Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Biker Boys

I was pretty impressed with Jebb's biking skills this morning. We have a fairly steep driveway and it is standard practice for Jackson and Jebb to ride their 3wheeled vehicles down it. They wear Crocs and apply them as brakes in a Fred Flintstone manner.

Jebb went out without his shoes but wanted to ride anyway. He skillfully weaved hard-left then hard-right to traverse his way down the driveway without picking up much speed (kind of like a skiier going down a steep hill). Pretty impressive. He figured it out all on his own. Maybe He's a biking prodigy....
Cut to a few hours later. I finally got shoes on both boys and they were ready to ride. Cool, I'll get a picture,and oh hey, this camera takes little videos, I'll try that.

So the boys line up on the driveway for a "race" (why must it always be a competition?). The video tells the rest of the story. Jebb, a biking prodigy? You make the call...
He's fine by the way! Not a scratch! He wants to watch it over and over!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Movin' On

I was feeling pretty grumpy this afternoon. A woman from our ward decided on Sunday to move this Tuesday (tonite). I wouldn't know her because she has never come to church in the years she's been in our ward, but I am her Visiting Teacher. She called me today crying because she felt like she wasn't going to be ready to move tonite (my husband and a few other men were planning to load her U-Haul). I called our RS pres and she and i called around to get some help. She did a lot better than me at finding people. I called about 10 women who were all busy.

Now, it's an interesting thing because I ran thru a whole gamut of emotions as I thought about this whole scenario. Here's a woman who has never come to church and who is now on her way out of the ward. The natural feelings are obvious-I was wishing for a minute that I was busy. Luckily, I have been married to my good husband for over 12 years. I (seriously) think there has only been 1 or maybe 2 people that have moved either in or out of our ward that he has not personally helped move (I guess there may have been some he didn't know about). He serves...and he likes it!

I am naturally an Old Testament kind of thinker. I want fairness, I like letter of the law, I'd have made an excellent Pharisee.

I was so pleasantly surprised at the good members of our ward who heard the call and came to serve a sister they didn't know and would never see again. There were tons of us! I brought 5 pizza and a bunch of soda for everyone who showed up. It was really fun to eat and work together. Working together we got it done just as the sun was setting. She wasn't kidding when she said she wasn't ready for us to load her. Everyone pitched in and all of the hands made light work.
I was humbled thinking of my bad attitude when I was calling around for help. I actually had a really good time and the woman was SO grateful for our help. She just broke up with her boyfriend and decided to move to Kanab where her mom is an active member because she needs to get her life 'back on track'. I hope we helped her move towards that.

On a side note-John is definately the EQ Pres because he has a GIFT. He can load a U-Haul like no one I have ever seen. I thought there was no way we'd ever fit all that stuff! He did it with room to spare!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Nursery Nightmare No More...?

Could today be the first day of the end of our nursery nightmare? Maybe it would more accurately be described as our non-nursery nightmare. That's right- Jebb (up until today) would NOT go to nursery. Yes-I know. You're thinking this is simply a parenting issue. Well- I certainly agree and I heartily admit that it was completely my weakness that has prevented him from going to nursery on his own before this. He's the baby. What do you want?!

Jebb is 2 and 3/4. That's right-almost 3. He will go to nursery only if John or myself will sit in there with him. For a while we took turns. Hmm. Although the snacks were nice, I just did not enjoy it. Often we would find that we both had responsibilities in the 3rd hour of the block (John in EQ and me in RS) so one of us would have the joy of bringing him along. Somehow John could usually get him to fall asleep (I think he sedated him) but he always managed to stay awake to entertain the women of RS. I get the kids ready on Sunday morning as John has early meetings each week (can you see the setup for my excuses here) so I never think to bring toys to entertain Jebb when he joins the adult classes. There is an old fashioned sewing machine in the front of the class that he really enjoyed... He was a total disturbance I admit! My friend Cindy even brought toys to entertain him (thanks Cindy :) you'd think his own mother would care enough to try something like that!).

How did we get to this point? Why won't he go? I don't know. Yes-the nursery substitute did bring him to me his 2nd week of being nursery aged when he cried for 30 seconds. And the one week he didn't cry, they brought him to me to change his diaper even though it was a false alarm. And different teachers didn't help either. But I digress.

So this morning as I was putting his church shirt on, I told him kindly, but FIRMLY that he WAS going to stay in nursery today without me, and he WAS going to like it. When we got to church he promptly told John he was going to stay in nursery today and he was going to like it, all while smiling firmly. And that was it. He went. Seth took him in and said he cried a little, but then he stayed! HE STAYED! Happy Day! Is that all I needed to do? Have I finally figured the guy out? Just give him a little warning and he's in? Oh who cares. Point is- I can go to my own classes and enjoy them!! Yipee!!

I do love Jebb's company. He is a sweet baby, but I know this is best for us both! :) I have to post this pic of him with his morning hair. You'll notice he is wearing the same headband Elise wore in her soccer game. Love these kids!

