Sunday, December 4, 2011

It is something!

I don't think you can tell the rock looking piece is actually a nice thick piece of green sea glass. It was the first and the best find of the morning. (And it was a beautiful morning!!)

It isn't much - but the beaches have been so smooth. No rock washes. So when we went to a beach we don't usually go to - I was pleasantly surprised and the kids had fun finding the little pieces. They have such good eyes.

I suppose it is like life. You never know when the good, the happy or the blessings will come!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Halloween Memory

Yes, I know it is Thanksgiving but I just have to share this memory!

I sent this e-mail to my friend L.D. and wanted to post about the experience of child #1 winning a cake walk at our church Halloween party.

We sat down for some Sunday dessert and your beautiful cake didn't disappoint. It was wonderful! On Saturday, when my son won the cake walk - we were so excited! We had been talking about it all week. Then when he chose your cake, I was secretly thrilled. It would have been the cake I would have chosen! Yours was a work of art.

When I was a little girl, I won a cake at our elementary school carnival cake walk. I still remember how special I felt and how delicious the cake was (our neighbors had brought the cake). It was so fun for me to share a similar experience with Abraham.

Thanks for sharing your talents .... and time, I am certain that cake took valuable time - it was a work of art!

Our family was over the moon with winning (and eating) your cake!

Love Kirstin and Family

Sorry... you get the "cut" view but you get the idea. My son still asks for this cake!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happys and Sads

I read about a family that at the end of the day has their children share their happys and sads - things that went well and things that didn't. I thought that was a great idea and occasionally my son and I will share as he snuggles into his bed. The thing that makes me laugh is that he often will share things that happened days before.

So with that in mind I thought I would share a few things that have gone on around here.

- Went to a sea glass show. It was mostly jewelry made with sea glass but there were two displays of some amazing sea glass! Huge pieces that were red and orange and black. The other display was glass art that has rolled around in the ocean and looks so cool - designs and patterns of all sorts. I wish I would have (or could have) taken a photo but I didn't think they would have allowed it.
- I dreamed about going sea glassing and there were incredible rock washes all over with huge pieces of sea glass everywhere. This dream happened right after getting some sad news.
-Had an opportunity to hold a friend's little girl at church. It was just a few minutes but I realized it has been a while since I held a little baby. She was tired and just rested her cheek on my shoulder. Those sweet feelings warmed my heart all week.
-Friends have filled my heart with love and concern. Our fridge is full of soups and food from dear friends. I have felt so uplifted by love.
-Package from my mom that was full of little things that she found around the house: jacks from when she was a little girl, a project I did when I was a little girl, books, old cell phone (the kids love it!), candy, workbook, cool wooden comb and compact mirror. Fun!!
-Went to Kindergarten Forum to learn about the various Kindergartens in the area (this also couples as my sad - can my little boy be ready for Kindergarten next year?)

-Found out from some blood tests that our new baby had very high indicators that it could be a special needs baby.
-The following week went for a detailed ultrasound and at that appointment no heartbeat was found. I was at 17 weeks.
- Had to have a procedure to remove the tissues ( that was today). The prep procedure (yesterday) was the worst part. I threw up twice before I left the medical building and then once all over myself as drove home. I thought of this blog where she threw up in her skirt. (I can't find the actual post but she had cancer and had every reason to throwing up!) I continued to throw up and feel cramping all afternoon.

BUT for now, my immediate sads are over (except for the hormones that will incite some tears) and I can move on.

AND because I don't want to leave on such a sad note are a few more happys:
-New babies for family members and friends are expected!
-When life is heavy on the crusts, Heavenly Father will send loaves and loaves of peace, comfort, and strength (thanks for that thought J-!)
-Friends that will come over at 4:30 AM and stay with sleepy kids
-Friends that will watch your kids all day and then bring you the exact dinner you had wanted to make but ran out of energy.

The list goes on but I must go "play toys" with the two that bring much happiness to our home.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My sad, lonely blog:)

Ha Ha! How is that for a title?

