1. I was in a shlump, but today I did some things I like (namely, bought some cute clothes for the kids and even a really cute top for me! and took pictures) and now I feel better!
(Reminds me of Dr. Seuss' Sleep Book:
And poor Mr. Bix!
Every morning at six,
poor Mr. Bix has his Borfin to fix!
It doesn't seem fair. It just doesn't seem right,
but his Borfin just seems to go shlump every night.
It shlumps in a heap, sadly needing repair.
Bix figures it's due to the local night air.
It takes him all day to un-shlump it.
the night air comes back
and it shlumps once again!
So don't you feel blue. Don't get down in the dumps.
You're lucky you don't have a Borfin that schlumps.)
2. I found a napkin on the counter that had this written on it:
IUEL NEVR MRMR FOR the GAB KecheN
I asked Ethne what it said and she translated it: I'll never murmur for the job kitchen.
Apparently she whined when she had to mop the kitchen floor (which is about 2' by 2') on Saturday, and Brett gave her talking-to about murmuring.
3. What is it about seeing things that you could buy that makes you want to buy them?? I mean, I never wear dangly earrings, only studs. Always. But I pass the jewelry display stands with all those earrings dangling from them, and even though I would never wear them- they would annoy me like crazy!-- they're SPARKLY and PRETTY and I want to buy some! Or when I was at the second-hand store and there were some baby backpack carriers, and I had a strong urge to get one even though we have one already. Ours does the job fine and I have no complaints about it. But these ones were newer! and fancier! and a good deal! Strange.
4. So my friend Lori lent me a book to read called 'We Were Not Alone, How an LDS Family Survived World War II in Berlin' and it was just horrifying. But not, because the people were amazingly faithful and miraculous things happened. I mean, TRULY amazing-- in one part the author had to get past a large group of Russian soldiers and was extremely frightened because Russian soldiers raped girls all the time and she was alone, and she prayed with all her strength that she would be protected, and then she literally walked right through them--even pushing one out of her way so she could get through-- and they didn't see her at all. Just like what once happened to Joseph Smith.
I just barely read another book about an LDS man (who became a general authority) who lived in post-war Germany, 'Yearning for the Living God' by F. Enzaio Busche, and it was very similar in that there were just so many miracles because of such incredible faith. In a way, this story he told kind of sums it up:
At a Christmas social once, I was sitting next to a woman from a recently opened country in Eastern Europe who was in the West for the first time and who was helping with the translation work. She was a convert of a little over a year.
I asked her how she liked America, and she was very enthusiastic and positive and had many good things to say. She told me that she was living with a family in Salt Lake City. She went to Church with them every Sunday and enjoyed the meetings and admired the members of the ward. Suddenly, she stopped and said, "One of these days, I wish I could invite all the members of my Salt Lake ward to come to my home branch." I asked her about her branch.
She told me about the poor circumstances they were all living in and about how difficult it was for the members to get to their Sunday meetings and the many sacrifices that they joyfully made. She said the most inspiring time for the members in her branch was testimony meeting... because they were all anxious to share the many miracles happening around them. They could not say enough about the love and most gracious care of the Lord. Then she said, "Once in awhile, we have holy angels visit and comfort and strengthen us." She added with a smile, "Can you imagine? I have found people in Salt Lake City who have never seen an angel." She laughed as if that were the strangest thing she had ever heard.
I read these two books and 'The Hiding Place' by Corrie ten Boom recently, and man did it ever emphasize the principle that trials--HARD trials--can just strengthen you like crazy if you turn to the Lord and not from him.
One more part of the book 'We Were Not Alone' - this is from after the war, when Berlin had had immense food shortages and no one could get any and they were all slowly starving, and then the American airlift began and there were FINALLY food and supplies available to buy again:
I took our grocery nets to the store, opened the door and stopped, staring in complete awe. There it was--cans of fish liver in oil; dried vegetables such as peas, beans, and potatoes; flour, rice, and oats; and sugar! Later there was even canned milk, peaches, and vegatables--food we hadn't seen since before the war, sitting on the shelves where it belonged! I couldn't stop sniffling as I gratefully placed the items on my shopping list into my nets. I heard other customers clear their throats, blow their noses, and sob wtih joy. What a wonderful blessing it is to buy food from a store!
It made me feel quite guilty for having actually grumbled a time or two about "having" to go to the store so often to feed my family. Perspective, I tell you.
5. So. News. Brett applied for some jobs in the States. He had a Skype interview with the University of Utah, and they asked his boss and co-worker for
letters of recommendation. (And his co-worker made HIM write it which really irks me!) BYU also asked for letters of recommendation and two writing samples. He should know fairly soon, by the end of January?, if either of them wants him to fly out for an interview. I'm trying not to think too hard about these things, just let whatever happens happen, but of course I am thinking about it.
6. Some good FHE games to play are the Sock Game, where everyone crawls around on the floor trying to pull off everyone else's socks before their own are pulled off (yes, someone does always end up crying, but those games are the best kinds!), and the Guess Whose Hand Game, where you close your eyes and someone shakes your hand and you have to guess whose it is. It is really difficult to tell Jethro's and Hazel's hands apart!! That reminds me, Jethro's feet are the same size as mine now! Crazy.
7. I always know when Hazel was the one who unloaded the dishwasher because all the cups are stacked in rainbow color order.
(And now for many Facebook statuses that I haven't yet posted on the blog)
8. When Orrin says 'Despicable Me' it sounds like 'Pickle Me' which is funny.
9. The sequel to Savvy, Scumble, that I ordered that Jethro, Hazel, and I have been waiting for finally arrived! I should have hidden it, but I just put it up on the shelf and Jethro spotted it and so we had to fight over it. I pulled rank though and said they may not read it until I do, because I am a selfish mother like that. (It was excellent just as I expected. Everyone read these books!)
