Wednesday, January 28, 2009

crossing fingers never works

Bradley was on a roll tonight with his deep thoughts. This is one of them:

While driving home from his 2nd grade weather program (songs all about seasons and weather) he mentioned that he almost missed the bus earlier that day. His rehearsal for the program lasted a little too long and he had to rush back to his room for his backpack and coat and then out to the bus. He was worried he'd miss it, so he said a little prayer on his way down the hall. He said that the bus came to pick up the kids a little bit late. This was the rest of our conversation:

Tami: "Bradley, want to know something that I know about you?"
Bradley: "What"?
Tami: "I know that you have a testimony of prayer."
Bradley: "Yeah, prayer always works."

We talked briefly about several of his experiences with answers he's received, and the conversation ended like this:

Bradley: "Yeah, prayer is the only thing that works."
Tami: smiling and laughing a little
Bradley: "I'm serious. Crossing fingers never works. Sometimes our teacher chooses 3 people to get prizes. One gets a brag note, and one gets a treat. (I can't remember what he said the 3rd gets.) I always cross my fingers and it never works!"

So there you have it folks. Don't bother with crossing your fingers anymore, prayer is the only thing that works.

On the serious side, I am so grateful that he has learned at such a young age that he can pray and be heard. I have learned a lot from his example of faith.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

midnight adventure

Last night at 2:20 we heard at knock at the door. Wayne wasn't dressed for the occasion, so I went to the door in my pajamas. (He didn't really want to "share the gospel" with the person at the door. :D)

I have learned from recent news stories that you don't open the door right away, so I turned on our bright porch light and looked through the curtains. I saw a man that I had never seen before, who quickly showed me his Questar badge. I was still a little hesitant, so I began to talk to him through the glass. After a minute or 2, I finally opened the door. He explained that there was a gas leak next door and we needed to leave our home while they fixed it. He thought it would only take about a half hour to air out our neighbors home and get us back into ours. So we woke up Bradley, who likes to sleep in his underwear too, and we got him dressed. Wayne put Elli in the car seat with all her fuzzy blankets, and I made her a bottle so she could go back to sleep. Bradley grabbed his Star Wars books to read, and we were off.

We parked our car down the street and watched all the emergency personnel show up to take care of business. After a about an hour and a half, we were told to go back to our homes and get whatever we needed, and to go stay at the nearby hotel at Questar's expense. The leak was underground and they would have to dig it up to repair the damage and find any remaining gas pockets underground. They thought it would take 2 to 4 hours.

This is how we found our home when we came back to grab a few extra supplies. I had to laugh a little when I thought of what our newspaper man was going to think when he pulled up to drop off our paper. This isn't something you see every day, that's for sure.

We drove down to the hotel in town to find out that it was filled to capacity. So we drove to the next town, not realizing that they don't have any hotels. At that point we couldn't decide if we should drive the 45 minutes to my parents house, or go back to Wayne's little brothers house.

Bradley and Elli were both sleeping comfortably in the car, so we decided to stay in the car and let them sleep. Elli would have been easy to move because of her car seat, but Bradley isn't that much smaller than me anymore, so the days of carrying him out of the car to help him stay asleep are long since past. I didn't want to wake him up again, so we parked outside my Alan and Crystal's house and tried to sleep in the car. Wayne, Bradley and Elli were all sleeping just fine, but I had a headache and couldn't go to sleep. Bradley and Wayne were both reclined in the front seats, and I was in the back with my legs pinned under Bradley with Elli right next to me. ( I was in the back because Elli doesn't always love the car, and if she wakes up in a dark car it's even worse. She will cry until she starts throwing up. It's such a lovely thing!) I couldn't take just sitting there listening to everyone else sleeping so peacefully, so I finally told Wayne to come sleep in the back while I just drove around.

First we drove up to the stake center and Wayne left a note telling the stake leaders that he would be missing the meetings that morning. Then I just headed north, thinking that maybe I would go to my mom's after all. We only made it to the Provo Town Center and I changed my mind about going to my moms. I thought, we would probably just arrive and then they will call to tell us our house has been cleared and we can come home. So I turned around and went back. It was about 6:45 at this point. We just went back to my brother-in-law's driveway and snoozed a little. At about 7:30 Wayne said it would be fine to knock on their door. (The reality is that it would have been fine to knock at 4:30 too, but I felt awful waking them up.) So at 7:30 we were finally indoors again.

Bradley and Wayne went to sleep on the extra bed. But Elli woke up and wanted to play, so I stayed with her. The reason for that was I would be able to take a long nap during Elli's nap because it was my turn to stay home with Elli during church today. Anyway, at about 8:00 we got a call from Questar to do a walk through our home to clear it, and relight all our pilot lights. Wayne ran over alone to do that and came back at around 8:30 to take us home. It was lovely to go home!!!

