Category: Gratitude


Today I reflect upon the trials that my husband and I have gone through in the last 4 years. At times when there seemed no hope, Heavenly Father always reminded us of His presence and love for us.

Today I read a post on Facebook from a friend and neighbor of mine. I realized that even how large my problems have seemed, they pale in comparison to some.

With this said, I am including two links. I urge you to click on these links. Read them and try to help. Despite the problems this world faces, I refuse to believe that brotherly love and kindness do no exist.  There are good people out there who are wanting to do what God wants and truly follow Him in every sense of the word.

Please read and help if you can.

 

http://www.heartsforbinghams.org/

 

http://jasonandstacybingham.blogspot.com/

This post is out of the norm of what I usually write, but I wanted to share some valuable information for anyone who is out of work and trying to find employment.

When my first child was born, my husband and I thought it best that I quit working and stay at home for as long as I could.  I feel grateful that I have been able to do that for 20 years, but with the economy in the situation it has been and because of someone thinking a rental home of ours was their own personal  meth lab.  I have been forced back into the workforce.

My search for employment started in 2009.  I soon realized after not finding work that after 20 years I needed a lot more skills than what I had obtained.  So another decision was made for me to go back to school.  I enrolled in a technology college in my area.  I have always been kind of a computer nerd, so I really enjoyed it and learned that graphic design was the area that I really loved.

I had high hopes of being able to graduate and find employment  right off.  This was really quite a stupid assumption on my part. Yeah, I have skills now, but I also have no experience other than school in my area of expertise so to speak.

I have been graduated about 2 months now and have submitted resume after resume after resume.  Out of the 20 jobs I have applied for, I have had 3 interviews.  This is painful.  Searching the job boards day in and day out has become so depressing that I have become extremely discouraged at being able to find any employment.

My church has an employment center that has volunteers that help you find work.  Just recently  they offered a free career workshop  that I attended where I found the information invaluable.  I want to share this with others because I found out that I have been doing everything wrong when it comes to resumes, interviews and my actual job search. I thought I had no skills that I could use in the workforce, but I actually have a lot more than I thought.  I want to break up this post into more than one because there is so much information that it would be impossible to put it all into one.

To start off with, make a list of three accomplishments.  Then under each one list the skills that you learned from those accomplishments.  For example: My first accomplishment is being a mother. We were provided a list of possible skills to choose from.  At first it was hard to come up with 10 but then we worked together in groups and other people were able to help me see other skills that I did not.  Here are the skills I came up with.

Ability to Work

Good Judgement

Patience

Vision

Multi-Tasking

Fair

Forgiving Nature

Compassion

Good Listener

Knowledge

Mediation

Work Ethic

Teachable

Thrift

Tolerance

Organization

From this list, then you create a “Me in 30 Seconds” statement to begin your job interview with.  You  need to make your “Me in 30 Seconds” flexible to the job you are applying for.  For example I am looking for a graphic design job, but I do have secretary skills I can use also.  These statements need to be directed to the type of employment you are looking for.  I will give an example of my statement below so you can see how it works.  I actually used different skills that I gained from going back to school.  This was my 3rd accomplishment that I had listed.

“I am a creative graphic designer that is adaptable and a quick learner. My education was a self-paced instructional environment.  I was able to accomplish work and assignments in Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Typography, Computer Illustration, Web Design, HTML and CSS with little to no help. I designed banners, brochures, websites, photo touchups, logos, favicons, and other graphic design elements.”

You don’t want to take more than 30 seconds because time is important to interviewer.  Also, make sure not to add any personal information into this interview.  Guaranteed that the first question that will be asked in an interview is “Tell me a little about yourself”.  If you give personal  information in this answer  it can be used to discriminate against you.  Even though it is illegal to do so, they will do it.  I found that in each interview I kept telling them that I had just graduated from school.  I was proud of this accomplishment, but they see me as inexperienced and everything that I say after that is hard for them to hear because the “inexperience” is the first thing they heard.  I would also add in that I had been a stay-at-home mom for that past 20 years.  This was also wrong.  In my attempt to let them see I was need of employment, I was actually saying that perhaps  my ability to work would be compromised because of my children and their needs from me.  It makes me mad to think the employers would do this, because I am a hard, dependable worker but they don’t know me and judge me by what they hear.

