Saturday, April 27, 2013

Door to Door Sales Man Season

It’s that time of year again…yep, that’s right, Door to Door Sales Man time.  Could I say that as much as I love spring, which is oodles and oodles I assure you, I hate door to door sales men just as much!  Now where we live in this little town in a little area or community of this town the houses have big back yards, long and skinny, which means that the houses side by side are fairly close.  Ideal for the door to door sales man, and the blocks in our area are on longer than normal blocks.  That’s right when you think trick or treating in Nephi you think our area, or door to door sales in this case. 

                Last year my sweet giggly, everything is always rosy, daughter Nan came running into my room in tears.  She had been outside when a door to door sales man had approached her and she had explained our no soliciting sign on our door and he wouldn’t go away and Nan, who was only thirteen at the time, gave up and ran made dash scarred to death to my bedroom to tell me.  And worse yet the man had the nerve to, after causing my daughter to cry, wait at the door for me and try to push his product on me.

                Well in the hours that followed that first encounter I put up a vinyl sign beside our door, hand made by me in our vinyl machine since I have easy access to it, that read…”No Soliciting at our house and we won’t go target shooting at yours.”  Not very nice I know and completely out of my character, but it was funny and cute and somewhat to the point.  My children should feel safe in their own yard. 

                Well two days ago a certain company, I won’t name names because I am sure they have no idea that their sale’s men are this rauncho and I don’t want to get sued for slander down the road, came to my door.  I opened it and pointed to the sign and he very politely apologized and left.  The very next day someone else from that same company came and I pointed to the sign.  He apologized and said he didn’t notice the sign until he had already rang the doorbell, but since I had already answered the door…I very politely said I wasn’t interested as I shut the door.  Annoying two days in a row but not the end of the world.

                But today was different.  Same company but this time two sales men.  Sam was sick and passed out cold with a fever on the coach and Suzy was in the chair reading a book or something.  I answered the door, pointed to the sign, and went to shut the door but he put himself in my door way.  I politely explained that we were not interested and this was the third time this week that someone had visited here.  He exclaimed, “Impossible.  Did he have the uniform and the orange symbol.”  I assured him that they both did and that I wasn’t interested.  He then said to me, “Why do you have a No Soliciting sign?  Do you hate people?  Don’t you like the world?”  At this point I was surprised and yes, a little angry.  I informed him that without it I can get 10 to 15 sales men a week.  “Impossible,” came again, “You must hate people.”  Then, this is where Suzy laughed later after I had shut the door but I was only angry, he made a crazy face rolling his eyes and putting his face into mine shaking his head he said, “DDDDDUUUUHHH,” in a perfect 12 year old manner(think tongue sticking out eyes rolling like he was having a seizure sort of way).  “Impossible,” was my thought.  Did I really see a grown man do and act in the very way that he did?

                Now in defense of the other guy who was standing behind him I could see the shock on his face and embarrassment and he most definitely wanted to run and hide because it was the most unreal thing that either of us was seeing.  I shut the door in his face and he walked off cussing me and the whole time I was thinking of how mad I was and how afraid at the same time that he was going to smash the glass on my door that I had just shut in his face in.  I called the police.  Yes this very determined Mommy stood her ground and refused to be intimidated.  The nice officer on the phone upon learning that I could no longer see them instructed me to call the company and if they came back to call the police immediately before the opposers left my doorstep.  He also informed me that his wife that very week was having problems with that very same company and was also frustrated that her No Soliciting sign was not working.

                The company upon my call was very polite and took down my information so that they could find out who the man was.  They also instructed me in the future to get the man’s badge number before the conversation started so that they could keep track when the complaint comes in.  They were wonderful on the phone and documented everything.

                Few…Moral of the story?  Don’t really know yet but I know that I will find one.  To the good side of all of this, Door to Door Sales Man weather also means bike weather and soon to be sprinkler weather and camping weather and neighborhood kids riding bikes and eating snowies  in our front yard and playing ball in our back yard all together weather and there isn’t anything better than that…well accept maybe all the beautiful things that are right now growing in my greenhouse weather just waiting for another few weeks to be planted.  Despite it all Spring really is the best time of the year even if it is Door to Door Sales Man season too!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Highs and Lows

There have been a lot of highs and a lot of lows for us over the past few weeks.  Moments when my heart was breaking and I thought that the pain would never end and moments when my heart was soaring and I thought that I would never come down, but one thing that has been the constant through both the highs and the lows was the love that I feel from my Savior.

