Monday, February 25, 2013

Service is an Attitude

Today was one of those days from a song.  You know the one.  Sing it with me "Ain't nothing gonna break my stride, ain't nothing gonna slow me down."  It started with a late start for school.  Woohoo, everyone likes an extra 2 hours in the morning.  On the way to dropping the boys off at school I passed a friend who had slid on the icy roads in the neighborhood, done a 180 and ended up damaging her car hitting the curb.  I stopped and asked if they needed help but at that time they waved me on.  On my return trip I stopped again to give assistance.  This time they took me up on the offer and I moved the car over a bit and put on my hazard lights.  No Way was I going all the way to the side of the road and getting stuck so I did the best.  A man in a giant truck came up behind me and stopped, motioning to move.  Hmmm, the doors are open, kids are on both sides of the road and the hazard lights are on.  Not sure what kind of clue he needed other than those that I wasn't moving.  I waved him around me and as he passed he attempted to show how "big and bad" he was in in his truck, instead he slid on the house and made a fool of himself.  I laughed.  I dropped the family off at home and promised to return in 15 minutes to take the youngest to school when I was taking Jordan.

After the 2nd school drop off the family needed help again.  One of the boys needed to get to school so he could participate in the basketball game after school.  I head down the road only to find a woman stuck on the side of the road in her van.  I pulled over, put the hazards on, grabbed my shovel and headed to her van.  There was a garage door serviceman in his van parked behind her, just sitting in the van.  The woman was pregnant and had a small child in the car so she was unable to get out comfortably on the ice.  I gave her some instruction on how to move the car, shovelled some snow, gave a push.  The van didn't move....but the garage door guy started his van and drove off.  Seriously.  We were both shocked!  In my disbelief I figured I would go get the boys from the family I was helping with school runs and we could all push her out -she must have tried again after I drove around the corner because she managed to get unstuck. 

Once again, I had to laugh.  Here were two different men who could have ruined my day but instead it just reminded me of a lame roadshow I was in while in mutual.  Our theme was "Service is an Attitude" and you know, it's true!  Just stopping to help someone else out changed the way I could have reacted for the entire day.  Not saying I didn't have a negative thought pass my mind, because I did - but I definitely got over it faster and I'm guessing it's because I was too busy serving others. 

Oh - and I wasn't trying to "toot" my own horn.  Just telling a story. ;)  Oh, and reminding you to serve one another!

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Art of Being Offended

I just had a situation occur in which I found that I had offended someone.  I had genuinely hurt their feelings, or upset this person, probably over a year ago.  I honestly had no idea.  I have been living my life as normal.  I have been going on about my daily business not knowing that someone held serious ill feelings towards me. 

This has brought me to a point that the last several days I was not even able to sleep well.  I apologized and explained my position - completely shocked at how stiff and unresponsive the person was when I began speaking.  I was under the impression she just wanted me to understand she wasn't a bad person.  I had already explained that I did not.  However, it turned out she harbored much deeper feelings than that.  I was initially angry.  I am the one who should be offended was my first thought.  I should be offended that over the past 20 years this person hadn't taken the time to get to know me so that she would have never believed what she had been told in the first place.  I was offended that she thought I knew all of the "gossip" when, in fact, I had made the initial comments that offended her without any information on the situation.  I was also offended that she never contacted me.  Instead she called someone who then called me and asked, as if it were some horrible game of telephone. 

I had to think of all of the counsel we have been given at church on being offended, or rather NOT being offended.  Being offended does not help anyone, and only hurts the one who is offended.  Like I said, I have been living my life just fine for the past year without a second thought.  This other person has had to live with this deep dislike for me.  And now, I have to be the bigger person.  I don't even want to.  Like I said, I want to be offended.  I want to write her a letter and ask HER how she could even THINK that I would support someone who has done the things that her daughter has done.  How, as a mother, I would condone the behavior that I did not even know about until AFTER I apologized 2 days ago. 

Instead, I will blog it here.  I will write a more sufficient apology.  I will offer my support where it belongs.  And I will go back to living my life as I did before.  Just do me a favor, if I ever make you that angry, let me know so you can get over it in less than 18 months.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sometimes a Mom Gets to Brag!

