Monday, September 28, 2009

Week Ending September 27, 2009

This week seemed busier than most. Probably because the computer went down and I had work I needed to do. I knew the computer had a virus and was in need of help beyond what I could give it. But with popcorn season beginning and various other work and scouting needs, I kept pushing off the inevitable. However, by Wednesday, the computer had pretty much quit being nice and I simply unplugged it and took it in for help. Luckily I had received a laptop for Christmas which I have pretty much avoided using for the past several months. And luckily, plugging it into the internet was an easy process and once I figured out that I could also plug in my mouse, rather than use the mousepad of the laptop, the switch wasn't too bad. I still prefer my desktop with the larger monitor. That may be because having hit 40, my body is showing signs of aging and the eyesight is probably needing assistance.

I had a number of meetings this past week - mostly scouting and mostly a waste of time. But I did have my first Tiger Den meeting which went fairly well. There are 5 boys with the possibility of a 6th joining. I do think we need a different room or at least get the one we're using to be less cluttered.

Thursday was a Mother's In Zion group meeting where we were given a number of wonderful ideas for getting children involved in family history. It made me realize how important the detailing of my life's events are at this point while they are fresh and I can still remember them. Most of the time, my week's are pretty mundane, but there are the few episodes that bear writing down and repeating. One day I can use them to amuse my grandchildren.

Friday night I attended the pack meeting of another unit for which I am the Unit Commissioner. They had a member of their pack who is involved in the Demolition Derbies who had brought his car and a video of a recent derby. Neil and I had to laugh because we recognized two other cars in the video as belonging to a couple of employees at our mechanic's shop.

Saturday I attended the General Women's Conference which I previously wrote about though not in detail. What I really loved from the meeting was President Eyring's address. He talked about the legacy that Relief Society women have left and the legacy we are continuing to build. I appreciate his humor and his humility. I suppose there were those who were disappointed that President Monson was not speaking, though he was in attendance, but I truly enjoyed listening to President Eyring.

We arrived to church a bit late on Sunday. I had been fighting a headache since Friday evening and believe that there may be some sinus issues involved as it keeps showing up even though I keep downing Advil. We got there just as the testimony portion of Sacrament Meeting began and we listened from the foyer to a number of sweet testimonies. I was supposed to help Neil with his class as he had both his class and the class just younger, but I ended up visiting with a sister in the hallway and made it back to Primary just prior to sharing and singing time.

We got home in time to get changed and have a realtor show up to show the house. Normally we keep away from Sunday afternoons, but since it was happening immediately after church, we allowed it. We had received word on Friday that another offer had been sent in, about $10,000 less than the previous offer so we will see what the bank says about this. I'm just tired of the waiting and not knowing. I had another lady come with her family today and because we haven't actually signed the other offer yet, I did let her know that if they offered the amount already approved by the bank, we would take that offer over the other one. She's coming back this afternoon with a contractor. It seems like a good sign. Now we'll just have to find a place to rent.

Sunday evening we had our Home Teacher come visit and then Neil and I headed over to the Eagle Court of Honor for a young man who we had known in the Granite Reef ward. I had been one of his Cub Scout Leaders and it was nice to see him complete this rank. He just turned 14 and has had incredible leaders and a grandmother who supported him and pushed him in attaining the award. Once again, we were welcomed back to the ward and asked when we were moving back. Most everybody knows the situation with the house and so we often get notices on which areas have homes available. Of course finding a home big enough and in our price range is going to be difficult, but possible with the Lord's help. I continue to trust in Him because I know things aren't going to happen if I try to do it all myself.

Well, I have other things to get to. Another week awaits.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Reverence

I hold a calling in my ward as a substitute teacher in Primary. I actually love this calling because I get to interact with all the different children and it has given me great insight into where I want to focus in teaching as a school teacher once I finally complete my schooling. We don't have a large primary, but it's not small either. It is large enough that we can get some good volume when all the children are singing, but small enough that I can actually name all the children with the exception of a couple who are new in the ward.

