Monday, March 10, 2008

Tree Frogs And Orange Groves

Last Saturday night, Mike and I got the kids all in their jammies, made them all popcorn and put on some movies, and we headed out the door to the temple. We're so lucky to live close because we left at 7:10 for the 7:30 session, and we were there and dressed by 7:20! Seriously, how blessed are we to be so close? Anyway, after the session was over, we headed outside to an empty parking lot. As we were leaving, all of the workers were leaving too, and we saw some friends of ours who work there. They mentioned for us to take a whiff.



Now if you've never been to the Redlands Temple, it is kind of tucked up on the side of a mountain, completely surrounded on all sides but one with orange groves. Huge expansive orange groves. I inhaled the most incredible smell of citrus! It was like I was on Soarin' it was so strong! I walked down to our car, the stars sparkling above us and just was so thankful that I have the priviledge to live so close to a temple. The night was so clear and the tree frogs were chirping, I could hardly stand it. I just felt the most amazing peace, comfort and gratitude for my life as it is.

We went to church the next day and really had a spectacular day until later in the evening when the kids had to make some phone calls. We try to get prepared for those moments with the kids as they have a tendency to get off the phone and be in a horrible mood. Mike talked to them for a while after the calls, and we asked the boys and Tiffany why they didn't want to talk, and they just shrugged.

It's getting harder and harder to make these kids have contact with certain people. I think it's important that they do, it's important that they keep a close relationship with their other family members, but how the heck do I force them? Mackenzie talks reluctantly because she feels obligated, but after 10 minutes of the other people crying about how horrible life is because of their mom (me), Mackenzie is even forced to get off the phone. Last night, she kept coming into the room where I was and mouthing the words "Help me". It's not because they're bad kids, but because every phone call is some news about how these kids should feel like crap because they somehow are the reason that some people won't come and visit. Believe me, I try to play it down, saying things like "oh they're busy" or "oh, work probably prevents the visits" but they are big old kids now and they know exactly what's going on. They keep track of how long it's been, and it's become a game now. If I didn't know better, I'd say they were making wagers on how many months it will be in between visits. At this point in time, it's been 7 months...and counting. Jonah and Casey laugh and can tell you how many days (203) since they've seen their other family. Actually, that's just one person. Anyway, they can tell you more, but I'm trying to stay out of this.

Don't get me wrong, they're not trying to whine about it, they're not obsessed with it, but every few weeks or so at dinner or whatever, one of them will say "203" or whaetver the number is, and they'll giggle and say "nice..." or something like that. Thankfully I have resilient kids. They're fiery, their righteous, they're loving and they're being blessed right now. Our house is happy, our family is so close, the 7 of us, it seems sometimes, our circle can't be broken down. We're certainly not being blessed monitarily, but as far as family wealth goes, I'm the Bill Gates of Yucaipa!

Moral of the story:

The greatest investment you can ever make is into the relationship you have with your children.

As time goes on, what will I value? What will these sacrifices Mike and I make do for our future? Will we be lonely old grandparents who cry because our kids never come visit? Will we be sitting in church one Primary Program Sunday watching our grandkids sing and give their talks? See, when you really sit down and tally up the pros and cons to the sacrifice it takes to be a "PARENT"... there really is no choice...is there...

19 comments:

Kacey & Chris said...

Hey Alli,

This is Kacey Adams. I just thought I would say hi! I can't believe you r kids are so stinkin huge!!!! Wow do I feel old!

ashleyO said...

so that was a cute lil moral. I can't wait until I can have my own children who run around my feet and call me mom and tell me that they love me even though i have stains on my shirt, holes in the knees of my jeans, and a messy ponytail on my head. :D

you are truly blessed lady. talk about a treasure!

Eliza said...

Hey, did you spy on me today ash? Seriously, the only thing I didn't have were the holes in the knees of my jeans but they are near.

Alli, you never emailed me back... you fierce tranny hot mess!

Alli Easley said...

Kacey! What the heck are you doing girl!?!? I've totally been thinking about you!

Ash, all in good time. Also, you must have been spying on me too, except my "jeans" were white bike shorts... ;)

Liza, you hot mess! I totally forgot to! Mike's home today with a fever, so I'll have him send you everything you were asking for. ♥ you, you fierce tranny.

Lyd said...

The first thing that I thought of when you said Orange Groves was DCA. I can smell it now! :)

I hope that I have a family as strong as you guys. You're all so amazing! I loves and miss you all!!

-KJ said...

Goose bumps for temple story.

Tears for kid story.

Laughing my head off for white bike shorts. My fave mid morning outfit!

Alli Easley said...

you girls make me happy.

Alli Easley said...

Oh and KJ, I'm sure all my neighbors think I work out every morning since I'm always running out to the car for something or other...in my white bike shorts. Oh and since I run so fast, I'm positive they're thinking I'm working out.

-KJ said...

Next time just put one leg on the hood and do some stretches and lunge your way back to the house. That will confirm it. Own it, OK!

ashleyO said...

K so those were some amazing stories and ideas. Lunging, eh? And yes perhaps I WAS spying on you two ppl. hehe

Alli Easley said...

Haha yes! Lunging! I'm all for it, I'm owning it!

Ash, if you were down here spying, you'd better be going to Disneyland with me, dagnabit.

Mandy said...

great post. many things i love:
the temple, the redlands one is divine!
orange groves, ho doesnt love that smell?
close families, truly the richest blessing you could ever have! really who needs money when you have an awesome family?

Taylor said...

Mandy, you are right. Stupid ho's never like things which smell good, like orange groves. Thanks for the insight.

Alli Easley said...

haaaaaaaahahaha Taylor. I was totally feeling Mandy's post til you interjected about the Ho's. You're right on all accounts Mandy, and Taylor, you as well are right about the Ho's. Ho's are not classy like Donald Trump.

ashleyO said...

Dang Tay...you stole my comment about the ho's! I wish I could be going to DL with you. Perhaps this summer with my boy, since he hasn't been since he was 2. Sad? SAD!

Taylor said...

Aren't you going with us in late April? Mum unt Daad said you were. Don't back out on me now...Ho!!!

I remember when 'lil E and I were huge N.W.A. fans Eric called KJ a Ho and Susan heard him. I thought she was going to rip out his intestines and set the entrails on fire. Yet, i 'twas awesome

Alli Easley said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhh the dollars I'd pay to see Susan hear Eric say "ho".

-KJ said...

Yes, and then he became repentant and busted up his NWA tape with a heavy fishing weight.

Alli Easley said...

I'd also pay many dollars to see that part as well.