Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sad, Neglected Blog; New Beginnings

Several times a week I check on the blogs I love most to see if their authors have posted anything new.  I do this, and yet I neglect my own blog.  To anyone out there who checks mine, I am sorry!  I will try to do better.  Expect more out of this blog in future. :)  Here's to new beginnings!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Things Kids Say...

Sometimes our kids say the funniest things, and I rarely remember to write them down.  Then they're just lost, so sad.  Well this weekend we had a conversation on our way to my in-laws' house that ended with a line from Hyrum, age 9, that I think may become a Thomas family classic! 

From the freeway the kids could see birds out the car window, and we got talking about birds and what kind of bird we'd like to be if we had to choose.  I said I'd like to be a bird of prey so I didn't have to constantly fear for my life.  Andrew, age 7, started asking about what kinds of things birds of prey eat.  We named a few things, rodents, insects, smaller birds, and Andrew asked if they eat people.  Jon, who loves to tease to help ease the boys' fears, said that they do, but they only eat the 7-year-olds.  After a moment of quiet gasps, the boys realized he was teasing and started to laugh.  As their laughter grew, Hyrum said loud and clear from the back of the minivan, "Andrew, that's why you should never tell a bird your age!"  Guffaws and chortles and Mom almost peed her pants.  It was great.  I need to record those moments more often.  :)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Memorable Sunday

Last month, the boys and I were sick for the first two or three weeks of December.  During that time our bishopric called to ask Jon and me to speak in Sacrament Meeting one Sunday.  We had to say no because I had no voice at all and we weren't going to make it.  Unbeknownst to me, Jon agreed to have us speak in January instead.  Jon forgot all about it, though, until Friday (2 days ago) when it was confirmed to us after 9:00 PM that yes, we were assigned to speak in Sacrament meeting THIS SUNDAY!  I teach Relief Society lessons the 2nd Sunday of each month and had left my lesson to prepare on Saturday, so it turned out to be a sort of marathon-relay of preparing my talk, giving Jon space to prepare his, and then preparing my lesson.  (We have just started on the 9:00 AM block session this year, whereas last year we were accustomed to a cushy 1:00 PM meeting start time, with plenty of morning space for last minute preparations.  NOT ANYMORE!  Have you ever tried getting 5 little boys and 2 adults ready for church by 9:00 AM?  Not easy.)
Anyhow, I gave my talk, which was on "Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself," and it went really well, I thought.  At least, I felt like what I had prepared came across clearly and easily, and I think the Spirit was able to speak to the hearts of those who were present.  Jon spoke too, and did a fabulous job on his topic of "Love the Lord Thy God With All Thy Heart..."  He finished and we had the closing hymn and prayer, and I was just picking up cereal crumbs and toys when the sister sharing the bench with us turned to me and said, "Did you know Elder Oaks is here?"  I just had time to say, "oh, really?" when someone called my name, and it was Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve, standing at the end of my row with his hand outstretched to shake mine.  Slightly stunned, I shook his hand and he said, "Sister Thomas, you quoted me!"  (And I had.  Right near the beginning of my talk.)  He turned  and shook Jon's hand too, and then said, "thank you, Brother and Sister Thomas, those were two of the best Sacrament Meeting talks I have heard in a long time."  Well, that felt wow!
Turns out Elder Oaks stayed to all of our meetings and visited part of Sunday School, Primary, a couple of youth Sunday School classes, Elders' Quorum, and the tail end of... Relief Society.  Yes, my Relief Society lesson.  I lost my place for a minute when he walked in, but I think the lesson as a whole went over really well.  It was nice that he came in at the end because I happened to end about 8 minutes early.  So he was able to get up and address us, which he said he doesn't usually get to do.  He said that on the rare Sunday when he doesn't have to be to a Stake Conference, he will drive around until he finds a church building that he feels he ought to stop at.  And today it was ours.  He said he got there in time to take the Sacrament, but too late to go sit up on the stand.  He said he just likes to go see how the "real church" is run, and that we and other wards like us are the real church.  He likes to see how the manuals and curriculum are being used and taught.  It was really amazing to have him there; our ward was all aflutter the whole block.
My 3 oldest boys all came home and recorded their experience with him in Primary in their journals.  It's not every day you get to have an apostle of Jesus Christ walk in on your meetings!  I have met apostles before (I even met Elder Oaks last year after a Seminary broadcast), but this was somehow more intimate.  To me, it kind of felt like a confirmation that not only the things I had prepared in my talk and lesson were pleasing to God, but that He is pleased with how I am trying to live and trying to teach my boys His gospel.  What a memorable day.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Secret Sib Christmas Ideas

A couple years back my little sister Jamilyn put a Christmas idea list on her blog so that anyone trying to buy for her for Christmas or birthday would know what to get for her.  It was helpful because I had drawn her name for Secret Sib.  I don't know who has me for Secret Sib this year, and I hope it isn't presumptuous of me to put it here, but here are a couple of things I am interested in for Christmas:

Better Homes and Gardens Warmer, Antique Finish
Better Homes and Gardens Warmer, Floral Medallion  
These are "wax warmers" from Better Homes and Gardens at Walmart.  Kind of like a "Scentsy" (or so I am told!).  My niece got one for her birthday last week and I thought, "what a great idea!"  You put wax in the top part and a light bulb in the bottom warms the wax, like a wick-less candle.  Mmm!

