Sunday, November 16, 2014

Manti's Wedding

I'll have to post this saga in segments. There is just too much info to do it all at once. Besides, I took approximately 500 pictures from the time we left Georgia. Picking which to post and resizing for this blog... takes time and energy. I'm low on both.

Anyway, the wedding specifically is the point of this post, so here we go!

Sheryl had asked me to make her a white buckskin dress for her wedding dress to wear at the temple. I had never met her face to face, so making her a dress was near impossible until I could meet her. We drove for 3 days to get to Albuquerque. I slept a night and the next day, Sheryl came to help me start working on her dress. I started working on it on it Tuesday. Wednesday we had somewhere to be, someone to meet, ...stuff to do. So we worked together. The motel housekeeping was stunned to see the mess we made in the floor, but thankfully she vaccuumed it anyway.

We worked Tuesday until suppertime, then Wednesday we were busy. Thursday, she had a lot to do with other arrangements, but she jumped back into it with me and nearly finished it. Friday, I did the last couple things to it and handed it over. She likes it I think :)
I was super thankful to Mama for making Manti's shirt. He's pretty pleased with it too. Of course, his modeling talent needs practice....

Saturday morning, they went to the Albuquerque Temple at 10am. They had an interview and some time there together, and then they got dressed in their wedding clothes. I was walked to the sealing room where I waited. I was so moved watching my son walk in to the room and sit down next to me to wait for his ceremony to begin. I cried. And of course, it was moving for me to see Sheryl in the dress she and I worked so hard on.

After the ceremony, we all went outside and waited for the couple. It seemed to take forever for them to come out! Later, Manti told me that the reason for that and for the hassle he gave me about making the dress "just right" was because the temple president was getting a picture so he could use it as a guideline to show other women that may wish to wear a buckskin dress into the temple in the future. I was wowed to think that little nobody me helped him have a visual standard to set for others in the future. Talk about an honor! And thank goodness I didn't know that beforehand! I would have stressed even more and doubted myself through the whole thing!

They did come out, and look at that smile!

Her family came too and were there for pictures. This one is of all the kids (well, except for 2 of Sheryl's siblings that are missing from the pic because they couldn't make it). That's a lot of family! 

This little girl is Sheryl's baby sister. Jared has claimed her. Seriously... he says this is HIS girl. He held hands with her, took care of her every 'need' and cried when he had to go home to Georgia and leave her in New Mexico. The boy is lovestruck! He had me print this picture out so he can keep it in his room with him and look at it....constantly.....and remind us that she's sooooo pretty.

So next was the reception. The cake was decorated like a traditional Navajo wedding basket. That ceremony happened later and because it was dark and a brand new experience for me, no pictures were taken (by me, at least). They told me they wanted to put their wedding clothes back on and take a picture of themselves, so maybe that will happen. They were absolutely stunning! But back to the reception....
They posed for a moment for a picture...

And then they went after each other. Both had chipmunk cheeks filled full of cake they had crammed into each others mouths. It was quite a funny moment. There IS a video of it in existence and we're going to try to get that available to show too.

The Navajo ceremony was gorgeous and awe-inspiring and memorable and.... purely awesome! It was so wonderful seeing them bind their families to them, and we were overjoyed to be included.

I'll say this:
I've learned that we are a ceremonial people. No matter what culture you are, what religion you claim, what race you are,....doesn't matter. We all are ceremonious. We have ceremonies for weddings, for baptisms, for deaths,....and its how we value those ceremonies and live up to those promises made and love and support offered that will guide us to be the people we truly are. We put on faces all the time, but those faces aren't always true indicators of WHO we are. Our value of those ceremonies does indicate who we are....really!
Think on that next time you find yourself in a ceremonial situation. What value do you place on this event? What does you level of value at that moment tell us about who you are?
Something to think on :)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Cicada Obsession

This is Jared. 
Isn't he cute? 
He looks so sweet and innocent, sitting underneath that huge tree, playing with ....
umm... whatever he is playing with.
And then,....
he stands....and gently turns around to face me....

I'm sure it's just temporary.
It's a boy thing, and they grow out of it, ... right?
That was yesterday.....
This nightmare is today.
I won't even show you the one he put in my hair.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Baby Homecoming

I am so tired, I can't believe I'm blogging instead of sleeping! But I'm blogging, because my family should get to see these "firsts" photographed. I wish you could be here. You would be eating up this baby love!!!

We kept it quiet. We've known since last week that Jarom would be coming home today. We didn't advertise it because he's become rather popular with people who are anxious to meet him and have fallen in love with his photos... that's not to say that the rest of his family are any more popular than they ever were, but JAROM is! So to protect him and his parents from the accidental insensitivities of people, we just didn't announce when he was coming home. It was very nice having it strictly a family moment.