In all my times of subbing, I have noticed is that there is a serious lack of reverence. The children come in from Sacrament Meeting and treat the Primary room as a social center. The pianist is usually in there playing prelude music, but it doesn't seem to help. All but one member of the Primary Presidency has children in Primary as do many of the teachers yet having mom or dad in there doesn't seem to be a deterrent to the noise level. My own children have felt my glowering stare as I mentally urge them to quit fiddling with their friends and set the example.

This evening I had the opportunity to join with sisters throughout the Stake for a light luncheon followed by the broadcast of the General Women's Conference. The lunch started at 3:30 and the broadcast began at 5:00. One would think that having an hour and a half to mingle, munch, and socialize would be sufficient and that upon entering the chapel with the anticipation of hearing from our General Presidency and Prophet, we could expect reverence. Me and a couple of other sisters from my ward went into the chapel about 15 minutes prior to the start of the broadcast. The screen showed choir members who were most likely singing prelude music as the timer counted down, but the volume had been muted. I was dismayed at the amount of noise from chitchat occurred while we waited.

Just prior to the start of the broadcast, the Stake Relief Society President made a few comments and we sang an opening hymn. Then the broadcast started and quickly ended. Due to technical difficulties, we watched the computer screen show the attempts of some lucky Priesthood holder to get the broadcast up and running. Instead of sitting quietly waiting, the noise level immediately increased and became so loud that even when the audio stream came back through with the opening hymn of the broadcast, the sisters didn't stop talking. They did quiet down for the opening prayer, but when all we received was the audio stream with no picture, it seemed as if reverence was now an option rather than the expectation.

Technical difficulties continued and included a re-boot of the computer system. Each time we lost the broadcast, we also lost reverence. At one point I became aware of a sister sitting two rows behind me who was speaking so loudly, she might as well have been speaking to me. I know I am not the only who was bothered by this, as the other 4 sisters sharing my pew quietly attended to their own notes and thoughts while we waited for the broadcast to resume. I am grateful for their sisterhood and reverent manner. But I am so disheartened by the actions of too many others.

I realize that opportunities to socialize with our church members outside of church are limited. But the chapel should be a reverent place where people can come in, sit quietly, reflect, meditate, or pray without the interference of others who want to socialize. If you are not ready to sit quietly, then perhaps you should not enter the chapel. And if we cannot set the reverent example to our children and others within the chapel, how can we possibly expect our children to act reverently when they are sent off to their Primary chapel?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Precious Things

As I get older, I am losing things more often. Usually it is just a matter of misplacing things. It is very frustrating to go look for something in the spot I normally leave it to find it is not there. Sometimes I can blame others for having moved it, but I admit that I am guilty of setting something down with the intention of putting it in its proper place in just a moment and then getting distracted. I have come to rely on order in my life. Things need to be where they belong and people should be where they say they are going to be. I have too much going on in my life to keep track of all the little details.

My daily life is pretty routine. 5:30 am - wake up and get ready to take Aaron to seminary. 6:00 - leave the house. 7:00 - go pick him up and take him to school. 8:00 Take the other kids to school. 2:00 pm - pick Aaron up from school unless other arrangements have been made. 3:30 pick up the other kids, except on Fridays which is half day and I get them at 11:30. The time in between the drop off and pick runs is spent in a myriad of ways depending on what is going on that week. Once the kids are home, we get homework done and then they are on their own to entertain themselves as I strive to finish up work or make dinner or whatever else is using my energy.

Daniel is fairly quiet. He is the true middle child of the family and tends to get along with people of all ages. His classroom at school is a mixed grade of 4th - 7th grade students. He likes both boys and girls as friends and has not yet hit the years where girls are anything more than recess playmates. Because he did attend the public school in our neighborhood for a couple of years before we moved him to the charter school, he has friends in the area. They range in age from 7 - 14. Many afternoons he will ask to go out into the neighborhood and look for someone to play with. I know most of the culprits and where they live. I have phone numbers for those he associates with most often. I give him a fair amount of leeway and do not require a typed itinerary each time he leaves the house. He is required to be home before it gets dark.

