Tag Archive: sons

Facing Your Fears

This past week, I was privileged to travel with a group of about 30 youth and a few adults to Jackson Hole Wyoming for a youth conference.

In my mind I tell myself that I am an adventurous soul, but then some situations I get in I truly ask myself, “What were you thinking?”

Our first day we embarked on a river raft trip down the Snake River. I was all stoke for this until we actually got to the river. All of a sudden, I remembered the time I almost drown as a kid and I started getting really nervous. Not to mention that the entire boat contained young girls between the ages of 12 and 18. Then there were four women and on guide. In my mind I kept thinking, “Shouldn’t we have at least one more guide so if I fall in someone can help me back in, while the other guides the boat?” No, no more guides just Alex.

As we started off down the calmer part of the river, Alex was good as relieving our fears and told us he hadn’t lost anyone yet. This particular sentence wasn’t very comforting because I had a doctor tell me he had never had any problems with a certain surgery and guess what…I was his first problem and nearly died. So I kept thinking to myself, I will be the first of Alex’s “losses”.

I realized that as we conquered each wave, how I relaxed more and actually started enjoying it even though the water was only 48 degrees and I had lost all feeling in my right foot.

I came on this trip with three of my children, one daughter and two sons. I knew two of my children were the adventurous type, but my one son really surprised me. You could get a bracelet for jumping into the river at a certain point. He actually jumped into the water. My daughter was the first on our boat, which was not surprising, to jump in and my other son… He had to do it three times. I am not sure I would have been that adventurous at their age.

At one point my “safe” son was actually “riding the bull” at the front of the boat through the waves. This really surprised me. After we got on the bus, my younger “crazier” son informed me that he had ridden the bull through the lunch counter. This almost gave me a heart attack. I guess he figured it was better to do it and then ask for permission later. This kid will be the death of me.

By the time we ended the trip I was really wanting more river to conquer as was most of the girls. The whole trip was designed to get us out of our comfort zone and try new things. I was definitely out of my comfort zone and would in fact do this again. It was very fun.

That night we drove in to Jackson to play night games at the high school. I actually found this to be more out of my comfort zone than almost anything else we did just because of what happened there.

I am an extremely jumpy and paranoid person. Because of experiences growing up, I am extremely cautious when put in some situations. A couple of weeks before coming on this trip, we had a retired police officer come and speak to the girls about being safe and how to avoid bad situations. It was very informative and added to my paranoid nature.

While we were playing night games, I started to get really thirsty. I noticed a building by the football field where we were playing. I decided that I would walk over and see if there was a drinking fountain. Now it was dark and the only light came from a couple of street lights and some flashlights the kids had.

When I got to the building and noticed it was restrooms, I decided I was use the facilities while there. As I approached a door to see which bathroom I was at, a voice came out of the dark asking me what we were doing. I nearly died. I couldn’t see anyone and could only tell in what direction the voice was coming from. I knew the voice was not attached to anyone I knew so I was extremely startled. I explained that we were playing capture the flag and the person asked a couple of more questions. At this point I had a few red flags going up in my head. I decided to leave the conversation and continue on to my destination…the lady’s room. When I got to the back side of the building, I started getting more and more nervous. I realized that I had just put myself in an extremely volatile situation. I was behind a building, in the dark and a stranger knew I was there and I was pretty sure that a few or anyone even knew the stranger was there.

I decided to go into the bathroom anyway because at this point I really had to go and couldn’t wait. When I entered the bathroom, the light automatically came on, which kind of scared me because I was already on edge. I got in the stall and did my duty and as I was getting ready to go out of the stall, the lights went off. I nearly had a heart attack. I kid you not, I thought I was about to get involved in a smack down and no one would a hear a thing that happened. I stood there with hand on handle listening and waiting to see if I could hear anything.

After a couple of minutes had passed, I knew I couldn’t stay in the stall all night and that I had to come out. I slowly opened the door and tried to look in the dark for any movement. Because the stall door next to me was opened, it blocked any dim view I had of the exit. I stood there for what seemed an eternity before I finally shoved the stall door next to me hoping that if someone was on the other side of it, I would knock them out on impact.