So this morning, representatives from the company that will be supplying him with oxygen came and got his system installed and notes all over the doors to tell people about the use of oxygen. (oh yikes,...they heat with propane in old space heaters,... hmm...) So the oxygen guys left and shortly after, Mesa and John packed up a diaper bag for the first time and headed to Atlanta. They went through some last minute preparations and training info with the hospital staff and Mesa packed up all his belongings (he's gotten quite a collection! He's popular with the nursing staff too!) Then they started home. When they left the hospital, Mesa called me and I loaded up my gang and we went to her house. I had a key, so we went inside and I started cooking. I made teriyaki chicken, rice, green beans, French bread and a citrus fruit salad. I got a frozen key lime pie for dessert. It was all SO good. It got done about half an hour before they got home, but that was meant I could sit on the sofa and stare out the window watching for their car...yes...30 minutes and I barely blinked. When I saw their car, I yelled THEY'RE HERE!! and jumped up with my camera and ran out the door. I was on their porch before they were on their road! I took a few pictures of them first getting him out. Then I got pics of him settling in, of him with his him trying on new of him cuddling up with his grandma and going to sleep..... So time to share!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Scout Camp--It's Easier!

After all the craziness of pregnancy, a baby came, and more craziness followed....I'm lucky to still have something I'm calling sanity! I have to just let that stuff sit a bit and decide later what to say on that subject,....or maybe I'll wait till the little man comes home and THEN put something on here. Seriously...enough drama and difficulty and stress for 14 lifetimes! So moving on to a different subject:
Morgan went to camp!
This is him and his best friend, Adrian. This is the same expression Morgan has had on his face for 2 weeks now. Yes,.. he is happy! He has almost everything he ever wanted in life right this minute! I did say ALMOST....horseback riding happens on Wednesday! Then he'll have everything he wants.

Morgan has a very thoughtful scoutmaster who has taken a good many pictures and shared them. I think that has made all the difference for me. I still have moments I think to myself "what have you done? That blonde streak in your hair is affecting you too much!" (Ok the blonde hair is another blog entry....we're not talking about that one just yet.) I have always had such a hard time letting my babies out in the world where the mean people are that thrive on hurting innocent people. And everytime my kids have gotten out of my sight and reach, its happened. Of course, its also happened right under nose....and we're not talking about that I'm trying to be a grown-up here and let the kids have more experiences without me hovering as much. Besides, I'm getting old and nobody has gotten me a hovercraft or a hover round, hovering is slowing down.

Back to the subject,... look at this boy.
See how comfortable he looks supporting and safeguarding his patrol mates?

And they are giving him the same support so he can find out if the sky is the limit.
Check him out.... TREADING WATER!
*Pat on the back for Uncle Roger*

This does not look comfortable...nor comforting.... it does seem necessary because look what happened next!!!

And he's in a basketweaving class, as well as woodworking and art and swimming and horsemanship.

If you had a part in making sure this little boy went to scout camp, I hope you can see some of the return on your investment. I'm so proud of him, and so thrilled for him. Tomorrow his dream comes true and he meets the horses. I'm sure he will be sad to have to come home this weekend!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Baby Bump

It's finally happened....Mesa is starting to show. Let the gray hairs move in. I guess I'm ready :)
15 weeks

17 weeks

20 weeks

23 1/2 weeks

Thursday, April 3, 2014


My boys are too funny. I don't know where it comes from. I am NOT this funny, never have been.

Anyway,...the story goes like this....

Generally there are 4 Sundays in a month. At church, we have a schedule of how classes are taught for those 4 Sundays and it is routine as clockwork. On occasion, though, there is a 5th Sunday in a month. This is usually a time when we combine all the classes for several age groups (not including the small children) and we are taught by our Bishop or other area authority.

Last week, we had just such a class....a 5th Sunday and our bishop taught us. He said that our entire stake was asked to have this same particular subject as lesson material, and he proceeded to counsel us against pornography. Mesa was sitting next to me on one side and Morgan on the other (Tommy was home sick). During the class, I looked at Mesa and she looked at me....we shook hands and agreed we would both stop looking at porn (and giggled since neither of us care anything about it anyway). That was the last I had thought about it, because it just isn't an issue for our household.

On our way home from church, my little boys got started....
Manti and Mesa were such uncommon children, rarely fighting and not obsessed with body noises and functions. Morgan and Jared are so opposite Manti and Mesa at this age.

So as we drove, Jared is teasing and harrassing Morgan about the "mustache" he has suddenly developed (it isn't on his face,.... don't ask). I can't get Jared to understand that it is rude to talk about that and keep making a big deal out of it. He does it to embarrass Morgan, but its gotten annoying. So as we drove and he starts picking at his brother, I speak up and tell him that we had class in church that day, and the bishop said we have to stop talking like that.