Friday afternoon he took off to look for friends. Neil got home about 5:00, changed, finished packing the truck and left soon after for the scout trip with the older boys. I was at the computer dealing with popcorn orders for the district. I tend to use only natural light coming through the windows behind me until it gets dark enough to require I shut the blinds and turn on lightbulbs. As I began this ritual, I realized that Daniel was not yet home. I began making the phone calls. First house, no answer so I left a message. Second house, no answer and no machine. I decided to go drive through the neighborhood hoping that I would spot him on his way home, a young boy knowing he's in trouble and hastening his steps. I drove by the homes of his friends. I tried a third number but it kept going straight to voicemail. I left a message.

Returning home with no idea where Daniel was, I began to pray. Pleading for his safety and hoping that it was simply a case of getting too involved and not realizing it was dark outside. I called Neil to see if Aaron could tell me what Daniel had been wearing when he left and if he could tell me the exact location of another friend's house. Neil offered to come home but I told him it wasn't necessary yet. He assured me that he would be praying as well. He then made the fatal mistake of telling me how to discipline Daniel when he did show up. I guess from a guy's point of view, this is his way of saying he is confident that Daniel will be home soon and will need to be punished for making me worry. What I heard was that he was more concerned with the punishing of a child and addressing the "next time" when I wasn't even confident there would be a next time to address.

Just before I hung up the phone and prepared to go to the house of this third friend, I opened the front door and there was Daniel poised to ring the doorbell. Yes, there should be lectures and maybe a grounding for not being home before dark or calling. But I couldn't. I was just too relieved that he was safe. We did talk about communicating better in the future. If I wasn't afraid I'd lose it, I might consider the typed itinerary.

Week Ending 9/20/09

This week was nothing exciting. I turned 40 and guilted all my facebook friends into saying nice things to me and sending me cute little cards and gifts. Other than that, it was pretty much normal everyday life.

Aaron, Derek, and Neil went on a scouting event called On-Target where Varsity scouts around Arizona set up mirrors and flashed each other. Our stake followed up the event with a service project. They then had their Court of Honor on Sunday at which all three boys earned various merit badges and rank advancements. Aaron is officially a Life Scout and Daniel is a Tenderfoot. Derek is still a Star but close to getting Life - I think it's just a matter of putting in the time for him.

Daniel had a birthday party to attend on Saturday and the whole family was invited. It was pretty cool. My mother-in-law showed up Saturday morning and gave me a birthday present. I appreciate the present, but I sure wish she would call when she was in town instead of just showing up.

Sunday was Ward Conference and Daniel gave a talk in Primary and Aaron had to prepare something for Priesthood. Since I wasn't in either place, I don't know how it went. I imagine a member of the bishopric would be calling me if they were setting forth false doctrine.

I'm in a definite funk and the marriage is unraveling. Neil and I talked a lot last night and he has agreed that we need counseling. I am hopeful but cautious. I'm tired of having the same fight over and over but so is he. I didn't realize that. I don't think he goes out of his way to do things that bother me, but it's the lack of thought that bothers me as well. I think we were able to identify some of the problems, but neither of us knows how to change things. It's not that we're unwilling, we just don't have the necessary tools. Hopefully counseling will change that.

On to another week.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's a Guy Thing

Being married twice and having four males children in the house, I have learned that there are a few things that guys can do that seem to elude the female abilities. It's not that we physically aren't equipped, nor is it because we don't want to do them based on the disgusting nature of the talent. There are plenty of things that fall into those categories.

I have been sick and while the majority of the symptoms have finally left my body, I am left with phlegm. It seems to creep up my throat and just sit there in the back of my mouth waiting for an opportunity to choke me. I've never been much of a spitter. I do not randomly hock a loogie. However, this is the type of phlegm that cannot be swallowed back down in hopes that it will seek another exit or dissolve itself into my other bodily fluids. It must be coughed up and spit out. The main problem is that it chooses the most inopportune times for wanting to gag me. While I sit at the computer typing, I can get up and run to the bathroom sink to spit up the latest attack. However, the phlegm tends to wait until I am driving somewhere before it plans a sneak attack.

