Sunday, October 28, 2012


Tyson had the HIP idea of hosting a BUG MUSEUM.  All summer long he was collecting BUGS and he intended to charge $8 admission for people to come see his bugs.  Emmett was all excited about it, too.  Mitchell even made some deluxe bug catchers out of wood & mesh netting.  As the summer came to a close we realized on the last Saturday before school started, that if the Bug Museum was going to happen, it had to be NOW OR NEVER!  So we pulled it together and thanks to our friends and family, it was a smashing success!
It was hot and Emmett was NOT in the mood to pose with Tyson while wearing the cute bug museum hats that they made, so he marched off and went inside.
 The first ones there were Grandparents & Caden, and our friend Devin! 
 We had an amazing turn out of more friends, neighbors, and family!
 The little kids seemed to be just as fascinated with the ugly, stinky bugs as my kids were. : )
 We had Tyson tell as many facts as he could remember.

 We borrowed books from the library and did research, and we had some facts written out on the table for our guests to read.  Tyson's favorite bug in the books was called a "whirligig".  Whirligig beetles happen to have eyes that are special.  The top half of their eyes are made to see things above the water and the bottom half of their eyes are made to see clearly in the water.  AMAZING!  Some other fun facts we had on the table:
  • A person who studies bugs is called an entymologist
  • There are over 300,000 known species of beetles
  • Only female bees have stingers

 Mitchell lost sight of the amazing facts we had going on with bugs, and he decided to teach the children how to use a magnifying glass in the hot summer sun to start something smoking.  *Sigh*  The blazing hot summer sun really was miserable that day.
 A dead stinky millipede who had been eaten by worms.  YUCK!  This one was donated by Mitch as an amazing find from working on a house.

 (this pic makes my stomach turn just to remember that it was eating the insides of the millipede.  This is obviously a close-up...the grub was really small, but he still GROSSED me out!)

This is a stink bug and 2 Colorado Potato Bugs from Grandma Carlene's house.  The stink bug stayed alive for THREE WEEKS by eating the other two beetles once they died!  YUCK! It really did turn into a quality sort of Science experiment to have all 3 of these babies in a jar together.  We learned first hand that some beetles eat other beetles as well as beetle poop.  That's what scavengers do.  Fortunately for me, I now have fond memories of curling my hair while these beetles would crawl in circles in the jar in my bathroom.  Oh! This is the joy of having BOYS who love bugs in my household.  : )
Grandma Tenney donated the bumble bee that she found on her porch one day.  It was standing up, perfectly hardened, and dead, with shiny wings.  Also, this cicaida was donated by Uncle Hebes who caught it with finess and ease one night after it flew past my head and into the house.  I may or may have not given a little scream when that happened.  Tyson also took the cicaida bug to school for show and tell the first week of school.  : )  Love it!
It's probably a good thing that we collected bugs throughout the summer, because if we had done the museum the first week he thought of it, there would have only been a couple ants and dead rolly-pollies from the backyard on display.  But because it turned into an on-going process we found some amazing additions to our bug collection.  I'm really glad that we "seized the day" when we did.  We have been intending to get around to have another Bug Museum in the Fall, but the Fall Break has come and gone, and I'm so glad that we made the Bug Museum a reality in August.  Sometimes as a parent it's hard to find a balance between planning for things, and just going with it.  There's a balance between seizing the moment, and putting in extra effort to make things special for your kids.  In the end it's all about memories when you can, but so often that's easy to forget.  The squeemish side of me said "NO WAY!" to the Bug Museum idea the second it was mentioned, but what do you know?  Now we have a totally fun memory...we still have some jars of bugs that I still want to get rid of, but holy cow, do we know more about beetles than anyone else on our block. : )  It was so worth it and I'm so glad to all of the people who helped my boys feel special and humored us by coming to our Bug Museum--complete with coloring pages to take home and "bug juice" Kool-Aid to refresh you in the 116 degree heat.  Never in my life did I think this would happen, but I NOW have a part of me that has grown to like bugs simply because my little boys do.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's the Place I reach for Heaven, and it Reaches in Return

Our family loves to look at the Gilbert Temple.  Whenever we drive by, Emmett is usually the very first one to say something about it.  We're almost always a mile and a half or two miles away and he yells something like, "I'm the first one to see the Angel Moroni!  And the first one to see the Gilbert Temple!  And the first one to see the crane!"  I love that kid! He's always so excited about it that it keeps me excited!  It definitely feels like "OUR" Gilbert Temple, and sometimes we drive right up next to it, even if it's out of the way, because the boys ask if we can go see it.  How can you say no to that? 

