Monday, November 23, 2009

So much to be thankful for

Six out of seven nights around here, we have a hard time getting our 7-year old son to fall asleep. He has mastered the art of distraction, the art of discovering sudden (and often rare) ailments, and the art of pushing our buttons. Anything to stay up just a little longer with us.

Tonight, hoping to cut to the chase rather than play the all too familiar games, I spent almost an hour laying down with him to help him relax and fall asleep. I knew if I stayed much longer I would soon be out as well, and with lots of other things still on my to-do list today, I finally got up to go. He had grabbed onto my shirt so that if I left after he'd fallen asleep, it would wake him up. Of course he hadn't drifted off yet - that would have been too easy - so he grabbed onto me and asked me to stay for another minute to hold his hand so he could remember what it feels like to have me there with him, once I was gone. He told me, "Mom, you're always in my heart. Right in the middle of it."

I am thankful for children who know how to express their love and are not afraid to do it, even if it might mean hearing "I love you too, now go to bed". I am thankful that tonight, I had the patience to spend the extra time with him and that the stuff on my to-do list can be patient for me to get back to it. Yep, it's still there!

I came downstairs, got on my laptop and read an email from the daughter of my good friend, Lincoln, who I wrote about in my very first post. He is almost 101 years old, but is not doing very well now. So many times I have wondered if a trip to see him would be the last hug, or if at the end of our weekly phone calls, we've said our last good-bye. I've saved every email we sent each other, which was until he was 98 years old. We both still remember the first time we met (he was 89, I was 22) and talk (and laugh- it's a good story!) often about that day. He has surprised and amazed us many times by bouncing back from health issues, and I've almost come to believe that he just will every time. I think it's that I have a hard time picturing the empty spot in my heart when he won't be there to answer his phone anymore.

I am thankful for older friends and relatives who have experienced far more than I can even guess, and who still delight in their relationships with younger people running around, still trying to figure it all out. I am thankful for their insight, wisdom, encouragement, and most of all, their love. Even when they have gone on, their examples and love have not. Yep, it's still there!

I could sit here all night and write about things I'm thankful for - I really have been richly blessed - and it would be good for me to do so. But for now my heart is full with just these things. They are more than enough. I am thankful I have been given this time to love.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

And the winner is...

Congratulations to Rosalee, who won Rachelle's drawing for a free CD! I hope you'll enjoy it!

Today one of my friends here in Virginia shared something with me that made me smile. She is a 6th grade teacher, and has set aside time each day for her students to listen to music while they are working. This past week she took my CD in to give them something new to listen to, and they are really enjoying it. I thought that was fun to know!

Have a great week, everybody.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Family Heritage projects - some food for thought

Lately I've heard a lot of powerful statements on the importance of connecting past generations to our future posterity. Maybe it's because I've just finished this project and that subject has been on my mind, so I'm more attuned to things of that nature right now. Maybe it's because there's still more I need to do so it keeps coming back to my attention. Either way, I want to share a couple of my favorite quotes that are inspiring to me.

“Not one of my children has any recollection of my grandparents. If I want my children and grandchildren to know those who still live in my memory, then I must build the bridge between them. I alone am the link to the generations that stand on either side of me. It is my responsibility to knit their hearts together through love and respect, even though they may never have known each other personally. My grandchildren will have no knowledge of their family’s history if I do nothing to preserve it for them. That which I do not in some way record will be lost at my death, and that which I do not pass on to my posterity, they will never have. The work of gathering and sharing eternal family keepsakes is a personal responsibility. It cannot be passed off or given to another.
- Dennis B. Neuenschwander

In a BYU devotional entitled "Keep the Chain Unbroken", Gordon B. Hinckley recalled a time when he had been reflecting on the lives of his great-grandfather, his grandfather, and his father. He was with his daughter, his grand-daughter, and his great-grandchildren.

"I suddenly realized that I stood right in the middle of these seven generations - three before me and three after me. In that sacred and hallowed house there passed through my mind a sense of the tremendous obligation that was mine to pass on all that I had received as an inheritance from my forebears to the generations who have now come after me."

One of the exciting things to me about the idea of passing on our inheritance is that it can be done in so many ways. Preserving, compiling, or reproducing pictures, letters, journals, stories, artwork, music, poetry, video footage, recipes, heirlooms, documents, traditions, favorite sayings, little songs, family jokes, dreams, goals, memories...there is so much of our ancestors in us and so much of us that is or will be in our posterity. What a gift to understand a little more about who we are and what we're made of.

One of my favorite memories with my great-grandmother (Great Granna, pictured here at age 30) is when I was in my early twenties. She came out to Missouri to visit and gave me a hot pad she had just crocheted. When we said good-bye, she gave me a hug, looked me in the eye, and said, "Now, you make sure you don't change a bit." (I thought she was going to say something like, "Because you're great just the way you are.")

But her reason surprised me and still makes me laugh: "Because you're short, just like me!" It's true, there we stood eye-to-eye at five-foot nothing! And I am happy to be just like her in that way, in addition to all the other things I've received from that great little woman. That was the last time we saw each other; she passed away at age 99. If I can only be as gracious and clever as she was to the end of my life, too! This is one cute little story that I need to tell my boys. I think I'll do that today.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Welcome, Wilkinson Quints blog followers!

Rachelle is one of my favorite people in the whole world - a fun, dear friend who came into my life just at the right time. But with my family’s frequent military moves, we lost touch over the years. When I recently found Rachelle on Facebook, I looked at her profile picture and thought, “How fun that she and Jayson got all their nieces and nephews dressed alike for a picture! They must have just been to a reunion.”

You can imagine my shock when I realized that those were actually their own children…all five at once! Suddenly my own busy life was put into a whole new perspective. (Not nearly as busy as Rachelle’s must be!) And she continues to be a great example and inspiration to me.

I’m happy to share my new CD with one of you for free! I hope you’ll enjoy my blog along the way. Be sure to take a look at "Why I made this recording". Email your answer to:

A couple of new features...

I now have a Paypal "Buy Now" button on the sidebar, and I've just added another audio clip to my music player. Enjoy!