Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'm trying to get a little squirrel to come over to me here. I don't wanna make any big, sudden movements. I'll frighten him away.

Why am I so scared to share the gospel? I don't know. You'd think I'd be one of those people handing out Book of Mormons left and right. But I'm not. I've given out one in my life and I didn't even actually get to give it. The person I offered it too rejected it before I could even put it in her hand. So I'm a member missionary reject.

I was scared to share when I was a child. I NEVER considered going on a mission. I hated the part of the presidency callings where you had to call or visit the less actives. In high school, I had a friend investigate the church. She got her own Book of Mormon at a book store and started reading it without me knowing. We were sitting in a movie..."Aladdin," I think...and she whispered to me, "Who's Moroni?" I wish I could have paused the movie but I had to wait until after to talk to her about it. She took all the discussions and committed to be baptized. Her parents didn't approve of that commitment, however. She never joined. I don't know if she even thinks about it. We are Facebook friends and it looks like her life is going fine. I guess that makes my record 0-2.

My husband is a pro at doing missionary work. He gives the Book of Mormon to our carpet cleaners, people in hospital waiting rooms, people on airplanes, friends at work...everyone. He's not scared at all. I really envy his confidence. I've been able to pacify myself by saying that I'm a good example for those around me...that's my missionary contribution now. Also, I remind myself that I don't really have any non-member friends. A couple of months ago the missionaries came over and helped me pack my bags for the guilt trip I was about to take regarding sharing the gospel. Ever since then, I've been trying harder to have some gospel discussions with non-members.

At the boy's football practice a couple of days ago, I was talking with a mom and religion came up. She proceeded to tell me how she is Catholic but she never goes and she doesn't believe it and they only stay Catholic to keep her MIL from having a heart attack and what church do I go to? Oh, crap, I think, here it comes. Instead of being excited for a gospel discussion, I was terrified. What if she ran away? What if she didn't like me anymore? What if she asks if she can see my horns? All of these things are running through my head as I swallow hard and say, "We belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Mormons." We continued to talk for a few more minutes but she didn't seem to mind that I am Mormon. maybe I can do this. Yesterday, I am talking with a mom at the bus stop. (Turns out there's a nice one.) It comes up that Emily takes piano lessons and she asks from whom and I say someone from church and then she says where do you go to church. Again the hard swallow...and I tell her. She says they are looking for a church to go to. They haven't been in a really long time. Then the bus comes and the boys load up and she goes home to her house.

So, two conversations that really went nowhere. How do I turn these into sharing the gospel experiences? Just give these two ladies the Book of Mormon? Continue to talk to them and hope it comes up again so I can invite them? I really want to share because the Gospel brings me so much joy; I want everyone to have it! Am I doing this right?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Weekly Top Five 9/28/2009

Top Five Favorite Things about this Weekend

1. Anna and Lucy were here staying over while Tony was on a fishing trip.

2. I got to take two really long naps thanks to my family.

3. Chris is home. And he got a raise. :)

4. Did I mention that Chris got a raise?

5. Lots of new TV shows to watch.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Weekly Top Five 9/21/2009

Top Five Favorite Things about Patrick Swayze

1. Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner

2. Ditto.

3. Chippendales. The best!!

4. Orry Main...the hottest.

5. The fact that I hate Point Break but Chris will watch it every time it's on TNT.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

That's the news. Goodnight and have a pleasant tomorrow.

I had a really busy weekend. Here are some of the highlights:

Friday night I bought 4 carts full of pop, water and Gatorade. That's a lot of drinks.

I worked in the Steeler's snack shack all of Saturday. I made coffee for the first time in my life and I'm told it tasted alright. It was really hard work and my feet were so tired when i got home on Saturday night. The best part of the snack shack was seeing all the kids who wanted to volunteer to help. Those cheerleaders and football players who didn't have to help but came to me eager to volunteer really made me feel great. The Plymouth-Canton Steeler football program is full of great families. I'm glad we are a part of it.