I have gotten better at dredging the mucous out of my throat and spitting it down the drain. In an odd sort of way, it's fun to see how thick the particular glob of phlegm is, though not as much fun having to actually touch it because it was so thick it stuck to the sink. I have not yet gotten the hang of long distance hocking. And it's not like I'm trying to set any world records, but I cannot manage the distance from the driver's seat position out the driver's window. And I definitely do not spit while actually driving. If under attack, I will cough up the intruder and hold it in my mouth until I come to a complete stop. I then open the car door and spit it out onto the ground.

My husband watched in wonder this morning as I performed this ritual. He asked why I didn't just lean my head out the window and spit. Two reasons - one I'm not that tall so even the effort to lean out would leave me short the distance needed to get the spit outside of the car. I do not want to have thick phlegm running down the inside or outside the car door. Two - I have long hair. Not really long hair, but it's not the flattop he sports. This means that there is a good possibility that in the effort of hocking the loogie out, the wind would snatch it and throw it back into my face or worse, into my hair which would then smear it across my face. He said he understood, but he laughed at me anyway.

Yeah, it's a guy thing.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Political Unrest

President Obama has been in the news quite a bit lately, and from what I've read, it hasn't been good. Admittedly, he's been in the news quite a bit ever since he announced his candidacy for President - moreso than any politician I've seen in the past. But it appears that he believes that the more he puts himself out there, the more chance he has of people liking him. Say what you will about the other candidates, President Obama ran his campaign as one who is running for a position in his high school student council. He was running for popularity. And it was on that platform that he won.

He is an eloquent speaker. He is a good-looking man with a good-looking family. He is charismatic. But good looks and pretty words only get you so far when you are the President of the United States. At some point, the people start expecting something solid from you. And for all the talking that President Obama has done, that's about all we've gotten from him.

Now I won't claim that he has single-handedly brought about the demise of our great country - there were factors in play that he simply had to take on because he sought this position. But he and his administration have made mistake after mistake and Obama is seeing that his popularity is failing. And although most celebrities will tell you that any publicity is good publicity, being a celebrity president isn't quite the same thing as being a regular celebrity. And in an effort to combat the poor ratings and negative publicity, President Obama does what he does best. Some may say it is the only thing he knows to do. He speaks.

He spoke to our school children. It seemed innocent enough and why was everybody making such a fuss? Well, because we don't trust him. In the eight months he has been in office, President Obama hasn't given us reason to trust him. So the last thing we want is to hear rumors that the President of the United States has deemed it necessary to speak to our children. Is it perhaps because he knows the adults are finished listening? Is it truly any wonder that there was such an uproar from parents across the nation? For those who have school-aged children, you may have had the opportunity to hear the speech yourself or have a conversation with your children about what they heard. None of my children were forced to listen to the drivel and I had no need to be concerned about opting out. But it was indeed drivel according to the media. Oh, the media hyped it as a feel-good speech, encouraging our children to stay in school and work hard and take advantage of the education that was being offered. But did we really need the President of the United States to tell them that? Does he assume that those who are actually still in school are not already hearing this from their parents, teachers, and community leaders? Does he believe that his message was actually heard by those who have already opted out of school, even when they are physically in attendance?

Then when the hubbub over that piece of intelligence grew less interesting, President Obama ramped up his efforts to convince Congress to pass his idea of health care reform. But see, here's the truth: President Obama is not supposed to be introducing bills into Congress - that's not his job. And so his speech to Congress wasn't him actually proposing his own bill, although if one gets passed, he will claim the credit. He was simply trying to make it look like he knew what he was talking about as he urged Congress to put aside differences so that a health-reform bill could be passed. What bill is that? The one that has been debated in Congress all along. And he wasn't so much urging all of Congress to work together to come up with a reasonable bill, but in a back-handed manner, disciplining those who opposed the bill as it now stands so that he gets his way and can claim some kind of credit for being so proactive on this subject. And as he stood before Congress and eloquently submitted the words which he or some speech writer had drafted earlier, he was heckled. Yes, that's what the media claims. A member of Congress who did not believe a word Obama was saying called him on it. From the peanut gallery came the call of "You Lie!" And the media jumped all over that - claiming that this outburst had hurt the GOP. Now granted, maybe the outburst went against congressional decorum, but seriously, folks - are we truly that upset that a representative of a body of Americans called Obama on the carpet? Shouldn't we be applauding this man for actually doing his job - that of representing his constituents? Shouldn't we be far more upset at the rest of the members of Congress who would rather go down in history for maintaining decorum than for doing their job and speaking for the people they represent.