                Oh sure, most of you who read my blog probably assume that I live a charmed life filled with only perfection.  Not so but I can see how anyone would think so.  I try very hard in life to look for the good and most of the time I find it, but I wouldn’t be living this human experience if there wasn’t times that I was pushed to wonder if I could survive whatever trial that I might be going through until the next day.  I think that the lows we have help us to appreciate the joy that comes and most certainly brings us closer to our Heavenly Father.  Through the darkest of nights always comes the dawn even if the dawn might be filled with storm clouds on the horizon.

                I’ve had some time to reflect this past week on the joys in my life one of which is going to the temple.  Jason working in South Jordan like he does has allowed me to travel with him twice a month to do our family grocery shopping and to attend the temple in the morning.  I’ve come to look forward to this time when I can serve and connect with the other side a little closer, pull back the veil a little so to say, and have the peace that God wants me to have a little easier.  One of the greatest gifts he has given me.  If you don’t take the time to go already, do.  I promise you that no matter the commitments you have you can always find time for the temple.  Satan would have you think otherwise and if you miss out, oh sure you are letting those who are waiting for their priesthood blessings down, but mostly you are letting yourself down and not filling your cup to overflowing as you could.

                Sunday was crazy and I left half my lesson home and the words to the new song that we are learning home.  Upon arriving home I grabbed my lesson and what I thought were the words only to arrive at church and discover that they were not in my bag.  I had to rush to the library and recopy the music while the girls tried to stall through opening exercises only to discover once in my class room that I had left my lesson in the car and my Ipad in the other room.  Let’s just say that it didn’t get smoother after that.  I went home frustrated and tired.  Then I had to rush to get dinner ready and eaten in only 45 minutes and off to a Stake Young Women’s Leadership meeting.  Let me just say that at that point I didn’t want to go, especially because my brother Cullen and his wife Annalee were expected back to Nephi with their little family after what felt like about a million years of them being away to law school in Texas and the last thing that I wanted to do was worry about one more crazy meeting.

                I went.  Because that’s what you do and sometimes just obedience leads to some great blessings and this time it did.  I felt the spirit so strong and learned so much and my heart was filled to overflowing.  Cullen and Annalee came very shortly after to complete the wonderful feeling of joy that I had running through me.  I learned a new way to study my scriptures that is already changing my life and President Ludlow reminded me of the blessings that I have in Jason.  He was so amazing in the way that he spoke about our role in teaching the Young Women and he let us peek into the amazing way he feels about his wife.  The things he said about her and the way that he expressed his love for her was so beautiful and if she had been there, there would have been no way that she could have ever doubted that he loved her.

                I couldn’t stop the tears and perhaps everyone there thought that I was crying because I wished that I could have that, but in reality I was crying because everything that he was saying Jason more or less says to me every day and shows me every moment in the tender way that he treats me and I know that not everyone has that blessing that I do.  I truly am the most blessed of women.  How could I not think that when Jason so openly loves me so much?  When he looks at me so tenderly and all his concerns are around my wellbeing and happiness.  A great reason why I am the woman that I am, mostly filled with extreme joy and able to shoulder the trials as they come is because I am married to him and he has taught me to see how amazing that I am.

                Last night we had a service auction fund raiser for the young men and young women in our ward.  The men were in charge of the auction and the young women the food.  Can I just say that chaos ensued and I really was certain that the food would never come together in time?  My heart was racing and when I realized that very few had come to the dinner I was downright discouraged.  My secretary and my laurel’s advisor kept saying it’s alright, it will all work out.  Dinner got done, and people showed up, late but in great force.  The young women worked together beautifully and in the end we raised a great amount for girls camp and scout camp and joint activities and although I was stuck in the kitchen most of the time and really couldn’t see much of what was going on in the gym I think that everyone had a good time.

