Friday, June 25, 2010

Surrendering to the Monster List /Love the One You're With

List Obsesson -

I am a list-making addict. I admit it. And even though I know that if I would spend more time doing the things I need to do instead of reorganizing them on lists - I would get more accomplished. But I can't help myself. So in anticipation of the next 3 weeks when I will be flying back and forth across the country, welcoming a new grandchild into the world, pampering the new little mother, welcoming home a returning missionary and trying to be a wife/mother long distance my list-making obsession soared to new heights.

I made a list that was so comprehensive, so lofty (it even includes replacing some sheetrock in the laundry room that was removed a year ago to do a plumbing repair) and so optimistic that I've been calling it The Monster List. Every day I make adjustments (this means I add all the things from yesterday that I didn't accomplish to today's portion of the to-do list) and mark things off as they get done. In my defense - I did do a lot of things. But because of the sheer number of things that have now landed on 'today' - I accept that I will not get it all done. I will not sheetrock the laundry room. I will not paint the living room or finish painting my bedroom (a project that was mostly completed duirng spring break). I may not have my house spotlessly clean when I leave. But now it's time to turn my focus to packing and preparing for my trip - since I leave in about 24 hours.

Always missing someone -

I am so excited to get to Idaho and spend some time with Emily and Laura and Josh and Harrison. And obviously I can't wait to meet little baby 'whatshisname'. I have been looking forward to it for months now and feel so blessed that the Lord opened the way for me to be able to go - not once - but twice to visit this summer. But while I am gone I will miss Jamie's 25th birthday (making his cake and a Mexican fiesta for my family to eat without me on Sunday in his honor is on the Monster List), I will miss Aaron's 24th birthday (Grace is making a pie for his birthday 'cake' and he will be honored at the Mexican fiesta as well), and I will miss Clay's 13th birthday (I'm taking him and some friends to see Karate Kid today as an advance celebration and then Cathy and Grace are going to make him a cake and fix his birthday dinner next weekend). Not to mention that Butch and Andy - who both work very hard - will have to fend for themselves food-wise and laundry-wise while I'm gone. And Grace won't have anyone to feel sorry for her because she doesn't feel good while she's pregnant. I won't be here to babysit for Cathy while she attends to her Young Women duties. And I won't see my Alabama grandchildren for 2 weeks. Weds night when I was saying goodbye to Andie (Cathy and her family were leaving for vacation on Thurs) I asked her what I was going to do if I couldn't see her face for 2 weeks. She shook her head and said, "Probably cry." She's probably right.

But anyway, I'm trying to ignore the negatives and concentrate on the happiness and blessings the next few weeks will bring. I pray that Laura will finish this pregancy easily and safely. I pray that little 'whoever' will arrive healthy and quickly so I can have them settled as much as possible before I have to leave to come home. I pray that Tommy will make it across the world without incident and return to us. I'm afraid that I weary the Lord sometimes. I do pray a lot! Thanks goodness I know He's always listening!!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New Approach to Blogging

I'll admit that I feel a little intimidated by blogging. I feel like I have to have something worthwhile to say - which is why I so rarely post anything! So I've decided to go back to the original format I used to use when I kept my 'journal' on my website. I'll just try to write weekly about what's going on in our family. It will rarely be profound (and sometimes not even interesting). But at least I'll be blogging!!!!

Here's my first try at turning over a new leaf.

June 7-14, 2010

Since I am getting ready for Tommy to come home and for me to be gone out to Laura's for the baby's arrival - I had a busy week full of trying to get this house organized and catching up on projects and things that I don't have time for during the school year. I finally made Banx his baby quilt (that I should have given him over a year ago). I wanted to make Laura's baby one but couldn't very well do that when I still owed Banx one! So I got them both done and it was so fun I went ahead and made a pink one just in case Grace has a girl (she won't for sure now - but I'll use it eventually). Abbie didn't get her "Gram Quilt" until after Andie was born so 5 years is my record for latest baby blanket.

Clay got poison ivy while working in the yard with our neighbor across the street and I doctored it all week and finally surrendered on Sat and took him to the doctor. They gave him a steroid shot (he was thrilled and is expecting to have huge muscles any day now) and a graduated dosage packet that he has to take for 13 days. But the poison ivy is much better.

Andy woke up sick on Tuesday night. He threw up for two days - from what I assume was a stomach virus. Clay caught it too and so I had them both sick. Luckily neither Butch nor I caught it.

