Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Great "Mom Day"

Today I got to focus on doing "Mom" stuff almost all day long.

I volunteered at the school this morning.  I love how my kids light up when I enter their classrooms to volunteer.  And I love knowing their friends and seeing how they behave and interact at school.  I always sort of stress out about Thursday morning volunteering because it's a hassle to get in there to volunteer when I've got about 100 other things I really need to be doing with my precious time while the twins are at preschool. And most of my kids' teachers don't quite seem to know what to do with me (there aren't a lot of parent volunteers) so I have to just jump in there and help out with whatever's going on and find useful jobs for myself. But I always feel so great about the whole thing in the end.

When I was done volunteering, I took Liza and Ashton from school to go pick up Isaac from the district Science Fair for a special lunch date - just me and my big kids (Jared was nice enough to pick up the twins from preschool and take them for a while).  Isaac won 1st place for 3rd grade at their school for his science fair project so he got to go to district (he's having quite a year!  He won a poetry contest and we went up to SLC for him to receive his award there last weekend and now it's the science fair...).  The kids were all so cute to each other.  Ashton had earned 2 certificates for free kids' meals at Applebees (from doing something or other at school) and Eliza had earned one as well.  Ashton held up one of his certificates and said "Hey Isaac, how about I buy you lunch for doing so awesome at the science fair?"  We all had a grand time chatting and eating and just enjoying being together at lunch.  I just plain LIKE these people.  Then we went back to the science fair for the award presentations.  Isaac didn't win but he didn't mind one bit.  He seemed to feel great about the whole experience.  What a great kid.

Here's everyone's science fair photos:








Then I spent a lot of the afternoon building a diarama (how do you spell that?) of the Boreal Forest biome for Isaac's project on lynxes.  Ashton helped Isaac research the Boreal Forest more and helped with great ideas.  Eliza eagerly helped gather rocks and sticks and other necessities for the forest scene.  We all had such a great time with the creative process involved and Isaac was totally thrilled with the result.

While we worked on the diarama, the twins worked on these new 150 piece puzzles they were so totally excited about finally earning enough points to have (they've been begging for jobs to do for a week now so that they could earn these precious dollar-store puzzles - they can't get enough of puzzles these days!  My super squirmy boys can somehow sit still for over an hour and work on a puzzle - never would have guessed).  They asked for very minimal help and the looks on their faces when they finished their puzzles was priceless!

We had the kids' favorite frozen pizza for dinner (so nice to leave cooking aside sometimes) as well as my latest very favorite Napa cabbage salad.  Then I pulled out the ancestor stories my parents wrote up a while back for all of us and snuggled up on the couch to read some favorites before bedtime.

Of course there were stressful moments in the day (Ashton forgot his backpack, I had to go pick up new carpet samples and the kind that looks best is likely out of stock, there was some significant over-use of glue going on with the diarama and I had to take some deep breaths, I couldn't get a PayPal transfer to work so I could make a payment I need to make tomorrow, the twins were bugging everyone during the ancestor stories and had to be sent tearfully to bed...)

But today was a good day.  I needed today.  I love being a mom.

Craziness?

I just wrote the following email to my dear Power of Moms partner, April.  It's a pretty decent snapshot of my life these days, so I thought I'd put it up here for posterity and for anyone else out there who wants to feel good about their hopefully less packed lives!  I've been saying "no" to a lot of things and delegating a ton to great people who are so kind to help (but they need to be trained before they can really help and that takes plenty of scheduling and training time).  Still, the buck stops with me on a ton of things.  And I care too darn much about other things that seem sort of small so I just try to do them myself. 

