Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Me: "Honey, what are you taking those for?"
Conner: "I've been watching You Tube and learning how to do claw machines. I want to win a plush."
Me: "Well, its your money and if you want to try that's fine. But understand that those things are really hard to win at. You have to be lucky and watching You Tube in order to try and win isn't really going to be helpful at all."
|The master bath was filled with piggies! I think they called it "Oink the Halls".|
|A pig dressed up as Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer sitting on the back of a toilet. How did they know my weakness?|
|This was kind of creepy at first. What's with the long dark tunnel? It's called "Alternate Delivery" and the little animals are helping with the gifts. We found it was a shooting range when it was actually a house.|
|Trains! There were neat little village pieces in the middle that sparkled and twinkled while the trains ran round and round.|
(Actually...the real story is that she is looking at fish in the pond at 577 Foundation. We took the girls there on our little weekend of adventure!)
Sunday, December 4, 2011
To the last question, some little girl answered thus:
"A unicorn nativity made out of real crystals."
Does life get any better then that, I ask you?
Saturday, December 3, 2011
My kids were mad.
More specifically Maryn was mad. Now in fairness, Rachel and I also did a Biaggi's run last night after we rehearsed. I needed chocolate. It had been a long and stressful day. I need an hour without children or work. I make no apologies for a little self care. (Okay actually I do, because it mostly feels like selfishness instead of self care, but I'm working on it. Plus the cake was amazing.)
But I sensed this wasn't really about my absence. So I asked her why she was mad. Truth be told, is was more about me going somewhere that didn't include her. And it was about me going somewhere she wanted to go and didn't get to go.
What is it about being 11 years old that makes the entire world seem unfair?
Her day had been a list of complaints.
"Why don't WE have a real tree. I want a real tree. THEY have a real tree."
"And they have 2 trees. Why can't we have 2 trees?"
"They put their stockings on the fireplace. You put them on the shelf. They're supposed to go on the fireplace. Why don't we put them on the fireplace."
"You get to go places. I never get to go places. Why do you get to go places?"
"Hannah got one of those, why can't I have one of those?"
"Why can't we have pork for dinner? They have pork for dinner. You never make pork for dinner."
Finally, I stopped her.
"Look, if you're going to continue telling me everything that just isn't working for you like this, maybe you should write it down and submit it all at once a formal complaint."
She kind of laughed.
A friend pointed out that somehow in the eyes of kids that age anything different then what they have is bad. Somehow, someone else having something you don't have (even though you may have many other wonderful things), is perceived as unfair.
Okay, not just 11 year olds. I go there sometimes too. Okay, I go there a lot.
Maybe I should just confess straight out that I live there. I've pitched a tent and hunkered down for the long haul. But so often I feel justified in my complaints, because I complain about BIG things, not pizza and cake.
Here is a quote from the latest church magazine. Elder Eyring said:
Depending on which agency you work for, that means different things.
For Hannah's Socks, it means I recruit volunteers, match them with the best opportunities for them, and then try and build relationships with them so they stay. That means coming with tasks and programs. It means learning more about your volunteers and investing a piece of yourself in them so they feel important and they invest in the agency and the mission. The key word for most VC's is "engage". We engage individuals.
For United Way, I take on more of a supportive roll for other agencies. I do a little matching of individuals to opportunities, but mostly I work with the VC's in other agencies to help them create great programs so we feel good about sending volunteers their way. Sometimes, I also help groups come up with Days of Caring. I reach out to organizations I know have things to when I am contacted by a business or other organization who want to do a service project. I also maintain key volunteer relationships. Food Pantry Network is one (pretty much all of them are volunteers and coordinate volunteers) and the Office of Service Learning at BGSU is another. I really like being part of both of both of those. Relationships are a core value for me. Anyway, last night I tapped into the relationships I have with both of these groups to do something good. BGSU wanted to have a service project in honor of the inauguration of the new university president. The OSL reached out to me and asked for help planning a food drive and then connecting the food with the right recipients.
Last night we sorted and prepared about 1000 items that we divided between 3 pantries. People give weird stuff. Soba noodles? Seaweed wraps? Foil packaged jelly fish? Tapioca thats older then I am? A #10 can of hot fudge sauce? How is that practical for anyone in rural midwest Ohio?
After all I have learned about food pantries, here is my little bit of advice; whenever you give for a food drive, give food you would eat. Don't reach into your cupboard and just give them whatever you aren't using. Don't give stuff thats older then you kids. You are giving this food to people, not pigs. It will not help them if they will not eat it.
Okay, now the soapbox is officially tipped over and I am moving on :)
Anyway, another thing I do and love doing presentations and training. I love planning just the right thing. I love coming up with activities that have meaning and then leading the group through the processing and seeing their faces as the pieces come together and they reach their own conclusion. I love interacting with people. I love researching and learning more about the topic and subject. Did I mention that I love it?
I get to do a presentation next week on creating positive organizational cultures that support and maximize volunteers within that culture. Sounds riveting doesn't it? And yet I'm excited. The process of bringing it together was tedious but rewarding. I'll have to let you know how it turns out :)
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
This is actually just a quick note about my son.
