Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday Sunday

The last two Sundays have been big in our home. There were celebrations and lots of changes. 

Just as I felt like I was getting better at corralling our Primary class, we were released. Last Sunday was our final time teaching them. I can't say it went entirely smoothly, but it went well. We had a good mix of silly, productive, and creative. We played the telephone game to show them how important it is to record things, and in turn, to read from primary sources rather than to listen to second-hand stories or rumors. We talked about prophets, scriptures, and how important they are... We got our wiggles out & then the kids made Mother's Day cards. One girl had been in a funk most of the class, but then I sat beside her & I helped her write out a  message to her mom, I cut out a heart for her to glue down, and we discussed what colors she liked best & she cheered up. 

Our Wild Child was still all over the place, but he didn't get to me as much. And he also asked for help in coloring and writing something out. Then, one of the other boys said he didn't know what to say to his mom that she'd like, so our trouble child piped up and said, "Tell her her hair shines like a rainbow!" I'd love it if someone told me that!

Little Dad did great. He avoided Wild Child trying to suck him into Crazytown. He shared a few things during the lesson, and when it was time to color, he colored & wrote his mom a note like it was his job. He neatly placed it in his scriptures and I could tell he was excited to share it with his mom. I call him Little Dad because when we filled out some get-to-know-you papers at the start of the year, his answer for what he wanted to be when he grew up was without any hesitation, "A dad." Melt my heart. 

After Sunday School, we all filed into sharing time. Two of our kids did exceptionally well & were called on to help out during the lesson and song time there. The children received a handout to write out and/or draw something they wanted to improve in their lives. Well, our girl who'd been in a funk surprised me. She wrote out that she wanted to believe more strongly and to work on her faith and to never give up. Me, too. She doesn't usually connect or share relevant things, so this especially blew me away coming from her. 

Two of the boys had me help them draw scriptures, as they decided they wanted to start reading them. I'd like to think that was from our lesson earlier, but either way I was glad they were asking for my help rather than shoving one another, giggling, or picking their noses. 

Teaching six and seven year olds was by far more work than I thought possible, but through the weekly experiences of working with them, I got to know each of them & am going to miss talking to them about their favorite part of their last week. I'll miss their insights, funny sayings, and their personalities. I'll also miss Curly-haired Blonde-man shouting out to a teacher who got emotional while sharing something tender, "Hey, you're crying! Why are you crying?!"

So I went from that to immediately being called into Activity Days. I'll be working with 8-11 year old girls, and as the title implies, we'll be doing activities. The crazy thing is that those activities are on Tuesdays twice a month. That means that my Sundays are now freed up to attend classes just for me. That hasn't happened since a few weeks after Jon & I married. For two and a half years, I've missed out on the all-women's meeting of Relief Society. I'm looking forward to connecting with the ladies of my congregation. Today was my first time in Relief Society, and I really feel like that's what I need in my life right now. 

And Jon--we were both released as Primary teachers. He moved on to Nursery. He's in Junior nursery & gets to take Henry in. I'm sorry that I'll miss out on those interactions, but I think it'll be a great bonding time for Henry and Jon, and it'll be a nice break in Henry's routine to be around all of those kids at once. 

Jon jokes that getting released from Primary was the best Mother's Day gift I could get, but I disagree. I was a mom last Mother's Day, but I think the sleep deprivation of the early infant months made everything a blur. This year I really appreciated it. it has been amazing watching Henry grow and seeing all the things he's accomplished and is still learning. That, and sharing thise moments with Jon have been my greatest gifts. 

Jon wrote me a sweet card & gave me a mini-orchid. We had a relaxed day at home after church. Jon took Henry for a walk so I could nap! And then we went out to Sand Hollow & basically just followed Henry around as he explored. Very low-key, but oh so perfect. 