Representation. This is what our government is supposed to be about. Representing their constituents rather than worrying about keeping their coveted offices. Well, I say "Kudos" to Joe Wilson from South Carolina. Thank you for being brave enough to go against the popularity contest winner. Thank you for doing your job and saying for us what we couldn't be there to say ourselves. And to President Obama - take a lesson from Representative Joe Wilson - remember that you are not there to be served, but to serve the people of the United States.

Week Ending September 13, 2009

I love weeks that start out with a holiday. We didn't do anything special, but we did clean up around the house and then grilled some dinner. We were supposed to have lookers, but they never showed. I find it rather annoying when the agent doesn't at least call back to let us know they are not coming after all.

There wasn't anything really going on during the week other than our usual busy schedules. Tuesday Neil had his scouts, Wednesday I had book club. I hadn't had a chance to read the book, but was able to borrow a copy and am excited to read it. It is a autobiography about a young man growing up in the 70s/80s who has Tourette's Syndrome.

Neil had Thursday off so we ran a number of errands, including shipping my clarinet home so my niece can give it a try, checking with a computer place about the status of my computer which appears to be infected with a virus, running to the scout store for a variety of items, and a stop at Goodwill where I found a cub scout shirt - long sleeves with patches from a council in Idaho.

Thursday Daniel had his first football game. The charter school has joined with 3 other charter schools to play sports thoughout the year. Our team looked soooo pathetic compared to the other team. The other school is well-established and the players all looked to be middle-school aged. They were big, fast, coordinated, and had uniforms. Our players range from 4th - 7th graders and our talent pool is limited. They had a lot of heart and spirit though and the final score was 18-21 so we really didn't do too badly.

Friday is half-day for the charter school so I picked the kids up and we went to McDonald's where they met up with other kids from the school. I have stopped buying food for them because they don't eat most of it anyway - they just want to play.

Saturday, Neil had to work and I had a test for my schooling to begin my student teaching. It was a general knowledge test and I think I did pretty well. Science is obviously not my strong point and I honestly don't know whether the reduction in species along the coast of Costa Rica is caused by natural erosion or if industrial forces are in play. I also don't care but figure that if it ever comes up in my class, I can always do the research necessary or just tell the kids to do the research and let me know what they come up with.

Nick had a birthday party in the afternoon to attend and of course, all the other kids were upset they couldn't go. Such is life. I actually had Neil take Nick to the party and I dealt with the little girls, who actually were quite fine that I was at home with them and settled in to watch movies.

Today we had church and I got to sit through most of Sacrament Meeting before Cierra had to go to the bathroom. Because of where we were sitting, I was able to get out with only Cierra instead of being followed by Rachel and Nick as well. I helped Neil in Primary as we combined the class younger than his with his and with 8 kids in the class, it's always good to have a second teacher. With my birthday on Thursday, one of the sisters in Relief Society brought in my birthday present. I got a bookmark, post-it notes, and a magnetic picture frame.

We got home and I got a nap. Then the kids decided we needed to go swimming. The water was too cool for my taste so I laid out on Neil's hammock reading a book and keeping my eyes on the kids. Nick has gotten rather brave and though he isn't a great swimmer when you consider form, he is comfortable jumping in at the deep end and swimming back to the shallow end. The two little girls are less brave, but Cierra is starting to push her limits and Rachel swims back and forth under water along the steps.

Now it is time for reading scriptures and getting kids in the shower. Hope you all have a great week.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Week Ending 9/6/09

It was a pretty quiet week. I was sick for most of it and Neil had odd schedules for work so we didn't see much of each other or the kids. I did have a work meeting on Tuesday so Rachel got to go play at a friend's house. She spent the rest of the week wanting to go back.

