Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Memorial Day 2017

I know what Memorial Day is about.  And I hope I understand its importance.  We try, every year, to keep it in perspective for the boys.  To remind them.  But so many things ran through my mind this Memorial Day.

For the past week, I have been anxious.  War has been on my mind.  I know that wars, terrorism, and just a spirit of unkindness has been going on for a long time.  And I know that at times it can feel a little more "real" than at other times.  But for some reason, this last week really had my mind going and going.  I couldn't seem to turn it off.  I kept thinking of my boys.   How if something were to happen and we were to go to war, well, how it would change them.  I have read stories of young boys almost wanting to fight in World War 2.  Even though their fathers had fought in the terrible World War 1, they didn't get it.  I'm sure some did.  But some didn't.  They just got excited, for a lack of better word, about being a man.  Fighting for something.  Getting out of their little home town.  I don't know if they felt like they were going into a battle like the ones they played with their childhood friends in backyards and forests but from the accounts that I read, they didn't understand the seriousness of this war.  

So I think of my boys.  I have a boy in particular who is incredibly sensitive for a boy.  Thinking of sending him to war makes me sick.  I know people are more resilient than we give ourselves credit for but I would fear it would break him.  Then I have another son who I wonder would be like those boys who went into World War 2.  How do you get them to understand this isn't a video game or Nerf guns?  And then to top it all off, we haven't had a "World War" in years.  They don't even see the after effects of a serious war like those boys saw in their fathers.  How could they ever possibly understand how truly horrible war is.

Yuck, I'm starting to feel that feeling again.  So its time to change this to what I felt on Monday.

But Monday...it was wonderful.  And I didn't just see it in my family.  We did our tradition of putting flowers on graves of soldiers and children that had no flowers on them.  And we sat down by a tree, near one of those graves, with the pop that the volunteers at the cemetery were handing out.    We spoke of the importance of Memorial Day.  Later we hiked, David BBQ pork chops, and all the boys got wet in the back yard.  That is the beauty of Memorial Day in our family.  But what I noticed this year was other families.

The trail that we went on was by a park that was crowded with families being together.  We passed many people on the trails.  Later that night, when I got on Facebook to see if my family had posted pictures of their Memorial Day, I ended up seeing so many hiking pictures of friends!  Or just families being together.

So at the end of the day yesterday, I found myself smiling at the togetherness that Memorial Day can bring.  Who knew that a holiday that was started because of so much death, could actually be a day of such happiness.  I have no doubt that Memorial Day is a very hard day for a lot of people.  But I really want to see the good in things also.

And even though my week before Memorial Day was that of anxiousness, I see now that even though the world can be inflicted of wars, terrorism, and a spirit of unkindness, it can also be full of kindness if we choose to be a part of it.  It can be filled with time spent with family and friends.

 (Lindquist Washington Heights Memorial Park)
 Here is the beginning of the trail leading to Gib's Loop.
 We came around a corner on the trail and saw all these beautiful white flowers.  It almost hurt my eyes with how bright it was after being in such a shaded part of the trail.
                One thing that I love about these boys is their sense of adventure when we hike.  
 Who needs snow on a hill when you can just slide like a penguin on dirt!
 I just remembered where my anxiousness started last week.  I was in a check out line when this guy in a motorized cart got in line behind me.  He was using his right arm to lift up his left arm to put something on the checkout counter.  So I offered to get all his stuff on there.  With a smile on his face he said, "The man in me wants to say no but yes please."  He then told me about how he had served overseas twice and had been in 2 explosions.  The last one making it so where the left side of his body was very weak.  But he was so happy.  So positive.  He said a couple times, "I'm the luckiest guy alive!  I'm alive!"

The next day I watched another guy in a check out line ask for a military discount.  I then watched him limp out the door with his young son.