See this kid?  I think he is totally awesome!  I love the  young man that he is turning in to.  He just spent a week camping with the boys from church.  We missed him but he had an awesome time.  He learned a lot about himself and he rose to many challenges that faced him on the trip.  When people ask us what the best part of living in Colorado Springs is I can honestly say the changes in this boy!  He's always been a good kid but I love seeing him do new things and make new friends.  The friend part is the biggest.  I'm sure one day I'll wonder why he's always gone hanging out with friends but for now I love it.  I love that last night at a friends house, where he was until after midnight, they had to stop their activities and all of the kids in the house - family, friend, whatever had to go in the living room for family scripture reading and prayer because the younger kids were going to bed!  Seriously - I might have to drop him off there every night at 8.  Hahaha.  I love that those are the friends he is choosing.  That he is finding his place and figuring out who he is.  I look forward to seeing what kind of man he turns in to.  Stay tuned....I think it will be good!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Long Past Due

Have you ever tried to blog something over and over and over and never actually posted it? I could probably find a few drafts in here that I've started about my brother but never posted them. I suppose we'll find out at the end if I actually press publish or not.

Today is Larry's 41st birthday. April 18th and March 14th usually lead to a few extra thoughts in his direction and today was no different. I remember 8 years ago on the first Marth the 14th vividly. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Tucson. In Illinois the weather wasn't as nice, it may not have been snowing or stormy but there was enough leftover ice on the roads and snow on the grass to change the day drastically in both places. As the news came that he had been killed in a car accident I knew almost immediately that I would be speaking at his funeral. Strange thought probably, but it entered my mind. During the rest of the evening I racked my brain trying to remember him. Thinking that I would be speaking about him in just a few days and I couldn't remember ANYTHING. My mind was just blank. How could that even happen? How can you know someone for 31 years and then forget it all? Of course I hadn't forgotten. I won't ever forget. There are things that just stay in your mind forever, and if you know me you'll know that I remember EVERYTHING. I'm not like Poppy Montgomery on Unforgettable...but hey close enough. When I sat down in front of a computer in the hotel we were staying at, because who can write on paper with a pencil anymore, it all came together. The more I typed the more I remembered. The longer the word document got. That's a pretty good sign of a good life, I think, when there are more good stories than you have the time to tell. Rather then tell them again I think I'll just make a list of some of the things I remembered today.

-When we were little his favorite song was "Rhinestone Cowboy". He was also a fan of Billy Joel's "My Life".

-We shared a room for several years when we were little. Probably up until the time he was playing with matches and lit our apartment on fire.

-When he was 6 he was riding his bike down a huge hill. His brakes went out or something and he crashed in to a stop sign and got a HUGE black eye. Well, it was more green because we called him "The Incredible Hulk" for a few weeks.

-He was afraid of spiders. There was nothing like being at one end of the house and hearing him shreiking from his bedroom as if someone was in there trying to murder him. Just a little spider on the light switch that he, of course, didn't notice until turning on his bedroom light.

-He once ditched school and broke in the house through the bathroom window. Nobody needed to call CSI to match the bottom of his shoe with the footprint he left on the bathroom wall.

-While "exploring" the attic space with a few friends they fell through the ceiling leaving quite the mess in the family room.

-With his cross country friends he "borrowed" the life size nativity from Trinity Broadcasting and left it on their English teacher's front lawn. They were caught by the police while returning the items....but fortunately let off with a warning AFTER being handcuffed to a stop sign to wait for their mother's to come get them. The best part of most of his little high school pranks is that they took pictures and they were always wearing their letter man jackets. Seriously - is wearing a jacket with your last name and high school on it the best idea when committing crimes?

-When ditching school it wasn't uncommon to go into a local fast food joint and see that he was also there. Friends would ask "isn't that your brother?" but we would never acknowledge eachother. Turns out he had friends who didn't even know he had a sister.

-He took my friend Stefani to the prom because her date bailed on her. My mom made him rent a tux and get his hair cut (see picture above). He was quite annoyed when my date showed up with longer hair then he had had to cut off!

-We once drove from Oregon to California with no car radio. He could sing any song I asked him to. If he didn't know what the song was I could give him a few lines and then he was off. He also punched me in the arm EVERY time there was a sign that said "no soft shoulder". NICE!!

-He came to visit me in college while he was in the Air Force. I asked him when he had to be back and he laughed and said he wasn't going. Nice joke until you start getting calls from MP's because your brother is AWOL. Good times. Yes, he went back and served for 8 years.