So here's my email to April (we do status updates to each other every couple days):

I've been responding to tons of emails today and I'll spare you the details but I did get a ton done (with Chantelle) on the new family volunteering section, got Mary and Megan trained on the value of the month stuff (and got the May value up), did a call with Jennifer about the East Coast Retreat she's working on (still securing location and dates), got our bank account all set up, paid our initial deposit to Red Mountain for the June Retreat (we'll owe them $2000 on Friday but I've got checks in hand and it's all good).  We're up to 22 officially registered for that Retreat and Shawni did a blog post about it today which should yield at least a few more early bird registrations.  I put up a new welcome message but it got scrunched on the main page so I'll try to fix that.  I spent quite a bit of time on the bio/photo information with Anna - she seems great and I think all this "specificness" should pay off - I hope anyway.  The "face" of our website really is the photos we use so it's important!  I edited my own bio and photos (although it's still too long - I'll worry about that later!).

Tomorrow is my volunteer morning in Liza and Isaac's classes plus Isaac's got the state science fair (I've got to be at Dixie College for a chunk of that) so I won't get to much Power of Moms stuff.  The next day I'll work more on the Bloom program - need a stretch of a couple hours to polish that up and usually I just get snippets of time around here!  

I ran the school's uniform committee meeting last night (luckily some of the people spoke English this time) and the meeting went really well and everyone thanked me up and down for facilitating but I don't even care that much about uniforms so how do I get into these things???  I guess I was flattered that they thought I could help smooth the feelings and hold a good meeting despite some past issues.  And I'm supposed to pick out carpet for the workout room at our community clubhouse since I hated the ugly choices the older men on the board brought in and were ready to just buy - so I got the job of picking out something better.  Why do I have to open my mouth? But those carpet samples were BAD and I can't stand to see good money wasted on not-so-good stuff if there might well be a better option....  

We did go on a great bike ride today and met up with neighbors at the park and it was very nice. Plus all the cactus flowers are out and I love them so much.  I look forward to the day when Power of Moms doesn't need to be taken care of like a colicky newborn!  But I know we're doing the right thing so I'll keep plugging away and praying hard.

I also went to a funeral today.  This amazingly Christlike woman in our ward just passed away at the age of 43 after battling cancer for 7 years.  She left behind 5 great kids from ages 11-21 and a devoted husband.  I felt overcome with the blessing of my health and the sadness of this good woman's children going through graduations and weddings and babies without their dear mother.  It made me want to cherish every moment with my children all the more.  So I'm setting much stricter boundaries around my Power of Moms work.  The kids are doing fine - great in fact - better than ever - even though I'm quite busy.  I do spend quality time with them pretty much every day - homework time, reading time, meal time, snuggle time, tuck-in time.  It seems like it's enough for them.  But I don't know if it's enough for me.  I don't feel like I'm getting quite enough of my wonderful kids these days.

Good luck with your speech at Women's Conference tomorrow!  I know you'll be fabulous.  I'll be thinking of you and praying for you.

Love, Saren

So there you have it, a very partial list of what wasn't even one of my more crazy days.  And mostly, it's quite amazingly OK.  I do get stressed out and frustrated sometimes (especially when there are website glitches that eat up time).  I do look forward to finishing a couple big things and being able to cut back on my Power of Moms hours so I can devote more time to being a powerful mom to my own family more fully.  But mostly the blessings outweigh the hard stuff and this just feels right.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Moments

There are plenty of hard moments in our lives.  And there are a few precious, super-special moments in life.  But there are also lots of just plain nice, comfortable, lovely little moments that we should probably appreciate more.  Like right now.  Oliver has been sitting on my lap as I get Power of Moms stuff done and reply to emails.  He just wanted to sit with me.  I stopped to rock him for a minute and chat.  I love how he's still small enough to fit nicely on my lap and in my arms.  Here's the conversation we had:

Me: When you're a daddy, do you think you'll still come sit on my lap and let me rock you?

Oliver: Wew, when I'm a daddy, I pwobwy won't be in this family anymore.

Me: You'll always be in my family because you're my kid forever and ever and I love you – but you'll probably live in a different house and come see me sometimes just like we go visit Grammie. And I'll give
YOUR little kids hugs and treats just like Grammie does.

