Friday, May 30, 2008

Potato Salad . . . and Other News

I bought us one of those chicken dinners at Albertsons last week. I’ve never done that before, but it was late on a Saturday and we’d been doing yard work all day (of course by “we” I mean mostly Mike . . . it’s nice to be married so I can use that collective “we” whenever it suits me) so it seemed like a nice way to avoid making dinner. The best part about it was that I got to choose a side container of potato salad. I love potato salad. I think it is just plain delicious, and I fancy that under different circumstances (circumstances that I will explain shortly) I might have become expert at making the dish. I hear it takes some effort, but I think I would have found it worth the reward. Alas, my circumstances are this: Mike does not like mayonnaise, miracle whip, or anything even remotely related. Our kids have followed suit, and even Penny seemed insulted when I gave her a few potato pieces out of my salad. Perhaps its hereditary -- the affliction is rather wide spread in Mike’s family. Some of his siblings might have escaped this loathing of such a pleasant condiment, but I think most of them back Mike up 100%. Of course, it isn’t totally fair to say it is hereditary as that would indicate this abhorrence came from his parents -- sensible people who I’m sure would never turn their noses up at a good potato salad (am I right, Gayle?). So, who knows. The case still stands that I am seldom able to enjoy something as tasty as potato salad – it is just not that fun to make a large bowl of something all for your self . . . although, I did have a grand time eating that container of potato salad all by myself (and I did eat every last bite of it before the night was through). I’m not sure it is super healthy with all of its tasty artery clogging mayo, but I justified the occasion by how rarely it occurs.

Anyway, at the store today, I thought, “why must it be so rare? Saturday was grand!” So I rushed to the deli and purchased yet another container (which I ate most of). Now, I am feeling a bit regretful as my stomach seems to be in mild protest of what I have done; and I am wondering if this sudden craving for potato salad is simply pregnancy related instead of a longing for what I have been deprived of all these many years. Either way, a lengthy post about potato salad wasn’t how I intended to announce my PREGNANCY to the blogging world at large, but now that it has happened, I expect all of my friends who read this to give me congratulatory comments (and you family who already know are welcome to just comment on potato salad).

P.S. Awhile back I had posted about being sick and craving some weird items that my dear husband picked up for me. Both Tash and Sarah N. said something in my comments section hinting at pregnancy, and yes, you were both right! I was pregnant at that time -- though I think the sickness was unrelated as I usually don’t get sick when pregnant (I know, I know, I’m so sorry to all of you who do!). Anyway, good guessing girls, and I am glad no one else picked up on those comments as I wasn’t ready to tell!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Abraham


Alright, so both Abe and Daisy were “tagged” last week, but I am a bit behind. I am supposed to tell five things about them and then tag some other kids out there. I will start with Abe and then do my Daisy soon. So, here’s a little more about my seven year old firstborn:
jkulu
1-Abe loves animals. He is the perfect son for Mike as he thinks any type of animal or farmy thing at all is great. By age three he found any type of animal documentary extremely fascinating. The other day I read something about that crazy animal the platypus. It mentioned how the only other animal even on the same branch was the echidna. I wasn’t sure what an echidna was, so I asked Abe. He was able to describe it to me perfectly. He spends a good deal of time drawing animals (as well as dinosaurs which he is equally as fond of).

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2-He’s a smart little fella. I don’t like to brag about this because no one likes much to hear how someone else’s kid is so smart, but he really is a bright boy. I’m sure plenty of kids his age are just as bright, but it is nice and has been quite a blessing to have those things come so easily for him. He was one of two kids in a special reading group in his class this year, he figures out math problems well and just seems kind-of all around intelligent. Here are a few nice little snippets from his report cards this year.
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3-Abe is good. Here I might have to brag, and I think my next two points will be related to his goodness, but it can’t be helped. I see these strong spirits in so many kids these days and so many of my nieces and nephews. I don’t know if it is just these spirits of the last days or what. I also think sometimes firstborns are sent with particularly helpful qualities for leading their younger siblings. Anyway, Abe was just born good, and I don’t know what it is, but I really think everyone has always known Abe as good even since he was a baby. He’s not a flashy good because he’s a little more of a reserved type of kid, but there is just definite goodness about him. He’s just the kind of kid that is sensitive and kind; he missed a trip to visit cousins and grandparents because he didn’t think it would be right to miss the “It’s great to be Eight” fireside for kids getting baptized this year; he reads his scriptures all on his own without me ever having told him to, etc. I really have no doubts about the kind of life he will live. I feel so lucky that Heavenly Father sent him to me and I tell him that often.