Mormon Skills

I have often said that I am trying to be a better Mormon. I think people take this statement the wrong way.

I think that as a member of the LDS church, there is the whole facet of our culture that is it's own skill set. I am talking about sewing, quilting, gardening, canning, bread making, scrapbooking, family history, home decorating, child rearing, cleaning, piano playing etc, etc, etc. While these skills are not exclusive to the Mormons, they are things we discuss and try to work at on a regular basis. This is what I refer to as the Molly Mormon skill set. Nothing that is going to bring you salvation, but stuff that will help make your earthly life a little more heavenly. I also like to think of this skill set as the self reliant aspect of our religion. Brigham Young taught that this skill set is a real part of our religion (I'll have to find the quote).

What is your idea of a Molly Mormon? I think it is like today's Martha Stewart ideals. Is it worth the effort to master this skill set? Like I said before, I don't think it will save us, but I do like to think it refines us. Isn't that what the Humanities do? Is this the Mormon art form? I know I do get an enormous amount of satisfaction not only in completing a Molly project, but also in the creative process these skills often require. With my recognized lack of proficiency in most of these area, I can confidently say that I am trying to be a better Mormon.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Soccer Mom

Today I got to wear my Soccer Mom hat. Elise is playing in the city rec league and had a double-header at the park this afternoon. Elise is typically the one cheering on her big brothers as they do football or basketball, but today there was a role reversal. It was fun to see her playing 2nd grade soccer with all of her cute friends. The big boys brought their bikes to ride on the river trail that runs by the field, so it was nice to see them take a few minutes to enthusiastically cheer for their little sister! Elise is the fastest runner in our family, but I found it fascinating how girls prefer to run together vs. in a racing fashion. She actually made a goal today which surprised her a little! It was almost as fun to hear her brothers hoot and holler as it was to see her realize she'd scored!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Molly Moment

Thursday night we had a Relief Society mid-week activity at our home. It was so fun and completely Molly Mormon! I loved it! Our RS Pres. Cindy Tuck is a great bread maker and she came and taught a class on this lost art. We ground the wheat then made the dough. Cindy came early to get a batch going then we all made one together. Each batch makes 5 loaves, so in no time the women here all had a loaf to take home and enjoy. It was getting late, but Cindy asked me if I wanted to quickly get a batch going for me! Hmmm..Silly question!!

I sent Seth next door to the Blakes to get some yeast (I didn't have any on hand...gotta add that to my year supply...) because Janelle always has that kind of stuff! While Seth was gone I went down to our cool, dark storeroom and got (here's where I was feeling very Molly) a #10 can of white wheat I had canned only a few weeks ago. That's right-this was the first time I have ever actually used wheat from our food storage (and I didn't even rotate, I used the new stuff!!) I have had buckets of the stuff for 8-9 years and this night...this most special night... I opened that can, ground that wheat, and created a little piece of mormon NIRVANA!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Today we went to the funeral of Bernice White. She was born in Minnesota back in 1911-yes, she was 97! She had no immediate family as she never married or had children and was an only child. She worked for John's grandma Babe at the General Palmer Hotel on Main Street in Durango for many years. She retired over 20 years ago but remained independant living in her own apartment until just a few months ago. She stayed active and walked downtown twice a day with her floppy blue hat.

In her obituary, the Gillelands were listed as her surviving relatives. Bernie spent every Christmas as long as John can remember with his family. Once she had her apartment in town, Jack or John would go get her on Christmas morning and bring her out to join the family. She always had presents for everyone (I was 'Melissa' for the first several years of our marriage! hehe) She would always bring a jello salad for lunch. She would stay for a few hours, then when she got tired, she would stand up and announce she was ready to go and we would drive her back to town.

I am grateful for the Gillelands and the kind people that they are. I am grateful that our Father in Heaven has created the family unit for us to live in. I come from a great family and have married into another great family. I hope that by following the Gospel Plan, we can create our own family unit where our kids can learn the lessons that will make them a success in life.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Fun Monday Fieldtrip

I got to go on a fun fieldtrip with Elise today! The weather was unbelievably great! All of the second graders went on a trip into Durango. I met them at the Bank of the San Juans where they toured the bank. I missed the part where they went to Durango Natural Foods and got homemade peanut butter on organic celery. We then got to go to the Zubberfizz factory to see how soda is made. Mmm. That would be a yummy line of work. We rode the bus to Santa Rita Park for lunch. Unfortunately they had just put weed killer and stinky fertilizer on every inch of grass, so we picniced in the wood chips before playing on the equipment for a while. After we burned off some of the pure cane sugar we'd ingested (Zubberfizz gave every child a soda), we got back on the bus and went to the Durango Arts Center. We got to see a musical production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was put on by 4th thru 8th graders. They did a good job and it was fun to watch!

The best part of the day was hanging out with Elise. She is a really special girl. Often she gets thrown in with whatever the boys are doing and she is always a really great sport about it. She is an exceptional sister and daughter. I am very grateful to be the Mom to such a sweet and caring person.