*silence in the car*

Jared finally says, ... very softly.... "really?"

I said "YES REALLY! It's rude and the bishop taught our class today and said so! He said the stake president wants that kind of behavior to stop too! Right Mesa?" [She says "yep, I heard it too!"] and then I say "You heard it too, right Morgan?" and Morgan nodded vigorously while blushing a deeper red than he was already.

*silence for another moment*

Then Jared says ever so softly,....

"Did y'all rat me out?"

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My Egg Basket

We have a great cub scout program. I'm really enthusiastic about it. We have good leaders (besides me, of course lol) but not all are quite as enthusiastic as I am. One of my best friends (Sara) is scout motivated also, and she and I were talking about some motivational ideas we had. One of them was to award the leaders with a walking stick and then from time to time, award them a trinket they can hang on their staff. So to get that started, I'm making the sticks. Morgan needs to do a family project for one of his merit badges, so he's helping me with it (the whole family is, actually).

Yesterday, Morgan and I went out to our muscadine vines and started cutting out briars and scrub trees that had started growing up in them. We haven't pruned those vines in a couple years now, so they were pretty crazy. Morgan had a small hand saw and I had loppers. Together we cut out a bunch of stuff, and some of it was big enough that we got some walking sticks out of it. YAY!

So I sat a chair out there where we cut those things and Morgan and I stripped the bark off of 2 of them. It was a pretty day yesterday, lots of sunshine....I have a sunburn now..great... but anyway,... it was a lot of fun for Morgan and I, but very exhausting too.

At one point, I had to sit down and rest. I had a drink, had my tools by me, had my hot pink chair...I was good....and then I realized the stems and twigs and things I had Morgan dragging off to a burn pile also had some muscadine vines and tendrils in them.


I took a few of them and wove some wreaths, thinking these would make great dreamcatchers or could be a door wreath, whatever I wanted. I did 4 of them, in different sizes. The smallest one caught my made me think of a basket top. Next thing I know, I've spent 2 hours cutting pieces of those of vines we had trimmed and rapping them around themselves, sort of like a birds nest. I'm so proud of it!

We also have chickens. We've had these same chickens since last fall, and not one egg. These are Ameraucana hens, which means they lay colored eggs...when they lay. Well 3 days ago, they started laying! We've gotten blue eggs (kind of greenish blue) and some that are like brown eggs, except more of a pinkish brown. COOL! So to test out my basket, I had the boys put some of the eggs we got from our chickens into the basket.

Perfect! I love it! Only cost me a little bit of skin I had to pay to the sun gods.

Today, I am so stiff I can barely turn around in my chair.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Doing Some Laundry

I'm not wanting to air out any dirty laundry, but I do need to get some "laundry" in the hamper and out of my head.

My mother in law was with a man a few years ago. They claimed they were married, but there is no evidence anywhere that we can find to prove it and a lot of things that make it appear they didn't wed. Anyway, they were both older and needed a companion more than a spouse, so that's likely all they were. He had his house, she had hers. Hers was in the same yard as mine, so we saw a lot of them. One day 11 years ago, something happened....he hurt me in a unique way. Physical wounds are long in the past, but emotional wounds just aren't healed the way I thought they were. My sharing this here is my effort to spit out some of that bile that I'm strangling on so it won't weigh ME down so much.

So what happened back then is over and I truly don't want to repeat all those details right now. My mother-in-law believed me and it put quite a wall up between the two of them. A couple months later, my mother-in-law died. At the funeral, I tried to heal some more by telling him I was sorry for the bad feelings that had developed because of that experience. He told me HE FORGAVE ME! I went to pieces all over again.

Like I said, it's been 11 years since that happened. I've put it behind me. He has passed away and to my knowledge, nobody interrupted his path to wherever it was he chose to spend his eternity. I've moved on.......but then yesterday happened.

Yesterday, my last customer of the day came in at 4:45pm. The shop closes at 5pm. The man asked his questions and chose what he wanted to purchase. He wanted to write a check, and that was fine with me. I felt VERY dis-inclined to give him a senior citizen discount that I will automatically give to most people who are anywhere near that stage of their life in my view. He paid full price. As he wrote his check, my heart started speeding up...and he started talking non-stop. I couldn't see the name on his check, but I had a sinking feeling I knew who this man was. He kept talking and it took the entire 15 minutes for him to write that check out! I watched for his signature to tell me I was wrong about who he was,....and finally I saw it. I was right. It was the son of that horrible man. He wreaked of the vilest brand of cigarettes. He walked hunched. His hair was wild. He kept looking at me in the eyes like he was implanting his words in my head. He talked about his father and how wonderful life was when the man was around......I fought nausea and nearly threw up before he left. Jared was there with me and he got real pushy and sold the man one of his camp which I thought to myself "GOOD FOR YOU!"

