Sunday, February 26, 2012

Makes me smile :)

There's really only one show I am a die-hard faithful fan of.

I am at work when it comes on, but I look forward to coming home to watch it. I like it because it really just makes me smile :)  Ellen makes me laugh, I love the random games she plays on her show, and just the "love life" attitude she has.

The show has a positive energy! What's not to love about dancing a little to some good music each and every day. Ellen has mentioned how much she loves to laugh, and I think that is something that helps me get through every day... especially tough, tough days. I've gotta laugh.

Ellen also sends out a message to viewers that we need to treat each other kindly no matter who they are. I love her phrase that she says at the end of her show... almost every one, I think!

"Be Kind to One Another." 

What a great message to be broadcasting to the world. How much more pleasant our world would be if everyone walked around every day with that message in their thoughts.

Ok - Well, today I needed to laugh and this made me laugh. I could watch it over and over.
Recently, she gave this challenge to viewers to  video themselves dancing behind random people...

Enjoy :) Hopefully it will make you smile too!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Lice in Hair?! Nope! Not there!

There's never a dull day at my job, and this Thursday was definitely not an exception. 

I just happened to be finishing up a shopping trip at Target for the family I work for when David calls me to say, "We have a problem." My mind is racing with all the thousands of things it could be. But then he says that the school nurse called and A. has LICE!


Three years ago I helped a family whose kids all had lice at the same time and it was an overwhelming amount of work to get rid of them. Since you never know what they've gotten in to you've got to bag for two weeks (or wash in hot water and dry in HOT temps) all clothes, toys, jackets, pillows, sheets, towels, hats, .... anything and EVERYTHING. Basically your whole house. Then, you have to wash the kids hair with this special shampoo morning and night and nit pick all the lice out. It takes eons of time that no one has! 

But, you've got to do what you got to do right. 

Well, one thing I thought was extra silly was that school policy says the child doesn't have to leave school. (OK - so let's continue to have them in school so they can spread it to others before getting treated?! Whatever)

But, that gave me time to go through Target again and get the lice shampoo as well as new brushes, combs, head stuff, etc for the kids and LOTS of trash bags. Then, I called the housekeeper and broke the news to her. She wasn't feeling well that day and almost cried when I told her what we had to do!
 Then, off to the house where we worked tirelessly trying to get everything washed or bagged before the kids got home. I stuffed the garage full of air tight trash bags! I was exhausted. 

David called a professional lice company and scheduled appts for all the kids for afterschool, so I took them straight there. The goal was for the company to do the first wash and get out as much lice as possible. 

We arrived. The kids sat down in chairs where they were told it would take about an hour so they could choose a movie while getting their hair nit picked! They were happy with that. 5 minutes in to it, the two workers come out to ask me again when the nurse said she saw. I told them. They looked at me and said they'd do a more thorough search, but initial results came back that the kids DIDN'T have lice.

I almost cried

I mean, it is good news. But all that work we had done to now go home and un-do it all! 


30 minutes later they came out again and said A. had dandruff. 

No Lice.


You would think a school nurse could tell the difference. He took me in to see A.'s hair. Even I could tell it wasn't LICE!

Back home we went to unbag.... as I said.... never a dull day! I slept well that night and didn't have fond feelings towards the school nurse. Still don't, actually!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

"I can do hard things!"

 This topic has been on my mind recently.
It will come as no surprise to anyone when I say that everyone who lives and breathes on this earth will go through hard times. And what is hard for one, might not be hard for another.

Ever since I was baptized as an 8 year old child, I have read in the scriptures of ancient prophets and peoples going through hard times. I have valued the insights I have read from their experiences. 

Every day in the news I hear about troubles in this world and what some people are dealing with. Or, I've read stories/heard first hand what it was like to experience one trial or another. But, there's nothing like enduring the trial in a very personal way.

As a child growing up, I had parents, church leaders and teachers tell me that I needed to challenge myself and do hard things! Little did I realize then how important this would be for what I would experience later in my life. These simple experiences as a child/youth gave me a desire to endure and succeed no matter what may come. 

I love this picture. 
Anything is possible, right?

 At times, I have felt like the guy in the picture below. I've felt like I've been on top of the world! Like I am the smartest/most clever person to take a step on this earth :) Or, that I am just simply truly amazing... all because I did something that was challenging for me, such as figuring out how to assemble an impossible bookcase or configure a bike rack on the back of a vehicle :) (BOTH of these were done this past year!)
 However, I know that each time I have felt like this, I could not have accomplished it without the help of the Lord. And, this statement below is SO true.
There have been other times in my life when I've just had to endure a hard trial. It's at these times that I REALLY do hard things, but I PRAY EVEN HARDER and ask for strength beyond my own. And, somehow, it's always come.

I, like everyone, can name different periods of my life that have been hard. I've stared up at the peak of the mountain and wondered how the heck I am going to make it to the top - but yet, I always have (although sometimes in better shape than others). 

Up until this point in my life, I would have said that my parents divorce (and the events around it) was the hardest trial I had to endure over an extended period of time.

But, this weekend I realized I have one to top that and I've wondered why this one is harder when it's only been a couple of months and not a couple of years, like the divorce.