Because I was in charge of snack shack, I didn't get to see my boys play their games. However, I got the biggest hugs from them after the games were over. I got to listen to their enthusiasm for the games and the success they felt. Both boys are not in traditionally lauded positions. Their hardwork largely goes unnoticed. Poor Christopher barely ate all week in order to make weight on Saturday. After the game was over, I loved to be able to serve him several cheeseburgers, pizza, walking tacos...anything he wanted. Best quote of the day came from him, "Mom, could I sleep in the floor on your room tonight because I want to talk to Dad all night about my game?"

Chris did the announcing for the games. He did a great job. Just ask the UD for the Westland Meteors. I mean Comets. Seriously, he did a great job.

Sweet Emily was home with the kids from 8AM until 8PM. That's a really long time. She handled it perfectly. I love her for her sacrifice.

I got to tell my kids over and over again: go ahead and eat it.

On Sunday I got to give a talk on the joys of Family History. I love love love Family History. I'm glad I got to share my joy with others.

I got to hear my little Lucy calling, "Gager...Gager."

I got to see my sister's beautiful homemade skirts at church. They looked so nice! And such lovely models.

I also got to teach my new Primary class. I already love each of my students. They were thoughtful and respectful during class. I appreciated how willing they were to share and to help. A couple of them broke into song during class, in a very appropriate way. How wonderful is that to see a 10 year old boy singing a Primary song for his classmates. I loved it! We also got to do Sharing Time for the senior primary. I can almost not describe how much I enjoyed being with the children and sharing the Gospel with them. It was truly wonderful.

Got to watch the Emmy's with Chris. Good times. Neat, neat fun.

Best. Weekend. Ever.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thankful Thursday 9/17/2009

1. The Year of Living Biblically

2. Purex 3 in 1

3. Bread Pudding

4. Really cute ponytails

5. Story Time

Monday, September 14, 2009

I shall not be with you in the fall to guide your progress to even greater heights of scholastic achievement. Let us not have tears;

I got a new calling on Sunday to teach the Valiant 10 class in Primary. I am so excited about going back to Primary because I love it so much! I hope I never ever get released. There are a whole big group of kids in my class that I have known ever since they were little babies. I am looking forward to being their teacher and having fun with them.

On the flip side, I said goodbye to my Sunday School class today. I have really learned to love this group of kids. Even though they talk too much *cough* Bradley *cough,* they are great kids and I am going to miss teaching them each week. I hope that I have taught them something and if they don't remember any of the lessons, I hope they remember that I cared about them and built their testimonies a little.

He worked last season as the pixie dust spreader on the Tilt-a-Whirl...

Em on scary ride!!

This past weekend was the annual Plymouth Fall Festival. I hate to say that it was disappointing...but it was disappointing.

Chris and I headed uptown on Friday for our date night. We were looking forward to some of our favorite food treats. But we were in for a surprise.

First of all, the Civitan club did not do their usual Yaki Tori burgers. They have been doing Yaki Tori burgers for as long as Chris can remember. At least 30 years. He loves the Yaki Tori. He dreams of it. He waits for it all year and saves all his calories for a week so he can blow them on the Yaki Tori. As we approached the usual spot for the Yaki Tori booth, we noticed it wasn't there. I could tell that Chris was starting to freak out. I told him not to panic, maybe they just moved the booth. We walked up and down the food displays. No Yaki Tori booth. He started to hyperventilate. We found the Civitan's selling candy and some other lame stuff. They claimed it was too hard to continue doing the Yaki Tori's because their membership is getting older.

Ok, so a big strike one. Our second favorite treat is the carnival Bucket Of Fries. Dripping with cheese and ketchup...soooo good. Nope. No bucket of fry booth.

Strike two. There's still the Funnel Cakes, right? Right? Wrong. No Funnel Cakes.

You might be thinking that we go to Fall Festival for the food. You would be exactly right. We go for the food and our three favorites were not there. We were so disappointed. We left and ate delicious caramel apples from Kilwins and headed home.

We took the kids up to ride rides on Saturday afternoon but let them know that we weren't getting food...there was nothing worth eating. Spencer took this to mean that there wasn't any food there and when we arrived, he kept pointing out all the food places.