4-He’s helpful. I probably take advantage of his helpful nature far too much, but he just always does what I ask so quickly and cheerfully that I am constantly asking him to do favors for me or help me with Penny, etc. He’ll even take charge and make sure he and the girls get things cleaned up or teeth brushed or whatever I assign him. He really is such a great pal to me and I don’t know what I’d do with out that boy!

5-He’s good to his parents. He will go out in the yard and help Mike with projects or be excited about any adventure Mike has planned. He is so perceptive and understanding with me. When I am overly tense and suddenly getting snappy with everyone, instead of saying, “what’s your deal mom,” or just acting more wild, he will say (and I don’t know how he knows that me being mean just means I’m stressed), “I’m sorry you’re having such a hard day, Mom.” He talks to me and Mike a lot. Often it is just about things he worries about, but I like that he likes to have one of us talk with him about his life concerns at night.

Ohh, now my five points are up and I should have told more about fun and silly things about Abe. Darn that boy, he is such a great little son!!! I love him too much.


kk
Oh yes, and I tag Willikers (because you know I am in love with him and I need more pics and info. on that kid), Liz's Quaid ('cause I still don't know much about him), and Marnie, if you are reading this, how about a little post on Tori (she's another one I feel like I need to know better).

Friday, May 23, 2008

Penny Talks

While Penny shows very little interest in learning a bit of English, she does still have plenty to say. My dad would probably assure me that she is speaking pure Adamic. I realize this may only appeal to grandma's and perhaps a few choice aunts, but any of you are more than welcome to give a listen to a little of what she has to say during any given moment (and oft times it is much much louder than this).

Disclaimer: All I can say in regards to that drool is -- she is getting in four large molars at present (and, drool seems dreamy when compared to the spitting up she's only recently grown out of).

video

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Brave (and lucky) Mr. Megablocks

The other day I was holding Penny whilst doing the dishes (that is the kind of thing you learn to do when you have a few kids -- nurse while making dinner, do your hair and make-up while keeping a small child next to you on the counter). Penny, herself, was holding Mr. Megablocks (as I fondly call him). He's the little guy who came, as you may have guessed, with my children's Megablocks (large Lego's basically). He has a little button on his shirt and when you push it he says, in the cutest electronic voice imaginable: "megablocks, " "uh-huh-huh" (that's a cute little laugh), or he makes a happy whistle sound. Penny finds Mr. Megablocks quite entertaining now that she has mastered the little button -- which is how she came to be holding him, while I was holding her, washing dishes.

For those of you who have read my previous posts, you may recall how horrifying I think it is when something has been left in the disposal as I unknowingly turn it on. So, I had just finished the last dish, cleaned up the sink, and turned on the disposal when poor Mr. Megablocks (perhaps startled by the sound) fell from Penny's hands (it may also be that he had become a bit slippery from being chewed on by said Penny). It was almost as if things went into slow motion. I couldn't catch Mr. Megablocks with my one-handedness, so he fell, hitting the divider in the middle of the sink, bouncing back up for what seemed an immeasurable amount of time before tilting toward the non-disposal side of the sink and falling directly into it's fairly safe drain. And there he lay, looking as you see him -- the ever cheerful Mr. Megablocks, waving his perhaps final goodbye to the world with his bravest face on. I was unnaturally relieved to see him there, in that safe drain. I quickly turned off the disposal and wiped the sweat from my brow. Brave little Megablocks. I don't think Penny even knew what his fate might have so easily been. I'm glad this situation didn't end (as it so easily could have) with a trauma that might have caused her to develop my disposal phobia at such a tender young age.

