Wednesday, January 09, 2008


This morning I had the occasion to ponder on cheers while I lollygagged away the morning. Now I've been productive so I decided I could blog some cheers....first to my family.

What started me on CHEERS today was an IM I shared with #1 daughter, Dawn. Dawn decided to become a Girl Scout Leader (for her Brownie aged daughter). All 4 of my girls were in Girl Scouts and altho there are women in the world who suddenly seem to be taking major exception to GS, I still do not. I raised strong, independent women and GS was a part of that program. Dawn, now the leader, will manage her troop along the same lines that she lives by. Could a daughter ask for anything more of a mom/Brownie leader? Last night was Dawn's reInvestiture. When her name was called out as the new leader, the other leaders (who apparently thought the meeting was getting too quiet) all cheered...the first of the night. And that's what made me think about CHEERS. Cheers to Dawn for becoming a Brownie leader so her daughter would have a good experience.

Ken, Dawn's husband, gets a huge cheer. Here's a man who works hard at a demanding job, provides well for his family. All the while, he's applying for employment that will advance his career. When finally there was no option left, Ken bought Dawn this amazing oven/stove (theirs had finally and totally given up the ghost) with 5 burners and 2 ovens....and then threw in a dishwasher to boot...another much needed item. Ken always welcomes Robert and me into his home and we have always had a great time together.

Cara has been so involved in her children's activities, all 5 of them and this includes being a Cub Scout leader...but with 4 sons what other choice did she have. But the kids are dressed, fed, taught manners, learn the piano, memorize their talks for Primary...all with a mom who is there, for them. She has battled RA and succeeded in overcoming the pains. I marvel how she themes her Christmas gifts so everyone in the family gets a similar item. This year everyone received puzzles and we were lucky enough to help out Dawn and Ken with theirs.

Jacob is Cara's husband and he's an ER doctor. His shifts change and switch and yet he's always ready and willing (tho often bleary eyed) to wake up and take care of all the emergencies and needs. He's actually a great Scrabble player altho I would term him a SHARK. Sadly, they aren't connected to the internet currently ... and if they were I'd be grabbing him for a few games of Scrabble every chance I could get. There's nothing better than learning from a pro. Internet.....besides which, this very opinionated Mother-in-Law is a firm believer that the youth today really need to be conversant with the workings of a computer in order to get along in this fast advancing technological world. But Cara and Jacob are very good are monitoring the children when they are/were online.

Next is Jocelyn...a woman who loved working in the media field and at CNN and yet gave it up to be a stay-at-home mom but still keeps her skills sharpened by becoming a free lance writer. She makes these wonderful quilts and knits afghans. She may not be happy swabbing out a flooded new basement but she does it with as much cheer as she can muster for the moment while keeping her toddlers happy. And oh the parties! Do not get me started on her parties.

Steve is J's husband. He had a nice job on The Hill in DC but knew he wanted more. So going back for an MBA at PennState he managed to have 2 children, get a degree, keep Jocelyn happy and make visits home to his parents and hers. He's an amazing worker of wood and I hope that when he gets more comfortable with the new job, new home, children, he finds the time to outfit himself with a great carpentry workroom....and then make me stuff.

Do you see the joy of life in this face...Marissa was telling her version of a story at Thanksgiving. She called yesterday with the exciting news that she has just been awarded a half day off from school because she'd won some huge teaching award, presented by the Kiwanis Club in Atlanta. There should be more details coming but so far, all she got was the email telling her to take a half day off so she could attend the award ceremony. Marissa teaches art in an Atlanta high school but this is only her 2nd year there. Previously she taught in Lorain schools. And to think her favorite subject when she was in our high school was painting toilets, we cheer that she's moved out of the potty and into award winning art and teaching abilities....just kidding, Swiss! But her art is lovely and usually huge (as anyone knows who has been in our family room). Amazing!

Hank, Swiss's husband, is a student at the Portfolio Center in Atlanta...which obviously is why Marissa is teaching there. Hank has this very interesting eye for things...all things. He "sees" and produces what I haven't even begun to see. He has this amazing God-given gift and there are times I wonder if he even has grasped that immense blessing...but he will. I think the biggest cheer is for not just having 3 of his art projects hanging in the hallowed halls of the PC (when getting just one hung is a big deal) but in seeing through the world's needs for accumulating things and wealth. Naturally, when he's through with school, it will be a relief both on the pocket and in the pocket. But for now, it's a great learning for him.

Lastly for my children is Jordan...the O-H-I-O Buckeye student...who will graduate in March 2008...coming right up. The cheer I send out to him is for not just graduating but for getting his career started before, acquiring a job he enjoys...and having it include benefits already. He has his dad's sense of humor (esoteric...if you read Robert's 7 weird traits), and is as straight as the Arrow of Light he learned in BSA, still exemplifies and honors his Eagle code. He's a good son and a good husband.

Hillary is his wife and she graduates from OSU in June. The cheer she deserves is that of getting straight A's. How is that for holding down an almost full-time job, being a good wife and daughter (and daughter-in-law), sibling to her younger siblings, being so good at budgeting, keeping an immaculate house, and a leader in the Young Women program of church.

And to my name a few....
All the young moms who have the dedication to stay at home and raise up a righteous generation....Tara, Terra, Emily, Shelli, Jodi, Deborah (who has currently given up employment and is attempting to regain some equilibrium for the at-home duties of a mom), Sandra who had her kids later in life but has thrown herself fully into their lives and has even been elected to the school board, Danni, Meta, Karen, Kate, Nikki.

To Teri who works part time, or as little as possible, and to her husband Matt who is finishing up his Masters so she can stay home with their boys...who runs a business, is a great friend, and always calls me on the phone...exactly when I need to hear from her.

To the older women who seem to continue to nurture younger generations....Sophia, Kitty, Jan (who also seems to find exactly what I need and arrives with it), Rebecca, and Carole.

To the single women who would be otherwise if they could...Jill, Michelle ...women who know what is required of them and who put themselves on a path that could lead them there.

To all the senior citizens who live to love and serve and teach.

and lastly to hero and my cheerleader! Who has worked to provide a home for me and our children, a garden of veggies, fruits and always the flowers. Who always keeps his cool and his humor. Who accompanies me everywhere I say I am going so that I do not have to go alone and for fear someone might harm me. Who for this short time, serves the church as Bishop and still has time for me. Who reads more crazy books on topics I never even consider and then has the smarts to remember everything. Plays a gentle piano and organ (especially when he THINKS Jill might be running late), sings the Primary hymns all by memory and rejoices in the children.

So...let's let the cheers rip the air in your home today, for yourself and for your family and friends. Thanks to all of you for being such great examples to me..whew! What a lengthy post. If you got this far then an extra cheer for you!


marissa said...

Hey, thanks ma! You're not too shabby yourself!

Lin said...

enjoyed learning more about your family...what is Jordan majoring in. That's amazing you had 4 dgs and then a son. I had 4 sons and gave up....we all need to cheer each other on and acknowledge our accomplishments. Maybe blogging can do that.

Dawn Mercedes said... didn't cheer yourself on! Thanks for the compliments!

Jocelyn Christensen said...

I'm assuming you took all those awesome pictures! They are fantastic, Mom! Thanks for cheering us on...and inspiring us to live well and prosper! :)

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