Oliver: Treats? When is it going to be Halloween?

Me: Not for a really long time. Halloween is far away.

Oliver: Is Halloween in a different city?

Me: No, I meant far away in TIME – it will be a long time until Halloween.

Oliver: Wew, where's the moon right now?

Me: It went down for the day. You can see it from the other side of the world but not this side right now.

Oliver: So is it night in another city now?

Me: Yep

Oliver: (really excited) Oh, I was thinking that all day – I just knew it!

Me: How did you know that?

Oliver: I just thought of it in my mind and it was true. Oh!  I can see the clouds out the window behind us right in the computer screen - can you see them too?  That's cool, huh?  (then he leaned back and gave me a kiss on the cheek.)

Nothing earth-shattering or super-special.  Just nice.  Really really nice.

I don't take the time to really drink in and enjoy these little moments as much as I should.  I can change that. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Anyone Know How to Make a Great Video?

I love this video.  I really like the images and music and poem but what I really love is how it makes me feel.  I think we need more videos out there, helping moms FEEL the meaning and joy and beauty of motherhood in their hearts.



At The Power of Moms, we're holding a contest to get some inspiring and beautiful videos made that celebrate motherhood (sort of like the one above).  Video entries are due April 30th.  Then our website community will have the chance to vote on the top entries.  The winner will get a chance to come to our upcoming Premium Power of Moms Retreat for FREE plus we'll give her $200 towards her travel expenses to come to the Retreat  (The Retreat is June 11-12 in St George Utah - featuring my amazing mom as well as other great Power of Moms trainers - it's filling up so if you want to come, you'd better sign up soon!).

If you or anyone you know might like to share her talents with moms around the world through making us a fabulous video celebrating mothers, please check out the details on the contest here and/or forward this on to others who'd be interested:
Power of Moms YouTube Contest

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Lesson from Eliza

Eliza is a great little teacher.  She can teach Oliver and Silas things in a way that really works for them.  Check out this spontaneous shoe-tying lesson she offered yesterday morning (I always mean to pull out my camera when she's doing stuff like this - finally I caught it on film!).

Notice how Silas is quite patiently trying to get in on the action - and how Eliza turns her attention to him once she's got Oliver going.  Notice the cute triumphant look on Oliver's face when he ties his first bow.  There's nothing like achieving something new!  And there's nothing like seeing your kids help each other learn and grow - both parties get so much out of it.




I remember one morning when our twins were about one-and-a-half and my oldest, Ashton, was six years old.  The twins were still NOT sleeping through the night (they kept waking each other up and I was so sleep-deprived that it didn't occur to me to have them sleep in separate rooms...) and they were waking up early with messy diapers every morning.  Ashton always woke up before the twins (he's my early bird) so he often played with them in their room until it got light and I could drag myself out of bed. I was so grateful for his help!


One morning, Ashton proudly led his little brothers into my bedroom - they were all dressed and ready for the day.  And they didn't stink.  Ashton announced that he'd changed their diapers and got them dressed.  He'd enlisted the help of Isaac (5 years old) who held their feet while Ashton did the wiping and diapering.  He was practically bursting with pride.  And so was I!

I'd taught Ashton to help with a lot of different things around the house but I'd never really thought about teaching Ashton to do diapers.  And I'm not sure if he'd have been game to try it if I'd suggested it.  But he'd watched me and he knew what to do. 

It can be so easy to jump in there and do most everything for our kids. But they can do so much for each other - especially if we encourage them a bit, then stand back and let them go for it!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Angel's Landing

Do you see that peak just to the right of center on the top of this photo.  We hiked up there.  All of us.  That's Angel's Landing in Zion National Park. We've been wanting to do this amazing hike ever since we moved to the area 5 years ago - but had to wait until the kids were old enough.  This hike involves almost 3 miles of going from zig-zagging switchbacks straight uphill to going even more straight uphill while hanging onto chains bolted into the rock and avoiding sheer cliff drop offs of 1000's of feet.
We took a few minutes to read this sign with the kids before heading up the last super-steep part.  It said "falls from cliffs on this trail have resulted in death."  We reminded everyone that this was serious stuff and we all had to hang onto the chains and to each other the WHOLE time.  As we climbed, Oliver kept saying with wonder and awe and excitement in his voice, "This can cause DEATH - we better be serious."  You know, a lot of things in life can cause death - both physical and spiritual death.  We all had better be serious, all the time.

