Sunday, December 7, 2014

I love you, I do!


I love you.  I do.  Each and every one of you.  I don’t know all of the so many of you out there all over the world that read my blog but I love you still the same?  How can I possibly know that you ask?  Because every time that I look to see a post that I have written and read where all of you have read it from all over the world I smile from head to toe and I think that I might even shine a little bit.  What else could do that than love? 

            You come from here at my home in the United States, many that I know and don’t and from all over the world such as, Germany and France, Ireland and Hungary.  Russia, the Ukraine, Iraq and Kuwait, the United Kingdom and Canada, the Philippines and India, the Netherlands, Romania, South Korea and South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and a great handful more.  I wish I could call reference to you all of you but after a couple of weeks BlogSpot sadly groups you all into an area of reference, a continent rather than an actual country.  We’ve even had some very small areas that the Gibson household wasn’t quite sure where it was and of course I looked it up on the trusted internet like you do. 
I now know where Moldova is, a beautiful little country with lots of green and such beautiful architecture, right in the middle of Romania and the Ukraine.  I feel like I have been all over every beautiful little section of South America and quite frankly the rest of the world.  And all of this I have done while sitting in front of my little computer in my little bedroom googling all of you.

            Yes, I think that I love you all so very much. 

            During Stake Conference today our theme was based around that first great commandment of all, “Love One Another.”  And it has gotten me thinking all day.  Sometimes I think it is easier to love someone that you don’t know, like all of you who make me smile from so far away, than the very people who we see and interact with every day.  I need to change that.  I need to see those people with Christ’s eyes and with Christ’s heart instead of my own.  I think if I did my heart would hurt with love inside of me it would be so big.

 I had a time where I was asked to be of service for someone that I didn’t even know by someone that I only knew through professional reasons.  I gladly accepted the weekly obligation thrilled that Heavenly Father had found a place for me to serve his children.  Week after week I continued in this service that only took ten or fifteen minutes out of my week once a week to do and I felt glad, but one day I had a clarifying moment that took it to a new level for me that I had never had before.  At the last moment as I was saying goodbye until next week to those younger members of this cute family that I was able to help, my heart started pounding so fast that I thought it might burst out of my chest and tears came unbidden to my eyes and for one brief second it was as if I could feel the Savior’s love for them in my heart and His thoughts in my head.  “I love them,” He spoke.  “Thank you for loving them for me today.”

            Now, can I say that the very little, literally only a matter of a few minutes every week that has come out of my life, that I really have done near to nothing in helping that family, only the slightest bit, but God did something in return by letting me feel His love.  And it’s moments like those that He gives us, not for us to be some great help to our fellow man, though that is definitely a very important part of it, but because He wants us to have little tastes of the strength of His love for all of us so that we can strive one day to become just like Him.

            My nine year old Sam said to me the other day, “Mom, do you know what my favorite part about Christmas Eve is?”

            I instantly thought he would mention our family tradition of opening all the family presents a day before most of the rest of the world, or perhaps Papa’s house and potato soup, or even Christmas Jammies at bed that night, but it wasn’t. 

            “I love that all of the kids sleep in one room and we are all stuck together.  There’s nothing better.”

            Sometimes Sam drives his four bigger sisters completely nuts, I think Steph puts up with him better than most, but even though Sam is such a totally easy going mellow boy to get along with he is still a boy in a houseful of girls and more times than not his teasing as all little boys do tends to annoy them, but he’s right, each and every one of them loves being stuck together in the same room on Christmas Eve.

            Sometimes the traditions that you put together out of necessity and in this case sanity so Santa can sneak around without getting caught, are really the things that draw a family together and teach them all about that Christ Like Love that Heavenly Father shows us so we can become just like His Son someday.

            So now when you go about your days this week, whether you are out and about at work or nestled tightly at home working your little tooshies off, remember that I love you, I do, and that most of all Heavenly Father and His most perfect Son love you too.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

What Drives Us


Sometimes Facebook is so sensational that I don’t even want to look.  Other times you are stuck for so many hours in the car with nothing to do that you can’t help but to thank your lucky stars for that great invention, well…that and Pinterest.  I’ve been getting tired of the share this and share that attitude as of late, sure there actually is some blogs and some recipes that I am so thrilled that people share, even a few of those too funny cartoons, but mostly I would much rather see what is going on in your lives…yes you…the people that I really love and care about not some crazy person that I don’t know from some place that I will never visit, well unless that crazy person is me and you don’t know me and will never visit me and somehow you have happened across my blog and in that case, most definitely read it and certainly share it all over Facebook.

