Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Angels, sometimes I need you...

These last few days I have really been struggling.

One of my depression medications ran out and I really thought I would be ok with just the other medication, as I have been doing so well.  And honestly, maybe I would have been able to do so if not for our current circumstances.  At first, it went just fine.  I felt the same.  But then David came home one night to tell me that he would be working long hours, including our family Saturdays.  So....maybe not a good idea.  But I had ran out of my medication so there wasn't much I could do about it right away.  I needed my yearly girly checkup anyway so I thought I would wait for that appointment.  Not a good idea, again.  By the time the doctor left the examination room, this morning, (after telling me she could not refill my prescription because she wasn't my primary care physician) I lost it.  I braved it until that door closed and then the flood gates opened.  As I did a few breathing excersizes, I was able to calmly exit the building before another bout of tears came.  Oh, the simple things that topple over all that you stayed strong for :(

My doctors appointment was in Stockton and I didn't want to drive all that way without seeing something I hadn't before.  I went to visit the Cambodian Buddhist Temple.  It seemed fitting considering Buddhist are known for their belief in attaining peace as well as being aware of our thoughts and actions (and taking responsibility for them.  For me that is the most important part of what they believe).

As I passed some smoking monks, I thought how nice it would be just to live a life truly believing that one could be happy with the clothes on their backs and well, that is pretty much it.  Just to ponder.  And help others when those allow it.

On the way home I called my Grandma.  I had been thinking of her since Sunday.  Sunday was a particularly hard day for me as I couldn't feel the spirit as I was teaching my little ones in Primary.  I came home and took a nap.  Right before I woke up, I saw my Grandma outside her house.  I couldn't understand what she was saying. I asked her to repeat herself and she started singing with the most beautiful voice I had ever heard.  I can't remember all that she sung but the one phrase that I remember was, "Angels, sometimes I need you."

I woke up with this urge to write.  I needed to figure out what that dream was telling me.  I am still working on it, but it was a wonderful dream that has lead me to something fulfilling, to say the least.

When I was on the phone with Grandma she told me to get on David's Facebook account to look at some pictures she liked.  I never did get to those pictures, but once again, she lead me to something fulfilling.  I came across this article (posted on Facebook) online called, "She Yelled And Called Me Names."  The author, Susan Basham, spoke of an experience she had with a stranger who was more than a little rude to her.  This other lady yelled at her and cursed for a reason so very silly.  Something that was misunderstood.  And instead of yelling back, Susan went back in time, to a place in her life where she knew she was stressed.  Where she pictured herself not being very nice to others.  She had true empathy for this stranger.  I balled my eyes out as I read this post.

Did I fail to mention that this day of mine started off with a lady in our townhome complex who accused me of not being honest?  My emotions were so raw at the doctor's office because of what this lady said to me.  The complex we live in is very small, yet I had never seen this lady before.  I was sitting in my car, windows rolled down trying to get the address set in our TomTom for my trip to the doctor, when I saw this lady coming my direction but heading to the dumpsters.  I smiled at her and she shot me this nasty glance.  I thought maybe she couldn't see me well.  So I waited for her to get closer and I said hi and asked her how she was doing.  She walked around the car, came to the drivers side and said with no expression on her face, "I am doing good.  It's good to be honest."  She walked away towards the trash can.  What an odd interaction with this woman I have never met or seen before.  She had the accountance of pure anger about her.  She kinda scared me.  After dumping her trash she actually came back.  I can't remember what she said; it was another odd statement though.  As she was walking away, I asked her if I had done anything wrong.  She whipped her head around and said, "You know what you did."  Again, frightening.  It really rattled me.  I put on a Christian radio station as I headed to the doctor, to try to get that aweful feeling away from me.

So I was reminded of this as I was reading this article.  So perfect.  Exactly what I needed to be reminded of.  Just love her, Alisa.  Who knows what she is going through.  I obviously haven't done anything to her.  I don't even know her but maybe there is some mental illness there.  Just love her, Alisa.
(Gautama Buddha)
 (Their temple.  I went inside but I didn't feel comfortable taking pictures in case it was sacred to them)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Another Saturday In San Francisco

When we first found out that we would be moving so close to San Francisco, it kinda freaked me out a little bit.  I was excited about the adventures we would have in California...just not in San Francisco.  Not being a city or crowded places girl, San Francisco just seemed frightening!  So when we visited places, when we first moved here, we went everywhere but San Francisco.  But then Katie and her family came to visit us in June and wanted to see the Golden Gate Bridge.  So, I sucked it up and we all went.  It actually wasn't that bad.  Don't get me wrong, I had NO DESIRE to live there but it was kinda fun.