I don't even know what to write about these 2 situations other than that it woke me up.  I was awake all week, so to say.  Lots of thoughts and feelings.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Beus Canyon Trail

For the last 2 weekends we have been hiking on the Beus Canyon Trail.
 You can't see it in this picture but this huge rock is kind of jutting out over a small stream.  
 We stopped here for dinner...
 ...and a picture opportunity...
 ...and got the best one of all!
 This has to be my favorite trail we have found so far.  I love all the shade and water scenery.
 When we came back this weekend, we got a little farther. 
 Levi, Hyrum, and I went ahead, at one point, so that David could talk with Brigham.  We tried to hide across the stream so see if David and the other boys would walk right past us.  It didn't work but Daddy got a picture out of it.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Lets Play Catch Up #2?

In Levi's FACS class, they had a preschool type thing for 2 and 3 year olds.  The same as what Ruger did last semester with Maddie.  This time there were a lot more students and children.  But even with that, Ruger still got a lot of attention.  Especially with the boys.  They LOVED how active he was.  It was funny realizing that Ruger had no clue how much attention he was getting.  He was just going from one station to the next, sometimes tripping over his own feet because he's going so fast, and not even hearing the giggles and "I love that kid!" comments.
 (Levi, Ruger, and Lussee)
 For probably the last year or so I have been able to go to the temple a lot and only focus on family names.  David and I rarely get to go together but I'm just so grateful that I have such close access to a temple and a husband who will stay home with our crazy active toddler so that I can peacefully know Ruger is safe while just I go. 

When David and I were first married, we made an effort to go every Saturday together.  But I  have to admit that there were times that I felt it was too long and didn't really get the whole reason of doing it.  It feels so different now.  I go now because I have a longing to do so.  If I'm completely honest, I'm pretty sure I didn't have that feeling back then.  Knowing that I am a vessel in linking my family together and they in turn are helping me on the other side of the veil, just makes the experience different.  I feel like I'm focussing more and understanding on a different level how very important all of our roles are...on both sides.  Death is not the end.
 One day David, Ruger, and I were coming back from an insurance meeting at HHI when David thought it would be fun to stop at the train station in Ogden.  Ruger loves trains (or "ChooChoo" as he calls them).  Simple joys.
 Some time ago Brigham and Levi were working on their genealogy merit badge for Boy Scouts.  I'm too lazy to write it again so I'm going to copy and paste from Facebook.  Yep, that's how I roll.  And while I'm at it, I might as well add a few other posts from my funny boys.

"Levi and Brigham were working on their genealogy merit badge for Boy Scouts last night. One of the things that they were to do was a timeline for themselves or a relative and then write about that timeline. This is what Brigham wrote:
"David and Alisa are married. Then the tall weirdo, that is Levi, was born. I was the fabulous second child. They could not handle my fabulousness so they waited 3 more years to have another weird child named Hyrum. He was strange...and short. Ruger was adopted 8 years later. He was actually Batman."
And yes, if you look closely at his picture, apparently Brigham gets his facial hair from both his father AND mother!"

From May 21st,
"We are at the dinner table tonight when David and I ask the usual, "What did you learn in church today" question. It gets to my turn and I start talking about Naaman. Since Hyrum was in Primary when I was teaching about this man, I ask him, "What was different about Naaman?" He says something about leprosy and then ends with, "Wait, isn't that what you have Mom?" 

 And yes, he was dead serious. Eczema, son. I have Eczema."

From May 3rd,
"Levi, "Mom, do you like staying home with Ruger?" Mom, "Yes. But if I'm honest there are days that it is hard. Like when he yells at me and hits." Levi, "Well, at least you don't have to work." Instant backpedaling as he sees the look on my face to that last comment! Levi, "I mean, at least you don't have to do math." Looks at me and starts to backpedal again. Levi quietly says, "Well, except for when you are shopping." Then he gets a little louder and says, "But at least you don't have a mathy job like Dad." Son, I think you should stop talking now...."

Hmmmmm...what should I expect to come out of little Ruger when he starts to talk in sentences???