But really there hasn't been much to post about. I have not been to the beach for a while - I do check the conditions of the sand from our bluff but nothing has been of interest, so nothing new to report. I am being hopeful... I bought a new little container that I am *hoping* to fill with lovely sea glass (love our local thrift store!).

I do want to report that I am feeling better both physically and mentally. Less tears (actually none lately!), I am  back to feeling like a mama again: baking/cooking/cleaning/entertaining the kids. I am trying to enjoy this time as things never stay the same. Baby number 3 is on the way and we are thrilled! Who knows what the future will hold... I'll take what ever comes. My faith and trust in God and in His awareness of me and this little one have been strengthened and I am grateful for the opportunity to grow and perhaps in the process some rough edges were smoothed off - and sorry to those that my rough edges may have hurt! I have lots to learn.

Monday, September 12, 2011


So I haven't been feeling well and have spent much of my time reading blogs, facebook and other internet activities, while in bed. Don't ask my how my children are doing - I'm hoping to make it up to them when I feel better.

And while these internet activities have helped to distract me, it hasn't helped me to feel better. (By the way, I should say, I am feeling better). Anyway, I have come across some gems/phrases that have helped me to feel better.

"Eyes that are wet now, ere long will be tearless,
Blessings await you in doing what's right."
- Do What Is Right, hymn #237, from Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

"Jesus, Savior, Pilot me, over life's tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll, Hiding rock and treacherous shoal.
Chart and compass came from thee: Jesus Savior, Pilot me."
-Jesus, Savior Pilot Me, hymn #104, from Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Sorry I don't have links so you can hear the melody to these two hymns but I am sure you could find them somewhere. (I'm still taking things easy).

 I have thought about faith and how it can heal and strengthen us emotionally and spiritually. And it reminded me of a quote I read on a friend's adoption page, "Faith has a short shelf life". Very true! It has been good for me to be reminded that I need to work to keep my faith alive and burning bright.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Gray, Gray, Gray

The weather has been so overcast and cloudy. Everyday we wake up to gray. In fact Child #1 asked me if when we go on vacation (in a few days) if we will have sun.
 "Yes, child #1 - everyday!"

So here is my collection from a few days ago and wouldn't you know, my find of the day was a gray piece of sea glass. You can see it next to the big green piece in the photo.

Or here it is on top of a white piece of glass to try and give you a better idea of the color difference.

And while we won't be going on a sea glass vacation, there will be some sun! See you when I come back....

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ode to my Mother

Today is my mom's birthday and I have been meaning to blog about some thoughts about my hands and I thought today would be a perfect day! Are you thinking - hands?

Yes, hands!
Photos by a 2 year old.
In the spring, I took a quick trip to Arizona. When I was there I was able to spend an evening with my grandfather, two uncles, new aunt and cousins. I loved it! At one point one of my uncles smiled at me and said, "you have your mom's hands". I was surprised and wasn't sure what the socially acceptable response was but luckily the moment passed. But I have thought about that quick comment and have looked at my hands differently. And have thought about how lucky I am that I have hands like my mom.

My mom raised 6 amazing kids. All college educated, contributing members of community and church. They are fun to be around and I consider them to be some of my favorite people. If asked who I would like to travel with, it would be hands down, my family!

My mom has done so much good in our home - laundry, cleaning, loaves and loaves of bread. Diapers, wet beds, baths. Miles and miles of driving, school meetings, church meetings.

She was very involved in our school assignments, extra curricular events, church activities and all this times 6!
She has taken classes herself, has mastered the computer and uses her college education in many ways.

She is a faithful wife, loyal friend and loving grandmother.

Being a mom, I have an inside view (sort of) of how she used her hands all those years (baths, bread, tears, diapers) I have gained an immense appreciation for what she has done. I find that more and more I am as they say, "becoming my mother" and I like it!