That having been said I did come across the most awesome share on Facebook that led to an immediate buy and download to my Christmas playlist and I just have to share it with you.  Get passed the whole “Jimmy” part at about the five minute mark and just listen to the song.  I loved it strangely enough!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xZ3Ezl5-Lk

Then there was this that very quickly went to my playlist…much more beautiful than Joel the Lump of Coal. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifCWN5pJGIE
 
So I guess when it comes to something like that…by all means share away!




For Thanksgiving our family did something amazing that we have done the past several years.  We’ve built up a following after that initial Thanksgiving with Jason and Clint Robertson but this year all usual families involved had other obligations which just left the Gibson’s in California this year…though we did drag along my amazing mom and Clint’s oldest and also amazing daughter Megan.  Jason’s brother met us there for one of the afternoons.  Can I say that it was awesome!!!!  And I only missed the turkey a very little bit.

The girls couldn't stop taking pictures of the waves.  Gotta love smart phones.
Huntington Beach Pier
We played so hard in the ocean that at night I fell into bed, as pro as I am riding the waves I was equally as pro at crashing to sleep at night.  The first day was very calm and Megan and I and Nan all saw stingrays swimming through the water.  The second day both Megan and I stepped on those stingrays to feel them slip away under our feet.  Suzy and Nan were not so lucky.  What are the chances that two of my girls within an hour of each other would get stung by rays…well they did and let me tell you they were in pain.  Suzy’s pain only climbed past her ankle, but Nan’s sting was so much deeper and sent pain all the way to her hip.  Let me tell you, I got it about six years back and the pain you feel from the poison, well let’s just say as tough as I am it almost brought me to tears.  I was so proud of Nan though.  Jason bought some solar cane (Numbing Crap) and it didn’t work, but she knew it was her last day so she pulled herself into the water, limping, tears running down her cheeks and all, so she didn’t have to miss out on one more minute of the ocean.  It made me realize just how strong my no longer so little girl really is.  When she was little she struggled in school, first with being so shy that the teachers all worried about her and then with her grades.  What did she decide to do, work her butt off and now she is my crazy, happy, so very confident and extremely outgoing and friendly A student.  What helped her decide that?  What made her take that on herself?  Because that is what she finally did, decided who she was and made the changes to be that person.  My once skinny armed can’t lift a jug of milk little girl now throws around huge pro subs like they were nothing.  I get Jenny being able to do that, she is like me and naturally really muscly, but not Nan and now look at her.  What drives that?

The last several months have been insane as we, all Americans and really the rest of the world, have waited to see what would and did transpire over the chaos and finally the grand jury decision in Ferguson Missouri.  What decided that for those people to go crazy?  Sure, what was happening around them seemed unreal and for some unjust, but what caused them to join in and start destroying the very town that they live in, the very people that support them?  I cannot begin to understand where that much hate and animalism behavior comes in.  It seems so against the very nature that God put in us.  How does something created by light become so dark?  I’ve asked myself that over and over and then I looked at my children, playing in the ocean or at the Aquarium of the Deep, laughing and giggling with each other and realized that some of what God created still is good and still is filled with light.

How do we keep that light when so much chaos and so much insanity is going on around us?  Isaiah 5:20 20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that count darkness as light, and light as darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  What do you do when so many seem to be looking for the bitter and throwing away all that is sweet?  Do we just give up and join them?  Human nature seems to point that way, so why don’t we?

We have to decide who we are and make the changes to be that person. Not saying that is easy to go against the sensationalism around us and not get caught up, after all that is our nature, that is my nature, but God made me and filled me with light and I can choose to continue to feed that light or let it burn out.  I can choose to let Ferguson Missouri and every other crazy insane wildness that continues to be the Daily News drive me and hype me or I can find the strength that my daughter found.  That quiet, sweet peace that if accessed enough can make you something greater than you ever thought, something only The Creator could ever have planned, but you have to decide it, I have to decide it, and the more of us that decide it the more it will spread and before long despite all the bitterness and all the riotness behavior catching the headlines a sweet peace will start to creep across the world.  Maybe those of us who are watching will catch this light and maybe, just maybe if we try so hard and listen so quietly we will be able to see it light within us too, because you see, that really is our choice, not matter how hard it may be, no matter how crazy everything around us may be, we ultimately decide.  We decide who we will be and we decide the kind of world we want to create and most of all we decide if we share it with the rest of all of God’s children.  It’s as simple as that…we decide.
                                              Pics of us at the Aquarium of the Deep
 
 
 
 
Us at the Tide Pools at Little Carona Beach
Sam found a hermit crab and it crawled out of it's shell.
 
 
 
 
 
And finally the Hippy Bus that a very little, very old, "Surfer Dude" told us to add our stickers too.
 