-He was an amazing dad. A total natural. When his oldest son was born I went to visit and he picked me up from the airport. Tyler was 11 days old and there Larry is walking through the airport with this baby in a stroller. When Tyler would cry at night Larry would say "boy don't make me get up". Just the sound of his voice would quiet the baby. There were also times that Tyler's mom would call Larry at work and have him talk to his son on the phone and it would calm him down.

-He dated a girl who didn't think it was appropriate that he let his 3 year old watch The Simpson's. He broke up with her. This totally makes me laugh. It isn't about The Simpson's - just the fact he was annoyed she questioned his parenting skills.

-After letting his son win one too many races down the hall from the elevator to his apartment he realized he needed to teach him that you don't "always" win. This then resulted in a long conversation after an hysterical Tyler told his mom that his dad "BEAT" him.

-He only spent 5 months with his youngest son, Jacob, but he was a great dad for those five months!

I'm sure I could go on and on...but I think this is about it for now. The thought for the day is "Call someone you love, tell them you love them. Don't put it off for another week. You never know if you will have the time."

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Staying in the Know

I have a bit of a reputation for knowing what's going on. Not just where I am currently living but where I was before. I just have to let you all know that staying in the "know" is not as easy as it may appear. This was a conversation I had a few weeks ago via text. This will absolutely make sense to those of you that know the full names. Friend: Christy T. was called as 2nd councilor for Stake Primary Presidency. Me: Sheri T.?? Friend: No Christy Hendricks Me: Do you mean H*******??? Friend: Yes, that was it!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Story

I have been so bad about blogging but I think I will give myself a little kickstart with a Sunday Story. I have a new little Primary class, since it is a new year, and these kids are FANTASTIC!!! We started the year out with 12 on the roll - only one of them was a girl. We are now up to 14 with THREE girls. Too fun. Today in sharing time little H sat next to me. I naturally put my right arm out on the back of the chair next to me. It's a serious habit that I never noticed until little H told me "I don't like it when adults do that." Everytime my arm would go up he would glance at me!!!!!! Next week someone else needs to sit by me because I can't handle it. He also told me, half sarcastically, "keep your hands to yourself." SERIOUSLY??? He's six. Then during classtime I have little T. He is amazing and I'm still not sure why he hasn't been called to teach primary. Who cares that he's only 6. Actually, Gospel Doctrine might be more his speed. He can take any question and he just expands upon it. These are not the regular "sunday school" answers either. H looked at me and said "T sure is serious about all of this." It's true - T is very serious about all of this and I think it's great.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pike's Peak

I have not blogged in a few months mostly because I didn't feel like blogging through tears and being a big downer. I'm not fully adjusted to this whole idea of living in Colorado but there are some things that make it easier. It sure is nice to have my parents here and my nephew is just down the street as well. Jackson thinks it is pretty cool to actually go to the same school as his cousin. I just think it's amazing that we're all in the same place! We've spent most of our time settling in but this last weekend we did do a little sight seeing. We headed up to Pike's Peak.

This was a trip we might NEVER do again. We will probably go to Pike's Peak again but we will not drive. It had to have been the windiest uphill drive that any of us had ever been in. It is also pretty difficult to breath at 14,000 feet so as you are driving up the mountain you can feel the difference. It was beautiful if you didn't think about falling off the side of a mountain.

The trip down wasn't as bad unless you count almost getting run off the road by an ambulance. There was a charity hike up the mountain that day and I guess there were several people in need of medical assistance. There is always medical crew up at the top and they even have an oxygen room to take those that need help breathing. Well, after the charity hike the one ambulance wasn't enough. On our way down we passed one coming up and THEN we came around a curve with an ambulance headed straight for us. Some idiot in a blue car did NOT pull over for the ambulance and so he was trying to pass it just as WE came around. Nothing like a giant vehicle squeezing in between two cars on a skinny mountain road!!! Fortunately we all survived!

As we got closer to the bottom of the route we got to watch a life light helicopter land. Turns out one of the people at the top was too sick for the ambulance and at 14,000 feet the helicopter is limited on the weight it can carry so they let off one of the crew and then flew up to the top. They actually let off a smoke signal so the pilot knows where to land up there. The kids thought this was pretty cool and one of the forest rangers was nice enough to explain it all to us.

Now I'm just hoping that the rest of our adventures in Colorado are just as beautiful but not as "eventful".