You also want to develop what you call “Power Statements”.  You  need about four of these to use throughout the interview.  There are I Am, I Have, I Can.  You need to let your knowledge work for you.  Select two or three skills. You want to start out with a skill, give an example and then result.  The following is an example of mine that I will be using:

“I can learn quickly, for example: I was an entertainer for the Cache County Fair.  I had to learn and memorize 13 different songs within a couple of months and target the audience that I would be performing for. As a result, I was asked to perform for 4 more years.”

So even though this had nothing to do with work experience, I gained valuable skills from this.  Here are some of the skills:

Determination, confidence, adaptability, flexibility, vision, problem solving, positive attitude, courage, follow through, motivation, endurance, working with others, social interaction, personal drive.

I will end with a list of possible traits and/or skills you can choose from which will help you decide where you have strengths.  This is just a small list that actually can help you think of more skills:

Ability to work with others, adaptability, analytical ability, artistic talent, business sense, caring nature, cheerful attitude, collaboration, confidence, courage, creativity, decisiveness, dedication, dependability, determination, endurance, enthusiasm, experience, fairness, faith, fearlessness, flexibility, forgiving nature, friendliness, generosity, global expertise, good character, good judgement, gratitude, honesty, industriousness, intelligence, intuition, kindness, knowledge, leadership, learning quickly, motivation, negotiation, nurturing, organization, patience, persistence, personal drive, persuasion, positive attitude, problem-solving, relationship-building, resourcefulness, respectfulness, responsibility, sense of adventure, sense of humor, service to others, social interaction, spirituality, teachableness, teaching ability, thoughtfulness, thrift, tolerance, trusthworthiness, understanding, vision, willingness and worth ethic.

I truly believe that God does not want any of us to fail in life.  Sometimes we let discouragements get in the way of this knowledge, but He does want us to be the best we can be and He can help us get there.  I find if I rely upon Him each day through prayer that I can overcome any insecurities or trials that I go through.  I know He is there and wants us to be happy.

Feel free to comment and ask questions.  If I have the answer, I will give it to you or find it out.

The next segment I will go into will be appearance and body language.

Why I Love My Kids

Today was a very stressful day.  In the area we live in, we have been receiving a lot of rain instead of our usual snow.  It made for some very scary roads.  This morning the sun had come out and the roads were wet, but not icy. Or so we thought.

My daughter came home from school yesterday telling her father that her car acted like it was overheating.  So this morning he put some antifreeze in it and took it for a spin to see if the problem was taken care of.   He hit an unseen patch of ice and totaled her car.  He is O.K., but the car was not.  My husband was so broken hearted to have to tell his daughter what he had done to her car.

Kids have this ability to be so resilient when as adults we worry ourselves into the ground.  I happened upon the following entry that my daughter wrote in her blog.  I have to share it with you because it brought a huge smile to my face during an extremely stressful time and put what is really important into perspective.  My family.

Arianna’s Entry:

RIP, Sparky

BENSON, Utah- 1996 Dodge Intrepid “Sparky”, 16, met his demise Jan. 20, 2012 after sliding across an icy road and slamming into one heck of a mailbox post. His bumper was torn to shreds, his lights were shattered, and both of his airbags were ejected. Due to my family’s inability to pay for his medical bills, he was euthanized at Cache Valley Metals the morning of his accident.Sparky left us with a rich legacy of driving into ditches and growling like a hungry grizzly bear. He was a morose individual, always snarling unhappily when his engine came to life, skittering across the road when the snow was falling. Sparky hated winter and winter hated Sparky. He would be glad to realize that he no longer has to deal with snow again.Sparky was adopted my junior year in high school after my parents’ Intrepid exploded on their way to get him, thus, forcing them to bring him home. He was a carefree car at one point of his life, his power steering ripping you across the asphalt, his engine a gentle hum.

The day that he first drove into a ditch and had to be pulled out by a tractor was the day when part of Sparky died. He’s never been himself since.