Bumbles turns ONE!

Yesterday was Penny Pearl's first birthday. Something about having two "P's" in her initials makes me want to go ahead and make it three by calling her Penny P. Pearl. I don't know why. Her unfortunate initials have been pointed out to me, but the two names sound so cute together and as I was naming her after my aunt Penny, it seemed very perfect to use, for a middle name, the name of my grandma who was Penny's mother (as well as my father's).

Penny celebrated her birthday rather against her will. She did obligingly eat her celebratory first little cake (as pictured below) and she was exuberant enough about that, but she got very upset when we started forcing presents upon her. I think there were just too many little hands reaching in trying to show her how unwrapping was properly done and we'd waited til far too late at night and the whole thing made her angry, so we let the poor little one go to bed (even though Abe was unhappy that she hadn't shown proper gratitude and interest in his small gift) with her celebratory first bottle of whole milk.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Goldie's clothing choices

Goldie likes to choose her own clothes these days. I wouldn’t mind so much if she didn’t choose so . . . poorly. Part of me tries to think that I ought to put my pride aside. If my daughter is super happy wearing a pair of too tight forest green leggings along with a stretched out and faded orange Halloween shirt to the grocery store, then so be it, and honestly, most of the time it is, “so be it.” But, occasionally I would like her to appear well taken care of and yes, I might want just a little to showcase my daughters cuteness by putting her in some clothes that at least don’t clash horribly. The trouble is, this upsets her a great deal and can become a rather big battle. Sundays are bad. She is generally all moans and tears and complaints and begging (because I never choose the right dress). It’s pretty much the same story any time I try to dress her for any particular outing. The other night I had just gotten out her pj’s when the same protesting started. I don’t really care what she wears to bed, but I was frustrated so I said, “fine, Goldie, just pick your own jammies.” Apparently I said this too harshly because she then began to sob that she couldn’t pick her own now because she was too sad. “Goldie,” I sighed, “you just always pick things that don’t match.” She looked more forlorn than ever and managed to choke out through gasps and sobs, “I just love it so much when they don’t match.”

I know, I know, there’s pick your battles, and there’s when you do pick a battle stand firm, or there’s compromise – perhaps she chooses from two outfits, perhaps it’s certain days. I’m sure I’ll figure it out, but sometimes figuring these very small things out makes me awfully tired because they are small . . . but there are oh so many of them and it’s maybe just as well that she wear ridiculous clothing one day and cute (albeit tear stained) clothing the next.

P.S. Her taste isn’t all bad though. She came up with a brilliant plan the other day to paint our house purple and pink and then . . . put stickers all over it (boy stickers and girl stickers so Abe would be happy). I did agree with her that the plan was an exceptionally good one but I’ve been rather evasive when she asks, “so, can we do that?” Paint can be pricey you know
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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My Legacy?

In high school, our cheerleaders had a little cheer that went like this:
Peel it to the left,
Peel it to the right,
Come on Tigers and mmm take a bite.
Go bananas, go go bananas.
And of course, it had a little dance that went along with it. I am not sure why I remembered this particular cheer, but one evening, long ago, I taught it to Daisy. I’d forgotten all about it until this morning when my kids and I were reading the Parable of the Talents out of our little New Testament Stories book (incidentally, why did I take so long to buy these books? They are so great and we always had them around growing up). After, as we discussed our gifts and working on them and even developing new talents, Daisy reminded me that I had taught her this cheer. She said that if she worked really hard she could get better and better at it and then, she could teach it to her own children! I liked that, but I also thought, “Huh, so this is the legacy I’ve passed on? I wasn't even a cheerleader!” Well, you never can tell what you will teach your kids that will stick with them the most. Go bananas, go go bananas.

