Monday, January 17, 2011


Some people say that children are like blank slates, ready for us parents to etch upon their lives the most important lessons.

Other people say that children are like sponges, soaking up everything around them as they learn about the world.

I say children are like Jell-O, and I'll tell you why. (Pretend you see "TM" every time you see that brand name, okay?)
Gelatin Dessert
(See, I picked green because I'm a Mormon. It's an inside joke.)

One of my children is like Jell-O that refuses come out of the mold. Her mold is safe and secure. Don't mess with her mold. She'll come out when she's good and ready, alright?

Another of my children melts into a puddle of warm Jell-O on the floor when things don't go her way. I wonder which flavor is the most dramatic...

Talking to my teenage boy is like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall. (I borrowed that one. It's so perfect, though!)

My youngest child is like the Jell-O that won't set up. Constantly moving, and I am constantly redirecting. Wait! He was just here! Where did he go?

My spicy boy is like green Jell-O with shredded carrots in it. What the heck is going on inside that one, and who decided that was a good combination???

Most of the time, getting my kids out the door on time is like pushing Jell-O up the stairs. It's just as messy and uncooperative as you are imagining.

Thankfully, I have one boy who is like Jell-O Jigglers all. the. time. Giggly and delightful, easily moldable, and doesn't mind uneven (hair)cuts. He still even lets me hold him. Everyone loves Jell-O Jigglers!

The great thing about Jell-O is that it comes in many different varieties, and they are all sweet. Give it the right conditions and the right amount of time, and every flavor tastes great. So what if sometimes it won't come out of the mold? So what if it doesn't set up? Come on. We all know Jell-O is not supposed to be a wall decoration anyway. And the green Jell-O with carrots? I know for sure my uncle likes it.* It's all good.

So are my children. Give them enough time and the right conditions, they'll turn out just fine. (Please?)

*In 2000, my grandmother passed away, and afterward there was a family meal served at the church by some ladies in her congregation. It's a very Mormon thing to do. Anyway, My uncle was in front of my brother and me in the food line and he exclaimed, "Ooh, they have green salad!" My brother looked and looked, and not a single lettuce leaf was to be found. Instead there was a very lovely, green Jell-O "salad" on display. Only in Utah, folks. Only in Utah.

One more thing...I even have a brain Jell-O mold. So, if you ever need a Halloween treat, let me know.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Help for Katie

Sometimes life seems unfair, especially when it doesn't play by our rules. But on the flip side, these unfair times can bring out the best in all of us and show us what we're really made of.

I am a stamper, as in, I make handmade cards with stamps and paper and all kinds of goodies. Surprisingly enough, there is a very tight-knit stamping community on the web, whom I have found to be incredibly generous and kind. I have seen such grace and generosity from people who live in all corners of the world, and whom I will probably never meet.

Today I'd like to direct your attention to Jak Heath's blog. She is having a digital stamp fundraiser for our friend and fellow stamper, Katie Renz, who was just recently diagnosed with stage 4 gastric cancer. She has 3 young children, and is far too young and vibrant herself to be going through such difficulties! You can read Katie's own words here. And check Jak's blog and digi stamp collection here.

We can't change the whole world all at once, but we can have tremendous influence for good in our own little corners, doing something within the realm of our own abilities, one person at a time. By small and simple things, great things come to pass.

We can all find some small way to help a friend.