Sparky and I had many adventures together, such as driving to BYU on the freeway for the first time and that time when I ripped off his BYU tramp stamp with a spatula. He got the nickname Sparky after his battery died at Steve’s house and the jumper cables nearly electrocuted poor Steve. His battery failed him two times that night. I thought I would lose him.

How Sparky could have looked in his glory days.

He is survived by me, and I don’t know how I’ll replace him. We’re all as broke as the Sphinx’s nose around here, but we’ll find some way to make do.

The world will be a lot more quiet without Sparky around to growl at it.

Here’s to you, my dear friend. May your axle be straight and your engine a proud roar in car heaven.

As I look back on my most memorable Christmas’, the ones I remember are the most simplest ones.  The years that we have struggled and some dear “Angel” has come to our rescue.  I cannot begin to tell you how many times that has happened.

One year we started a family tradition of giving each brother a sister a tree ornament.  I remember the time and effort that was put into some of those.  My sister had handmade hers and they were beautiful. I cherished these ornaments.  I thought of each one of my brothers, sisters and in-laws as I would put those on the tree.  It became especially important to me after the death of my mother.  Family became the most important thing to me.

This particular year stands out to me as one of the most memorable.  We used to keep our tree and ornaments in our garage because we didn’t have enough room in the house.  As tradition, we always put up the tree on Thanksgiving or the day after.  I had my husband go out to the garage and bring out my box of beautiful ornaments.  When he came into the house the look on his face caused me alarm.  Our tree and ornaments had been invested with mice.  We live on a farm, so it is normal to have mice all over but for some particular reason this year was worse than previous years.

When I opened the boxes, I realized that nothing was salvageable.  My first response was tears.  All of the hard work that had gone into those ornaments from my family, plus all of the handmade ones my children had made for me came rushing to my memory so fast that it was overwhelming.  I was devastated.  They weren’t just ornaments, they were family memories.  After the tears passed, then came the thought of how are we going to have a tree this year.  My husband had been unemployed, his father had recently passed away and it had been a hard year financially.   We eventually found a small fake tree and decided that it was going to have to do.  We would just find something else for ornaments.

One night as we pulled into our home, I noticed a big box sitting on our back porch.  We all walked cautiously toward it not knowing why it was there and what was in it.  As I slowly opened the box, inside lay ornament after ornament.  No name, no nothing to identify the giver.  Tears filled my eyes as I looked at those ornaments.  No, they were not the handmade memories I had cried over a few days ago, but they were memories of the love I felt for this stranger who had helped make my kids Christmas a special one.

This was not the only time we have felt the love of our Father in Heaven through special people that we have in our lives.  Some we know, some we don’t.  The giving did not stop at that year.  One year we found a beautiful handmade quilt on our front porch.  No name, nothing to identify the giver only the two sets of footprints left in the snow; one big, one small.  I looked at those prints and thought to myself, someone is teaching a child the importance of giving service to another.  I have cherished that blanket ever since.  I know it had to have taken hours to make and I was overwhelmed that someone would spend that much time on a gift for us.  As we knelt in family prayer that night, we thanked our Heavenly Father for another “Angel” that was now part of our Christmas memories.

Another year of hardship, we found money taped to our front door.  A simple message of “Hope you have a merry Christmas” was all that was written on it.  As I look back on these moments, there is nothing I can do to pay these dear souls back.  We still don’t know who some of these acts of service have come from, but it instilled in us a greater desire to serve others.  So each year the “Rees” elves try to do something to make someone else’s Christmas one to remember.  We never tell who, what, where or when; that takes the fun out of it.  Today a complete stranger will hopefully feel the Spirit of Christmas from some “Angels” who are paying it forward and being the hands of a loving Father in Heaven who knows all.  He knows our sufferings and our joy and always places people in our  lives at the right time and the right place to ease that suffering.  This is going to be fun!

Merry Christmas and may you remember the blessings that you have this Christmas season and pay it forward.  This is what true happiness is all about!

Project 7

A recent experience I had has prompted me to ponder about what is important in our lives.  My son and I were in Wal-Mart today and as I stood waiting to be checked out I noticed a couple of displays.  One was called “Save The Earth Gum” Plant Trees.  The other was called “Feed The Hungry”.  They were mints.

From the research I have done, these two products come from the same company.  By purchasing one product, the money goes toward planting trees, by purchasing the other product you would help provide meals for 7  American families.