I am proud of him. He may not be the fastest, strongest or smartest in all the things he believes others measure him for...but he is the bestest.
Here are some reasons why.
He was just called to be the first assisstant in the Priests Quorum. He's only been a priest for 6 months. He's not the oldest priest, and when he received the call, he had an enormous amount of self doubt as to whether or not he could be a leader. He wondered why someone like himself (whatever thats supposed to mean) would be asked to fill this position. A few weeks ago, I saw the reason why.
There was an old man who just recently came back to church. He is still a priest. And that week he was blessing the sacrament. Somehow, he got jumbled up, and after several tries and a little frustration, he was still saying the prayers over and again because he kept missing or adding different words. I watched my son stand next to him, smile encouragingly, help him see the small errors so he could correct them, and then lay his hand on the mans shoulder as he knelt by his side to give him support.
I knew why he had been asked to fulfill that calling.
He loves kids. He was more then happy to let his little cousins sit on his lap and explore his nook.
Tonight, he had a scrimmage (of sorts) for wrestling that I couldn't be at. But between wrestling practice and the actual meet, he called and asked for food. We sat in the van and chatted for a few minutes while he ate.
"Mom, I'm really glad we have a good relationship. I let someone else use my phone to call his mom. They were swearing at eachother, and yelling. And when he got off the phone he called her a bad name. I'm so glad we're not like that."
When I had conferences, all of his teachers, without exception, adore him. He struggles with grades, but they all told me what an amazing kid he is. He's kind, polite, respectful, and helpful.
I think that is God's great joke on you as a parent. Right about the time you actually start liking your kids and enjoying their company...
they leave you.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
So I think the art teacher at my kids elementary school is amazing. She really tries to no just do projects but to teach concepts and history. And the results, to me, are amazing. Here are some of the projects they did this year. The artist is listed above each piece. :)
Saturday, July 30, 2011
So for about 3 weeks we had an extra member of our family. Thibaud Real came to stay with us on June 19th and left July 9th. He is a kind, considerate and intelligent young man. We learned a lot from him and enjoyed having him with us for those 3 weeks.
The funniest things happened when a language barrier arose. He was only supposed to speak English, but sometimes that was hard. I can only imagine it’s not fun finding the words you really want to say when you have a limited vocabulary. But he got way better at it as the weeks passed by. He had to think less before speaking and had gained some new vocabulary (some of it compliments of our family’s usage of words like “Weird!” and “Seriously?!) But here are some fun, and funny, things we experienced while he was here. They are forever saved in our memory files, but here are ones that were fun but no one took pictures of but we hope to always remember.
So one of the first nights, Paul and Thibaud decided to download Starcraft. It was a 24 hour download. The next day, when they checked it…lo and behold they had downloaded the entire thing in Dutch, a language neither of them spoke. Nice guys. Nice. We kept joking that we should find the Dutch versions of things since they had apparently become quickly fluent in it.
So we were told French people eat very little with their hands. It’s true. I watched him eat a sandwich wrap with a knife and fork. I mean, who wants to get their hands dirty any way? But this translated into not also wanting to get to much food on his hands. Enter buckeye candy making. You must use your hands to mix the sugary peanut buttery dough. And we let Thibaud go first. See attached picture. He took the candies home to his family.
Paul and Thibaud are both nice guys. As a result they spent a lot of time trying not to be rude which sometimes ended up just silly. They would come to a door and both try and open it first to let the other go and then stand their insisting the other go for like a minute. I finally joked with them to figure it out or I’d have them count off and have them take turns. Also, Thibaud did not want to be an inconvenience and Paul was trying to let him have space, so for the first week or so they would spend their days while I was at work apart…Thibaud upstairs in his room, Paul on the computer. I can only imagine they were bored out of their skulls. I finally sat them down and pointed out it was okay to make requests (Thibaud) and offer ideas (Paul). It got much better after that.
Wheat and Huit
So we introduced him to 2 new games; Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride. We played them a lot. The first time we played settlers, there was a particular number that when rolled, half the people got wheat. They would call out the name of their prize as the die fell where they may. It was coming up a lot. And it took a few times for me to realize that everytime someone yelled “Wheat”, Thibaud was taking ore from his tile with and “8” proudly displayed in the middle. “What are you doing?” I asked. “Well, they keep saying huit.” I smiled and laughed, pointing at the grain tile. “This kind of wheat. Not the number!” It continued to be a joke throughout all the times we played.
For some reason I had the darndest time getting any pictures of him. He hated having his picture taken. Finally, at 577 Foundation he was hopelessly trapped in a hammock. Ah-ha!
Here’s what they got to do for those weeks; lunch at Chipotle (compliments of the manager!),farmer’s market, zoo, art museum (tour and dinner!), Fort Meigs, Library, 577 Foundation, Air and Space Museum, Neil Armstrong Museum, Bisseggars, Country Fest, Cars 2, Transformers, Perrysburgers, Fireworks for the 4th, Hannahs Socks Library Handout, Game night at the Yosts, Sauder Village, Cedar Point, Family Weekend and big BBQ on the 4th (With ribs and chicken and homemade root beer!), Cracker Barrel, and lots of movies at home, games at the table and dinners together.
All in all, I would say it was a great 3 weeks!