Mother's Day



Oh, I want to write about Mother’s Day too! Mother’s Day was so nice. I am so sad that there are women out there feeling miserable when Mother’s Day roles around because they haven’t been blessed with children. I love that I get to be a mom. While I complain from time to time or feel stressed by the many tasks to be done each day, I feel like this time is the major highlight of my earthly journey.

So, the day itself was one of my happiest Mother’s Days ever. Actually, I’m not sure, the others might have been just as happy. I can’t remember, but Sunday was just so . . . happy. Mike told me first thing in the morning that it was the day that I “get to be as mean as I want,” so that started things off just right. He has learned that I really like to be the special girl all day long on my birthday or Mother’s Day, so he forces the kids to clean things up and takes the broom away from me and does dishes and makes dinner and brushes little teeth.

The kids went off giggling to the garage at one point to bring in one of my presents, and I worried I was getting a rabbit or some such, but lo and behold, it was a watermelon. It made me nearly cry that my husband knows an entire watermelon would make me as happy as most anything on this earth might. And I got roses and several more of those presents that only someone who pays close attention to the ridiculous things you love could know to give.

Penny slept on my shoulder nearly all of the third hour of church – something she generally does not believe in doing no matter how tired she is. Occasionally she’d lift her face -- red, groggy and confused, and with the imprint of my linen dress on her cheek -- then she’d settle back down and sleep while drool ran down my arm.

I love all the teachers at school for being so thoughtful as to have the kids make cool presents for their moms. Abe and Daisy both made books about me. Abe made me a pinch pot and Daisy made me a refrigerator magnet out of popsicle sticks and her picture. Why would teachers be so thoughtful as to help my kids make me these little presents that I adore?

Oh, and I’ve hardly mentioned my own mother. I love her. She has honestly always understood me. I never have any doubt that if I am in a frustrating situation of any sort or just want to talk about this or that, she will know, I mean really know, exactly what I am trying to say. And, I love Mike’s mother because all of the time he does, says or just is things that cause me to think, “thank goodness his mother taught him to be that for me!!”

Here is a picture from Daisy’s Mother’s Day book that I liked:

And, Abe’s book was so cool because it had pictures of all sorts of things we do together and we look so happy and like we are having such great times together that I had to put a few here (the second to last is my favorite because we don’t “go to” the park or zoo or anything. We “go to” bed):


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Entropy

You have to be careful when you tell anyone you were a science major. They automatically assume all sorts of things about what you know or what you can tutor their children in. It is biology alone where I have some level of understanding. “Yes,” you might say, “but you minored in Chemistry, certainly you would know enough to . . .” but no, I wouldn’t. It was a minor filled by default. And, that’s the trouble with “science” it encompasses Chemistry and Physics (which is oh so closely related to math). Naturally, being the whiz that I was, I generally managed to get A’s in any Chemistry or Physics I had to take (OK, I got my first and only B+ in one chemistry class, and the bitterness of that B+ lingers on), but those A’s were achieved through a very special method of learning, a very tricky method, a method that somehow allowed me to pass my tests without truly ever understanding a thing.

There were a few exceptions to my inability to truly connect with these subjects. I had a pretty good grasp on Biochemistry because it was all related to Biology. I also had an Astronomy class from an adjunct professor (who worked at Morton Thiokol by day). He made the aspects of Physics we discussed so fascinating that I owe him entirely for my mind taking up the idea of majoring in anything other than English (I love English, I’d just never ever thought of myself as someone who might enjoy, much less understand, anything sciencey). Although it is all very blurry now, he was so excited and animated as he told us a little about Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and a little something about Quantum Mechanics that it was all I could talk about for days after. Now it is all lost and jumbled somewhere in my mind so that I could only mumble something about time slowing down and something happening to mass and length as you reach the speed of light (which all of us in the class were eager to do – while we left a twin behind on earth to see the differences in how we’d age etc.). There was also something about electrons existing and not existing as they jumped energy levels – I don’t know, but I liked whatever it was.