This caught my attention.  What I noticed at first was that the entire box of “Save The Earth Gum” was gone.  Not one of the “Feed The Hungry” was gone.  This hit me hard.  This hit my 14-year-old son hard.  I usually have a hard time donating to things like this to begin with, because you are not entirely sure that the money goes where it is supposed to.  The charities that I donate to give 100% of my donation to where I want it to go.  That is why I contribute to them.  Although in this case, I did buy a “Feed The Hungry” mint.  They were actually cheaper than the gum.

I felt a prick at my heart as I sat there looking at the two displays.  I began to wonder what is important to people in America.  As my son and I left the store, we made an effort to look at every display of both products on every aisle.  Not one of the “Feed The Hungry” trays were empty.  In fact, it didn’t look like any of them had been bought at all.  The “Save The Earth Gum” however was gone out of most of the aisle except for one.  That aisle  had a few left in it. I have  never seen that aisle actually open so that could account for the tray being full.

I thought to myself, “How many of the people buying the “Save The Earth Gum” have ever had a starving child”.  How many of them have ever sent their kids to bed at night with tears streaming because they are hungry or they themselves were hungry?  How many of them even have children to understand the pains this causes a parent?

Have we become so “Save the Earth” friendly that we have forgotten about the very people who will be taking care of the earth in the future?  We are so bent on saving the earth that we forget who or what we are saving it for?  Are we not saving it for future generations to enjoy as we have?  What if future generations don’t live to see it?  Do we save the earth so that someday it can sit in orbit uninhabited just there with no one to enjoy the beauty in it?

We have become too callous in our lives.  How often do we look outside of our blessings and see that not everyone has what we have.  Not everyone in our nation of prosperity, freedom, and comfort has food to eat.  It is a sad fact people.  Far too many American’s are going to bed hungry.   I might be wrong, but don’t trees reproduce on their own?  I know I will have trees pop up all over the place.  Some in places that I don’t want them and some where I do.  Our starving children and  neighbors won’t appear again somewhere else in the neighborhood, or in a different spot in our yard.  When they die, they are gone. Life is so tangible.  No, we may not know these people but they are someone’s son, daughter, grandchild, mother, father, sister, brother or grandparent.  If we cannot feel for them then there is no hope for us.

The ugly pride and lack of compassion we have towards others in this country is growing and is quite truthfully sickening.  Too many people think that the way they are important or are influential in this country  is how much money they have or what brand of clothing they wear and how much they paid for it.  Clothing isn’t the only thing on the list of things we measure our worth against.  How about big homes, nice cars, the newest and best techno gadgets that come out etc. Yet, how many are truly grateful for what they have.  Does that $200 pair of shoes make you a better person because you are wearing them?  No, I think what makes a better person is our ability to see a need and do what we can to help no matter our station or financial ability in life is.

My daughter works for a company that is designed completely around charity.  It is a thrift store that people donate used items to that go back up for resale at lower prices for people who don’t have a lot of money to afford.  They also ship a lot of goods to other countries whose people are in need.  She related a story to me that gave me a whole different perspective on what I thought was important.  Sometimes when things are donated at this store, there will be a missing shoe to a pair.  When these items are taken to other countries, these people don’t care if the shoes don’t match.  They are so grateful to have shoes to wear that a matching pair is not important to them.  They don’t care if plaids should never be worn with stripes.  Or perhaps that a certain color should never be worn in a particular season.

We should all ask ourselves this question each day, “What have I done to make this world better today?”  “Have I helped someone who needed me today?”   I ask…how do you want to be measured in life?  I pray that I am measured by the good I do.  Even when I can’t help, but have that desire I hope that God will look on my heart and know that if I could I would.

Don’t get your hopes up.  This isn’t some fantastic recipe for Mexican food.  You couldn’t be so lucky.  My cooking basically is nothing more than a process to keep us alive another day.  I don’t waste a lot of time cooking for two main reasons: Number 1: I always make a huge mess that needs to be cleaned up.  Number 2: Delicious food skips the metabolism stage in my body  and goes directly to the hips, butt and thighs.  Why would I do that to myself?  I can’t think of one reasonable answer.  This post is about having someone else cook and clean and I get to spend precious time with my beautiful kids.  This is priceless.

