Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Unfulfilled Expectations vs Lofty Goals

I am the ultimate example of unfulfilled expectations. While I was growing up, gaining wisdom and experiencing the things that would ultimately shape my own vision of my life, I had such high expectations for myself. I was going to conquer the world, not so much the peoples of the world but literally the world itself. I wanted to climb the Jungfrau,
kayak the Perth River
and trek to the South Pole. I wanted to dive the Great Barrier Reef,
Hike up to Machu Pichu and Heli-Ski Cordova, AK.

I wanted to squeeze every last drop out of this earthly experience--all before I got married.
I guess I did sort of want to conquer the peoples of the world too--in a way. I wanted to serve a mission and teach them about Jesus Christ. I wanted to convert them ALL. I wanted to do this because I really do believe in it and I hope that other people can come to this same knowledge. I also wanted to save the world from their own stupidity--their own political nightmares that they have chosen for themselves through ignorant choices and lack of sound understanding. I wanted to show them a better way; A way that would allow them so much more freedom to be who they want to be and do what they want to do. Lofty goals? Hubris of the young? Naivete? Or all of the above?

Maybe somewhere along the road I woke up and realized that this wasn't the plan that my Heavenly Father had for me. I had other, albeit more mundane things to accomplish.

The only problem is...

I still want to do these things!!!

I realize however that this will never happen, probably none of them.

Maybe this is why I push my kids. You see, I KNOW what kind of potential they hold. I know that there really is no mountain too high or job too big for them to accomplish. They simply need to be inspired---and prepared for ANY road that they might find themselves on. I never want them to be afraid to reach out and grasp their dream. I never want them to give up on something that is truly important to them. I also push them to be spiritually prepared, so that they will know and recognize what the TRULY important things to reach for are. I realize of course that this requires a fine balance to be struck. Too much pushing results in the all-to-familiar digging in of the heels while too little pushing results in the enabling, lazy, lounge-about who accomplishes zero goals because they don't even bother to set any. Hmmmm, it is quite the dilemma.

I guess when all is said and done I would rather error on the side of too much! How does the old saying go? "Reach for the Moon and even if you miss, you may land among the stars. I may not have done all of the things that I wanted to but I have climbed the Great Wall of China and I have stared over the edge of the Cliffs of Moher and I do hope that someday Jeff and I will be able to serve that mission together. Robert Browning once said, "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp--or what's a heaven for?"

So, my endearing (or is that enduring?) kids---It's back to the books for you! You have moons to reach for and mountains to climb--and all of my unfulfilled expectations to accomplish so that I can live vicariously through you.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Stony paths--Strong Shoes

The old Irish proverb says:

If God sends you down a stony path,
may he give you strong shoes.

Life rolls along pretty calmly for the most part. Most of the time we try to avoid the challenges that are in the middle of the road. But there are times when you can't, and must therefore put on your "strong shoes" and just plow through.
We wear our own shoes out. We haven't placed enough rubber into the "souls". That is when the extra layers are added onto our "souls" by Someone who has tread this road before and who knows what those rocks feel like.
The rocks never go away...

They simply become a part of you. They help to shape who you will eventually become. They become a part of your soul.

Eventually when you have reached the end of that stony road, you can look back and see how far you have come.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Random Summer Sampler

There are just so many things wrong with this I can't decide what to list first. I guess with two older sisters and an older brother who is just so happy that he's not the littlest anymore, things like this are bound to happen. Let's just say that I'm pretty sure that THIS little boy will not be having the typical wedding-photo montage. There is just TOO much ammo like this to go around. I'm afraid he'll be warped forever.
P.S. Shhh! Don't tell Jeff--This will be too much for his poor manly sentimentalities. They might just have to take away his "Man-card" just for having a son be subjected to this by his over-zealous sisters.
Lest we be too hard on those said sisters, I walked into their room the other night to find this. Raise your hand if you've ever been guilty of the same thing. Osmosis?
When my amazing sister was here while Jeff and I were in Ireland, she painted the kids rooms. She gave them their choice of whatever they wanted to paint. Each of them helped with their own rooms. Andrew was super excited about his Space-Cosmos room. It takes up two of his walls and part of the ceiling where Jupiter overlaps. It turned out pretty fun. The glow-in-the-dark painted stars are an extra-fun bonus. I still need to add a couple coats of that to make them really pop. They are pretty faint still. But, Andrew loves it. That's the important thing. I'm hoping to finish it off with some vinyl decals on the dresser that we found and repainted. Then redo his comforter and wahlah--happy six-year old.
Here's Addy's girly-girl pegasus. Since we still had the wallpaper up in the girls room that they are sharing now. Heidi did these downstairs in what is now the family room. We have plans to eventually add two rooms down here so that all of the kids can have their own rooms. Hopefully that will happen before she turns 14 or else the theme Addy chose might not be quite so exciting to her.
Kaylee opted for the English country cottage and the fairies. She loves it---I'm just not sure for how long. Hopefully for my sisters sake, a very long time. Isn't my sister awesome! Oh, if only I had half the talent that she has!
We spent a fun day on the water at Heyburn. Since we missed most of the summer last year it took a bit to get the kids broken in again on the tube. They were a little wimpy, I must say. On the flipside, Kaylee was super close to getting up on skis. She tried a few times and is so close but couldn't quite make it. A new prop on the boat for next year and we'll have her up and running in no time.
Ky-Ky may not have wanted to ride the tube but he sure had fun eating those cherries--pits and all. Sure-fire way to add a little ruffage to your child's diet.
One of the funnest days this summer was our trip to Silverwood. The kids earned tickets from a reading club this past year and Jeff and I found some deals on Craigslist. We had a blast--so much fun that I hardly took any pictures at all. This adorable one of my babes will have to suffice. The kids and Jeff had a rolicking good time in the wave pool while Ky napped and then waded and jumped a few little waves. We all decided that our favorite ride was Tremors. Of course the kids stepped off that ride white-knuckled and almost spitting-mad at their parents for taking them on it and vowed that they would not be going on any of the other big coasters. They hated it as soon as we were off of it until the end of the night. Then finally after a good nights sleep, Kaylee was overheard telling her brother, "I think Tremors was the best ride-don't you? We're gonna have to go on that again next year. It was fun!" Talk about revisionist history!
The girls joined 4H this year and really loved learning some new things. These were two of the skirts that they made this year. The projects were great but I swear the paperwork for the fair and stuff just about killed me. Don't you think they did a great job though.
The glare on Addy's picture does not do the skirt justice. It turned out super-cute. It is a wrap-around skirt with a ribbon waistline. I didn't have enough fabric on hand for the skirt so we pieced it into stripes. It was a lot more work for my girl but it sure turned out cute in the end.