The one concept that I held nearest to my heart in Chemistry or possibly Physics (one of those “science” classes that weren’t “my science”) was Entropy. I don’t think we spent a great deal of time on it. It had something to do with energy and disorder and chaos and things naturally tending to head in that direction, and it all struck me as perfectly easy to understand (not in any way related to what the teacher was talking about, but related to life in general drifting toward chaos). As I’ve become a mother and tried to make some efforts toward maintaining order in my home, the word “entropy” keeps flitting into my mind.

I read a little on entropy the other day to see just what it really was. And, with out knowing physics lingo, I can’t be sure, but it would appear that it relates somehow to the concept that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Apparently, the Law of Entropy does not state that order must always decrease (as many have wrongly assumed). In fact, what I read stated that “it is possible for a closed system to produce order, even highly elaborate order, so long as there is greater increase in disorder somewhere else in the system.” Now, there is the key. No wonder this spoke to me so. I’m sure my home isn’t necessarily a “closed system,” and I doubt entropy was meant to apply to the chaos of our homes and lives . . . or maybe it is. It makes perfect sense. Yes, you may produce “even highly elaborate order” somewhere in your home, but it must then always follow that there will be a larger increase in disorder somewhere else in your home. I could apply this to so many aspects of my life. I am not sure if it makes me feel better or worse about how things go, but at least I know the fault doesn't simply lie with me -- it’s chemistry . . . or maybe physics. Either way, it’s a law of the Universe and there is no use fighting it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Goldie


This is Goldie. Often known as Goldums. She is three. She has been in great despair for two months now over how horribly far off her July birthday is. She really loves her dad. He was gone for six months of her life just as she was entering her "stranger anxiety" phase, and for awhile I was worried about them bonding and all, but she always makes sure we save him a treat if he's not here when we have one, she cries if she thinks he's home and discovers he isn't, and she occasionally prays that he won't have to go to work on her birthday. Other than this upcoming birthday, she really does abhor the idea of growing up; we usually must avoid all talk of it to prevent serious weeping. She loves friends and is always trying to tell me she's "going to Anna's" (Daisy's friend and our next door neighbor) or asking if she can go to someone's, anyone's house. She says cool stuff like, I'll ask, "Did you remember to finish your sandwhich?" and she'll respond, "Did you remember to give me hugs and wash my hands?" She loves computer games -- far more than a three year old should; in fact, we have now found that "losing a day of playing the computer" is our most affective threat. She can't bare to have a little creature hurt, I am never allowed to so much as squish an ant in our house. The other morning there were some tiny dried up worms on the sidewalk and this set her to sobbing. Her only hope was that if it rained, perhaps they would come alive again, and she would not allow Daisy to ride her bike along the wormy sidewalk. I had to sweep them all into the grass in case they might be coming "back alive" later. Occasionally she'll decide she's had enough of what ever we are doing and will announce, "bedtime for Goldie." at which point I am supposed to take her immediately to her bed. She is nearly always carrying one to three blankets and about four stuffed animals. She occasionally likes to tell people (even her primary teachers) that they don't know everything because they don't know when Jesus will be coming. She tries to use her love to bribe me; for example, she will say, "if you let me watch a show, I'll hug you." When she is grumpy, her entire posture goes into an ape-like slump -- she will walk around with her arms dangling and her lips turned as far down as they can go. She calls me "mother." She also cheerily refutes many things I say:
G: Can I stay up for naps?
Me: Nope.
G: Yes I can! (She doesn't say this in a smart alec or even annoying way, just a cheery little hopeful way that makes me shake my head and laugh).
Me: No you can't silly.
G: Stay up from naps or wake up when ever I want. Those are the only choices.
And then off we go to bed.
Here is another example or two:
G: Can we go to McDonalds today.
Me: No honey, not today.
G: But you said we could.
Me: (laughing) No I didn't. I never said we could go to McDonalds.
G: Uh-huh, you did. Time to go to McDonalds.
or:
G:Time to get Abe from school.
Me: Abe doesn't come home til after naps.
G: Yes he does. Time to go get him.
She doesn't put up a fight in any of these situations. She just seems to enjoy a cheerful little try.
She is a fun little person and I am always so happy with the tiny different people I have been given.