So tonight was my date with two of the most handsome young men in my  life, my sons.  I look forward to these outings so much.  It is a time to relax and enjoy their company without any concerns of when to be home.  You can really find out a lot about your kids when you take the time.

There is this fantastic Mexican restaurant that is a favorite of ours.  Whenever we celebrate something special, this is the place we go.  Well when the boys were deciding what to do on our night out, El Toro Viejo was the place to eat.  I do not know what they put  in that food, but every time we eat there I get laughing and can’t stop.  Tonight was no different from any other time.

I have a reputation of mixing up my words or saying something really stupid at drive-up windows.  I have now entered into the restaurant sector.  When I went to order my chicken chimichanga, I accidentally said chicky.  I don’t know what came after that because I felt like an idiot at that point and was trying to cover my blunder.  I couldn’t even remember what it was I was ordering.  My sons wanted to climb in a hole.  I did too but no one else was going to order, so I had to pull it out and pull it together.

After we got our meal, my youngest son was sitting there and all of a sudden got a funny look on his face.  He slowly grabbed his napkin and started mopping at his pants.  He then says, “Why is it every time we come here I spill water on my pants thus making it look like I wet my pants”?  Of course me and my other son started laughing because it was true.  Only minutes later, this same son started laughing and looking at my other son and pointing at his shirt.  We all looked and he had spilled salsa all over himself.  This only made the laughing worse.  You may think I am kidding while telling this story but it is absolutely true.  Not even three minutes later, my “Salsa” son started  pointing and laughing at my “water” son.  Sure enough….salsa all over his shirt.  I could not stop laughing.  At this point I interjected with, “What is up with this?  I feel like I am eating with two kindergarteners”.  We all had a good laugh and finally settled down to finish our dinner.  As we are getting up to leave, my son erupted with laughter and started pointing at me……I too had succumbed to the massive spillage of  salsa down the front of my shirt.  He then says, “What is up with having to eat with two kindergarteners?” All control was lost at that point.  I was crying.  When I am at the tears point an extreme lack of oxygen then follows.  I nearly had to be carried out on a stretcher. Wouldn’t have been near as funny had we all not been giving each other so much carp over being “pigs”.

This restaurant was the same one that my sons and daughter started bouncing at various intervals to the tuba in the Mariachi background music.  I felt like I was in a Spanish version of “Whack-a-Mole”.  You could even pronounce it whatckamoley to sound like guacamole.  All that was missing was the club.  I left that by my bed at home.

Since I won’t leave you a recipe, I will leave you a piece of “Eating Out” advice.  Don’t like cooking, but can give advice:  Never and I mean never allow the waitress in a Mexican restaurant to sit you by the bathrooms.  You need at least 150 feet downwind. This is not pretty people.  Not pretty and very wrong.  I have found that there are a lot of people who can’t hold down their Mexican food.  This is not something you want to smell while eating.

So there is the advice for whatever it is worth.

Laundry Nightmares

When my husband and I first got married, we had no washer and dryer.  Some days I would get off  work and pick him up at his parents house where he had been doing laundry all day.  I have to give him huge props for this because…..his mother didn’t have a conventional washer.   You guessed it, she had one of those old ringer washers.  I couldn’t believe it when my husband told me he had been doing laundry all day on one of those.  We then would take the laundry to a laundromat and dry them.  Became a huge pain in the wazoo.

We finally were able to purchase us a used washer and dryer.  Modern conveniences are highly under appreciated.

If you are like me, it seems like with every child that came along I had more and more laundry to do and got behind more and more.  Hikers don’t need to spend money on airline tickets to Nepal and months of physical preparedness to hike Everest.  They can just come to my house and climb it.  It is always there, lurking…waiting….and daring someone to attack it.

Many times I have come home to find that my husband has decided to help me out and do the laundry.  I have learned not to complain about the way he folds things if he is willing to help.  My mother was a stickler for the way towels should be folded and put in the closet.  I used to secretly unfold the towels and refold them after my husband did so that it wouldn’t drive me nuts.  I don’t do that anymore.  I will take the help where I can get it.

