Dare to Do Right

We have a bedtime routine that includes singing a number of songs each night. 
Every attempt to decrease the quantity has been met with great resistance and tears.
We told them we can still sing the same quantity if they will sing too.  Sometimes we insist that they have to sing to us while we listen.
In an effort to help the children learn more songs we choose one song to switch in/out each week.  This week we are singing “Dare to Do Right.”
These are the words (with some of my own commentary/thoughts):

Dare to do right! Dare to be true! *
You have a work that no other can do;  **
Do it so bravely, so kindly, so well,  ***
Angels will hasten the story to tell.
Dare, dare, dare to do right;
Dare, dare, dare to be true,
Dare to be true, dare to be true.

Dare to do right! Dare to be true!
Other men’s failures can never save you.  ****
Stand by your conscience, your honor, your faith;  *****
Stand like a hero and battle till death.  ******
Dare, dare, dare to do right;
Dare, dare, dare to be true,
Dare to be true, dare to be true.

My comments:
*I think “true” can be multiple things. I think it can be about telling the truth. It can be about not deviating from a known path; similar to a bicycle tire, if it is wobbly at all it is called “out of true” and that is what I like to think of.
**Each person has their own set of strengths and weaknesses, as such, we each can do different things, and that enables us to be our own part of the whole.
***Sometimes making the right choice is not what other people want us to do, we can still do it, we can be polite about it, and we can still do it correctly.
****No matter what someone else does, we are responsible for our own choices and actions. Our success is not determined by the success or failure of another person.  We can cheer others on and not wish for them to fail.
*****What ever your moral compass is, stick to it; be honorable in your actions!
******While some battles end in death, I think this is a message of endurance. Do not give up. Fight the good fight your whole life through.

Humming is Happiness

Corban hums while he eats something he likes.* 
Corban got a full dose of stubbornness from his mom and from his dad. 
Corban has three favorite foods, chicken fingers, Gardetto’s, and popcorn.** 
Some days he decides that if what I make for supper is not one of those foods, he isn’t interested and will try to refuse to eat.  This forces us to get creative just to get him to take the first bite, upon which he realizes he likes the food and will eat, often requesting seconds. 
Last night was a night he said he “WILL NOT EAT THE NOODLES!” 
After further behaving in a rude manor and a timeout to calm down, he was invited to re-join us at the table. 
Everyone told him how they liked the food, and he insisted he would just sit and watch. 
Corban begged for buttered toast*** instead of the cheese burger macaroni shells. 
Corban loves cheese burgers****, and he loves sauces*****. 
We offered to let him eat his cheese burger mac with sauces, and he was sold! He was willing to try it, if he could have sauces. 
Then Corban hummed the rest of the meal!

*This reminds me of a particular little person that was at the preschool while I worked there.  Corban does not appreciate being referred to by that person’s name. 
**If we would let him, he would eat those exclusively everyday. 
***Another thing he really likes, because he knows how to put bread in the toaster and push the buttons.
****Sunday for supper we had burgers.  There were only a few frozen patties in the freezer, so I had purchased more on Saturday, in order to have enough.  I found some good dairy free cheese slices.  The meal was a success…mostly.  The newer patties were of a lesser quality.  It had not occurred to me that hamburgers might have filler-ingredients.  They didn’t hold their shape after being cooked, so, instead of putting the rest in the freezer or cooking them up to have as leftovers, I cooked it up like ground beef and used it for cheese burger mac.  That was the best use of that meat product, and I will not be purchasing that brand of beef patties again.
*****I have been having fun researching lots of recipes for sauces like honey mustard for example or dairy free ranch, and so far, those have been successful.

The Smallest Thing

Jacob:  The smallest thing I am grateful for is the electron because electrons make my job and most of modern technology possible.