Monday, May 5, 2008

The Blog Craze

I know blogs must have been around for some time because I rememeber hearing something or other about them long ago and thinking how creepy and bizarre they sounded. (The name still sounds creepy). But, for some reason, the blog has taken off lately (as far as I can tell). I only really started hearing of people I actually knew doing blogs in about January, but since then, it seems that nearly every person I know has their own special little blog. I guess it is fun for us all to feel like someone (other than the imaginary audience in our head) is interested in our lives . . . and for some reason, we really all do seem to be. It has been such a fun way to get a little feed back on my own thoughts, keep up on family and friends, reconnect with old friends, and even form new connections with those who (whom?) I am somehow connected to through family or friends. It sort of feels like we have all formed this little meeting place where we can have mom talk, spiritual talk, or a little humor -- with out having to actually meet (not that meeting wouldn't be nice, but you know . . .).

Anyway, after talking to a friend at church the other day about different people in the ward who also have blogs, I informed Mike that practically everyone in the ward now has a blog. Mike told me this was great -- he could just see the increase in home teaching percentages: "Sure I did my home teaching this month. I checked each of their blogs and left a comment." I'm glad he's finally seeing the beauty of the blog.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

80's Week

My sister Megan has issued an “80’s week” blog challenge. Apparently, those of us who read her blog and have blogs of our own are to create an 80’s post. The week is nearly over and I have yet to comply! The reason for postponing is this: I know what everyone (myself included) is looking for in an 80’s post; we are looking for big hair, fluorescence, leg warmers and maybe stretch pants. While I did have a fluorescent green T-shirt, I was a bit young to manage with blow-drying and scrunching, and even if I had been old enough, my hair has always been loathe to comply with any poofing.

Mike told me that if I was writing an 80’s post it ought to contain He-Man (and the Masters of the Universe) – at which point I was forced to admit to him that I’d been in love with He-Man and dreamt of someday marrying him. This didn’t ruffle Mike as I thought it might (a woman likes to see her husband display a little possessive jealousy every once in awhile). He seemed to see that yes, He-Man would definitely be a temptation to even the strongest of women.

Still, as I considered the decade as a whole, I realized that it was a pretty great time. The 80’s covered my life from ages 3 through 13 – which is about as good as it got for me. The 90’s were a disaster. I have managed to somewhat recover in the 2000’s, but my teenage years were not kind to me. Some of you may have read my post entitled
Chickens. In it, I discussed what an awful site teenage chickens are. They are just so darling as fluffy little chicks, and not bad as hens, but during their half fluff/half feather stage they are hideous. At the time I wrote that, I hardly realized that I was practically writing a metaphor of my own life! Here I am at the tail end of the 80’s. Shannon had spent a good deal of time on my bangs for 6th grade “picture day” and they turned out rather spectacular considering how my hair usually responded to such proddings.

That was the end of my “cute fluffy chick” stage. After that, I entered the 90’s. I was one of the lucky ones who had such horrible acne that people often mistook it for some sort of hideous rash and would ask, “What’s wrong?” with worried and frightened expressions. I am currently nearly 6 feet tall, which is all good and well, but I did not arrive at this height gracefully. My face took on an extra round appearance during those years. Baggy clothes were in which served only to make a "tall" girl look like a "big" girl. As I considered upon this, I realized that the 80’s were definitely a highlight decade for this girl. Here’s a little glimpse of that happy time:



Here is the "haunted house" halloween costume my friend Lizzie and I made. Pretty clever, huh? (You can probably guess which side was mine as I was the taller of the two of us . . . which I guesss means she had to look through that barred up window).

There were loads of pictures taken of "the three girls." Yes, we were quite beloved, we last three little ones.