The only blemish on an otherwise perfect Sunday last week was that I was asked to speak. And I did. I did it! I am not a fan of public speaking. I categorize myself as pretty awkward in general, but then ask me to talk in front of a crowd... Yikes! 

Add to that the fact that Henry has been teething (molars!!!) and you've got a sleep-deprived mama trying to talk about important things while nervous as all get out. Jon & I spoke in Stake Conference when we were first married. That time I just made a list of bullet points & talked from there. Not so this time. I didn't trust myself to come up with words on the spot. Not gospel words, or big words, or concise descriptors. Mommy brain. I can't seem to string two sentences together in conversation anymore, and here I was being asked to speak for 12 minutes. Haha. 

So, even though I was mostly talking about my life, and my journey, and experiences, I typed it all out. 

And I think the sleep deprivation worked to my benefit today. I was too exhausted to get crazy nervous. My knees did not shake, I didn't stumble over my words, and when I asked Jon, he says my voice was slow and steady. Usually when I get nervous I go into Micro Machines Man mode --( -I'm mobile so I can't hyperlink. Please forgive me. 

I talked about my journey, of how I learned how to trust myself and developed by spiritual side. I spoke about some of the changes the gospel brought into my life. I shared how my parents' divorce made it difficult for me to picture myself getting married and being happy, but how The Lord provided opportunities for me to learn and grow and become open to the possibility. I mentioned how during my time as a missionary I came to realize that there are many ways of doing things right, and that gave me courage. And I ended with sharing how grateful I am for my sweet eternal family. Life is so much more full and fulfilling with them in it. 

I thought that Brother Peck, who spoke after me was just fantastic & what was really needed. So I was really surprised by how many people came up to me in the hall and told me that my talk touched them, or that I did really well, and that they liked it, etc. When I told Brother Peck he did well and thanked him, his response was,"Oh, I mostly just spit out facts and figures. Your talk was heartfelt." But his talk is what I needed to hear. Funny how things work out like that. 

So now, NOW I can relax. Now that my talk is over, now that I know my Sundays will have a less hectic pace, now I feel like I can relax & be a sponge for a while. And by that I don't meant a soggy blob that just sits there. I mean I'll get to listen, to really listen, and hopefully absorb. I won't be wrangling youngsters, my own or otherwise. And that'll be weird and different, but I suspect I'll love it. 

Monday, May 13, 2013


I can't believe our puppies are old enough for new homes, but they are. Crazy. They were born at 1, 2, and 3 AM on February 26, 2013. They are half Chihuahua and half Maltese, making them Malchi puppies. They have been raised around us, lots of visitors, an ornery cat, and our very active and not overly gentle little boy. They are super patient with Henry, and while the cat doesn't put up with them much, they are very curious about her. They are used to various textures (walking on tile, carpet, concrete, rocks, and grass) and love to explore. There's nothing that they can't handle.

They have been loved on and as such love people. They are curious, playful, and are going potty outside and/or on their potty pads, and are learning how to use the doggy door (but they are still rather little so they are still struggling to open it on their own...) Each of them come when we call, but they come running full-speed whenever we make kissy noises at them. It is adorable.

Fully grown, these dogs will still only reach anywhere between 5-9lbs on average. So they are a very small breed.

Who needs a new fur-ever friend in their life? In a perfect world, we'd love to see the boys go to a home together. (Well, in a totally perfect world, we'd keep them, but just after that, we'd love them to live really close by so we could still let all the doggies visit, and if not that, we want them in a great home, together or not.) They play together so sweetly and are just so cute when they snuggle in for a nap. They are great friends. However, if that isn't possible, we want more than anything for them to go to good homes where they will get love and attention and will be treated gently and with patience.

Now for the fun part-- photos!

Siblings snuggling when they were teensy tiny.

First up-- Clyde.

Clyde, the first born.