As much as I love his help with this task, there are some serious fallouts from it.  I am not sure if my husband understands the concept of “sort”.  I have found delicates that look…..I can’t even describe how they look.  A couple of winters ago, I bought my daughters some really cute beanies with braids.  When folding the laundry one day, I pulled one of them out and well……it was very apparent that the hat was made of wool.  It should have never been put in the dryer.  It now fits our pug Lola.  Doesn’t she look beautiful?

Another good example of how the “non-sort” and “everything goes in the dryer” thinking can be disastrous:  At the time, I was a teacher in my LDS ward.  It was my Sunday to teach and I pulled out a pair nylons to wear.  All was good until I got to church and sat down.  I immediately realized that there was a huge problem with the nylons.  My dear husband, bless his heart, had washed and dried my nylons.  When I went to the bathroom to see what was going on with them, I could see that first: The nylons looked like a cat had used them for a scratching post.  Second: the waistband was all stretched to heck.  I stood there thinking, “What the heck?”  when I realized that my husband must had sent them through the wash.

As I went through my lesson, which thank goodness was in front of only ladies, the more terrible the situation became.  Everytime I raised my arm to write on the chalk board, the nylons would fall down.  It got to where I had to hold on to them everytime I lifted an arm to keep them from dropping clear to the floor.

By the time I left church and arrived at the back door of my house, my nylons were to my knees.  By the time I got to my room….they were around my ankles.  I didn’t have the heart to explain the situation to my husband.

Flash forward to yesterday.  He was home from work and I had school.  When I came home, I was cleaning up the front room and turned to see him carrying a load of laundry to the bedroom to be folded.  In it…..some of my delicates that were mixed up with jeans, etc.  Not sure what I am going to find, but when I pray at night, I thank my Father in Heaven for a husband who does  laundry.  This is what helps me look past his “non-sorting” ways.  I will just have to put the delicates in the witness protection program to save their lives.

Today I went school shopping.  I really  shouldn’t have to say anymore.  I do not enjoy this activity at all.  I tried to depict my dilemma with the photo to the left.  My 16-year-old son, called “Slim” by some and “Bones” by others is 6ft 1in and is about 1 inch in diameter.  I can never find pants to fit this kid.  I have gone to every store in town trying to find him a pair.  Nightmare #1.

Then there is my  daughter Kori, whom I call “Crazy Feathers” because of her hair.  If you have every watched the old movie called “Hawmps” you would know exactly what I am talking about.  Anyway she is about 5ft 2in and her legs are so flippin’ short that I can’t find pants to fit her.  I just spent 3 hours going from store to store trying to find a pair that wasn’t too long for her.  Nightmare#2.

To add “insult to injury” I broke my toe over two weeks ago.  Walking is not a favorite pastime lately and while shopping today I could feel it starting to swell because of our three-hour trek.  While my daughter was in the dressing room at one store trying on a pair of pants, I sat down on a nearby bench to wait for her.  I went to cross my legs to get the pressure off of the foot and was sitting way too close to the edge of the bench.  Up went the other end and down towards the floor I plummeted.  In the process of trying to keep myself from looking like a complete fool or “Raca” as my husband would say, I smacked my throbbing swollen toe on the wall.  Which was still in pain from me stubbing it on the table leg at home about 2 hours earlier.  I almost cried…not quite, but almost.   I nearly found myself on the floor in the worship position at some girl’s feet. Nightmare #3.

My daughter couldn’t let me have all the fun so while shopping in the same store, we were in a tight clearance rack area and she turned to the person behind her and apologized for bumping into them only to find that she was apologizing to herself in the mirror.  I asked her, “You didn’t just do that did you?”  Of course, we both about fell on the floor laughing.   I didn’t dare turn and look to see if someone was watching.  At this point, I really wanted out of the store before someone thought that the both of us had escaped from a psych ward or something.  My daughter is blonde…I will cut her some slack.  I personally own a few blonde moments and I am not blonde.

I am grateful for my other two children who seem to have normal leg length that doesn’t cause me too much grief.  Of course I always had long legs, my mother’s answer to this…..floods.  We didn’t have that many options for inseams back in the day.  If they didn’t fit, you wore them short.  Which unfortunately I did most of the time.  This pretty much scarred my pre-teen life.  I still have this problem.

