Thursday, May 20, 2010

Grammy-Cakes

My grandma is the coolest rockin-est grandma. Here is why:
1. She is the best cook. She lost her sniffing senses a while back, but she still makes the best smelling and most delcious tasting food. She is the go-to-girl when anybody needs something catered. Ever tried her cinammon rolls? If not, you are missing out.
2. She wrote me lots of letters while I was a missionary. This is how they started: "Dear Pooh,..." It was awesome.
3. I was helping her cater a very busy job one time. I was running from kitchen to table and back and getting a little bit frazzled when she grabbed my arm and pulled me down so she could say, "Guess what? I love you."
4. She cracks me up. If I tease her she will say, "Come over her so I can smack you."
5. She takes care of other people. She makes dinner for little old ladies in her ward.
6. She is very thoughtful. She makes and gives gifts to my brothers and sisters that are not her grandkids. They feel like she is their grandma too.
7. She goes walking every morning. She is a mall-walker. She picks up her 92 year old friend Anna and they go walking. Cute little ladies!
8. If someone speaks for too long or their talk is too boring in church, she'll leave. And if a hymn is too annoying (Can we say, "There is Sunshine in my Soul?), she won't sing it. I am totally like that too.
9. Grandma has the best yard with the greenest grass and a little creek running along in back. There are ducks back there a lot of times and quail love it on her lot. Her flowers are gorgeous and weed free and she loves working out in the yard.
10. I just love her.

So, it was kind of tough this last Saturday when I got a phone call from my mom telling me Grandma was having an emergency appendectomy. It had perforated a while ago apparently without her knowing it, so it did some damage, but they were able to care of it for the most part. Grandma was a champ though and has had a pretty good recovery. I was able to spend some time with her in the hospital a few of the days. She had to go for walks and on one of them, she wanted to find the elevator and bust out of there. That was the only time I heard her say something about how she didn't want to be there. She just doesn't complain. She got home yesterday and has been getting up on her own and doing everything by herself. It's great! I went to see her this morning and asked her what she had planned for the day. She said "Rollerblading." I think she is going to be just fine. :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

D.A.R.E.

I mentioned before that Emma graduated from the D.A.R.E program which is taught in schools to help kids learn how to say no to drugs and alcohol. It had been a while since I had been in my stomping grounds and everything looked miniaturized. The adults all sat in folding chairs and the pint sized kids came filing in from outside. I think they have even gotten smaller. I mean I used to be a "big fifth grader" too. Anyway, the officer told us some of the things they have been learning and then three kids got up and read their essays. The first girl was so cute. You remember that one girl who got 100% on everything and always had the right answer but wasn't annoying about it like that other girl. Her mom definitely helped her on her essay. The second kid, oh the second kid was a riot! He was the class clown, but smart too. He had me giggling to the point I had to cover my mouth because all the kids started looking at me. He definitely wrote his essay all by himself especially becasue it was torn out of a three ring binder and had all the edges still connected. The next kid was the stereotypical smart Asian. His essay was over three pages long. It was typed. And I'm pretty sure he didn't write a word of it. Pretty sure his mom did it all. Anyway, then they did the D.A. R.E. song. The actions just kill me. "I will respect myself."
video
Anyway, I was pretty proud of that little Emma D. She's such a good kid, and you know she will always be one of those kids that parents are glad their kids are friends with. Oh, and she didn't have sunglasses becasue she loaned her pair to someone who forgot them. What a little sweetie!

Old

I am going to Mehico on Sunday with a non-profit organization. I'm way excited. We had our final meeting last night and a few new people showed up. One kid walked up and I was like, "Whoa." He sat down and people started asking him about himself. He mentioned that his dad was the Bishop of a single's ward in Salt Lake but that he definitley wouldn't be going there. Without realizing he probably meant that he wouldn't because his dad was the Bishop, I asked why. He actually said that it's because everyone in the ward is so old. Like 25. Come to find out, he's only 19. I guess was that naive once, but 25 is NOT old, thank you very much. Especially because I'm 26.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Those Poor Frying People!

My dad and Linda-mom have been out of town since last Saturday, so I have been playing mom again. Inevitably when they go out of town, there is something going on over at the elementary school so i take a little time off of work and go watch a program or whatever it is. Today Emma had her D.A.R.E. Graduation. More on that later. I took an early lunch to go see the graduation, and not only did I get to see the graduation, but also the state fair. Every year the fifth graders do a report on a state and it's a big to do and they have to do a tri-fold back drop and everything. Then I guess they put them on display. Emma picked Nebraska. And I learned something I didn't know before: Nebraska has peculiar weather. This is her back drop: And this is what I learned:



Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Empathy

I am one of the most sympathetic people I know. Seriously. I can just feel what people are feeling. I mourn with those that mourn and comfort those that need comfort. People just tug at my heart strings. I think that is one of my greatest strengths. But then there is empathy. Empathy is something that endows a gift of charity. It obliterates every judgment, every grudge, every misunderstanding. It helps us truly understand a person, all guards down, because we know where they have been. We have been there too. It forges a different kind of bond with people. You don’t just feel their pain, you know and experience it too. I look at my closest friends and reflect on what has made us so close: it’s empathy.
Every time a big storm blows into town, I can feel it in my right hand. It aches and I hate straightening out my last two fingers. I tend to think I have arthritis in those joints but only feel it when the pressure drastically changes, though I haven’t seen a doctor. Two weeks ago, a big storm rolled in. I realized that’s why my hand was hurting. The pain was acute and lasted for about a week. I started worrying that it wouldn’t go away and all the implications that would involve: like having scary fingers and having to learn to write with my left hand. I complained about it to my mom and then realized what a wimp I was. Alana had been practically bed ridden for months last year because of that kind of pain all over her body. My heart hurt so much for her during that time and I wished there was something I could do for her. I was filled with that sympathy. As I whined to my mom, I realized that now I had a taste of what it was like. And then I realized that not only did Alana experience the physical pain that arthritis brings, but she also had to deal with a lot of fear.
I had been expressing wimpathy. I don’t think I could handle that! And I am grateful that she is so strong and able to handle such a difficult trial. But now I can look at it differently. Because although I don’t have a clue what it would feel like to have sore and stiff joints all over my body, I have had a little taste of the pain it involves. I have developed a little bit of empathy, and my respect and love for my little sister has grown by leaps and bounds.
I think it is empathy which draws us closer to the Savior. He understands our pain because he experienced it. And because he understands, it draws out a different kind of love and trust from us. It sort of binds us closer. At times, he will let us have a glimmer of understanding what he has gone through, that is when we are humbled and our love and gratitude for Him become more solidified. When He does that, He gives us the gift of empathy, and with it, charity.