Sunday, January 29, 2012

White Flag

They finally got me, my white flag went up tonight.  I just couldn't win this one.  With being sick and Theo working on his school work it was just a losing battle. 

The kids actually won this round. 

I've read so many articles, and had so many people, old and young tell me..."Cherish these moments, they go by so fast!".  And my response was always..."How about YOU cherish them!".  HA!  But seriously, I would LOVE to cherish them if they would just give me a chance!  Am I right?!

With Theo being in the Bishopric at church, I'm left to sit by my lonesome with 5 kids during sacrament meeting.  Of course it's always, "She's sitting in my spot!", "I want that book, crayon, coloring book...etc.!", "I'm hungry!", "I gotta go potty!" and none of it is spoken in a hushed voice.  I swear my kids all suffer from VI, voice immodulation, where they can't control the volume of their voices. (Can you name that SNL character? :D)  And it's not even the talking that is the bad part, they must be secretly training for the WWF because they are constantly rolling around in the pews, on the floor trying to get one another in head locks.  I would not be surprised if they try to pile drive one another!

Of course when we get home, they just pick up where they left off.  The fighting, yelling, crying...all at top volume.  This isn't just on Sunday, during the week they are fighting all morning until I drop them off at school, then as soon as they get in the car it's fighting and yelling.  I don't ever wish for my kids to grow up quickly, or that this part of parenting would all be over.  I just want to be able to enjoy this time with them.  I really do want to cherish them, but they sure know how to make it difficult. 

My family, meaning my brothers and sisters, aren't really huggy and we don't tell each other that we love one another, so I'm finding it hard to figure out how to get my kids to do this with one another.  If I could just figure out some way to bring harmony into the home between kids then maybe I could have those special cherishing moments.  Theo and I are at our wits end trying to keep the peace, and it's definitely wearing on us.  Our methods are going largely unnoticed by our children, and I'm running out of ideas.  The constant refereeing is taking its toll, we seriously just lay in the bed next to each other in the fetal position holding on to one another waiting for the screaming to stop and for harmony to magically replace the hostile environment!   

So I propose a question to all you out there in the blogging world, how do you keep harmony in your house between siblings and how do you keep your sanity while you wait for the harmony to take effect?

Friday, January 20, 2012


I know I haven't blogged in a while. This past Christmas has got to be the MOST stressful Christmas I can ever recall! I've never made so many cookies, sugar cookies, molasses gingerbread cookies and divinity...Oh the DIVINITY!!! I made at least 10 batches of that heavenly treat! Then there was the parties! Cookie exchanges, church parties, family parties. So much to do and not enough time to do it all in.

Then the second week this month we took a family trip to Disney World and Theo and I ran the Disney Half Marathon, and he then went on to run the Full Marathon the next day. Without skipping a beat we spent a whole week ping ponging to different Disney parks. We rode rides, saw shows and ate and ate and ate, and walked and walked and walked! I actually filled my memory card on my brand new camera the last day we were there. I may get some pictures up, but just the thought of going through all those pictures makes me exhausted!

We got home and then Theo got really sick, like lymph nods so swollen they resembled a Roosters wattle. We took a trip to the ER and two buttocks shots later he is on the mend.

I thought once the Christmas season and our race was over I would be able to breathe and just relax for a while. But we got the Military Mardi Gras Ball coming up, a cruise Theo and I have to go on during Spring Break and the biggest news of all, looks like we are transferring out after the school year. We were suppose to have another year here, but Theo out ranked his position. So now my head is swimming with selling the house, what if we don't sell the house, do we really want to rent, are we going to find a nice place where we are going? So many thoughts and they are really making my brain weary.

But enough complaining, I'll try to do better, just as soon as I feel better.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


The Room

by Joshua Harris

In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features save for the one wall covered with small index-card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endlessly in either direction, had very different headings. As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read "Girls I Have Liked." I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one.

And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was. This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn't match.

A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching. A file named "Friends" was next to one marked "Friends I Have Betrayed."

The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. "Books I Have Read," "Lies I Have Told," "Comfort I Have Given," "Jokes I Have Laughed At." Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: "Things I've Yelled at My Brothers." Others I couldn't laugh at: "Things I Have Done in My Anger," "Things I Have Muttered Under My Breath at My Parents." I never ceased to be surprised by the contents. Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped.

I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my 20 years to write each of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature.

When I pulled out the file marked "Songs I Have Listened To," I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn't found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of music, but more by the vast amount of time I knew that file represented.

When I came to a file marked "Lustful Thoughts," I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded.

An almost animal rage broke on me. One thought dominated my mind: "No one must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!" In an insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn't matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it

Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh. And then I saw it. The title bore "People I Have Shared the Gospel With." The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand.

And then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that they hurt started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key.

But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him. No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus.

I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn't bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read every one?

Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn't anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn't say a word. He just cried with me.

Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card.

"No!" I shouted rushing to Him. All I could find to say was "No, no," as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn't be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood.

He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards. I don't think I'll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, "It is finished."

I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.

What are you going to write on your cards this year?