We were going to go camping for the weekend, but because of the illness going through me and the younger kids, we decided not to go after all. I'm a little disappointed as I have been wanting to go up to see the lava caves up near Flagstaff. So that is still on my to-do list.

We did make it to church on time and I enjoyed the testimonies borne. I missed a few because half way through, Cierra decided she needed the bathroom and that meant all three little kids had to go out. Rather than bring them all back in, we went and sat in the foyer. I don't particularly like doing that because they seem to think that it means free-play time. I did keep them reigned in somewhat but they were particularly antsy today. I taught Nick and Cierra's primary class and they were pretty well behaved in there. But the moment we got home and they changed clothes, they became overly rambunctious.

With tomorrow being a holiday, we had agreed they could sleep out in the family room on the pull-out bed. They decided to jump on it and broke some springs in the process. I'm hoping that is all the damage they did, but that was the last straw for dad and they were all sent to bed in tears.

We also let Daniel have a couple of friends over to spend the night, but the younger one just recently decided he was homesick so they both went back home. They just live in the next cul-de-sac so I walked them over after they called their parents to let them know they were coming home. It's almost midnight and we've got some plans to get up early to do some work on the house and yard. I'd best get to bed.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Schmucks in My Life

I've come to the conclusion that I should never have gotten married. I'm not good with relationships. I seem to have very high expectations of the men in my life, and for the most part, have managed to scare them all off.

The one good man in my life is my dad. He hasn't yet been scared away, but I do notice that he keeps himself at a safe distance. Maybe that's why he's still good. He learned not to get close enough to get burned. I can't say we were particularly close growing up. My childhood memories are of a man who would come home from work, kiss my mom, get changed, and play. He let us crawl all over him. He would be our horse, our wrestling buddy, our serenador. He loved the guitar and he loved to sing. He wasn't necessarily good at either, but that didn't stop him. He would strum away while singing favorite folk songs. But, I wasn't "Daddy's Little Girl" ever. My oldest sister was his princess by birthright and the younger ones were just so adoringly charming that he couldn't help but love them. Me, well, I was a mess. A tomboy at heart, but so clumsy that I was a danger to myself and most household objects.

As I grew through the teen years, I just became more awkward - both physically and socially. We lived in a small hispanic town surrounded by Indian pueblos. Blonde-haired, blue-eyed, anomally. Yes, I know very well what it is like to live as a minority. My dad gave me lots of rope and, I suppose, hoped I wouldn't actually hang myself. I did multiple times, much to his chagrin. Yet, I never felt that I had actually disappointed him. I wonder, even now, how much he just pretty much expected I would do anyway. I wasn't particularly rebellious. I do remember one particular Halloween night when me and four friends told our parents we were each sleeping at someone else's house. We actually spent the majority of the night running through the town, avoiding the cops, ding-dong ditching, and eventually crashing out on the floor of another friend's living room. Dad probably knew before I got home the next day, but he's never said anything to me about it.

My interest in boys started in junior high, but since I wasn't allowed to date until I was 16, nor was I considered datable until even later, I mostly just flirted harmlessly. I did get a boyfriend my junior year. He was a younger man. He was a friend of a friend and was on the basketball team. I was on the drill team so we had a lot of afternoon practices. He lived in Pena so we flirted and eventually hooked up while waiting for our rides. Since he lived so far away and I didn't have my driver's license yet, our "dating" was relegated to the school campus. He eventually broke up with me because a senior girl wanted him and was willing to sleep with him to get him. I wasn't willing to sleep with him to keep him so he made his choice. He still used my locker for his stuff, and I was fine with that until he thought it would be okay to store his new girlfriend's stuff in it as well. I admit, I overreacted. Her stuff went on the hallway floor, his stuff went in the trash, and my friend and I switched locks. He didn't understand. Schmuck!

I stayed away from dating until I went away to college. Yes, I did go to my senior prom with a guy who wasn't my cousin. He was a friend from church, who admittedly I had had a crush on since he attended my older sister's 16 year birthday party. He also drove a motorcycle. But there wasn't any romantic interest on his part and so I enjoyed dancing with him at prom but soon after lost touch with him. Not enough heartache to be considered a schmuck.