On Sunday, I had some extra time...which is NOT a usual thing on a Sunday, and I didn't want to be at my house because the kids were already loaded in the car, so we decided to go for a drive before family dinner and we wound up in front of the Gilbert Temple--directly across the street by the school.  Emmett had actually zonked out and Miles was asleep, too, so Tyson and I just sat there talking looking at the beautiful ediface.  The trees are out and the windows are almost all in, and it felt great to just look up and think about Heaven.  As we sat and talked about the temple, Tyson was very reverent and pensive and it touched my heart when he tried to explain what he felt.  He said:

"The temple is like a church, but it's different, and there's more Spirit there."

Then we talked about why there's a stronger Spirit there and that it's only in a temple that you can have the priesthood ordinances that seal families together forever--and that's very special.

Then as he was looking up at the temple through the window, he came up close to where I was sitting and said, "And as soon as you go feel...God.    Right here."  And he pointed to his chest.  He said it in a way that brought tears to my eyes, because I know he's felt the love of God, and I know he's felt it right in the center of his chest before, or else he wouldn't have explained it that way.  I love him. 

I hope he and Emmett will remember these precious, once in a life-time days, of watching the Gilbert Temple being built.

Friday, October 19, 2012

I Don't Know How Long I've Been Married.

I love my husband.  There's no one else like him in the entire world.  The first night he met me, his opening line was something amazing like, "How did you get that scar on your nose?"  I was irritated that he would draw attention to the ONE thing on my face I'd been self conscious of my entire life, but I still answered the question.

He also made fun of my name...but I didn't get on the clue bus that he was making fun of me until later.  He asked my name and I said, "I'm Debra Jo Tenney."  He thought it was silly that I'd say my middle name, so he responded, "Well, then, I'm Mitchell Jay Borden."   Grrrr.  Didn't he know there are plenty of people in this world who go by two names?  They do it in the South ALL THE TIME.  At any rate, the young, naive me thought, "Ah--his name has a nice ring to it!"

To this day I still cannot believe some of our other classic dating moments...such as the time he told me I was breathing heavy (who has the audacity to say things like that?!), and the time he was trying to figure out where our relationship should go and divulged to me these immortal words, " When I'm around you, I want to tell you that I love you and that I want to marry you...but when I'm not around you, I'm okay."

That's when we broke up.  How ridiculous:  "When I'm not around you, I'm okay?!?!?!"   

I totally know how Sorcia felt in Willow:
"I dwell in darkness without you, AND IT WENT AWAY?!"

Don't worry, Mitch figured it out--we broke up and just a few days later he realized HE NEEDED ME!  I made him work for it, though.  When he asked if he could kiss me again, I turned him down flat and said NO!  Fortunately for me, though, I gave in like 10 minutes later and we got married a couple months later...and here we are in a wonderful place with 3 kids and a minivan.

But why do I not know how long I've been married?  BECAUSE the SAME MAN who has said SILLY things SINCE DAY ONE has RUINED our traditional way of counting.  It pushes my buttons, actually.  Last year I was SO EXCITED to have our "LUCKY SEVEN" year all year long, and what did Mitch do?  The day after our 7th anniversary, he said that we were "technically in our eighth year of marriage."  HOW RUDE!  It was supposed to be our cute & cliche, lucky-seven sort of year...and everything was supposed to be lucky for us, but no, we had to skip that, because my brain got all messed up.  Just a few months after our anniversary someone asked us how long we'd been married and I said 8 years...but it had only been 7!  Thanks a lot, Mitch!  

So did we enjoy our 8th anniversary this year?  Absolutely.  And the next day, did Mitch say, "Welcome to our 9th year of marriage?"  Yes, he did.  GRRRRR!  Just don't ask me how long we've been married, because I might just think next year is our 10th anniversary, but it's totally not.  At least I know we're married--that's all that matters, I guess.  : )

 Mitch surprised me with Les Miserables tix--so sweet!  We were on the 10th row in the Orchestra seating (somehow he totally scored the tickets for LESS than what the 2nd balcony tickets were going for).  LOVED it!  We barely made it in time, the traffic was horrendous, but we saw the entire show, and the music was fabulous.
 We got our favorite treat--Rita's water ice gelati.  I ordered mine complete with rainbow "jimmies" and strawberry custard.  Someday when we no longer have debt and are old and retired with a nest egg, we'll franchise one of these babies and live the dream as wrinkly old people who love Italian ice and making people smile.  And Mitch will remember his mission days with every bite.

