Wednesday, August 29, 2012

For the Love of Addie

Here are eight things I'm loving about my five month-old granddaughter, Addie:

1. Her wide-open, gummy (except for two adorable bottom "toofers") smiles that come one right after the other.

2. Her bright eyes that are constantly taking in EVERYTHING around her. We laughingly and constantly say that she is "verrry advanced" and oh, so smart!

3. Her swoop of red hair that her mommy clips up girl-style with grosgrain ribbon clips.

4. Her soft little body in my kitchen sink, constantly in motion as I bathe her. She is learning to feel comfortable in her skin and seems fascinated and thrilled with the things she's learning to make it do.

5. Her intent focus on my eyes as she jibber-jabbers what I'm sure is very important stuff. Her changing facial expressions make us think she knows exactly what she's saying.

6. Her sweet little face, complete with respectable double chin, extra-long eyelashes, and red eyebrows ... perfect in every way.

7. The way she gets completely and utterly still when I hold her and whisper long secrets into her little ears.

8. Her chubby bare feet, always pushing, kicking, lifting to her hands, and sometimes even crossing at the ankles in ladylike fashion. (see photo above)

Monday, August 27, 2012

I Know the Scriptures are True

Our family is engaged in a full-court-press to finish reading the Book of Mormon together by our upcoming Stake Conference on September 23. We will have had six months to complete this challenge issued by our stake presidency, and we are really pushing to get 'er done, to wit, ten chapters out loud tonight.

We "lived" the first chapters of Third Nephi, collectively recoiling as we read about the evil Gadianton robbers going to battle (in blood-dyed lamb-skin about their loins, shorn heads etc.), and rejoicing as the righteous Nephites and Lamanites banded together to defend themselves, victorious because they turned to the Lord for the ultimate protection. The account of the earth's convulsions at the time of the crucufixion of Jesus Christ was particularly vivid tonight and led to a little discussion with a couple of personal "lightbulb" moments.

We pounded out our chapters with each of us reading five verses at a time. Our oldest daughter is home with her little Sweet Pea for a day, and her grown-up, educated insights made me sit up and listen. Our fourteen year-old earned a gold star for simply staying awake on the heels of last week's soccer tryouts.

We each have our preferred form of scripture, as is evidenced above: two ipads, the Book of Mormon for Latter-day Families (complete with pictures and definitions), and my old-school, hammered, marked-up, large-type, rained on, beloved copy. Whatever our individual copies of the Book of Mormon look like, we as a family testify of the following:

"I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity—the pure love of Christ—will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness." (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1980, p. 67)

We most definitely feel the promised influence of this great book when we make the time to read from its pages. After a summer of hit-and-miss scripture study, we are down to 100 pages with one month to go ... we can do it!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Do This More Often

Last night I did something really crazy: I invited a few of my favorite friends for dinner. My husband was overnighting it with the Scouts, tomatoes and basil were "on", and we girls had things piling up that needed to be talked about. Miracle of miracles, schedules cleared and at 7:00 we sat down at my dining room table, looked at each other increduously, and I, for one, started giggling inside.

As we passed bowls of salad and spaghetti Pomodoro, and ice-cold Izzes, we started catching up on a blossoming cupcake business, back-to-school supply deals, high school soccer try-outs, family vacations, and youth symphony. Dipping our garlic Pugliese led to dipping into deeper topics: family challenges, teenagers, where we each would like to be in a few years' time, and dream jobs. We soon side-stepped the deeper topics to share some of our most embarrassing moments EVER. This had me confessing aloud, hands pressed to my cheeks, while my friends roared.

After Natalie's homemade blueberry compote over vanilla ice cream, we watched the pre-recorded Brian Williams' Rock Center special on Mormonism. Having brilliant friends is really great, thought I, as we hashed through our likes and dislikes of the show.

Things I learned last night: women appreciate a pretty table and real napkins, girl talk is so necessary, Julie still makes the best salad around, women need to get together more often, and nothing is more cleansing than laughing really, really hard. Most importantly: with the unexpected twists and turns that life inevitably takes, having caring friends who believe in one another and champion one another is one of life's richest blessings.

Next time, your house???!