Thursday, September 23, 2010

Morgan Turns 9

If you've been in Carroll County lately, you have undoubtedly heard the countdown. First, it was counting down full moons till September. Then it was counting down weeks till September 21st, and then it was counting down "sleeps" till Morgan's birthday,....and of course he has to do it repeatedly and at the top of his excited little lungs!

Yesterday was the day. He wanted a birthday party, but all his friends were in school, so we made a deal. On this birthday, we had a family celebration with cake, candles and presents. My kids had dirt and worms...

Today was cub scout day, and Wanda let ME plan out the activities. So I planned a day of Morgan Favorites. We picked up some cupcakes for snacks. Look at cute!

While the boys were eating cupcakes, Wanda passed out sheets of paper that had a secret coded message on them. She talked about ways to communicate and then they tried to figure out the code. When they finished, they could make up their own. Next was a magic show. Imagine me with my stage face on. (Wanda took pictures of that, so I don't have any pics to show yet.) I performed the famous magic wands with tassels (the one where you pull one tassel down and the tassel on the other side appears to be attached, so you in effect are pulling a tassel from a separate magic wand.) I also had a box, dropped a puffball into it, closed the box and the ball vanished. But when the boys said the magic words (please and thank you), the puffball magically reappeared inside. Then I read their minds. They chose a picture on a cube, put the cube inside my little box, and I guess (correctly, I might add) the image on the top of the cube. It took me a minute to be able to hear their thoughts,...lots of noise going on in their heads! I also had a magic red foam ball that I tucked into my hand, blew on it, had the boys say the magic words (please and thank you) and when I opened my hand, there were 2 balls there. So after the show, I showed my secrets and the boys each performed the tricks to each other ----even Jared who refuses to believe he has to wait till he's 8 to be a cub scout.

After magic, I pulled out spongebob silly bands and let the boys choose some. Morgan GAVE presents instead of expecting any. Next, Manti and Mesa taught them how to play some "indian games" outside. The boys found out they were harder than they expected,..which was GREAT! And lastly, one of the boys had brought a bug cage with a caterpillar in it. The kids had planted some things outside the school where we meet, so Wanda walked them out to the butterfly bush and they released the caterpillar there.

Lots of achievements for all the boys, lots of smiles, lots of fun, and Morgan was most thrilled.

All in all, turning 9 wasn't too painful for me, but that doesn't mean I'm looking forward to 10!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Jessica's Baptism

Manti may not be on a formal traditional mission, but he DOES act like one in a lot of ways. The following account will depict a very non-traditional mission story:

Manti used to work with some girl named Nikky. Nikky has a friend that has a daughter, and the two had moved from Alabama to Georgia and were staying with her while their house was being readied for them to move into. The daughter (Jessica) knew no one and her mom and Nikky both wanted to help her find some friends that were good influences. Nikky told Stephanie (the mom) about Manti, saying he was the straightest lace she ever met. So Nikky calls Manti and tells him about this family and says the daughter is shy, so would he mind texting her on the cell phone to break the ice and then meet and see if they can be friends.

Do you know Manti?

So the two started talking through text messages (thank goodness for unlimited texting!) and trying to figure out who the person on the other side of the line really was. The next day, Manti wanted to find some rocks to work with, and thought he would walk down the road and see what was laying along the sides. As he walked, he was also texting.... and a car drove by, slowed down, pulled over, and a woman jumped out. Next thing you know, Manti has met Jessica via Nikky and Manti has invited Jessica to go to a scout dinner with our family as well as a YSA family home evening. She said yes,... and its been a whirlwind ever since!

Short story shortened more, Jessica and Manti are "in love" and dating. It seemed to me that everything the two did together was church related! I don't know how that happened, but it did. There was one other scout meeting she went to with him, and she went on a "test hike" with me and Manti and Mesa, but other than that, every activity HAS been a church activity.

One night, at a FHE for the young singles, Jessica asked Manti what the Holy Spirit felt like. Manti lit up and ran to get the missionaries. He told her to ask them. She did, and the first discussion commenced. She committed to baptism that night. Since then, she has attended every single family home evening at our house, and the missionaries have been to most of them too. I assign her jobs for the meeting each time too, and the one time I didn't assign her anything, she was disappointed! She sits next to me in Relief Society on Sundays, and she's talked her boss into letting her have Sundays off. She asked me to be her teacher and show her how to do things... like cooking, beading, native stories and other things pertaining to our culture. She eats whatever cook, even if she doesn't want to, and she helps me clean up after dinner without fail. She takes the scraps out to the dog for me, even. She helps me with the boys when they get unruly and has opened up and told deep dark secrets she really never had to.