 


 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tough as Liquid Nails


Have you looked around you lately?  Our world is a scary place and it only seems to be getting scarier.  I feel the strong need to prepare my children for what is to come without possibly having the knowledge of what that really is.  How can you do that without encouraging your children to grow strong and responsible and brave, but I don’t think the best way to do that is by stealing our children’s childhood from them.

I want my girls to grow up to be soft and gentle and compassionate in a world that forces them to be tough and hard like liquid nails…so how do I do that?

I thought a lot about this very thing all week as Halloween seemed to zip by us.  I love every holiday and I love Halloween.  We live in a housing complex where people come from all over to trick or treat.  Our houses are conveniently lined up side by side on extra-long blocks with bright street lamps and a strong feeling of safety, so of course mothers and fathers come from all over town and even other towns up to 30 minutes away to get their children the most haul possible in the safest place possible.  Some of my neighbors have grumbled about this.  Some years we’ve had over 500 kids come trick or treating and yes if you don’t shop smart that can add up.  I love seeing all those kids in the craziness that is only solved by leaving the front door open and letting in all the flies in town for several hours.  I’m choosing to chalk this up to the reason that my daughter Nan sadly chose not to go trick or treating this year and not to the fact that some of those moms around here thought they should decide for my daughter when she is too old to go trick or treating instead of me, her mom.  I’m choosing to think that sheer numbers is why they expressed to her that she was too old not that they really thought that me, her mother, hadn’t taken the time to notice that she was growing up and out of Halloween.

Nan dressed up as she always does.  We spent a long time trying to come up with a classy costume, just like we did last year, which was fun and cool and pretty and a little bit more grown up all at the same time, while still being completely innocent.  Nan talked and planned for several weeks and she even helped me get the other three children younger than her costumes ready.  But when trick or treating time came she chose not to go.  Instead her and her friend Bailey hung out and eventually went to another friend in our neighborhood’s house.  She didn’t not go trick or treating because she didn’t want to, she didn’t go because several moms last year, including a very dear friend of mine, told her that she was too old to go trick or treating.  What????  I never thought that you were too old.  Just about the time that you get that way you have a beautiful baby girl or boy to take toddling around door to door and just when they get to old and they have one of those beautiful boys or girls to take around you get to go trick or treating with them.  I will never be too old to trick or treat, for I will always have kids or grandkids to take.  Our neighbor behind us who is the best grandpa ever talked about that very thing when he was out and about with his daughter and her cute little one trick or treating at our house.

My mother was amazing when I was a child.  I remember saying to her when I was preteen, “Is it weird that I still like Barbie’s?”  Do you know what she said to me? “Of course not.  I still like Barbie’s.”  She taught the little girl in me that was feeling the pressure to grow up too young that you can always be young even when you have to be old.  I think that is what has kept my mom so sweet and so compassionate in a world that has also been hardening her.  She remembers the innocence of being young and sweet and pure and she still is, but don’t for one minute think that she isn’t hard as those liquid nails that I talked about earlier.  She’s had to be with the struggles that she has gone through, one of them being my little brother who has struggled with drug abuse and all that that goes with it.

I want my Nan, who is fifteen and very quickly growing up and out of the house, to hold onto all of that innocence and tenderness that comes from childhood.  Even the bible says that we need to hold onto that.  Luke 18:17   “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

So then why has some of these other moms expressed to my daughter that she should be ashamed of some of the childhood rights that she wants to hold onto a little bit longer…and where else do we want these older but not grown kids to be on Halloween anyways.  Out causing trouble?  Smashing pumpkins and pulling pranks that seem to get out of control?  Or maybe find one kind of mischief or another that quite possible could damage them and harden them for the rest of their lives?  Why on earth would we want to encourage those kids from our very own neighborhoods to be bored on Halloween and go get into trouble when we can each take our part and lift them up and teach them fun in a healthy safe clean environment.  Why wouldn’t that be our first choice? 

I know I tend to hold onto my kids’ youth a little longer than some parents.  I’ve even had one mom once tell me that her daughter didn’t want to play with mine anymore because I still let her play with dolls and didn’t I think that she was too old to play with baby dolls.  My daughter was ten by the way.  But my children also know how to work and be serious.  They work hard along with the whole family through our family business to do their part to help put food on the table and a roof over our heads, but I only think that is all the more reason for them to learn how to play hard too and to hold onto that inner child that can still have fun and still find innocence when the world requires so much out of them.

