 of our young single adults spoke on challenges they have had this past year, and what they have learned), I remembered that notebook in my bag. It was still sitting there, and it was her birthday. After sacrament meeting, I turned around and handed it to her and told her happy birthday once again.

Later, in Relief Society, the person conducting decided that everyone should sing happy Birthday to both this young sister and to me. We both could have done without that, but maybe people will remember our birthdays (Remembering my birthday is BIG with me, and I’m quite impressed when people DO remember it, since it’s right after Christmas and all).

Later, when hubby came home, he made a point to tell me that this young sister’s dad had come up to Ryan. He told him to tell me that he really appreciates the job I’m doing as the Relief Society President, and how sweet it was that I was prepared and gave her a gift. That touched me that he would think to pass along his gratitude. Today I didn’t really feel like I’m doing such a great job in this calling. Things have been so busy, and I feel like I haven’t been as available or as on top of things as I should have been. So it was so nice to hear this man’s sweet comment. As I thought about the birthday notebook in my bag, I realized that I was about to take that out, but a loving Heavenly Father knew that this sister was going to be there today, and he knew that she, like me, would really appreciate being remembered and thought of on her birthday.

angels quote

It’s moments like this that remind me that we are here to help each other, and Heavenly Father will help us to help each other. He will plant ideas in our heads, he will place people in our path, he REALLY is in the details of our lives. So many little coincidences go unnoticed, but if we pay attention we will notice. And we will feel His presence.

kimball quote

I’m thankful that I was able to fulfill a tiny need, and I’m also grateful that someone noticed, and was able to comment, thus helping fulfill My tiny need. I’m thankful for the church bag.

Leaving the comfort zone

Even though I’m an outgoing person, I don’t really enjoy going to visit people I have never met. Especially older, somewhat crotchety people who might be mean to me. (Crotchety? Is that even a word? I don’t mean people who crochet, but grumpy people). But because of my calling, I have to step out of my comfort zone and go and visit people sometimes. And it’s hard. I really have to psych myself up and do a little pep talk each time I make a visit. Today was no exception. We had cute little favors for each of the women in the ward for a little Christmas gift from the Relief Society. We handed them out on Sunday after our special Christmas lesson. But there were many who were not there that day, and we had to deliver them. I took 5. Three of them were easy. I had a nice chat with a friend I don’t see often enough when I delivered hers, another one wasn’t available when I went by, but I gave it to her son, and a third, I knew I would not catch her at home, so I put it in the mailbox (that’s not a cop-out, really!). But now it’s Wednesday, and I should have delivered the last two by now. One is a sister I have never met. I don’t think her husband is member, and she’s recently had some healthy problems. I really SHOULD have met her by now. But I was scared. The other is a new sister, and even though I’ve met her already, I knew she wouldn’t be home during the day, and I won’t have time to go by tonight, so I just left it at her house for her.

There is the bag with the little packages in the front seat of my car, so that every time I get in the car, I see them. And I feel guilty that I haven’t already gone and delivered.

Today, after another visit, I thought, “I need to go and deliver that package to Sister F.” I was right there, it’s day time (you can’t go visit old people at night), and I had no excuse.
Buck up!
I pulled into the driveway, went up to the door, still afraid of what they would say. No doorbell. That’s not a good sign. So I knocked. Mr. F came to the door. I don’t remember what I said, but he let me in to see his wife, and we talked a little bit. They were both nice, although not super friendly. But who can blame them, I am am literally a stranger coming into their house. I was blessed with courage to talk to them, and after asking about her health I noticed a case of trophy belt buckles. Wow! This old guy used to Rodeo and has won a TON of belt buckles. Who knew? We were able to talk about that for a minute and I realized that these are fascinating people and I would probably really enjoy learning more about them. I left them with the offer of help, and it was genuine.

As I was leaving, I was proud of myself. I had done it, and it wasn’t scary. No one yelled at me to “get off their lawn”, and no one was rude to me. I need to keep this feeling of courage for the next time I have to do this. And I’m sure there will be a next time.

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