Monday, May 19, 2014

super-human powers

Yesterday at church I saw a girl in a wheel chair who suffers physically and mentally, needs constant care, and bound to a wheel chair. She was having a particularly rough day and was visibly in pain. At one point her mom wasn't sure if she was having a seizure or not. It broke my heart. I was standing there helpless while my eyes welled up with tears. I blinked a few times to avoid actually crying. I get this way when I see people in pain whether they are old or handicapped or whatever. Some people wish they could have the super human power to eat whatever they want or fly, or something else. My super human power wish I had were to heal those who suffer with physical ailments and make their pain go away. My favorite thing about Christ is how he healed the sick, made the blind see and the deaf hear.
Last week we were at Del Taco and we saw a guy in a wheel chair that was non-verbal, couldn't walk,  only could drink from a sippy cup and other issues. Of course my kids walked in and stared. I pushed them along so they would not stare. They played, ate, and on our way out, I decided to talk to this guy in the wheel chair that was with caregivers. Even though I knew he couldn't talk, I asked him his name, introduced the kids to him. I gave him a coupon to Bahama Buck's and asked if he liked shaved ice, etc. I asked him how old he was and the caregiver said 35 to which I replied we were the same age. He seemed happy that we were talking to him and got excited that we were the same age. I was glad the kids could see me talk to him and not we "scared" or "nervous" to talk to someone with obvious disabilities. When the lady told me he was 35, I was shocked. Shocked that I take all my seemingly simple, physical tasks for granted like drinking from a cup, holding a cup, wiping my mouth if something is on it, and so on. My heart was saddened that he has endured 35 years of pain every day.  He is "stuck" in this poorly-conditioned physical body. These people are my heroes. I can't imagine enduring so much pain and suffering for so long. It makes me so happy that they will receive full body renewal and enjoy the blessing of the celestial kingdom. They truly deserve it after all they've endured on this earth!

hard choices

I remember thinking soon after I got married that I wouldn't really have any more hard choices to make. I had already made the choice to stay virtuous, get married in the temple, get my degree, follow the word of wisdom, etc. It wouldn't be a hard choice where we would move to, if we should have kids, or pay our tithing or anything. Little things weren't temptations. Recently I was tempted and it caused me to seriously think about what to do. Here's the situation. We own a business that is closed on Sunday. That was a easy decision to make before we were open because we weren't making any money. Now that we're making money, the temptation to stay open on Sunday was something I was reconsidering. Most of our customer complaints are that we are closed on Sundays. I could argue  that there are other mormon run businesses open on Sundays. I could argue that Jeff and I personally wouldn't work on Sunday or force any employees to work on Sunday that didn't want to, thus keeping the Sabbath day holy. I could also argue that people have to make their own choices. Am I responsible for someone who decides they'll break the Sabbath and go out for a treat on Sunday? No. I  don't think so. I was feeling guilty about what others would think of me: family, friends, church people, and God. It was a hard choice. Jeff and I estimated that we could pocket an extra $75K a year just being open on Sunday. I don't know about you, but that is a temptation for me. It's not like we would be buying fancy cars or a bigger home with that money. We are paying off our loan with what we make as we continue to live off Jeff's Pfizer income. So we fasted and prayed about it. I didn't get any vision or verbal answer. I don't think I would've felt guilty about staying open on Sunday either.  I wouldn't judge anyone who decided to keep their doors open on Sunday, but we decided to keep our doors closed on Sundays. The next day, on a Monday morning, I feel I received an answer. While I was at the store folding some towels, I got an idea. I call it a compromise from God. The idea I had is that we open earlier and close later.  We will be open 9 hours longer throughout the week to make up for the closed hours on Sunday. We won't keep these hours during the winter, but for our busy season. Granted we still won't make as much money as we would on Sunday, but I feel really good about it and know we will be blessed for doing what we think is best for us. I'm thankful for hard decisions. I'm thankful that it brings me to my knees in prayer and communication with my Heavenly Father. I'm thankful that the answers we get our not what we expect. I didn't consider to stay open earlier and later until after I prayed and fasted. I'm thankful for Heavenly's Father's logic, love for us, and that I can rely on Him for everything.