After the door stopped swinging, I listened for noise and didn’t hear anything, so I decided to head for the exit. I took about four steps when the light came on. I stood there with a deer in the headlight look thinking I was going to see the perp in front of me who had shut off the light, but there was no one. After my heart slowed to 300 bm I realized it was possible that the lights were automatic in some way. This did not remove the fear I was feeling. I stood with hand on the exit door handle for about five minutes trying to figure out what I should do. Do I slowly open the door and look side to side or do I just bust out like the flippin’ john was on fire. I came to the conclusion that if someone was out there, they would be surprised by my bolting out of there and thus giving me an upper hand.

It was probably about 5 minutes before I had the guts to bust out. I swung that door open and flew out of there like there was no tomorrow, not looking what was behind me.

I later found out that this guy ending up being obnoxious and thus ending the kids’ night of fun. Which confirmed my suspicions of the guy to begin with. I shook for quite a while afterwards.

The next day of our adventures took us to a ropes course at in the middle of nowhere in Idaho. Here we would be facing our fears on a rock wall and zip line. I was really stoked for this and thought it would be fun. When we arrived, I soon noticed how secluded it was and how some of the trails were hard to see.  Now we had been seeing bear warning signs along the road, so in the back of my mind there was a small thought of perhaps running into one. As we were walking along this trail to a hidden pavilion, all of a sudden I see a giant brown head. I nearly dropped dead right there until I realized it was a brown lab. I told myself what a stupid idiot I was to get so scared and the chances of seeing a bear would be slim to none.

Well that fear was intensified when the advisors of the course told us that a black bear had just come through there earlier that morning. Geez! Are you kidding me? Now to add to the anxiety of the zip line, I was freaked out over seeing a bear. My mother’s cousin was mauled by a bear in Alaska and the story was published in a book. I had been reading this book earlier this year and decided that I would never come within 100 yards of an Alder bush. This whole book was about grizzly bears coming out of Alder bushes.

When we finally got to the rock wall, I was nervous but I had done a rock wall a couple of times before so it wasn’t too bad. It was when I got to the top and realized that the only way down was the zip line. I don’t know how I had ever talked myself into this, but me and heights have never been bff’s and it wasn’t about to start this day either.

I stood there in almost a frozen fear of how high I was and how it was intended for me to get down. I shook as the advisor hooked me up to the zip line, thinking how stupid I was to agree to this. We were at least 30 feet in the air and one had to walk out on this plank that was no wider than 2 feet and perhaps 2 1/2 long. It looked like 4 inches square from where I was standing. I climbed out on the plank holding on to the telephone pole behind me like a stinkin’ cat. I stood there with everyone cheering me on and trying to get up the nerve to go. I just could not get myself to jump. I kept telling myself to do it and just get it over with, but I couldn’t. Then I looked below and there stood my two sons, yelling at me “You can do it Mom!”. I knew at this point, I had to jump. They had to see that their mother was not a wuss.

I truly believe I passed out on the jump because it was a blur and then I am pretty sure I woke up the entire community of Driggs from my scream. I screamed, and screamed and screamed. Was it fun? In a sick sort of way. Would I do it again? Not entirely sure. As we were leaving the course to go to the cars, it was getting dark and I realized I was on a trail that was surrounded by what looked like Alder bushes. I nearly plowed over those in front of me trying to get to the cars. If there was anything that scared me more than that dang zip line, it would be something coming out of those bushes and getting me. So did I face my fears? I felt like I was the entire trip. Do I think I handled them well? Perhaps some of them, others not so much so.


So my first two children were girls. Girls were so much fun.  I could dress them up and they got along most of the time. Rarely did I have a smack down between the two of them. My next two children were boys.

Boys are an entirely different species all together. When my boys were younger, they got along great together. Better than the girls. As they grew into teens, I started noticing BIG differences in their behavior. I am not sure where in the genetic code of humans that the burping and farting in public gene mutated in males. This is hard to understand as a female and one that I will never understand. For some reason the teenage…and I might add, older aged male, seem to think this is the best way for impressing the babes.  Let me put that myth to rest right now. That would be no.