Great Weekend in Page

Our family made the trek over to Page on Friday morning. We were going for G&G Ross' Page Farewell. What a great weekend!

The weather cooperated with us perfectly! We got there at lunchtime on Friday and John took Gabe and Seth out to the desert for some two-wheeled fun. Gabe has been begging to go riding at 'The Moon' in Page for 2 years. He was excited to say the least. The Moon is a spot near Big Water with rolling hills made of funky shale sand. I guess there's lots of fossils there too. Judging from the pictures John took of the boys it's a good thing I didn't go as I would have had a heart attack. Gabe even rode John's 450 for a while-I can't even touch my feet when I sit on that bike! Yikes! Elise, Jackson, Jebb, Nicole, Rex and I had a wonderful outing to RD's! We ate oreo shakes and fries to our hearts content. We love RD's!

Saturday the forecast was nice temperatures with WIND! So Nic and I sent John off early with the kids, buy not until all of the kids earned their 'Page Attacks Trash' t-shirts by collecting garbage in town! They took the dirtbikes and the Martin's GoCart and headed to the moon. That was John with Gabe, Seth, Elise, Drake, Corbin, and Bo. Their report and the pictures look like they had another perfect off road day. The wind wasn't too bad for them. They got home in time for a pizza party at the Martins. By then, Brad, Keryn, Ezra, Mercy, Gideon, and G&GRoss had all arrived from Utah. The Martins went to Brie (Theo's sis)'s wedding and we headed home to shower and get ready for church on Sunday. The kids were pretty tired and went right to sleep at our Day's Inn room.

Sunday was a really great day for me on lots of levels! John and I had to go to church a little early so we could practice a musical number. That's right, I said John had to practice too! John, Nicole, Brad, and myself sang a super cool arrangement of "I Need Thee Every Hour." It was a 2 part harmony. John and Nic were on one part and I followed Brad on the other part. Later, my Dad said he was a little worried when he listened to us in practice, but He thought it sounded great at church! I agree! My husband is a great singer and it was SO fun to sing with him and Nic & Brad! It was really great to hear Mom and Dad speak in Pagel It was a way different feel than the meeting in SLC. Page is their home and Mom got really emotional when she talked about that. They did such a good job. I think it was a really pleasant meeting. I enjoyed it and I was so glad our kids got to see their grandparents talk about a mission again. I am also glad they saw John and I sing. Lunch afterwards at the Martins with all the cousins was great. We have some really cool relatives!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Seeing the Everyday

I want to post a link to information about a magazine my dear friend has started. It is called Seeing the Everyday and is a beautiful collection of stories from the lives of families and their daily interactions. As we all know-it truly is the little things each day that shape our lives and those of our families for better or worse!

Packing for Page

We are leaving in the morning to go to Page, AZ. This is where I tell people I am from although my family moved there just before my Junior year in high school. That was over 20 years ago and my parents stayed in Page until they retired to South Jordan, Ut about a year ago. Page is really their home.

My parents are going on a mission for the LDS church in May. They will go to the West Indies (in the Carribean). The bishop from their old ward asked them to come back to Page to speak in church this Sunday. Although the church no longer does formal farewell meetings for missionaries, they do ask people to speak in the usual Sacrament Meeting. My dad wants some of his kids to sing a musical number for the meeting too. I am excited to go to Page as this was their home for so long and they served in lots of capacities in the church and the community there. Nicole (my sis) lives in my parents old ward so of course she will be there, and my brother Brad is planning to travel there with his family. The two of them plus John and I will sing a cool arrangement of "I Need Thee Every Hour". I am a little nervous to sing... but it doesn't overshadow the excitement and pride I feel for my parents deciding to go on a mission!!

John is planning on bringing dirtbikes for him and the kiddos to go ride out in the desert on Fri and Sat; unfortunately, there is a lot of wind in the forecast which is a bummer in the sand! We'll see what we end up doing. John has been pretty busy with work, church, etc. John has a basketball game tonite (he is in a rec league out in Ignacio and it has been so great for him!). So hopefully we'll get off at a decent hour tomorrow! Wind or not- I am excited to see my family. It is really important for me to have my children know their extended family and even though it means a lot of driving, we try to create opportunities for that to happen.


It seems like the older I have gotten and the more responsibility I have, the more often my processing capacity has a bit of a lag time. By this I mean that I really struggle keeping up with all of my thoughts. Being a SAH mom gives me lots of time to ponder as I sort socks, load dishes, and vacuum floors. There are lots of things I'd like to get down as I have also noticed my memory is a bit of a jumble (I used to pride myself on keeping facts about each child separate, but once I hit 3 kids the memory-mesh began). I guess there is no better time than now to try to get some of the happenings of my life down. I have been a member of a blog shared by the Ross Family and it has been a source of lots of joy for me to see what my siblings are up to, but I am hesitant to post too often as it is something we all share and who wants to be a bloghog? So by having my own blog I can now post about all the things the BigGTribe is up to. Although I am unsure, I am going to give it a go!