When we first moved here, David had to work most Saturdays so not a lot of exploring went on right at first and the same went for this summer while the boys had baseball practice on Saturdays.  But I could probably count on one hand of the Saturdays that David didn't have to work that we HAVEN'T left Tracy to do something that we would only find in California.  It is going to suck coming up soon because the Amazon project is wrapping up, which means no more Saturday outings....so here comes more pictures of getting as much out of San Francisco as we can!

 I LOVE FISH!  I could totally be a vegetarian, except for the whole fish thing.  Unfortunately, it is so exspensive and I am the only one who really likes it in my family that I rarely get it.  But there was no way we were going to Fisherman's Wharf and not eating fresh sea food!  So we went to this restaurant on the wharf and I am the only one who ordered sea food!  Those darn boys!  I did make them try my crab though and they all actually liked it!  It was caught right there and freshly made and was DeLISH!
We spent most of our time at Hyde Street Pier where the boys really wanted to get on these old time cargo ships.  David and I didn't want to pay for it so we just looked from afar.  Brigham complained but he still was really interested.
 The Balclutha ship was my favorite looking one.  It made me think of a pirate ship.  It was built in Scotland in 1886. 
 We were going to ride the cable cars but the line was way too long.  But this great guy let us get on anyways to take a picture.  He even gave us some warped pennies that had been ran over by the cable cars.
 San Francisco is famous for so many things (like the before picture of the cable car) and we did not want to pass up on Lombard Street.  I had to get this picture off the internet since I never did get a good shot but it was really neat.  The boys thought it was extremely fun going down that very windy road.  Brigham was sticking his head out like a dog, of course. 
We went to Baker Beach to spend the rest of the day.
 As usual, it was really relaxing for David and I and the boys did their usual digging in the sand, trying to find water.  They dig, dig, dig, until the waves finally get to them, yell "Curse You Wave!" with fists high in the air and then giggle.
 It was a little chilly at times so here is Brigham getting warmed up by the sand.  Do you see the Golden Gate Bridge in the back?
 The new Bay bridge has only been open for a couple weeks so it was fun to say we got to go over it before we leave.  The old one is on the left of this picture.  

On the way home, David and I were just exhausted.  I always feel that way after being at the beach.  All I do is relax but for some reason it makes me sleepy....to much relaxing, I guess :)


My boys showing off their muscles!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

To Shelter, Or Not To Shelter? That Is The Question

Yesterday started off just like any other school day.  Got up as late as I could before getting lunches ready for the boys to take to school.  Made sure Brigham's hair was brushed and had his allergy medicine.  Made sure Hyrum had socks on.  Said morning prayers and then was out the door to walk the boys to school.  I get back and get my headphones to head out the door, this time to go on my morning walk.  But I stop and realize it is September 11th.  So I decided to honor the victims of 9/11/2001 by getting online to read some stories.  I got on fox.com and saw that they had a live stream of a memorial in New York City.  Like so many that were watching, I'm sure, it broke my heart a little.  As it became "to much" I turned it off and went on my walk.

Later that morning I was volunteering in Levi's classroom when one of the students reminded Mrs. Guillen that it was 9/11.  She stops everyone, before heading out to computer class, to teach them a little about this anniversary.  I was quite surprised by the responses of the children.  As she asked the 5th graders about this day, most were confused.  One child said the Twin Towers were in Italy.  Another guessed Paris, France.  After some time had passed, someone finally said they were in New York City.  At first I was sad that they didn't know this very important piece of our American history.  Yes, these kids were born just after the attacks but still; how could they not know?  One of the kids asked Mrs. Guillen why we would want to remember such a horrible thing.

It hit me.  Did my children know?  I realized then that I had done a disservice to my boys by being so protective.  I am extremely picky about what I let my children watch.  They are not allowed to watch anything above a PG rating.  We mainly listen to Christian music in our house.  When a school shooting happens, I make sure I am not on the internet searching the news stations for the latest information in front of them. 

Case in point...
This summer, the boys were on their DS's linked with our neighbor, Sam, across the sidewalk (we are in our separate townhomes at this point).  You can set up the DS so that you are writing back and forth to each other while playing games.  All of a sudden I hear Brigham yell out the window for Sam to hear, "Sam, what does f--- mean?"  I about jumped out of my skin and yelled over at Sam that he is never to use that word.  Now, I am not one to correct other children's parents, especially when he was technically in his own home at the time, but I couldn't stop myself.  I then had to explain to my 6, 9, and 10 year old what the f-word meant.  It was a sad day that I had to explain to them what the word was but I have to admit that I took some pride in knowing that they were so old and just now hearing the word.

