Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Room for Improvement

Tonight for mutual, a few speakers talked to the girls about knowledge. Among them were a doctor, a banker, and a farmer. As the farmer (who also happens to be a member of our stake presidency) spoke, he said something that really touched me.

He asked the girls these questions.

"Why has the prophet stated that a woman's primary role should be that of mother and nurturer?"

"Who on this earth is most like the Savior? Who loves unconditionally? Who serves willingly without the need for recognition?"

His answer to these questions was a mother. An interesting thought.

As I heard this, I didn't think, "Hmmm...yep, that's me alright."

On the contrary, I thought, "Oh, how I want that to be me!"

I thought of my own dear mom. I love her dearly. She did love us unconditionally, and her life was spent in service. All she did was for the good of our family. As a mom now, I know many of the things she did went unnoticed by many or possibly all.

As I think of all those I have known in my life, and who I would consider to be the most Christ-like, I realize that indeed my mom would be at the top of this list.

What a responsibility, and what an opportunity we have as mothers. I hope to become more Christ-like. I hope my family will know one day how much I love them all, and why I do all I do.

And I have a lot of improving to do!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Good Day

An amazing thing happened today. I asked the kids to behave themselves AND....... they actually did!

Our neighbors invited us over for breakfast, and before leaving I asked the kids to please behave and be polite AND be non-destructive. And you know what? They actually did it. They were very well-behaved....for the entire time! Who would've thought?!

Tonight Syd and I played our violins together at a community concert. I was SO proud of her as I watched her play. She is such an amazing little girl. Tonight when I tucked her into bed, I told her how proud I was of her, and how much everybody loved watching her play. Her little eyes sparkled, and the corners of her mouth turned up ever so slightly as she tried not to show how extremely pleased she was at the compliment.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I have the greatest job ever. It's not is not perfect. But there is indescribable joy that makes everything worth it!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Anything you can do, I can do

This story began several years ago....almost 15 years ago to be exact. Brek and I were newly married and living in Canada. Brek's parents owned a lodge in Mountain View, Alberta, which we ran for them. It was a great summer job/extended honeymoon.

Every weekend or so, Brek's parents would come down to the lodge. It was fun to spend time with them and get to know them better. Aside from the great things I still love about them (their kindness, their unselfishness, their acceptance), I also learned this...

Janice does not like it when you throw food away. Even if you think it's no good....don't touch it!

One day, as we were getting ready to leave, Janice came out of the lodge demanding to know who had thrown out the muffins that had been in the freezer. The look on her face told me that she was not happy, and I immediately decided that confessing would not be in my best interest. In all actuality, Brek and I had both thrown the muffins out, deciding that they had a bad case of freezer burn. Oops!

Now for Kent. I learned that aside from his wife and kids, Kent's greatest love was a shiny hunk of metal, otherwise known as a motorcycle.

Kent's motorcycle, an FJ1100 (bullet bike) resided at the lodge. Sometimes Brek would take me for rides, wanting to show off his manliness. Actually, I think he just wanted me to ride behind him so I would wrap my arms around his waist. Very romantic, you know.

Secretly, I wished I could drive the motorcycle. I've never been much of a sit back and watch kind of gal. But secretly, I was a little afraid. However, this all changed one day. Kent had sent his bike to a nearby motorcycle friend for a tune-up. When they were finished, they brought it back. Or, should I say, his wife brought the bike back! As I saw that woman pull up on Kent's bike, I decided if she could ride it, then so could I!

That was my first mistake.

I told Brek I wanted to drive the motorbike, and he hesitantly agreed to teach me. We climbed on the bike, and he gave me the quick How to Drive a Motorbike lesson. Soon we were on our way. I was a bit shaky, but once we got onto the main road, I began to feel a little more confident.

That confidence, however, was short-lived. Soon we encountered road construction, and I panicked. I decided I'd better pull off the road until I could figure out exactly where to go. One thing I was completely unaware of was how much that darn motorcycle weighed!! As I pulled off the side of the road and stopped, the bike's weight set in, and the bike tipped over. I tried to stop it, but all I managed to do was twist the throttle. When the bike landed, the tire was spinning furiously, spitting rocks everywhere. Brek sprang to action, "throwing" me from the bike, and saving the day.

We quickly drove home (me on the back this time.) Once we were back at the lodge, we did a thorough examination of the bike. Everything looked A-OK, except for a small silver plate with the word YAMAHA written on it. It was quite scratched. Big deal, right? WRONG! As I said before, this was Kent's baby.

That weekend when Kent and Jan came down to visit, Brek and I talked about what to do. We decided that we would confess. Just as we were going to find Kent, we heard,


We both froze, recognizing his dad's angry voice. Brek went to face his dad, and found out it had nothing to do with the motorbike. However, we decided from that point on, that we would tell no one of our little adventure! I was not one to keep secrets, but I was also not ready to be disowned from the family after a mere two months of marriage!

Finally, two years later, when we learned Kent had sold his bike, we confessed. Kent laughed and laughed, amazed that little ol' me would even contemplate riding that big, heavy bike. He said he had blamed Brek's brother all these years.

Last week, Kent pulled up on a little scooter he had purchased in Utah for basically nothing. It's a little more than a powered bicycle, but not much. Great for saving on gas money. Anyway, Kent pulled up with a little grin, looked at me and said, "Why don't you take it for a spin!"

