Thursday, January 29, 2009

I was seeing three and four moves ahead, weaving in and out of lanes like an Olympic skier on a gold medal run.

The theme today is all about sacrifice.

The sacrifice began when my alarm went off 1 hour and 30 minutes earlier than usual and I didn't just hit the snooze button.

It continued when my husband had to be dropped off to work at 7:30 instead of 9:00.

My Christopher sacrificed by getting his brothers all ready for school--clothes, outerwear, bookbags--all by himself. That is a real accomplishment for a 10 year old.

Alisha, Kimberlee and Rebecca sacrificed their morning tending 17 children ranging in ages of 3 months to 6 years. That's right--17. Rebecca also sacrificed her clean house. And possibly her sanity.

Seventeen children sacrificed having mom home with them this morning.

The good people of Bloomfield Hills sacrificed their right to not be hit by a 12 passenger van careening down their roads attempting to make it to the session on time. I literally blew off 3 stop signs.

The members of the 10 am session sacrificed a prompt start so that 8 extra sisters could join the session 10 minutes late.

Anna, Carol, Janet, Jennifer, Melissa, Rachel, Stacie, and Valerie sacrificed their morning so that eight precious souls would be blessed.

All the sacrifice was not in vain. Thank you, Plymouth Ward Sisters, for your sacrifice. I was humbled and honored to be with you at the temple.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Spencer and Grammy Playing Wii

You know the difference between a dentist and a sadist don't you?

Spencer getting cleaned.

I found a new dentist that I would like to recommend to anyone looking for a good dentist. His name is Dr. Bozell and his practice is in Canton near the high school. I got the recommendation from Geri Aldrich whose husband is an oral surgeon. I figured he would know who the good dentists are in the area. He does. The first thing I noticed about Dr. Bozell's office is how nice his staff is. The receptionist, the hygienists, everyone is super nice and friendly. They helped me understand my insurance coverage and no one made me feel stupid for having 12 cavities. Yes, that is 12. Dr. Bozell, himself, is funny and friendly and professional. He teaches at U of M's dental school. (I forgive him for being affiliated with U of M.) :) He took time with me to make sure I understood how good of friends we are going to become over the next few months as he fills all of my cavities and takes up all of my free time. He was also great with Spencer and patient with Cameron's lack of interest in having his teeth "counted." The staff took up with Lizzie right away and it was like being surrounded by 3 grandmas. I didn't have to worry about her one bit while I helped calm the boys in the dental chair. One of the hygienists is wife of local Plymouth judge, Ron Lowe. He happens to be my very favorite judge in the area because he is lenient on my views of speed limits as "optional." All in all, my visits to the denist recently have been wonderful and I highly recommend Dr. Bozell for all your dental needs.

This was as close as Cameron would get to the dentist.

Relax! You can't screw up her hair. Just tease it and make it look like a brown football helmet.

Should I start dyeing my hair? That is the question of the moment. I have so much gray hair right now that I can see it and it is driving me crazy. I am only 34 and that is way too old to be going gray. My mom was gray at a young age but I thought it was because she was sick. I figured that her illness manifest itself in giving her gray hair, but maybe that wasn't the case. Maybe I'm fated to be almost completely gray like her at age 38.

So here's the problem: if I choose to color my hair this is a choice that cannot be changed in 2 or 5 or 15 years. This will be my hair for the rest of my life. A person cannot start coloring her hair and then give it up cold turkey in years to come. It will have to be always colored.

I don't know if I want to do that. Shouldn't I be secure enough with myself that I can have gray hair and still feel young and pretty? I should, but I don't. I don't feel young with all this gray hair sprouting in. It grows amazingly fast and coarse. I hate it.

I would really like to do highlights and lowlights but I can't afford the $$ to go to the salon every three months or whatever for this service. Should I go the home color route? Is it effective? I did it once in college and ended up with a very strange shade of burgundy. Or should I just go gray? Dear Faithful Readers...tell me what you think.

E.T. Phone Home

It is an understatement to say that I don't like to be touched. I hate it. I don't ever want to get a professional massage. I know I am probably the only person on the planet who feels that way. I have people tell me all the time, "Just try it. You will really love it. It is so relaxing." I will not try it. I will not love it. It will not relax me. I barely like to be touched by my family. I can stand hugs from my sister and kids and other family but other than that...don't touch me! I don't like it. If I were stranded on a desert island with anyone, even Tony, I would sleep with my head on a rock rather than on the other person. I remember once I was sitting somewhere upset about something and talking to someone about it and she kept stroking my arm. Her stroking my arm started to upset me more than what was upsetting me in the first place. If I could sleep in my own bed all tucked in with blankets completely tucked around me, I would. I'm just not touchy-feely. Maybe there is something wrong with me.

