Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kids Say the Darnedest Things

Josh is my baby. But you wouldn't be able to tell by looking at him. In the last year he has grown about eight inches. I have to look up to yell at him! He has always been a bit of a handful. His attention span is nearly nonexistent. He doesn't really like to sit in one place for very long. He loves to do what he can to get a rise out of his older brothers. He is the typical baby brother.

But on the other hand, he has the kindest, most tender, sweetest heart of any 15 year old I know. He cares about his family and friends very deeply. He is even kind and compassionate to strangers. He has one of those sparkling personalities that you just can't but help but love. When he was little, I used to tell him, jokingly, "It's a good thing you are so cute or I'd have to kill you!" Probably not the best thing to say to a child but I always said it with a smile and I know he knew I wasn't totally serious.

I occasionally get to be in the car with one of my boys and we can have a great talk. This has been one of the many blessings that has come from working our new business. Today I had the chance to ride in the car with Josh for about 45 minutes. He will just blurt out what is on his mind, right in the middle of his train of thought. It is so hilariously random sometimes! He had me almost crying with laughter.

We were following a truck with a Transformers sticker in the back window. Out of nowhere and all of a sudden, he burst out with, "If I were a Transformer, I think I would want to be a boat."

A little bit before that we were listening to my Zune on shuffle. I have a very eclectic taste in music. One minute we could be listening to Fall Out Boy, the next we could be listening to the Beach Boys. On this trip I told Josh he could have two "skips". That means he can skip a song he doesn't like and I can't stop him, even if it is a song I love. Michael Jackson's "Beat It" came on. We were almost home and he hadn't used a single skip yet. He was tempted to push the button. I stopped him, explaining that this song was cool because Eddie VanHalen played the guitar in that song. He looked at me very puzzled and asked, "Were they alive at the same time? Isn't Michael Jackson dead?" This from the boy who spent a whole month listening to nothing but Queen's greatest hits. I thought I had done such a great job musically educating him in Classic Rock. I guess I have more work to do.

All day today I had been in the car, rushing here and there. Busy, busy, busy. I got quite a bit accomplished on those trips but none of them were nearly as much fun or filled with laughter as the last trip with my baby. Our journey was a bust in a few ways. There was lots of "drive home" traffic. We got lost and even after we found the home we needed, we didn't even end up putting up the sign. But we had a great time on the journey. We talked and laughed and enjoyed that 45 minutes.

What lessons can we learn from that? Quit rushing through life! Spend some time with your loved ones. Have conversations with your kids. Or better yet, close your mouth and open your mind and ears when you are with your kids. You will get a better insight to their hearts and thoughts. They might be more willing to open their mouths and hearts to you if you learn how to listen. Find the joy in your journey.

Happy trails!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cabin Fever Breaker

It has been a pretty cold winter. Because of my "medical condition", I have a hard time in the cold. It just sucks the energy right out of me. So, I stay inside a lot. That can get really old by the middle of February! As far as I'm concerned, spring should start on January 1st. There is really no reason for cold weather after Christmas. (Well, except for the fact that we need the snow so we can have water to drink and for our yards.)

When I woke up on Saturday, the skies were mostly clear and the temperatures were above freezing. I had plenty of "chores" I could have done but I told Jim he needed to take me somewhere outside. We decided to take the FrontRunner downtown and go exploring. We got the boys ready, got bundled up and headed for the train station. The boys put in their headphones and and text-messaged the time away. Jim and I enjoyed each others company and conversation.

We got off at the main station in SLC. Then we hopped on Trax and rode over to Temple Square. For months I have wanted to see the model of the Salt Lake Temple that is in the South Visitor's Center. It was amazing! The boys enjoyed seeing the "inside" of the temple their parents were married in. We also went inside the Museum of Church History and Art. There is a new addition to the exhibit called Mi Vida, Mi Historia. It is an interactive exhibit for children. It was super cute and way fun to watch all the little kids exploring.

That didn't last long, though. The boys were hungry and finding a good place to eat became top priority. Jim and I decided that our new business should take our family out for a nice dinner once a month and Saturday would be our first "dinner meeting". We walked a couple blocks south to Market Street Grill. Just our luck! It was Crab Festival time! We enjoyed a nice long late lunch/dinner. We talked about what we wanted our business to do and what we were willing to put into our business. We taught the boys about putting their napkins on their laps and that there is a difference between a salad fork and a dinner fork. And with our bellies full, we walked over to the Gateway Mall to walk around. We looked to see if there was a movie we wanted to see but there wasn't. We did some window shopping but, as usual, we ended up at the Clark Planetarium, one of our favorite places.

It was starting to get dark so we hopped on Trax and rode back to the main FrontRunner station. I was tired, but the good kind of tired. We had seen some sunshine, walked in the fresh air and spent some quality time together. It was a great day! I am hoping as the days start getting longer, the temperatures will continue to climb. I know that it will still snow in the next few months. But I also know that we are just about to see the first daffodils poke up through the dirt. That gives me hope. I also know that, if I get desperate for warmth, St George and some wonderful family are only 5 hours away!

Monday, February 7, 2011

New Menu Monday: Taco Casserole

I forgot to post last weeks meal.  It was another Pampered Chef recipe that I found called BBQ Beef Bundles.  It is ground beef, bbq sauce, green onions and red bell pepper, all stuffed into biscuit dough and baked in a muffin pan.  Everyone liked those and they even ate the leftovers for after-school snacks!

Last week our freezer meal group got together to exchange meals.  Tonight we had Taco Casserole made by my friend Angie.  I don't have the recipe but it was yummy.  It was ground beef taco meat, tortillas and some kind of sauce (red enchilada sauce, I think) layered and covered with cheese.  I served it with sour cream, shredded lettuce and corn.  If I had been feeling better I would have made some beans and rice.

If I get the recipe I will post it in the comments... Enjoy!