OK Linz……This TAG’s for you!!

Four Shows I watch
1. Psyche
2. Dr. Who
3. Monk
4. General Conference

Four Things I’m Passionate About
1. Drewster
2.The Family
3. Teaching my children
4. The gospel

Four Phrases I say a lot
1. Dude!
2. Sweet!
3. Ahhhhh, man!
4. Stop it, SLIM!

Four Things I’ve Learned from the past
1. The truth, spoken in love, still may not be the right thing to say.
2. Love life and live it every minute!
3. Though it may not be what you want, the Lord always gives you what you need.
4. Never take yourself too seriously.

Four places I want to go
1. Oceanside ( a little studio on the beach.)
2. Palmyra, New York
3. Jerusalem
4. To see family

Four things I did yesterday
1. Listened and cheered as Northern Iowa beat Kansas, even though it would bust my bracket.
2.  Watched BYU lose to Kansas St.
3. Watched Scuff’s and Sport’s teams win in Hoopsters.
4. Read and actually had insights into some of Isaiah’s writings.

Four things I’m looking forward to
1.  Basketball season being over
2. Slim’s endowments (next week)
3.  Long-term— GRANDCHILDREN
4.  Watching my posterity grow

Four things I love about winter
1. The end–when flowers and trees bloom.
2. A clean blanket of snow before the world wakes up.
3. Snowball fights and hot chocolate.
4. The one day in Dec. that is always the hottest of the year–like 75 🙂

Four things on my wish list
1. All my kids to have temple marriages and intact families without divorce.
2. College educations for all of them
3. Repeat our honeymoon and follow Drew’s plan this time
4. Piano Lessons

Four people to TAG
1. Brandy
2.  Bonnie
3. Shannon
4. Lara
5. Danielle

Speedy….

Are you really eleven?? Has it really been that many years since you arrived at our house?

You are an incredible young man, Speedy. You have so much energy and a great love for life. You provide the ZEST in our family, Speedy Zest!!

I remember just before you were born. One night, as I was saying my prayers, kind of in that half awake half asleep place, a small voice said, ‘Mom…., Mom………, Mom….., MMMMOOOOMMM!!!’ I was so startled I yelled ‘What?!’ and woke myself up. I thought one of your brothers was calling me, so I crept down the hallway only to find all of them sound asleep. I knew then that the next person who came to our home would provide a unique intensity…….and that is still who you are.

Here are some of the things I love about you:

You have a GIANT heart, bigger than you know.

Your smile can melt away anger, hurt, and sorrow.

That look you get in your eye, and the smile that comes across your face when your plot for getting your way has been uncovered.

How easily you forgive and forget offenses.

Your willingness and effort to work within the budget, duct tape and all.

The voracious appetite you have for reading.

Your celebration dance when you achieve success.

 Your willingness to continue trying when quitting is so much easier.

Here are a few of the things I am looking forward to:

Watching you receive the Priesthood, next year.

Having some one on one time with you during seventh and eighth grade.

Getting ready for high school.

Watching Dad teach you to drive (because after two of your brothers, I’m not so sure I want to do it anymore).

Seeing you at your first stake dance.

Seeing you at your last stake dance (things change a lot in four years).

Watching you graduate from seminary, high school, and college.

Seeing where you will go to serve your mission.

And of course, meeting your fiance, attending your wedding, and holding your babies (but we won’t talk about that right now, because girls are still mostly yucky!).

Thanks for being our son!! We wouldn’t be the same family without you, Speedy!!

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NEWS at our HOUSE!!

Slim’s visa paperwork is in and immunizations are done.
Spanky was accepted to BYU–Provo!!
And Smiley has almost lost his first tooth, which means he’ll be answering the phone when you call.
Everyone always growing up, moving forward……..faster than I like and without any control.
All too soon they will move on, creating homes of their own, struggling to do what those before them have done—-struggling to raise a righteous posterity, children of thought and wisdom.  Hoping to shape and mold strong, independent souls into men and women of strength and character, able to withstand the moral decay around them and encourage others to rise to the occasion with them.

Eternity’s lenses….

Have you ever had one of those experiences where time seems to stand still??

Today I found myself there, admiring my six-year old as he busily relayed the happenings of his day………his awesome field trip, “Gosh, he looks a lot like Slim. Has it really been 13 years since Slim was six?”….what books he checked out of the library, “Are all six-year olds so cute with both of their front teeth missing? Do they all lisp?”…..where he was when the earthquake hit and how safe the room was, “What will the next 13 years hold? Will they go by so quickly? Did I take time to really appreciate my little people when they were small?”……how excited he is to share his new books with his sister, “I love being his mother!”

I am a much different mother now than I was then. Part of that is because I sleep now and I have some time to myself (not much, but some).

