Sunday, January 30, 2011

Where's Waldo?

Days, months, years go by.  I bottle fruit, drive carpool, scrub toilets, mix bran muffins.  Adventure?  Hardly.  I am prosaic, practical, and sometimes sharp tongued.   I don't always love this part of me, but the season demands. . . At least until Wednesday night. 

I answered the doorbell.  Was that Melanie?  "Wow what bouncy hair.  Is it a wig?  Are those your REAL eyelashes?  Those are HOT glasses."

"All is real she answers.  I just don't take the time to take care of myself like I used to."  Man, do I get it.  We hop into the mini van giggling like high school girls out to drag main or find trouble.  In reality, we are waldos.  The young men and women in our church will come to the mall and find us and several other members. 

Melanie and I tour the food court, sampling, and sniffing.  She decides on Greek and purchases a plate.  As we walk through to pay, the 20 something year old young man with a pony tail gave me a smouldering look.  "Your hair is totally hot on you."  He quips giving me the look.  The manager adds, "I love the color."  Certain that they are mocking my old lady wig I smile and say, "It probably looks fake but do you think it will pass at a distance?" 

With all sincerity he answered, "It's fake?  I'd never know.  You don't really look like this?"  He was a bit disapointed.  "Maybe you should try it."  Melonie and I made it to our seats before bursting out in laughter. 

The hour passed quickly.  We never even got to our stacks of reading material and only used the to pick up and read when the youth got close and we hoped they'd miss us.  Our different selves enjoyed the adventure of being slightly different - just a bit incognito for a night. 

After everyone had found us, we wandered till we found the other waldos.  Fake mustaches, wigs, mullets, and unknown grandchildren made us giggle.  Everyone was feeling as giddy as we were.  No doubt this activity was for the youth, but I think the waldos enjoyed it more. 

My advice is that anyone who hasn't been complimented in years upon years should don an old lady wig and walk the malls.  There are young hotties that must really like the motherly look. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Love smells like lemon oil

Imagine that you drive into the garage, bundled with bags, smelly with nervous body odor, worried about classes that didn't go as hoped.  You burst into the front door with clamoring children in tow.  Sniff, sniff.  It smells like Pine Sol mixed with lemon oil.  What is that?  shiny floors?  Ahhhh.  Now you see lines in the carpet... even on the stairs.  Precious vacuum lines.  Upstairs?  Cringe.  Someone cleaned my BATHROOM!  Oh No!  Can I ever show my face again?  Get a hold of yourself.  Someone loves me.  In presidency meeting this morning we talked about how much it means to show the one that you care.  Looks like I'm the one who gets the love today. 

A clean floor can move one to tears.  Can't you just feel the love? 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Things I don't understand

There are some things that draw hurricanes from our ladybug.  Reading, games with rules, numbers, and memory exercises bring torrents of yelling, crying, and recrimination.  Coward like, I have withdrawn from the fight, leaving Briz to battle over the evening reading, and such.  

One by one, I have given up on many family activities I once thought essential.  I couldn't stand the storms.  In this manner I simplified scripture study till it simply contained stories I would tell while holding a picture.  Briz had enough of this and one night announced, "No More for our teenager!  From now on we will read out of the actual scriptures like normal people."  I subconsciously cringed as I waited for the certain screams during our "spiritual exercise".  Ladybug read one verse, then 2, then 5.  "Can I keep going?"  

"Sure"  We answered in shock.

Words tumbled from her mouth, words like generation, covenant, atonement, or commandment.  Though she can't remember the names of her classmates, questions about Cain, Able, translated beings and other long ago discussed topics sprouted from this little one.  How can this be when normally words like the and of can be a source of unimaginable frustration?    Two months later, she still chafes while waiting her turn to read the scriptures.  True, her reading reverts to normal when reading the Treehouse Series, or Ramona And Bezus.... But there is one book ... one magical book of scripture that seems to be comprehensible.  

Saturday, our ward had an indexing marathon...Briz signed us up as a family team.  Me, him, and Ladybug.  I was a bit humiliated.  I wasn't up for much and Ladybug?  She can't read print.  How could she decipher hundred year old script complete with curlicues and blotches?  Briz and Bug went to register and spent an hour indexing.  A beaming bug walked into my office where I added my few hundred records to our tally.  How did you do?  I asked.  "Great!"  she replied with excitement.  "I did 3!"