When my youngest son turned 13 something changed. Not only did he change, but he passed whatever he had on to my son that was 15.  My polite 15-year-old son suddenly started farting wars with the 13-year-old.  Two years later despite my constant nagging things have not changed.

This is not the only problem with teenage boys.  The burping and farting they are constantly doing seems to drown out common sense or deadened it.  I am still not sure which.  I truly believe they will do anything to embarrass me even if it isn’t on purpose.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my boys and they make me laugh everyday. They are hilarious, but they come with horrible side effects sometimes.  Take my trip to town a couple of days ago.  We came to a store where they were selling newspapers outside of the door.  I am sorry, but I hate this.  I hate being  jumped at a store door without an exit route.  I have told these guys over and over that I do not want a newspaper.  As I sat in the car looking at the front door and trying to figure out how to get into the store without getting a sales pitch, my son says this “I got an idea, I will just go up and “pants” him and then when he is distracted you can go into the store. I bet he will never want to sell anything to you after that”.  After I recovered from envisioning this scene, we opted to go through the garden area and avoid him altogether. I wasn’t sure my son wouldn’t try something.

Amongst my purchases at this store was a toilet plunger. As I am getting into the car, I find that my car has a new hood ornament which took some doing for him to get it off after he put it there.  I seriously counted my blessings that I saw that before I got going down the road.  Once we get going down the highway he then proceeds to stick the plunger on the roof of the car to pretend it is a police siren, you know like in the movies. I had to put up with this for 7 miles.  With my neighbor driving right behind me the whole 7 miles.  Then he has the nerve to tell me that he wants to make a bow that will shoot one. Guaranteed, I will be the first to get it in the face.

Then the other day we went into a store. I was stuck there with him again despite the many times I have told him he is not coming with me ever again.  We came out of the gardening area and started down an aisle where we both saw this really cool green glass looking ball. We both reached for it at the same time to feel it. After touching it we realized it was plastic and that is was a toy ball.  My son quickly  grabbed it and started reading the label.  “Hey”, he says “this says this ball can bounce 150 feet in the air, I don’t believe it”.  As soon as the, “I don’t believe it” came out I knew he was going to see if the claim was true. The first words out of my mouth was, “Don’t do it”.  He must have turned off his “hearing aids” and decided that not only was he going to bounce it on the floor, but he better make sure he gives it enough power that it will do what it claims. He was standing at the top of one aisle and I started down another aisle just as he bounced it.

I looked up to see the ball go through the ceiling tiles.  This was a good 30 feet up.  The ball hit those tiles just right that it lifted them up and turned them enough that they fell out of the rim they were sitting in and came down on his head.  I personally did not stick around for the whole thing to play out.  When I saw the sky falling, I wasted no time in disappearing.

My first thought…”Dang it, they just saw everything on security cameras”.  My second thought, I am getting out of here before they realize he belongs to me.

When my son finally caught up to me, he begins to complain about the paper cut that one of them gave him on his face.  No, “sorry mom, I should have listened to you”.  No, nothing.  It has been 3 days and still no apology. Perhaps someday when he has a son I will get an apology. Because despite my hopes for change, I think the gene will mutate in his future sons also.


I am laughing so hard right now, so laughing!!!  So the other day, my kids were going to play a video game.  I asked them what they were going to play.  Well, I could tell by the way my son was covering that he did not want me playing the game with them.  So he started telling me it was NHL, which I don’t like playing because I can’t figure out the controls.  Anyway, I realized it was Black Ops and they did not want me playing because my son told me that, “All you want to do is shoot the grass, the fence and shoot smiley faces into buildings”.  O.K. So I don’t like shooting people and the game wouldn’t even be in the house if it wasn’t for it being a gift that someone gave one of my kids.  Anyway, we have had some fun playing it with all the bad stuff turned off.

“Well”, I said.  Disgusted in their observance of me.  So I gave them grief all night because they wouldn’t let me play.  Of course it was all in fun giving them so much grief over it.  All of this whole conversation and that particular day came back to smack my sons in the face today.