There is a commercial out right now for Kleenex. A woman goes around and touches stuff and you hear in her mind, "touch door," "touch paper," "touch car," etc... I feel like this woman all day long except all I hear in my mind is "touch Mom." I wake up in the morning to being tapped three times by Emily that she is ready to go. Then I actually feed another person from my body like 8 times in the day. It doesn't get much more touchy than that. I have a toddler constantly touching, pulling, poking, pushing and riding on me. When any of the older kids want to talk to me, they poke at my arm, "" Can I tell you how much I DETEST being poked in the arm? I really do. More than most anything. Sometimes I feel like my body is not my own. There are no boundaries for my body. It is just open to anyone poking or prodding at it at any time.

So when it comes time for "touch wife," I am usually totally spent and agitated and ready to just be tucked into bed, covers over head with no more touching. What can I do about this? Is there some touch training I can go through to become less sensitive to the kids touching and more open to the husband touching? Is there anyone else like me out there who knows how to help me?

Weekly Top Five 1/26/2009

Top Five Favorite Instruments I Like To Listen To

1. Acoustic Guitar

2. Piano

3. Cello

4. French Horn

5. Harp

Monday, January 19, 2009

Weekly Top Five 1/20/2009

Top Five Careers I Would Like To Try

1. Midwife

2. Librarian

3. Book Editor

4. Translator

5. Food Critic

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thankful Thursday 1/15/2009

1. Scotchguarding

2. Free AT&T phone upgrades

3. Good dentist recommendations

4. Free HBO weekend

5. Wii

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I mean, she's giving and caring and genuinely concerned about the welfare of others. I can't be with someone like that.

My friend, Kim, did a post on her blog for her husband's 35th birthday posting 35 things she loves about him. It's not Chris' birthday, but I want to post 35 things I love about him.

1. I can trust his testimony.
2. He makes me laugh out loud every day.
3. He takes care of me so well.
4. He is so confident in himself.
5. He has never lied to me.
6. He plays with our kids.
7. He wants me to have what I want and be happy.
8. He is really good at baking bread.
9. He dreams big.
10. He is magical.
11. He loves the same tv shows that I do.
12. He listens to me and my ideas.
13. He supports me in my goals.
14. He is good at sharing the gospel.
15. He genuinely likes to help people.
16. He looks at failure as an opportunity.
17. He tries so hard to be on time.
18. He lets me hang a picture hand needle-pointed by my mom in our house even though its kind of ugly.
19. He likes to eat as much as I do.
20. He will clean the house before he goes to bed so that I can wake up "Ready to start my day."
21. He holds our baby and talks to her.
22. He takes pride in our children's successes and encourages them after their failures.
23. He makes really good Chinese food.
24. He reads my blog daily and bugs me if I go too long without a post.
25. He will tolerate playing games with me because he knows I love them.
26. He is really good at organizing.
27. He will share anything he has with me.
28. I hate most of the music he likes but I love that he likes it.
29. He loves my sister almost as much as I do.
30. He tells me I am pretty on a daily basis.
31. His hands.
32. He is an Eagle Scout.
33. He is always trying to improve himself.
34. I don't have to worry about anything because he worries enough for both of us.
35. He gave me 6 beautiful children and such a wonderful life.

I love you, Chris Vos!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

I like ice cream a whole lot/It tastes good on days that are hot/On a cone or in a dish/This will be my only wish

Last night I ate Breyer's Peach Ice Cream. Breyer's Peach Ice Cream brings out many different emotions in me. It is the most complicated of all the ice creams.

When I was young, my mom was in the University of Michigan Hospital for weeks and months on end. My dad and I spent a great deal of time in Ann Arbor. Not only did we visit her on a daily basis, but he also would take me downtown and walk around the shops. Usually we went to Ulrich's for a new book or marker for me. Once in a while we would get ice cream. On one particular visit that I will never ever forget, my dad and I got peach ice cream cones with 4 scoops each. It was the most amazing ice cream experience I ever had. I don't know what possessed my dad to get us four scoops; he was usually a kiddie cup kind of guy. We walked around the rest of Ann Arbor eating the giant cones, peach ice cream covering our faces and dripping down our arms. I remember how the ice cream would collect in his beard and then slowly drip off. It was one of the funnest days I've ever had.

Then and there, peach ice cream became a bond between my dad and I. Whenever we would eat peach ice cream, I'd say to him, "Remember that day when we got those giant cones of peach ice cream?" We'd laugh and reminisce. Peach ice cream is not the easiest to find. Breyer's makes the best but most stores don't carry it. Whenever I find it, I get it.

