Wednesday, February 12, 2014

From One end of the Spectrum to the Other!

Yesterday was an interesting day!  Which started by going to the temple with four lovely ladies who helped me do the work for 4 SISTERS at the same time!  That was a great feeling, I could only imagine as I sat there, all of my sisters, and how happy we would have been to be TOGETHER!

Then off to Gary's basketball game.  Where he led the team to a 18 to 14 victory....scoring 16 points.  I never really knew how fun it was to see a 1st grader score a fast break, until my own kid did it!

After dinner and clean-up, we sat down to read scriptures as a family, but started by celebrating a birthday!

Norma Jean (LOVE THE NAME) is Jared's Grandma! She died when Jared was very young, consequently, we went to Aunt Annette for our information!  As we talked about her, I asked the kids, "WHAT DID YOU DO WITH GRANDMA NORMA JEAN'S NAME TODAY THAT SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN PROUD OF."

Ally, "I tried to cause less drama on the bus."  To which I say Hallelujah! 

Gary, "I sat by someone at lunch that was alone, and I talked to him."  Proud moment.

Sam, "When Jim (name has been changed) told me he didn't want me on his kickball team, I didn't get mad, I just stayed quiet."
Me,"Sam does that happen a lot?"
Sam, (as his lip quivers) "Mom, nobody wants me on their teams, ever."

Remember previously scored 16 happy as that was, not as painful as this is :(

Oh the joys of parenting!  I may be getting more sleep as my kids get older, by my heartache has increased as well!  Life will go on, Sam is ULTRA-TALENTED, and I am sure I suffer more than he does!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

El Libro Numero 3....CHECK

Okay, this book was SHEER delight.  I really am not a sports person.  I try, I really try sometimes, but I am not.  I feel like the gene simply skipped me, both coordination-wise and liking it -wise.  However, I am a people person, and I have always been fascinated with John Stockton.  Ever since I remember him standing on the Olympic Podium with his lips drawn tight and serious, just after winning a gold medal.  Thinking...sing, smile, do something!  As the entire Foster household was screaming and singing at the top of their lungs!

Then my interest really peaked as I watched him introduce this book on Fox News.  The commentator asked, "what is your greatest accomplishment?"  And without flinching he said, "My Kids!  Beyond a shadow of a doubt, My Kids."  At this point, the book Had to be Read!

I will not summarize it for you, you will have to read it yourself, and then we can chat about it, because my neighbors are getting sick of me talking about it.  I will simply leave you with some quotes.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Libro Numero Dos....Check

Obviously, I have taken this picture off of the Amazon website...Don't click.  Nothing will happen.  It is simply to show you the Second book that I have read this year...on my quest to read more.  

There is a little song we sing in Primary (the children's class in our Church) that says, "I lived in heaven a long time ago, it is true.  Lived there and loved there with people I know so did you.  Then Heavenly Father presented a beautiful plan.  All about earth and Eternal Salvation for man.".....So that would be the synopsis of this book.  With GREAT Literary license (I am not sure he could have done it any other way), Chris Stewart tries to portray what that Pre-Earth Life could have looked like. Although the facts are few and the illustration is grand, the lesson was not lost on me.  

For days, I have been wrapped up, trying so hard to REMEMBER what it must have been like.   Searching my life for any evidence that that pre-mortal life remains with me.  Although hard to see in myself, it is so easily seen in my kids.  Each of them came with TOTALLY DIFFERENT interests, talents, and skills. Gary can kick a ball farther than any of them, out run all of them, and SMILE at the same time.  Same can sit down at the piano and play a song for the first time as if he had played it before 1,000's of times. Ally can take the LEAD in any situation and has a determination unmatched.  

I told Jared the other night that I am loving this time in our lives.  It is so fun to watch the kids "unveil" and develop.  To be completely honest, I cannot look at myself and say that I came with any great talent, something that came easy to me.  Most everything I have done has come with effort.  And there are very few things that really capture my attention....Well, there is one.  

This Christmas, my sister Patti said to me, (as I was asking her about her calling), "Kathryn, can we please talk about something besides Church!"  And because this was not the first time she has said it to me, I finally just told her, "Patti, that is what I love talking about the most.  It is what excites me!"  As boring as that may seem.  It is true.  The other day I read a scripture in Alma that had the phrase "the affections of your heart!"  I loved that!  The affections of my heart have always been on the doctrines of the scriptures, the prophets, and the Savior!  That is where my loyalties lie.  