Bradley told me that he hopes it will happen again because he liked sleeping in the car. He was pretty comfortable with the seat reclined all the way back. As for me, I think I will be okay without anymore midnight knocks at the door.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Our Story

I just stumbled on a song I haven't heard in a very long time, For The First Time by Kenny Loggins. It got me thinking back to how Wayne and I met, and how we got together. It's kind of a long story, so I'll be as short as I can:

We met back in the fall of 1991 at college. I was a freshman and he was a sophomore, just home from his mission. He and his roommate were my home teachers. Wayne assigned himself to my room (as the Elders Quorum Pres.) because he thought my roommate was cute and wanted to get to know her better. He did, and they dated the rest of the year. During the year he and I were in a production together at the institute. I sang a solo, and Wayne had a speaking part as Nephi. After the program my dad pulled me aside as said, pointing to Wayne, "I want you to marry someone just like him."

Wayne was called to be the institute president for the next year, so he stayed on for a 3rd year. We did a lot together that year, but only as friends. He was no longer dating my old roommate, but it still seemed a little weird to both of us because he had dated her so seriously. We did go to one dance together, and I can honestly say it was the funnest dance I've ever been too. You should have seen us doing all the country dancing stunts he had taught me. It was one of those times where everyone around you stops dancing just to watch you dance. We were pretty awesome! :D

At the end of the year I went home because my missionary was returning home. Yep, I had been waiting for a missionary my whole 2 years at college. He came home and very soon after that we were engaged. By the end of the summer I had called off my engagement, and was left without plans. It was a tough, emotionally draining time, and I needed to get away. So I decided to go back to the place I loved. I returned for a 3rd year at college. It was just what I needed, and it helped me get through everything.

At the end of that year I decided rather suddenly that I needed to go on a mission. So papers were submitted, and I was off on my mission all within 4 months. I got home July 1996, and began working full time.

In the meantime, Wayne was studying accounting and trying his hand at teaching seminary. He was doing really well in the teaching program and they really wanted to hire him, but the catch to that is that you need to be married. He dated a lot of girls, but still hadn't found the right one.

We got together once or twice after my mission, but just as friends. I think we always got together to go dancing. I love dancing with Wayne! He has his own style and technique, and I've never met anyone that dances like him. Since he is the one who taught me how to country swing, I have always danced best with him. But clueless as we were, neither one of us ever thought there would be anything between us.

So in the early summer of 1998 I went dancing with my sister when I ran into a friend of mine and Wayne's from college. He told me that Wayne had graduated any was living only 1/2 hour from my home. He thought we should all get together for dinner sometime. I thought it was a great idea, but didn't think anything else of it.

That very weekend, Wayne had gone through a bit of a personal crisis. He had been casually dating several girls, and knew he needed to narrow it down to just one or two, so he prayed for some guidance. Instead of being prompted on who he should focus on, he was told by every single one of them that they didn't think it was going to work out. He was left with no one. Then he received a call from our friend, who proceeds to tell Wayne that he really needed to call me and take me out. The next night he got a phone call from his Aunt (who used to work with my mom, so she knew who I was), and she told Wayne that he really ought to call me and take me out now that he lived so close. He was feeling a bit dumbfounded from his experience of being dumped several times in one week, and knew he needed a break from the dating scene. He thought it would be perfect to go out with me because there would be no pressure. After all, we were just friends, it wasn't going to go anywhere, right?

We went to the Manti Pageant, and had a great time as always. Since neither one of us had a significant other, we went out a few more times. Then he asked me to to go down to his parents home for the weekend to attend his high school reunion with him. While there, he introduced me as his girlfriend, which was news to me. When I got home from our weekend together I realized that I knew exactly where things were headed, so a couple of days later I told him. (Which by the way "scared the tar out of him". Those are his exact words.) I said, "I know where this is headed, so just let me know when you are ready." A little too bold I'm afraid. Luckily, I only scared him enough to slow him down, not scare him away. We were engaged in September 1998 and married January 8, 1999.

It only took us 7 years to realize how much we love and need each other. That's why the lyrics to the song are so perfect for us. If you want to listen, it's the last song on my playlist.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

10 years ago....

10 years ago today Wayne and I were married in the Jordan River Temple. We were sealed by my Grandpa, who shares our wedding anniversary. He counseled us to "Be One" as taught in the New Testament. We have tried very hard to do that. The last 10 years have been wonderful ones! We have had our bumps in the road that weren't easy to navigate at the time, but those moments have molded and shaped us into who we are today. And most importantly, they have left us with far richer blessings than we could have imagined ever receiving. Thanks Wayne for your love, your patience, your example, and for the way you can lift me with your smile. I love you Wayne!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

remembering a friend

Lizzie Ting Ting: with us from December 2004 to January 2008.

