Thursday, January 31, 2008

67 CDs and DVDs!!!

Our treadmill hadn't been working since we moved into our current home three months ago. I called customer support and they told me that sometimes wires will become disconnected in a move. They explained how to remove the motor cover to see if this is what happened. So, I removed the motor cover and made an amazing discovery! Not only was there about half a pound of paper but, there were 67, that's right, I counted, 67 CDs and DVDs inside the treadmill! Caleb thought it was really cool to put a disc on the treadmill and push on the belt and watch it disappear. So we have discovered one of the black holes of this household! The proof is in the pictures! Oh yeah, on a side note, the wires had been disconnected, so I reconnected them and fixed the treadmill and Cim said, "You are such a good husband Katie!"


Glenn Beck's Tribute to President Hinckley

I was touched by this and thought I would post it in case no one else had seen it.

For those of you unfamiliar with Glenn Beck, he is one of America's top radio personalities (with a TV news show that does quite well also). He is a convert, joining the church in 2000 after overcoming some major challenges in his life, both personal and professional (Google his bio if you would like).


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ellie's First Birthday!

I had one of those moments that make you feel old this past week.

As I was sitting on the stand in church looking down at Katie and the kids, it struck me...I have an eight year old son, a six year old girl, a two year old...and my baby, my little girl, just turned one. I am older than I think I am. The good news for me is that no matter how old I am...Katie will always be older. I anticipate that this fact alone should be sufficient enough to ward off any future mid-life crisis episodes.

Katie and I have an unwritten, but verbally agreed upon rule: We never discuss having more children until the youngest completes their first birthday (there was no real discussion before Ellie was concieved...she didn't have the patience to wait for her parents). This rule allows us to; hopefully, make a decision based upon promptings of the Spirit regarding our family and not from the emotianally driven desire to sleep, not change another diaper, or the fear of having one more screaming voice added to the already rock-concert-decible-level we have in our home on a daily basis.

In years past, this has worked well for us and every time, at about the youngest one's first birthday, we would start to get those little feelings, fleeting thoughts and impressions, that there were more members of our clan in the wings, waiting for their turn to join us.

But this has been different.

As Ellie's birthday has come and gone, Katie and I both have not experienced those same indications we have had in the past. Maybe that means we have our crew, that the phase of bringing them into the world has passed and the next phase is beginning. Maybe not, I think it is still to early to tell.
Part of me is excited about moving on to the next phase, anxious to watch my family grow, excited to build memories and do all that I can to raise children of integrity and character. But there is another part of me, to be honest, a bigger part of me, who is hoping that it isn't so. As I watch my little girl Ellie grow, see her learn to interact with her world, see the unconditional love she has for her parents and siblings (that is definetly tested), I loathe even the thought that this phase may be over.

Already I see the innnocence of youth starting to fade in the eyes and hearts of my older children, not much, but a ways that maybe only a parent would notice. I know that in the not to far distant future, I won't be greeted by a chorus of "DADDY!!!!" when I get home from work followed by the patter of little feet running up to give me a hug. Soon, my boys won't jump at the chance to go with me to the store just to get milk because it is fun to ride in "dad's car". My little girl won't be interested in having my undivided attention for hours on end to just talk about the random things in her life, nor will she run up and beg and plead for me to tickle her. I know all these things fade with time, and the side of me that fears change more than anything continues to grab onto those moments and hold on for as long as possible.

I am comforted to know that there will be other great things that take their place as they grow...but since I don't know what those things are, it is hard to take comfort in them just yet. There is so much joy in watching your kids grow up, but there is also an element of sadness as each year, as they blow out the candles on their cake, you realize that they are getting older and things are changing.

Ellie, my little baby, I love you. I am so proud of you and excited to see what the future holds for you. Just as with your brothers and sister, you will have excuse your overly-sentimental father when he gets like this.
A parent's love is always torn between the consistent drive to protect and shelter their children and the knowledge that they need to give them room to grow and experience life for themselves. I hope that you will know someday that, inspite of our inperfections, your parents try with all their might to teach you right from wrong, to help you understand the value of work, to built your testimony and your relationship with your Father in Heaven, to value honesty and integrity, to be kind to those around you, and to always try to leave anything you touch better than how you found it. And that to do this, and then have the strength and courage to allow you to experience it on your own and grow, to mess up and let you pick yourself up and keep going, is a demonstration of our love and care for you and your brothers and sisters.

Happy birthday my little baby girl!