April 19 2009 LDS Families Newsletter
Can you believe how beautiful everything is right now? The air is damp and fresh, and for once the sun feels like my friend! Happy spring! I absolutely refuse to observe that this season has bounced, “springing” in the past participle tense, as that bonny bit of wordplay was delightfully original when Ogden Nash first uttered it early in the last century, but has been repeated so much that it began to wear a little thin for me around the fourth grade. (I have a thing about clichés—someday I’ll tell you why I won’t use the term “surreal.”) Notwithstanding, Spring has leapt from winter’s dying corpse, and I have about three seconds of warmth before Arizona’s inevitable summer overtakes us once again.
Anyway, I do hope you all had a lovely Easter. Ours was not what I had imagined, but the important elements were there—remembering our Savior, giving to and serving one another, emphasizing rebirth and renewal. And though we could not afford to fill our kids’ baskets on the big day, we did hit Walgreens a few days later when Larry’s paycheck came, and have enough Peeps and chocolate bunnies to make Easter S’Mores (an innovation concocted just yesterday!) until the next holiday, at least!
I am sorry I have not sent a newsletter in a couple of weeks. I have had a frustrating combination of some unexpected extra work pop up and my Neurological condition flaring simultaneously. This mystery illness joined my long list of weird health woes shortly before my youngest child was born, around a year and a half ago. At first, my Neurologist thought it was MS; the symptoms are very much the same, but he ruled that out and has not been able to determine precisely what the matter is. I’ve been so blessed to have not had a serious flare in a few months now, so I almost forgot about it until it kicked my bum again. It seems to have finished with me for now, though, and I feel nearly normal-ish. I HATE offering this as an excuse. If it weren’t for a few other personal things popping up at the same time, I would’ve managed it all. I mean, I did continue writing new articles.
Speaking of which…My two articles this week are fluffier than what I really like to do. The topics that mean the most to me are those that discuss doctrinal principles, or address putting those principles into practice. I planned to write an article today before sending out this newsletter, dealing with Mosiah 4:16-25 “Suffer not the beggar to put up his petition to you in vain.” This passage has personal significance to me right now, as I have recently met and become friends with a hardworking, loving, Christ-like couple who became homeless earlier this year after losing their jobs. Seeing their hardship up close has touched and taught me so much. I really feel the need to explore the topic. But, I am a Mommy of five first and still. Today was my oldest son’s last preschool field trip ever, as he’ll be starting kindergarten soon. The whole family went along to the zoo. Then, later this afternoon he asked if we could have a “Camp-in” tonight (see the articles I wrote a few weeks ago: "Camp-Ins and Other Living Room Passport Activities" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art61106.asp and "Camp-Ins And Living Room Passport Suggestions" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art10283.asp )
This family time was far more important than adding a third article to my site tonight. His sleepy comment about two minutes ago, “Oh Mommy, this night was one of my best ever.” Confirms this. So we’re stuck with the weekly product review and an article on making Post Easter Soup. The soup is really good. Like all of my recipes, the amounts, and to some degree ingredients, are variable. Cooking is a matter of heart and alchemy. Skillfully combining the ingredients we have in our homes to ceate something that is actually yummy in its own right is so satisfying. I hope you’ll give this soup, or a similar dish a stir and a taste! The article is here:
And now this week’s product review of The Noodleboro Picnic Basket Manners Game. I feel a smidgeon bad; this is really the first hardcore negative review I’ve written for the LDS Families Site. But I am ruthless when it comes to giving enough relevant information to help people save their money when a product just isn’t worth it. Children’s games particularly bug me. So often you open the box to find something you could have made a more interesting version of for $5 yourself, or something that will not last and has no educational, let alone entertainment, value. So, sorry fictional people of Noodleboro (and real people of Playskool) you’ll have to do better next time! Here’s the article:
Quote of the Week
As usual, this one comes out of the mouth of a babe, er, a big boy. After a discussion of his long-time plan to build and fly a “Captain Janeway” spaceship ("Star Trek" reference, yes, we’ve saddled our innocent sons with the mark of the geek), my five year old watched me as I dashed around the house, breathless and half-dressed (a great improvement over my norm) and amended what his answer to "what do you want to be when you grow up?" had been from the moment he was able to speak. He said, “Mommy, when I grow up I want to be…everything! I’ll be pretty busy.”
I’m talking to you, Mommies, you who are “everything.” God gave us the gift of multitasking so we could raise His children without becoming insane and ruining them. He also gave us a few other tools—His guidance, support, and love, the ability to reason and discern between the “essence’ and the “trappings” so we may not be caught up in illusion, but get at the heart of what matters, and time—His time, in fact, in which to be everything –in wisdom and order.
Tip of the Week
The 10 Second Kiss
Ok, I have to admit, I stole this one. I think it was "Oprah" or one of those other shows in the background of my life, played for adult-sounding converse during my long days of mommyhood. Whoever said it on whatever show—I’m converted.
I’m not suggesting the kiss in order to rediscover nights of wild abandon, lost in the mists created by diapers and toy cars, but to make connecting with our partners, on a real, loving level a priority. Let us be frank: sometimes it’s easier to just pat his back when he wants a “real” kiss, because we’re afraid it might lead to something else that would take up resources better spent folding laundry. I have to say, shame on me—I mean, on you, ‘cause I never do that! What do I stand to lose by relegating physical contact with him to the realm of platonic motherliness? My best friend, and the one I hope to have to hold once my precious angels have found their own “loves for the ages.”
Something phenomenal happens between the hurried peck and 10 seconds. It doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but your average thoughtless cheek-peck takes about half a second. Turning to face him fully, I feel our breathing synchronize, feel the softness and relief of remembering I have a partner in all of this, feel his spirit match mine in longing to keep our closeness through our children’s needy years. It isn’t a negligee and a promise of anything bedroomy. It is a promise to value and sustain each other, to cling to each other through the storm, and to come through it closer, and happy. Try it for a week, and write to let me know!
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Jamie Rose, LDS Families Editor
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