 I am trying to raise my children like she did her children, I am spending my free time like she did (sewing, creating), I even bake bread like she did. It is nice and as I do these things like my mother, I love and respect her even more.

Recently a friend shared this poem. It was perfect for my mom's birthday. And while I have never given my mom a layard, I have tried over the years to give her good gifts. I am realizing that the best gift I can give her is to find the magic in being a mom and in the great God-given gift of being a family.

Here is the poem: (best to be read aloud - it is touching and funny all at once)

The Lanyard - Billy Collins

The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one into the past more suddenly—
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid long thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.

She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light

and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.

Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift—not the worn truth

that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hand,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.

Included in the book The Trouble with Poetry.
Happy Birthday MOM! I'm glad to have your hands.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Summer Offerings

So - summer doesn't seem to have the great sea glass that I am accustomed to - thus the limited blog postings. But my husband did tell me that there "might" be something in a little rock wash not far from our house. After breakfast dishes and a shower, the kids and I headed out. This is what we found. Not much but after nothing for weeks, it felt great!

Happy Birthday America - land that I love!
Wishing you a wonderful red, white and blue week-end.

Friday, June 17, 2011

So, what do you do with all that sea glass?

 Sort it...
 Display it. The far left has my yellows mixed with white sea glass, the middle jar has reds with white and the far right contains my lavendar and purples with white sea glass.

 More of my displays... jar on the left has large white pieces of sea glass, the middle has pottery shards and the little container, blues and whites.

 This is the collection on top of my bookshelf.

My friend B.H. made this candle holder with sea glass on the outside. It is the most classy by far of all my display pieces.

 More collections. We got these glass containers for our wedding. I finally put them to good use!
I am in the process of filling these glass containers with all of the same color.

 I liked how these look in this heart box that my son made for me for Mother's Day some years ago.

 I tried my hand at earrings. They are o.k. but nothing special. I don't like that you can see the post through the front. Unless I learn how to drill the glass that will be the end of my jewlery making!
Sea glass is a great filler for vases - add water and those short flowers are longer or use it to position the flowers.

Monday, June 6, 2011

June 6th (for lack of a better title)

This was the first beauty of the morning.

The rock wash just waiting to be looked over!

Wish I could rotate the photo - it was my favorite find this morning.

This lady and I have met before on the trail. She lets her dog run on the trail without a leash which is a no-no! (And there are signs everywhere that say "no dogs on the beach!!" (I added the exclamation points.) I have asked/reminded this lady to keep her dog on leash. Her response was "for what?" Which I promptly stopped running and looked at her and said, "because I don't want to get bit!"

But the great thing was this morning I didn't say anything - I don't know if she recognized me or not but justice was served!  As this lady turned to leave the beach, who should come down the hill? But a California State Park Ranger! She quickly tried to put her dog on leash but it was obvious...1. A dog on the beach and 2. A dog without a leash! Double no-no!

He stopped his truck and talked to her. Now..... I know that dogs off leash and on the beach are the least of a Park Ranger's worry but it is nice to know that she got an old fashioned reprimand.

I know she most likely will keep the dog on leash for a few weeks and then in a week or two resort to her "above the law" behavior (most locals around here do). But I hope that she'll be more respectful of the law and of other people's uncertainty of dogs off leash.

And on a more pleasant note, this evening I took a quick walk to see the sunset and to get some fresh air. I had a busy day! -It started with a me sea glassing this morning, then I made breakfast, cleaned up, went to the gym, cleaned up 5 underwear accidents (two involving poop), made lunch, went grocery shopping, made 6 "freezer dinners", made dinner for a friend and delivered it, made dinner for our family, gave two baths, cleaned the kitchen again, did a load of laundry, got family home evening started and did the lesson for our family home evening, and put two kids to bed.

It was a quiet night with a brilliant red sun sinking behind the hills. It was misty and foggy and the sun setting was only visible for about 7 minutes before the clouds shifted and the brilliance was gone. It was nice to walk in the sand thinking about life and my frustrations, disappointments and expectations.