Another idea is a cute font cartridge for the Cricut.  You can get them at JoAnn's and other craft stores; I have a used "Personal Cricut" that I have never even used because the font in my only cartridge is pretty basic.  So a new font would be really nice! 

I also love SURPRISES; this small list is absolutely NOT comprehensive, it's just a starting point for a stumped secret sib.  :)  
By the way, if any of you has Jon's name this year, just think "grown-up kid" when you are shopping for him.  Seriously, Toys R Us is a good place to shop for him (Nerf section, RC cars, really cool Transformers, etc.), or Hastor Games/Game Night Games for a fun, highly-rated new board game.  I hope that's helpful if anyone is in need of that kind of help!  Happy Holiday shopping to everyone!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Baby #6, Coming May 2013

So this is the reason I need to back off the running!  I am pregnant, nearly 13 weeks along, and I am due May 21st.  We will know the "flavor" of this baby at our ultrasound on January 3rd.  People who know we have 5 little boys keep saying to me, "are you hoping for a girl this time?"  Honestly, I don't know WHY I would hope for a girl when we are completely outfitted for a boy.  And it would be so strange to have a girl when what we have given our lives to these past 9 years is raising little boys-- that's just what I do!  BUT, I am sure that if this is a girl that it will be wonderful, we will love her and welcome her as we have all our boys.  I will keep you all posted, and hopefully soon I will get around to blogging about our many adventures of this summer, before we ring in a new year!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Running in 2012

Back in May, Jon's older brother and sister invited him to train to run a marathon (26.2 miles) with them.  He had set a goal while he was a missionary to run a marathon one day, but it was one of those goals he thought he'd probably never get around to doing.  But after a summer of training and preparing, he ran the Huntsville Marathon on September 29th and had a strong, successful finish time of 4 hours, 30 minutes, and 15.3 seconds!  He placed 96th over all and felt really, really good afterward.  Way to go, Sweetheart!  I'm so proud of you!

After the finish with our boys:
This is what the gorgeous fall day looked like at the race:

Before the run, with Mindi and Mike (don't they look so thrilled to be there?):

With the spirit of fitness in the air at our house, and after reading a blog post by my little sister about running, I too decided to become a "runner" in May this year.  I opted to run a 5K with Jamilyn to jump-start my commitment to running.  So we ran at the Cancer Thrasher 5K back on June 9th:
Before and after pics:
We had so much fun that we decided to go for a 10K, but unfortunately, it costs a lot of money to enter competitive races like that.  So I decided to plan one myself.  We held our first annual Beckstrom family 10K race on freezy-breezy Saturday, October 27th.  I ran with Jon, Jamilyn, my brother Adam, and my dad.  We planned a course around and through our stake boundaries, and you know what?  It was really fun!  I have slowed down a lot, following my body's requests (reason why to follow in a future blog post), but I finished and felt good!  
Here we are before the race:

And afterward:

And just because I need to write it down somewhere, I have decided I want to do a half-marathon to celebrate when I know our family is complete (all the babies here) and I would like to shoot for a marathon (yeeks!) in fall 2014.  I hope those goals will help me stay committed to running!  I sure do enjoy it.  Thanks family for coming and running too!  We'll do it again next year.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mother's Day Butterfly

My mom had her own unique perspectives on afterlife.  As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we know that "when we die, our spirits will enter the spirit world and await the resurrection. At the time of the resurrection, our spirit and body will reunite, and we will be judged and received into a kingdom of glory" (click here for more about that).

But immediately after returning to heaven, she imagined there might be a period appropriated for some "Q & A" about the tough-to-answer questions here on earth.  Specifically, she envisioned a large space, like maybe an auditorium, with different stations all categorized so you could get in line to obtain whatever sort of knowledge you sought.  For instance, if you were amazed by the universe and all its incredible parts, and wanted to know more, you line up at table #1.  At table #2, you might get answers to questions such as "why did God invent mosquitoes?"  I've pictured Mom since she passed away, lining up to wait for answers to her questions, and I've wondered what kinds of answers she's getting!

Another funny thing she thought about life after death is that we would get to join "committees" to watch over, protect, or put ourselves into whatever corner of creation interests us.  I remember her saying once on a rainy day as we looked at a rainbow over the mountains, how fun it would be to join the rainbow committee.  I know she would have loved to be on the puppy committee, or any other cuddly animal committee.  But not long before she died, Mom told a good family friend that she would be joining the butterfly committee very soon.  This thoughtful friend had these tiles made for us the week mom died, so this is displayed in my home:

On Mother's Day morning, my family met up with my dad, Emily and Dave, and Adam and Andrea's family at the cemetery to remember and honor our mom.  It was really a happy visit; the cemetery was beautiful and it was such a pretty day.  The kids were exploring and the adults were visiting when suddenly someone spotted a big, fancy, yellow-and-black butterfly zip past us on the breeze.  It landed on a tree just near Mom's headstone and watched us for a while. 

Someone commented about Mom and the butterfly committee, and I wondered if she had sent this one to be a part of us in her stead that morning.  Either way, I felt like she was close by and that she was happy to see us all getting together, business as usual, no sadness or tears.  That would have pleased her.  I love that kind of sweet, ordinary, ever-day miracle our Heavenly Father uses to show us we are special to Him and He knows what we are going through.  Love you, Mom, and miss you.  Thank you, butterfly, for coming to be with us that morning.  It made for a very special Mother's Day moment.