I know my daughters, and my sons too, need to learn to be tough or they will never make it through this hard world, but I want them to go about it with a gentleness that speaks of childhood and tenderness and God all the while they are learning to be tough as liquid nails.  Why would I want to steal any last moment of this from them when they have a lifetime of a hard world ahead of them?  Why would I want to take away that little child that St. Luke says is the only way that any of us can enter into the Kingdom of Heaven?  Why would any mother want their child to grow up too fast when part of them can always hold onto that innocence that was their childhood?  I hope that I am never too old to be young.

 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Peace in the Beginning of Sorrows


“Hey, Mom, did you know that we are in another war?”  That’s what my eleven year old Stephanie asked me a little over a week ago and it has been sitting in my mind rolling over and over.

“Yes, sweetie, we probably always will be.”  How nice was that for a mom to say to a child.  I could have left it at that, but I tried to make it okay. 

“You are safe and sound here, in our house, in our little town.  The scriptures say that it will always be that way until Jesus comes back.  This just means we are getting closer to earth becoming better.”

There has always been war, from the very beginning of man, even in the Garden of Eden, even with Adam and Eve’s children.  Heck, it got so bad that Heavenly Father had to wipe the slate clean and start over with the flood, so what is so different about now? 

I remember the first Gulf War and thinking how horrible it was that in my lifetime, people that I actually knew, young men that I had grown up with, would go off to war.  So surprising and shocking as was so many other wars like, the World Wars and Korean War and Vietnam etc.  The difference for our younger children is that most likely they will never know the world with the breaks of peace inbetween.  It possibly cannot be with Satan working overtime.

So how do you make your children feel safe, how do I make myself feel safe?  After all I have a married boy in the military that could be called up and shipped off any moment.  I haven’t completely figured that one out yet, but when it comes to mind all I feel is peace and I know it will be okay.

Timothy 3

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

 
I don’t think that we haven’t been warned.  The scriptures have taught for thousands of years that this time would come.

 

St. Matthew 24

 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

 Doesn’t sound like there is much to hope for, doesn’t sound like I should feel comfort…then why do I?  Why do I feel peace when I fear war?  Why do I feel that inner stirring of gratitude when I think of a world so filled with men and women who think of themselves as godly but deny the power of God?  How can I feel such peace?

 Thessalonians 4

 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

 Isaiah 52

 7 ¶How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
8 Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.

The scriptures have warned and we have watched but no other time in the world has it felt so close.  But the scriptures have also praised and sent good tidings of good, published peace and said that God reigneth.  That is how I can have peace.  When at times that my mind sprints violently and my heart beats uncontrollably the Holy Ghost whispers peace so softly and sweetly that it drowns out all the jumbled noise streaming in of fear and doubt from the world.

 

Will my little girl ever know the life that seemed so much simpler from my days of youth, probably not, but does she need to live life afraid?  Absolutely not, and that is the great thing about her, she doesn’t.  She walks on, her very quiet, very tender little self, the one who sits back and sweetly watches it all, innocent and young but so wise and she radiates peace.  Maybe that is why the spirit can speak such peace to my soul, because my very gentle little girl publishes it from the mountains in every quiet act of gentleness she bestows every day.

 

Will the world one day come to an end?  Absolutely.  Do I look with longing for that day?  Every moment of every day.  But does that mean that there isn’t peace and joy for now, for today, and even for tomorrow.  Heaven’s no.  There is peace in everything even amongst the wars and rumors of wars and the beginning of sorrows.  I read it in the scriptures, I feel it as I look at my food storage, I hear it in the kind words that my friends and family and even strangers send my way, and most definitely I see it in the quiet peace that shines from my Little Stephanie in her tender silent faith.

 

 

 

 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Taking a Moment to Slow Things Down


Ah…why is it that a newly recovered street looks so pretty?  I can’t stop opening my door or stop looking at that shining black surface that is staring back at me.  When the light is right, first thing in the morning, it looks like it is wet from a fresh rain.  However, Suzy says that it smells like horse pee…so not so sure that I like that aspect.

This week I woke up, the morning when that great road fiascos started.  We had received notice the day before of which roads in our small housing complex would be affected that day.  Not my street, according to my map, so my cars could stay parked right where they were.  In the process of getting kids ready for school I heard the large equipment roll in, sounding ever too close to our street to be where the map showed, but oh well, big gear probably echoes making it sound closer than it was, right?  Not right.  As I was walking the last child out the door the street cleaner came by to ready our street.  Jenny hurried and moved the suburban up on the driveway for me and then drove off in her little truck.

“What the heck?  Did I read the map wrong?”  No, roads to be worked on were mapped out in red and the street numbers written beside the map.  Quick call to the project manager and sure enough, a couple of the wrong maps for the next day’s project had gotten mixed in with the right ones and I had been lucky enough to be given one of those.  Great.  Now I was stuck with a suburban stuck in the driveway and not parked in the graveyard for easy access later.  What to do, what to do.