On my walk home I glanced out to the waves (I don't look at the ocean enough. So often I spend my time looking at the sand searching for treasures the ocean has washed up) and what did I see? Dolphins! A big pod of them!

As I watched them I realized that is is moments like seeing their fins peeking out of the waves that I am reminded of that vast underwater world. A whole universe that I can't see yet, I know is there. Teeming with life. Things I never will see.

How often are people like that? So much going on underneath but we don't know it, we don't see it, until something little comes up to indicate so much more. Just some thoughts for June 6th!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Amazing moments

I had a friend tell me of her recent experience of losing her daughter in a crowded public area. We all know that horrible feeling when your heart begins to pound.

And all the places your eyes scan looking for that little familiar person.
It happens to every mom and when it does it is awful.

But in this story, when my dear friend found her child, (at the entrance to the building) before she even had a chance to scoop up her baby and cover her with kisses- she was yelled at for all to hear. And called a terrible mother. Already near tears, she agreed and thanked the man for not letting her little girl wander out.

I have been thinking about that experience and the very harsh words that were used against my friend... thinking that is unfair that so much attention was drawn to her minor mistake. What about those amazing moments that she has had, that all women have had? But were never shouted about or recognized?

I mean those moments when you have absolutely had it with a child and you continue to show patience and love waaaaaay past the point that they really deserve it?

Or the times you put energy and love into a project, a dinner, a lesson and then have it flop or no one seems to notice how great it was?
Or how about the fact that you can understand a child's words or story when others thought they were hearing gibberish?
These moments and a list of them could go on and on.

As I have thought about the amazing moments that women have, the ones that no one ever recognizes and shouts about, I thought of these remarks made in April. They were given by Elder Quentin Cook, a latter-day Apostle as he spoke of the great service that woman do.

He said, "Many of these responsibilities do not provide economic compensation but do provide satisfaction and are eternally significant."

Satisfaction and Significance.

The world looks at money and position and power as payment for amazing moments.

But the currency that teachers, mothers, nurses, social workers, caretakers, fathers, counselors, grandparents, guardians, and so on are paid with a different currency.

The currency with which they are paid has no tangible value because the currency of love, compassion, and respect are are heavenly virtues. And as such will be recognized and acknowledge by Heaven.

I do feel that the goodness and good things that individuals do through out their days will be rewarded, but not usually in the currency that we expect.

 Soooooo with that thought in mind, I hope to hear a little shouting - about all the amazing things (big and small) that women have done.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Photos of Sea Glass

 This is what has awaited me for the past two mornings! I've heard them called "rock washes". And that makes sense, it is where the rocks (and sea glass) have washed up onto the beach.

I finally remembered to bring my camera and was able to capture a few of the peices before I plucked them up and  slipped them into my pocket.

Can you see the piece of brown sea glass in the middle of the photo?
Piece of pottery. There were two peices almost right next to each other. Pottery is a rare find for me!

  Seeing pieces of sea glass as I walk along is like going on an Easter Egg hunt,  but with a twist. No eggs, no candy, just little gems that glow in the sun, hide in the rocks and sometimes roll away in the waves.

This one was a peice of green glass that had fused with a piece of brown glass. They must have been in a fire next to each other.

This shows how lovely sea glass looks when the sun shines on them.

This one was just washed up. I was able to photograph it just before the next wave came and tried to roll it away. It didn't succeed - I was able to scoop it up!
This is my collection from today. It was another successful morning.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Best photo yet!

I have joined some other ladies who are trying to improve their photography skills. Nothing formal, but a few in the group have more experience and are willing to share some tips. I have lots to learn. Since I missed the first meeting, I promised I would do my homework and read the manual for our "little point and shoot" camera. It has me baffled all the time. So I have read and played around with the different options. I found one option labled "custom". I have set it to photograph things up close without ruining the light. I am hoping this photo is an omen of things to come.
This is my collection of "yellows" (don't mind the aqua bottle base, I used it as a contrast piece). And I realize that there is a small greenish (citron) piece in there. Not sure how it got so lucky to be included. But I love that you can see the textures and various color hues in this shot.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Morning's Work

 We've had some low tides lately and I've been out before 7 AM looking at what the ocean has washed up. Good stuff!