10. Brett and Jethro went to a school meeting. When they got home Brett said, "Man, Jethro, you're a popular guy." And Jethro said, "No I'm not!" and Brett said, "What are you talking about-- a whole bunch of kids said hi to you." And Jethro said, "...I'm well-tolerated." It was hilarious.
11. I asked Jethro to show me his math worksheet and he said, "Well, I didn't do this one because these kinds make me flibbertyflabbergasted." I see.
12. I thought this interaction on myfamily was so funny:
Kami: Isabel said in family prayer tonight: "Please bless Nicolas not to grow up to be a weird dude."
Megan: Good job Isabel - I did not include that in my prayers in my youth and look what happened to my brothers!
Ethan: Psh- save it.
13. Leading into a question about building bridges, I said to Brett, "You're not a civil engineer." And he said, "No, I'm a very uncouth engineer." It actually took me a second, then I started laughing. (I'm sure there have been thousands of versions of this joke, but it still struck me as hilarious.)
14. Jethro: Where's Dad tonight?
Me: Ward council.
Jethro: WAR council???
Me: warD. With a d. Makes a difference.
15. Me: Guess what you guys?
Talmage and Ethne: What?
Me: I love you.
Talmage (with a snort of exasperation): Mom, you always say that. Why don't you ever do like a real surprise?!
16. So we had the missionaries over for dinner, and Jethro was holding/showing Wyatt to one of the elders. Wyatt was drooling, as usual, and Jethro said, "He drools a lot." And the elder said, "That's good--it means he's healthy." And then he kind of started laughing and he's like, "Not really. I totally just made that up." It was pretty hilarious, but you probably had to be there.
17. When we were getting out the air mattress for the girls so Grandma could sleep on their bed, Ethne said- completely seriously, "This is for floating on water, but sometimes we use it to sleep on." She has her priorities in order.
18. Instead of working, Talmage whined and complained all morning, and now he's very angry that the other kids have the audacity to be playing (since they already finished their chores) without him. After wandering out into the front room to play with them, I again told him to get back on task and he said, "But they keep INSTRACTING me!!"
It's definitely tough constantly being instracted.
19. Talmage was going through the grocery bags and found a jar of maple syrup. He clutched it to him and said, "Oh yay!! Sap!!"
20. Talmage: Mom, do you know why I asked to play with these [small lego-like toys] and then scattered them all around? Because I knew you would say to me to clean them up and then I could watch a movie.
Me: Honestly, you had that idea the whole time?
Me: You're sooo devious!
Talmage in an evil sorceror voice: I can look into your mind!!!
21. Me: Orrin, what's your favorite animal?
22. Orrin was playing with a car at the table, and Talmage wanted him to do some stunt and he said very intensely, "Do it high, like this, really. I TRUST YOU. You'll like it."
23. Talmage: "So what is Mickey Mouse supposed to BE, anyway? A mouse?"
24. Talmage: Mom, when I grow up should I marry Ethne or Hazel?
Me: You should marry me!!
Talmage: (makes disgusted sound) Mom, you'll be DEAD by then!
25. (from when I was in Utah) We were chatting and eating snacks around the table, and there was a gallon of milk beckoning, but no cups. Obviously I didn't want to walk all the way to the cupboard to get one, so I just drank from the jug. My brother Wyatt looked at me disgustedly and said, "Don't do that!! Use the cup!" and proceeded to pour a miniscule amount into the lid and drink it.
26. Tonight in the car, my mom said, "Talmage is all boy." and I said, "Except a little bit of rattlesnake." But Talmage said no, so I said, "part fish because you're such a good swimmer now?" and he thought for a while and finally said, "Part block of wood cause I can float good in water."
27. Yesterday Talmage was talking on the phone to Brett, telling him about what he's been learning in swimming lessons. Brett said, "Did you drown?" and Talmage said, "Not even one time!"
28. So we went to the AT&T store to get an American number for a couple months, and it came up that we were visiting from Switzerland, so the guy asked Brett what he's doing there, and he answered something like "Researching surgical robotics" and the guy said, "Whoa, intense." Then he paused, then said "...I sell phones."
29. Orrin has REALLY been enjoying riding the motorcycle with Daddy around the farm. Today he had a much needed two-hour nap, and when Brett went and got him up to eat, he said, "Hey buddy! You want some lunch?" And Orrin groggily said, "Mogygo?"
30. Conversation at dinner regarding a new kind of cheese we were trying:
Hazel- It's good.
Me- I'll tell you whether it's good or not.
Hazel- Why can't we make an opinion?
Brett- Opinions aren't allowed in a dictatorship.
Ethne- But we're not on a ship!
31. Tonight the kids taught Orrin to answer the question 'What is your name?' with 'Havoc.'
32. So the kids trashed Talmage and Jethro's room this morning. So I went in there just now, and saw all the stuff still out and told Talmage to clean his room. He comes skipping out a minute or two later and said he had finished it. I told him he could not have finished it in that amount of time, and went in, and sure enough- the main floor was clean, but everything was stuffed under the bed. So I pulled everything out from under the bed, and told him this time he had to actually put things where they go (as if this were the first time this concept were explained to him...), and brought in a garbage can so he could throw away the trash. He promptly comes out again and says he's done. So I look under the bed, and it actually looks pretty good. But then I turn around and spy, in the space between the open door and the wall-- everything. So, instead of just throwing the garbage into the garbage can, which was closer, he took it, along with everything else, behind the door. Boys are so... awesome.