We spent many Summer days at my Grandma's place at Bear Lake. Some of my happiest memories of life were created there.


Me and Shannon


I'm guessing this is how the orphanage wrapped Megan and me after finding us out in the cold streets? . . . My parents must have taken us out of pity.


There were also plenty of goings on with all five girls. Here, Kathy and Amy had taken us to get pictures as a surprise for our parents. They looked pretty darn 80's!


Oh, Amy always let us sleep in her room on Christmas Eve. So fun (except for the inevitable waking up to a pin poking you. We always got those cute nightgowns -- handmade by my mom -- on Christmas Eve . . . and somehow there was always a forgotten pin. Who knows, maybe it's some old Christmas tradition like finding the almond in the pudding?).

Friday, May 2, 2008

My kids and their faith

There are a handful of stories in the scriptures that bring tears to my eyes every time I read them. They are just little tiny stories that somehow feel so personal that for a moment I can almost see it as if I were there or even that person. For example, Peter denying Christ three times, hearing the cock crow, then going out and weeping.

Also, I love the story of Jacob’s meeting with Esau after years and years away. As you probably remember, Jacob took Esau’s birthright blessing. Jacob then fled because Esau was so angry he was going to kill him, but eventually the Lord commanded Jacob to return. He sent messengers to Esau and was told Esau was coming to meet him with 400 men. Jacob was pretty terrified at this. In fact he divided his people, flocks, servants, etc. into two groups so that if Esau attacked one group, hopefully the other group would escape. Then in Genesis 33:4 it describes when they finally saw each other: “And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.” Can anyone not cry when they read that?

Well, that finally gets me to the point of this post. Another one of those little stories that touch me extra is the story in the New Testament of the father who brings Christ his possessed son. Who knows if it was a demon or some disorder, but the boy would fall down and tear at himself and throw himself into fire and water, etc. Christ told the father all things were possible to them that believe. Then the poor father “. . . cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” That always makes me cry because I feel like that father sometimes, knowing that if I just have the faith something will work, but not certain I do have the faith. I love to think of that poor dad begging for Christ to have mercy and help him where his faith is lacking, and of course Christ does heal his boy.

I have total faith Christ can do anything, heal anything or fix anything I ever ask. It’s just that sometimes I waver because I am uncertain if it is His will for me and I haven’t yet found out, or I think it is perhaps too trivial, so my faith is shaky about it being worth His while to answer. Yet, here is something: I have utter confidence in my kids faith and I use it. I almost feel like I am being sneaky or taking advantage of them. Once, when Abe was only three, we couldn’t get our tiny little blue truck to start. We were just in our driveway, so it wasn’t like we would die stranded someplace if it didn’t start. We’d simply be stuck at home. Still, Abe immediately suggested we say a prayer. Hmmm. “Sure . . .” I said, “why don’t you say the prayer.” Sure enough the truck then started. I feel like I use this all the time – if Penny isn’t sleeping well, have my kids pray that she will, if we want a particular blessing for our family, set the kids to praying for it. I often have more faith in their prayers than my own. Is that ok? Ideally, I imagine, I should be striving to become more like a child myself and have their same faith rather than just use their faith, but of course Heavenly Father answers their good requests and prayers. They are just so certain and so sure -- nothing wavering. One night Goldie had been having some bad dreams. She told me that she had prayed about it so now she would "never have a bad dream again." It made me want to cry at her faith and also at my lack of faith, and my fear that maybe she still would have bad dreams because life is meant to test us and sometimes that means we don't get everything we ask for. I've tried to explain that to my kids, to tell them that sometimes we will have hard times and be sick or sad and that Heavenly Father will always hear us and always help us through and in the end deliver us, but sometimes he won't fix everything right away because we need to prove we'll be true even when it's hard. At the same time, I love and don't want to take anything away from their total and complete trust. I’m so in awe of their faithful little spirits. How does Heavenly Father trust me to raise them when in so many ways they are far more full of faith than I am? Now there is another thing that brings tears to my eyes!
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