There were some nerve-wracking moments here and there and between my heart beating hard because of all the uphill and my heart beating hard because of fear, I think I got the greatest workout I've had in a long time!  But we all loved the feeling of accomplishing something hard and experiencing something spectacular together. And there were ample opportunities for life lessons along the way.  Here are some of the things we realized together as we hiked:

1.  Accomplishing anything really wonderful usually involves a lot of hard work.
As we headed up the first set of steep switch-backs at the beginning of the trail, Ashton kept lagging far behind and complaining that he was SO tired.  With the twins hopping along up the trail, it was frustrating having our oldest kid as the whiny caboose.  We prodded him along, telling him that he'd love it up on top.  When we finally did get up to where the views were quite magnificent, he was so excited and said "You're right - this is the most awesome hike ever!"  We all talked about how life is often going to be like this hike - hard and frustrating and long sometimes as we move towards things that we've been promised (and we feel in our hearts) will be wonderful.  But great things are worth the hard work they require.

This is right before we headed up the steepest part.  The view was already pretty spectacular from here!  This is where Ashton started getting pretty excited.

2.  We can grow and thrive anywhere if we work hard enough at it.
There were several huge, beautiful trees somehow growing on the bald rock top of the mountain.  As we sat on the big exposed roots of one such tree to rest for a few minutes, we talked about how we all need to be like this tree - plucky and determined enough to grow and thrive even in situations that most people would call impossible.
I wish I'd taken a photo of the roots of this and many of the other amazing trees we saw - they were somehow growing right on top of solid rock - no dirt for their roots.

3.  We need to hold on to each other and hold on to firm established principles we can trust if we want to stay safe.
Whenever we got to a tricky part of the climb, there were these big fat chains that hardworking, strong, brave people somehow anchored firmly to the rocks. As long as we were holding on to a chain and to one of the twins (in the case of me and Jared), we felt totally safe.  Jesus Christ, prophets, apostles, church leaders and parents have gone before us to lay out and anchor the "chains" that we should follow to keep safe.  As long as we hang onto the principles they've nailed into the rocks of their own faith and hang onto each other, we'll be fine.  We'll be more than fine - we'll progress and we'll accomplish and we'll have joy.

4.  When we help each other, we're helping ourselves.  When we help others feel that they're getting a chance to help us, we're building them up and everyone benefits. 
After reaching the top of Angel's Landing and enjoying the view, we thought the hike back down would be quite easy and fast compared to the long steep uphill on the way up.  Wrong.  With our legs already a bit shaky and the constant view of the sheer cliffs that you notice a lot more going down than going up, the way down was hard.  Oliver was my partner and he wanted so much to do everything himself.  I had to tell him that I was holding onto him so that HE could help ME rather than the other way around so that he'd allow me to hold on to him.  And it was actually quite true.  By focusing on helping him and keeping him safe, I didn't think much about my own fears. 

5.  If you keep moving forward, cling to what you know and don't look down and you'll be just fine. 
The kids weren't one bit afraid on the hike.  They hung on obediently to the chains (as well as our hands in the case of the twins) and went as fast as we allowed them to go, straight on up the cliffs like little mountain goats.  They didn't let any fear get in their way.  They were happy with the act of moving forward towards a goal and they weren't focused on all the possible pitfalls and failures involved.  I need to be more like them in some ways.  There is much less fear and frustration when we focus on what is in front of us and on the goal up ahead and don't waste a whole lot of time or energy worrying about how far we could fall.  Once we make the prayerful decision to take a calculated risk, we need to look forward, not down.  We need to think positively and keep moving forward.


