First Day of School (x3)

18 09 2010

I have four children. Three of them go to the same school. But we still ended up with three first days this year, since Rainbow went and met her teacher on the regular first day (and stayed only an hour) and rode the bus the day after that.

Eden was happy to have her picture taken.

(More than once.)

Zack, however, refused to let me take his picture. Not even for Grandma (sorry, Mom!).

But I sneaked one anyway.

Miss Rainbow on the first day of first grade.

Eden didn’t mind posing again.

Colby started school a week later, and he is loving it.

(Even if the mornings are still a little rough.)

I’m taking another class; it starts on Monday. Hooray for school!

Our Version of ‘The Cheese Touch’

16 09 2010

We call it ‘The Cheerio Chair.’

Even Colby avoids it.

Seeking Fashion Advice

15 09 2010

As I got dressed this morning, I pulled a shirt off the hanger and thought, “Hey, this is another one of those things I wore in high school.” I consider it one of my “Western-style” shirts (I even have one with mother-of-pearl snaps!) and wear it when I want to channel my inner Idaho.

[Digression: Nevermind that I wasn’t really a cowgirl. I still like to pretend.

And on that note, I have to share an embarrassing story that happened this summer. We went to Reed’s Dairy Days with our cousins, where there was fake-cow roping, fake-cow milking, a milkman maze, a baby-farm-animal petting zoo, seriously delicious ice cream, a dairy tour, and horse rides. Anyone with an 8-year-old girl knows that horses are the beginning and end of all fascinations. Eden begged to ride, and Rainbow said she’d do it if I came with her. It was a blisteringly hot day, but the morning had been overcast so I chose to wear jeans. They were sweaty. We waited in line for about 1/2 hour, baking in the Idaho August sun. The kids were excited, choosing and then changing their minds about which horse was ‘the best one’ and hoping they got that horse to ride (or be led) around the corral. When it was our turn, I asked the fellow helping (who looked way too Goth to be working with horses, but whatever) if it was all right if I rode along. He said fine and for me to get on first. Well, I asked where he wanted me (the saddle seemed so small), “Here on the back?” He said, “Yes.”

(Here’s where it gets embarrassing.)

They had a platform to stand on in order to mount. I stuck my left foot in the stirrup and I went to swing my leg over–effortlessly, you know, just how you see real cowboys do it–but for some reason the message got scrambled in my brain, or maybe my legs just don’t know how to do that move, or possibly they were too sweaty and got stuck on my jeans. The only thing that can describe it is this: AWKWARD. I kind of shuddered and heaved instead of smoothly swinging my leg over. Ugh.

That isn’t all, though! Oh, no. I misunderstood Goth farmhand and actually sat behind the saddle. I figured out that was wrong when everyone was laughing. After he handed Rainbow up, I tried to sort of leap frog over the saddle end to get in behind her. Of course, my jeans were still sticking and good grief I felt dumb. I just sort of smiled and waved and laughed and said, “I’m a natural-born cowgirl.”

End digression.]

Anyway, please tell me: should this shirt be retired? I like it, but it’s possible I’m not seeing it clearly. Does it scream mid-90s? Please advise me, dear readers. You’re my only hope.

Wait. That’s Obi Wan Kanobi. Still, tell me what you think.


Obedience Motivations

12 09 2010

In Sunday School today, we had a lesson about obedience. We focused a lot of time on one paragraph in our manual, which said:

“Each of us should ask ourselves why we obey God’s commandments. Is it because we fear punishment? Is it because we desire the rewards for living a good life? Is it because we love God and Jesus Christ and want to serve Them?”

It’s obvious what the answer should  be. But I was more interested in what the answer, for me, was.

I thought about myself and my motivations. I’ve always been obedient, and I never did have a time where I felt like I needed to rebel in a large way. I try–very hard, actually–to  keep God’s commandments. But why do I do it?

I frankly told my class that a lot of times I think I obeyed for the reward, the promised blessings. Throughout the rest of the class I pondered that, and wondered how I could change that to obeying because I love God.

I mean, I do love God. But is that why I obey Him? I started thinking about each motivation to obey as a different step. Problem was, I could see how in some things I stand on more than one step at a time.

Then I started thinking about my mom.

I love my mom. Heck, pretty much everybody loves my mom.  Still, I started thinking back to my childhood and how she would  make me do chores. I loved her when I was a kid, but I hated to do my chores.

I only did them because I would get in trouble if I didn’t.

Hmm. Sound familiar?

Eventually, I got to where I would do them because it was easier than arguing. Besides, I knew that if there was anything I wanted to do, any special privilege I needed her permission for, she was a lot more likely to say yes when I had done what she’d asked without giving her grief.

(Digression: We used to always ask Mom what she wanted for her birthday and Mother’s Day and Christmas, and she would always say, “Happy kids.” I didn’t get that until I had kids of my own. Now I always ask for the same thing. “Just stop fighting for an entire day and it will be the best present ever!”)

Curiouser and curiouser.

Today, when I go to visit my mom, I look for things to do for her. I wash dishes, I sweep floors, I weed, I vacuum. I do it because I only see her twice a year and I’m not able to help her out as much as I’d like to.  I do it because it gives me joy to make her life easier.

I do it because I love her.

That’s my challenge, then. To take something that is hard, that I perhaps don’t like doing, and figuring out how to love to do it because I love the person I’m doing it for. Possibly in this, practice really does make perfect.


2 09 2010

Every year at my family reunion, we have a photo contest. We choose five or six categories, then everybody brings their shots to the reunion and we vote. This year, the categories were Hot, Travel/Journey/Destination, Hairy, Music, Orange, and Self-Portrait. (“Self-Portrait” is a standing category, and it’s always fun to see what people come up with. The best one, though, was our very first photo contest. Everyone is very secretive about their photos right up until we lay them out on the table. First year, we were still kind of figuring out ground rules and whatever, and my dad lays out this picture of himself in a wife beater, flexing his muscles and holding a wrench. With a fake tattoo. Seriously. Best. Photo. Ever.)

Anyway, here are my photos from this year. I didn’t win–but watch your back, Sandi, ’cause I’m gunning for the prize next year!







And speaking of contests, I only had one taker on the tampon-packaging challenge. My brother didn’t enter because he said he didn’t need tampons. Hello! As if that could be considered a ‘fabulous prize’. How tacky.

Even if other people had entered, Mandy still would have won because she got all the dates right except the first. That box of tampons was from 1998, if you can believe it. So Mandy, I’ll be sending you your fabulous prize–as soon as I finish making it. It’s going to be, well, fabulous.