                This morning I am so tired that I want to just lie in bed all day and my feet and back are so sore that I could cry, and maybe laugh at the same time too, but I am soaring once again!  I’ve cleaned the kitchen, gotten breakfast made, Jason’s breakfast made, washed dishes, read scriptures, made yogurt smoothie pops for when the kids come home, folded some of the million table clothes that I still have to wash and now written in my blog and all I keep feeling is the Savior’s love and all that keeps going through my thoughts are the words, “I love you!” over and over.

                Jesus is the Christ, our brother.  He died for me and he lives for me!  His spirit brings me peace and reminds me of who I am.  I have a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother who love me and are cheering for me.  They know me even when I sometimes I don’t and in everything they are trying to strengthen me until I come back home.  I have the gospel of Jesus Christ, the same gospel that was in Jesus’s day and I have the Bible and the Book of Mormon.  I have prayer for when I am sad and prayer for when I am in need and prayer for when I am alone and most of all prayer for when I am grateful and I have the Holy Ghost that speaks to me of peace.  What more could I need?  How could I not soar?  My life is a million puzzle pieces of highs and lows that are all being pieced together to paint the most wonderful picture of my eternity.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Oh, So Serious Sam

How many times have you held your perfect little baby in your arms and looked at him in complete awe.  Some part of you knew then like the first moments when in the most impossible release you brought that babe into the world that he had come straight from God.  Part of you was in awe the other part of you would have given anything to look into that baby’s memories and try yourself for one sweet moment to remember home.

                Then what happens?  They grow up on you and suddenly that sweet innocence seems to drift away and you long for it again, for those moments when you felt so close to God.  I remember holding Sam in my arms that first time after the whole world of visitors had gone home.  The hospital was quiet and he had woken up for his first midnight feeding.  I remember the most perfect moment when everything was still and for one sweet night he was mine and all mine alone.  I remember looking down at him and feeling the sense of the greatness that I held in my arms and wondering how God could entrust such perfection to me, someone so far from perfect.

                When Sam got older and learned to smile and toddle around, even talk and hold very simple conversations even then he was what one might call serious and a deep thinker.  I remember when he was about three possibly four my father laying on the grass and Sam and Steph were climbing all over him and my dad saying to Sam, “Sam, smile for me.”  And Sam in the most serious of expressions, lines drawn and brows furled said, “I am smiling.”  We laughed then as we still do now when we think back to that.  Sam so little and chubby and so serious, not unhappy just of serious nature.

                Sam is still very serious.  His questions are so deep that sometimes I marvel at them and his understanding of right and wrong, no grey, make me wonder how he can be so certain when he is so little.  I think maybe he really is more close to perfection than I am.  Perhaps in the spirit world he obtained more holiness than me, perhaps he was just a little more prepared beforehand than I was.  Who knows?  But sometimes I still have to laugh at my little boy who at times can be so serious.

                On Thursday they had a spelling bee for Sam’s First Grade.  Now, although we had the list of words months in advance, we didn’t study one second, not once.  Great mother right?  Sam aces everything at school.  He is well beyond many years of what he should be in reading, he’s been doing multiplication since kindergarten when he asked me what is was when you had three threes and they equal nine, what was that called.  He does division now and reads Harry Potter and spells all of his older sister’s spelling words with no problem.  So of course, the lazy mom that I am, and in keeping with my other children who had no desire to be in the spelling bee, we didn’t practice once.  So imagine my surprise when I received the email from Sam’s teacher inviting me to the spelling bee of the top fourteen spellers in his grade. 

There Sam sat in that small elementary school library, all of his fellow classmates sitting on the floor to watch Sam and thirteen others duel it out in a spelling contest, Sam’s legs twitching nervously under his seat.  The principal explained the rules and then reminded the kids that the top five got five dollars each.  One by one it went down the line, sterner and more serious grew Sam’s face and faster twittled his feet until it was his turn.  Then, up he popped, looked at me, no smile on his face, and repeated the word, letters flying out swiftly and clearly until he was back down in his seat a look of relief on his face.  It carried on like this each round while more and more children were spelled out until Sam was in the top five.  Then miraculously Sam’s whole demeanor calmed and a smile spread across his face and he relaxed and had fun. 

        In the end, despite my awful parenting, my little serious boy took First Place.  Number one speller in the First Grade with his two best friends following right after.  When I asked him how it felt, if he was happy to have won he said, “I just wanted the five dollars, then I didn’t care.  I’m rich!”