My favorite pieces were the darker aqua piece on the left and the orange piece of pottery. I don't find pottery very often.

Natural Habitat

Hopefully, my next post will include some photos of where I find my sea glass.
(Not the actual beach, I don't want to give away my secrets) but I want to try and capture the way sea glass looks just before I pick it up. In my mind, that is when sea glass is most see it laying right where the ocean waves have left it. Mother Nature is the classiest artist around.

Thinking about sea glass in its natural "habitat" brought to mind people.
(So many connections between sea glass and people).

I love seeing a great family portrait (mostly because ours never turn out) but the photos I like best are the ones that capture a certain look or catch them unaware. Something about a photograph in a person's "habitat" really catches who they are.

I was thinking the other day about how Princess Diana and Mother Theresa died around the same time (six days apart). They were such beautiful people. But it was the photos of them caring for others (Diana with her boys and her charities and Mother Theresa with the sick and invalid) that made them more than just an interesting face.

Sunday afternoon, my husband came home from church. He was wearing his white shirt and Child #1 was wearing his white shirt. It was a sweet moment, as the two of them were hugging and sharing how much they loved each other. It was a mental picture I don't want to forget....Father and son, their matching white shirts, sharing their mutual adoration.

I don't think a posed picture could capture such natural beauty. I'm blessed to have such beautiful things in my life.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sea Glass Photos

I'd like to improve my photography skills but it doesn't help that we have a little point and shoot camera that I don't know how to use. Here are a few that I wanted to post.

This is that purple piece I found a few weeks ago. I am still struggling with how to photgraph it in order to show its true color. If nothing else, you get a peek at my backyard!

-Hope spring is coming your way!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Not glass, just a leaf

Today we went to the beach, we had to get out of the house! It wasn't a day with glass on the beach but the sun was out and so were the crowds.

After sailing child #1's plastic sailboat and both children getting water in their galoshes, it was time for lunch. I was holding the hand of child #2, as we walked up the sandy stairs. She suddenly stopped and I heard her exclaim, "glass, glass".

Looking down, I saw her reach for something on the step. But even before she picked it up, she realized with disappointment, "oh, leaf".

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sarah Ban Breathnach

I won't be surprised if that name isn't familiar to you but kudos! if you recognize her as the author of the book Simple Abundance.

I found this book in the mid-1990's. A roommate (thanks Natalie) recommended it to me and we enjoyed it together. Sarah (I'll call her by her first name because she is like a dear friend) writes about finding gratitude in the simple things in life. Each chapter is about 1-2 pages long where she shares her personal thoughts and experiences, quotes,  and occasionally she gives a kind of "homework" for you as the reader to try.

I love her style. She is personable, friendly and understanding.

Well, I had forgotten about Sarah. Somehow in all my moves around the world, my copy of Simple Abundance was lost. So when I saw Peace and Plenty, the similar cover and familiar author, caught my eye and I snatched it off the library bookshelf.

I was surprised to read that the book is about money.
About managing your money and how to deal with money misspent, lost or mismanaged.

Hmmmmm - very different from her first book, which was all about gratitude.

But once I started reading, it was like hearing an old friend! She is so honest, helpful, encouraging and did I say honest?

I read it cover to cover like a novel (which it isn't) in between a quick trip to Arizona to see my grandfather and my daily routine here at home. Sarah, made millions on her book Simple Abundance but somewhere along the way it was lost. She writes in short snippets about what happened but they are not the focus of what the book is about. It is about us finding peace despite terrible things happening.

Her advice is sage because she has experienced financial ruin but her familiar voice is calm, warm and positive.