Well right about that time, Jason came home from an early doctor’s appointment he had that morning, to say goodbye before he headed to work.  He had parked his car a block away at the cemetery and walked home.  What did he do?  Braved the street cleaning truck and the guys getting ready to pour blacktop and took the suburban down to the cemetery for me.  Problem solved, with little effort and here I had stressed over nothing.

Moral to the story…not a whole lot, really, just another day.  It’s what came later that was so amazing.  So small, yet so amazing.

I have been watching a show on Netflix called Jericho.  It’s about the United States after coordinated terrorist attacks across the country destroys major cities and knocks out power and contact to the rest of the world.  Not my favorite show but interesting enough as I watch a small town have to come together even for the simplest necessities of life.  How does this have anything to do with the road work that was going on in my neck of the woods you ask.  All of us on those few blocks had to walk a block away to our cars where all of the neighborhood was parked.  I left my home several times that day only to run into one neighbor or another along my way, and what did we do?  We stopped and chatted for a minute.  As I would drive away in my suburban I would see others on their sidewalks or in the cemetery chatting too.  People were everywhere, not just in their houses or in their cars but talking. 

The next day we had our roads back but the roads below us were in the same situation.  The road for the bus stop was closed so the kids were dropped several blocks away and had to walk up.  So many parents, me included because I had to get said kids off to piano lessons, were waiting for their kids to walk up the street.  So many people chatting and waiting as a mass of kids walked up the streets. 

In all of this it kind of reminded me of the show Jericho, where the small community, much like my own, had to be all connected, farmer and businessman, school teacher and nurse, men, women, and children.  Kind of sent it all back to a simpler time when life was a little slower and neighbors mattered.

As I walked the kids home after one of our trips that first day, we walked slow and noticed things and talked.  I know it was only a block but it was a lazy block and Sam and Steph talked about the school day, and all the work and the chores and homework waiting for us back at the house took the back burner for a moment, and I loved it.  Those neighbors that I wave to but rarely have time to talk to I got to say hello and hear a little about what was happening in their lives and for a minute the world just slowed down a little bit. 

Jenny always says how she wished that she had been born in the 1950’s and, well, for those two days it felt a little like that.  The question is…how exactly do we keep that slow pace life and connecting with our neighbors going?  I doubt the city would be too happy if we kept parking our cars down at the graveyard, but hey maybe we just need to convince them to resurface our roads a little more often.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Just Being You is Exactly What Heavenly Father Needs You to do


Some would say that I am a crazy person, but a few, mostly moms out there will completely understand what little secret I am about to reveal.  Sometimes,(okay every time) that I clean my shower and or my toilet I have to pull back the curtain or lift up the lid and smile about a million times a day.  Now this is not to think that I never clean my tub or toilet and so the shiny clean porcelain shining back at me is a rare phenomenon, oh no, I do it faithfully every Thursday and the toilet on Mondays too.  So why, you ask, am I so crazy?  Because there is something so rewarding about seeing the labors of a job well done, and the toilet and the tub usually stay that way for a whole day, well at least my bedroom bathroom does because I am the only one home using it during the day.




I was watching a video that someone of my Facebook buddies put online that was the takeoff of “All About That Bass,” (and you really do need to clink and watch both the links below before you can completely understand what I am saying) and it couldn’t have hit me on a better day as Thursday is our hard core cleaning day around this house.  Now if you know the Gibson household you know that we hold music high on our priorities list, all kinds of it.  After all that is how we actually pay for the house that we live in, so I know this song inside and out and quite frankly this version of it hit home in a funny way and I couldn’t help but smile.
 
 
Then just a few posts down was another Facebook buddy’s share and it was a Mormon video and…okay this is another secret that I am even more embarrassed to share, but I was on the potty (the very recently sparkling cleaned potty) watching this one on my smart phone being interrupted every two seconds by Sam knocking on the door to tell me about his 100 percent test scores that he got at school.  Pause…then unpause…then knock knock knock, Stephanie asking if she could make some hot chocolate (cause heaven forbid it is 83 degrees outside she must be cold,)…pause…then unpause…then knock knock knock, Sam asking if he can have hot chocolate too….then pause…then unpause…then knock knock knock and me hollering out “no” before Sam could even ask if he could put mini marshmallows in it.  So after seeing the video I smiled even more because, well, I knew.