Each of the kids got 11 tickets. At 3 and 4 tickets per ride, they had to budget their tickets and I was happy to see some sharing of tickets among them. Emily rode some of the scary rides. Christopher even rode one of the scarier ones. Calvin and Spencer and Cameron stuck to some of the tamer. Lizzie hitched a ride on Chris' back. We had fun waving at the kids while they rode.

Sunday was the annual Rotary Chicken BBQ. Grammy delivered our dinners right to our house! The chicken was great, the clean up was simple and I didn't have to cook a thing. Wonderful.

Spencer and Cameron on dragon rollercoaster.

Christopher on the Freak Out. I think he was freaking out!

Lizzie rode the best ride.

Cam on the train!

Weekly Top Five 9/14/2009

Top Five Things I Like About Fall

1. Parmenter's Cider and Donuts

2. Smell of Burning Leaves

3. Halloween

4. Cooler weather

5. College Football

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thankful Thursday 9/10/2009

1. That other people say Beatles Rockband is totally sweet. Makes me that much more excited to play it.

2. Fall TV season is coming! Hooray!

3. Nice people.

4. Kermit the Frog

5. Old Family Home Evening manuals. They have some really cool stuff in them. I'm working off one from 1970. It's awesome!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

...but I'm sure there are many people who do not like me. Jerry, don't say that.

Today I had a booey moment.
I know it's hard to believe but people in my neighborhood do not like me.

There are several reasons for that.this. Once I left our garbage cans out a day later than I was supposed to before bringing them in. Someone called the Township office and had us cited. Our dog sometimes gets out of the house and roams the neighborhood while we chase her and try to catch her and bring her home. She also barks at EVERYONE. Loudly. It annoys people. Once, about 3 years ago, Calvin and Spencer were playing in the yard. Calvin was 6 and Spencer was almost 3. They were yelling at a little girl who lives two yards over. They wanted her attention and were throwing sticks and rocks toward her yard. The sticks and rocks were going no where near her or her yard, but her mom flew off the handle at me. I took the boys over and they apologized. I understood how she felt. If boys were throwing sticks and rocks at Emily when she was little from 10 yards away I would have been mad. But I knew that my boys meant the little girl no harm. They were just trying to get her to play with them. So that mom has hated me for a while. She won't smile or wave when I drive by. She gives me a stony stare. Another lady yelled at me once because our front door made a loud bang when it closed. The pump thing was broken. I backed into another neighbor's truck last year causing some minor damage. Our insurance took care of it and he is still friendly, but his wife never waves or smiles at me. Like I said, I'm not well liked by the neighborhood.

Today when I went to pick up the boys from the bus, there were four moms waiting, including the mean mom who hates me. They were all talking about their kids and school. Mean mom gave me her stony stare and kept talking. I wasn't included. I felt stupid. So, I texted Chris and told him to call me so that I wouldn't have to stand there doing nothing. He did and we talked for a minute and I felt a little better. I wish those ladies could see me with my friends who really like me. I wish they could see me with my sister. I wish they knew that my Facebook friends like me and think I'm worthwhile to know. I wish they knew that I'm nice and fun. Alas, I fear that I will not get another chance with them. All my bad first impressions are doomed to last forever.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Travesty. Horror. Decadence. Excrement.

First Day Of School

Calvin, grade 4

Cameron thought he should try 4 too.

Cameron trying to make a P for Preschool

Spencer making a K for kindergarten

Emily, grade 8

Christopher, grade 6

Guess which one isn't mine?

My strong boys.

Cameron being welcomed to school by his friend, Alex.

Cameron and Alex playing a game.

Day 1 done. Mom tired.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Hey dad! Maybe when I'm at school, I'll see a shark.

Tomorrow is the first day of school. It is going to be a bittersweet day. I am so ready to get the kiddos back into their routines and out of the bickering mode. I hate the bickering! But, I do love having them home with me. They are my favorites!

Today we went to our stake Labor Day picnic. It was super fun! The kids had a great time playing with friends and I had fun talking with people. I love our ward. After the church picnic, we went over to Grammy's for the last swim of the year with the family. We grilled out and the kids had fun visiting with their cousins.

