Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Kids and Funerals

This Saturday we took the kids to their first funeral. We thought that it was important for them to go, since they knew the little boy and are friends with his older siblings. Of course it was sad. It was the largest funeral I've ever been to- over 700 people in our tiny chapel; they spilled into the gym and up onto the stage. I think the sheer number of people there was a help to his parents. I tried to explain to the kids beforehand about it being a solemn occasion, how to show respect for his family, etc. They all vowed to be very respectful, and well behaved. It became an interesting lesson for me.

I have a theory about kids and funerals.

Anna threw a fit because I wouldn't let her lay down across the chairs with her feet in the laps of the people behind us. I barely got my hand over her mouth and bolted out the door before the outburst. After some calming down, we went back in. Leah was jumping up and down on my lap. Aaron was provoking Leah. Emma kept tapping my leg and whispering "This is taking FOREVER!" Josh was wiggling, like usual. I should say in their defense that the stake president talked for 30 minutes, and we were there for almost 2 hours.
I should also say that the night he died, the kids were very upset. Emma cried for the broken heart of her beloved primary teacher. Aaron cried for his friend's loss of a brother. Josh cried because he can't stand to watch anyone else suffer. We all cried together and it was a wonderful opportunity to talk again about forever families

So either little kids have a better understanding about the plan of salvation, and funerals are just an opportunity to grieve openly, or kids will be kids. When his dad would relate funny memories of him, the kids would laugh. When people around them were crying, they just didn't seem to understand why. Maybe it is that MY kids will be kids.
At any rate, we wont be taking any children to any more funerals.

So my theory- Funerals aren't for children. One, because they don't know how to show 'appropriate' respect, and two, funerals are for adults to remember what kids grasp so easily. Yes, life is fragile, but it doesn't really end. We saw our loved ones before we came to this world, and we will see them again. For kids it is that simple.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

Sitting here this Valentine's Day, I can't help but be grateful for my family. Last night, the 14 month old son of close friends, was struck by a car, and died as a result. As we share their grief, I hold tighter to my own little ones and the opportunity I have to share their time on this earth. We are so grateful for the blessing of a forever family. If you are reading this blog, we count you as one of those that we are grateful to know and love. Thank you, and I love you all!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Oh my gosh!

Okay I have a confession to make. I am just as bad at keeping up with the blog as I am at housekeeping, journal writing and being patient. A lot can happen in four months. A quick summary is the best I can do!

In October we celebrated Aaron's 10th birthday. He is an amazingly helpful, fun and interesting kid 99% of the time, but we can see little bits of what it might be like in a few years as he becomes a teenager. It is a horrifying thought.
Josh celebrated his 8th birthday and we got to have another baptism. It was good to have people come and enjoy it with us. Josh still has a heart of gold. He would rather die than hurt anyone. He would give you the shirt off his back (but not the food off of his plate- the boy loves to eat!). He is a great friend and an even better brother. He is great!
Tod's birthday, Halloween.

Anna had her 4th birthday. Well, where Josh is self sacrificing and to put it nicely? Anna is just Anna. Dr Jekkyl or Mr. Hyde- you never know which one wake up in the morning. She is so sweet and funny and smart, but the naughty spot is called "Anna's spot" for a reason. She tells great stories and is very creative. She could play all by herself in her room all day. Anna is her own best friend!
Tod got the chance to go to Dallas with his dad to attend a Packers game. Even though the Packers lost, he had a great time.
Thanksgiving it snowed- pretty wierd for Midland, especially when it was 70 degrees the next day. Anna thought no one would notice if she scooped bits out of the pumpkin pies and nibbled them on the kitchen floor.
My birthday (who cares?), and Christmas. Christmas brought more electronic toys. Aaron woke to find a Wii game under the tree from Santa and was extremely put out sice we didn't even have a Wii to play it on. He pouted until we opened all of our family gift, and the Wii suddenly appeared! It was priceless! The Wii was a great investment, even if I had to buy it in early October before they ran out. I had great fun teasing the kids about the impossibility of getting one for Christmas because there weren't any for sale anywhere. We all play it, and the kids are now experts in the field of Heavy Metal music. I never thought I would hear my kids singing Alice Cooper.
January brought our 11th anniversary followed by a trip to Albuquerque to celebrate Christmas with Tod's family. It was a very long drive! Sign-ups for baseball and more Wii playing. The Packers didn't make it to the Super bowl and I got released from my calling as the first counsellor in Primary. The next week they called me to be the Laurel advisor in Young Women's, so I get to try that again! I am so excited to get to know another group of girls and have those great lessons again.
We got back last night from going to Hobbs for a baptism. It was so fun to sit and talk to our old friends. Some things never change- except for people's kids. I can't believe how grown up everyone is! Life continues even when you're not looking.
Hopefully I can recommit myself to regular updates and not slip back into my usual laziness!