I loved it! And it made me thankful for my blessings. For a roommate who introduced me to her years ago, for the years I was single and learning how to manage money and for a husband who is financially wise. (Don't worry Sarah, I will still take your advice and have my own, separate bank account.)

Now I need to buy the book, read it again and flag the parts and quotes that I thought were so good! Happy reading!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pieces from my collection

- The green piece is the base of an old bottle
- The white oval is the solid smooth base of an old bottle
- The red piece is from (I am guessing) a signal light used on an old boat.

I don't know that much about sea glass but all that I do know comes from the book Pure Sea Glass by Richard LaMott. Beautiful book and great information. They have set of identification cards that I use often to get information and to compare colors.

I just found a purple piece last week, but the photo wasn't doing it justice.
 I'll have to wait for some sunlight.

On a different note, here is something I made this week.  (If you can't you tell, it is a child's backpack, it was really cute. The straps pull and tighten the top to make it like a sack that you wear on your back). I made it for a friend's daughter, Lara. She was turning 3.  We put some sea glass inside as an extra bonus, since Lara loves to play with our collection when she comes to play.

I did make sure all the pieces were large enough so they couldn't be inserted in her nose....

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Duty and Joy

I have always appreciated this quote, a roommate shared it with me years ago.
"I slept and dreamt that life was joy;
I awoke and found that life was duty,
I acted and behold, duty was joy."

That quote came to mind earlier this week and I have been thinking again of how true those words are. I find that the every day things that I sometimes dread, once started aren't that bad. For example, today I cleaned the house. I have a small house but I get tired of always cleaning it to see it get messy again. But seeing the clean bathroom, the mopped floors and tidy living room made me feel good - yes, I guess I could say joy.

Another example:  Child #2 has been getting up, oh so early lately and while I dislike the early hour, watching the day come alive is lovely and even at that early hour, she is still so cute, with her little voice and demanding ways.

Life is mostly duty (I have found) but there can be beauty in the routine, in the mundane and all the world around.

Monday, February 28, 2011

I had a marvelous day!

And it isn't just because I found this nice handful of glass.

It was a sunny day, a bit windy but what made it marvelous was that child #1 came with me. He rode his bike down to the beach and then I carried it the rest of the time we were on the beach.

He likes to look for sea glass and it does his mama's heart good when he finds a piece of glass. He stuck fairly close to me and it was fun to have a friend along. At one point he played up on the crest of the hill and I was down combing the sand for glass, but we both kept checking on each other. When he was done on the hill, he ran down and said, "I'm checking on you Mom".

 A couple of times, I had to wait for him to catch up to me and then later, I had to remind him to move out of the way of the sunlight, (which helps me to see the glass amidst the rocks). But he is patient with me...

And as we walked home, I was patient with him while he rode his bike through all his favorite mud spots.

What could be better?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Thoughts from a Rainy Day

It has been pretty stormy around here, so when the sun peaked through the clouds, I thought I might go out to see what the ocean washed up.
Not much.
Just a few pieces here and there. I did find a plastic sand toy and a rubber bouncy ball (that was very entertaining until it ended up in the toilet and two little hands were found trying to get it out). Yuck!

But, I did send a small sampling of sea glass pieces to a friend of mine and in the note I talked about how there are many life lessons that sea glass can teach us. Life experiences can toss and turn us but like those little pieces of glass tumbled by the sea, these experiences help to smooth us out. If taken the right way, life's experiences can help to mold us into women of God, people of God or if God isn't your anchor, then to be the person that you know you can be.

Just some thoughts....

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My biggest piece of sea glass

Don't you love the eraser? I needed something for comparison.
I know you're thinking - what? That is your biggest piece?!
There is a reason.
Before I had a blog but loved reading other blogs I knew this story would need to be written, and I began mentally composing it in the emergency room.

