Monday, February 22, 2010

How to be a Champion Without Going to the Olympics

When we first arrived in Park City, beautiful blond teenage daughter in tow, I'm sure the boys were impressed. She went on a few dates, but I don't think very many second dates, and while I'm sure they were nice boys, they are unimportant to this story, so we'll move on ...

That summer, we took a fun tubing trip down the chilly yet scenic Provo River. More entertaining than the green mountains towering on either side of us was the shameless flirting being done by none other than the previously mentioned teenage daughter. She even pulled out such classic moves as my-tube-tipped-over-and-now-I-need-to-be-saved. It was humorous to us adults, but effective at winning the attention of her target - Buck Bailey - also affectionately known in our house as Buckaroo, the Buckster, or Buuuuuu-ck.

Lucky for us, Buck was a great boy. He was a little shy, busy with other things in his life (leaving not too much time for girls), an awesome ski jumper, always kind to the little brothers, and had parents we adore who were (and still are) great examples to me of how to effectively parent boys with lots of energy without crushing their sweet spirits.

The whole Buck and Sara thing only lasted a few months, but we still liked that boy, and after a standard post break up period of awkwardness, they managed to stay friends. A few ward boundary changes later, we were even lucky enough to end up in a ward with his family. We always knew he was a great kid and would be a great missionary and now we have an awesome news story to prove it:

Friday, February 19, 2010

Now there is a Picture In My Heart too

We've been trying to make it to the Salt Lake Temple to do temple baptisms since Easton's birthday. There has not been ONE single time that someone was not at work or school or a church meeting and the temple was open. Who would have guessed that our scheduling dilemma would turn out to be a tender mercy?

We made it Thursday morning, minus the always too busy Sara. We shared some moments too sweet and tender for such a public forum, and then ...there was Thomas S. Monson, oh and Henry B. Eyring too, walking through the hall, stopping to walk over and talk to us and three other sweet boys and their dad. President Eyring is peeking around the corner, just grinning at us as we all stand, wide-eyed, I'm sure, listening to President Monson.

He told a story about some boys in Germany, who despite a broken water heater did baptisms for 45 names. When asked how they were feeling, they said "Oh, we didn't feel anything after about the 3rd name!.
Next, President Monson said he hoped that our bishops had talked to us about what we were doing today. He said we were "doing something for someone that cannot do it for themselves. That's what the Savior did." He told us we were doing a good thing and to go home and write in our journals about our experiences that day.

After he left, Nixon kept whispering to me "That was awesome! That was so cool Mom". Easton said "I can't stop smiling". Geoffrey and I wiped a few of those good tears away.

Oh, we made sure to write in our journals too. When a prophet tells you to do something, it's probably best to obey. The bar has been set pretty high for Easton's temple visits. Sorry buddy, you don't see the prophet every time, but you will always feel like you can't stop smiling.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

There is a Picture in My Head ...

that I don't want to forget. It is a moment from sacrament meeting, where cameras are frowned upon (although I do have to confess to snapping and emailing a few i-phone photos during the Primary Program to my dear friend who was away and missing her cute girls talks!).

Easton recently turned 12 and received the priesthood. One of the first duties of a new deacon is to pass the sacrament in church. Easton's first Sunday to do this was Feb. 7. Before the meeting, I saw Nixon, the older brother and deacon's quorum president leaning over to give last minute instructions to his brother. I watched my two boys share a hymn book and a precious moment.

Easton is a joker, a funny guy, a get-the-giggles-when-things-get-serious boy. I had a few butterflies in my stomach that everyone would be reverent! I never should have doubted. Easton was so serious about his responsibility. He walked carefully, carried his tray solemnly, and here came the boys back up to the table and there it was:

My two sons standing next to each other, wearing their Sunday suits, holding trays carefully in front of them, standing tall and looking straight ahead. Their hair has been carefully combed and their "gig" lines carefully aligned. Easton is in front of Nixon, only coming up to his shoulders (!?), and right behind them, sitting on the stand is my sweet husband, completely choked up and obviously feeling the tenderness of the moment as much as I was. All three of my boys doing their best to serve their Savior. This friends, is what is known as sweet tears.

Lucky for me, only one of us had to stand up right after this heart swelling moment at a microphone and try to conduct a meeting. That one of us was Geoffrey, and bless his heart, he did manage to *sort of* hold it together as he opened our fast and testimony meeting. There have been some hard years recently at the Barber house in a few areas, but this Sunday was such a visual reminder to me, that in the important areas, our blessings are overflowing.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What the World Needs More Of ...

... powder days for boys who get 4.0's in school.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Keeping an Eye on the Prize

I know it is good to focus on the end goal. The end goal in this case is shepherding my children along the path to adulthood and having them come out on the other side with a good relationship with their Savior, as kind people, and as responsible, accountable citizens of their communities. The goal is clear, but occasionally the path feels confusing and littered with obstacles.

Today's Crisis: Easton
Look at that face! Geoffrey would have you believe I have been wrapped around this little guy's finger since day 1. Possibly. But my eye is on the prize, and I try really hard to subscribe to this parenting technique.

We had a 10 minute discussion last night about PE and if he needed his winter clothes today. He was insistent that they had one more day of health class before they switched to snow sports. I said I wasn't sure, maybe he should pack his boots, gloves, beanie and snow pants just in case. I was not surprised to get a phone call at 10:45am that sounded like this:

"Mom? PE starts in 5 minutes and I need my snow clothes. Can you bring them?"

I am usually not a "bringer". My kids know this. We just talked about snow clothes last night. So I said "Sorry, this was your responsibility and you will have to suffer your consequences" I said it as sweetly as I could and I really did feel sorry for him. He wasn't upset, but I could tell he was bummed.

Then I felt sick to my stomach for the next 3 hours thinking about poor Easton either freezing during PE or sitting inside unable to participate in something really fun. I wondered if this not a great parenting idea at all. What if along with learning responsibility, my kids are learning that mom won't help me? There was a lot of thinking going on, some tears on my part, and a good friend to reassure me that I did the right thing.

Of course my first question after school was about PE. "I just picked some stuff out of the lost and found to wear. We went cross country skiing and it was awesome!" Turns out, this was only a crisis for one of us.

I'm not sure Easton learned any lessons today at all. But I am sure that I learned one in my hours of self-analysis. I learned that I need to be sure my kids hear the love part in the love and logic - that even though I'm sure I always say and they know I feel bad when they are having hard times - I need to verbalize EVERY time that I am willing to help them talk through what their possible solutions are - a crucial step of the process that I fear I often skip.

This motherhood thing can be a crazy journey sometimes - I feel lucky to be where I am and with these people!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Because it is Time ...

I've had lots of clever (to me) thoughts percolating in my brain for a new blog post, but never the time to sit down and do it. My poor mother-in-law has no desire to join Facebook and feels left out of the comings and goings of all of us who seem to have abandoned our blogs for facebook.

For the record, this is how I still feel about Facebook. It has been a great tool for reconnecting with past friends, but is not a place I spend a lot of time, and certainly not the keeper of our family's history, which was always the intent of having a blog!

So I recommit, to writing on occasion about:
*our happenings
*some of our random thoughts
*some of the life lessons we learn along the way
*some of the embarrassing moments that slip into our lives (Me: shoveling in a robe and pajamas this morning because I knew once I went inside the shower would be too tempting, AND slipping and falling, sprawled out in said bathrobe on our driveway)
*most importantly - about the way my heart swells like it will burst from all the love I have for these people:

What do you need to recommit to today?