 I can’t help but wonder what he will become when he grows up.  Will he be the pharmacist like he professes he will?  I guess it doesn’t matter much as long as he continues on with his desire to learn and learn more.  But most importantly I hope he always holds to his right and wrong with no grey areas, I hope he can always hold to the greatness that I felt the very first night that I held him in my arms.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Little Glimpse of Heaven

So what do you do that first moment when you see your shy little girl walk out on stage in front of the whole town and you can see her heart racing and almost feel every time that her heart catches and you know part of her just wants to turn around and run away?  First you hold your breath, then you breathe slowly uttering a prayer, “Lord, please calm her and let her do her best so she won’t hate herself later,” and then you hold back all the nervous adrenaline and let your daughter go, win or fail.

But what came out of her mouth next was simply magic and Jenny won the talent portion of Miss Nephi last night.  Sure, she didn’t get a crown, heck she has never ever done anything princessie before in her life and had never modeled or done “the walk” but she took the stage when she sang last night.  For one second it was as if the rest of the world didn’t exist and it was only my daughter, my sweet little girl who at 5 weeks old almost slipped away from us.  I prayed then, “Lord please don’t let my baby die.  If someone has to go take me instead,” and despite everything in the next two years that kept seeming to want to take her from this earth God, like last night, had heard the prayer of a terrified Momma and let her stay.

I guess that I am still floating on a high from last night.  Jenny is very quiet about her accomplishments and cannot stand the thought of throwing herself at the whole world, so although her father and I and her siblings knew that she could sing, even her own grandmothers had no idea…so imagine the shock as the whole tiny town of Nephi, who knows everything about everyone, heard Jenny sing last night.  The great thing about our amazing tiny town that we live in is everyone supports each other like family and last night Jenny was their family.  What a great world we live in where Jenny could shine the way that she did and where everyone, even people she barely knows could stand up and give her the love that she needs.  Thanks Nephi.  You are amazing.

Jason as many of you know has a mobile DJ business on the side of his already crazy job.  As a family it has been an amazing thing that he does giving our children experiences that most others could never have.  He plays pretty much every week and usually several times a week at BYU where our kids have met some pretty amazing people that Jason has done sound for, Ryan Shupe and David Osmond, to name a few at BYU when they were just the little guy but one of the many things that he does, which is my favorite part I must add, is Karaoke.  When you set up the Karaoke stage and everyone at BYU gathers around, stage in front, large speakers and mics, chairs set up to brimming, it can be a little intimidating and at first no one wants to sing.  Those darn nerves again.  That is where Jenny has always come in since she was a very little girl.  “Go on stage and break the ice,” she has always heard.  And Jenny, legs trembling, would always climb that scary stage to sing, terrified but determined.  First it was her tiny little toddler voice that everyone always oohed and awed over, “what a cute little girl with curly red hair,” now it’s usually, “wow, that girl can sing,” followed by applause and a line of people waiting to get added to the karaoke list.

When they announced last night that the winner of the talent portion of Miss Nephi was, “Contestant #1, Jennifer Gibson,” I screamed so loud I embarrassed myself, but I didn’t care.  That was my little girl, and God hadn’t let her down and he had allowed her to shine.  And when they put that award in her hands, I could see the confidence shining on her face and I knew that God knew that she was special and that she mattered.

My sweet Luke gave Jenny her own crown last night and her brothers and sisters and grandma and uncle cheered for her like she had just taken “The Voice,” but what amazed me most was the sweetness that Heavenly Father let me see in my little girl’s raspy voice and the outpouring of love from the most amazing little town that I have the most wonderful privilege of living in.  If you think blessings don’t surround you everywhere you go, then you need to pray a little harder for the help to see them.  Because God loves us and he gives us these little glimpses into Heaven every time that we are willing to see.  It’s like he is saying, “I miss you so much.  This trip you’ve taken away from me is scary for me to watch and terrifying for me to let you go, but I will show you how much I love you and send you little pictures of home if you will just look a little harder to see.  I love you!”

Jenny was an angel last night and sang with an angel voice, and yes I am her momma and a little prejudice  but still…SHE WAS AMAZING!!!