So the baptism was scheduled for Saturday, September 18th. Manti baptized her, and one of the missionaries confirmed her the next day. Her mother couldn't be there, so I helped her with getting baptismal clothes and getting changed and ready to rejoin the baptism meeting, and I took a few pictures too. I just unloaded my camera and thought I'd share this with you.



I have to admit, I was all smiles seeing these 2 kids do something so special, but then reality hit me that this is my baby who is baptizing this girl, and I had to cry a little.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Angry? Hurt? Appalled? Shocked?

Not sure what label to put on my feelings, but I did at least wait a few days to write about it so I cool down and write politely.

Last Tuesday, we held a taste-testing for a lot of our drinks and liquid supplements at the shop. It was a good day. Linda and I worked together and it went slow at first, so that let us enjoy talking and moving at a turtles pace. It was good too, because my ears were bothering me a lot that day (and that's a whole other saga of misery that resulted in my diagnosis of 2 ear infections at the same time! I'm still deaf by the way.) so I didn't have to let everybody see me pouring stuff into my ears all day.

At the end of the day, Linda and Herb were going to go out to eat with Linda's family at an assisted living place one of her sisters lives in. So I told her to go on and I would close the shop. No problem, right? ...ordinarily no. But on this particular day, a man and his family came in at 5:25pm. (We close at 5:30, mind you.) The man asks me what is good for kids who can't focus and pay attention at school. So I showed him. He asked me if that same stuff would make the kid stop telling people he was going to kill them with a gun. I told him nothing forces people to say or not say things, but it would help with focusing. Then he starts telling me how "bad" his 6 year old son is and that the reason for it is that he's jealous of his 4 year old sister (who is extremely smart according to dad). He tells me this kid has threatened his life and his brother's life and says how much he hates little sister. He tells me that he DOES own a gun and the kid knows it. I said I hope you keep it locked up! He said of course he does. He goes on and on telling me how he refuses to go BACK to jail for this kid and that if he doesn't change right away, then all he has to do is take his birth certificate and a change of clothes in to "the system" and he'll be THEIR problem then.

My jaw is hanging open at this point. Am I hearing a father say that he'll throw his 6 year old out and let him become a foster kid if he makes dad mad once more? REALLY?

After the dad caught his breath, he told me not to tell him to pray for this kid, prayers haven't been helping so he's done with that. He said he will not deal with this from the boy anymore and that even his school counselor told dad to call the police on him if it happens again. Then he turns around to his 3 kids and tells one of the boys to get up and let the little sister have the chair to sit in. What???

Now where is mom, you might ask? Oh she was here,...on her cell phone. And guess how that conversation was going? She tells her friend about some weird cramps she had and how she'd gone to the doctor. She says she isn't pregnant, she has titanium clamps on, and she SURE doesn't want "no more kids"...she already has 6 and can't deal with these last 3 she has. She says this right in front of the kids. The oldest is 8.

The dad asked me about my kids, so I told him about Morgan and how Morgan has days that he can't keep his behavior under control and his mental focus is all over the place. I told him about the time I took all food away from Morgan and bought him some vegetable and fruit trays. I put them out on the table with bottles of water and told Morgan he could eat all day long if he wanted to, anytime of day, as much as he wanted, and nobody would touch his food but him, but that was the ONLY food he could have. He hated smelling other stuff cooking and knowing he couldn't have it, but the next day, that boy saw a change in himself as clearly as I did! He could behave! Diet makes such a difference in thinking and behavior for all people! I also told the dad about the time I gave Morgan hemp hearts (a grain, does not contain THC) and how the omega 3 in it helped that child pay attention and do fantastic work on anything he set out to do that day.

You would think the dad would be interested in this story, right? Well instead, he tells me that homeschooling "that kid" is out of the question, it just "ain't happenin'." Then he tells me he can't give this kid hemp hearts in his breakfast because he doesn't feed him breakfast, the school does. He only sees him at nights. So I gave him samples and said "try this over the weekend then." He took them and told me "God bless you"...... and thankfully he left.

How SHOULD I feel about that? I had so many emotions, I couldn't contain it. I stormed over to Kroger and picked up some supper for my family, and I made sure there were no nasty ingredients that would stir up my little ones. I fumed around that store trying to walk out the feelings I was having.... and I just couldn't. I went home and told Tommy. You know, I think I could have offered to adopt that child and that man would have signed the papers before leaving the shop. The state wouldn't have allowed that because our house is too small and so is my income, but one thing I can say,... that little boy wouldn't continue thinking the people he lives with hate him.