Marcia the Elder:  The smallest thing I am thankful for is DNA because I am amazed at how living things/beings grow and form and develop and change over time and how we get all of our unique traits.*

Marcia the Younger:  The smallest thing I am thankful for is this bowl** so that Corban doesn’t burn the house down.
Also, I am thankful for atoms because they make up everything.***

Hinckley:  The smallest thing I am thankful for is family, no, it is food.

Corban:   I think the smallest thing I am thankful for is the entire house.  Wait, it is bigger than us.  Uh, uh, I know, a mini-robot that is this small.****

*What a run-on thought!
**A wooden bowl where we put the knobs for the stove top ever since he lit a pan of brownies on fire causing a bit of an issue.

***This is where Jacob said, “That’s why you shouldn’t believe atoms, because they make up everything.”  To which, she did giggle.
****Pinching his fingers together with about a centimeter space.

Best Kind

Our responses to, “Would you rather live in a gingerbread house with the candy decorations or a house made of LEGO?”

Jacob:  LEGO because I like changing things and reconfiguring the house would be that much more fun.*

Marcia the Elder:  I guess we should get  a LEGO house.  It would be more structurally sound than a gingerbread house.  Can you imagine that first wind and rainstorm.  It would be one big soggy, sticky mess.  My family seems to want to change the house a lot…. Wait until they see that I may or may not have used Kragle on the LEGO house.

Marcia the Younger:  Probably LEGO because then I wouldn’t be tempted to eat my house.  Also, there are smooth pieces of LEGO to smooth over the floor.**

Hinckley:  LEGO because if we lived in a gingerbread house we’d be really tempted to eat our house, and them we would have no home to live in.  Also, because we could take our house apart if it was a LEGO house and put it back together and transform our whole house.

Corban:  The reason I want a LEGO house is because I want the floor to be flat with no studs.  That’s why I want to live in a house made of LEGO with you.

*Mar©ia pointed out that it would be easier to fix the gutters because you can just make stairs to reach the gutters.
**As often as she asks to rearrange her room, I am surprised that she didn’t mention this in her reply.

Tonight at Supper

I said I had a question and that I wanted everyone to answer.
Hinckley said he knew what I was going to ask, “Are all the chores done?”
I told him that while that is a good question, what I wanted to know was:

Would you rather be a centaur or a mermaid/merman?

Jacob:  Somebody told me that centaurs are all boys, so, I want to be a merman because I want to be where there are girls too, and not only smelly horse boys, and I don’t want to have to carry a baby (and give birth).

Marcia the Elder:  I would rather be a centaur because I know there’d have to be girls too, and I am not a swimmer, and there are holes in my eardrum, so, I think merlife would not be right for me.

Marcia the Younger:  I would rather be a mermaid because centaurs are always boys.

Hinckley:  I would rather be a centaur because it would be cool to gallop as fast as a horse.

Corban:  After much refusal to cooperate and asking him the question each time he said something that was not the answer, here is how he eventually responded:
          Seahorses can’t swim.*
          I don’t want to be a mermaid because I don’t want to be in water.
          I don’t want to be a centaur because I don’t want to go as fast as a horse.**
          I would rather PLAY WITH a centaur that’s alive because I would play Hide and Seek, and I would always want to be first to seek.

* This was after talk about part fish and part horse.
**Hinckley tried to tell him he could choose to not go as fast.

One Whole Decade

Mar©ia went to bed as a nine-year-old, and woke up ten!  We like to wake the birthday girl with bells in her doorway by singing “Happy Birthday” to her, I think she liked it.

Even if the picture is blurry, I love the smile on her face.
Her birth-minute picture:

Maybe another day I will finish telling the events of the day leading to her expulsion.

Ten Years Ago Today

I was was “released from partial bed rest*” and started eating all the things that people say would start** labor.  It didn’t seem to do much to help.  So, we kept to the plan to go into the hospital at 8:30 p.m. for them to start the labor process with a pill they planned to put next to the cervix***.  Turns out that when we went in I was having contractions every 3 minutes, but I didn’t know**** it.  With monitors attached, I was given Pitocin, and settled in to see how long it would last.  Sometime before midnight, the TV no longer could distract me.