some stats

Okay so I'm officially done having kids. I'm not really sad about it like you might think. I know I will miss having a newborn and holding a little one in my arms, but I can't have babies forever. I know I'll cherish the innocence of babies, toddlers, and sweet young people. I also look forward to diaper-less days, no car seats, going on a date with no babysitter, vacationing and doing activities with the entire family, not just half because some aren't tall enough, or can't stay up without a nap, etc.
With the thought of moving forward, I've reflected on the past 9 years and these are some stats from bearing children and having babies.
1. In 8 years I was pregnant 40 months. Of those 40 months I was seriously sick 12 months (1 year).
2. Over the course of 8 years, with the 4 pregnancies, I gained a total of 190 lbs. Thankfully with hard work I lost 200 lbs in 8 years.
3. I have breast fed 41 months (3 years 5 months) over a 8 year span. I've been from a size B bra to who knows how large, I wasn't about to spend money on a double D bra or larger. How depressing! I wish I could tell you how many cups/gallons of milk I produced.
4. Being awaken in the night is a minimum of 4 years total over the course of 8 years.
5. Diapers? who knows.
6. We moved 3 times in 3 different states.
7. I was pregnant and gave birth during an Alaskan winter, need I say more?
Was it worth it...Definitely! Like the Grinch, my heart's capacity grew 4 times the normal amount. I love the 4 individuals I gave life to more than I can write in words. I'm tremendously grateful for these gifts and blessings my Heavenly Father has granted Jeff and I.
I will look forward to holding grand babies in my future and cherish the memories I have of holding, consoling, and loving my own little ones.

Bahama Buck's party

A Bahama Buck's update: we had an 'avalanche crew' party last night. They wanted a party before the craziness of summer begins. A few employees planned the whole thing with a pot luck and some games. Most everybody came, a lot not in this picture. We were trying to make a human pyramid here. We also played the human knot game, flavor knockout, and Mafia. It was a lot of fun. It seem like everyone else had fun too. I feel like we're all cousins hanging out, like extended family. We've fired 2 people since we opened and recently hired 6. Our employees are fun, smart, and i genuinely like them all. I think we have a great group if you can't tell. This last Saturday we broke a Arizona and our own record. We sold over $6,000 in one day. That was awesome. Now that we have our feet under us, we're able to make some improvements. We broke up with one of our vendors that was pretty much bringing our supplies to us. Now we have our managers go to 3 stores to get everything we need. This saves us lots of $. We started holding our flavors in 5 and 6 gallon containers to save us time during those busy times on the weekend. We bought 2 tablets to run in the drive thru and one in the store. The one in the drive-thru has cut waiting time substantially. We hired a cleaning co. to clean the floors, bathrooms, take out trash, clean drainers and this actually saves us money too. Now that the shop is in order I, personally, plan to focus more time on selling our products to school for fundraising. Of course school is just finishing up here this week. I hope to sell our pre-made 'snow blast' to school to sell at their football games or lunch or whatever. Our first school purchased 500 for the last day of school. I'm curious to see how it works out for them.
 Here is our GM that moved from Texas. She is awesome and just as of recently, Macie let her hold her. That is huge for Macie. She doesn't like anyone holding her besides me or Jeff. She has saved our lives with her expertise. She eats dinner with us every Sunday. Everyone else loves her too and we're just so glad that she alleviates most of the stress that we previously had.

Mother's Day

I woke up to a Mother's Day breakfast in bed from Jordyn and Sydney. The cool thing is that they did this completely on their own, even the idea itself. They made me cereal, a glass of milk, granola bar, 2 pieces of toast, and an orange.  Jeff went above and beyond and got me a 1 hour massage, cleaned the entire house, took care of all the kids needs, let me take a nap after church, and cooked dinner, like a REAL, legitimate dinner. He made homemade chicken fetticine alfredo with broccoli and a spinach salad. He also fixed our BBQ so now he can cook more:) Thanks babe! These are the really dark pictures we took after 8am church. 

 Home made gifts are the best. The middle picture Jordyn drew is of me. She also said she would rub my feet and I held her to it.
 Sydney made me a candle, a ceramic butterfly, and magnets with her picture.
 Levi wrote about me. According to Levi I am 14 years old, the best thing I cook is pancakes with frosting (?), and I'm really good at playing soccer (?).

The best thing about my kids is that they put up with me and love me unconditionally, at least for time being.

random stuff

1. Necklace I suggested Jeff buy me for Mother's day.
2.  Jordyn's Kindergarten muscial. It was about insects and arachnids. Tallest girls stand on back row. I never stood on the back row. Not sure where she gets her height.
 3. slip-n-slides. This bought us 3 hours of non-stop play time, and surprisingly no fighting, the first day. I love that it's big enough for all 3 to slide on at the same time. Jeff hit a home run with this item.
 4. Levi just looking so handsome before school.
 4. Macie wearing a hair clip that she didn't rip off right away. I snuck it on her head without her knowing. Macie has a fetish with toothbrushes, Q-tips, and pencils. Can you pick out the the common denominator with the 3 objects? Long, skinny items. It always frightens us that she going to fall with it in her mouth. We take it from her and a fit ensues. But she is a cute, little, juicy, Gerber baby. I always get asked, "where does she get her blonde hair from?," "were your other kids blonde?," and comments how cute her eyes and cheeks are. The back of her hair is curly. She signs: ball, dog, airplane, Jesus, more, and bird. I'm currently teaching her 'please'.  She LOVES when I show her the picture of Jesus and the temple in our house. She smiles and giggles. Her favorite book is "Little Blue Truck."