When he finally left, my knees buckled. I called Tommy and told him and he didn't know what to say. I hung up and got started counting down my drawer,...only I couldn't think straight. I started to shake and to sweat. I felt like a tornado was starting up inside me and it swirled around and around feeling more and more violent each moment that past. I finished up and then sat down at the desk to log out of my time schedule and fell apart. I cried and cried and cried. My poor little boys stood there next to me trying to figure out what to do. Both put an arm around me and leaned their heads on my shoulders while telling me it would be ok. I had no idea how I was going to drive us home.

It was a terribly long night last night. I finally had to ask Tommy for a blessing. He gave me one of the most fantastic blessings I've ever had. I was so stunned by the things he said....and so appreciative. You can email me to ask about it if you want to know.

I'm ok now, but so tired and so emotionally drained. My thoughts are exhausted and I feel like I ran for my life yesterday, complete with tired leg muscles and aching feet. I know I'm ok, and I know I'm not over it. I guess trauma is one of those things you never get over, you just find a place in your mind to stash it so it doesn't stare at you every time you open your eyes. It let's you not have to constantly face it and try to undo it if you just deal with it in small pieces every once in a while.

All in all, I can say I know things about myself I never knew before. I know things about my boys I never knew before. I know things about my husband I was unsure of before. And I know things about God I never fully accepted before now. Life is so much more than face value.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Silence in My Mind

We have 2 vehicles. One of them has suffered a malfunction and is quietly sitting at my house waiting for attention. One day it will get it. The other is my Durango, so that means we have to plan ahead for travel needs each day.

Manti works at Target. I work at Robins Herb Shop. They are maybe half a mile apart. Manti has to be at work at 7:30am. I have to be at work by 9am. On days we both work, he drives me to work and drops me off and then goes on to his job. I go inside, find a comforter we keep at the shop, recline my chair and lock it in place, prop my feet up on the other chair (shoes off of course), set my phone alarm to go off at 8:35am and I go to sleep!

At least, I try.

Today was tough. My mind had too much to say. I've had to force words out of my head before, and it was hard. I'm not successful for long periods of time, this was a challenge. Today, it sounded something like this:

"Shhh....stop talking. You can do this. Hush........ Seriously, hush. ..... You're worse than the kids, just be quiet and stop telling yourself to be quiet. Listen to the birds. Birds...haha...Thunderbirds? What's another bird car,... umm... ok I don't know and I shouldn't be thinking this. SHHH!"

A bird chirps.

"BIRD! Oh,... shhh...right....shhh"
"hmmm hmm hmm.... Marianna HUSH! Humming is no different than talking! Shh!"
"car..! Two birds....SH! ---------------- ----------------
------------- ---------------------- look how long I could be quiet for! HA! oops...."

A bird chirps. Another bird chirps. I might make it. The 2 birds must be talking.

"What time is it? WHAT? It's only been 5 minutes? *sigh* GO TO SLEEP MARIANNA!"

traffic noises, 2 birds continue,....

"hmm... argh! no singing!..........................ok, I'm doing it............that hang nail is really kind of sore...wish I wasn't thinking about it! shhhhhh shhhhhhh shhhhhh wonder if I can shush myself to sleep.....shhhhhh shhhhhhh shhhhhhhhh Whoever invented the shush anyway? That's not exactly a calming sound. In fact, if you hear it enough it will drive insane. I WOULD KNOW! ............
.................... ........................ ........................ ......................... .......................... hmm SHHH......
............................. hmmmm hmm..................... ...........................Wonder if SHHH............... ......
......................... ...................... ...................... ten minutes, keep it up................... .......................
..................... I'm so awesome....and that was a failure, so no I'm not SH! ....................... ...........
................... ............................ ............................ .......................................... so sleepy..................
............................. .............................. ..............................and  SHHH!................ shhh.................
................................its working!............................ shhhhhhhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhhhhhhsshhhh....
15 minutes.... shhh, quit looking at the clock! shhhhhhhhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh shhhhh
............... .............................."

FINALLY! I fell asleep.
And at 8:35am, my phone alarm went off. It startled me so much that I jumped and slapped at it. I nailed it perfectly, hitting the snooze button evidently. I was back out before I could even think to shush myself. At 8:40am, my phone alarm went off again. This time I came around enough to think about picking it up and shutting off the alarm correctly. I looked at the clock and though "I have enough time to fix a bowl of grits, brush my teeth and get the drawer ready for a business day."

And that was last thought before 9am when someone emailed me and made my phone chirp an alert sound. I nearly fell out of the chair with instant realization I was asleep and it was time to BE OPEN!

No worries, I opened the shop first and THEN I ate my breakfast and brushed my teeth.

My biggest question right this minute is..... did I get this from my mother or my father? Surely I inherited the incessant chatter in my head!