My dad spent the final two weeks of his life sick in the hospital. I was 38-40 weeks pregnant during this time but tried make the drive to visit him on a daily basis. There wasn't much I could do for him there but I would try and bring him little things to make him happy. On one particularly good day for him, he asked me to get him Breyer's Peach Ice Cream. I was thrilled with this task! He remembered that day we spent together almost 20 years before! He loved me and wanted to share it with me again. I hurried to the store...but no peach ice cream. I went to every store in the East Lansing/Sparrow Hospital one pint, quart or gallon of Breyer's Peach Ice Cream could be found. With a feeling of failure, I presented him with a quart of strawberry. I dished it up and fed it to him but I could see the disappointment he had for me. I couldn't even procure the ice cream he wanted. I felt absolutely worthless.

This wasn't the first time I had disappointed him. I disappointed my dad a lot through my life...choice of college, choice of marrying young without a degree, choice of many children, money mismanagement. I've never felt like he truly approved of me or was proud of me for some of the choices that I made. I've carried his disapproval around with me for about 15 years, never quite able to let go of the longing for his fatherly pride in me.

It has taken almost 6 years, countless hours of therapy and fervent prayer for me to realize that we don't always make choices that our parents will agree with. I have come to know that my dad had a profound love for me even though I disappointed him a lot. He wasn't adept at expressing that love to me in a way that made me feel valued. When we are reunited some day, he will embrace me in a father hug and not one moment will be spent discussing disappointment or failure. Until then, I will eat my peach ice cream and savor the memories of my dad on all our best days.

Weekly Top Five 1/12/2009

Top Five Favorite Movies that Most People Don't Like or Have Never Heard Of

1. View from the Top

2. She-Devil

3. Lone Star State of Mind

4. Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael

5. Here Comes Mr. Jordan

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Check out this new blog

Thankful Thursday 1/8/09

1. I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas Christmas Tree Ornament

2. Chris has to give a talk on Sunday

3. Got my library books returned

4. Found my Memory Card Reader

5. Tearful Hugs

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Nobody leaves this place without singing the blues.

Saturday was the annual Platte Christmas Party. I wrote about it last year. It didn't change much since last year. Uncle Dave had surgery since then and a small stroke. I was happy to see that he was recovering well and seemed like his old, funny self. Aunt Annie's fiance died a few weeks ago and it was sad not seeing his happy, smiling face. A few more babies were born (including Lizzie) and a few more spouses were added. Other than that it was the same.

This year I spent some minutes talking with one of my favorite cousins, Amy Miller. Amy is the daughter of my Aunt Diane and Uncle Tom. My Uncle Tom died before I was born and so I never knew him. The stories of him lead me to believe that he was a very great man. Aunt Diane remarried another good man, Uncle Charlie. They had two more children, Gwen and Matt. Gwen was just a year younger than me and so we were good friends growing up. I got to spend time in the summer and during breaks at their house. It was always a really fun time. One of my favorite parts was getting to be with my cousin Amy. Amy was older than me by-I'm guessing-4 years. I really looked up to her like an older sister. I'm sure I was pretty annoying hanging around her. I remember when she shared a room with Gwen and Gwen and I slept on the floor and she was on the bed. We were talking and giggling and she kept yelling at us to shut up so she could get some sleep. Soon after that she had her own room. Going in there was like going into some kind of sacred sanctuary. It had things that an older, teenage girl would have in their room and I was just in awe of it. She was a really good sister to Gwen and let us do things with her even though she was older. I can remember her taking us to see movies. I especially remember going to see "Adventures in Babysitting." It was my first PG-13 movie and I thought it was pretty exciting. Amy was a really good cheerleader and I remember sitting and watching her and her friends teaching the smaller girls in the neighborhood to do the routines. I never joined in (not so coordinated) but I loved watching them dance to "Footloose." I remember playing cards for hours and watching some TV show about a rich man who adopts a bunch of orphans who I think might have danced and sang as well. I don't know the name of the show and I'm really surprised that a show with such a rich plot didn't make it past one season. (I just looked it up. The show was called "Rags to Riches." Aired two seasons.) I was always bummed when she would leave to go on dates with her boyfriend, Steve. I secretly didn't like him because he would take her away from us. She later married him. Sorry, Steve!

Sitting and talking with Amy brought back all of these good memories I had of being in her house and spending time with her and her family. Thanks, Amy, for being such a good part of my life.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Weekly Top Five 1/5/2009

Top Five Favorite Italian Dishes

1. Insalata Caprese

2. Tiramisu

3. Veal Picatta

4. Minestrone Soup (Preferably from Larco)

5. Tony's spaghetti with meatballs
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