Welcome to the 92nd weekly edition of...
Thank you for joining us! If you're new to this carnival and would like to enter your post, please check HERE for the rules and regs.
YOURS: This week's "YOURS" goes to Sarah over at "For the Love"! She posts a tutorial on how to make the cutest pompom sandal flats. This is like a copykat recipe, but with shoes! Take a look...
Cute, right? Click HERE to see Sarah's entire tutorial. Thank you so much, Sarah, for your great tip, and we'll look forward to hearing more from you in the future! (Please feel free to take the "I Was Featured" button from my left sidebar if you'd like!)
MINE: What is one of the most important things about homemaking, the end product we are all striving to achieve? To me, the answer is to be able to provide a warm, loving, place in which our children can develop physically, mentally and spiritually and mature into human beings who can then go out into the world and make it a better place.
The time has again come in my life to realize this event, as the 18-year-old boy is striking out on his own....today. He will board a plane headed to California for the summer, where he will work in a science lab with my sister (yes, the one who anonymously stalked me through my email and who has improved drastically after receiving therapy), and surf every day, then report to serve a two-year mission for our church at the end of the summer...
(Shown above posing for the photo for his mission paperwork)
To express my feelings about this, I wrote him a letter to read on the plane. I wasn't sure I should share it with you or not, because it is personal, but because I usually err on the side of being an open book, I decided to post it here. After all, I'm only sharing the way I feel about my son with you, and I hope that's okay. Here it is...
"Dearest 18-year-old boy,
"Hi 18-year-old boy. You know I'm not too comfortable with being all sentimental and stuff (although I know I should have been better about it all these years), but I just wanted to tell you what a pleasure it has been to raise you. I'm really grateful that God gave me the opportunity to be your mom. You are a very unique individual (and I mean that in the best of ways), and you have taught me so much. You taught me that humor can break the ice, and make a difficult situation easier to work out. You taught me that yelling and raising my voice hurts people, and that there are much better ways to teach kids. You taught me that someone can be obedient and do what is right, even if they don't want to or if it's hard.
"Some of the best memories I have of you are times like the one when we were in the restaurant in Utah, and you stood in the back of a random family who were getting their photo taken. The woman you stood next to thought you were cute enough to stay in the photo, but I remember that the woman who was taking the shot didn't like the idea at all. Didn't she say, "Get him outta here!"? That was hysterical!
"Then on a different note, there were the times when the twins were small babies, and John was working in Juarez, and you would hear them both crying at 11:00 at night, and you would get out of bed on a school night, and come downstairs, and ask if you could help. I'll never forget that you did that for me,18-year-old boy. You were really there for me during that, one of the most difficult times of my life, when the twins were babies, and John couldn't be around to help me with them during the week. Thank you.
"Also, it was really special to me that you asked me out to dinner for Mother's Day. It might not have seemed like a big deal to you, but it really meant a lot to me that you would think of it.
"18-year-old boy, I know you've been through a lot in your life. In five and a half short years, you lost your dad in a tragic way, I married someone only 7 months later, and we dragged you down to Mexico, a place I thought would be wonderful and safe and tranquil, but what turned into a dangerous, scary place after we settled in. You should know that I don't ever regret marrying when I did or moving you kids to Mexico, but I want you to know that I acknowledge and understand how difficult it was for you. I know you came away with some really good friends and I also know that EVERYONE in that town, both young and old, absolutely loves you, but I also know it was hard not being able to have the freedom you deserved because of the dangers.
"Something else I want you to know is how very, very proud and happy I am that you have decided to go on a mission after the summer is over. 18-year-old boy, I know this wasn't an easy decision for you, and even now, I'm sure you have mixed feelings. I really can't even begin to imagine what it must feel like to know that you will be going away for two years, working hard sharing the gospel, but not knowing where you will be sent! Will it be to Mexico or South American, where so many young men are being sent, where it's hot and humid, but the people are humble and wonderful? Or will it be in an Eastern Block country, like Russia of the Czech Republic, like where Cody went, where it's bitterly cold, and the people speak a language that you literally know not one word of? Or will it be an island, where you can see the ocean every day, or somewhere in the states, somewhere that is perfectly familiar to you? It must be really exciting to think of it, but really scary at the same time. Even so, please know how proud I am of you for being obedient to this call to serve. I know it was hard to make this choice, but of all the things you could have been obedient to, this was the most important so far. You have made me so happy by doing this and I know that your life will be happy for doing it, too.
"We are really going to miss you. I'm going to miss your help with the kids, how you teach them what is right, how you always drove them around for me, how you rough-housed with the twins and the 3-year-old boy, and how you even held the baby, especially if I put on the password on the computer for you. I'm going to miss having someone so capable around, someone who can fix things and figure things out that I can't, especially things having to do with electronics (although the 13-year-old boy is coming close to your ability in this area). I'm going to miss it when you tell me you like the food I made (which has been rare since I decided to cook mostly vegetarian, but still, sometimes you liked what I made, and I loved that.) I'm going to miss you coming home from school telling me about random stuff that happened, and confessing crazy stuff that you and your friends did after the fact, knowing that I wouldn't get too mad because it happened two months before and you lived through it.
"18-year-old boy, there are things about you that I have heard, things that you don't know I know, that show me what an amazing person you are, what a good person you are, and how you really want to do what's right. Again, I want you to know how proud I am of the person you have been, the person you are, and the person you are becoming. I have seen such change and development in you over the years and you are truly a man now, someone who I KNOW will do great things in his life. I don't worry about how you're going to take care of yourself. You are so capable, a great cook, and a smart, kind, loving person, and you are going to have great success in your life.
"Thank you for being who you are, 18-year-old boy, and I feel it has been a privilege to have been given the chance to raise you until you could be out on your own. I love you very much and I'm actually somewhat jealous of Robyn that she will have you all summer. That being said, I'm so happy you will be with her and I know you are going to have a great time doing mad-scientist kind of stuff and surfing all summer. I'm looking forward to seeing you in July, and then again before you leave for your mission.
"I love you and be good.
OURS: Okay, what are you doing to make your home a better place? I would really like to know! Link up!