Thursday, September 30, 2010

Middle Son

I was praising my son the other day to a few people who had inquired about him, and I realized later, that I don't voice my praise and love often enough to that son himself. So....

You are an AMAZING person, and it all started the day you were born. I will always remember when you were placed in my arms and you looked up at me with your big blue eyes, fully alert, trusting, and full of wonder. You did not cry. You were completely calm and content, yet observant, and at peace. Your quiet manner could be deceiving, but you soak things in and apply them to your life. This has continued to be your pattern throughout childhood, and now into adulthood.

You have been put into situations in your life when you have had to defend your beliefs, and you did so, without apology. You are kind and accepting of others, yet you are firm in your own beliefs and how you choose to live your life. You are an example to kids and adults alike.

You have learned and then shown great leadership skills with scouting opportunities. You have loved so many through these opportunities, and been able to be the teacher.

I have loved watching you explore music, and find a way to express yourself through song. You have an incredible talent with the guitar that blows me away and brings tears to my eyes everytime I hear you play. Your timidity used to confine you to your room, playing in private, but then with some encouragement, you have branched out in sharing with others. Music has been a great outlet for you to express joy as well as pain. Sometimes when you are in the privacy of your bedroom, bearing your soul, perhaps unaware that anyone else can hear you, I can. I do not want to intrude, yet as I listen, I catch a glimpse into how you are feeling at the moment. If it's sadness, I cry silently along with you. If it's happiness, I still cry, but with a smile. You have been blessed with a great gift, that I believe you will reach others with. Don't let it die.

I love how we can talk adult-to-adult now. I enjoy your presence, your gentle hugs, your humor, your laughter, your helpfulness, your compassion, and still...those big blue eyes.

You are no longer the baby looking up at me, but I look up at you (literally, cuz you're so tall), and I also look up TO you, as a man, yet still my child; an example; a wonder; a beautiful person; a teacher; a son of God.

I am so lucky to be your Mom

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Teacher Trouble

When my son comes home and tells me about a negative classroom experience, I always listen patiently, and then try to explain what angle the teacher might be coming from. I always emphasize: respect!

But sometimes certain situations get my blood boiling just a bit. For instance, my son came home and said that he went to class all happy, walked in and did a little dance step, spun around, and plopped down in his chair, while giggling with other classmates. The teacher's assistant (long-time teacher in this particular department), who was teaching that day, asked "what's your name?", so he told her, and she said "do you get your attitude from your older siblings?" He gave her a quizzical look, and asked if she knew "so-and-so", and she said "oh ya", and proceeded to lecture him on respect, and pointed out that he clearly enjoys calling attention to himself, and what the proper way to act is, etc., etc. He came home completely stunned. First of all, he LOVES this subject, does well in it, shows talent in it, had a teacher at the previous school who LOVED him, all other teachers report that he's a "great" kid and that they love him and his humor, etc., etc. Secondly, he'd been labeled because of older siblings. Third, she bawled him out in front of the class. Fourth-His previous teacher "fanned a flame" and his love for this subject became a full raging fire. I'm just afraid that a negative experience with a teacher who sends clear messages to the child that she does not like him, or his presence in her classroom, is going to squelch that fire that took so much work on my part and others', to "fan" in the first place.

Other kids have complained about this teacher before, but they perform for her because she scares them to death.

I emailed the head teacher, just to voice my concern; to nip-it-in-the-bud so that his whole year isn't miserable. I was very kind in my words, and her reply was kind, yet fully supportive of her assistant. I am not usually a whiner, or a ranting and raving parent, but come on, who sticks up for the child if their own parent won't? Teachers back each other up, the principal backs up the teacher, and it's the child that is always assumed to be the one at fault.

I don't agree, and I am angry.

Just for the record though, I am in awe of teachers and am so grateful to them for all they do for all of us who learn at their feet. There is just a definite distinction between those who have a passion for teaching, and for those they teach; and those who just do it for the paycheck. Sad!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

In Love...AGAIN!

Sept. 20th was, and continues to be a magical day for me. I remember 30 years ago, the nervous yet excited bride I was, completely at peace with the choice I'd made in a husband. The beautiful Salt Lake temple, along with the people I love, were all I needed that day.

Over the years we have had our share of heartache and struggles, but we have weathered the storms and celebrated the rainbows in our life together.

My husband is the only one I can share the innermost feelings of my heart with, and know he will always love me, no matter what.

What I love about my husband is: his hugs; his humor; the way he takes care of our every need; the job he works hard at day after day even though it causes great stress; his honesty; the way he listens to me; the way he spoils me by doing things he knows I appreciate, even little things like cleaning the kitchen or washing my car (I've never had a "honey-do" list for my husband, he just does things); the way he honors his role as the Patriarch of our home and his role in our religious beliefs; the way he looks at me with adoration; the knack he has for fixing anything and everything; the way he teaches our boys how to be a man and how to treat a woman; the way he was able to shift gears from boys to a daughter and the tender way he treats our daughter (his Princess); the way he always asks what I want to do for our date night; the way he puts me first; his thoughtfulness in bringing me an alergy pill in the middle of the night when he notices I'm having a hard time, or covering me with an extra blanket when he knows I'm cold; the days he brings me flowers for no reason at all; the way he reaches for my hand, wanting me closeby; the way he loves me.