I guess to be fair to my poor kids…..I will add an artistic rendering of myself also.  I have long cellulite-covered legs and a 2 inch high waist also covered in cellulite.  I would like to tell my kids it will get better, but I doubt it will.  We are genetically stuck with these bodies and must learn to accept them for what they are or are not.  Be grateful you have legs, long or short.  Be grateful you have hair, crazy  or not.  Be grateful you have a waist…cellulite free or not.  Be grateful you have a toe, broken or not. Be grateful you are alive…because personally, I wouldn’t want to miss one moment of  my crazy family’s life!

Well I have had it!  I decided that since this stupid weather in Utah can’t decide to warm up that I was going to think positive and put up my pool thinking the theory “When I wash my car, it will rain” will apply.  Only it will be “I will put up the pool so the sun will shine”. 

This will probably be wishful thinking.  I will probably be scraping the snow off of it next week.  Today might be the warmest day in the next week to even swim and the water is freezing cold.

The official sign of summer is when the pool goes up.  In years past come March my kids would start asking, “When are we going to put up the pool?”.  Of course March in Utah is never a good time to put up a pool or even come within 15 ft. of an outdoor pool.  We are never that lucky.  Then it was April, then May and this year…no one has asked.  I was the one taking the initiative to do it.

I remember as a kid living in  Florida that everyday we went to the public pool.  It was great!  Anyone under 17 got in for free.  That was the life.  Of course it was about 115 degrees.  We would have died if we wouldn’t have been able to.  I think letting people in free to the pool was the city’s way of avoiding mass deaths during the summer months.  I remember swimming one day and seeing a guy do a belly flop off of an 80 ft. platform.  It didn’t kill him, but nearly.  He laid on the side of the pool for about 1 hour.  That single event made me never want to try high diving.

I truly believe that I am a fish in human clothing.  I love water and swimming.  This has not always been the case.  When I was 10 I almost drowned while living in Florida.  The scariest event of my life to date.  So it took some time for me to get over the fear of water.  I still do not like diving anymore.  If I don’t come up as fast as I should I start to panic.  Other than that, I am fine.  I even joined the high school swim team to get over my fear of water and to be able to have a class at school that I could play in the water for an hour.

I remember at age 17 we traveled to Florida for Christmas.  It was weird to see a Christmas without being in 5 feet of snow.  The weather was a balmy 72 degrees.  To Utahns 70 degrees in December is something you take advantage of.  So like a bunch of nut jobs, we went swimming in the ocean.  The Floridians walking the beach thought we were completely insane, but how many times to you get to swim in the ocean while living in Utah?  Oh, that would be  NONE!!!  I live near a carp invested river and that is the closest to a beach I get.  Of course we joke about our “beach front” property.  More like Redneck beach front property.  I truly believe that I have probably missing seeing one of those redneck houseboats floating down the river. 

Got to love summer.  One of my favorite seasons of the year.  Although it does bring some sadness this year.  It will be the first summer for 19 years  that I will not be at home with my kids all day doing that things you do when it is warm. This brings sadness to my heart.  I am almost done with school and hopefully will not miss another summer with them again.  The realization of how hard this would be hit yesterday, their full day at home and I was at school.  It nearly brought me to tears.  Being a stay-at-home mom has been the best job I have had for 19 years.  No, it doesn’t pay much, but the benefits and awards so outweigh the monitarial compensation.  I have truly been blessed to do this for so many years.

Still Kicking!

I am not one who believed that the world would end today.  I did not waste one minute or dollar worrying about it.  I do feel sorry for the poor old sap that spent his life savings of $140,000 to advertise that it was coming to an end.  What a waste.  Yeah you can’t take it with you, but he should have saved that money for when gas hits $10 a gallon and a loaf of bread will cost the same as a small child.

I find it ironic how many people believed this.  So many people are misled by those who have a warped sense of divine inspiration.  Do I believe the world will end, yes.  But it will not be totally obliverated.  It will just not be the same as we know it.  It will be better when all is said and done.  As you read the  bible and begin to understand the bible you will see the signs and wonders to look for for this day.  I have seen some, but not all.  That is why I was not worried.  I am greatful for the knowledge I have that I can gain personal revelation from God for myself and know what is true and what isn’t.  That is a blessing in my life that I will always be greatful for.