I cannot over emphasize how grateful I am to know that there was a life before this life....that there will be life after this life.  When I make decisions based in that framework, there is light.  When I make a decision based on now, not forever, there is darkness.  I love the light!  

Sunday, January 12, 2014

And then there was Channeling!

When Ally was born and screamed the entire ride home from the hospital.  We knew she had lungs.  The next few years, it became apparent that she had the will to match the lungs.  When she was a Sunbeam (class for three year olds in our church) her teacher gave me a parenting book.  To which I was devastated.  But it only confirmed one thing for me.  No one could ever make her do anything she didn't want to do.

During the first 10 years of her life, I cannot tell you how many times I have heard the many variations of the following phrase, "She is so strong willed, now if you can just channel that, it will work out so well."  So we have been trying to channel - whatever that means, in the best way we know how for many many years.

This past week, I was so grateful for her "strong-will" that I wanted to share.  It seems that the fifth grade class had an outbreak of cheating.  Some may call it a little deal, but to me, cheating is never little.

Some of her friends confronted her to "let her in" on the cheating ring.  She was appalled.  And without any social graces at all, asked, "What are you doing?"....."No I won't do that!  I am a Mormon!"  And then, she knew that she needed to let the teachers know that the majority of the class was sharing answers to the test. She recounted it to me this way, "Mom, as Bailey and I were walking down the hall, all the kids were telling us we were stupid and they wouldn't be our friends any more.  And I just thought!  I don't care if I have friends!   This is wrong."  And then there was channeling!

 I was proud!  I never knew how much I would love having strong-willed children (oh and by the way, her other great accomplishment this week is to fit the words of Angels We Have Heard on High to the Theme Song of Harry Potter....strong-willed and talented :)

Another high-light of the week came when Sam was making his lunch on Thursday night.  He and I were the only ones in the kitchen when he said, "Mom!  People are so foolish!"  (Come to find out, that day they had discovered the many theories of evolution)

"Why do you say that Sam?"

"Mom, they think we came from monkeys, or bugs.....or worst of all, just appeared!"

"You don't think that Sam?"

"No! Mom!  For Heaven's sake!  Can't they find their pedigree chart!"

Now you make take that as face value, and say he doesn't really understand!  But Sam understands!  He gets it!  As I thought about it for the next few days, I knew he really did get it!

This week being a parent is awesome!  We will see what next week holds :)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Libro Numero Uno :)

When I teenage-ish, I was a HUGE goal setter.  Every New Years, I would write down my list of 20 or so goals on a cute piece of paper in my best handwriting and place them carefully in my journal.  I would check back on the piece of paper all through the month of January, then I wouldn't see it again until the next January, until it was time to find some more cute paper and write down the same 20 goals, with even cuter handwriting than the previous year.

When I met Jared, he was ANTI- new year's resolutions, "If there is something to change, why wait until the New Years to do it?"  he would say.  And I am not sure, but I think he may have heard that one form his dad :)  So my goal setting stopped, and I started focusing on the NOW.

A quote that really helped me came from last April's Ensign.  President Eyering was talking about what should happen during the Sacrament, "I have found in that moment (during the Sacrament) that God can give us what feels like a personal interview.  He brings to my attention what I have done that PLEASES HIM.  my need for REPENTANCE and FORGIVENESS, and the NAMES and FACES of people He would have me serve for Him."

This has become my New Years RESOLUTIONS, plan, and follow up all rolled up into one nice little package.  AND IT HAPPENS EVERY WEEK, not just in January.  I feel the things my CHARACTER has to work on, are slowly changing over time and I am grateful.

But Alas, this year, I did set some goals, and that is the real point of this post.  I set goals with numbers on them.  Things that need to be quantified (indexing, maybe weight, and definitely dates with the husband :) so that I could say at the end of 2014 that I wasn't wasting away my days of probation.

One time I was given a blessing which admonished me to read good literature.  I do, but not nearly often enough.  This year I have made the goal to read 24 books.  The first one I read over the break.

Elizabeth Smart, My Story!  It was an interesting experience.  I had to read it in one day.  As I got into it, and beheld the horror, I told Jared, "I cannot stop until I get to a happy place."  Which did come, but not until the final chapters of the book.