 

I love that shiny tub and sparkling toilet because it’s one of the few things that I have that I can physically show for the day.  I clean the house and scrub it and wash clothes and so on and so forth but as soon as the kids come home and plop their shoes on the floor and their jackets on the coach and homework on the table all of that is gone.  And then shortly thereafter the bar is usually filled with flour from making rolls and ketchup from making barbeque sauce and the stove top is plastered with pulled pork as I spill it trying to mix the noodles cooking in the other pan and although the kids are cleaning up downstairs the upstairs is hot and sticky and messy from me cleaning, and well…the bathroom is still clean and shining for Jason to see when he comes home.

I’m one of the lucky ones though, because Jason doesn’t care if the house is a bomb or if the toilet is sparkling.  He doesn’t care if I ran a million places and a million errands or if I curled up with a good book and left popsicle wrappers on the table beside me, he only cares that he comes home to me, even the no makeup, sweatpants wearing me that I am today.  I’m the first one that he calls when he leaves the campus at night to come home, and I’m the one that he calls a million times on the way home to complain about the traffic and to talk to to take his mind off of the craziness.  And I am the one that he wraps his arms around and kisses at night first thing when he walks through the door not caring if he had to stumble over a million pairs of shoes to get to me.  And of course I am the one he cuddles up to at night in bed, not caring whether or not I changed the sheets that day or even anytime in the last million days.  Because, well that’s really what matters, is that I’m there, and I’m me.  You never really know what you do, whether your day is busy or lazy, sometimes just you being you is exactly what Heavenly Father needs you to do, even if you yell “no” at your little guy through the door that he can’t have marshmallows before he even asks it, cause hey, that’s part of me being me, knowing before he can say anything that he’s going to steal the mini marshmallow that I am saving for a sweet prize for another day.  Sometimes the things we do we just don’t know how much they matter, but they do, and God knows.

 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Dinner Table


“That’s it…if I have to hear one more word about who gets the last green bean I may scream,” I bet that isn’t heard around most of your tables, but it is always, and I mean always heard around mine, whether it’s the last corn on the cob, the last green bean, last cooked carrot, or last head of broccoli my three oldest girls fight nonstop about who gets it.  Poor little Sam and Steph would argue too but they are too afraid to jump into the middle of them, even Jason only rarely dares speak up and says, “Hey, I’m the dad, I get it.”

How I got children who love their vegetables so very much, I am not completely sure.  Nan goes weak in the knees if someone even speaks the word corn, and Suzy about cries when she brings in the very first tomato from the garden(and yes I know they are technically fruit, but we all know they should be classified as veggies) and Jenny makes the best darn green beans that you have ever tasted.

I love our family meal times.  There is a lot of us around the table, even with Luke all grown up and married to sweet Danielle, there is still 7 of us around the table and 5 of them are kids.  That makes for very loud dinner conversations, I assure you and may I add some very strange ones.  My girls are like me, their brains jump from one thought to another so quickly that Jason just sits back and watches dumb founded.  But he smiles, and we laugh and it is quite simply the best time of my day, well except for days when I have a migraine, then it’s just loud.

I can’t help but think about how sad it is in the millions of homes where kids come and go as they please, dinner jumps around between Arby’s or Wendy’s or the spot on the couch right in front of the T.V.  No one cares as long as they are fed sometime before they climb into bed.  We have a fairly strict mealtime at our house.  It fluctuates only slightly if Jason is running late from work.  The kids are done with friend time an hour before so they can come home or send their friends home so as a family we can do a quick clean up around the house while I cook dinner.  Usually some of them are downstairs picking up from friends and some are up helping me with dinner and then shortly after Jason comes home dinner is on the table and all of us let out a sigh of relief.  Heads are then bowed and quiet is heard while one or another of them offers thanks to Heavenly Father for our crazy family and wonderful food, and then chaos starts again as the jabbers start and the day’s stories are told.

Sometimes I like to sit back and watch when one of the kids’ friends stays for dinner.  If it’s their first time their eyes are usually enormous and their mouths are usually slightly ajar as they watch the very loud joy…that’s what I like to call it…joy…burst out around our table.  You know though, those kids usually keep coming back and before long they are joining in in the crazy excitement that is dinner around our house.