I enjoy being with him so much, that whenever we are able to get away, just the two of us, it's kinda hard to come back to real life and go our separate ways to work and other responsibilities, but how nice to know that we have a haven to return to with each other.

I am not only in love with this man, but I really, really LIKE him.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Capacity to Love

At the news of another grandson soon to join our family, I have thought about how the capacity to love keeps expanding throughout my life. I feel a deep love for someone who has not even been born yet. The birth of my own 7th child brought me as much joy and love as my first one did. The soon-to-be birth of a 3rd grandchild is as exciting as I anticipate the birth of our 36th to be. The heart has the ability to grow and love, and embrace another, and another, and another life and relationship.

I think of the hundreds, maybe even thousands of people who have crossed my path during my life; who have influenced my life for good; who have caused my heart to grow with love.

The sweetness of love is magnified when it is returned to you. Just this morning my daughter texted me, just to tell me that she thinks I'm the best Mom ever and that she hopes she will be as good of a Mom as I am someday. WOW! She made my day. It happened to come in a moment when I had just been thinking about ways I could be a better Mom. Her love in that short text came through loud and clear.

God has given me a glimpse of His love for ALL of us. I am filled with gratitude.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I have had a really busy, crazy week, and while I could've stayed home tonight to relax for a change, I chose instead to attend a get-together of women, to hear Mary Ellen Edmunds speak . She has been one of my favorites at Education Week in past years and I knew it would be an entertaining, uplifting night, and I wasn't disappointed.

She addressed the subject of enduring life. We're taught how to endure to the end, not the middle, but we've got to keep going to the end. In typical fashion, she sucked us in from the very beginning with her humor. She has a way of making me feel so comfortable that I forget I'm in a formal setting. Instead, I feel like I'm just sitting around chatting and laughing with the girls. She is very gifted at weaving in humor, stories and personal examples throughout her presentation, and while in one moment I'm laughing, the next I have a catch in my throat, as I realize the point she is trying to make, the lesson she is teaching us.

Tonight, the thing that stuck with me is: "HE knows exactly how you feel." Everyone, EVERYONE has trials (or will have) and none of us can say to another "I know exactly how you feel" because we don't. We may have some idea, and we can empathize, but we really don't know exactly how that person is feeling; but HE does.

I've heard this type of message before, have taught the concept myself in lessons I've given, but sometimes the way a certain person presents something, can hit you in a deeper way, as she did for me tonight. She told us to let HIM into our lives. Let HIM love us. We're not alone. HE knows exactly how we feel. Very powerful message.

Her brother-in-law broke his neck years ago (before he married her baby sister) and was paralyzed, although he had limited muscle activity in his upper left arm, and over time, learned how to work with water colors. He wanted to paint something for each family member and asked her what she would like a painting of. She wanted one of the Savior. She showed us a smaller print of his original artwork, his painting of Christ, and it was absolutely breathtaking. It captured all that she had talked about, imprinting in my mind and heart, that HE truly does know exactly how I feel.

We are never alone.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

One person's influence

Terry's mission President, Marvin L. Pugh, died at the age of 98. He has said in the past that he didn't think anyone would come to his funeral. His only daughter preceeded him in death when she was killed at the age of 21, in a car accident. His wife, the love of his life, passed away earlier this year. Pres. Pugh said he has no posterity, so who would come? He was wrong. He was the father figure to over 350 missionaries 30+ years ago, and they all have children and grandchildren, and ALL our lives have been influenced greatly by this magnificent man. Pages and pages were printed up with all the names of his "posterity", which was included as an insert with the program.

Terry, along with 3 other missionaries, who were called the Mormonaires on their mission as they sang together in a LIVE theatre for many months and the experience was a mission tool, had the privilege of singing Oh Danny Boy (Pres. Pugh's favorite song), with the 2nd verse written by the group (mostly Nick Mills) personalizing it to Pres. Pugh, beginning with "Oh Man of God". The guys made up the parts themselves. They sing acapella, in real tight harmony, and it was the most gorgeous thing I've ever heard. The only advice I gave them is that this wasn't to be a "performance", but a sweet tribute to Pres. Pugh. It was not to impress the congregation. The spirit carried the message beautifully.

The chapel, overflow, and cultural hall was full. Many were missionaries, some traveling long distances to be there today to honor this great man. Pres. Monson himself, came to the viewing last night, expressing what a great man Pres. Pugh was and how he had extended all of his callings to him. Unfortunately, we weren't at the viewing, (the guys were rehearsing at another location), so didn't get to see Pres. Monson, but still so cool!!

Pres. Pugh was an unassuming, humble, caring, loving man. He was a teacher. The way he taught was by example. Just by knowing him, and talking to him, made a person want to be better. He KNEW and loved the Savior.

Terry and I were married in the SLC temple Sept. 20, 1980, and Pres. Pugh performed the ceremony. He and his wife offered their home to me and my family in the days preceeding the wedding. I still remember the love extended to us, the feeling in their home, and the words spoken in the temple at our wedding, and since.

Today I have reflected on all that I've learned from this man and I think the best way to honor him, is to go forward in life, putting into practice what he has taught.

He will never be forgotten.