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Archive for January, 2009

A perfect adventure

2008-may-june-1001The day was cool and misty. After church we piled our kids in the van, passed out snacks and began the adventure. Eyes glued to the map, I directed my husband to obscure spots where we would stop and learn about the significance of that patch of ground. The rain began to fall softly as we looked at the amazing dam. I held my breath as we drove around on narrow and windy roads to discover the home of Aaron Copeland. We paused to consider how it must have felt to watch French troops cross the Hudson river to aid General Washington during the Revolutionary War. We stopped for a moment and stared at an old house that had lodged soldiers and generals trying to create military strategy. Our journey transported us hundreds of years back to a time when our country was changing in dramatic ways. Our final stop was at an old, peaceful cemetary with a tiny red church. As my children wandered around looking at the gravestones, we talked about the sacrifices of the founding fathers, founding mothers and their children as they braved the enormous challenge of forging a nation. We sat on the steps of the tiny red church and pondered how George Washington prayed there, seeking for heavenly guidance as he sought to prevail against better trained and equipped forces.  I felt humbled to stand in that quiet cemetary.

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“Suffer me that I may speak; and after that I have spoken, mock on.”

Job 21:3

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Traveling

I thought the comments to my previous post were so interesting. It’s hard for me to understand how others don’t want to travel, but I guess we can’t all have the traveling bug! I find the traveling bug to both a blessing and a curse. I love traveling, but I really dislike the restless feeling I get when I haven’t explored a new place in a while. That’s hard to live with. I can see that I should write a post about traveling on a budget. I’m a firm believer that you can have really magnificent adventures just about anywhere you live if you explore your area. I think the only exception to that may be Lovell, Wyoming. If your idea of grand adventure involves only the Resevoir, I guess then you too can have grand adventures in Lovell.  But otherwise, I think you’re doomed. Only fellow Codyites will understand that comment!

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The Traveling Bug

It’s no secret that I have a passion for traveling. I love the thrill of exploring a new place, eating new food, smelling new smells, hearing new sounds and seeing new sights. When I travel I feel rejuvenated and energized. My list of places I would like to visit expands daily. I doubt I’ll ever actually be able to see everything I hope to see. But it is fun to have dreams.

Here are some places I long to visit:

Washington D.C. (I hope to make it there this summer.)

Prince Edward Island (I wonder if the island is as beautiful as L.M. Montgomery makes it out to be.)

Greece (I’ve longed to visit Greece since I was a child. I even studied Greek in college, although I didn’t do as well as I hoped. I would like to take an extended trip over the course of a month or two and really soak up the history, language, culture, food and sun. Of course, now I’m a bit too sensitive to the sun. But I can wear a big shady hat and enjoy the warmth!)

Italy (Who wouldn’t want to visit Italy? Gelato anyone?)

Egypt (The siren call of the pyramids draws me in. Someday, I’ll ride a camel, walk in the Valley of the Kings and see the pyramids. I might even brave the souk!)

Ireland (I have a lot of Irish ancestry. I would love to do a family history research trip. But I also want to do sightseeing to the Emerald Isle!)

Alaska (I would love to go with my husband to enjoy the beautiful and majestic scenery.)

50 state tour (I think it would be an amazing trip to see the entire country–although it might be difficult to squeeze in Alaska and Hawaii. Our country is really very magnificent and large and varied.)

That’s just a very short list, compared to the long one which fills my head.

What are places you would like to visit? Do you enjoy traveling or is it painful?

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I can’t think of anything to post about. I’ve spent the entire day doing the busy work that a person must do to run a household: budgeting, laundry, balancing the checkbook, etc.

My friend sent me an email asking if I was alive. I think I’m alive, just suffering from a patch of laziness and good old fashioned ennui.

Okay, since it is winter and cold (at least in New York) where would you be if you could be anywhere in the world?

A tropical island sounds pretty good to me.

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Today we had ward conference. It really was wonderful and uplifting.  There was a really comical moment that played out in my head (but not in reality) during the ward council meeting with the Stake Presidency. One of the counselors asked us to think back to the time we were called to our current positions. He asked us about our feelings at that moment. Being of an occasionally obedient mindset, I cast my thoughts back to last year as I was called to serve in the Primary Presidency. This was my second time serving in a presidency and my feelings were rather akin to that of a woman who discovers that she is pregnant for the second time. Excitement is tempered by knowledgable fear that is more terrifying than fear of the unknown. And knowing how hard it really is makes you wonder if the reward is worth it. Flashbacks of previous events plague your thoughts as you contemplate the future. And because I am feeling positive right now, I will admit that those flashbacks are tempered by memories of sweet moments treasured.

And since I couldn’t share my insights with the group, I’ll have to cast it out to the world wide web.

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Weakness

One of my biggest parenting weaknesses (alongside procrastination, lack of consistency and little patience) is that I often expect results immediately. I keep forgetting that it takes years of reminding, gentle correcting and constant teaching to have a child fully grasp the concept and apply it. But I also seem to forget how rewarding it is when the children actually get it after all those moments of working with them.

Yesterday we had one of those moments. Last year, I realized we had developed some very sloppy prayer habits. This is not the kids’ fault but rather lies at the feet of Brent and I. When we realized what was happening during family prayer, we determined to change it. We demonstrated, reminded, sometimes even scolded our kids about behaving during prayer and kneeling quietly and listening. I wondered if we would ever have a reverent family prayer. It was hard. Last night as we all knelt down for family prayer, I realize that we’ve really made progress. All the kids knelt on the ground without arguments or fuss, listened quietly during the prayer, and behaved. It was beautiful. And the best part of it was that we didn’t even need to struggle along with little Brooke because she’s been watching our example all along and kneeling reverently since we started working on it. I guess there is something to be said for forming good habits right away as opposed to replacing bad habits with good habits.

Now on to conquer some more bad habits!

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