Aw, I love this man.  He is so good to me.  I can never stay mad at him for very longHe knows how to push my buttons and he ALWAYS does it with a MISCHIEVOUS SMILE.  And then he cracks a joke on a whim that "smooths over" anything that could have had potential to make me mad.  What's funny is that most of the time he digs a hole for himself without a plan to get out, and on a whim he says something funny that gets him out of the hole completely unscathed.  It's miraculous, really.  He brings laughter to our home and I love him for it.  I could never live without him.   I love my Mitchell Jay Borden.  Here's to our 9th year of marriage...that we'll celebrate next year in September.  Go figure.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Azure Skies

It doesn’t happen very often, but when I hear the whirling blades of a Life-Vac helicopter, in an instant I’m back at the roadside watching CPR being performed on Azure and I’m holding her baby.  I actually hate the sound of Life-Vac helicopters.  It’s my least favorite sound in the world and it makes me cry.

I have a yellow burp rag with green and orange tie-dyed frogs on it that my mom and Erin made me when I had Tyson.  Every time I see it or use it for one of my kids, I remember pouring water from a water bottle onto the corner of it with my mom and trying to wipe away the dirt from Eric’s eye-lashes—the dirt actually looked a little more like mud from his tears—even though he wasn’t currently crying, and we were afraid the dirt would get in his eyes and that he’d rub it.  But he wouldn’t let us and he kept squirming and pulling his head back.  : )

I see that burp cloth and in an instant his big, bright, baby eyes are looking up at me.  There’s a chill in the windy mountain air that’s blowing around everyone’s hair, and I want to put a blanket on Azure.  I want her to live and all I can do is hold her little guy and cry.  And he’s wearing funny Tigger footie pajamas.  He is so cute, and innocent, and my heart breaks for him because his mom looks like she’s not going to make it!

I’ve been thinking a lot about Azure this year.  I realized at the beginning of the year that our boys were going to turn 5 (which incidentally meant that it’s been 5 years since the year of her death, too). It pulls on my heart to know that I get to enjoy the milestones with my sweet little Tyson and to know that Azure doesn’t get to do that with her boy.  With all my heart I believe Azure is closely involved with her son’s life & that Eric is being well taken care of by Brian & Ginger.   But I still grieve for Azure.  I wish for her that she could hold him, and hug him, and throw him birthday parties, send him to Kindergarten, and still be here on Earth.

It’s amazing that someone I never knew in life has undeniably affected me through her death.  I still marvel that I was there the day of her accident.  I wonder at all the coincidental similarities between our lives.  Mitch & I were married the same year as she and Brian, we both dealt with the loss of miscarriage before we had a baby of our own, our babies were close in age, I was a school teacher & Brian was going into that profession, too—we even had the EXACT same car seat, so that when Mitchell crawled into the rolled car, he knew where the latch was and could pull the baby out with ease.  We were in the exact same place in life when she had her car accident, and the entire situation just broke my heart.

It’s been 5 years and Azure’s no longer around, but I feel like our lives have another parallel again.   About a month ago I realized that my new baby, Miles, was born just a few days after Eric’s birthday.  I didn’t think about it when he was born, because he had a due date in MAY, and I was just concerned about not being pregnant anymore.  But Eric’s birthday is at the end of April and that’s when Miles was born this year.  This year as I think about Azure I am fully aware of the beautiful days she had with Eric.  There’s something special about the first 5 ½ months of your baby’s life.  It’s just fun.  The baby days really are the best days ever.   As I’m writing this, I realize that as I watch Tyson grow I am aware of everything Azure doesn’t get to do with Eric, but right now as I watch Miles grow...even if it’s only been a short 5 months…I am aware of all the things that Azure did get to do with Eric.  I know where they were at—Azure’s baby could roll over, do push-ups, eat baby food, maybe scoot around on the carpet a little, smile and giggle. Come to think of it, he probably liked to munch on his fists and eat his toes, too.  A baby’s laugh is actually my FAVORITE sound in the world—I think it’s magical.  At least Azure got to hear that, and share those beautiful days with Eric.

I believe that Azure is my friend—even though we never associated in life, I believe we were friends before this life began.  I feel like even though I don’t really understand it completely, that I was meant to be there when she died, along with everyone else on that roadside.  I’m not quite sure what I’m supposed to learn from that experience—sometimes I force myself to complain less about my struggles and I think about the gift it is to be here each day with my husband and kids—I’ve learned many things, but the memory of that day still hurts.  If it still hurts this much for me, how much worse it must be for her family and close friends.   I love them, too, and my thoughts will be with them this week on Saturday, and always—especially at this time of year.

Love At Home lyrics (we sang this at her funeral & the song always makes me think of her--I love the metaphor of the Azure Sky)

Kindly heaven smiles above,
When there’s love at home;
All the world is filled with love,
When there’s love at home;
Sweeter sings the brooklet by,
Brighter beams the azure sky;
Oh, there’s One who smiles on high
When there’s love at home.