Tag Archive: Gratitude


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.

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I am not sure there is one woman on this planet who enjoys cleaning a toilet.  If there is I would like to meet them.  Yet, to have to clean something so disgusting is far better than not having one at all.  At least during the flu season.

When flu season arrives, toilets are our friends.  About 3 Christmas ago, we found out just how grateful we are for those porcelain pieces of furniture.

We had a family Christmas party at my sisters.   This is once when I can honestly say, those who weren’t there are the luckiest suckers on earth.

The family Christmas party was held just days before Christmas.  We have about 70 plus now in the extended family, but I believe at that time there were probably only 60 something and of those sixty I believe only 35 of us were there.  My husband and kids and I always have a Christmas Eve party.  I planned big, we had Chinese food and all kinds of goodies.  It was great fun until later that night one of my kids complained of not feeling well.

I hoped that it was just something passing so that their Christmas would not be ruined.  By the time we went to bed three children were sick.  We started dropping like flies people. Christmas morning welcomed the entire family having the flu.  The worst Christmas ever.  We barely managed to get packages opened between trips to the bathroom.

Most of us laid and moaned all day.  I began to wonder if some of my cooking had given us all food poisoning, until I started calling around and getting calls from the family.  What we realized is that within a five-day period 26 of the 35 people had the flu.  It nearly took out the entire family.  We then thought that perhaps we ate something at the party that gave us food poisoning.  We could not find a common denominator.  I do believe to this date nothing has made me sicker except for morning sickness.

When  every Christmas rolls around at least one child tells me that they never want to see Chinese food again.  It is not what made everyone sick, but everyone remembers what it is like revisiting that meal over and over again.  I have always been one that hardly ever throws up.  I remember the few times I have it has been with a migraine combined with motion sickness.  Other than that, morning sickness with my first child for 5 months was the only puking I have done.

Up until this Christmas day, I had not thrown up for 15 years.  I broke that record and made up for all those years in 6 days.  None of us could eat for about two weeks.  It was horrible.

I bring this up because I think there should be laws that only person can get the flu at a time in a family.  I don’t know who to talk to about this, but it is unfair for a mother to have to deal with.  I came to this conclusion last night while I was up most of the night with two sons suffering from the flu.  It is going on three days now and neither one of them has slept for the last two nights because of the attachment they have with “John”.

I breathe a sign of relief that we made it past Christmas before this hit, but now I await to see how many of us get it.  Unfortunately when Mom gets sick I still have to be mom.  No quitting for me.  I am keeping my distance and crossing my fingers.

So the next time you mumble under your breath while elbow deep into the toilet, remember what it would be like if you didn’t have one and what you would have to clean up.  Puts everything into perspective, I say.

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.

Because of recent events in decrease in cash flow, all of my children were required to ride the bus instead of drive to school.  Of course, my daughters were rushing to get out the door because of the time constraint and I was rushing trying to help my 12 year old with his homework he didn’t do the night before.  Oatmeal was not my meal of choice, but the only available food substance this morning. 

Oatmeal is best ate when it is warm.  No doubt about that.  Of course, some children were slow getting to the table and by the time the prayer was said, the oatmeal was cold.  As I sat there choking down every last bit, cold lump by cold lump I began to wonder why I had to eat cold oatmeal.  I am sure my children were wondering the same thing because of the moans and groans I heard throughout the 5 minute meal. 

Sometimes when I am asked what is for dinner, I will reply “pig slop”.  Even though it may look like pig slop and perhaps taste like it to some, that pig slop was not retrieved from a dumpster or landfill somewhere.  I did not have to go scrounging through a sesspool of filth, flies and maggots to provide the meal.  Yeah, it may not taste like chicken chimichangas or pizza, but it was edible and will keep you alive for one more day. 

Consistently expressing sincere and heartfelt gratitude for what you already have is the underlying and
often overlooked force which opens doors to immeasurable abundance and happiness.  Heavenly Father has blessed us greatly and it is to Him we owe our lives.