One year ago today we had to say goodbye to a friend. We had only had Elli home for a couple of days when we noticed that Lizzie wasn't doing well, and she died shortly after that.

For those of you who haven't heard the story of Lizzie I will share it again. It is a very sweet story of love and faith. Bradley learned at a very young age that prayers are heard and answered, but he also knew that sometimes prayers take time. When he was barely able to talk he added one line to his prayer that he repeated every night. It was either, "we thank thee that we can have a baby come to our home", or the more specific version, "we thank thee that I can have a baby sister". What does that have to do with a Lizard you ask? Well, I think Bradley was getting lonely after praying for over a year for a sibling. He had also discovered his love for animals, particularly reptiles. He wanted a pet, so he came up with the idea to pray for one. Somewhere around October or November of 2004 he began adding this to his nightly prayers, "we thank thee that Santa will bring me a lizard for Christmas". (He continued to pray for a sister as well.) Every night he prayed with such faith. He always prays like he knows that it is going to happen, and he is just fine to let it be on Heavenly Father's time.

Well, Christmas arrived at our home, and Santa was very generous with Bradley. However, there was no lizard under the tree. Bradley was okay with that. He even said that maybe Santa would bring it next time. He was disappointed, but hadn't lost his faith.

A couple of days later we loaded up the car to head down to Wayne's parents house for their family Christmas gathering. As part of the family party, we all squeeze into the family room and open gifts from each other. The tree as always was a lovely, full pine tree they had cut down a week or two before. There was a fire going to warm us all up, and create that cozy Christmas feeling. (although over 40 people in one room is probably cozy enough) Grandma passes the gifts out one by one so that everyone can see and appreciate what has been given to them. About half way through she said something about seeing a lizard on top one of the gifts. (Grandma and Grandpa didn't know about Bradley pryaing for a lizard, we hadn't said anything to anyone about it.) All the little boys jumped up at once and started scrambling through the remaining gifts under the tree. Wayne was the lone adult looking for the lizard under the tree, and was the one who recovered her from amongst the presents. Bradley jumped right over to him and with pure joy he declared, "Santa didn't bring the lizard to my house, he brought it to Grandma's house." How could we not bring her home after that? My father in law had told me that he had seen the lizard days before by the fire. It had found a way to get inside the house and stayed near the fireplace to keep warm. So was this just a coincidence, or a tender mercy? I believe it was a tender mercy from a loving Father who knew a little boy was lonely at home.

Lizzie was a lot of fun to watch. She loved to chase down the tiny crickets we bought for her food. She also loved to bury herself in the sand we brought back from a sand dune outside of Delta. She loved her sandstone arch, and was often on top warming herself under the lamp above her little habitat.

She was a bit tricky too. She escaped a few times, and we aren't sure how it happened, but each time it proved to be a faith promoting experience for Bradley. He would kneel down and ask for help finding Lizzie. And each time he did. I am so thankful that Heavnely Father loves his children and listens to all their prayers.
There was one demonstration of his profound love for Bradley that I will never forget. I was on strict bed rest, and so my sister offered to have Bradley come stay with her for a couple of weeks to ease our situation. Wayne was tenderly caring for me, and didn't forget to go in and care for Lizzie either. But just a couple of days before Bradley came home he must have left the top off the cage after feeding her because the next day he discovered her missing. He looked all over and couldn't find her anywhere. We thought that maybe she fell into the vent of something. So the night before Bradley came home I called him on the phone to let him know that Lizzie was lost and I didn't think we'd be able to find her. He was upset of course, but understood that it was an accident.

The next day he came home and went straight to his room. He hadn't been in there for more than a couple of minutes before he starting screaming in delight. Wayne ran back to see what was going on. It was Lizzie. She was right in plain sight sunning herself on top of a pile of books near the window. Wayne had looked there several times, but had not found Lizzie.

Bradley came out and told me that he said 2 prayers the night before asking for help finding her, he said another one in the car on the way home, and another in his room just moments before finding her. I am grateful for his example of faith, and for a loving Father in Heaven who understands the needs of ALL his children.
This photo was taken the same day that Lizzie died. I am also grateful that Bradley never gave up on praying for a little sister. I really feel that Heavenly Father helped that tiny little desert lizard live long enough so that Bradley would no longer feel lonely at home. She was with us for just over 3 years, and we have no idea how old she was to begin with, or how long desert lizards live for that matter. She was a tender mercy in many many ways.