See that tiny little brown stripe down there?  That's the road.  And this is not from the top.  My camera battery gave out so I don't even have any photos from the top!  It was like being in an airplane we were up so high.  Looking down was amazing - but dizzying.

5.  Doing hard things together bonds you and makes you love each other more than ever.
I love accomplishing things alongside the people I love and building memories together that bind our hearts and strengthen our souls.

That peak on the right (with the snow on it) is where we headed after this photo.  Sorry no photos from the top!  Jared took some on his phone -I'll get them from him one of these days and post them!

The kids were such tough little hikers.  They didn't complain once about the steep uphill climbs and they loved scaling the cliff-like parts holding onto the chains.  Everyone we passed was so nice to the kids, telling them what good little hikers they were and expressing amazement that they were so nimble and tough.  Several hikers used the kids as examples to their partners of why they should keep going and shouldn't wimp out.  All in all, this was a great self-esteem builder for the kids and a real bonding experience for us all.

We all closed our eyes and said a little prayer of thanks when we reached the peak (well, I don't think Jared and I closed out eyes - got to watch those twins every second!).  Eliza sang "For the Beauty of the Earth" and it was truly a beautiful moment to sit snuggled together on that high peak with the amazing views spread out below and the knowledge that we'd done it - that we'd worked together and conquered hard things and we'd made it - all of us.   There's nothing like the triumph of high achievement, the splendor of nature, and the joy of togetherness when they all coincide!

In that moment, it felt like we caught a little glimpse of how Heaven might feel one day if we can all help each other make it there.  The kids asked, "Do the angels really land here?"  I had to answer, "I think they do, don't you?"

Jury Duty

So I was at the courthouse from 8am until almost midnight last night.  I've been called up for jury duty before (in Boston) but that just entailed sitting in a waiting room with an interesting cross-section of society for several hours and then being excused to go home.  This time I "got" to actually be on a jury.  It was interesting to be part of the process and I met some interesting people.  But it was sad.  The case was sad (domestic violence, damage of goods, child abuse).  The witnesses were sad.  The evidence was sadly lacking.  The conclusion was sad.

We spent the day listening to short stretches of testimony between frequent and seemingly random recesses and having lawyers explain the burden of proof and the price of things like vacuums and cordless phones repeatedly.  Then we spent hours deliberating.  Sadly, we couldn't come to a unanimous verdict on all 6 counts so they declared a mistrial after all that!

Just so you know - if you're ever on a jury - you have to reach a unanimous verdict on ALL counts or it's a mistrial.  It seems strange that no one explained this to us.  We were all sad to see all our hard work go down the drain just because we couldn't come to consensus on one count.  And if we'd realized how the whole mistrial thing worked, I think we could have finalized that one count.  But we were instructed that it was OK to just come to a verdict on some of the counts.  Sort of weird, we thought.

But anyway, as I listened to the witnesses yesterday, I sat there counting my blessings.  I come from a great family.  I have a great family.  No one's ever beaten me up.  No one's ever gone after my children.  The police have never had to be called to any home I've been in (well there was that time when the police came through our house in San Jose trying to find our crazy neighbor who had run into our back door trying to hide from them...).  There's so much sadness out there.  And there's plenty of sadness scattered through my history - but it's all such little stuff when you look at what so many people deal with.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fun Work Weekend

I got back at midnight last night from a wonderful weekend with my mom and sisters. We talked so much that I actually feel "talked out" for once. We laughed. We planned. We made podcasts to be featured on The Power of Moms. We brainstormed ideas for how to use our talents to help all the moms of the world while trying to figure out how to be better moms and people ourselves. And my mom captured it all quite beautifully on her blog (Thanks mom!) - so click below for more details:
http://eyrealm.blogspot.com/2010/04/fun-work-weekend.html