I know our kids will leave the house one day and that will be one of their favorite memories of growing up with Mom and Dad and I am all too happy to accommodate them.  After all, those memories will be some of the sweetest ones that they will ever have.  I wonder how many of the rest of the families around the world are taking time to make those memories in the rush and bustle and convenience foods of our modern day.  If they are not, then they are missing out on perhaps one of the greatest gifts that God has given us…the dinner table.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Finding Time for Nothing


Could life get any busier?  Isn’t that awful that that was the first thought that went through my mind last night at the FFA Banquet?  Jenny got up and sang a beautiful rendition of Friends in Low Places…yes that’s right I said beautiful.  It was an FFA Banquet after all, she had to sing something country, and well, yes, my daughter would pick that song, and with her bluesy voice you almost forgot what the song was about…friends in low places.  Then Nan won The Star Greenhand award.  Yes smiling giggling Nan who has to be to every FFA thing even if her group wasn’t in charge.  Then of course came the selection of officers.  Nan’s office on the committee is Auditor and Jenny, well Jenny got Secretary. 
Now can you see why the thought that went through my mind was…”Can life possibly get any busier?”  I was really excited for both the girls.  How could I not be?  But with Miss Nephi for the next year and a million FFA things, a daughter who is becoming a senior, Jason’s work, all of our dances, life as the Young Women’s President with a yearlong Youth Conference on a ward level, soccer season soon to start and oh, yeah, a wedding in June life is going to get even busier!

I saw a spot on our local news about mom’s putting their kids in too many activities and how our children get so involved in so many things that they don’t know how to handle down time.  How activities are important but at the same time children need to remember how to be children and sometimes their lives need to not be so structured.  It talked about all the stress that these children face that we didn’t use to face.  You know that mom that has their kid in everything?  I sure do.  Every dance class, singing class, youth sport, craft class, acting class, plays every instrument and in every school program that exists.  I often wonder how that child can grow up to be anything but an overly stressed adult who doesn’t know how to relax.  I’m mean pick up a book already and snuggle down, or better yet grab up the neighborhood kids and play an awesome game of whiffle ball in the back yard.  Ride your bike, run through a sprinkler, sit and talk and talk some more.

Sure my girls take piano and Sam and Steph play soccer but quite honestly by the time soccer season was done and I had spent the last million weeks running from one game to another, sometimes dividing my time running between two kids’ games going on at the same time when Sam wanted to do football I thought that I would die.  But make it through we did, but I’m telling you just barely.  You add in scouts and achievement days and Young Women’s and dances on the weekends and every other normal routine I couldn’t help but wonder how not the children survive but the moms who have their child in everything.  You know it makes me tired even thinking about it.

Summer is almost here which means as always crazy things on the Gibson household and part of me wants to cry when I think of it.  May is end of year everything with every school, whether it involves our own kids’ school or others with our business or both, May is out of control.  Then we have an out of town family reunion the first week of June, Sam’s Birthday and Luke’s wedding the second week, girls camp the third week with Jason and my anniversary thrown in the middle.  Edurocross at the Fairgrounds, and a car show in Fillmore the next week that we do sound for.

July continues with a tornado of things to do.  4th of July the first week.  Stampede the second.  Big Youth Conference out of town Week the next.  Twenty fourth of July the next with Stephanie’s birthday.

August is Cove Fort Days followed by Juab County fair the next week.  The next week is the Miss Nebo pageant that Jason does lights for two days for with the next week being Beaver County that we do sound and photo booth for, for three days.  And then of course back to school week for our kids and back to school week for BYU which is crazy for two weeks. 

Throw in on top of all of that BYU activities all summer long that we do sound or giant movie screen for and oh yeah, Miss Nephi.  See Jenny's off today for her first of many Miss Nephi things, casual today as it may be, but... you get the drift.  (Isn't she pretty though? :) )

Somehow in all of the craziness we will find time to have a lazy barbeque and even take our kids to the local ponds here to swim.  Somehow I will find time to read another novel and do yard work, plant the garden and just sit back and watch nature in its full beauty.

Yeah I guess I can’t understand why any mom, or child for that matter would want to heap so much on their plates, when the plates all seem to be filling themselves up on their own.  Why would we want to pile them so high that our body is at a buffet all of the time?  You know what that would do, don’t you?  Make us fat…very, very fat.

I’m grateful for a mother who knew the importance of down time and relax time and most of all family time.  I have a husband who is absolutely amazing but can never sit still…ever.  When he doesn’t have a dance on the weekends, which is only a few times a year, he goes stir crazy not having something to do.  And I am content just to sit here and read a good book or chat in the front room.  And very little seems to stress me out in life and somehow I think that goes with the ability to do nothing if the time allows.  So here’s to finding time to do exactly that this summer…nothing.  Time to sit back and enjoy all that Heavenly Father has given me and time to look inside a little bit and look at who I am becoming.  And I wish you the same, because really the best things in life come when things are quiet and we can really enjoy.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Whirlwind


Ever been caught up in a whirlwind?  Covered your eyes as little pieces of dust and debris seem to whisk through your hair and beat against your corneas?  Did you hold your breath and squeeze those eyes tight waiting for the mere seconds that felt like eternity that it took for it to twist away?  Have you ever watched a whirlwind as it drifted across a freshly plowed field picking up pieces of dirt and sand twisting and turning it into a tunnel heavenward and realized from a distance just how magnificent it was when you were many feet safely away from it?  Why is it that when we are in the middle of something so spectacular all we feel is the destruction and we are unable to see the beauty that just a few feet’s difference would allow us to see?