You see, one rainy Saturday, I had gone out for a run and like most runs, I ended up on the beach. I found some sea glass, but nothing out of the ordinary. The family admired them and I left them on the table to go shower. Getting out of the shower I heard a frantic shout from the living room. Dashing in I see child #1 freaking out and my husband is trying to look in his nose with a flashlight. When things calm down enough to find out what happened, my heart sinks... there is a piece of sea glass in my son's nose.

We bundle everyone up and head to the local and very small emergency room. My husband checks him in, they call for the doctor that is "on-call" but after waiting for 30 minutes,(I think he was at home eating breakfast) he arrives. He assesses the situation, puts on a headlamp, uses a tool with a loop at the end and gets...nothing. (I don't see any of this but I do hear my child's tears and the doctor's request, "can you hold his arms?" as I was entertaining/dealing with child #2, in the other room).

After tears and numerous tries, the doctor informs us that he will have to call around to find a pediatric ENT (Ears, Nose Throat) doctor, who will most likely have to sedate our child in order to get the glass out. My heart sinks, now it is getting serious.

With this unfortunate news, I begin trying to think of who I can call to care for child #2 and of course, all the while, I am praying in my heart,
"please let this be short"
"please, I don't want him to have to be sedated"
"please, just let this little piece come out"
"please help me handle this all"

We wait and wait (did I mention it was Saturday morning?). I go out to the car and let child #2 play, while child with sea glass in his nose plays with daddy's iPhone.

I get tired of the car and my husband and I switch kids. When we make the switch, he mentions that child #1 had sneezed earlier, but nothing came out. I began to pray for another very large sneeze!

As I sit there worrying and praying, child #1 is stealthily trying to pick his nose. I quickly tell him to move his hand away. He then tells me to move away. I do and again the finger moves to his nostril. I understand that it must be uncomfortable to have something stuck there, but like a good mother, I try to explain that he must leave it alone.

But he is very persistent with wanting to pick.

Because so many people have been looking up his nostril, he does not want anyone to look up his nose, but I sneak a peak when he is distracted by the iPhone (bless you iPhone!)

With that peek, I become convinced that I can see the glass and I ask my husband to get the doctor. The nice doctor comes from his office (where he has been waiting to hear back from other hospitals) and tries again.

Again, the headlamp and the tool with the loop at the end. And again I hear tears but this time, I also hear a clink.

It is the piece of sea glass being dropped in a metal bowl! What a relief!

I hug my crying son. We sign some papers. The relieved doctor mentions that he was afraid this was going to be his first extraction where he was unsuccessful. Because of that blessed sneeze, he keeps a perfect extraction record. I think we were all praying for a little miracle!

And that is why that little green piece of sea glass holds the title of "My biggest piece"

Monday, February 14, 2011

Family History

In our congregation, each week different people are asked to speak on various topics. We don't have a paid ministry so we all do our part and serve. I was asked to speak about family history. It was a fairly easy topic as I feel passionately about finding out about family members living and dead. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Mormon Church, families are very important to us (as they are to most religions and peoples) but we are also concerned about finding those ancestors who have passed on before us. Although I couldn't share this clip in my talk or speech on Sunday, it is worth viewing as it gives a wonderful description and feeling to what family history is all about.Why family history is important

And while I won't bore you with the whole text of my talk, I wanted to share one part:

Genealogy is not only about people and how they are related, it is also their stories. My parents and grandparents told us stories about their past - about their childhood and life adventures. I hope parents understand how powerful family stories can be as they teach life lessons like: honesty, humor, love. They connect you to your children and them to you.

My mom tells of having a difficult time adjusting to Kindergarten. She was the youngest child in her family and she tells of crying and crying about having to be at school. One day, she took matters into her own hands and walked home. She lived about 1.5 blocks away from the school, but when she got home, her mom wasn't there. Undetered, she walked across the street to the Mormon chapel (this was in Payson, Utah) and went into the Relief Society room....and there she found her mother. What a funny, yet sweet story. I love that she knew where her mom was. Relief Society (the woman's organization in our church) has played a central role in my grandmother's life, my mother's life and in my life. It is in our blood.
Another story I shared:
My dad recounts how as a collage student he was working on a fishing boat in Alaska. He would work during the summers to earn money for school. As he and my mom were dating, summer came and he went to work. He talks about being on the deck during one of his watches at night and praying to know if he should marry my mom. That story taught me at a very early age the value of prayer and that Heavenly Father hears prayers, no matter where we are.

