Linus turned 6 this week. Woo also signed us up to help clean the church that day. Linus jumped and said, "Yay! I like cleaning the church on my birthday!" when we told him. He happily vacuumed and swept and came home and ate breakfast before he could finally open his presents--one was a lego firetruck, which he then spent the rest of the day assembling.
We were in need of a quiet day. Earlier in the week we pulled the kids out of school to tour the Provo City Center temple. The kids were fantastic. They all watched the intro movie very attentively, and reverently and quietly walked through the temple. It's a beautiful temple and we all felt the Spirit. Woo kept saying "Our temple is out. Let's move here." And we probably would if Provo weren't so dang crowded. So instead he strongly encouraged all the kids to get married in PCC temple, and Ruby asked if she could do baptisms on her birthday, since it's on a Friday and she'll be twelve. Also approved.
We got our picture taken at the end and once again the parents look like idiots, but hey, we were there. Plus, it was better than the first picture they took. Trust me.
We went to Firehouse Subs while we were in the area because Linus has a bit of an obsession with firefighters right now. Grandma and Grandpa were able to meet us there and we had a little birthday celebration. This was hands down the easiest eating out experience I've ever had with six kids. Heck, since I've had one. It was pretty close to stress free.
We'd planned to head home, but made a last minute decision to see the Norman Rockwell exhibit at BYU's Museum of Art. We called Woo's mom, who was already home and she was free to meet us there and pick up some standby tickets. I loved the exhibit, and I think Woo and Grandma did too. The kids started out strong, but they were getting tired. Moses, who I thought would love it the most, was mentally out of there the soonest. By the end I had Moses, Linus and Herbie draped all over me on our bench, moaning. One woman walked by and said we would've made the perfect Norman Rockwell painting: Little Boys at the Art Museum.
And then Woo and I decided to take a walk around campus, which might have been a mistake. The kids tore out of the museum shouting and yelling like they'd been cooped up in a cellar all day. Moses was throwing fireballs, Herbie was gunning them down with water, Ruby was catching then releasing a shrieking Archie. Penelope walked primly next to me.
Woo: I think we'll have successfully lowered the birthrate of any future BYU alumni by the time we're through here.It was kind of embarrassing because the kids were really loud and crazy and everyone was staring at us, but the kids really needed to expend some energy, so Woo and I just kept walking as if they were acting totally normal. And by the time we'd walked the length of campus and turned around they were.
Me: What was your favorite part of the art exhibit?
Herbie: Finally getting to be at BYU!
Well, that's all I've got. Hope you had a great week!
I told this story before, but I'm telling it again. One Sunday when we lived in St. Louis, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I was just so mad. I know I yelled at my husband, I probably yelled at my kids, I arrived at church in a horrible mess. I slumped down on the bench and didn't much care what happened next.
It was fast Sunday. The branch president got up to bear his testimony and while he was speaking I knew I needed to get up and I knew what I needed to say. And I couldn't do it. I didn't feel worthy. How could I get up and share a spiritual experience from my life when I'd just been such a jerk to my own family?
But the Spirit did not give up. I was still resisting when my baby at the time started to cry. I think it was Moses. I took him out of the chapel and I thought, "Oh good, now I don't have to get up. I had to take the baby out."
But while I was standing in the foyer the words of a scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants were placed in my head. They were:
" ... For the testimony which ye have borne is recorded in heaven; ... and your sins are forgiven you."
And I knew if anyone needed forgiveness of their sins, I did.
So I marched up to the microphone and said what I needed to say, and the scripture was true. My sins were forgiven; it turned my whole Sunday around.
I more grateful than anyone that we don't have to be perfect to bear our testimonies. I know the atonement of Jesus Christ has the power to cleanse those who open their mouths and bear witness of him.
I *hope* my testimonies are strengthening my children, but one thing I know for sure is that they are strengthening me and increasing my own faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I know he lives and this is his church.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.