He has his mom's (Luna) longer facial features and long, lean legs. His coloring was much darker at birth, so I wonder if he'll continue to get lighter... His undercoat is a very pale gray with an fawn (reddish orange) tint to it, and the longer, wispier hairs are light at the roots and a very dark gray-brown at the ends. His tail has the cutest curl to it and at the tip it it white with a band of black. So cute! His coat is very soft, and he's the fluffiest of the bunch.

He is also quite the snuggler. He has a very sweet temperament, and loves to follow us around when he isn't busy playing. He is happy to nap just about anywhere, but he prefers to sleep near his family (animal or human). He loves carrying his toys around and shows interest in playing fetch already. He's also big into tummy rubs.

Here is Fred.
Fred, the middle child.

He has quite the fancy face, don't you think? He has more of a salt and pepper coloring to his coat, with a cream-colored mask around his eyes and mouth. He's also got a creamy colored belly and a curly tail.

He's super playful and has boundless energy. Like his brother, he loves snuggling up to sleep. He loves chasing after toys that roll--and us when we're playing around with him. He loves to pounce and goof off. He is also the most fearless. He was the first how to learn to climb up our couch, and he does daredevil jumps off of things all the time.

Last, but not least is Ursa. She's spoken for, but I thought I'd include a photo of her just for fun. She's a face-licker, and loves sneaking up on me when I'm laying down reading a book with Henry to get a few kisses in. She's the odd-ball of the bunch-- a very pale apricot color and the only girl. She's spunky and quite the speed demon when she wants to be. She also loves taking leaps off the couch to chase after her brothers.

Ursa, the youngest.

Notes about puppies, the good and the bad...
First thing, they are still growing, changing, and learning. This is the best time to bond with them, socialize them, and teach them what you like and don't like as far as behavior in your home. These lessons take time. At this stage, they are still full of energy. They are teething and exploring their world. This won't last forever, so be patient and loving with them and the rewards will be endless. For the time being, anything and everything within their reach might become a chew toy if they aren't supervised or given proper toys/treats. These particular puppies are super tiny and need a tender touch. They also need to be indoor dogs, with either a doggy door or lots of opportunities to go outside. Their little bodies can easily succumb to desert extremes, so they need to be able to come inside any time they need it. If you want to take one or two of them home with you, know that they have yet to be totally potty trained. Accidents will probably happen, especially when they are first brought to their new home and don't yet know the territory. It is normal for them to go through a small regression as I'm sure it will be a trial for them to be adopted and brought into a new environment. They need only gentle guidance. Distraction works fantastically for them. Just whistle or call them over and they'll forget all about chewing on whatever they were chewing on... The most extreme I've ever been with them is a stern look and a very serious "No" and learn that whatever they are doing is not okay. 

Like all dogs, these guys are social pack animals. If they only have a human family to rely on, they will need a good amount of attention in the day--the ability to follow you around, pettings now and again, snuggles when you are sitting down, and I'm sure they'd be more than happy to share a bed with you if you allow it. They get a lot of their energy worked out just by running around the house and yard as long as there are things to entertain them (toys, sticks, children or other dog/s to play with), but I'm sure they'd also make fabulous walking buddies. Their mom loves walks and hikes, though they are still young enough that we haven't really leash-trained them yet.

Personally, I think that they are a great mix of playful and lap-dog. Out of the boys, Clyde is the more cuddly and Fred is more playful (generally speaking). We've really come to love these puppies and really do hope to find an amazing home for them. We'd love to hear updates on how they are fitting into their new home. We'd be happy to dog sit them if you live close by and go out of town. We'd like to help if the transition is rough on them. And, if it really seems like it isn't working out, we want want them back to try to find them another quality home (Like Best Friends Animal Sanctuary does).

Please let us know either by leaving a comment here, or by e-mailing or calling us if you are interested. If you live in the area, we could bring whichever one/s you are interested by so that you can see if he/they would make a good fit, but we are also willing to work something out with our friends up north or elsewhere if you'd like to adopt. Thanks!