My Little Guys

I'm sitting here catching up on emails and preparing for a training phone call with our new Power of Moms Family Volunteering Manager and this is what I hear behind me:
Oliver: What is your really really full name?
Silas: Silas Richard Eyre Loosli
Oliver: No – your really really really full name is Beeda Bupba in this world, OK? And we're friends.
Silas: Well, if you want to be my friend, don't shoot me.
Oliver: Yeah, friends don't shoot friends – that would be bad.
Silas: This is my speeder car.
Oliver: This can be my speeder car and they can have a race.
(lots of car noises for a while)
Oliver comes running in: Can I have some tape for my speeder car to stay together?
He gets some tape, works diligently on his car, Silas decides to do the same, and they're off, singing little songs, making car noises, coming up with new scenarios and keeping me entertained with a constant background of pleasant prattle and an occasional request or hug for me.

I like these little guys of mine.  A lot.  I was perfectly excited to send each of my older kids off to Kindergarten.  They were ready to go and I was ready for one less preschooler when I had so many and they so frequently had so many mutually exclusive needs.  But this fall will be different.  I'll be sending off TWO kids to Kindergarten at once.  And they'll be my last Kindergartners.  And it'll be full-day Kindergarten.  And I'll miss them terribly.  I thought I'd be glad to have less interruptions and more time to focus on all the work I currently cram between kids' needs.  But I'm realizing I'll miss their interruptions dearly.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Easter

Despite the aftermath of Easter grass and candy wrappers and plastic egg-halves strewn about the house, I loved Easter this year.  There were great moments of real learning and nurturing of my kids' seedling testimonies as we talked about all the events of the last week of Christ's earthly life.  As we watched a movie about Christ's death and resurrection at the temple visitor's center, I loved seeing how still and focused Oliver and Silas were (they practically never sit still) as they watched and loved watching their concerned faces during the crucifixion break into huge smiles when the tomb was empty at the end.  When we got ready to dye our Easter eggs, I absent-mindedly plunked Oliver's egg into the green cup he requested right off the bat and Ashton and Isaac said, "Wait! We have to do a red egg first - remember?"  Oops.  I was glad to see that they really cared about this Bulgarian tradition we've adopted of always dying the first egg red in honor of the combination of death (blood red) and new life (egg) we celebrate at Easter.


As we ate together and celebrated the Last Supper on Thursday night (we tried to be as authentic as possible with foods from Christ's time), the kids insisted that we act out what we'd just seen in the Last Supper clip from "Jesus of Nazareth."  Isaac (as Jesus) explained the sacrament quite nicely and we all talked about how much we needed Jesus and wanted him to be with us always.  Isaac said "I'll be with you - I'll just be harder to see."  As we really went through what the scriptures teach us and wondered together about the details the scriptures leave out, each child had great points and questions to bring up (at least one child seemed to be listening most of the time!).  There were so many beautiful moments scattered throughout the week (along with the usual bickering and hurrying and yelling and hard moments, despite my pleas to make this week a little more peaceful and holy than the norm - but hopefully the spiritual moments will be the ones the kids will remember!).

Along with lots of great Easter stuff, we had 4 sets of houseguests this week - the Perry's (April and I got lots of great Power of Moms stuff done), the Reynolds (Allyson and I also got lots of Power of Moms stuff done plus it was so fun to meet her husband and kids for the first time), the Ransoms (we can never get enough of those guys), my parents and Charity (we can never, NEVER get enough of these people).  It's always this way - when it rains it pours!  But we love having guests and it made for an extra exciting and fun week.  We went hiking, we went swimming (the pool was heated, yeah!), we had several Easter egg hunts with various friends and family, we ate (way too much in my case), we worked on science fair projects, I trained several new Board members for Power of Moms (yeah!  we've got some great new people to help us!).  After all this I'm a little tired.  But happy, very happy.