Lastly, I loved this quote about family history. It rings true for me:
“Knowledge of the historical context in which our ancestors lived, the details of their lives, and the experiences that shaped their personalities are essential to our understanding of ourselves.” “Thus in researching family, we're really researching ourselves.” --Elder Neuenchwander, emeritus member of the Seventy

In some ways, searching the internet, census records, and other sources for family connections is like searching for sea glass. But unlike sea glass, names, dates and places that represent a person hold much more beauty. They represent someone who experienced life, had children, dealt with good times and terrible times. And while I love glass, I think people (dead and alive) are much more inspiring than an old piece of bottle or dish that has been tossed by the waves and finally washed on to the shore. Don't you think?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Typical Day

This handful is a typical day on our beach. Nothing fancy - except for that blue piece.

That was a find!

And I always consider it a good sea glassing day if I find a blue no matter how small.

Later today, I was thinking about what makes a typical day - a good day. A good day for me would include a chance to exercise, some sea glass and a clean living room. (If I have the energy at the end of the day to pick up the clutter, it's a good day.) 

And while today was not perfect (child #2 has learned to climb out of the crib - yikes!), I got two out of three. It was a good day. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

New Years Resolutions

I was trying to share some encouraging thoughts with a friend today and was reminded of my goal to take time each week for myself. And when I say "take time for myself", it doesn't mean, going grocery shopping or running to the post office without kids. It means taking time to do what I enjoy and what connects or reconnects me with me.

When I heard these words from Deider Uchtdorf in October 2010, I knew in my heart, that was what I needed to work on. For those of you not familiar with me, I am a very religious person....Mormon, in fact, and I feel a great deal of strength from my beliefs. In these remarks Elder Uchtdorf, (as we respectfully refer to him) discusses how we need to focus on our relationships with:
1. God
2. Our family
3. Our fellowman
4. Ourselves.
He said, "May I suggest that you reduce the rush and take a little extra time to get to know yourself better. Walk in nature, watch a sunrise, enjoy God’s creations, ponder the truths of the restored gospel, and find out what they mean for you personally. Learn to see yourself as Heavenly Father sees you—as His precious daughter or son with divine potential."

Elder Uchtdorf is an apostle of Jesus Christ, and I know what he says to be true.

Having time to think, uninterrupted, goes a long way in helping me to connect to me. Sometimes with the rush of life, I forget that I am a person with hopes and dreams and emotions. Taking time to remember who I really am and using that precious "me time" to sort through life's hurried moments helps to bring balance to my life.

And honestly, I think balance is a goal we're all striving for...

 So I'd like to say, here's to all of us in 2011!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

True Sea Glasser

Today as I walked along the beach in my pink rubber boots (already wet inside) I must have been a sight. I was pushing one child in a stroller in the sand and carrying the other. He can walk but I was in a hurry. There was a dark patch of rocks ahead and I could already see people picking up sea glass. If  you are new to the sea glassing world, sea glass is broken bits of glass that have been tossed and tumbled by the waves. This process makes them smooth - no rough edges. I find it very soothing to be on the beach searching for these little gems. So today, when I read the tide was low at 5:00, I got dinner ready, packed snacks for the kids and headed to the beach. At one point when I was dashing in and out of the waves, looking for glass, I looked up and saw my kids sitting on the sand. My son had pulled his sister on his lap and in the glow of the setting sun, they were happily watching me eating their snacks. That little moment made me smile and I thought "I must be a true sea glasser" ....or that I am becoming obsessive about sea glassing!

You'll have to decide as you read future posts.

PS I was successful, I came home with a pocket full of sea glass!