I see God’s wisdom in having true and living prophets on the earth to guide us.  How else are we going to be able to tell the truth from the falsehoods.  So many people have stopped believing in the bible.  When you consider that there are 3,000+ different copies of the Bible one wouldn’t wonder why people think it is just a made a story.  Who are people to think they can add too or take away from the bible unless that revelation has come directly from God.  Who else would know the history of the world and what was true and what wasn’t.  No one knows when the world will end and I see God’s wisdom in that too.  If everyone knew when the exact day the world would end, they would repent the day before of all the  bad things they have done and hope  to make it to heaven.  When we don’t know when that day will come, then it spurs us to live the kind of lives we should be living on a daily basis so that when they day comes we have no reason to fear God or his judgements.  We live like that because we love Him and want to live with Him forever, not because we want to live in the world and “be of the world” up until the last minute without really  having a desire to be good and  live righteous lives.

Speaking of the world ending, it almost did  yesterday but it wasn’t because of the reasons told, it was because of me.  I had an experience that totally floored me.  I am the type of person who tries to see the good in all people and I am fairly trusting because I try to be like that.  I was selling a Louis Vuitton replica handbag in our local classifieds and was contacted by a lady who wanted to purchase it.  She lived about 90 miles south of us and didn’t want to come to my house to buy it.  I being accomodating (this is probably one of my weaknesses) told her that I would overnight it to my sister who lived in the area she did so it would be there the next day.  Then I told her my sister would contact her to make arrangements to pick it up.

The woman then proceded to ask me if I was the type of person who would make a deal with someone and then at the last minute decided to sell it to the highest bidder or whoever came first.  I related a story to her of a situation where someone did that to my husband when he drove 180 miles to buy a car from someone and had made arrangements ahead of time, and when he arrived the person selling the car had just sold it to someone  who showed up 5 minutes before my husband had.  This is about the lowest any individual could get next to pond scum on my list and so I will not do that to anyone. I told her that a deal is a deal and I meant that.

With the arrangements made, I shipped off the handbag which cost me a fair amount and waited for a call from my sister so I could give her the information to deposit the money in my account.  Well, I got a call from my sister alright.  When she called this invidual to tell her the bag had arrived.  The lady told her she was no longer interested in it and didn’t want it.  This was when the world just about ended.  It probably wouldn’t have bothered me so much had this woman expressed her concerns over MY integrity.

I am still speechless.  You don’t know how I used restraint in not calling her up and expressing my “dissatisfaction” in her behavior.  In fact, if it had not been for the good examples of my daughter’s who told me to not doing anything while I was mad, I probably would have.  Who cares about the bag not selling, it was her character that appalled me.  Not once did she consider me and my costs involved.  If she didn’t want it, why didn’t she call me and tell me.  Why didn’t she offer to pay the shipping costs I was out for flaking out on me the last minute. 

My sister called me this morning to see if I had calmed down and then proceeded to tell me that the world almost ended today because of something that happened to her.  One of my mother’s dearest possesions was a horseshoe set that belong to her father.  After her father died she cherished this horshoe set because my grandfather had made it.  My mother died 14 years ago in a car accident and my sister got the horseshoe set.  She also cherishes this set like my mother did.  Last year, one of the stakes ended up missing.  She has gone crazy trying to find it.  It nearly broke her heart.  She lives in a duplex and was out cleaning out the garage this morning when she looked down and noticed the stake laying in the grass next to her neighbors weight bench.  This man had taken from her yard,wrapped electrical tape around the ends and was using it for his weight set.  He had had it in his house since last year and had just moved his weights outside.

Now people if you wonder why the world will come to an end, it is because of examples like these.  A lot of people don’t care anymore how they treat their neighbors.  They have no conscience of guilt and until everyone lives Christlike lives and treats other’s the way they want to be treated, the world will come to an end.  Because Satan’s influence runs so rampant in the hearts of the children of men, we will never see peace in this world until the Son of God returns.  Because a lot of people have no desire to change.