It's always been really important for me to have everyone like me. Sometimes I do and say things that are stupid. Sometimes I don't know how to deal with situations and am not completely straight forward because I am worried and think of the easiest way to deal with things. I feel like I have lost a lot of friends over the years. I find myself tearing my personality apart agonizing over things I could or should have done differently. I wonder what people say about me when I am not around. I wonder who my friends really are. I feel alone, and turn back to Heavenly Father. I try to focus on my relationship with him, and I know that really, the only thing I truly need to worry about is where I stand with him. I get mad at myself that I let so many other distractions continue to get in the way with my relationship with him, and things that keep me doing what I can for others who need my help. I seem to focus on people who don't really like me and try to think of ways to bring them back around while there are good, sweet, loyal and wonderful people waiting for me to bring them more into my life. So much of my energy is wasted on people who don't want or care what I have to offer. I feel like my relationship with Jeff is better than I deserve. I often feel like I have to tone my relationship down when I hear other people talking about their marriages because I love Jeff so much and he is so sweet and patient with me and he is always there. I love my nieces and my sisters. I love my brother. I love my kids and I LOVE all of the kids in my little community. I sometimes feel unappreciated. I wish I didn't care. But again, the only one I have to feel okay with is Heavenly Father. I need to remember to focus on that. I need to forgive, and move on and fill my life with people who care. I just wish I could remember that.
A few days ago my friend called me to get a recipe for lemon bars. She had to make them for a work meeting she had the following day. I could tell she was stressed. She had been working all day, had a family to take care of when she got home, had church meetings that night, and had to make lemon bars on top of that somewhere during the evening. I asked her if she just wanted me to make them for her. "NO NO no no no...no...I just need the recipe." I read it to her over the phone and she hung up. I had this nagging feeling that I should just call her and make them. But I have over-stepped my bounds before. I have even offended people by wanting to help. Every time you offer service, you run a risk of doing something wrong or being rejected. I have done it. Many times. The key is to be closer to Heavenly Father so you can know when someone really needs you or not. I am only there maybe 20% of the time. So I feel like I always run a risk. But I couldn't stop thinking about it. So I called her and told her I had already started and was making the bars for her...complete silence on the other end of the phone followed by "thank you.....you have no idea..." I hung up the phone and felt the overwhelming acknowledgement of the Holy Ghost that covered me with that confirmation that at least this time I had gotten it right. The feeling didn't last. A few minuets later I was overcome by all of the times the previous week that I hadn't done anything right...I recognized the work of a very different power immediately and prayed to Heavenly Father there standing in the kitchen to make it go away...and it did. With me asking for forgiveness and the ability to recognize and accomplish the things I should do. I'm trying. Falling short constantly, but trying. Thinking of so many people I should apologize to, and looking for ways to realize that others who have hurt me are just trying to get by as best they can. Realizing that every day I can start again and try to be even better. I am so grateful for time. More than anything else, for time, so I can try to keep getting it right.
But there are just so many ways to paint....Marble Painting...
Makes the coolest composite of lines....
Printmaking by painting on one side of the paper and then folding your paper in half to make the print...
Drawing your favorite animals and objects with paintbrushes...
Printing using different objects and textures...
These big sheets of butcher paper will be used for wrapping paper this Christmas. It really looks amazing with thick gold ribbon. Always a hit with the grandparents...It's best to paint right on the objects with a paintbrush to get a mix of colors before making the print on the paper... Looks Good!!!
Then there is the race car painting...always a hit to make those colorful roads all over!
And it's fun to experiment with whatever we can find in the kitchen drawers....
Derek was the yellow power ranger this year so he could fit in with the big boys. But he changed into Harry Potter on the actual Halloween which was on Sunday. When a Peacock and a Cheetah showed in, he didn't want to be a Power Ranger anymore. I love these girls so much. I am so happy they come up from Provo every once in a while to hang out with us. We roamed the neighborhood for awhile and had our wildlife Halloween photo shoot.
Jacquie doing her Peacock version of Karate Kid...
I talked Hannah into doing a lazy cat shot in our neighbors hammock. It was harder than it looks to get in that Hammock with those heels on...
And Clint also decided to change up his costume. The green power ranger does not look as cool without his entourage...But Master Chief looks awesome with a couple of wildlife babes... The shoes make the jungle animal...