Ha-ha. Very funny Kent. I happen to be a pro at driving scooters....I think.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Simple Delight

Last Friday, Maddy came home from school, eyes aglow with excitement. She handed me a piece of paper.

It was a note from her teacher asking me if I would like to come into class on Monday and help make Easter baskets.

Maddy watched me as I read. When she saw I was finished, before I could say a word, she said, "Can you come mom?!" Then she paused. "Oh, wait....that's when Luke and Ben take naps. You probably can't come, huh."

I told her not to worry about their naps, and that I would love to come! A huge smile broke out across her face and her eyes twinkled. She was so excited!

Monday came, and Luke and I headed to the school. (Ben did indeed stay home to nap thanks to the help of my best ever neighbor Lisa.) We arrived at the classroom and I looked around for Madelyn. I soon spotter her....she was the one with a huge grin, waving at me.

The Easter baskets we made were milk cartons covered with cotton balls. Add ears, eyes, whiskers, and a nose and you have got your very own little bunny with a special hole for storing candy. I helped other kids in the class, but was mostly able to be with Madelyn. We worked together as a team. I put a dab of glue on the cotton ball and she stuck it to the milk carton. Several times she commented at how lucky she was to have her mom there, because she was going to get done twice as fast!

As we sat and worked together, Maddy said, "This is the best day of my life."

What a lucky mom I am to get to catch a glimpse of those every-day priceless moments. I am so glad I got to be a part of Madelyn's best day!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

March Recap

Have you heard of March Madness? Well, we here at the Pilling home had our own March madness.

Here is a recap of the highlights.

Scott, Josh, Syd, and Maddy played in festival and all did a great job. Each earned a superior, which is what they hoped for. Way to go kids! Some people say, "Oh, you have such talented kids." But I would have to give credit to all the very hard work in the early morning hours!

Scott finished his first year of Jr. High basketball. His team only had one loss, and won every other game by a substantial margin! They also came away with the championship. I ran home during halftime of their last game to grab my camera, determined to take some pictures. I took pictures galore, but don't ask me what happened to them!! Arghhh.

Both Syd and Josh had birthdays. Syd's birthday was previously documented, but I missed Josh's on account of spring break. Josh is the lucky kid whose birthday always falls during spring break. So for his birthday, we went skiing and partied with cousins all night long!

Josh turned 11. What an amazing kid Josh is. I love Josh's happy nature. He is always making people laugh. He is so kind-hearted.

Josh shared this story with me a few days ago. It exemplifies Josh. A kid at school was being teased at lunch because he wasn't "cool". One kid offered to pay Josh if he would make some rude comment about this kid's hair. Josh said no. The kid found somebody else who would carry out his little plan, and the rude comment was thrown in the "uncool" kid's face. Josh told everybody to knock it off, then told the "uncool" kid not to worry about it, because his hair was really cool and he (Josh) really liked it.

(Like Josh is a good judge of hair! Have you seen his hair lately?!) Anyway, he is always watching out for the down-trodden. It makes me proud of him. More proud of him than anything else he does.

He is one amazing basketball playing, piano playing, crazy skiing, love to read kid.

Here are a few pics of his parties (one in Utah and one at home).

Notice the red face and red eyes. Josh had goggles, but forgot to wear them half the day, and he paid the price! And remind me not to trust Josh next time he tells me he already sunblocked his face!

Birthday breakfast at home.

Josh pretty much picked out his own presents. He hit the jackpot at Plato's closet. You gotta love getting clothes for cheap!

Spring break was a much needed break! We went to Utah with several of Brek's siblings and their families. We went skiing twice and enjoyed some great spring skiing. The snow was average, but the weather was fantastic!! Beautiful and sunny. Nobody skiied with a coat on. The kids had a great time skiing with their cousins and aunts and uncles.

The trip also included such fun events as Jump on It and ice skating. And of course, what Utah trip would be complete without a little bit of shopping. On the list were IKEA, Plato's Closet (a favorite of my boys), and Sports Authority. One evening all the adults enjoyed a delicious dinner at Thaifoons...another fave.

Warning: Lots of pics coming up. Sorry...I can't help myself.

The kids loved playing outside in the beautiful weather!

Queen Kelly (as Kent called her) decided to enjoy one last moment in the sun before we all headed back to the cold. A lawn chair and diet coke in the driveway....doesn't get better then that, huh Kelly?

We brought a few girls with us to help watch the kids. Lacy, Kasiah, and Delta. We love these girls and would gladly adopt them into our families!

Lacy and Delta
Syd and Kasiah
Maddy rockin' out!
Madelyn brought along her art supplies and went around beautifying it the Maddy touch.

My kids love to go ice skating, so when we are in Utah and get the chance, we go. They had a great time. Some of the pictures are blurry, but I had to add them anyway. Great memories!

This would be me informing the boys that they are the only ones enjoying their little game of sneaking up behind people and scaring them...generally resulting in someone falling to the ground.

We stayed at a house in Draper, not too far from my old home. It was quite nostalgic. We had a great view of the GORGEOUS Draper temple!

We came home refreshed and my dream world, anyway. A vacation with all the kids, their cousins, lots of ski stuff, and no sleep. What am I saying??! We came home completely EXHAUSTED!!

Add to all of this a couple more basketball tournaments and all the usual running around, and that makes for one crazy month!