* I had a friend go with me to a prenatal appointment a few days earlier (Jacob had a class), and being that we are good friends, we were talking as usual, this time about something that makes me mad, and so my blood pressure read a little high.  At the end of the appointment it was checked again, again after they left us in the room talking again, same topic.  So, they had me go over to L&D at the hospital for a couple hours of observation.  Most of the time my blood pressure was good, baby’s stats were good.  But when on certain topics, they didn’t like the BP.  I was sent home on partial bed rest and had to do a 24 hour urine collection.  They found no trace of protein in the sample.  The only questionable factor was BP during certain conversations.  So, my advice to new moms, avoid topics that make you mad for prenatal appointments; for me it was talking about selfish behaviors of certain people that occasionally affect my life.
** Turns out that those things that people say will “start” labor really only encourage labor that has already begun. 
*** It truly is all about the hormones.
**** I thought I just needed to pee every 3-5 minutes.  And having never been through labor before, I didn’t recognize that as contractions of early labor.

Give Thanks

Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Joseph Smith because he translated The Book of Mormon and he restored the Church of Jesus Christ.
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Tommy Rivers Puzey because through his virtual running training he taught me to tolerate and sometimes even enjoy running.
Some people I have not met that I am thankful for are the scientists and others who are working on vaccines and treatments, because they give me hope that we can get out of this pandemic some day.

Marcia the Elder:
A group of someones I have not met that I am thankful for is strong women musicians like Pink, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Phillipa Soo, Linda Ronstadt, and the list goes on and on.  I haven’t intentionally left any out, this was just a quick, off the top of my head, start to the list.  I am thankful for their ability to share strength and vulnerability and support to others through music.
A group of someones I have not met that I am thankful for are people who can look at the world today, and then regurgitate the information in a way that makes me want to laugh instead of cry.  People like Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Ellen, Seth Myers, Tina Fey, Michael Che, Colin Jost, Sarah Cooper, Shane Burcaw, Eric Snider, Dave Chappelle, Amber Ruffin, and again, this list goes on and on.  Something something, “look for the helpers” something something “laughter is the best medicine” something something.  I may not always be in agreement with everything they say or think, but they can help brighten some darkness.
A group of someones I have not met that I am thankful for is civil rights activists, like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Lewis, Martin Luther King Jr, Bernie Sanders, Harriet Tubman, Jane Fonda, Elizabeth Freemam, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mamie Elizabeth Till-Mobley, Malala Yousafzai, Fred Rogers, and many many more.  Basically if a person stood up for the betterment of others without worrying more about the risks to themselves, then they make the list.  Again, “look for the helpers,” and “we are all in this together.”

Marcia the Younger:
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is the farmer who raises chickens, because I can eat the chicken when it’s dead.
Some people I have not met that I am thankful for is the US military, because they keep us safe.
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Bruce Harris*, because he was the bishop and kept the church in town when Mommy and Daddy met.  And if they hadn’t met, I wouldn’t be here.

Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Jocko Willink because he was in the military.  And because he was in the military, he was helping to protect everybody else.  I learned “discipline equals freedom” from him.  The moral of the story of “The Little Red Hen” is “discipline equals freedom.”
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is the President-Elect because if there was no ruler for the country**, the country would have a lot of problems.
Some people I have not met that I am thankful for are the people that do the main jobs of the country.  The doctors, police, and firefighters that protect us***, because they keep the world safer, and they rescue lives when lives are in danger.

Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Maui because he can break the Lava Monster’s arms.
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Eva**** because she’s a robot who can turn her hands into the tops of guns (to help Wall-E).
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Wall-E because he can turn into a box and he is a trash compactor to make cubes and he cleans the Earth. *****

* She has met him, but she was so little when they moved away, she has no memory of him anymore.  However, Jacob and I remember him and think of him often.
** Such wise words from such a young person!  He meant “for the country going forward.”  He remembers that we had an election this month for president, and he was concerned, leading up to the election, about what would happen if “no-one was elected.”
***Controversial or not (it is, but for the issue at hand…), there is a distinction made for those that help.  He has heard stories of ones that help and ones that do not.  Some of us have had personal experiences with a variety, I know I have.  The idea that there are any people out there that may cause harm, makes him feel sick, and so he is thankful for the good ones who strive to help.
**** This was originally Eve because “Mom’s mom’s mom’s mom’s mom’s…mom, all the way to the first one”
***** Oh, to have the innocent point of view of a four-year-old.

Give Thanks

I am thankful for Rachmaninoff’s “Third Piano Concerto.”  I am thankful for that piece of music because it is what inspired me to want to get good at playing the piano.

Marcia the Elder:
I am thankful for the song “Amazing Grace.”  It has been my most long-term favorite song, because it speaks to my soul.  Sometimes I feel “lost,” and sometimes I feel “found.”  No matter which I feel, I know that the lasting peace comes through Christ.  When they were babies, I sang this almost daily (nightly) to each of the kids to get them to sleep.  I have a runner-up category of “angry chick music,” which I actually think of as “strong woman music,” because they speak to me, too; albeit in a different way, and mostly when I am angry/grieving/need motivation to do hard things.

Marcia the Younger:
I am thankful for the song for “The First Article of Faith” because it is the first commandment God ever gave to anyone.*

I am thankful for the song for “The Ninth Article of Faith,” because it is my favorite Article of Faith, I don’t know why**, I just know that it is.

My song of music that I am thankful for is “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”  Because, I don’t know, because it (the star) means Jesus, and Jesus has God’s power.  And because Jesus is cool.  That’s not all of it.***

* First Article of Faith:  We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
First of the Ten Commandments:  I am the Lord they God, thou shalt have no other gods before me.
She feels like we are commanded to believe in God, and we claim to believe in God, so to her they are on the same level.
** I know why.  In an effort to help the Children understand what it is we believe, sometime in 2019, we were teaching them the Articles of Faith.  For the ninth, we decided to use a song to help us.  We sang it many many times in one week.  Then we decided to randomly sing it, and to this day we will break out into the song, and we can’t help but join in when anyone starts it.  And we all laugh together, and then move on with whatever we were doing.  The Ninth Article of Faith:
We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
*** Corban refused to tell us the rest of his reasons, maybe someday he will.

Give Thanks

I am thankful to feel peace/calm in our house because it has enough and the right spaces to contain all the complexities in our life, almost.

Marcia the Elder:
I am thankful to feel peace/calm using The Container Store, and similar organizational helpers.  Organization brings peace instead of chaos.  I feel better with things in order.  “A place for everything, and everything in place!”

Marcia the Younger:
I am thankful to feel peace/calm when cuddling with doggy (favorite stuffed animal) and staring at the ceiling, because it just makes me feel calm and peaceful because there are pictures and I like imagining what they are doing.
I am thankful to feel peace/calm in the backyard in the middle of summer because it is nice and calm and you can just play back there without worrying about rain* just falling down on us.

I am thankful to feel peace/calm with my family and friends, and at Gramma’s house**, because I get to play with LEGOs, and there are some toys that I love.  They make me feel love, and peace and calm because when I finish building them I can just start playing.

I am thankful to feel peace/calm in a place.  The Earth, and playing games.  I enjoy playing games, it is fun.  It makes me feel like Dad [doesn’t***] wants me out of his office.

* We have plenty of summer rain in the Midwest…hum.
**Even though, they live in the same town, kids probably haven’t been to their house, but one or two times in 2020 due to schedule conflicts at the start of the year, and then the whole pandemic rules and stuff.
*** I am pretty sure he meant to have that word in there, because he definitely does not like the feeling of being sent out of his dad’s office.  So, chances are he is thankful for the times he is allowed to be in the office.