Butch found out that he will not be able to take off work for our trip to Laura's in July. We were planning for Butch, Tommy, Andy and Clay to fly out on July 17th and bless the baby on the 18th. But Butch graciously offered to stay home alone and let the boys go on. Then he and I will fly out over Labor Day weekend and that's when the baby will be blessed. Tommy and Emily will be out west at school so they'll be able to attend. Andy and Clay will miss the blessing - but not any school. So I guess it all worked out okay. Just not the way I'd planned (surprise, surprise).

On Thurs Grace went to the doctor and got to hear her baby's heartbeat and they were so excited. Then I came in and saw that I had an email from Kirk Shaw at Covenant telling me that my new book Murder by Design has been officially accepted for publication. It will be released in October - which is very exciting. Then Emily called and said that she had been awarded (without even applying for) a $500 scholarship at BYU-I. It will pay what she owes the bookstore and her July rent since the job she got didn't work out as well as she'd planned. That was a huge blessing.

On Friday Butch stopped by the Korean food store and bought anchovies and kimchee and all kinds of things that he likes to eat and I don't. But that's fine because I'm on a very restrictive diet and can't eat much of anything. The good news is, though, that I've lost 27 pounds! I am so proud of myself and so sorry that I didn't take control sooner so that I wouldn't have made all this necesary....

Anyway, on Saturday we were just trying to get Clay ready for his first scout camp.

On Sunday I had to teach YW's and it was a lesson called "Sustaining Missionaries through Letters". It was about writing missionaries and encouraging them and not saying negative stuff or telling them how much fun they were missing at home and stuff. I had the full-time missionaries come in and tell how much letters from friends had meant to them on their missions and then we gave them each a giant candy bar. Then we made up a little box for the missionaries serving from our ward (except Tommy - a package couldn't get to him before he comes home) and then the girls wrote them notes to put in the box with the candy. So it turned out pretty good. After church we had a "Linger-Longer" potluck dinner. I made lasagna and a cake as my contributions and Andy and Clay stayed for it. I went home and ate my turkey sandwich instead. I had a rare burst of organization on Sat night and made an extra lasagna for our Sunday Evening Family Gathering Dinner so I didn't have to do much on Sunday to get ready for that.

Then Monday morning I woke up at 3:00 am and emailed with Tommy. Only 3 more chances to do that. Then he'll be home. YAY!!!!

Until next week...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Baptismal Blessings

These are some beautiful pictures of my oldest grandchild, Abbie Grace Acker, taken by Carissa Brown ( Abbie will be baptized on Friday, April 30, 2010, her eighth birthday. And she will wear the dress I made for her mother to wear when she was baptized, nearly 22 years ago.

I have thought a lot about my own baptism as I've prepared to give a talk at Abbie's. My father was in the Army at the time and we were living on Fort Shafter - which is near Honolulu, Hawaii. My father was doing his medical internship at Tripler Army Hospital and was gone from home a lot. My mother, who was dealing with 5 young children - including a newborn - and the beginning symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, still took the time to make me a beautiful white dress. The fabric was dotted Swiss with eyelet lace. Once I was dressed she had me sit down and write all the events of my special day. I still have that paper, written in my childish handwriting, now a piece of my history. Then she let me go and show the neighbors how cute I looked. Finally it was time to go to the church. I'm not sure why - but we were locked out and I remember a few moments of horror - thinking that my baptism wasn't going to happen. But my father saved the day by climbing around a ledge to a back door or window and somehow got us in. I think it was his first time to baptize anyone, but he did a great job. And afterwards he and my mom took me out to dinner at a restaurant (a rare and therefore very special occasion). It was a beautiful day.

I've also thought a lot about Cathy's baptism. I was a busy mother too - with four children and pregnant with my fifth (Tommy, who is about to complete his mission to Uganda/Ethiopia in July). She was my oldest child and so we were all excited to have the first baptism in our family. We wanted her to be prepared so we challenged her to read the entire Book of Mormon before her baptism and she completed this goal with hours to spare. We gave her a set of scriptures with her name engraved on them. And of course I made her a beautiful white dress out of eyelet fabric. Her birthday came and we explained that the 'celebration' would be limited this special year because we wanted the focus to be on the baptism itself. Friends and relatives traveled to be with us. And then her father, who I know had some previous baptizing experience, baptized Cathy.

So on Friday when I attend Abbie's baptism, it will move this wonderful event into yet another generation. I am so thankful for Abbie and the joy she is in my life. I'm thankful for her righteous desires and good example to her younger cousins. When Butch asked her why she wanted to get baptized she said "Because Jesus asked John the Baptist to baptize Him and I'm supposed to do everything Jesus did." I thought that was a perfect answer. And I'm also thankful for Cathy and Ricky - for trying so hard to be good parents.

As John said, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." 3 John 1:4