Sure enough, when family tallies came in, one family did over 2,000 records.  Another over 3,000.  A total of 67 people indexed 26,710 records in 12 hours.  Ladybug was one of the 67.  She added 3.  For a few moments, I felt ashamed of our little team.  We added so little... Others so much.  

3 Records, yet untold amounts of mental confusion went into those 3.   Visions of the widow's mite crossed my mind.  Today, after church, I was called to the computer.  Then again, and again.  Hour after hour, Ladybug sat curled up in front of the computer deciphering previously unable to access facts such as 1 means January and Dec is short for December.  

Truly humbled, I came whenever I was called and witnessed the miracle that was 30 more records and hours of what should have been screaming frustration.   "May I stay up late and do more?"  she asked.  

I don't understand.  Some things I have witnessed are just impossible. Does faith come because we see miracles or before? 

I have attended many conferences and lectures on Learning disabilities and Autism.  Current western medicine offers no hope of changing brain patterns, claiming that after formation in-utero, very little can be done.  "Why can't you just accept she'll never be normal!"  The school psychologist once yelled at me in one of our fun little conferences.  

I get that.  I understand that learning disabilities are disturbances of the brain and therefore a function of the body.  But there are things that I don't understand that I know to be real.  Other forces are at work in our humanness, ways of bypassing the brain blood barriers and neuropathways.  

If the brain is damaged is the soul of the person?  

Are there other non physical ways of communicating information to our brains?  

My experience says no to the first and yes to the second.  

That gives hope to all of us that are damaged in one way or another. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011


 This week's health focus:  I will keep my body hydrated and clean by drinking at least 64 ounces of water.  
It is hard to overestimate the importance of water to help our bodies run smoothly.  Water washes out impurities that clog our pores, store in our fat cells creating cellulite, and make a sluggish digestive system.  

When I really want to lose weight, I drink 3 or 4 liters a day instead of 2.  But in my current state of un-energized existence, 2 liters are great.  

To help me track my water, I measure it into my $3 2 liter Walmart water bottle.  When I leave the house, the bottle goes with me.  
Throughout the day however, I pour 1 liter at a time into my metal water bottle.  Metal keeps the water cold and it tastes better in metal.  But the real reason I allocate my water into metal, is that I like to flavor my water.  My very favorite way to drink my water is with 1 drop of peppermint or spearmint water and a couple of drops of vanilla shot.  Oh, heavenly!  Sometimes I drink my water with a few drops of Slim and Sassy oil from Do Terra.  It regulates the metabolism, helps the stomach and tastes pretty good. Water makes a huge difference in so many body systems.  I'll share another favorite way to drink my water tomorrow!

Do you have any secrets for drinking more water? 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Internal health

I am not able to excercise yet, and I'm still using food for comfort (so I'll have to work up to that one).  So my first week is easy.  I added all those pesky supplements that usually are just a pain to remember.  Yes, I know that an amazing diet makes suplements unneccesary, but I need all the help I can get. 

As a part of supplementation, I have begun an essential oil regimen.  Each night and morning I topically or internally take the oils I need for insomnia, energy, antiviral, or breathing.  I even add one for skin to my daily moisturizer.  I used to use them as wonderful first aid items, but since I have learned that to see excellent progress, you need consistency. 

So consistency is the goal this week.  Nine pills each day, three pills to cleanse the colon, oils in the morning and oils at night.  It's amazing how much my energy has improved.  When I put Vetiver and Lavender on my feet at night, I just about fall asleep instantly.  I drink Digest Zen in my water to improve my sluggish digestion... it works.  Enough said.  So, week number one is a success.  I am ready to add my next healthy habbit. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Are You Ready for A Life Change?

January often brings post holiday blah syndrome.  I like to give this hibernating, slow time meaning by ramping up my goals, and setting myself up for change.  Sweet Briz had a meeting with the family, distributed little planners to everyone, and had the yearly goal discussion.  I had already set my yearly goals... in September, so for me, it was a good opportunity to detail and shimmy my current plan. 

At Education Week, I entered a class where numerous sharp women were clustered around the previous speaker and her posters.  Instinctively, I saved my chair, then made my way up to join the crowd.  They were ogling a vision board.  I found the speakers name, then after my class went to the annex to find any books by her.  Are You Ready for a Life Change?  found its way into my basket and into my life. It is a simple short book with step by step details on how to make change a reality. 