Here's the Neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt
Here's our Easter morning (the kids explored the fun stuff in their baskets after starting off the day by reading all about the first Easter in the scriptures using symbols in plastic eggs to keep it fun for the kids).


We thoroughly enjoyed General Conference.  I think virtually every talk was about families this time.  I came away with a strengthened resolve to be a better mother and wife, to grab more teaching moments, to increase my effectiveness when it comes to Power of Moms so that I can do more for other mothers while protecting my time to be a mom myself.  I could go on and on but I'll leave that for now - and I'll leave this whole thing and go hang out with my wonderful husband - I feel like I've hardly seen him all week with all the hoopla going on!

Here are the kids enjoying their last Easter Egg hunt of the year with some of their very favorite people:

Friday, April 02, 2010

Abba in Arby's

I have to share another funny thing that happened a couple weeks ago that I keep forgetting to post about. I love the little moments of hilarity or oddity in our lives - they're like little gifts from Heaven to make us forget the hard stuff in our lives for a little while as we're overcome with the humor of the moment.

Anyway, on our way back home from the big Bull Sale in Idaho, we stopped at Arby's in Pocatello (I really don't like much when it comes to fast food but I've found that Arby's roast chicken club is actually tasty enough to be somewhat worth the calories). We placed the order and I sat down with the kids and Jared's mom (who needed to go with us to SLC to get her hip and knee problem checked).

As soon as we sat down in our two booths, this older man in a snappy tucked in t-shirt with a choir name on it came over and asked if his singing group could sing for us while we ate. We said sure. He asked where we'd like them to stand to perform - since we were the only people in the restaurant, they wanted to be sure we'd have a good view. We suggested they could perform right in front of us - there was a fair amount of room in the wide aisle between the booths where we were sitting and the next tables.

Momentarily, about 16 teenagers showed up and moved all the tables and chairs in the area out of the way. It seemed like they could just sing in the aisle - there was room. Why were they moving all the tables and chairs back?

Turns out this wasn't going to be any ordinary little choir performance. These kids put on a serious Abba medley (Dancing Queen, Take a Chance, all the good stuff) complete with lots of dancing, different singers taking turns standing on a table to sing a solo, facial expressions to augment the meaning of the lyrics, the whole works. They must have done like 10 songs with serious choreography. And they did it all practically in our laps.

Oliver and Silas were glued to the show, nodding along with the music. To them, this was probably the coolest, highest-quality show imaginable. And the group was actually quite good - some very nice voices and greaty choreographed dance moves. But something about having our own private Abba show going on practically on top of us while we ate fast food was just terribly funny - it was hard not to laugh out loud!

We sure got more than we bargained for when we headed into Arby's for a quick cheap dinner.  Bless those singers' hearts (and their director's heart) for treating us to so much fun in the midst of what was otherwise a pretty long, crowded and uneventful road trip.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Thrill Ride

A couple days ago, I was heading into Costco and this cute little old lady asked if I could please drive the little motorized cart that she'd been using back over to the store entrance. I felt a little weird about riding that thing through the parking lot and on over to the store. But I couldn't exactly say no.

I told her I'd never driven one of those before and asked if I could just push it over there for her. She said she thought it only worked if someone was actually seated in the seat. She was right. So I sat down and she showed me how to use the controls and I was off. Sort of. That thing was just about out of batteries so it was S-L-O-W. And it was a very busy time at Costco. At first I was wildly embarrassed as all these cars had to stop and wait for me - what were they thinking seeing this girl who looked quite able-bodied moving through the parking lot and holding up traffic in an ultra-slow disabled-mobile? Then I gave up being embarrassed and just had to laugh. The situation was just so ridiculous. I'm sure lots of people were wondering not only what I was doing on the motorized cart but also why I was smiling so big.

I finally got across the street, got off that thing as quickly as I could and headed into the store feeling pretty silly.

But I was in a good mood for the rest of the day.

Sometimes it feels so good to laugh - even at your own expense! And my kids and husband got a huge kick out of the story when I got home.
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