The other night, Adam and I took the kids to the mall so they could run around and work out their energy. On our way back to the car we walked through Dillard's and James was riding in the stroller. He had one of those toy microphones that echoes when you speak into it. We were passing through the shoe department where a headless mannequin was situated in the middle of the aisle and dressed in fishing gear. I hear James say, "Attention! Everybody needs to leave the store. There's a fisherman without a head!" It was hilarious at the time. It still makes me giggle as I can hear his little voice making his mock announcement.
I haven't really felt like posting lately. At least, not about anything that's really going on in our lives. Mostly, because there isn't a lot to report and what I do have to say is kind of negative. But, just to summarize some key events from the past month or two:
--Adam started working at DirecTV in the call center. Let's just say that Adam hating his job is a bit of an understatement. --Decided to short sell the house like everyone else in America. I can't express my anger and frustration with our government and the mortgage crisis. I can't really think about it or else I get really upset. It sickens me that so much money was WASTED on government bailouts when every adult in the US could have personally been given enough money to significantly pay down or completely pay off our mortgages. Oh, how it angers me. And then, no one will help you UNLESS you are behind at least one payment. Hello! We needed help two years ago when Adam first lost his job but we struggled EVERY month to make our payment on time and maintain stellar credit. It's such a joke. A mortgage company would rather wait until you fall behind and the seller is either forced to short sell or the home goes into foreclosure and the bank LOSES a ton of money. It's insanity. If they would have worked with us before we fell behind and refinanced our mortgage, they would not be losing 50,000k plus dollars. The absolute stupidity of it all is completely mind boggling to me. It's such a waste for everyone involved. --Decided not to take a full time job that was offered to me that actually paid pretty decently. Here's my reasoning--we aren't trying to save the house at this point. There's no valid reason to try to save it. And, as much as my kids drive me crazy sometimes, I am more than willing to go without a lot of things so that I can be home with them. I had to do several days of training before I was offered the job and those few days were horrible. James cried and said he didn't want me to go and that he wanted to be with me. I'm sorry, but it's just not worth it to me. I'll drive a crappy, piece of a car, and I'll wear the same clothes until they are worn out, or whatever, but I'm willing to pay that price to be at home. I was praying about whether I should take the job or not and I really felt that Heavenly Father would bless us for trying to do what He wants us to do. We talked about Adam quitting and me working since the job I was offered paid quite a bit more but it just didn't feel right to either or us. Adam is to provide and I am to take care of James and Ruby. I'm still looking for a part-time job, however. --Moved out a bunch of stuff from our house over the weekend since, eventually, we won't be living here. It felt good to get rid of four car/truck loads of stuff. --I guess that's about it. This has been a very humbling experience. It was so completely devastating to not get THE job a couple of months ago. I think we are just now starting to come out of the depression a little bit. I try to focus on the fact that we are all healthy, our family is intact, we have the gospel, and we have awesome friends and family. I guess in the end, those are the things that really matter and everything else is a nice bonus.
Taken from a speech by Ronald Reagan given on Veteran's Day at the Vietnam Memorial.
"This memorial has become a monument to that living love. The thousands who come to see the names testify to a love that endures. The messages and mementos they leave speak with a whispering voice that passes gently through the surrounding trees and to out across the breast of our peaceful nation: a childhood teddy bear, a photograph of the son or daughter born too late to know his or her father, a battle ribbon, a note -- there are so many of these, and all are testimony to our living love for them. And our nation itself is testimony to the love our veterans have had for it and for us. Our liberties, our values, all for which America stands is safe today because brave men and women have been ready to face the fire at freedom's front. And we thank God for them.
Yes, gentle heroes and living love and our memories of a time when we faced great divisions here at home. And yet if this place recalls all this, both sweet and sad, it also reminds us of a great and profound truth about our nation: that from all our divisions we have always eventually emerged strengthened. Perhaps we are finding that new strength today, and if so, much of it comes from the forgiveness and healing love that our Vietnam veterans have shown.
For too long a time, they stood in a chill wind, as if on a winter night's watch. And in that night, their deeds spoke to us, but we knew them not. And their voices called to us, but we heard them not. Yet in this land that God has blessed, the dawn always at last follows the dark, and now morning has come. The night is over. We see these men and know them once again -- and know how much we owe them, how much they've given us, and how much we can never fully repay. And not just as individuals but as a nation, we say we love you."
Say what you will about Reagan, the man was an amazing speaker, thanks in large part to Peggy Noonan his preeminent speech writer.
I really enjoyed last month's Ensign, the edition that was all about temples. I think my children liked it even more. They spent more time pouring over the pages and examining all of the beautiful photos of the exteriors and interiors of various temples from around the world. They were so excited to find it in the mail and eagerly opened it and flipped through the pages. James asked me a lot of questions about each picture. He wanted to know the name/location of each temple and then asked me all about the photos of the celestial rooms, sealing rooms, and baptismal font. He sat enthralled as I told him about how Adam and I knelt at the alter and held hands and we were sealed together forever and ever and because we were married in the temple then we would always be a family, even in heaven. I am so grateful that I have a testimony and that I can teach my children eternal truths.
James' prayer tonight: "Please bless that a mustache will grow on me." That one came out of nowhere. I hate to laugh because it only encourages him to be disruptive during prayer time but I couldn't hold back on that one.
I received one of the nicest compliments about James this past Sunday. He had two male teachers as substitutes for his primary class and one of them was President Belnap (for those of you who know who he is). For those of you who don't know who he is, he is a former stake president, bishop, and counselor in the Boise Mission, and current high councilor. The man is intense and honestly intimidates me a bit. He looks and talks like a general authority and, even though I don't know him well at all, I respect him a lot. Anyway, as soon as Primary was over (I happened to be in there because James was giving the closing prayer in closing exercises), President Belnap made a beeline for me and then told me how impressed he was with my boy. He said James gave very deep, thoughtful answers when questions were asked, he sat very quietly and raised his hand. When he asked the class what their favorite story of Jesus was, James said, "When he died on the cross." President Belnap said that James explained and understood doctrine better than some adults. WOW! That was really amazing to hear from someone with an outside perspective. It made me think about a lesson I gave a while ago in Relief Society about how we bring spiritual gifts with us from the premortal world. I have always felt that one of James' inherent gifts is his ability to comprehend the doctrines of the gospel. I'm not really sure how to explain it but I'm sure all of you mothers out there feel the same way about your children's special gifts. James is a ponderer and will randomly ask me deep questions about the atonement and stories from the scriptures. His simple faith strengthens my testimony and faith and keeps me going when I really want to be weak.
We played pretty hard this weekend. Friday night, we attended my parents' ward trunk or treat. Saturday morning, we went to Boo at the Zoo with Mo and Mia, Saturday night we went to our own ward's trunk or treat, and then trick or treating Sunday night with all of the cousins. James and Ruby were pretty worn out by Sunday night and our house is overflowing with candy at the moment. Ruby was the cutest lil' Mickey Mouse I've ever seen (of course). It was fun celebrating Halloween for three days, stretching it out and making the most of the holiday. We also took the kids to a pumpkin patch earlier in the month which was a lot of fun. The other pics are with cousins.