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Look carefully...at the seemingly small moments...in the constant shaping of souls.- Neal A.Maxwell


18 year old J had the day off work and wanted to go to the coast.  I wanted to go, 9 year old B wanted to go, 14 year old C did not (my husband did not have the day off).  After trying entreating and bribing J simply picked C up and carried him to the van.  It was comical to watch and C was laughing but he still did not want to go.  I told J that C should stay home if he did not want to come.  C thanked me and got out of the van.  J said if C wasn't going he wasn't going and got out of the van as well.  I asked B if he still wanted to go - the answer was yes.  I called J on my cellphone, from the driveway, to make sure he did not want to join us.  He was sure.  A block from home B said he would actually prefer going to the duck pond (a five minute drive) rather than going to the coast (an hour drive).  B and I spent a couple of hours at the duck pond and then ran errands.  When we arrived home C told us that J had gone to the coast to join us.  J came in shortly after.  He said he looked for us at our usual beach, at the aquarium, at our usual restaraunt and at the waterfront.  He asked where we had been.  I told him we went to the duck pond and ran errands.  He wanted to know why we hadn't told him our change of plans.  Arrrrgh!  This all occured a few weeks ago.

This Saturday [meaning yesterday - not 6 days from now :) ] my husband, D, asked if I wanted to go to the coast.  I had a Sunday School lesson I really needed to prepare so I told him that although I would love to go I needed to stay home but maybe the boys would want to go.  J wanted to go, C wanted to go, B wanted to go.  D told them to get ready.  J and C were surprised that my husband meant going to the coast that day.  I suggested to D that maybe B would want to go to the duck pond.  I did not want to relive a few weeks ago.  Apparently neither did J or C because they decided "right now" was an okay time for the coast after all.  With the four of them going how could I possibly stay home?

The coast was COLD and WINDY.  The sand BLEW and PELTED our legs, arms and faces.  We had sand in our eyes, in our mouths, in our hair, in our clothes.  By the time we left we were gritty and chilled to the bone and yet we had a great time.  Just thinking about our day at the coast makes me happy.  D said today, "Yesterday was a lot of fun, even though it was miserable."

"Are you going to give him/her that power over you?" Is a question I ask my boys when they allow someone else to impact their actions or emotions in a negative manner.  A few weeks ago when J chose to not spend his day off at the coast because C chose not to go I asked J if he was willing to let C have the power over his day off - apparently he was.  Yesterday with each person choosing to spend time together and choosing to enjoy that time, regardless of the circumstances, was power too.  But rather than allowing someone/something to be a negative influence - each person chose to be a postive influence and the power of that combined was sunshine to our souls.

Clouds, windshields and this Wednesday

The clouds yesterday were beautiful.  I took multiple pictures of them while walking.  I have been thinking of the people affected by the recent east coast earthquake and possible hurricane.  When I was expecting my third child I was violently ill for the first 6 months.  During that time a friend called to tell me she had been out running with her kids.  I did not understand what she was trying to say.  She explained that she knew I was going through a hard time and wanted to let me know that sometime in the near future I would be out running with my kids again.  My prayers are with those affected by the earthquake and weather.  I was in San Francisco during the quake of '89 - but yesterday the clouds were beautiful.


clouds 008.JPG

clouds 005.JPG


Today while running errands with my two younger boys a bird left a calling card on our windshield.  I stopped at the gas station where my oldest son was working.  I asked if he would clean the spot on my windshield while he was filling the tank.  He took the sponge and carefully scrubbed all around the blotch and then carefully squeegeed around it - the whole while leaving the spot intact.  (He did eventually clean the entire windshield - the three of us in the van were laughing pretty hard by that point however).


This evening (Thursday) I was asked to attend a meeting next Wednesday.  The man who asked me, paused and asked how I defined "next Wednesday".  I said, "In six days."  He asked me when "this Wednesday" would be.  I said, "Yesterday."  He said that "this Wednesday" is in 6 days and "next Wednesday" is in 13 days in his opinion but his wife defines it the same way I do.  A female walked by and I asked her opinion.  She agreed with me and the man's wife.  My husband agreed with the man.  Interesting.

A bit of a challenge

Missionaries from my church, LDS, asked me to put a profile on mormon.org  The profile asks 5 things 1) a picture, 2) a brief intro, 3) About me, 4) Why I am a Mormon and 5) How I live my faith.

Picture - easy.  Why I am Mormon - easy.  Intro?  About Me?  How I live my faith?  A bit of a challenge.  What does a small town, mother of three have to contribute?  I was reminded of a favorite quote by C.S. Lewis:

“It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit” (The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses [1980]).

http://mormon.org/me/58BC/  = my final or more correctly, my current, answers.



At dinner my 18 year old asked why I winced picking something up,  I showed him the palm of my hand which has a large torn blister and a smaller intact blister - both from assembling a bench using a manual screwdriver.  He showed me his blistered hands from odd jobs working at the gas station.  My nine year old held up two hands blistered from the monkey bars at the park.  My thirteen year old held up two hands scraped from a bike fall and blistered from mowing the lawn.  My husband held up two unscathed hands.  We don't work harder he just works smarter. 

"Just calling to say hi!"

I have 2 messages saved on my answering machine.  One is of my then 7 year old calling from Utah to tell his dad and oldest brother, "I just lost a tooth....and I got a whole dollar instead of a quarter!"  The other is of my oldest doing an exaggerated impression of messages I have left and have recieved from friends:  "Hi this message is for Cricket and I'm just calling to say hi...well, um, yeah...I'm just calling to say hi and could you call me back?  My number is 800-888 and you know the rest!  This is me, just calling to say hi.  It's not an emergency, I'm just calling to see how you're doing but mostly just to say hi,  My number is 800-888 and you know the rest!  Okay, talk to you later, bye!"  The message lasts for a full minute and a half.  His intonations and pauses make the whole thing painfully hilarious.  He asked if I noticed that "there is no useful information in the entire message?"  That sums up how he feels about phone calls in general.  Once when he was in middle school a friend called.  J talked for a minute or two and then got off the phone with a stunned look on his face.  I asked what the call was about.  J shook his head and said in literal amazement, "He called just to talk."

This week I called some friends, just to say hi.  No one answered.  I called a few days later, no one answered.  I tried again a few days later. the husband answered.  I learned he had spent the week in ICU and had just come home.  The next day I dropped by with some fresh blueberries and was able to run a needed errand for them.

Yesterday my good friend, L, called and asked, "Do you have a few minutes?  It's nothing important, I just called to say hi."  I laughed and played J's message for her.  We chatted for a few minutes, catching up.  Her mother recovering from chemo treatments, her son on a mission in Brazil, her daughter and son-in-law expecting their first child (and her first grandchild), her teenager headed to scout camp.  My oldest son's plans for college and a mission, my other two sons and their various activities, my dad being alone, my feelings about mom's passing..."

J once asked me to explain my friendship with L to him.  L lives in a different town so we don't see each other very often, we mostly just talk on the phone.  I told him, "It's hard to explain but I can tell you, your life is better because L is in mine."  My husband looked up from what he was doing and said, "You know, I think you're right."

"I'm just calling to say hi!"...to let you know I'm thinking of you, to see how you are, to offer support, to get support...  Like it or not, J, you'll be getting those calls from me in your near future.



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