College was full of schmucks. One of my favorites was the guy who dated me because of rumors that he was gay. I don't know whether or not he was, but I did find it interesting that I had heard nothing of the rumors until after we started dating and shortly after we broke up, he was removed from school. The one episode that really peeved me was the afternoon he had come into the apartment. The rule was that the curtains had to stay open if there was a guy in the dorm room. I had gone back to my bedroom to get something and while there, the phone rang. The person identified herself as one of the RAs and asked if there was a guy in the apartment. I said yes and she told me I needed to open the curtains. Sure enough, while I had gone to the bedroom, he had closed the curtains. Schmuck!

Another favorite was the one who started his romantic endeavors a week before Valentine's Day. I got teddy bears, hearts full of chocolate, and a date to the Sweetheart Dance. That night, after the dance, he walked me back to the apartment but then told me he wouldn't let me in unless I kissed him. So I kissed him on the cheek but he said he wanted more. It really wasn't about wanting to kiss him, it was that he used it as a way to keep me out of my house. So I told him he wasn't going to get more and he wasn't keeping me out of my house. I got a proposal from him two days later. He told me he had prayed about it and that we were supposed to get married. I told him I would pray as well, and did so, but wasn't surprised to get a resounding no. He was so surprised. Schmuck!

Not all the guys in college were schmucks, but I didn't find any long-lasting relationships there. The ones I was interested in didn't return the favor, and the ones who wanted me learned quickly that they didn't really. So after spending three years at college for a two-year degree which didn't include my MRS, I came back home. That was probably my biggest mistake. I had lived for three years rather independently and now was being stifled by a mother who thought I should somehow provide her with a daily agenda. It's no wonder I rebelled and moved out and then moved on.

I started dating a senior in high school. I should know better but it was just supposed to be a summer fling until I went on my mission. He wasn't even a member of the church, though he did take the discussions and was later baptized. I was supposed to leave in February for Japan, he proposed Christmas Eve in front of his whole family. Should've gone on the mission.

Needing some space, I moved to California and eventually returned the ring. I dated off an on, sometimes seriously, but usually not. I managed to end every relationship on somewhat good terms - as good as you can when you are telling someone you're just not that interested. Then I met a wonderful guy. But I was in a protective mode and he was having fun playing the field. We weren't exclusive, but I think most people in the single's ward thought we were. The scene embedded in my brain forever is when a good guy friend of mine came up to me at volleyball night and offered me congratulations. I had no idea what he was talking about so he quickly explained that he had heard "wonderful guy" was engaged and just assumed it was to me. Well, wonderful guy was engaged, but it wasn't to me. Would've been nice to have been on his list of people to tell before announcing it to the world. Schmuck!

Now on the rebound, I play hard at volleyball and end up breaking a guy's foot. Six weeks later we were married. After three years and one child, he tells me he's having second thoughts about being married. I tell him he better figure it out. If he's going to leave, he needs to leave now; if he's going to stay, he'd better be committed for life. Two more years and another child and he tells me that "God says we should get a divorce." Yeah, okay. Schmuck!

Not wanting to make another rebound error, I stay single for two years. Not a lot of dating since it's hard being a single mom and finding time for a relationship. I thought I'd found my soulmate with an old friend, but drinking at topless bars ranked high on his list of fun things to do, so that ended rather quickly. Next schmuck was the guy who came off as the perfect mormon boy. RM, divorced himself with 4 beautiful kids. Forgot to mention he had been excommunicated for adultery.

Finally I met the guy I'm now married to. We dated for over a year and his relationship with his kids and mine seemed perfect. Well, maybe not perfect, but normal. He was attentive, helpful, funny, sweet. He wrestled, he played, he swam. He didn't play the guitar or sing, but he reminded me so much of my own dad. So I prayed and he prayed and we both were told this was a good thing. Okay, my actual answer was "He is the right man in time." Maybe I jumped the gun. Maybe he was right but just not right then. Maybe he will be right if I just stick it out. Or maybe I just should never have gotten married. Maybe I'm the problem in all of this with my high expectations for what a dad should be. I don't want him to be a schmuck, but it's nicer than some other words I can think of.