My tendency is to focus on areas of my life that are dragging me down or driving me crazy.  Bahram Akradi changed my mind about that.  He suggested the following.  "Imagine that you're interviewing candidates for a really great, important job - the job of improving your life.  Really, of course, you'll be interviewing various parts of yourself, gauging your own willingness readiness to embrace change.  "Thanks for applying for this opportunity as a major force for change in my life.  Now I'd like to ask you a few questions:  What makes you interested in doing this job?  Why does it matter to you?  What's your long-term vision for how things will change if we're seccessful?  What are the first steps and small daily changes you'd like to begin with?  What obstacles do you think you'll encounter?  And what new skills or support will you need in order to succeed?" 

I hired 3 candidates, organization, relationships, and my health.  Then I divided up the year into 3 sections, where each candidate could do their best to improve my life.  This new year's section is for health. (Really it was supposed to me the final section, but since my health is sooooo poor right now, it would be pointless to work on anything else.  

My health decided it needed to improve in different ways each month:
1.  Strong mind/ immune system
2.  Proper nutrition
3.  Strong Body

Each week I accomplish the focus in  specific way and build new habits.  To maintain my vision, I have hung my vision board in my room and read it daily.  To ensure accountability, I will write about my weeks.  So, sorry... I'll be writing a lot about health for the next 3 months. 

Here's to a new year and a life change!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hero Worship

To complement our Book of Mormon Reading, each girl picked a hero poster for her room.  We are providing our Primary children with scripture hero trading cards, along with their scripture reading log.  Ladybug picked a young women of courage... I probably should have insisted on a real hero, but it is beautiful.  Little Mother picked Helaman and the 2,000 warriors.  I think she likes having a scantily clad buff man picture in her room, but hey, it's better than Justin Timberlake.  Sunshine picked Mary, because she also has blueberry eyes. 

I love heroes.  Sure they can let you down if you expect too much of them, but if you just look to see what you can gain and leave the rest, they make wonderful friends to have.  I keep a council of them in my head for difficult situations.  I have to imagine their responses to my dilemas but they give me great council. 

This year, I am going to fill my little one's heads with heroes and heroines.  I want to fill their little brain councils with noble friends.  This morning we began with Enoch.  How can you not love self effacing amazing Enoch.  What kind of teacher could turn a whole city into such goodness?  The only thing I know that can work miracles like that is love.  He must have had a lot of it. 

Who is your hero?  Pick one or two new ones to add to your collection this year.  They make excellent friends. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Boredom Busters

Today's boredom was banished by a "cake" decorating class using sugar cookies and yummy frosting.  We learned how to make ribbons, write names, make flowers and borders.  After one layer was complete, they started on a new one.  When  2 inches of frosting made the cookie unstable, they began with a new one.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Go Rams!

The Rams made the playoffs.  That may not mean much to me, but it means a great deal to a grown up little boy who wore a Rams helmet at the age of three.  Immediately he plans a party, which really just includes us, his girls, and his little brother, another loyal fan.  He buys ingredients for his favorite soup, and as I am too weak to cook, chops and stirs with Mitch to create dinner.  Saddly, he realizes he has no paraphanelia to wear for this momentous occasion. 

His little princesses note his sadness and go to work.  With the help of paper, tape and markers, soon Little Mother has all of us outfitted with Go Rams! hats and pendants. 

Sated with Super Bowl Soup, cheese ball, avocado dip, and Lil Smokies, the die hard fans and the three little ones who desperately want to please plop down to cheer on their fight.  I am supposed to be resting, But it is a bit hard when I hear "Man!  That is unbelievable."  or "No!  No!  No!"  yelled at full volume from the family room.  Yet for all the despair, I hear joy in the voice of my husband.  He is watching his team with his family in Rams paraphernalia.  Win or Lose, All is right with the world. 

popcycle stick coffin

"All true stories end in death.  And this is a true story."  Briz philosophically quips from his favorite movie as we prepare for yet more funerals.  The bright green tree frog became a frogcicle in our below zero temperatures, and we don't know what happened to Tootsie.  She just lay in the bottom of her cage.  Dead.  I suppose we are really prepping our kids for life, because we speak at a lot of funerals.  The flower bed outside Ladybug's window is full of corpses, some in home made coffins, others in the soft cloth.  Each lovingly placed, each one eulogized.  Ladybug is already angling for new fish.  Big ones though.