This book was incredible!  Well written and tastefully done.  About a girl who was thrust into darkest confines that this life probably has to offer, yet she could still see through eyes of faith.  She had had 14 years of "light" when she saw the darkness, she could judge between the two.  Differently, than myself, she kept reminding herself what light was like, what happiness felt like.  Sometimes I am quick to jump into the black and grey and wallow in its 50 shades.  Not her!

At the tender age of 14, (and perhaps everyday of the rest of her life) she had contrast the two, and make a choice.  Quite simply, she chose light, she chose happiness.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

What follows Christmas...Spring Cleaning OF COURSE!

We had a FABULOUS Christmas.  It was so good to be with family, and snow, and fireplaces, and peanut brittle, made by someone other than me.  It was good to go to Church with my family (I LOVE that) and to see my nieces and nephews, who I adore, and adore even more when they grow taller than me :)

Jared surprised me with a Kitchen Aid, and I surprised him with a picture of us, and a poem Photoshoped on top of it, that he wrote for me and read to me when we got engaged.  It was TENDER, and he CRIED, a reaction, I have never gotten out of him :)  The reaction from my sister Patti, who is pretty much REACTION-LESS when it comes to presents, was not as good, to say the least.

We played so hard, and lost so much sleep, that we came home DRAINED.  Sledding and snowmobiling for hours on end (and chatting, maybe sometimes (maybe sometimes getting into heated conversations about common core...that all ended well) can be EXHAUSTING.  To top it all off, Jared and I have been a little concerned about future plans, so what did we do.  We came home and SPRING CLEANED our entire house.  It was AWESOME!  I loved every minute of it.  That is a lie.

However, I love my house, I love its organization, and I love to live simply :)  Life is good.

I encountered a situation last night that I have yet to encounter in my first 11 years of parenting.  I was tucking Joe into bed, and (as always) it was a struggle to get him to say his prayers.  I finally said, "Joe, Jesus will be so sad."  To which he said,  "Mom, Jesus died.  He may be alive somewhere else now, but He isn't here, and He can't see me saying my prayers."

I honestly had no idea what to say to Him.  I was dumbfounded.  Finally I just told him, "Joe, I know you can't see Him, but He can ALWAYS see you, and he can ALWAYS hear you."

Maybe this parenting thing is more than I was cut out for.  I have never even contemplated the fact that He might not be able to hear me.  He always feels so Christmas 365 days a year.  Joe is 5. Joe is going to be fine, life just takes practice, experience, and belief.  However, I may not be fine, I don't know if my heart can take this for the rest of my life...

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Early Morning Hours

Last night I went to bed happy, but achey and feeling like a storm was on its way.

This morning I feel about the same way with a cough to accompany it.  So, as 4:00 rolled around I tried very hard to keep my eyes shut.  But habbits are stubborn, so at 4:30 I finally got myself up to send Jared off for the day :) and we can forget sleep at this point, because my mind is racing...not with important things, granted.

In fact, the great debate of "should I clean my house and cough and die as I do it,"  or "should I sit on the couch and watch shows with Joe (who is also sick) and want to die, as I sit in a messy house" raced through my head.

I know, my mind is a complicated place to be at times :)  However, I started into my scripture study and found many more IMPORTANT and edifying thoughts waiting for me there....

From Jacob 3, to the December Ensign, and finally landing in General Conference.....Wilt Thou Be Made Whole by Elder Dyches.  Interestingly enough, my thoughts connected from place to place, and I found some understaning :)

Elder Dyches recounted one of my favorite stories:

Corrie ten Boom, a devout Dutch Christian woman, found such healing despite having been interned in concentration camps during World War II. She suffered greatly, but unlike her beloved sister Betsie, who perished in one of the camps, Corrie survived.

After the war she often spoke publicly of her experiences and of healing and forgiveness. On one occasion a former Nazi guard who had been part of Corrie’s own grievous confinement in Ravensbrück, Germany, approached her, rejoicing at her message of Christ’s forgiveness and love.

“‘How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein,’ he said. ‘To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!’

“His hand was thrust out to shake mine,” Corrie recalled. “And I, who had preached so often … the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side.

“Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. … Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him.

“I tried to smile, [and] I struggled to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness.

“As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me.

“And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.”1

And then he ended his talk with a quote that I can atest to!  I love the Savior.   If life is sometimes bleak, hard or discouraging, then I HATE to think of what it would be without His help to pull us through :)

If you feel unclean, unloved, unhappy, unworthy, or unwhole, remember “all that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.”3  (Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?)