The last two weeks for me were exactly that, a whirlwind of one amazing thing after another jumbled up all around me and all I could see was the insides of my eyes as I covered them tight and just prayed to make it through.  Now I sit here at my computer, a day’s rest under my belt, and it is amazing from a distance exactly the magnificence that I see.

Jenny tried out again for Miss Nephi.  She has spent the past year living, eating breathing and living service.  My sister in law the ever talented Annalee Dinkel and Jenny took a song, A Little Party Never Killed Nobody, by Fergie and from the Great Gatsby and broke it up into Jenny’s own, a little jazzy and complete romantic number and spent so many weeks getting it perfect, and as a mother I should have been totally excited for the great day.  But all I was was a jumble of nerves for her.  You only want your child to leave any experience feeling completely satisfied in themselves.  Here is the link on facebook of Jenny's song.  Jason recorded it from clear up in the sound booth and he didn't realize that she started on the stage and then worked her way down.  He set the camera and then went back to sound and lights so at first you can only hear her, but be patient it very quickly goes to her...

The week before was crazy and let me add kids were home from school for spring break.  Monday I spent the morning helping my mother and my little brother, driving him from one area of the state to another.  Tuesday was a much needed day spent breaking my back and trying to springize our yard.  Wednesday we went to work with Jason and hung out, well really nowhere, finding rocks for Stephanie’s school project and making a big banner for my Father and Step Mom as they were arriving home from their 18 month mission in the Philippines.  Then it was off to the airport to welcome them home and dinner at a restaurant with the whole family.  Thursday I was able to spend the day with the two of them getting some of their life back up and running in Utah, driver’s license, cars licensed, phone shopping, grocery shopping, etc.  Friday was catch up from not being home for days and an early dance at BYU.  Saturday was my cute nephew Aiden’s baptism and then picking my Grandmother and Uncle Dan up from the airport with my Mom.  They flew in from Minnesota and I hadn’t seen my Uncle in almost 20 years.  Sunday was my Dad’s and Step Mom’s homecoming and dinner and then rush home for a church meeting about Girl’s Camp.  Monday I spent the whole day helping Jenny with her Miss Nephi poster
finishing it up and displaying all of her gazillion service projects.  That night was spent about 5 hours at Miss Nephi practice with Jason and Nan running sound and lights. 
 
 
 
 
Then Tuesday morning was babysitting the sweetest little girl in the world and taking some quiet moments to snuggle and relax while I tried to ease my nerves which was followed by Miss Nephi that afternoon and night and watching Jenny with my nerves wound so tight that when the relief came and she did everything so very flawlessly ending up with the title of first attendant all I wanted to do was go home and puke and cry for joy all at the same time.  
Of Course Jenny is the RedHead with the white and Black Dress for those who don't know.
Wednesday was getting dresses put back together to return to those we had borrowed them from and making thank you gifts for those who helped her so much. Thursday was piano for three girls and achievement days and a billion loads of laundry and dishes and…and…Then Friday was up north with Jason to work for the temple in the morning and grocery shopping and Easter shopping the rest of the day.  Saturday morning was cheesecake making for a family party and then a family Egg hunt and coming home to the eggs that I had hard boiled that morning and coloring them. 
Tucking kids into bed and then Easter Bunny stuff when they were finally asleep with an impressive egg hiding job by my older two girls, Jen and Nan.  Off to sleep to wake up to Easter and Church and Easter barbeque and a nap that just didn’t seem to help and…and…finally bed. 

Then there was yesterday.  Ah, yesterday.  The day the whirlwind stopped and I cleaned the house and then took the day very slowly.  The day I looked back and realized how much I missed the beauty of it all being so caught up in the whirlwind.  I wish I could have stood back sooner and seen the glory for what it was.  A million blessings packed in so tightly that my spirit couldn’t handle it all.  Pretty great life when it is filled with so very many wonderful things that it wears you completely out.  How can I not feel completely grateful?  If that isn’t the most beautiful display of God’s love I don’t know what is.  Whirlwind and all.
                                           Jenny and my grandma her Great Grandma Hoklas.
                     Jenny and my mom my grandma and my Uncle Dan her Great Uncle Dan.
                                                   Jenny and her boyfriend.  Love that kid!
                                                    Jenny and the Awesome Annalee.
Jenny and Stephanie.
                                                                  Jenny and Nan.
                                                                  Jenny and her Dad!