Thursday night Mckenzie had a soccer game at the beautiful Mt. Ogden Park. I am in love with this place. It sits right at the bottom of the mountains. It was cold so we attempted to watch the game inside the van. It was just me and the rest of the kids, so my patience was getting thin as everyone was climbing all over the car and being "kids" argumentative, hyper, curious, talkative. So out of the van we went. Despite the cold we enjoyed it very much. There are quite a few trees along the edge of the park that have low thick branches which make them a target for climbing kids. The rain clouds were indecisive so we would get a few sprinkles here and there and unexpected breakthroughs of warm sunlight. Julia knew right away what light and rain make- and we looked for her rainbow. And we found it- right up against the near mountain. It really was so magical. Alice was unsure as usual and so we had to go above and beyond to entertain her before she went into meltdown mode. I put her on my shoulders, swung her around, played peekaboo- all while Kenzie is playing. She scored a couple goals. She is so fast and aggressive. She keeps improving and is the highest scoring forward on her team. Sam made friends with one of the trees. He was talking up a storm with this tree. He has a huge imagination. He is known to leave the family and do his own thing. Julia practiced cartwheels. Xander climbed a big tree. I'm telling you- it was a great moment. These children of mine make me feel so alive and free.
Friday started out with the dreadful spelling bee. I keep telling my children that if they qualify for the spelling bee again, they will be grounded, and yet at least one of my children qualify every year. As much as I am a supporter of working hard and education, I loathe spelling bees. They just don't do it for me. The stress and the tears from every single contestant besides the winner is enough. Plus, we are all aware that intelligence does not lie in your ability to spell well, or memorize well.
Luckily Kenzie got out on her second round which of course caused some tears but after it fizzled out we were able to put that all behind us and enjoy the rest of the day. I know it was hard for her as it is for all the rest of the children who get out on spelling bees. I was kind and encouraging for the first hour and then I told her she needed to get over it. ha ha. Her past few weeks have been quite successful with her award from the newschannel, science fair, piano recital, soccer. The spelling bee just wasn't a priority and that is okay!
Saturday we woke up to beautiful sunshine. I was so happy to just be outside. I was motivated to get a million things done which never happens, but it's nice to dream. I took the girls down to the church to sew dolls with hospital gowns to give to children at the hospital when they have surgery. I got out my sewing machine which has been collecting dust in my basement for a few years and went to the church. I am not a master seamstress. I can sew a straight line- but I went so my girls can see Relief Society in action. I was there for the experience. The story of my life. It's all about the experience. It was fun to talk to other ladies in the ward.
Julia has been a little sad lately. She has a sister who loves to do everything and happens to be good at what she does. Julia isn't quite sure what she loves to do and is confused at what her "thing" might be. I asked her the other day what she wanted to do with her life and I was kind of joking but her eyes filled up with tears. It broke my heart. Well, on the way to the church Julia just randomly said outloud "Your mom hugged me last night" It took me off guard. "What do you mean she hugged you?" She quietly said, "I was praying last night to Heavenly Father to know what I should do and that I was really sad and I felt a warm hug around me, and I knew it was your mom, Grandma." I didn't know what to say, but my eyes did all the speaking because I started to tear-up. She told me when we only had a minute or so in the car. After the sewing activity, Kenzie and I went to the soccer game. I was sitting there on the chair thinking about what Julia just shared with me earlier that morning and I decided to send a text and share with my siblings what Julia had told me and then "Smack!" Kenzie, who was sitting out the first quarter (because we were late) was kicking the ball around on the sidelines and accidently kicked the ball right in the side of my face. It hurt so bad! My ear and head were ringing and my eye started to gush water. Kenzie felt horrible and I was just trying to keep my composure- I failed. I totally cried. ugh. She then told me, "I can't play anymore, I am going to think about how I hurt you the whole time" so I had to give her a pep talk and told her not to worry about me. She ended up scoring 3 goals and they won 5-0.
But Julia's experience about my mom hit my heart so hard. It would not leave my mind all day. It was such a thing my mom would do too. I loved it on so many levels. She was praying, she felt comfort, my mom loves my kids, we are connected to our ancestors, there is more- so much more than what this life has to offer and Julia was able to tune into that. For just a quick little moment. Faith. Oh the power of Faith.
Came home from the soccer game to find Julia and Chay working on a motorcycle. Kids playing in the backyard. Kids laughing- chasing one another. Showing each other what cool trick they can do on the trampoline. Riding bikes up and down the driveway. It's moments like these that make my whole life make sense.
Chay and I went to get more bark for our front yard. I am so proud of our front yard. Since we bought the home we have slowly done so many improvements to the house and the front yard with the new shutters we cut, painted, and mounted and the curbing, plants, and bark and it looks so nice. Simple but nice. We worked for a couple hours putting bark down. Virginia came out to talk to us. I love her as our sweet neighbor. She hasn't aged since we moved here 10 years ago. Cynthia and her boys played with us and Cynthia helped us with the bark. Working outside and doing physical hard work is my favorite.
Sunday we survived church and the sun was warm. We knew rain was coming so we gathered every blanket in the house and put it on the trampoline. The kids' faces when they saw the blankets! oh my. We laid in the warm sun and giggled with blankets everywhere. Static hair and smiles. But it only lasted a little while until someone got hurt, crying, wrestling began. Alice was super hyper and giggling at everyone. Pick-a-boo makes her giggle. Her little 22 month old body, soft skin, missing teeth smile, her spunky personality. Oh it's dreamy. I will miss this age. I will. I can treasure it all I can while I have it- and move on. Growing up is a part of the plan and I can't dwell on it forever.
You know, you would think watching your kids grow up is hard- and it is, but when you pour your whole heart, guts, and glory into loving your children and trying to raise them right- there isn't a lot of room for major regret. Kenzie is now 11 and as sweet as can be, and is a rock in our family. How lucky the rest of my kids have her to look up to. Julia is right behind her. Stalwart, funny, deep thinker Julia. Mckenzie knew I wasn't feeling well and I was going through a rough patch- she asked Chay to take her to the store- and with her own money bought me a bouquet of flowers. It was so touching. Yes, they can get older and they should, so they can continue to touch the lives of everyone around them. Raise kids right, raise them good, love them, discipline them, spend ample amounts of time with them, teach them to put God first before themselves- and they will learn to take flight with a solid foundation and then they too can hopefully bless the next generation with goodness. I can't think of a more powerful way to leave your mark in this world than to raise good children. It is NOT easy. But the joy of the sacrifice is overwhelming at times. Overwhelmingly joy will catch me off guard at times and the Spirit testifies to me that despite the trials and doubts, I am doing exactly what the Lord wants me to be doing and with that comes the peace.