They wanted to play WWE today.  They decided it was O.K. for mom to play if she wanted.  I don’t know the controls….I just punch whatever I want and hope it works.  So we got into this wrestling match and I started pwning these two boys like none other.  Well I couldn’t stop laughing because I was pushing all the buttons I could and was seriously beating the heck out of the two of them without knowing what I was doing.  Well there comes a time during the match that your players signature move can be used.  Mine came up and I just happened to see it.  So I asked my son what button to push so I could use it.  He tells me which one to use and unbeknowns to any of us,  it was the pinning move.  I totally won!  My son was dying because he had told me how to use the move not knowing it would lead me to winning the game.  I was laughing so hard and my sons were stunned.  STUNNED!

They wanted a rematch.  So I picked my player again, Big Daddy V, (he and I are home boys now)  because I had so much luck with him and we commenced to wrestling.  My sons were not holding back on me this time.  I was getting double teamed, smacked with tables, smacked with chairs, smacked with wooden poles with barbed wire.  You name it.  They told me that they showed me too much sympathy the first game and they weren’t doing it this game.  That is pretty low people.

Fine, so I kept playing my whole haphazard way and found that the more buttons I pushed at once the better the chances I had of getting out of moves and I actually could do some serious beating.  Well the “noob” was able to pin down one of the boys after about 20 minutes of wrestling and I was winning…in a panic my  son unplugged the controller so I couldn’t win again.  Too late….I had won.

This is one of the most momentous moments in my life.  The look on their faces…..priceless.  My son said that no one better ever find out that they got pwned by their mother in WWE.  That that would pretty much be the end of their manly existence as they knew it.

I am laughing so hard right now.  Of course, that was my que to get out while the getting was good.  I can’t beat them in any other game, but I now have bragging rights tonight!  I am the queen of WWE!!!

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.

I love May.  May is one of the most looked-forward-to months in our home. In our community, the men do a “Father/Son’s Campout” every year.  This is a fantastic time for the “boys” to spend a night with Dad doing what boys do.  This year all three of my boys took second in their division for “Donkey Kicking”.  Not sure if this is really anything to brag about, since I am not really sure what they actually did.  It was great to hear how excited my sons were.  They were even excited that their Dad came in second also.

This is such a great experience for the men.  The women, (me and my daughters) spend most of the time praying that it won’t get cancelled because of weather, because we get to party and play also.  We plan ahead for months on what we are going to do.  So to have anything cancelled is devastating to all.

Going out to eat is a must.  We try to try a different kind of food all the time.  Which after last year, I think we were banned from our local Chinese restaurant because we got on a giggle kick and couldn’t stop.  I am not entirely sure what was so funny come to think about it.  There was no drinking involved.  I don’t drink alcohol.

This year, the girls decided they wanted to go rock climbing.  What?  Did I hear you  correctly?  (That was my response)  I have never done this activity and not really sure to be honest if I had a desire to ever do this activity.  I am scared of heights.  In trying to be a good mom and take chances for the sake of my daughters, I went along.

I have tried many things for the first time on these outings.  For one, I had no desire to ever eat an octopus.  I have tried it and that is all I will say about that.  They are still working on me for sushi.  That will never happen.

At the rock wall, we had to get balet certified.  This frightened me to think that one of my two small in stature daughters would be holding my weight up.  When it was my turn to scale the wall, I could feel the heart racing and sweat starting.  I didn’t dare look up or look down.  Just when I thought I couldn’t go anymore, I glanced up and found that I was almost to the top.  I did it!  I made it.  When it came time to come down, I was freaking out because if my daughters couldn’t hold me up they would both end up being flat fritters when I came barreling down at 90 mph.

My daughter kept yelling at me to relax and just let her drop me.  Those are scary words coming from a child.  I decided to trust her and I came down.  It was a little bumpy, but I kissed the ground when I reached it.  Another “first” under the belt.

There is nothing like being scared senseless, eating at a mexican restaurant at 10:30 at night and completely laughing our heads off and then staying up until 1:00 .m.  scaring ourselves senseless again with a movie.  It reminds me of the MasterCard commercial.  It was priceless.

I now look forward to the Mother/Son’s outing in October where, I get hang with my boys  and do whatever it is boys like to do.   I am such a lucky mom!  I love my life!