I love watching little people. I love to watch their brains work and catch the gleam in their eyes as the light bulbs turn on. They renew my life daily. I want to be better for them—-to know more, care more, to love more.

I appreciate the little moments so much more now than I did when Slim, Spanky, and Scuff were little. The laughter of wrestling on the floor—a tickle fight, stomping feet because someone waited too long to go to the bathroom, a sleeping preschooler who sat down to watch television and lost the fight with an unscheduled nap, eating the same food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (cheese burritos) in one day—-these things are almost over at my house.

I registered Smiley for kindergarten yesterday. Now, not only do I not have any babies, or toddlers, but I’m almost out of preschoolers. Where did the time go and how did I get so old?

Fleeting moments when time stands still….reminding us we are strangers here. Eternity is home.

Here is a little Smiley-ism:
Me: Gosh, I miss my friends and all my babies are growing up.
Smiley: Don’t worry, Mom. Tomorrow me and Shorty will be your friends.
Me: Ok, but what are you going to do about my babies growing up?
Smiley: We’ll just find some people who have babies and get you some more.
Thought you would enjoy that!

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And the Vedict is????

Ribeirao Preto, Brazil!!!
I can’t believe Slim is going to Brazil!  He is supposed to report on May 19, 2010 to the Brazil MTC.  Hopefully that will give us time to take care of all of his immunizations, passport, and visa.  Wow!  Amazing.  And with him not reporting until May, he and Spanky may overlap as much as a year on their missions.  Spanky will turn 19 just a little over a year after Slim is out and depending upon when he puts his papers in…….well, we’ll see.

Where Will Slim Go???

We have heard that Slim’s mission call is in the mail.  Not many more days to wait to know where and when.  He bore the most amazing testimony on Sunday.  A definite payday for parenting!!

Just The MEN FOLK

A big thanks to Ryan Larsen for his AWESOME photographic abilities!!
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A Few More Family Photos

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Socks–This is the first pair of dress socks I bought for Slim–each of the boys have worn them. Smiley is just about to out grow them. Can you believe they have lasted through 7 boys? Me either. Now, these aren’t the only pair they have had, but still…no one pair of socks should have last through SEVEN BOYS!!!
Holly tree—This is the holly tree from down-under, literally!! When we moved in (March), it was almost as tall as I am. (No wise cracks from you tall people!) We chopped all of the branches off to leave only the stump. Spanky, Scuff, and Drew spent an entire week digging underneath the roots so we could remove the stump. They dug under 7/8 of the tree and removed the roots and the trunk would not budge, even with several of us putting all of our weight into it!!! We think when they poured the cement driveway, they must have poured concrete over the roots. Next, we brought over a friend and his chainsaw and cut
down the tree, leaving only the tiny stump you can see in the photo. (The deck is on top of the stump.) In June or July, we noticed tiny little shoots from the stump. So we drilled holes in the stump and filled them with Borax and removed all of the new growth. In October, when I removed the tomato plants, this is what I found—NEW GROWTH ON THE HOLLY TREE!! This is the most tenacious plant I have ever met!
ME–This is where we tie it all together! I have been ‘Mother’ now for 19 years. Slim is putting in his mission papers this week and receiving the Melchizedek priesthood. I can’t believe we have made it this far. I know we have several more years to go—about 15 until Smiley moves out. But I hope I am as well made as that pair of dress socks and as tenacious as that holly tree. I hope after all of the bad things people do to me or how often they tell me what I am doing isn’t worth my time, or that motherhood isn’t important, I can point to the lives of our children and say, ‘What could have been more important than these? Surely this is where it is at. Look at what they have become and who they are and where they are going. Look at their children….What I did was the most important thing I could have done with my time, my talents, and my energy. And the world just doesn’t realize how important and significant my job is. I’m so grateful the prophets did!!’

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Gross!!!

OK–no pictures or names today.  I just had to tell you that yesterday I went into my big boys bathroom to give the little ones a bath–the only place in the house with a tub.  Their toilet was disgusting!!!  I won’t explain, just know it was so dirty and gross.  (There was stuff growing in it!)  I asked them about cleaning it and was told that it wasn’t as easy as I thought.  Wrong!!!  I scrubbed it and scrubbed it and let the boys know that we will be having a bathroom cleaning seminar this week after which we will implement a cleaning schedule assignment sheet and spontaneous bathroom inspections.  ewwww boys!  I’m still disgusted.  These boys had better learn to clean the bathroom and have them clean when they are missionaries.  Gross!  It’s horrible to get past the potty training phase and still have toilet cleaning issues.  Enough complaining.  We’ll just continue our ‘growth and development’ curriculum by learning to clean the bathroom.  Happy Day!