Messy Cameron after the picnic

Emily and her friends

Happy Lizzie

We came home and had a special FHE with the theme of "Be Smart." In addition to this, we decided to give our children special family "callings." These are things that they are specially in charge of. Emily is our family music coordinator. Christopher is our FHE scheduler. Calvin is our family peacemaker. Spencer is our family scripture study supplier. Cameron and Lizzie are the family cuties. I think they magnify it really well!

Chris gave the children their Father's Blessings. They were so well suited to each child. I am so thankful for Chris and that he is a worthy priesthood holder. Our home is blessed because of him and his faithfulness. I remember the first blessing I ever heard him give. We were dating and he gave a blessing for the sick to a sister missionary in our ward that I was friends with. I was amazed by the way he spoke; it wasn't his usual way. I just knew the Lord was speaking through him. BTW, if anyone knows a Marci Nielsen from somewhere in Utah, let me know. We totally lost touch.

Tomorrow is going to come early. Emily is taking Chinese and has to be to the high school by 7:12. Holy freak, that's early! Christopher doesn't have to be to the bus until 7:30. The rest get on the bus at 8:20. My day's of sleeping in are gone with the wind. Even so, I think we are going to have a good year.

Weekly Top Five 9/7/2009

Top Five Things I love to Hear My Husband Say:

1. Let's get a treat to eat.

2. Let's go out for dinner.

3. I'll change her diaper.

4. Please be nice to Mommy. She's a good mommy.

5. I got a raise.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

You can't just walk out of a drive-in!

Last night we did such a fun thing. Tony brought a projector home from work. One of the fancy ones that hooks up to a computer. He set it up in our backyard along with his surround-sound speakers. We set up chairs and set up a snack table with fun theater snacks like popcorn, candy and homemade Hostess cupcakes. We watched the movie with the garage door as our screen. It was the funnest thing ever! We watched "Bedtime Stories" which wasn't the best movie ever but I think being outside in the dark with family and friends made it seem awesome! I'm so glad we found this new family tradition!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Random Thoughts by Jennifer Vos

I've been thinking a lot lately about second chances. I'm really thankful for them. This week in particular I've had a myriad of experiences that reinforce how important they are. I am someone who needs a lot of second, third, fourth and sometimes thirtieth chances. My husband is really good at giving more chances. I think maybe he has an unlimited supply. I hope he does.

Yesterday when I went to Kroger, I pulled into the parking lot and tried to pull my van into a spot that was too narrow. I backed out because I realized that the spot wouldn't work. As I was pulling out of the too small space, a car approached from behind me and (I thought)patiently waited until I was done getting the van into another space. I parked and walked up to the building. I heard someone call from behind me, "Ma'am, ma'am." I turned and saw a man running after me. He said, "You almost hit me when you were backing up back there." I said, "I'm sorry." Should I have said something else? I didn't think so. I didn't hit him. He did have a wait a bit for me to get myself situated in the space. It's hard parking that big van! He responded by mocking my answer, "I'm sorry," he said so sarcastically. "Learn how to drive, you b*&#@." He hurried by me into the store and as I approached I saw him waiting for me at the door. "You are a terrible driver." He yelled this at me as I walked in. I could see other people staring at us. " I wish you would have hit me so that I could have sued you and put your family on welfare." He followed me to where the aisles start and then hurried off. I was so shaken by this verbal assault that I had to stop and wipe away the tears that sprang to my eyes. I stood crying for a minute by the wines, which, if I were a drinking person, might have been added to my cart. What a horrible, mean man! I hope I never meet him again.

I read a great book yesterday called "Gossamer" by Lois Lowry. I recommend it to anyone who has dreams. It's a beautiful story.

Anna's mother-in-law gave me a wonderful bag for my temple clothes. I love it! I put something in each pocket. I can't wait to use it at my next visit.

I can't stand stories of child abuse. It hurts my heart right to the core. I heard one a few weeks ago and the evilness of it just went all through me. I couldn't shake it. I finally knelt in prayer and asked for help to forget this awful thing I had seen. I asked for the child to be happy (it's with the Lord so I'm pretty sure it is). Since then I have forgotten the horribleness of what I saw. Its like my mind got dry erased. I'm glad.
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