I came to the conclusion that why this one is harder is because it's not about me. I am not the one who's really suffering. Instead, I am the one who is at the mercy of doctors, nurses, medical tests, etc. to help someone I love. I am the one who is standing there watching my mom suffer in ways I have personally never seen before in anyone.

I've never had a family member so sick and so weak, without knowing why or what is wrong.

My mom has been my rock my entire life, especially after I moved away from home to college, then to Boston, and then DC. She has been with me every step of the way. And, now, I am the one helping to feed her dinner because her fingers can't grasp the fork, or brushing her hair while she lies in bed so it doesn't get too knotty. I am the one trying to smile and put on a cheerful face when things aren't looking so good.

It's not about me this time... as it really always has been when it comes to my mom. It's never been about her, but it has been, for her, all about her children. 

Now it's about her. 
She hates that.

I also have no control over the situation and it is so hard and so frustrating to see someone I love suffer so much. More tears have been shed at random times over the past few months than I have in years. There have been days when I've woken up praying that things could just go back to the way they were because I wasn't sure I could make it through one more day of it all.

And yet, I have. 
And, I'll continue to do so. 

I am so fortunate to have two wonderful and supportive brothers. I am so grateful for supportive extended family, friends and church family. I am grateful for the opportunities I've had recently to see and learn from others who have gone through similar experiences. I have never been so aware of people who struggle with health problems... people of all ages. My heart goes out to the family members of these individuals as well and the doctors, nurses, and caregivers. It takes a special person to have the patience and skills to care for those suffering from illness.

What has gotten me through every day has been prayer, feeling the Spirit and noticing the tender mercies of the Lord.

And, while I wish my mom did not have to go through this trial, I would not trade anything for the chance to sit by her bedside and be there for her like I know she would be there for me if the roles were reversed.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lesson Learned

So, after I posted yesterday, I came across two articles about speaking negatively of others. 

Hmmm... think I was supposed to learn something? :)

They were both pretty profound selections for me to read given what I have been thinking about the squirrel lady recently! I loved this one quote. Spoke volumes to me.

"Some think the only way to get even, to get attention or advantage, or to win is to bash people....

Real charity is not something you give away; it is something that you acquire and make a part of yourself. And when the virtue of charity becomes implanted in your heart, you are never the same again. It makes the thought of being a basher repulsive.

Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other."
Elder Marvin J. Ashton
Here was one more: “'How can you tell if someone is converted to Jesus Christ?... The best and most clear indicator that we are progressing spiritually and coming unto Christ is the way we treat other people.'"

Be one who nurtures and who builds. Be one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart, who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.

If we could look into each other’s hearts and understand the unique challenges each of us faces, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care.

Let us open our arms to each other, accept each other for who we are, assume everyone is doing the best he or she can, and look for ways to help leave quiet messages of love and encouragement instead of being destructive with bashing." Elder Ashton

Spoke to me in ways more than words can express. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

And the squirrel hat wins

I realized this past week I really have strong feelings against people who wear squirrel hats :) Not hats made out of squirrel fur, but hats with a fake squirrel literally sitting on top of it!

Fortunately in my life, I haven't come across too many who do:)

However, I do interact with one on a daily basis and I've let pride, rather than humility, get the best of me. 

Long story short, the kids I nanny for have to be picked up every day because there is no transportation. That's all fine and well. However, the carpool rules the school enforces tend to drive me NUTS! I personally think they have the most messed up system, but I have no say considering I am not shelling out a dime of the $20,000 tuition spent for each child. 

One of the silly policies is that if you park in one segment of the line, you have to display this sign with your last name.... EVEN THOUGH the teachers look for your face and not your name when looking to release a child. And, it's only in this one segment that you have to do this - or that it's enforced. 

Well, a few minutes before the kids are released, this one science teacher walks down the line with her silly squirrel hat on her head enforcing this rule. She'll pound on your window and look so annoyed that you forgot to put your sign out. She'll stand there and wait for you to put it out or to write your name on a piece of paper to put on your dash. She's just an unpleasant, unfriendly individual. And, the funny thing is, that she's the only teacher to enforce this rule! All the other teachers just walk on by. 

I must admit the squirrel lady rubs me the wrong way. I really don't like people who use their power in a negative way in order to make you feel like you're less of a person, or just inferior to them. She's a BULLY! 

So, recently, I am sad to admit that I've taken my own personal revolt against her. I've made her wait by my car window while I S-L-O-W-L-Y look for a piece of paper and pencil to write their last name on, or, I wrote it so small on this small scrap of paper in order to just annoy her. Terrible of me, I know! And, prideful! But, OH - it was so hard to be humble!

Well, evidently she went and complained to the head of the school that I was jeopardizing the safety of the children and that I was causing commotion and problems in the carpool line (I WAS NOT... just problems for her!)

And, so the head of the school called my boss and told him to "straighten me out"! Ha, ha. My boss took it all in stride and understood where I was coming from, but also asking me to just ignore her and follow the rules in order to keep the peace. Of course, I agreed, but I've been continuously praying for humility because it's not been easy. I can't even look her in the face because she'll just smile knowing that she's won! 

She and that stinkin' squirrel hat of hers!