Ok, so all of this is going through my head as I am in this classroom and wondering if I am doing a disservice to my children by sheltering them too much.  When I went home yesterday, I contemplated on this a lot, actually.  So I have come to the conclusion that in some ways, I have.

I believe, David and I have done really well at not exposing them to immoral things at such a young age.  I don't regret that at all.  I think I would regret it if we did this as well as not informing them of things like sex and drugs but we do have those "talks" actually.  They are informed by their parents and not at school at the play ground by their peers.  

But sheltering them from the injustices of the world isn't healthy.  I realize that some are too young to comprehend certain things.  And some children, like Hyrum, get scared really easily so you have to take that into consideration as well.  But once they get passed that stage, I can't keep sheltering them like I have.  They have to know certain things to prepare them for the world they are living in.  
So as much as I hate having to talk and tell them about how the world really is, I am going to have to start doing just that.  My boys are not so little anymore and I need to treat them that way.

Does parenting ever get any easier?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Jelly Belly Factory

Today the boys and I, along with a friend (Jonathan), went to the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield.  On Mondays, the boys get out early for teacher preparation but these lucky ducks got half of a half day today (I took them out of school right before lunch)!  Jonathan is Levi's friend from church.  He is such a polite and good boy.  I never once had to get on to him for any thing.
(Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Before we went on the tour of the factory, we were able to see some of the artwork that were on display.  Each picture had between 10,000 to 14,000 jelly beans on it.  They were pretty amazing.
(Benjamin Franklin)
Most of the pictures were political figures, which I really liked.  They paid the most tribute to Ronald Reagan.  He was a huge lover of Jelly Bellies and even attributed the candy to him being able to quite smoking while Governor of California.  The company made a special bean for his inauguration in 1981 so they could display red, white, and the color blue.  I really enjoyed learning this about President Reagan.
(Left: Brigham, Levi, Jonathan, and Hyrum)
After watching the making and packaging of the Jelly Bellies we headed for the candy store, where there were lots to chose from.  One of the boy's favorites were these:
On the way up and back from the factory, we got to watch the firefighting air crews poor fire retardant on Mt. Diablo.  I was glad for that to keep them entertained because the drive home was really long because of traffic.  I was a little anxious by the time we got home.  I don't care to drive in traffic at all :(  It made me miss David even more, not being on this trip with us.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Playing With The Button Bunch

(Standing: Ryan, Berni holding Tuesday, David, and Alisa
Sitting:  Levi, Hyrum, Creed, Easton, Brigham, MaKay, Parker, and Beckham)

Today we met the Button family at the San Lorenzo State Park in King City, California.  The Buttons live at the Vandenberg Air Force Base, so it was a 2 1/2 hour trip for both families to meet in the middle.  The park wasn't the most spectacular state park we have ever been to, but being there with friends you haven't seen in about 3 years makes for a wonderful time.  We spent 5 hours with them in 97 degree temperatures, but of course it was all very worth it.  

We lived in the same apartment complex as the Button family while living in Rexburg.  Both our families only had 2 children by the time our family moved but as you can see, we all have grown quite a bit!  As we were leaving I said something to David about how I couldn't believe we had been there for 5 hours with him.  His response: It's easy being with such good people.  And he is very right.  

I tend to make close friends with either the very opposite of me or those just like me.  Not so much with those in the middle.  Berni is just like me in so many ways.  I love her so much for that.  I have always looked up to her so much.  So I need to be around her to be reminded that I am doing things the best way that I know how.  Listening to her imperfections, which are almost exactly mine as well, reminds me that I have someone I can confide in and who completely gets it.

As I was talking to Berni, she mentioned that Makay asked what I looked like when she told her that we were meeting our family today.  Berni told her that I had beautiful eyes like hers.  It made me smile in my heart to hear her say that because MaKay has absolutely huge, bright eyes and who wouldn't want to be compared to that!  And also because the Button family came to visit us while we lived In Oklahoma and while there MaKay was so very sweet with me.  I always soak it up when a little girl will pay real attention to me.  I guess because I am surrounded by boys all the time.  So when a little girl who hasn't seen me in years, walks up to me and holds my hand....well, my heart just melts.  Such a sweetie.

While Berni and I were talking in the shade, David and Ryan took the kids to see the historical displays they had at the park.  I wasn't there for this picture but as you can tell, Brigham and Easton had fun acting as if they were running over Hyrum, Levi, and Creed with this caboose.  Silly boys!  All the kids walked trails, played in water, and climbed trees while the men let Berni and I have our girl time.  

Berni and I sure did good in picking out the perfect spouses for ourselves :)