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Weekends With Grandma

We have got to spend quite a few weekends with Grandma Helen lately.  It has been nice and the boys have really enjoyed it.
 Grandma usually takes Ruger to the park by our house when she comes and I think he is starting to expect it when she is here too!
She got to spend conference weekend, Easter, and Mother's Day with us.
 She found this Big D hat in Hyrum's closet and wanted to take a picture with it on and then of course, Ruger wanted to wear it.  David may not work for Big D anymore but its still a fun thing to have.
(Mother's Day 2017)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Lets Play Catch Up!

With all this beautiful weather (and by beautiful weather I mean NOT HOT WEATHER) I have been doing most of my exercising outside and not at the gym.   Actually, I'm pretty terrible about going to the gym.  But when you have views like this, how can you not enjoy long walks.  I don't even need my music to keep me entertained while walking.  Just the views, the cool breeze and my thankful thoughts to Heavenly Father for giving me such peace.   I sure am blessed to live right next to a walking trail around a well kept park.
Levi had an assignment in FACS (Family And Consumer Sciences...what we used to call Home Economics) where he had to cook, I think, 7 recipes by a certain date.  And like most parents experience once in a while, he came to me the day before it was due!  The parenting classes in me wanted to come out and say, "Well, good luck.  That way is the kitchen!"  But the mother in me really wanted to teach him to cook!  Luckily, I was blessed with patience that day and was able to help him.  We had to take pictures of each "dish" he made but this one is my favorite.  I was trying to think of quick ones and I remembered something from when he was smaller.  When I was trying to be clever and get him to eat fun and healthy stuff.  We didn't have a popsicle stick so we used a plastic knife.  Ha!  He stuck a banana on it, dipped it in yogurt and sprinkled chia seeds as well as some chocolate chips on it.  Whala!    
 Hyrum had a mother/son bingo night at the school that he wanted to attend with me.  He was suppose to bring a blanket and pillow.  He chose a blanket Nanny made for him and his pillow that he worked so hard at getting when he was selling candy bars for the school PTA.  And I think Uncle Chuck got the shirt for Brigham years ago that has now been handed down.
I can't remember how long ago but we invited all our neighbors on both sides of the streets by our house (pretty much the whole block) to have a BBQ at our house.  I can't remember how many people we had...like 20 something...but it was nice and relaxing.  It wasn't at first because I get anxious especially when it comes to hosting things but everyone quickly made me feel at ease.  We really do have the best neighbors!
(Karl and Ruger)
 David and I tend to have late night snacks.  Sometimes it's Ramen, sometimes its spaghetti or whatever.  Almost every time, Hyrum can smell Ramen Noodles out like...well, he has a "super sniffer" like me!  Sometimes he gets, "Hyrum, you should have eaten when we told you it was almost time for bed."  But sometimes he's spoiled as we are reminded that he is on ADD medication that takes away his want to eat and when that medication runs out late at night, a little 9 year old gets hungry!
 We all know Ruger is incredibly spoiled but this just proves it!  Ruger whines that he wants to be held while Daddy is peeling potatoes and Daddy does it!
 Levi and Daddy ran a 5K to help raise money for the schools around here.  The weather wasn't the best but they did it anyway!
 Just a cool cloud formation.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Sometimes You Just Need A Hike

I love living by the Air Force base and I love our little community.  I love the sounds of the jets, as it reminds me of our freedoms, but there are times that it is hard to hear nature because of all the happenings around the base.  Being so close to a city makes it hard to feel nature around us as well. 

 Luckily the mountains are almost in our back yard, so to speak.  We don't have to travel far to get to a very quiet and peaceful place.
Even with a few crazy boys, there was peace found here and there.
 Hyrum had been asking to go on a hike for a while now.  He wanted to see the snow.  Most of the trail was mushy and had patches of snow here and there.  Needless to say, everyone but Dad took off their shoes when we got back to the truck.

I saved this picture for last.  When David smiles, he gets all these wrinkles around his eyes.  I call them his "smiley eyes."  I love it!