We had Halloween Nachos for dinner. And pumpkin pancakes with cinnamon black syrup for dessert, along with pumpkin pie, and trick or treat candy.Jacquie and Hannah sang all of the songs from the Prince of Egypt and Wicked during dinner. Then we watched Stardust because Jacquie had never seen it. A very good choice of a lovely Halloween movie night.
My nachos were yummy!!! And so was everything else.
There are actually 4 ninjas in this photo. Can you see the other 3? (Yes, they really are that good). I think it will be a very sad day when Clint and his friends no longer get excited about Halloween.
For now, I sit back and watch and soak all of the moments in. Grateful for another year of silliness and imagination that becomes ever more sophisticated, but is still, nevertheless, there.
Rushing ever forward, with each year bringing new and unexpected twists. Occasionally I get glimpses of my life, and realize that in spite of everything that is wrong in the world, there are still little boys who believe they can overcome evil and save the world. And who am I, or any other adult, for that matter to tell them that they can't?
When in all reality, the only difference between big boys, and little boys, is theSIZE of their superhero costumes, and the AMOUNTS of the food they eat.
I am just happy that they still come around.
And even if it means spending an entire day sewing 5 ninja costumes and seeing the contents of the fridge emptying before my eyes, I will do everything I can to make sure that they always do.
* The guys originally wanted to be Power Rangers, but since I didn't want to make paper mache' helmets, I convinced them to be the Might Morphin Power Rangers in their Ninja Form. They went for it, luckily. And are happy with the costumes.
To make the costumes: I bought inexpensive over-sized T-shirts. 2 for each. One is used for the ninja mask. You can see how to tie it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ifK9lqNPVA With the other shirt, I cut off the neck and sleeves, and slit it down the middle to make a robe- type shirt. I bought an inexpensive black bed sheet and cut it up into strips for the belt. Just because it was 4 dollars for about 5 yards of fabric as opposed to 5 dollars a yard if I had just bought black material. (I also use sheets for all of the curtains in my house. Such a great way to buy fabric! So much cheaper!) I sewed the edges of all of the shirts around the neck, arms, and up the middle. I also sewed the edges of all the belts. The belt strips I left all long, just like a real black belt. The finial costumes are a cross between Mighty Morphin Ninjas, and Power Rangers Ninja Storm. The Power Rangers Ninja Storm wear gray armor under their Ranger Tunics...Hence, the gray long-johns.
Hot Glue, Raffia, Candy.... We cut the sucker sticks in half and glued them onto the nerds boxes. Hot glued all of the other candy right on to the box, and then tied the raffia around the necks of the suckers. Candace wanted to use beads instead of googly eyes for the eyes...definately much more Scarecrowey
Make sure to tie a raffia bow around the neck to make sure it looks cute instead of like a noose.
Maybe they do look a little like Blair Witch Voodoo dolls...
Jeff's 40th birthday went like this: I got pizza from Papa Murphys. I called Derek from Target and he told me to get the Harry Potter Cake. I bought party hats, giant balloons with the rubber bands on them so you can bob them back and forth, I got oreo cookie ice cream.
Garrett, Preston, Kooyman, Clint, and Derek looked around the house for Harry Potter stuff. The broomstick, and the Quidditch snitch. We sang happy birthday while Jeff tried to blow out the trick candles. Perfect magic candles for the Harry Potter theme.
I secretely took the boys into the living room and handed them each a cold Bundeberg Ginger beer and told them to think of something they liked about Jeff. Each one said what they liked while they handed them his bottle. Derek: Your really Fun, Garrett : You're nice, Preston: you're funny, Kooy: Deer Hunting (?) Clint: Glad you're my Dad.
Then we ate Pizza and the kids told Jeff about letterboxing at Wheeler Farm earlier today and not being able to find any but one letterbox...Then Jeff said something about leaving the gold plates on the farm alone but looking under the golden plates for the letterbox and I realized again how much I love him.
He had all the little boys laughing so hard rootbeer was coming out their noses.
I spun the cake around and had the boys close their eyes and grab a ring from the top of the cake where ever it stopped. Jeff and Derek cheated and got Griffindor.
I think I ended up with Ravenclaw. Clint wasn't happy at all about getting Slytherin. But we all know he is a real Griffindor boy. Jeff got all the Bunderberg Ginger Beer he could drink for about 2 weeks. Not a bad birthday at all.
The next night we went to Jeff's favorite restaurant with the grown-ups at The Gateway downtown. It was a lovely evening...but I didn't laugh even half as much. I love my family, and I love being home. And I love Jeff. Happy Birthday!